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Kilburnlad

Fields End (94)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A bright day that started quite calm with little wind, but light clouds came over in the afternoon with a freshening SW breeze..
Swim: Reed End
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 12 hook.
10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
Bait: Tulip Bacon Grill, bread and bread crust.
Fish: A barbel, two carp and a few small roach.

The pleasant surprise when I arrived was the absence of anglers. When I first started fishing this lake in 2006 there was one small field for touring caravans. Now it's a complex, with multiple caravan fields and more recently lodges. And the latest addition, which categorically confirms the venue's holiday credentials, a small café on the East bank, complete with a terrace, tables and chairs. Fortunately it's closed on Fridays, so today it didn't add to the bank-side activity. The fact that I was, it seems, the only day visitor perhaps shows that the local anglers, who once made up the bulk of the anglers, have decided to leave the lake to the holidaymakers.

Being so quiet I made my way to what I call the reed-end swim. After a strong westerly the day before, and a continuing westerly breeze, this seemed to be the place to be. Fishing into the wind, as they say. With high expectations I dropped a light leger down the side of the reeds with meat bait, a tactic that has in the past been an almost dead cert for a carp or a tench early in the morning before there is too much movement on the banks. On this occasion, however, not a touch, save small fish having a nibble. After a while I decided to change to the float, only to suffer bite after unhittable bite on bread flake. The few I managed to hit were small roach. I changed to meat bait only to be broken by what I assume was a carp as I tried to stop it careering into the reed bank. I also hooked a couple of other fish, by the feel of them both probably crucian carp, but they shed the hook very rapidly.

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Fields End (93)

I was adding permalinks to this diary earlier in the week and it reminded me just how often I used to go fishing. So today I went.

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A cloudy bright day that alternated between a fresh breeze and calm humid conditions.
Swim: Reed End
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 10 hook.
10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on chopped pork & ham.
Fish: Two carp, two crucians, eleven roach and a couple of tiddler perch.

It was over a year ago that I was last at Fields End Pit. The place doesn't change much, although I noted that steps had been added to access many of the platforms, which sit at the bottom of sloping banks. The caravan park seems to have grown, and I wasn't surprised to find tackle in many of the swims when I arrived, but no sign of anglers. When I first went to Fields End in 2006 there was one small field for touring caravans and most of the anglers around the lake were locals. Now I rarely see a local. Everybody else on the lake seemed to be carp fishing; the obligatory two rods neatly set up while the anglers in some cases were lounging at the top of the bank waiting for the fish to hook themselves. To me that isn't fishing, but it now seems to be de rigueur on commercials.

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Fields End (92)

Back to Fields End after a four year absence.

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A bright day that warmed up a bit as the sun got higher in the sky, but the northerly wind was always there.
Swim: Reed Corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on bread flake.
Fish: Two carp, three crucians and a roach.

The last time I was at Fields End was unbelievably in May 2012. The Pit hasn't changed, although there are apparently now more swims on the Pool. The owner, Charlie, was in the shop and was surprised to see me. He thought his wooden platforms (which I dislike because of the noise they generate) had scared me off, but I assured him that this wasn't the case, and that my interests had expanded, with golf and French now taking a lot of my time.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the lake wasn't too busy. This was not good for Charlie, of course, but certainly more relaxing for me. Mine was the only car in the visitors' car park, although a disabled badge holder was parked on the far bank, unfortunately next to where I had planned to pitch. Rather then sit next to him, like those people who park next to you in car parks when you've left the car in a remote corner hoping to avoid door dents, I decided to fish what I call the reed corner. This was once my favourite swim but it's risky to fish, as the larger fish make a beeline for the reeds as soon as they're hooked.
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Rookery Waters (1)

Finally back to having a fishing rod in my hand.

Arrival time: 13.00
Weather: Bright with passing clouds
Swim: Pitch No. 38 Magpie Lake.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
Bait: Bread flake
Fish: 13 carp, best around 5lbs

I gave up my membership of the syndicate water because I wasn't going enough, so I needed to find another local venue. I like the Welland but it's quite a long trip and these days I find that a half-day is a better option than a whole one. I decided to explore Rookery Waters, which is a bit further down the lane from where I play golf. I had looked in there a couple or so years ago but didn't pursue it.

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Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (17)

Second time at the lake this year. Hard work but managed one carp.

Arrival time: 15.00
Weather: Warm, bright and cloudy with a light southerly breeze.
Swim: SW corner, Lily pads and east bank.
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat & sweetcorn - all fish on luncheon meat.
Fish: A roach and a 9lb carp.

Today I had planned to fish the SW corner. A tricky swim that requires you to clamber down a steep slope, with about ten feet of water over the edge should you fall. Overhanging trees make it even more difficult to fish but I have had past success with carp on the couple of previous occasions that I’ve fished it. I took my compact float road, a 10ft 2-piece that punches well above its weight, so to speak, in terms of handling bigger fish. It’s ideal for this corner swim because of the low tree branches overhead.
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Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (15)

Perfect afternoon but only two bites, and two carp.

Arrival time: 11.30
Weather:Very warm for early October with just a light breeze.
Swim: Lily pads & SW corner
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp, best 10lbs 0oz.

With the forecast for colder weather arriving at the end of the week I grabbed a few hours over the lake this afternoon. I’ve been letting the fishing slip a bit lately and must really try to get out more often. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (14)

Hard work due to heat but 3 carp caught.

Arrival time: 11.00
Weather: Very hot with no wind to speak of
Swim: NE bay.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: Three carp, best 9½ lbs

My neighbour’s father, Mick, was house-minding for them and we arranged a trip to the lake. He hadn’t been before as he usually fishes Fields End when he’s up here. We arrived at the lake at around 11.00 and I showed him to the Lily Pads swim, being probably the easiest to fish of the few swims that are not totally overgrown. I settled into the NE Bay. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (11)

Evening didn’t turn out exactly as expected.

Arrival time: 15.45
Weather: Sunny at first but wind became cold and even colder when the sky clouded over.
Swim: Lily pads and NE bay.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
Baits: Bread flake & Luncheon meat.
Fish: three carp, best fish 11lbs 10oz.

In my last report I said I would return and have a go at the roach. Unfortunately fishing rarely pans out as you would like. Whereas on the last occasion I was getting a bite a cast from roach using my heavier tackle, today I could hardly tempt them with a nibble using a much more appropriate set up. However, let’s start at the beginning. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (7)

Steve, my neighbour, came as a guest today. He fished the lily pads while I tried a couple of new spots.

Arrival time: 11.00
Weather: Sunny / cloudy.
Hardly any wind. Very mild for the time of year.
Swim: NE Bay and SW corner
Tackle:14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Used luncheon meat on the hook and sweetcorn as an attractor.
Fish: Two carp and a nice roach. Best fish carp 8lbs 4oz.

My neighbour Steve accompanied me today and I suggested he fished the ‘lily-pads’ spot, as it was the most accessible place, and I had caught there previously. This left me to find another fishable spot - not that easy! Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (6)

Today tried for roach and got a couple of bonus carp.

Arrival time: 11.00
Weather: Sunny / cloudy.
NW wind was behind me but it caused sideways drift, making it difficult to control a float.
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
Baits: Sweetcorn and luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp and 16 roach. Best carp 11½ lbs. Best roach 1lb 2oz

Today I decided to try for the roach. I started with sweetcorn and took two roach with the first two casts, the biggest around 4 oz. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (1)

First trip to the coarse lake on my syndicate water.

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Bright with a light wind
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle:13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, waggler, 12 hook.
11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Bait: Bread and luncheon meat. All fish taken on luncheon meat.
Fish: A couple of carp, best 7lb 12oz, and a couple of roach.

As mentioned in my last diary entry, the coarse lake on this syndicate water is hardly fished. So I’ve found what for me is an ideal location. One could imagine it as one of those lakes mentioned in carp fishing books, with all the mystery of possible whoppers. But perhaps I’m romanticising too much. In fact the lake was wildly overgrown and just getting to the water was a challenge. Lots of blackberry thorns and thistles to negotiate. It seemed that without a machete there was only one swim that I could get to, and that wasn’t easy. I had looked at the lake in April, when the syndicate membership was mooted, and at that stage I walked around it without too much difficulty. I think I need to return with some shears and secateurs and carry out some management. Read Full Report...

River Indrois (1)

Fishing in France.

Arrival time: 16.00
Weather: Warm with little wind.
Swim: River walk at Montrésor
Tackle: 12ft Greys’ Rova Float rod, 5lb line, waggler, 14 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on bread flake.
Fish: One carp of 6lb 5oz and a very small catfish.

We were in France for three weeks so I took some tackle. I had bought two rods from the Greys’ Rova range and on this occasion used the float rod.

We had walked along the river the previous evening and I spotted a couple of carp under the lily pads. It always helps if you know where the fish hang out. Read Full Report...

Fields End (91)

A glorious day after weeks of awful weather.

Arrival time: 13.30
Weather: Clear sunny sky and very light easterly breeze.
Swim: Reed End
Tackle: 12ft Greys’ Prodigy Rova Specimen, 5lb line, waggler, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on bread flake.
Fish: Three carp, best 10lb 12oz, and a tench.

It was the end of March when I last went fishing. The weather has been somewhat wet, to say the least, but I have also been doing other things that have kept me away from the water.

It was also an opportunity to try out a newly acquired Greys’ Prodigy Rova Specimen rod. This is a six-piece 12 foot rod designed for travelling. Now in the past such rods have not come anywhere near matching the performance of two or three piece blanks. However, this had good reviews and I wanted something I could pack in the car when going on holiday that didn’t need to be laid through the car boot and into the space between the front seats. Read Full Report...

Fields End (90)

First trip to Fields End since last October. A few carp and one good fish.

Arrival time: 14.10
Weather: Clear sunny sky and very light E/SE breeze.
Swim: Reed End
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, waggler, 12 hook.
Bait: bread and luncheon meat. All fish taken on bread flake.
Fish: Three carp, best 13lb 2oz, and one good crucian of 1lb 11oz.

A spell of unseasonably warm and calm weather saw me off to Fields End. I had already set my sights on the north eastern corner, to shelter from the forecast easterly breeze. There were about six people on the lake and the spot I was after was free. I set up in what I call the Reed End swim, situated at the other end of the reed bank that forms the Reed Corner.

I had taken luncheon meat and a small cut loaf. I started with bread flake and flicked in some free offerings, fishing close to the reeds, no more than about 15 feet out. The water level in the lake was well up, suggesting that Charlie had filled it since my last visit in October. Read Full Report...

Fields End (89)

Disappointing day.

Arrival time: 09.30 (started to fish at 10.00)
Weather: Bright and sunny. Reasonably mild.
Very light SE/S/SW breeze.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line,
16 hook on 5lb flourocarbon. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn and luncheon meat
Fish: One carp of 2lbs, an ide and a couple of roach

Today was full of promise. Very mild for late October and no troublesome wind. However, nobody told the fish!

I arrived a bit later than usual so may have missed an early bonus fish or two. I had decided to go for roach with the hope that a tench or carp may turn up.

Sweetcorn was the chosen bait, with luncheon meat in reserve. I may have tried maggot but the shop was closed when I arrived. I was feeding small pellets. Read Full Report...

Fields End (88)

A bit quiet but some reasonable fish.

Arrival time: 07.15 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Overcast with some light drizzle on occasions.
Light E wind swung to SE later in the day.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 12 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Lunchion meat
Fish:
Three carp, best fish 9¼lb, two tench and a roach.

Various things have conspired to keep me away from fishing over the past few weeks, so it was good to get back to the bank side.

It was quiet at the lake with probably only about five people there at any time during the day. I had the tree corner to myself. While the relatively mild period prevailed it wasn’t the best of days, although the overcast conditions should have helped the fishing. It was calm when I arrived but the easterly breeze proved a bit irksome later in the day. Read Full Report...

Fields End (87)

A visit to Fields End after a gap of a couple of months.
A few carp and a couple of lost fish.

Arrival time: 10.45
Weather: Warm and bright with southerly breeze.
The breeze freshened and was a bit of a nuisance.
Swim: Reed Corner
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float rod, centre pin, 8lb line, 14 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat
Fish: Five carp, best fish 8lb 6oz, and a tench.

After a bit of a down-beat trip to Fields End in June I thought I would see if things had quietened down a bit now that it’s September. Charlie, the owner, feigned not recognising me when I arrived. I explained that I liked it when things were quieter and that he would probably see a bit more of me into autumn/winter. He gave me a fridge magnet with their details on it, the reason being that he had used one of my photos as the background. A little bit of fame. Read Full Report...

Fields End (86)

Not a particularly satisfying few hours.

Arrival time: 15.00 (started to fish at 15.30)
Weather: Blustery and overcast. The westerly wind only moderated slightly into the evening.
Swim: SE Reed Corner / Tree Corner.
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Mitchell 301 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: Bread flake, crust, luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp, best 6½lb and small roach.

I thought I would grab a few hours as I hadn’t been over the lake for over a month. There was only one van in the car park when I arrived, which was encouraging, but the caravan/camp site was full. This was borne out once I got to the bank, there being very few vacant swims. I thought I would try the reeds in the SE corner. It’s the shallowest part of the lake and with the levels down this year following the exceptionally dry spring, it was very shallow indeed.

The wind was blowing into the corner so I started with a light leger but couldn’t hit the sharp taps on the rod top. I changed to a waggler and cast close to the reeds with flake on the hook. After a couple of casts the float sailed away and, having extracted it out of the reeds, a mirror of about 3-4lb came to the net at 16.45. Shortly after this a couple of chaps moved in on my right and were obviously expecting to be joined by their partners, so I could see things getting a bit noisy. They already had a dog that kept yapping and they were talking incessantly. Fortunately some people started to pack up around 18.00 so I moved over to the Tree Corner. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (6)

A bit slower this evening.

Arrival time: 17.15 (started to fish at 17.45)
Weather: Lovely evening following a sunny and warm day.
A light breeze.
Swim: Far corner.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line,
5lb fluorocarbon hook length to a 16 hook.
Bait: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Six small carp, best 3lbs 2oz, some small tench and bream.

When I arrived there were around 5 or 6 anglers on the lake. The most I’ve seen. One was in my ‘adopted’ spot, but as I set down elsewhere, I noticed that he was packing up. I went over and had a chat with him. He was from Bradford and has been fishing the lake for about four years. He remarked that it was now getting busier. He was looking forward to some barbel fishing on the Swale as the river season opens tomorrow. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (5)

Plenty of fish again.

Arrival time: 17.00 (started to fish at 17.15)
Weather: Bright with white cloud.
Blustery with occasional rain.
Swim: Far corner.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 2½lb hook length to a 16 hook.
Bait: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: 15 small carp, best 3lb 14oz, and some small bream up to 1lb.

I thought it was going to rain yesterday evening so delayed my return to the lake until this evening. A mistake as it turned out. Despite ominous clouds yesterday evening turned out perfect, whereas this evening threatened rain and eventually delivered it. I got a bit wet but fortunately I had brought the brolly this year so I was reasonably protected.

The evening was much like Monday. I started with flake and was soon landing small carp. Later I changed to luncheon meat, which was equally as effective. This evening’s tally was fifteen carp, most around the 2lb mark, with the best being 3lb 14oz. I also had three bream (or skimmers to use the current vernacular). The best was a pound. This explained why I was missing some ‘good’ bites, as hooking the bream was obviously trickier than hooking the much bolder carp. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (4)

Plenty of small carp.

Arrival time: 18.15 (started to fish at 18.30)
Weather: Bright with white cloud.
Light wind dropped as dusk approached.
Swim: Far corner.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 2½lb hook length to a 16 hook.
Bait: Bread flake
Fish: 16 small carp, best 4¾lb and a small tench

After two years we’re back at Cringles, near Silsden, so I can visit Stake Hill again. The fishery has been open about five years. I first visited four years ago, so I have seen it develop. It’s a very tidy lake and a credit to the owners. Read Full Report...

Fields End (85)

Five hours, two fish - hard work.

Arrival time: 14.00 (started to fish at 14.30)
Weather: Bright and warm with white cloud.
W wind moderated and eased completely into the evening.
Swim: Reed End.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 12 hook.
11’6” Hardy Marksman, Mitchell 301 reel, controller float, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake, floating crust and luncheon meat.
Fish: two carp, best 10lb 2oz

Another afternoon session but this time the lake was busier. The Reed End wouldn’t have been my first choice but it was the best pitch of those that weren’t already occupied.

I tried flake and luncheon meat close to the reeds but whereas last week I was quickly into a couple of decent fish before things quietened down, on this occasion nothing. Plenty of fiddly bites, some of which sailed away, but no contact was made. One small roach confirmed my suspicion that these were smaller fish and an occasional small scale on the hook reinforced this view.

I plodded on but got nowhere. The general noise level around the lake was off-putting, holidaymakers now representing the majority of those fishing. I know i shouldn’t, but I get irritated when people put out a couple of bolt-rig feeders and then saunter off to chat at high volume, occasionally dashing back to haul in a fish that’s hooked itself. I’m probably old-fashioned but that doesn’t constitute angling in my book. Moan over. Read Full Report...

Fields End (84)

An afternoon and evening session.

Arrival time: 15.00 (started to fish at 15.25)
Weather: Bright and warm with increasing cloud.
SW wind moderated and eased completely into the evening.
Swim: Reed End.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Three carp, best 8lb 10oz, and four tench, best 3lb 14oz

I was so shattered after last week’s all day session in the wind and sun that I decided to go to the lake for the afternoon and evening.

There was a fresh SW wind blowing so a swim in the SW bay would have been ideal, but all were taken bar one, and with that number of people concentrated in one area I decided to go to the NE corner, which was deserted. Back to the Reed End where I was last week. Glutton for punishment?

The waggler in fact rode the wavelets quite well and I was quickly into my first fish, a tench of 2lb 6oz. Soon after a 4lb leather came to the net and within minutes of landing that I had an 8lb 10oz common on the bank. The storming start was, however, soon to fizzle out. Read Full Report...

Fields End (83)

A good morning but the wind spoiled the afternoon.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Bright, warm and sunny later.
Light S wind became troublesome in the afternoon.
Swim: Reed End.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 14/12 hook.
Drennan Barbel Specialist, Shimano Exage 4000 reel, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Three carp, best 10½lbs, six crucians, best 2lbs 4oz, a tench of 3lb 3oz and a 1lb roach.

Because of bank holidays and other things to do it’s been a couple of weeks or more since I’ve been fishing .

The forecast for a southerly wind made swim choice difficult. The south bank is somewhat featureless so I opted for the reed end swim in the north east corner. Things started well enough. With a light breeze conditions were perfect. Having changed the pellet waggler to an insert waggler (because of the ripple), on my first cast what was almost certainly a carp shot off only to shed the hook after a few seconds. Second cast, another carp, and after a strong lunging fight a fine 10½ lb leather was on the bank. This was followed next cast by a 5¾ mirror. Both fish were taken on flake.

As is often the case, the carp then seemed to disappear, although a chap setting up on the platform in the adjacent reed swim may have been a factor. However, throughout the morning I had good sport with crucian carp, with one fish of 2¼ lb, and a 1 lb roach. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (13)

A few hours at the Pump Pond, Block Fen, Mepal.

Arrival time: 15.15
Weather: Bright and warm with a breeze.
Pond is sheltered and was not affected by the wind.
Swim: Pump Pond - Reed Corner.
Tackle: Drennan Barbel Specialist, John Wilson reel, 12lb line (free-lining), size 8 hook tied direct.
Bait: Bread flake
Fish: two carp, best 8lbs

As I didn’t have a complete free day this week I thought I would try a few hours at the little pump pond at Mepal where I’ve previously had some success stalking the carp. It’s not an easy place to fish, which makes any success that much more rewarding.

The conditions were good. The pond was protected from the prevailing wind but a surface drift had taken detritus into the reed corner where I fish. I started with a sliding pre-weighted balsa float, which had worked well on a previous visit. This time, however, it was drifting out of place. I therefore reverted to simple free lining using the weight of the bread flake to cast. Read Full Report...

Fields End (82)

This was one of those days that offered much but ended up disappointing.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.15)
Weather: Generally bright and warm although more cloudy in the afternoon.
Light SW wind swung to S at times during the day.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman Avon Specimen, centre pin reel, pre-loaded waggler, 8lb line, 10 hook tied direct.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: One carp of 8lb 4oz, six crucian carp to 1lb 14oz, four roach to 14oz and a 3lb 8oz tench.

First on the lake, I tried luncheon meat down the margin. On this occasion nothing took the bait. Was this an omen?

To be fair the fishing wasn’t that bad. Very few carp were caught around the lake, with the exception of Mick Nash who was doing well off the surface. The main problem, for me at least, was that the ‘holiday’ season has arrived, and there was a considerable amount of loud talking. How it is that people can hold conversations that can be heard clearly over 100 yards away completely amazes me. Add to this a noisy neighbour to the right, who was casting two feeder rods with mortar bomb consequences, thumping around on the platform and talking loudly to himself every time something went wrong. Even my ‘quiet’ evening period was thwarted. A couple a chaps arrived and positioned themselves either side of me. They then struck up a continuous conversation while distance casting for surface feeding carp. All this noise and their continual standing and casting I think put paid to any self-respecting carp feeding in the margin. Read Full Report...

Fields End (81)

Another mixed bag with some good fish of each species.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.15)
Weather: Bright start but clouded over later. Light W wind became strong during the afternoon.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano ST6000 reel, pre-loaded waggler, 8lb line, 10 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Six carp, best 13lb 9oz, eight crucians, best 2lbs 4oz, a 4lb tench and three roach, best 1lb 3oz.

After a marvellous weekend, weather wise, things deteriorated a bit today.

I was the first on the lake, and started with my Hardy Marksman by dropping a piece of luncheon meat down the right margin. First cast was short, but the second resulted in a bite almost immediately and a good fish tore off. It turned out to be an 8lb 10oz mirror carp that fought very well. With the heavier tackle, though, there was no real risk of losing it. A couple of chaps then turned up on the platforms on my right, and the obligatory dropping of the tackle boxes onto the platforms put paid to any further margin success.
Read Full Report...

Fields End (80)

A good mixed bag and a nice couple of barbel to finish.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.30)
Weather: Bright start but clouded over later. Fresh NW/W wind.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp, best 7lb 8oz, three tench, best 3lb 11oz, two barbel, best 5lb, five crucians, best 1lb 14oz, and four roach, best 1lb 1oz.

I took a chance on the wind today (the forecast was far better for tomorrow but I had things to do) but while it was fresh, it wasn’t too much trouble in the Tree Corner. The story of the day was plenty of bites, almost one a cast, but most were unhittable. I expected this on flake, but a change to luncheon meat produced similar problems. I can understand how a small fish can tug at flake and register a bite, but the missed bites on lumps of meat remain a mystery: crucians perhaps.

There was only me and three people from the caravans on the lake. I was completely alone in the SW corner, which suited me fine. Read Full Report...

Fields End (79)

Personal best Crucian carp today.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Cloudy start, bright later. Strong SW wind.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Three carp, best 12lbs, nine crucians, best 2lbs 7oz, a 2lbs 9oz tench and a few roach.

The forecast was for a warm day, but windy. The morning was, in fact, far from warm. Cloudy with a strong SW wind it was quite chilly. I benefitted from being in the Tree Corner, which is protected from south-westerlies.

Having succeeded with luncheon meat on my last visit I started with this bait. A couple of missed bites in over an hour convinced me that, today, this bait wasn’t working. I switched to flake, which resulted in more bites, in fact a bite almost every cast, but I couldn’t hit them; small roach, maybe. At 9.20 a nice roach of 11oz was a welcome relief but other than a couple of smaller roach, and what I think was an Ide of about 8oz just before midday, things were quite dire. Read Full Report...

Fields End (78)

Lacklustre start but it got better later on.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.30)
Weather: Relatively mild, bright and calm.
Light SW breeze freshened during the day before dropping late afternoon.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.

Lake

Lake


Bait: Luncheon meat
Fish: Two barbel, best 5lb 3oz and two carp, best 9lbs 1oz.

Up until lunch time I thought this was going to be another disastrous day. Not a bite until about 11.00 and then tricky ‘unable to hit’ bites. Managed a few small roach, none of which needed the net. I had been using sweetcorn and bread, the former being the more successful.

One of the regulars, Mick, arrived after lunch and was into a carp within minutes. He was fishing to the middle of the lake with meat paste and halibut pellets in PVA nets. He mentioned he had caught a barbel last time he was there. This got me thinking as I had caught barbel last year in the tree swim. I opened a tin of luncheon meat, a favourite summer bait, but one I had ignored during the colder weather. I soon had a positive bite and felt a larger fish.
Read Full Report...

Fields End (75)

Disappointing day - one smallish carp and not much else.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 08.30)
Weather: Misty and cold.
Light E breeze veered to S after midday.
Swim: Reed end (NE reed corner)
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, centre pin with 4lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and sweetcorn, with hempseed as an attractor.
Fish: Carp of 4lbs 5oz and some small roach

I was a bit undecided whether to go today. The forecast was for an easterly wind, albeit light. When I arrived it was cold and misty. There was little wind and I debated whether to go for the Tree Corner, which has fished quite consistently over the last few weeks. However, an easterly wind would blow right into this swim. Also, there was a chap already in the pitch to the right. I decided therefore to go to the other side of the lake and fished the end of the reeds in the NE corner. This pitch fishes well in the summer.

Things started off very slowly indeed. I was baiting with hemp and bread flake balls and tried flake on the hook, but this was unsuccessful. I opened some sweetcorn and started introducing this as well. With sweetcorn on the hook I started to get bites I couldn’t hit, as has happened on all recent visits. I took a few small roach but is was 11.45 before I caught one of any size, and it was then only about 4oz. Occasional small roach followed and by 14.00 I was seriously considering packing up. Read Full Report...

Fields End (74)

Ideal conditions and a reasonable mixed bag of fish.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 08.45)
Weather: Started clear and reasonably mild. Colder later.
Light SW breeze during morning but calm after midday.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, centre pin with 4lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and sweetcorn, with hempseed as an attractor.
Fish: Carp of 8½lbs, two tench, best 3lb 10oz, a few roach, best 1lb 4oz, and a 1lb 11oz crucian carp.

Second time at the lake this week. Taking advantage of reasonably mild weather and lack of wind. The Tree Corner was calm being protected from the light SW breeze. The morning was bright and mild; almost spring-like. The birds were in song and it was difficult to believe it was mid February. The wind dropped completely at midday after which it became colder.

I had a fairly sensational start to the day. First cast, first bite, and I was into a carp. After a tussle it turned out to be an 8½lb leather, foul-hooked in the pectoral fin. Fortunately I had upped my line strength to 4lb after losing a carp on Monday. Read Full Report...

Fields End (71)

Some roach, a couple of tench and a bonus carp.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 08.30)
Weather: Light NW wind, mainly dry and about 7-9 C.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, centre pin with 4lb line, 16 hook on 2½lb line. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn and worm.
Fish: Roach to about 8oz, two tench, best 3lbs, and a carp of 8lbs (on 2½lb line!).

The weather looked threatening when I arrived but other than a couple of very short light showers it remained dry. The tree corner was sheltered from the NW wind so I had almost calm conditions within my casting distance throughout the day. I decided to stick to sweetcorn and bait lightly but regularly. I did try worm for a few casts but other than missed bites and a couple of small perch, they didn’t produce anything memorable.

For the first couple of hours I had a bite every cast on corn but missed them all. These were real ‘sinkers’ but I just couldn’t connect. I believe that they were roach, probably on the small side, but how they robbed my sweetcorn and avoided the hook was nothing short of remarkable. Read Full Report...

Fields End (67)

Today’s target species were roach and crucian carp but the big carp had other ideas.

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells, hardly any wind and chilly.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, 4lb line, 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and sweetcorn, with hempseed and pellets as attractors.
Fish: Seven carp to 8lbs 14oz and a 2lbs 1oz crucian.

After the frustration last week of not being able to hit many of the bites, today I scaled down my tackle. I bought a match rod a few years ago for use on canals and drains but it hasn’t had many outings. It’s light and fast, and, as I found out today, not lacking where bigger fish are concerned.

As previously I fed micro pellets and hempseed, and this time I also included some sweet corn. Baiting with a single grain of corn I had a few touches and then, at 07.55, a firm bite resulted in a big fish tearing off, with the match rod adopting an impressive curve. I was using a centre pin, which gave me precise control of line tension and this, combined with the light rod, took the pressure off the 4lb line. It probably took about 5-10 minutes to tire the fish to the point where I could safely net it; a 8lb 13oz leather. Read Full Report...

Fields End (65)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: Chilly but bright; light to fresh south-westerly breeze.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, 12 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat with pellet feed.
Fish: Two 15lbs + carp, a 4lbs 3oz barbel, a 3lbs 6oz tench and a 2lb 2oz crucian carp.

After a couple of sessions fishing into a chilling wind on the east bank I decided today to take the soft option and fish with the wind behind me. The tree-corner swim is in the south western corner of the lake and the wind was south westerly. With the added protection of a bank of trees and shrubs behind this was the most sheltered part of the lake. This swim never seems to produce a large number of carp, but it has yielded my biggest fish to date, a 19lb specimen, and I’ve also taken a 17lb fish from the spot.

The swim is flanked by reeds but, unlike the reed swim in the opposite corner of the lake, fishing close up to the reeds is not always productive. With the lake level quite low and the weather chilly I therefore ignored the close margins. Plumbing revealed a fall-off at about two rod lengths out so I fed this area with small pellets on a little and often basis. Bait was bread flake. Read Full Report...

Fields End (64)

Arrival time: 10.00
Weather: Chilly, light to fresh north-westerly breeze.
Swim: Reed-end swim
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 10 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler and light Arsley leger rig.
Baits: Bread flake
Fish: Two smallish carp, a crucian and a 2¼lbs tench.

What a difference a week can make. Last Thursday it was like spring. Today was very autumnal. Last week I caught fish regularly throughout the day. Today I slogged until 15.30 for my first fish.

Conditions seemed promising when I arrived somewhat later than usual because of a doctor’s appointment. There were about five people on the lake and I got the reed-end swim.

I few early bites were indicative of either small fish or cautious crucian carp. I missed them all but a large scale came back on the hook on one occasion suggesting the bigger carp were in the swim. There was also reed movement. Read Full Report...

Fields End (63)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: Warm, light southerly breeze and bright
It was like a spring day.
Swim: Reed-end swim
Tackle:12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 10 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat with pellet feed.
Fish: 16 carp to 10lbs, three tench to 4lbs 3oz and four crucians to 2lbs 2oz. Lost four fish.

Back to the end of the reeds in the NE corner where I fished last week. I was the only one on the lake when I arrived and throughout the day nobody came anywhere near the corner where I was fishing. There were in fact no more than six people on the lake at any time. So, the conditions were perfect; it was quiet and I had a really good day.

The first fish came after only fifteen minutes and I caught throughout the day. Bread flake was again the most productive bait and I took only one fish on luncheon meat if one discounts a small perch that took it. I used small pellets to ground-bait the swim on a little but often basis. Read Full Report...

Fields End (62)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A quiet day after heavy rain the previous day.
Light breeze alternated from W, to NW, to SW, to S and then back to W.
Swim: Reed-end swim
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 10 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon.
Fish: 12 carp to 11lbs and a 3lbs 3oz tench.

Back to Fields End on a pleasant day sandwiched between heavy rain and wind the previous day, and more of the same predicted for the following day.

Today I went to the opposite end of the reed bank that forms the left of my usual Reed swim. A chap was there last week and did well, but more importantly it seemed easier to fish than the Reed swim, which is now a bit awkward since a new platform has been installed. I don’t like platforms and have been sitting to the side of it. However, this makes access and egress difficult with a high risk of stumbling. Also, there is a nasty snag by the left reed bank that has taken more tackle than I can remember, and playing fish is difficult because of the proximity of reeds to both sides. Read Full Report...

Fields End (61)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A foggy start with a very light breeze. The fog lifted around 0830 and then the S-SW wind freshened, becoming quite strong after midday.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 12/10 hook. Alternated between sliding pre-loaded waggler and small Arlesley bomb leger.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: 10 carp, best fish 9lb 12oz.

First time at the local lake since the end of July. I eased off in August pending my fortnight’s fishing holiday at Docklow.

A bit late arriving but not many people about. As the wind was forecast S to SW, I went in the reed swim. There was a chap at the other end of the reeds and he was literally pulling them out when I arrived, and continued to do so throughout the morning, losing a few in the process.

I started with the preloaded waggler and, unusually, didn’t get an early bite, as I often do in this spot before the fish get wise. It wasn’t until 08.15 that I got my first fish, a 3lb 11oz mirror on luncheon meat. I continued with luncheon meat on the waggler until just after midday, when the wind caused me to change to a light leger. I caught two more fish on float, at 08.30 and 08.45, both common carp at 5lb 5oz and 6lb 10oz. The second one, while not particular large, was a fine looking fish, so I took a photo. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (9)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: Another fine calm evening.
Swim: Match Pool Peg1
Tackle:13ft Multi-float, 6lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 12 hook.
12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three carp, best fish 10lbs, a barbel and a small chub.

I was heading for the Mickey Mouse Pool but saw from the road that my favourite spot was occupied. I happened to be next to Peg 1 of the match pool at the time. Now, I have noticed that this peg is very popular and when I had a closer look it was clear that the adjacent pegs were some distance away, making it ideal for margin fishing. There were reeds to the right (photo) and a corner to the left, where the road bordered the lake. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (8)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: A beautiful evening following earlier heavy rain.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Peg19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat and bread flake.
Fish: Two carp, best fish 9lbs, four small barbel and a small tench.

Leather 9lb

Leather 9lb


After a disappointing trip to the River Teme earlier in the day (see previous posting) I went down to Mickey Mouse for a couple of hours. Peg 19 was free so I slotted in there, as I knew it from previous occasions.

I cast out near the lilies and having missed one bite, next cast I hooked what felt like a heavy fish. It didn’t run a great distance but kept deep and circled, occasionally trying to get into the margin reeds. It must have taken about ten minutes to get the fish in but I wanted to play it out rather than risk losing it by applying too much pressure. On the bank it weighed just over 9lb, the best fish so far at Docklow. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (7)

Arrival time: 14.30
Weather: Calm and slightly overcast. Light rain later.
Swim: Match Pool Peg12
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
13ft float rod, 6lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 14 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat. Fed with maggots and sweetcorn.
Fish: Four carp, best 7½lbs, and a small bream.

I tried the match pool today for the first time. I went with the intention of using my float rod and not carp fishing. I had assumed that carp would not be the predominant species in the match pool. However, it was soon clear that there were good carp in the lake as they could be seen cruising on the surface. The swim I chose had good margins to the right and a bed of lilies about 30 feet out directly in front. There were large carp around these lilies so I started with the Avon rod and flake casting to the edge of the pads. I had a couple of good bites but at that range it was difficult to connect. I did ‘feel’ one fish that felt quite large.

This strategy having not succeeded, I reverted to my original idea and set up my 13ft float rod. I fed the swim with the maggots left over from my Wye trip, sweetcorn, flake pellets and luncheon meat. My first fish, at 14.55, was a small bream of about ½lb taken on luncheon meat. I tried maggot on the hook but only got tiny roach. At 15.20 I landed a lively mirror of about 1½lb that also took luncheon meat. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (6)

Arrival time: 17.30
Weather: A clear calm evening following a sunny day.
Swim: Figure of Eight pool
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Six carp, best 6½lbs, two small barbel and a small tench.

We got back a bit late today so I went down to the lakes a bit later. I tried the Figure of Eight pool again, this time in the SE corner (I couldn’t find a Peg number). This spot offered two near margins and the option to cast to lilies and overhanging trees on the far bank, about 25 feet away. There was nobody else on the lake.

Things started well. Having seen fish movement on the far bank, I cast flake over and immediately got a take; a 2½lb common. I then picked up a small leather of about a pound. Next I tried a light leger down the left margin, leaving the line slack and watching for line movement. This allowed me to reach part of the corner that I couldn’t fish by float and resulted in two more small carp. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (5)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: Sunny and almost calm.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Pool - Peg 19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Three carp, best 6¼lbs, a roach just under a pound, some small barbel and a small chub.

Having tried the Figure of Eight pool yesterday I was ready to return. However both the corner swims were taken today. I therefore went on to Mickey Mouse and set up in my now regular pitch 19.

I dropped in down the left margin and quickly had a small barbel of about 12oz. The margin then went quiet so I tried fishing just off the lilies about 25 feet out. The lack of wind made this easier than on previous days. I used a simple slider float arrangement to make it easier to drop the rig close to the lilies. I caught about three of four more barbel in a short time then lost what was almost certainly a carp in the lilies, but fortunately it didn’t take any tackle. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (4)

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Sunny with little to no wind.
Swim: Figure of Eight Pool - Peg 17
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10/12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Four carp, best 7½lbs, a 1¾lbs crucian and a couple of small barbel.

I thought I should try another pool today and as someone was in Peg 19 on Mickey Mouse that sort of forced my hand.

I had seen a good spot on the small Figure of Eight pool, in the NE corner. A bank of reeds stretched away to the left and to the right the bank was inaccessible all the way to the other corner. This made the swim very secluded; just my cup of tea. There were carp cruising the surface, probably up to around the 10lb mark. They didn’t seem to be feeding, just taking the sun. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (3)

Arrival time: 15.00
Weather: Sunny with little to no wind.
Swim: Micky Mouse Pool - Pegs 21 & 19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Some small carp, best 4½lbs and a small tench. Lost a few fish.

A bright sunny day with no wind so I went down to Mickey Mouse a bit earlier. For a Bank Holiday Monday it wasn’t that busy, but there was someone at Peg 19 where I had fished on previous days. I slotted in to Peg 21, the spot where the chap on Saturday had had such a good day. I tried shallow-fished flake casting to the edge of the willow trees by the island, only about ten yards. I got a take every cast but couldn’t hit them. I managed after a while to hook a couple of small carp. I therefore changed tack and fished to a lily bed close to the near margin. I got some fiddly bites on luncheon meat and another small carp.

By this stage the family that was at Peg 19 had left, so I moved there. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (2)

Arrival time: 16.00
Weather: Cloudy bright and very windy although the trees kept the wind off my swim.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Pool - Peg 19
Tackle: 13ft Fishtec multi-float, 6lb line, centre pin, pre-loaded waggler and 12 hook
12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Three carp, best 5½lbs, some small barbel and roach. A story of lost fish!

I walked around all the lakes in the morning and the Mickey Mouse pool certainly attracts me the most. I went back late afternoon with the aim of perhaps fishing the spot where the chap yesterday had such good sport. There were two anglers in the spot in the morning and they were still there when I arrived. I thought they may leave early and give me a couple of hours in the spot.

While waiting I went in the same spot as yesterday. I started with the 13ft float rod with the hope of picking up a mixed bag. I fed bread pellets and luncheon meat and started getting some tentative bites. A couple of roach were hooked and landed. At about 17.00 the float went away and a fish motored out to the centre of the lake, about 20 or so yards. It felt powerful and I could do little to slow it down. I was hopeful that being in open water would give me a chance on the light tackle, but unfortunately the fish turned and went into the dense lily bed to the right, where there were also remains of old tree stumps. All went solid and hand-lining had no effect. I had to break off and lost one of three new floats I had bought in the morning. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (1)

Arrival time: 17.00
Weather: Cloudy bright with a stiff breeze although the trees kept the wind off the water.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Pool - Peg 19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, 14/10 hooks. Waggler and pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake, sweetcorn and luncheon meat.
Fish: Four carp, best 6lbs, a possible carp/crucian hybrid and an ide.

I selected a pitch with reeds to the left, a fallen tree bough to the right and lilies both to the left and about 15 metres out. Plumbing showed it to be quite shallow, around a couple of feet. I put in some loose feed sweet corn and luncheon meat and started fishing the margin to the left. Starting with sweet corn on a 14 hook I was getting bites that I think were small fish. Changing to luncheon meat I caught a mirror carp of about 12oz, which fought very well for its size. I then got what I think was a 1¾ lb crucian carp, although its colouring suggested perhaps a carp/crucian cross. Two fish were then lost because of failed hook hold, and my float ended up in a tree as the hook parted company with the fish. I changed to a pre-loaded waggler with a single sinker shot and increased the hook size to a 10. Read Full Report...

Fields End (60)

Arrival time: 10.15
Weather: Cloudy bright with a south westerly breeze. Breeze freshened in afternoon and cloud cover increased.
Swim: Reed swim.
Tackle: 12ft barbel rod, 12lb line, 8/10 hooks.
Alternated between sliding pre-loaded waggler, small Arlesley bomb leger and controller float for surface fishing.
Baits: Luncheon meat and artificial 'biscuit'.
Fish: Three carp, best 5¾lbs, and a small roach.

A late night meant that I got up late and arrived at the lake later than normal. I expected the reed swim to be occupied and had set my sights on the reed bed at the southern end of the lake, which is rarely fished. So much for planning; the eastern side of the lake was fully populated, including the swim I had expected to fish. Perversely, my reed swim was vacant, so I went there. Read Full Report...

Fields End (59)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Cloudy bright with a south westerly breeze. Brighter intervals developed and it became warm with the breeze freshening.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 12ft barbel rod, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Alternated between sliding pre-loaded waggler and small Arlesley bomb leger.
Baits: Bread flake (seedy bread!) and luncheon meat.
Fish: Nine carp, best 11lb 6oz and a roach. Seven lost fish!

An odd sort of day really. The night before I was in two minds whether to go because of the forecast wind. Then I didn’t sleep too well, but as I was awake at 05.30 I decided to go.

The other thing is that due to a bit of bad organisation I only had one rod with me. To cut a longish story short, I decided to sell my Fox Warrior feeder rod (I’m never going to take to heavy feeder fishing) along with my Korum rucksack (bought for use on the bike but I’ve since fitted panniers, which are easier and safer) and my Korum rod holdall (too bulky and overkill for light roving fishing). I ordered a Grey’s quiver system that takes individual rod bags, but unfortunately they were out of stock, and I had already committed to send my old tackle off by courier; so, no rod holdall. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (12)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: Bright and very warm with a breeze that dropped during the late evening.
Swim: Reed corner
Tackle: 12ft Barbel specialist, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: One carp of 4½lbs.

After the relative ease of catching fish at Fields End on Tuesday, Block Fen brought me back to reality. It had a been a very warm day and even at 16.30 it was very hot. The breeze hardly affected the sheltered corner I fish but there was some line drag. More annoyingly there was a family of moorhens that emerged, tiny chick in tow, every time I cast, obviously looking for tit-bits. Unfortunately they often snagged the line forcing a re-cast, and the whole process started again. Read Full Report...

Fields End (58)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Hazy bright with a slight westerly breeze. Remained bright cloudy and very warm throughout day with wind freshening to south-westerly.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle:
12ft barbel rod, 12lb line, 8/10 hook
11½ft Hardy Avon Marksman, waggler, 6/8lb line, 12 hook.
10ft compact float 6lb line, pellet waggler, 16hook.
Baits: Bread flake/crust, luncheon meat and floating biscuit.
Fish: 13 carp, best 7lbs, three tench, best 3lb 10oz, two barbel, best 4lbs 2oz, a crucian and some small rudd.

Because of work on my pond and going on holiday at the end of June, I actually didn’t go fishing during June. Last outing was 27th May. To get me back into the fish I decided to go to Fields End, where catching is almost guaranteed.

The reed swim was available and it now sports a new platform as the old gravel-filled base was collapsing. I hate platforms and after half an hour installed myself at its side, sitting almost in the water in a narrow gap between the platform and the bankside vegetation. It turned out to be a good position as I had a much better sight-line down the reeds to the left and could play the fish away from those reeds more easily. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (11)

Arrival time: 15.15
Weather: Sunny with clouds and a south-easterly breeze that dropped during the late evening.
Swim: Reed corner
Tackle: 12ft Barbel specialist, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: One carp 18lbs 3oz

After a couple of blanks at Block Fen I went back today to try my luck. I had been waiting at home for the delivery of my pond liner but as Helen was in for the afternoon I decided to grab a few hours fishing.

My reed corner was free when I arrived just after 15.00. There were a couple of ‘carp’ anglers on the opposite bank; multiple rods, big feeders and rather too much bait being fed in. Read Full Report...

Fields End (57)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Clear blue sky with little or no wind through morning. Cloud cover increased during afternoon although wind remained light SW until about 19.00, when it freshened.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 11½ft Hardy Avon Marksman, waggler, 6/8lb line, 12 hook.
10ft compact float 6lb line, pellet waggler, 16hook.
Baits: Bread flake, luncheon meat and floating biscuit.
Fish: Six carp, best 12lbs, two tench, best 3½lbs, a crucian and an ide.

After being outgunned on my 13ft multi-float rod on the last visit I had set up my new Hardy Avon Specimen rod that I bought last year at an offer price. It was its first outing. I had paired it with my Rapidex centre pin and 6lb line. First cast, using bread flake, resulted in a firm bite five minutes later and a fish rushed into the reeds, breaking me easily. The tackle upgrade obviously hadn’t worked. I then lost another fish that slipped the hook as I was trying to stop it getting into the reeds. Not a good start! Read Full Report...

Block Fen (6)

After the success on Tuesday (29/9) I returned, this time a bit earlier at 15.30. It was a bright sunny afternoon with fluffy white clouds in a blue sky. A gentle breeze hardly ruffled the water but I was to find that it did in fact cause the line to drift, making the free-lining technique I use not quite as easy.

White bread and luncheon meat today. I started with the always reliable bread and after only 15 minutes had a run, connecting with a medium-sized fish that unfortunately caused a bit of disturbance as I hooked it near the reeds. Like Tuesday's fish, it didn't produce any dramatic runs but gave a dogged fight with numerous lunges as I brought it to the net. It was a 6½lb Common in superb condition and had magnificent colouring - golden flanks and dark red/purple fins. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (5)

A chap came to discuss our wills today and it was thoroughly depressing. With no more than about two hours of daylight left I went to the Pump Pond, arriving at 17.30. There was nobody there; in fact there didn't appear to be anybody on the main lake either. Very peaceful. The lake was very calm and all the scum had drifted into the reed corner where I fish. It didn't look very attractive but, of course, theory says this is where the fish should be.

I only had the remains of a cut wholemeal loaf for bait. I've never used brown bread before, so this was likely to be either a revelation or a disappointment. I had a run fairly soon after casting but the fish had released the bait before I tightened. Curses! However, shortly after I had another run and connected with a smallish carp, which turned out to be a 4lb 3oz common. As with all the fish I've caught in this lake it was in fine condition, but I worried that it had spooked any other fish as it struggled by the reeds.
Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (3)


Mirror 3lb 3oz

Mirror 3lb 3oz


The second evening I arrived a bit later, about 18.00 and again fished through to dusk (21.30). It was colder than the previous evening and although the breeze was again into the corner (I fished the same spot) I think it was chilling the water this time. The water temperature, while still warmish, didn't feel quite as high as the day before.

I again waggler fished bread flake and pre-baited with sweet corn, small pellets and rolled bread pellets, and continued to feed.

Things were slower this evening and I had to wait until about 18.30 for my first fish; a 1¼lb common carp. This was followed about half an hour later by a small tench of about 4oz; the only one this evening, which may have been because of the drop in water temperature.

Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (2)

I visited this fishery in July 2007, shortly after it opened. It was interesting to return two years later. The site is still very exposed but bank-side vegetation has increased and the swims have a more mature feel to them. On this occasion I had two evening sessions.

Mirror 1lb 12oz

Mirror 1lb 12oz


This first evening I arrived about 17.00 and fished through to dusk (21.30). The weather was better than in 2007. It started breezy but became calm towards late evening. There was a little light rain. The water temperature felt extremely warm, probably due to the exceptionally warm weather we had had the previous week.

I fished the same corner as in 2007, although noticed that the locals tended to fish on the opposite bank. However, the breeze was into my corner, which was technically an advantage. This time I waggler fished bread flake - I borrowed some maggots last time, and legered because of the wind. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (1)

While on holiday in Yorkshire in June/July 2007 I visited the Stake Hill Fishery, that was newly opened (in April) and offered good mixed fishing, albeit fish sizes were quite small. The lake was high on the dale in a nice setting but the weather was awful on the day, with a cold wind blowing and no sun; but it was dry. None the less, I battled on and didn't do too bad. Read Full Report...

Orchard Lakes (2)

This second day at the lake was better. The pumps were off and the fish were a bit more active. I managed to take seven or eight fish, the best being 4¾ lb. Read Full Report...

Orchard Lakes (1)

We had a week away at Bashley on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire and Orchard Lakes was just down the road. I had two visits, one for a day and the second for the afternoon. It was a lovely week, this first day in particular being very warm.

I fished the largest of the five lakes. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (8)

Arrival time: 17.00
Weather: Alternate sun and clouds but with a fresh northerly breeze.
Swim: Reed corner
Tackle: 12ft Barbel specialist, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Bread flake
Fish: One carp 15lb 2oz

My first visit to Block Fen this year. I made up my mind quite in the day late to go.

When I arrived there were three anglers on the main bank, which surprised me considering it was early season and mid-week. One was opposite where I usually fish and unfortunately he was casting over to my bank. I apologised but he said it wasn’t a problem. I must admit that I don’t understand why people fish the far bank when the option exists to fish under the rod top, so to speak. Read Full Report...

Decoy Lakes (1)

After the blank at the Welland on 1 December I thought I might try some roach fishing at fields End with the off-chance of a winter carp. However, when I arrived at Fields End they were concreting the approach road and the lakes were closed.

Stuck for what to do, I remembered that there was a venue called Decoy Lakes somewhere near Whittlesley, so I set off to try to find it. After one false routing I eventually arrived around 09.00. A very friendly lady explained the set up there. They have a number of lakes, and I opted for a horseshoe shaped one that seemed to have been created by building a spit head into a high-banked pool, thus providing fishing stations in what otherwise would have been a virtually unfishable lake.

It was a lovely December day. There was a bit of a breeze, but the lake was sheltered. Read Full Report...

Butlers Hill (1)

Helen was working at Chipping Norton on 3 September so we stayed in the town overnight and I visited the local Butlers Hill Fishery.

I was first on the fishery and took a corner swim on the first lake. This is the deepest of three lakes with allegedly the biggest carp. It is a small lake but very 'inviting'. The corner swim was ideal for stalking carp up against the reed beds. Read Full Report...

Fields End (54)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Clear blue sky and no wind
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 13ft multi-float, waggler, 4lb line, 12 hook.
10ft compact float rod, free-line/controller float, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake/crust, luncheon meat and floating biscuit.
Fish: Ten carp, best 14½lbs, two tench, best 3lbs 14oz, a 2lbs crucian and a 1lb roach.

A really nice day. There wasn't a ripple throughout the morning and with only two other swims occupied it was very quiet. If only all fishing days could be like this.

I started with the 13ft float rod and luncheon meat, and at 07.40 landed a nice tench of 2lb 6oz. I had missed a couple of bites previously that I suspect were also tench. Soon after I had a close-up view of a reed bunting. I had to check the bird book to see what it was; a first sighting for me.

A couple of carp followed at 08.20 and 09.10; a linear mirror of 6lb 14oz and a mirror of 5lb 8oz. I then tried a crust/flake hook bait and at 09.30 landed a lovely 3lb 14oz tench. Read Full Report...

Fields End (53)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Bright but with a cold northerly wind
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 13ft multi-float, waggler, 4lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Four carp, best 6½lbs and two 2lbs crucians.

Back after last Thursday's success. The day started well with three carp before 09.00. These were all on luncheon meat and were not big fish. A 3lb common, 5½lb common and a 4¾ mirror. The last one was in fact foul-hooked in the pectoral fin.

Things then went quiet until just after 10.00, when after striking as the float moved sideways I landed a beautiful 2lb crucian carp, the largest from Fields End and a personal best. Read Full Report...

Fields End (52)

The 16 March trip had broken my winter duck and the weather had warmed up some more, so back to the lake. I arrived just after 07.00 and there was nobody there. I fished the reed swim again, which while difficult is fairly reliable. And early in the year at there is at least half a chance of keeping the fish out of the reeds.

The conditions were good. The lake was calm and although a breeze was forecast things started off perfect; except that the fish weren't cooperating. Bread flake didn't produce a response and although I got bites on sweet corn, they were clearly roach, and I did in fact hook and land a few. I also had what looked like a couple of dace!

I was using the 13ft Fishtec rod again with a waggler and 4lb line. I dropped to a 14 hook and switched to small pieces of luncheon meat. At 09.00 I was rewarded with a 2lb 5oz mirror. Persevering with luncheon meat I got a 4lb 4oz linear mirror at 10.00. Read Full Report...

Fields End (51)

After freezing my what's its off in January, I waited until things warmed up a bit before making another trip to Fields End. The weather had recently shown a marked improvement, with March 14th, the last day of the river season, being really quite nice. By Tuesday 16th the wind has also relented; so I set off.

Linear mirror 9lb 12oz

Linear mirror 9lb 12oz


I got to the lake at 08.00. It was completely calm and there was nobody there. The forecast had been for a westerly / south-westerly breeze, which would blow right into the reed corner. None the less I went to this swim, as I had some good early spring success there last year.

I set up with my new 13ft Fishtec multi-float rod and a waggler with 4lb line. I started with bread and missed a few bites so switched to sweet corn. After a short while (at 08.50) I had a more positive bite and was into something good. A delicate tussle with the light tackle resulted in a linear mirror of 9¾lb. Read Full Report...

Fields End (48)

With a forecast for light to no wind it seemed a good day to visit Fields End. The night had been cold and the lake was still, with a light mist over the surface. Nobody there, so spoilt for choice.


Started in the tree swim, where I had been last week, but I had also looked at the reed corner, which was looking very inviting. After a very short while, having seen fish movement over by the reed corner, and no movement (or bites) where I was, I decided to move.

I had given some advice to a chap who was relatively new to the sport and was staying on site. Having shown him the reed swim, he settled there, so I went to the opposite end of the reed margin. I hadn't fished this particular spot before, but with the water level having dropped over summer it was possible to sit besides the high platform. This allowed me to cast down the side of the reeds, something not possible from the platform because of the different sight line.

Read Full Report...

Fields End (47)

With a westerly wind forecast today I went for the west bank; the bush swim that is almost opposite the north end of the island. The day started bright and clear with hardly a breeze, but the wind came up during the day and was veering towards NW. Although I was out of the worst of it, it did cause an undertow that made light waggler fishing a bit difficult.

I started by trying a piece of bread fake free-lined down the margin. I had a pull on the line, but it wasn't a carp. I therefore switched to waggler and, after missing a bite, I hooked and landed a 2lb 10oz tench. It fought very well for its size. I was using my new 10 ft compact float rod. Read Full Report...

Fields End (46)

After losing so many fish in the reed swim I was true to my word and today I fished a spot half way along the east bank. I had fished there earlier in the year when I had arrived late and most of the pitches were occupied. On that occasion I caught some tench and got the carp feeding on the surface later in the day.

It was bright and overcast with a slight NE breeze. The spot I was in was very sheltered thanks to trees behind and a large bush right next to me. Read Full Report...

Fields End (45)

Feeling a bit cheated by my need to leave early on Wednesday (the 9th) I returned on Friday to the reed swim. Now I've said this before but this time I mean it - I am not going to fish this swim again because I just lose too many fish!

It had been a chilly night and a mist hung over the water as I arrived.

It was bright with high broken cloud and while there was no wind; a NE was forecast. The reed swim is sheltered from the NE wind and the day actually turned out to be very warm for those out of the wind. Those in the wind were complaining of the cold! Read Full Report...

Fields End (44)

The weather forecast was for a NE wind turning to W later in the day. A difficult call, but I decided to fish on the west bank by the tree, where I hoped to get the crucians going first thing and then towards evening tempt the carp on the surface, as this spot is good for getting fish feeding off the top close-in.

It was bright with a few spots of early rain. Amazingly only two of us were on the lake for the first hour or so even though the caravan site seemed quite full. I arrived at 07.00 and fished a waggler on my new compact 10ft float rod; a little powerhouse designed for margin fishing, among other things. I had to wait until 08.15 for my first fish; a crucian of 1½lbs. By this time the NE wind had blown up and it was both chilly and difficult to fish with the waggler. I therefore moved to the reed swim. Before I moved, though, I had the rare opportunity to see a water vole in full view. It actually perched on the base of the fishing platform. Read Full Report...

Fields End (43)

After a bit of a break from Fields End I went with my neighbour's father, Mick, as he was up for the week. I had become a bit disillusioned with the lake because of the number of people, and the lack of peace and quiet as some of them communicated by shouting to each other from bank to bank. However, on this occasion things weren't too hectic and at no time did the lake get too crowded. It was a bright day but the wind was fresh and it got more intrusive as the day went on. It also rained heavily at one point.

I started in the reed swim and was soon landing a 2lb 6oz tench taken on free-lined bread flake. I missed a few 'pulls' and then lost what was almost certainly a carp in the reeds. Read Full Report...

Fields End (42)

After a week away in Yorkshire where I did a bit of fishing on a local lake, I went for an afternoon to Fields End. I didn't arrive until 15.15 and the place was packed. The new caravan park has increased the resident anglers and despite there being only about five cars in the car park, there were literally only a couple of places free around the lake. It was humid and there was a very light SW breeze that disappeared completely later in the afternoon, leaving us with a picture perfect late evening.

I settled into a spot on the east bank that I hadn't fished before. It was a platform that was awkward to get to as the bank was steep and there wasn't a lot of room to move. However, it was next to a row of small trees that separated me from the next swim and provided a good screen such that movements on the bank didn't disturb any fish in the margins. There was a small reed bed, but on plumbing it was quite shallow in the margin; probably not much more than a couple of feet. Undaunted I fed small pellets and bread flake pellets in before I tackled up. Read Full Report...

Fields End (41)

Mick, our neighbour's father, was visiting, and being a keen angler I invited him along. So we could keep together I suggested he fish at the opposite end of reed bed that forms part of my 'reed swim'. I knew he would get takes in the margin but warned him that he may lose fish. I fished a bit further along, next to a smaller reed bed; a spot I hadn't fished before. We arrived at 07.00. It was very warm (27ºC the previous day) with a light SE breeze.

He caught a small carp almost immediately and went on to have a good day, whereas my progress was slower. I baited with small pellets and bread flake balls and after losing a couple of fish on float fished flake, I started catching crucian carp; the lost fish were also probably crucians. I had 6 crucians between 9 and 10 o'clock, from about ¾lb to 1lb 14oz. Read Full Report...

Fields End (40)

A bit of a full week meant that I would have to use my only spare day (Tuesday) to go fishing, so as Monday turned out to be calm and warm I went over the lake for the afternoon, arriving at about 14.30.

Choices were limited as there were already quite a few people there, so I went in the reed swim as it was free, knowing full well that the risk of losing fish was high. The middle of the day is always slow so I wasn't surprised that I had to wait for any action. At about 15.30 I had my first good bite float fishing with flake. It felt like a good fish and ran out into the lake rather than into the reeds. However, it managed to slip the hook after about a minute; perhaps I was muscling it to much.

At 16.00 I got a good solid bite that proved to be a nice 2lb 14oz tench. Read Full Report...

Fields End (39)

After losing so many fish in the reed swim and, quite frankly, getting a bit paranoid over the carp, I decided to have a change of approach. Being first on the lake I went for a swim on the west bank that has the benefit of being sheltered from prevailing westerly winds, the forecast for the day being for quite fresh westerlies.

At 07.00 conditions were good; clear blue sky with the westerly being not much more than a breeze. By midday the wind had become quite strong and the sun gave way to white cloud. I was fortunately quite sheltered but others on the lake were commenting on the freshness of the wind.

Although I have fished the swim before, it was a couple of years ago and my general approach has since changed. There are light reeds to the right, and I fed the near edge of the reeds with feed pellets, sweet corn and rolled-up bread balls. I fished a waggler with flake and sweet corn but nothing happened for a while. At one point I looked longingly at my favourite reed swim, but I resisted and stuck it out. This was to be a day when I would fish for what came, and if carp happened along, then so much the better. Read Full Report...

Fields End (38)

A bit of a mixed day.

An 07.00 start again and conditions were good; clear blue sky with a very light SW breeze that dropped completely at various times over the day. At the reed swim again.

As usual, I threw in some feed pellets and rolled-up bread balls while I was tackling up. Starting with a waggler and flake I caught a 2lb 6oz tench at around 08.30, lost a smaller one as it transferred my hook to the reeds and then lost a better fish that slipped the hook while pulling for the reeds. The early tench activity then subsided and I tried some surface fishing, but without any initial success.

Having failed to tempt the carp using floating pellet with a controller float I tried casting a pellet on a free line. This is not easy as there is little weight to help the cast, but the approach yielded two mirror carp, of 6lb 10oz and 6lb 2oz, between 10.00 and 11.00. Things then went quiet again. Read Full Report...

Fields End (37)

Another less than perfect day.

I started at 07.00 and conditions were good, with a light NE breeze that was at my back, making casting and line control reasonably easy. It was colder than it had been but by no means cold. At the reed swim again.

I threw in some feed pellets and rolled-up bread balls while I was tackling up. Starting with a waggler and flake I didn't have any quick positive 'carp' bites. Striking on some less positive bites I felt a couple of fish, and brought back a large fish scale, which suggests the carp were brushing against the line rather than feeding. I hooked a fish just after 08.00 but lost it in the reeds. I had changed from centre pin to my old Mitchell 301 (using 8lb main and 6lb hook length) and the clutch was set too loose. At 08.45 I landed my first fish - a 2lb 10oz tench on float-fished flake. Read Full Report...

Fields End (36)

A day of missed opportunities, frustration and, dare I say, some lessons learned.

Due to a very late night babysitting the grandchildren on Tuesday, I arrived a bit later than normal (08.45) but the reed swim was vacant, so I settled in. It was bright with broken light cloud, very mild and the wind was a fairly light north westerly.

I threw in some feed pellets and rolled-up bread balls while I was tackling up. First cast with a waggler and flake resulted in a quick firm bite, a strong run into the adjacent reeds and one lost hook. Having tied a new hook and re-cast, I got a fiddly bite with the float lifting and dropping; it finally slid away, and again a strong run into the reeds saw my hook disappear. I feel this may have been a tench because of the nature of the bite. Read Full Report...

Fields End (35)

The wind's back; a stiff breeze this time, but a pain none the less. Stuck to the reed swim although with the breeze it was a bit challenging.

Leather 8lb 2oz

Leather 8lb 2oz


First cast I lost my leger striking on a half bite, which wasn't a very auspicious start. Usually I can rely on an early fish but on this occasion I had to wait until just after 09.00 and then it was a nice crucian of 2lb taken on float-fished flake, followed quickly by another of 1lb 14oz. I then lost a fish in the reeds before taking another crucian of 1½lbs.

About an hour later having switched to luncheon meat I took a 3¾lb common and then lost another fish, which took my hook. After another crucian of 1¾lb on flake a really good fish broke me on its initial run. It moved off so fast I didn't release the pressure on the reel rim quickly enough (I was using a centre pin). These big fish catch you out when they come in between crucians, and as if to prove the point the next fish was a crucian of 1½lb. Read Full Report...

Fields End (34)

At last, a day with no wind. Overcast, a bit of drizzle at times and mild. Ideal really.

First cast produced a good solid bite on float-fished flake, a run for the reeds (I was in the reed swim again) and one lost hook! So the first big un got away.

Next cast a mirror of about 2lb, again on flake.

I switched to cheese, as this had worked for the tench a couple of visits ago. This time first fish was a 4½lb mirror, but shortly after a 3lb 6oz tench came to the net. I then lost another fish in the reeds. Another tench came a bit later, this time 2lb 12oz on float-fished flake. Read Full Report...

Fields End (33)

I shouldn't go fishing when there's a strong wind blowing, but as the wind doesn't seem to have let up over the past few weeks that criterion has been difficult to observe. Today was one of those days; it was bright, with light cloud but a strong westerly wind.

In the reed swim again, which to be honest isn't the easiest place to fish in strong wind. I opted for leger as this at least gave me reasonable control of the tackle. Read Full Report...

Fields End (32)

A late start today as I had to do a few things in the morning. Got to the lake at about 11.00 and to my surprise the reed swim was free. It was bright and warm but there was a southerly wind.

My first fish came at 11.50; a 6lb leather taken on legered flake. Soon after a fish slipped the hook.

Just after midday I retrieved the leger to find a solid resistance. There was no positive bite but 6lb 14oz common sprang into life once it knew it was hooked. The bait was luncheon meat. Read Full Report...

Fields End (31)


Tench 3lb 8oz

Tench 3lb 8oz


Back to the reed swim. A bright and chilly start (7ºC) with a southerly breeze.

Things again kicked off quickly with a 3½lb tench on float-fished flake. The tench always fight hard to get back into the reeds whereas some carp head out into the lake.

Twenty minutes later a 6lb common was taken using the same tactics.

Things then slowed down a bit so I went after a carp in the margins using floating crust, and was promptly broken.
Read Full Report...

Fields End (30)

My weekly pilgrimage to the reed swim continues. Today things looked very promising. A beautiful morning following some warm bright days. There was minimal breeze, and what there was did not affect me.

Things started off almost instantly with a bite literally seconds after I cast, resulting in a 4¼lb mirror that fought incredibly hard. This set the pattern and I took two more fish of a similar size by 10.30. I then switched to floating crust/pellet along the reed margin and took three more fish by 13.00, the best being a good looking common of 8¼lb (photo). I was broken by a fish as I tried to stop it burying in the reeds. Read Full Report...

Fields End (29)

After the tricky conditions experienced on 9 April, today was a distinct improvement. It was overcast, there having been storms overnight, and the breeze was light from the NE. I again chose the Reed swim as it offers such a choice of techniques. Float fishing the margin is my current default approach, but there is the option to free line either a floating or sinking bait along the reeds, or if preferred cast out further to deeper water.

I started by float fishing and had reasonably good sport through the early morning, taking the first fish at 07.45, a mirror of about 6lb that was in fact foul-hooked. I then had a tench of about 1½lb, followed by three more mirrors weighing 6lb 6oz, 11lb 0oz (photo) and 5lb 6oz by 09.15. The fish were taken on bread flake and luncheon meat - my staple baits. Read Full Report...

Fields End (28)

I got the 'Reed Swim' again, but only just, as the chap who arrived with me turned out to share my love of it. He fished from the other side of the reeds and although he was using the ubiquitous 2-rod carp set up he was casting one to the margins and the other a short distance out, thus forsaking the distance feeder approach favoured by many. He was, however, using 'boilies' whereas I still stick to bread flake and luncheon meat.

Conditions proved to be appalling with a very strong southerly wind blowing right in my face. It was also overcast and therefore not too warm. I stuck it out but float fishing proved to be impracticable so I changed to a light leger in the margins. Read Full Report...

Fields End (27)


Mirror 12lb 10oz

Mirror 12lb 10oz


Back to the 'Reed Swim' again. This time the weather was more genial. Patchy cloud and a gentle wind combined to give quite a pleasant day.

The conditions allowed float fishing and this resulted in good sport, although all the fish in the morning were quite small. I took 2 commons, 3 crucians and a mirror, all on bread flake. The best common was 5lb (weighed) with the other fish being between 1 - 3lb (estimated).

The afternoon was then very quiet but as is usual at Fields End things hotted up towards evening and I caught 3 mirrors between 17.15 and 18.15 pm, the best being 12lb 10oz. Read Full Report...

Fields End (25)

Tuesday's session was so successful I returned to the same spot with the same rig (float tackle).

I arrived at 07.00 and didn't have a touch on bread or sweetcorn. Changing to luncheon meat I got a bite first cast; a 10lb 6oz leather carp [09.00]. Read Full Report...

Fields End (24)


Crucian

Crucian


After some really disappointing trips in February, which were effectively blanks, I decided to forgo the perceived wisdom of fishing to the middle of the lake and revert to my preferred margin fishing. As the temperature had also increased a bit I was hopeful that this would prove more productive. I also decided to switch to conventional float fishing (waggler) and use lighter tackle; a carbon Avon style rod with centre-pin reel and and 4lb hook-length.

The weather was settled, bright with high cloud and a light NNE wind. I fished my favourite NE corner (the Reed Swim) and this placed me in the lee of the wind.

Well, whether it was the change in technique or just the improving temperature, I caught fish through the day. These were mainly smaller carp, and surprisingly mostly commons. Read Full Report...

Fields End (20)

Painting the external woodwork of the house and a week's holiday contrived to keep me away from Fields End during September, but I managed to fit a trip in early in October. I have never fished the lake so late in the year, and what I soon found out was that my 'summer' tactics didn't work too well.

The day started promisingly in that the lake was calm and 'inviting'. Read Full Report...

Fields End (19)

Well, after last week's disastrous day I decided to fish the west bank. Unfortunately despite arriving at opening time that spot was taken, the problem being that the normal entrance was closed and access was from the 'pool', where there is nothing to stop people arriving before 7.00.

I went back to the reed corner; in fact this is the first swim you reach when you enter from the pool car park. However, on this occasion there was no wind, so fishing the swim was a delight compared with the previous week. Also, I had loaded my new reel with 12lb line, and this combined with my medium carp road proved a very well balanced rig, with enough power to muscle fish out of the reeds. In fact I had no breakages all day, even when hand-lining a snagged hook out of the reeds. Read Full Report...

Fields End (18)

Buoyed by last week's success I went back to the reed corner, but the wind on this occasion was much stronger and it proved very difficult to control my favourite free-lining approach. I resorted to light ledgering in the end but the day was really a disaster.

During the morning I lost a number of fish, both in the reeds and during playing. I was broken on one occasion. Read Full Report...

Fields End (17)

The wind was forecast south westerly, which meant blowing right into my favourite reed corner spot. I took the gamble, the lake being as calm as a mill-pond when I arrived. Also, wisdom has it that one should fish into the wind.

I quickly lost the first two fish in the reeds, then after catching 3 carp to 4¾ lb lost another two, one of which broke the line. An 8¾ lb fish was followed by four more between 6½ and 8lb 10oz during the afternoon, and a further fish was lost at the net (Common, about 6lb). I was then comprehensibly smashed by a very large fish that nearly pulled the rod out of my hand, having taken a piece of luncheon meat only about 5 yards from the rod top. The evening was finished off with four more carp and a beautifully conditioned tench, culminating in the best fish of the day, a 13lb 10oz mirror. Read Full Report...

Fields End (16)

Despite vowing that I would limit myself to afternoon visits after the last trip, I went for the day again and this time things worked out a bit better. I wasn't first on site this time but had decided to fish the (north-east) reed corner having not done too well on the west bank the previous week. I rather like the reed corner but it tends to produce smaller fish.

On this occasion I had regular sport up to about 3pm, when things went dead. I fished on until 7pm but then called it a day. It was a very hot day, necessitating the umbrella to provide some protection. Read Full Report...

Fields End (15)

Well, first week of retirement so first full day over the lake. Got there just before 07.00 and was first on the water. Took the tree swim as it was sheltered from the westerly wind.

As I was there for the day I tried a bit of float fishing in the margins, but despite lots of bites I hooked very little (one small roach), suggesting that they were mainly small fish. I resorted to free-lining the margin as this has proven to be a reliable technique on all previous visits. Read Full Report...

Fields End (14)

After a follow-up trip to the Dentist I went over the lake, getting there about 14.30 pm. There was a stiff SW breeze and all the good spots on the sheltered west bank were taken.

I therefore went to the swim in the north-east corner (the reed swim), the first one I ever fished on the lake. It's between reed beds so is a bit tricky. I used my heavier rod and 10lb line. The wind made it difficult to free-line but I persevered with luncheon meat cast along the left reed bed. Read Full Report...

Fields End (13)

I had had a raging toothache over the weekend so went down to London to see my dentist on the Monday morning. He saw me very quickly (root canal treatment!) so I was able to get back to Chatteris around 14.00, and decided to go over to the lake.

The south-west corner spot under the trees was free, where I had the 17lb fish on 23 May, so I thought I would give it another go.

Things were really very slow, and speaking to Charlie, the owner, it seems that it had also been slow the previous day (Sunday). He mentioned to me that he was using the photo that I sent in last year for a newspaper advert for the lake; can't be bad. Read Full Report...

Fields End (12)

Afternoon visits are becoming the norm, this time after having my windscreen changed following a stone impact last week from an impatient biker as he accelerated past me. I arrived at 13.30 this time. It had been a nice morning but rain threatened.

My 'favourite' spots were all taken so I tried the swim in the south west corner. It's under trees and in fact very secluded. It also has reed beds either side which suits my margin fishing preference. Read Full Report...

Fields End (11)

Another afternoon visit. Arrived at noon and only four people on the lake. It had been raining and still threatened more rain, which probably kept people away.

Went to the tree swim again, although the light (and cold) north easterly wind was blowing right in my face; which was even more unpleasant when it rained later in the afternoon.

Fished the margin again and was soon getting bites. These proved to be tench but I was missing so many! I lost one fish (hook hold failed) and 'felt' a few others, but managed to land three tench during the day. Only the last one was weighed at 3lb 4oz although the first two were probably between 2lb and 3lb. All were taken on bread flake. Read Full Report...

Fields End (10)

Second trip of 2008; again just an afternoon.

The trouble with arriving in the afternoon is the all my favourite spots are taken. However, on this occasion a chap left soon after I arrived, so I quickly moved into the spot where I had the big carp last year; let's call it the tree swim; because I sit under a small tree. Read Full Report...

Fields End (8)

Weather looked good, so off to the lake again.

Another beautiful September day; warm, bright but with a nuisance breeze that made free-lining tricky. See the early morning picture below.

Fished the same place as on the 7th. Very slow! Nobody seemed to be catching. Got a 10lb fish just before lunch but it was foul-hooked in the pectoral fin. Missed a few tentative bites on the surface, but fish weren't feeding convincingly. Read Full Report...

Fields End (7)

Had some spare time on a day off so went over to the lake at 4.00 pm. Good decision!

It was a beautiful September day; warm, bright and just a breath of wind.

Couldn't get my 'spot', but this turned out to be fortuitous. I fished a swim near the car park where I had seen others do well. I free-lined some bread flake by the reeds and threw in some dog biscuits. Carp immediately started to take the biscuits. I changed to floating crust and quickly was in to my first fish; it turned out to be a 14lb 12oz Leather. I knew it was big when its head came out to take the crust! Read Full Report...

Fields End (6)

Fourth time this year - really 'hooked'.

The day started chilly and damp - but quiet as there were very few people and cars were banned from the bank because of recent heavy rain. It got out brighter about 1.00 pm and warmed up considerably by the end of the day.

Same spot, but things were really quiet. Missed one good pull before getting the first carp (2lb 11oz) at 9.00 am. The carp didn't feed well off the top all day, but I did spot a couple around 10.0 am. Caught a really good looking 8lb fish on floating crust, followed by a smaller one of 4lb. Nothing else off the top all day! Read Full Report...

Fields End (5)

Another day at The Lake.

The day started perfectly. A mist over the water; classic 'tench' conditions. The day was very hot with a light wind. Read Full Report...

Fields End (4)

Well, I remembered the camera this time!

The weather was perfect but the day started slowly. Apparently there had been a match on the Sunday and a lot of bait was thrown in, leaving the fish rather full.

I fished the same swim as on the 19th. Takes were poor around the lake and I think I did as well as, if not better than most people. I employed free lining throughout the day but varied both bait and approach to get results: some bottom fishing and some floating bait. While I didn't match the biggest fish of my earlier visit numbers were up (all fish were weighed): Read Full Report...

Fields End (3)

Now here's a fishy tale that you can chose to believe or dismiss as fanciful rantings.

I've been keen to get back to Fields End since the successful trips I had last year. Finally the weather forecast was favourable and off I went.

I got there as it opened (7.00 am) and set off for the same swim as I fished in 2006. The reeds had closed in, leaving a much smaller opening, making what was a tricky swim even harder. After a slow start, when a number of carp inspected my floating crust and shied away, things really improved. The catch order was as follows: Read Full Report...

Fields End (2)

Second trip to this lake. Fished the same swim as I had gained some familiarity with the layout etc. This time I took a medium carp rod with 6lb line and used a size 8 heavy duty barbless hook. I also took some scales.

Got my first bite on floating crust fairly quickly but didn't set the hook properly. Fish came off after about 20 seconds. Read Full Report...

Fields End (1)

Tench

Swim

I tried a new lake today: Fields End near Doddington. It's only a 25 minute bike ride from Chatteris so I went armed with one rod, a landing net and a small selection of terminal tackle. Oh, and a small fresh loaf for bait.

Largish fish were 'plopping' everywhere so I tried floating crust with no float, no weight: I just wet it for weight and cast carefully.

Bingo - a largish carp on second cast. It headed for open water but in my enthusiasm I brought it in too quickly. It promptly embedded itself in the bull rushes and with light tackle I was doomed to lose it: and I did. Read Full Report...

Fields End (55)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Clear blue sky and no wind
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 13ft multi-float, waggler, 4lb line, 12 hook.
10ft compact float, free-line/controller float, 8lb line, 12/16 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat and floating pellet.
Fish: 15 carp, best 12lb 13oz (5 lost), 4 tench, best 3lb 12oz, roach to 1lb 7oz, a 2lbs 2oz crucian and a 3lbs 14oz barbel.

The total weight of carp was just under 135lbs and including the other fish the catch was nearly 158lbs.

Another nice day. Again the lake was calm throughout the morning and although a light SW breeze blew up later, it was on and off and didn't cause too many problems. For the first two hours I was the only one on the lake and when people did arrive they stayed on the west and south banks, leaving me virtually undisturbed in the reed corner. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (4)

The previous evening had whetted my appetite so I returned to the Pump Pond around 12.30. The main bank of the lake was fully occupied with the anglers seeming to be after carp by casting to the opposite bank. There was a youngster with them who spent a lot of time running up and down the bank, with foot falls that seemed more reminiscent of an elephant than a child. There was in fact a lot of movement; hardly ideal conditions for margin fishing.

The weather was also a bit iffy. Rain was forecast and the wind was quite difficult even though the lake is reasonably sheltered. I had the small piece of quill on the line as an indicator but the wind was catching this and causing the bait to drag. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (3)

The Block Fen Pump Pond is an ideal venue for me. It's a small pond, which I like, and it offers a great opportunity to stalk the margins. The downside is that on some days it can get a bit busy and a fair amount of tromping up and down the bank occurs. This may or may not disturb the carp, who knows, but I always feel that noise and vibration are the enemies of margin fishing.

The other great advantage is that is only about 10 minutes away by car, so a few hours in the evening is an easy option. This is exactly what I did on 1 September. It was bright but quite breezy; the wind hardly seems to have dropped this year. The pond is sheltered but the breeze can cause awkward swirls and drifts that make margin free-lining less easy. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (2)

Following my first trip to the Pump Pond I went again for a few hours, judging that the evening probably provided the best opportunities. I went with Mick, our neighbour's father, and we arrived just before 5 pm. I decided to go for the reed corner where I had lost a fish on my first visit. It was a very breezy evening and this caused a bit of difficulty with my free-lining technique.

I cast a piece of flake right to the far corner by the reeds and soon had a good run, which I hit, only quickly to lose the fish in the reeds. I had taken my 1¾lb test barbel road with 12lb line but the line broke as I tried to turn the fish from the reeds. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (1)

This was my first fishing visit to Block Fen. It was a bright day and although there was a breeze it was not affecting the water too much as the lake is in a dip. We had some rain during the day.

On a previous 'viewing' I had decided on the Pump Pond as an ideal small water that would suit my margin fishing preferences. However, my first visit was rather curtailed by the presence of a group of anglers that had bivvied and occupied a fair section of one bank. As the other banks offer hardly any accessible swims, options were limited.

I settled in the remaining swim on the accessible bank and started with a waggler - usual stuff. Oodles of small bubbles promised action but other than a few non-hittable bites things were very slow indeed. I suddenly realised how relatively easy a commercial water like Fields End is compared to a club venue such as this. I tried casting to the far bank and had some pulls that triggered the bite alarms but they were not positive enough to hit. Read Full Report...