Crucian carp | Kilburnlad | Fishing | Diary

Kilburnlad

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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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 (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...

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.
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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 (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 (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 (66)

Arrival time: 07.10
Weather: Cloudy bright, not too chilly with a fresh south-westerly breeze.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, 12 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake, worms, luncheon meat and pellet.
Fish: A 14oz roach, 1¾lbs crucian and a 6lbs carp.

Back to the Tree Corner to test out my theory that the larger carp patrol this area. As they say, the best laid plans and all that!

Like the previous week it was hard work; perhaps harder. There were touches that either came from roach or cautious crucians. I had taken some worms this time from the composter. Boy did they stink! I tried a worm down the margin in the hope of a bonus perch but nothing took. I then cast the worm out to my baited area and an immediate bite resulted in a fine 14oz roach (photo). I thought I had hit on a winning formula but, as is often the case, this was not to be repeated. 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...

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 (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 (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...

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...

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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (56)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Bright but with a fresh northerly breeze, which blew up during the morning. It was decidedly chilly. The breeze eased at midday and by 16.00 the sky had cleared and produced a ‘perfect’ evening.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 13ft multi-float, waggler, 4lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: One carp 11lb 4oz (a number lost), three tench, best 3lb 14oz, four crucians, best 2lbs 2oz, and roach 12oz.

After the previous week’s phenomenal day, today was never going to measure up. It didn’t start well, as five minutes after casting I lost a fish in the reeds. As the float went under it was heading for the reeds and the fish was probably already there before I struck. Half an hour later I lost another fish; my mistake this time as I put much pressure on the rim of the centre pin. I was also missing bites, probably roach or crucians. Up to this point I had been on luncheon meat. 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 (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 (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 (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...