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Fields End (97)

I decided on an afternoon and evening session today. The evening certainly paid off.

Arrival time: 13.00 (started to fish at 13.20)
Weather: Bright and very warm with only a breathe of a breeze, but some cloud cover.
Swim: Reed corner
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line, 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Six carp and some small roach.

Last week there were quite a few spare pitches so I chanced arriving in the afternoon so I could fish into the evening. Of course, with the sun shining all the spots I favour were already occupied. I settled in what I call the reed corner, the first spot I fished on the lake many years ago and once my clear favourite. However, I lost so many fish in the dense reeds that I stopped fishing there.

Today there seemed to be little choice, while the reeds have now encroached much further leaving a very narrow channel of open water through which to play large fish, even assuming you can keep it from the reeds. I started free-lining with bread but although the line tightened occasionally it seemed that roach were the culprits, and I hooked nothing. But I could see carp moving in the reeds less than a rod length out, so dropped in some floating crust.
  •  Mirror carp 8lb

    Mirror carp 8lb

  •  Common carp 5lb 10oz

    Common carp 5lb 10oz

  •  My spot - note floating crust at bottom of image

    My spot - note floating crust at bottom of image

  •  Common carp 5lb 9oz

    Common carp 5lb 9oz

  •  Leather carp 10lb 3oz

    Leather carp 10lb 3oz

  •  Mirror carp 9lb 14oz

    Mirror carp 9lb 14oz

  •  Mirror carp 8lb

    Mirror carp 8lb

  •  Common carp 5lb 10oz

    Common carp 5lb 10oz

  •  My spot - note floating crust at bottom of image

    My spot - note floating crust at bottom of image

  •  Common carp 5lb 9oz

    Common carp 5lb 9oz

  •  Leather carp 10lb 3oz

    Leather carp 10lb 3oz

  •  Mirror carp 9lb 14oz

    Mirror carp 9lb 14oz

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Fields End (96)

After last week's reasonably successful outing I returned to the same spot, but today was entirely different.

Arrival time: 07.50 (started to fish at 08.15)
Weather: Overcast with a southerly breeze, brightening later.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line, 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: One carp and lots of small roach and rudd. A couple of crucians at the end.

Hoping for a repeat of last week's success with the carp close in, I went to the same spot. The overcast sky and a sheltered bay seemed to offer ideal conditions. I started by trying bread flake down each margin on a free line with the hope of a quick carp, but not a touch. I persevered with this approach for a while but it became clear that the carp either weren't there, or weren't interested. A foretaste of the day ahead !

I swapped to my match rod and got bites on both bread and luncheon meat but just couldn't connect. This was again the story of the day, the occasional successful strike returning small roach or rudd. There were a few slightly better fish, some in the 4-6oz category and a couple just over half a pound. But the overall story was that of frustration.
  •  Mirror carp 5lb

    Mirror carp 5lb

  •  Crucian carp 1lb 9oz

    Crucian carp 1lb 9oz

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Fields End (95)

With sciatica ruling out golf, my first trip to Fields End in 2019. Interesting experience with the carp.

Arrival time: 07.35 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Sunny day with white fluffy clouds.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line, 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat. All carp taken on flake/crust.
Fish: Four carp and some small roach and rudd.

Having consulted the weather forecast I made for what I call the tree corner, the spot in the SW corner where you sit with trees and shrubs behind you, and where there's a reed bank either side offering a degree of seclusion. It's not a renowned carp swim but it's where I actually caught my biggest carp, a 19lb fish.

The spot was free, and in fact there were quite a few free pitches around the lake, which was a bit of a surprise in July. But a welcomed one. Since I first fished here in 2006 the associated camping and caravan facilities have grown significantly and what was once a fairly quiet lake can now at times be very 'busy'. But today it wasn't, much to my satisfaction.
  •  Common carp 7lb

    Common carp 7lb

  •  Common carp 5lb 6oz

    Common carp 5lb 6oz

  •  Mirror carp 10lb 14oz

    Mirror carp 10lb 14oz

  •  Mirror carp 6lb 5oz

    Mirror carp 6lb 5oz

  •  Common carp 7lb

    Common carp 7lb

  •  Common carp 5lb 6oz

    Common carp 5lb 6oz

  •  Mirror carp 10lb 14oz

    Mirror carp 10lb 14oz

  •  Mirror carp 6lb 5oz

    Mirror carp 6lb 5oz

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River Welland (29)

Fishing again - at last!

Arrival time: 09.45
Weather: Bright and at 15℃ warm for February, with a freshening wind.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three chub, best 3lbs 4oz

My grumbling back and resulting sciatica has put paid to golf, but this has spurred me into going fishing. My back, however, is also imposing some constraints on fishing, particularly at Stamford where the banks are difficult and crouching in tight spaces isn't easy when your mobility is reduced.

I was pleased to find that there weren't any other anglers on the stretch. There aren't many fishable spots and the chub are easily spooked. I started on the 'beach', where the dogs splash about. Fortunately the dog count was also down today.
  •  Chub 1lbs 12oz

    Chub 1lbs 12oz

  •  Chub 3lbs 4oz

    Chub 3lbs 4oz

  •  Chub 2lbs 4oz

    Chub 2lbs 4oz

  •  Winter chubbing

    Winter chubbing

  •  Chub 1lbs 12oz

    Chub 1lbs 12oz

  •  Chub 3lbs 4oz

    Chub 3lbs 4oz

  •  Chub 2lbs 4oz

    Chub 2lbs 4oz

  •  Winter chubbing

    Winter chubbing

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River Welland (28)

An unusual blank.

Arrival time: 09.00
Weather: Very warm and humid.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: None

I made the mistake of visiting this stretch on the first day of the season back in 2015, there being rather too much angling activity on that occasion. This time I left it a few days, but I still wasn't the only one there. In fact, there was another chap who had obviously arrived long before me, and was roving the stretch, clearly after chub. Not good news, as having the first cast into a chub lie is preferable, after which subsequent attempts become more challenging.
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Fields End (94)

Not a very auspicious start and quite a wait before I caught anything worthwhile. But a surprise barbel made up for earlier disappointment.

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 were the majority, have decided to leave the lake to the holidaymakers.
  •  Barbel 7lbs 1oz

    Barbel 7lbs 1oz

  •  Scaled carp 7lbs 13oz

    Scaled carp 7lbs 13oz

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Fields End (93)

I was editing 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.
  •  Common carp 6lb

    Common carp 6lb

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River Welland (27)

First trip for an awful long time.

Arrival time: 08.40
Weather: Misty and calm and little warmer than of late.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three chub, best 2lbs 8oz

My last visit to the Welland was on the first day of the season in 2015! My New Year's resolution was to go fishing more often and I've been waiting for the freezing conditions to ease a bit. The conditions today were almost perfect. The river was high but not flooded, with some nice deep glides. There was no wind to speak of and while still cold (it's January), it wasn't bitter. There was, however, an awful lot of mud!

I started at 'the beach', a popular dog-dunking spot, but fortunately there weren't too many dogs around. Three years ago I took seven chub from this swim, so it's always my first port of call. I cast across and downstream and got a pull almost as soon as the bait had settled. A beautifully conditioned 2lb 6oz chub (09.00), not big but a good start to the day. I weighed and photographed it, not because of its size but because it marks a long awaited return to the river. A recast and again almost immediately got a touch and a second chub was on. This one was smaller at 1lb 11oz (09.15).
  •  Chub 2lb 6oz

    Chub 2lb 6oz

  •  Chub 2lb 8oz

    Chub 2lb 8oz

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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 can 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 than 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.
  •  Crucian carp 2lb 3oz

    Crucian carp 2lb 3oz

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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 (http://www.rookerywaters.co.uk/), 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.

In fact the venue has improved greatly since then. They now have five lakes and a well stocked tackle shop. I had pre-chosen the Magpie Lake from the details on their web site. A purpose dug lake it has 38 pitches and, of all the lakes, seemed to have more features. I prefer 'featured' lakes as I like to fish to reeds or lily pads, or in the margins.
  •  The Lake

    The Lake

  •  One of the carp

    One of the carp

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