Kilburnlad | Fishing | Diary

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.
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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.

My first stop was at what I call the beach, where the dogs are taken for their daily rampage. One had clearly recently left as the water was cloudy from the sandy bottom. There were, however, three chub in plain site. At this point I should have moved upstream and cast down to them, but foolishly I set up on the beach, expecting them to drop back downstream, based on previous experience of where the chub lay up in this location. But I got it wrong, no bites were forthcoming from my downstream casts. The chub had faded away.

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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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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!

River Welland - 30 January 2017 - Chub 2lbs 6oz

Chub 2lbs 6oz


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).
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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 (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.

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River Welland (26)

First day of the season - perhaps it was a mistake?

Arrival time: 09.20
Weather: Started warm and cloudy but became very hot when sun broke through.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Two SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat, cheese
Fish: Three chub and a small jack pike. Best fish chub 4lbs 5oz.

I can’t remember the last time I went fishing on the first day of the season. Probably when I was a lad. Actually we’re often away in June but this year we weren’t, so off I went. Read Full Report...

River Welland (25)

Last trip before the close season. Managed three chub but it wasn’t easy.

Arrival time: 10.15
Weather: Sunny with a few clouds and a fresh light breeze
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Two SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three chub. Best fish chub 4lbs 7oz.

I just haven’t done enough fishing this year. I’ve bemoaned this fact before and I must plan my time better to fit in a lot more trips.

With the river season ending on Sunday I decided I must get down to the Welland for one more attempt at the chub. It was a glorious day after the variable weather we’ve been having. Surprisingly the river was very low, my last trip having been thwarted by the river being in full spate. In fact it was at what I would say was summer level, although more coloured. Unlike in summer, however, I couldn’t locate any fish visually.
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River Welland (24)

With the mildish weather continuing I decided to take a trip to the Welland.

Arrival time: 10.00
Weather: Bright and certainly not too cold for mid-November. It had clouded over by midday.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat.
Fish: None

I’m getting over a persistent cold and regretted not feeling well enough to go to the river last Tuesday, as it was a glorious day. Today wasn’t that bad either, but when I got to the river it was racing down and muddy brown. It must have been at least four feet above the summer level. I started at what I call the beach, but the beach wasn’t there today as it was under water. However, the beach is on the inside of a bend so there was some slacker water near the edge. I also knew the bottom was gravel so it seemed a good place to start. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (18)

Grabbed a few hours over the lake. Very quiet!

Arrival time: 14.30
Weather: Very warm for time of year. Windy but lake not affected.
Swim: Lily pads and SW corner.
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: One roach

Fishing has definitely taken a back seat to golf this year. On the plus side my golf has improved greatly, but I really need to rebalance things a bit.
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Back to basics

To cut a longish story short, I bought a used Mercedes SLK last year as a ‘special’ car to be used on high days and holidays, as they say. Unfortunately Helen, my wife, wrote off her Clio earlier this year and the end result was we bought a new car by trading in my Qashqai. So we ended up with the new car, which Helen uses most days, and my SLK, which I now have to use for fishing!

This has caused me to rethink completely what I take when I go fishing. Read Full Report...

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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River Welland (23)

First trip of the new season to the Welland and best ever catch of 10 chub, including a PB.

Arrival time: 11.30
Weather: Bright start with a light breeze but rain was forecast for later in the day
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits - Luncheon meat and cheese (all fish caught on luncheon meat)
Fish: 10 chub. Best fish chub 5lbs 2oz.

I can’t believe that it’s almost exactly 12 months since I last visited the Welland. Only one trip last summer and with the horrendous winter I didn’t manage another trip. It was good to return. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (16)

First time out fishing for over 6 months - unbelievable!

Arrival time: 15.00
Weather: Warm, bright and cloudy with a north-easterly breeze.
Swim: Lily pads, NE bay and east bank.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 8/10 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: Small pike and a roach.

I can’t believe that I haven’t been fishing since last October. Where has the time gone? To be fair, I usually try to fit in some trips to the River Welland over the winter, but with all the rain we had, the river wasn’t a particularly attractive proposition, even assuming that it would have been fishable. But that’s really an excuse and I must try to get out more this year. It’s the damn golf that’s getting in the way, and I’m not particularly good at it, so I should put fishing first. Read Full Report...

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) (13)

A beautiful summer evening so I thought I would grab a few hours at the lake.

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Warm but not too hot after the recent very hot spell.
Swim: NE bay and Lily Pads.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: One rudd 1lb 5oz.

Too much going on recently and I was surprised to note that my last visit to the lake was back in June!

There had obviously been a working party as the brambles had been cleared back and more swims were actually fishable. There are rarely any ‘return’ slips in the hut so I really don’t know how many people fish the lake. There were signs that anglers had been there, witness the fishing-related litter. I don’t know why syndicate members would leave litter so I suspect some of those fishing may be there as unofficial visitors. A pity, but it’s the way of the world. Read Full Report...

Drennan Specialist Twist Lock landing net landle

I have been using a two-piece landing net handle for a few years but have always been a bit nervous of the way that the end piece is just a slide-on fit. It’s the type of handle where one piece fits inside the other and to extend it you remove the inner piece and push it on to the outer piece. The short separate end-piece has the screw boss for the net. My fear has always been that if I tried to lift a heavy fish from below, with the pole more or less vertical, the end piece might have become disengaged. It did happen to me once.

This problem is particularly relevant when I fish the River Welland where the banks are very high and I’ve had to pull up chub of over 4lbs.

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River Welland (22)

First trip of the new season to the Welland and rewarded with 7 chub.

Arrival time: 10.00
Weather: Bright start with a light breeze but rain was forecast for later in the day
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat and cheese
Fish: Seven chub, best fish 4lbs 7oz.

I’m always amazed at the transformation of the river bank between the last trip in March and the first in June. Bare banks replaced by four foot high vegetation comprising predominantly nettles. Great cover for stalking although casual walkers do have a habit of coming up behind you as you’re crouched behind the vegetation screen, and while standing bolt upright ask how you’re getting on. Dogs also find it amusing to seek you out and today one actually peed up against my bag and coat. The owner assured me that it wouldn’t smell as the dog was a male. Warped logic if ever I’ve heard it. Read Full Report...

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