Fields End (95)

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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

  •  Leather carp 10lb 14oz

    Leather 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

  •  Leather carp 10lb 14oz

    Leather carp 10lb 14oz

  •  Mirror carp 6lb 5oz

    Mirror carp 6lb 5oz

Click/touch image to show all photos in a light box.
I started with my compact float road and a free line, casting down the edge of the reeds to the right and hoping for a quick take from a carp. But that didn't happen. I pursued this approach for a while with no success, so then set up the match road to try for roach and crucian carp, with the hope of a possible tench.

Unfortunately the roach and rudd population in this lake now seems much bigger than it once was and I was getting lots of bites but only connecting with a few fish, and these were mostly 4-6oz range. A rudd of 10oz was the highlight. If the crucian carp were there, I didn't succeed in tempting any.

During this period a noticed the reeds to my left 'knocking', clearly indicating a carp moving around. I laid the match rod aside and attached a lump of flake to the free line on my compact float road, dropping it less than a rod-length out near the reeds. It wasn't long before the line on the surface started to straighten and a carp was on. Hooking fish so close in is really very exciting, as is the ensuing battle to keep them out of the reeds. But my little rod dealt with it admirably and soon a beautiful looking 7lb common carp was on the bank.

This was a precursor to what happened later in the afternoon. Things had gone quiet other than the ongoing frustration of trying to hit bites on the float. But I had earlier thrown in some floating crust that had subsequently drifted into the margin right next to the fishing platform. To my surprise a carp casually rose up from the depths, as they do, and sucked in the bread. Just previously I had seen a fish actually coasting under the platform.

I had only previously seen this behaviour late in the evening. However, given that most of the other anglers were casting to the middle of the lake in true 'carping' fashion, perhaps the fish have learnt that it's safer close in, which suits my style of margin fishing just fine.

Anyway, I proceeded to drop a piece of crust just under my rod tip and sure enough after a little while it was taken. This time a 5lb fish. I then lost a fish when the hook-hold failed. Up to now the takes were classic carp, slowly rising and sucking the bread in. Then a fish did a 'Jaws' impression, bursting through the surface and taking the bread with a lunge. It went screaming off, taking more than 30 metres of line and then kiting back and forth. However, after a while I realised that it had, in fact, been foul-hooked, always a risk when surface fishing as the fish turn after going for the bait. It took quite a while to get it in, a muscly looking fish of just under 11lb.

I had decided to pack up a 16.30 but just before this a carp casually started sucking in the odd pieces of bread around the left side reeds, ignoring my piece in open water. It then dropped from sight, so I flicked a smaller piece of crust nearer the reeds. I thought I had missed my opportunity and was just about to reel in when the fish took. This time 6¼lb.

It was an interesting day insofar as I didn't expect to lure carp so close in during the heat of the day. As for my sciatica, things weren't too bad while I was there, but I suffered afterwards from sitting on a small fishing stool all day.
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