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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 (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.

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.
  •  Barbel 4lb 12oz

    Barbel 4lb 12oz

  •  Barbel 5lb 3oz

    Barbel 5lb 3oz

  •  Barbel 5lb 3oz

    Barbel 5lb 3oz

  •  Barbel 4lb 12oz

    Barbel 4lb 12oz

  •  Barbel 5lb 3oz

    Barbel 5lb 3oz

  •  Barbel 5lb 3oz

    Barbel 5lb 3oz

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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.
  •  Crucian carp 2lbs 2oz

    Crucian carp 2lbs 2oz

  •  Leather carp 15lbs 6oz

    Leather carp 15lbs 6oz

  •  Leather carp 15lbs 6oz

    Leather carp 15lbs 6oz

  •  Barbel 4lbs 3oz

    Barbel 4lbs 3oz

  •  Crucian carp 2lbs 2oz

    Crucian carp 2lbs 2oz

  •  Leather carp 15lbs 6oz

    Leather carp 15lbs 6oz

  •  Leather carp 15lbs 6oz

    Leather carp 15lbs 6oz

  •  Barbel 4lbs 3oz

    Barbel 4lbs 3oz

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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.

I started with my float rod as there were few snags. First cast was to the left, where I had an instant bite that I missed. However, there was a high risk of snagging overhanging trees, so I tried the right margin instead. First cast there, at about 17.15, I got a strong bite and hooked a powerful fish. There were no massive runs, but it put up a dogged fight that must have lasted at least ten minutes. The light tackle meant I had to play it to submission and after weighing it, at 8lb 5oz, and photographing it, I had to wait a while for it to recover its strength before it swam off.
  •  The Match Pool

    The Match Pool

  •  Common carp 8lb 5oz

    Common carp 8lb 5oz

  •  Common carp 10lb

    Common carp 10lb

  •  The Match Pool

    The Match Pool

  •  Common carp 8lb 5oz

    Common carp 8lb 5oz

  •  Common carp 10lb

    Common carp 10lb

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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.

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, the 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.

Following this early success I caught four barbel, a couple weighed at 1¼lb each and the others estimated at about a pound. In addition I got one small carp, a small tench and a roach. I packed up at 19.00.
  •  Leather carp 9lb

    Leather carp 9lb

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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.
  •  Mirror carp 6lb 8oz

    Mirror carp 6lb 8oz

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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.
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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.
  •  Figure of Eight Pool

    Figure of Eight Pool

  •  Crucian carp 1lb 12oz

    Crucian carp 1lb 12oz

  •  Common carp 7lb 8oz

    Common carp 7lb 8oz

  •  Figure of Eight Pool

    Figure of Eight Pool

  •  Crucian carp 1lb 12oz

    Crucian carp 1lb 12oz

  •  Common carp 7lb 8oz

    Common carp 7lb 8oz

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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.
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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 bank side 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.
  •  Tench 3lbs 10oz

    Tench 3lbs 10oz

  •  Common carp 6lbs 14oz

    Common carp 6lbs 14oz

  •  Barbel 4lb 2oz

    Barbel 4lb 2oz

  •  Tench 3lbs 10oz

    Tench 3lbs 10oz

  •  Common carp 6lbs 14oz

    Common carp 6lbs 14oz

  •  Barbel 4lb 2oz

    Barbel 4lb 2oz

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