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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.
  •  Leather carp 5lb

    Leather 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

  •  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

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Syndicate Lake (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.

So much for the planning; I sat there nearly two hours without a touch, save perhaps a nibble from some small roach that hardly moved the road top.
  •  Roach

    Roach

  •  Common carp 9lb+

    Common carp 9lb+

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Syndicate Lake (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.

I had decided to put out a light leger while float fishing the margin just in front of me. The reeds had grown since my last visit such that I was actually fishing through them. Great for camouflage but difficult to fish. Having put out a fair sized piece of luncheon meat on the leger and bait-dropped some pellets and chopped luncheon meat literally at the end of my rod top, I cast the float and was rewarded with an almost instant bite. After a bit of a tussle a nice 1lb 5oz rudd was on the bank, taken on a small piece of luncheon meat. I took it along to show Mick, releasing it in his swim. I was looking forward to more rudd but if there had been a shoal there, it had moved away. Only tiddlers nibbled at my bait, and my float !
  •  Common carp 8lb 3oz

    Common carp 8lb 3oz

  •  Common carp 7lb 8oz

    Common carp 7lb 8oz

  •  Mirror carp 9lb 8oz

    Mirror carp 9lb 8oz

  •  Common carp 8lb 3oz

    Common carp 8lb 3oz

  •  Common carp 7lb 8oz

    Common carp 7lb 8oz

  •  Mirror carp 9lb 8oz

    Mirror carp 9lb 8oz

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Syndicate Lake (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.

Anyway, back to the fishing. I started at the NE bay dropping a bit of luncheon meat near the reeds in the hope of a patrolling carp. Nothing doing, so went to the Lily Pads swim with the intention of returning to the bay later in the evening. I tried casting down the edge of the reeds and also out between the lily pads but only got touches from smaller fish. I noticed that the luncheon meat wasn’t sinking and thought it was due to the army of small fish attacking it. At one point there was movement in the reeds that I suspect was a carp but no bite was forthcoming.
  •  Rudd/roach 1lb 5oz

    Rudd/roach 1lb 5oz

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Syndicate Lake (5)

No carp today, but a nice rudd and roach.

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Clear blue sky and very warm.
Breeze not affecting lake.
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on luncheon meat.
Fish: One rudd and one roach, each weighing 1lb 4oz

Back for another crack at the carp, but I was to be disappointed.

I was fishing by about 16.00. Light ledgering with luncheon meat. For the first hour I didn’t get a touch. The meat had been nibbled by small fish but nothing even lifted the bobbin indicator.

As the sun disappeared behind the trees at the back of me I started to get bites. Most were tentative affairs, with the bobbin rising and falling. Probably smaller fish trying to mouth the largish piece of luncheon meat. A couple were fast positive takes that I thought might be carp, but I was doubtful. I missed all of them.
  •  Rudd/roach 1lb 4oz

    Rudd/roach 1lb 4oz

  •  Roach 1lb 4oz

    Roach 1lb 4oz

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Syndicate Lake (4)

Two good carp.

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Overcast, brightening into evening.
Light wind not affecting lake.
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp, best 11lbs, and a rudd just under a pound.

I decided on a late afternoon / evening visit. The brambles had grown back, so the first job was to clear a few hanging tendrils that were both an annoyance and a hazard. It’s certainly back to nature at this lake. No freshly mown banks and spacious platforms.

It was a slow start but at 16.10 a good indication on the bobbin resulted in a nice rudd of 15oz.

Things then quietened down completely and I was beginning to think that I was in for one of those non-productive sessions. I kept an eye on the margin reeds for movement but there wasn’t anything that looked like a carp foraging around. I did try placing the bait in the margin and actually lost what could have been a nice roach, but no sign of carp.
  •  Common carp 11lb 4oz

    Common carp 11lb 4oz

  •  Common carp 11lb 0oz

    Common carp 11lb 0oz

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Syndicate Lake (3)

Another nice rudd but lost a carp.

Arrival time: 08.30
Weather: Cloudy bright with no discernible wind.
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on luncheon meat.
Fish: A couple of rudd, best 1lb 4oz, a small pike and a small roach. Broken by a carp.

Today I tried a morning session. My main reason for doing this was to avoid the mosquitos in the evening (I’ve been eaten alive this year), although it did also mean I could grab a round of golf later in the afternoon.

The lake was very enticing when I arrived. A mirrored surface with the only noise being that of bees and other insect workers among the overgrown banks. Some of the blackberry thorns had re-established since I had cleared them on my last visit.

I didn’t bother with the float rod this time but set up immediately with my Hardy rod and a small bomb ledger. I took a bite alarm this time. I’m not a fan of these things, mainly because they tend to be used invariably in support of a bolt rig, and that’s not my sort of fishing. My reason for taking it was so I could take my eye of the indicator bobbin while I viewed the lake and its wildlife. Looking down at a bobbin continuously seemed such a pity. No bolt rig though; just a hook and a light ledger, and my reactions.
  •  Rudd/roach 1lb 4oz

    Rudd/roach 1lb 4oz

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Syndicate Lake (2)

Back to the syndicate water.

Arrival time: 14.30
Weather: Bright sun and clouds with hardly any wind
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, waggler, 12 hook.
11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on luncheon meat.
Fish: A couple of rudd, best 1lb 2oz, and a lost carp.

Second trip to the syndicate lake. This time I took some shears and cleared the blackberry thorns from the path. I also opened up a route round to the east bank. However, I fished the same spot as last week. An Environment Agency chap was there checking licences when I arrived. Only the second time I’ve been asked in 50 odd years!

I again started with the float rod but casting with the centre pin reel was awkward, so after about an hour I put out a small bomb ledger between the lily pads in front of me. I was using luncheon meat again. After a bit of a wait, at 16.50 my bobbin indicator (a wine bottle cork with a hairpin) rose quickly and I tightened into what was almost certainly a carp. Unfortunately it went into one of the clusters of lily pads and just as I thought I was making some headway in getting it out, the line slackened momentarily and then went solid. My hook was out of the fish and in the pads.
  •  Rudd/roach 1lb 2oz

    Rudd/roach 1lb 2oz

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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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