Rookery Waters (1)
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.
After a friendly welcome I walked the short distance to the lake (there is a drop-off area if you cart lots of stuff). There were only three people on the lake, which is a change from the situation at Fields End Water just before I stopped going there, where it had become difficult sometimes to find a pitch. I crossed onto the island and in the bay to my right were a couple of large lily beds. So I set up there.
As usual on a new water I started with bread flake. I had in fact only taken bread and luncheon meat. I checked the depth at the edge of the lilies and it was less than 3 feet. Having introduced a few rolled bread pellets I settled down to see what was doing. I soon had a bite, which I missed, followed by a few more with the same outcome. Then I struck and made contact with a lively if not too large fish. It was a small carp of about a pound or so. I think it may have been a grass carp, which is a variety that I'm not too familiar with. I caught a few more like it. They reminded me of chub.
I continued to get bites, and fish, throughout the afternoon, with weights ranging between a pound or so and 5lbs. Some were more classic commons, or mirrors. The missed bites may have been silver fish.
It was a pleasant enough afternoon with 13 fish in total. I lost two that slipped the hook and a further one that broke me as I tried to stop it ploughing into the lilies. The fish fought doggedly rather than spectacularly, with only the lost one, and a foul-hooked four pounder, making classic carp runs after being hooked.
I'm not sure I'll be catching any big fish from this lake but on lightish float tackle it offers a pleasant venue with enough activity to make it enjoyable. Their Rook Lake holds bigger fish but has less features, although each pitch is separated by high reeds so margin fishing is a possibility. The only apparent drawback is that the pitches are fairly evenly distributed around the lake and are quite close to each other. I prefer to find a reed bank that is long enough to make the fish feel secure, whereas on this lake a lot would depend on how quiet your immediate neighbour is.
I shall return.