Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (9)
Arrival time: 14.30
Weather: Cloudy with drizzle, brightening later.
Windy but this didn’t affect the sheltered lake.
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec compact float rod with Shimano ST5000 reel, 6lb line and 16 hook.
11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat , worm and sweetcorn.
Fish: One nice carp, 11lbs 6oz, a few roach and a small pike.
The first bit of good news was that the undergrowth hadn’t yet taken hold so I could actually get to what I call the lily pad swim without too much trouble. There were, however, no lily pads at this time of year. They’re obviously awaiting spring/summer like the rest of us.
There were no signs at all of fish movement, which contrasts with when I first looked at the lake in March last year, when there were carp cruising during what was an early warm spell. I set up two rods. My Hardy Avon with a ledger and my compact float rod to fish the margin. I hoped for roach and perhaps perch in the margin and a passing carp on the ledger, or maybe a larger roach/rudd. I put luncheon meat on the ledger and alternated between worm and sweetcorn on the float rod. I soon started catching small roach on worm, and a few on sweetcorn. They often took the worm off the hook without seemingly actually taking the hook, as I used far more worms than I caught fish.
I didn’t get a touch on the ledger. Not a sniff, despite trying different spots in front and to the right. After a while there was some movement in the reeds to the left. I didn’t know if it was a fish or something else but judging by its movement I thought that there was a good chance it was a carp. I therefore put a piece of luncheon meat on the float rod and after quite a short while the float went away very positively, and sure enough a good fish was on. I dragged it away from the reeds not quite realising its size. The fight wasn’t dramatic, probably because it’s early in the year and with the water still quite cold the carp are still a bit lethargic. It did, however, make a few powerful rushes away from the net after coming in a bit too easily. When it was finally netted I realised that it was in fact bigger than I had thought, being broad in the beam. It weighed in at 11lb 6oz and was a beautiful fully-scaled bronzed fish. Time 15.45.
After this the clouds cleared and the sun came out, shining on the margin. On the plus side I thought that this might attract other fish in, although it could equally make them more cautious. The ledger rod was still not producing any action and the battery expired on my bite alarm. Faced, therefore, with actually watching the ledger or continuing with the float, I packed the ledger rod away.
I walked around to the NE bay hoping that while the other swim recovered I may pick up a fish patrolling the reeds. There wasn’t, however, any sign whatsoever of movement. I cast over to the reeds and what was clearly a small pike lunged at the bait. I later caught it as it took the bait on retrieval. As for carp; not a sign.
Back at the original swim I persevered, catching some more small roach. For the last hour I put out a piece of luncheon meat more in hope than expectation, but nothing materialised. At 19.00 there were a couple of hours of daylight left but I had decided to pack up at that time. To be honest I’m not sue whether staying would have produced anything. Things seemed very quite with no sign of larger fish movements.
In fact, I think I was quite lucky to pick up the carp. A matter of being in the right place at the right time. It made what would have been a pleasant afternoon into a more memorable one.
When I completed my catch return in the fishing hut I noticed that during the day somebody had taken four rainbow trout from the other lake, so perhaps I need to get my fly rod out.
After writing this report I remembered that I caught a carp from this lake last year that had a growth around its nostrils, as did the one I caught on this occasion. Checking back on the previous report the fish on that occasion weighed 11lb 4oz and gave a very similar fight, leading me to think that it may have been the same fish.
Not surprising I suppose.