Barbel | Kilburnlad | Fishing | Diary


Fields End (94)

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 made up the bulk of the anglers, have decided to leave the lake to the holidaymakers.

Being so quiet I made my way to what I call the reed-end swim. After a strong westerly the day before, and a continuing westerly breeze, this seemed to be the place to be. Fishing into the wind, as they say. With high expectations I dropped a light leger down the side of the reeds with meat bait, a tactic that has in the past been an almost dead cert for a carp or a tench early in the morning before there is too much movement on the banks. On this occasion, however, not a touch, save small fish having a nibble. After a while I decided to change to the float, only to suffer bite after unhittable bite on bread flake. The few I managed to hit were small roach. I changed to meat bait only to be broken by what I assume was a carp as I tried to stop it careering into the reed bank. I also hooked a couple of other fish, by the feel of them both probably crucian carp, but they shed the hook very rapidly.

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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.
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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. Read Full Report...

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. Read Full Report...

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.

Leather 9lb

Leather 9lb

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, 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.

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. Read Full Report...

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. Read Full Report...

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. Read Full Report...

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. Read Full Report...

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
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 bankside 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. Read Full Report...

Fields End (39)

After losing so many fish in the reed swim and, quite frankly, getting a bit paranoid over the carp, I decided to have a change of approach. Being first on the lake I went for a swim on the west bank that has the benefit of being sheltered from prevailing westerly winds, the forecast for the day being for quite fresh westerlies.

At 07.00 conditions were good; clear blue sky with the westerly being not much more than a breeze. By midday the wind had become quite strong and the sun gave way to white cloud. I was fortunately quite sheltered but others on the lake were commenting on the freshness of the wind.

Although I have fished the swim before, it was a couple of years ago and my general approach has since changed. There are light reeds to the right, and I fed the near edge of the reeds with feed pellets, sweet corn and rolled-up bread balls. I fished a waggler with flake and sweet corn but nothing happened for a while. At one point I looked longingly at my favourite reed swim, but I resisted and stuck it out. This was to be a day when I would fish for what came, and if carp happened along, then so much the better. Read Full Report...

Fields End (28)

I got the 'Reed Swim' again, but only just, as the chap who arrived with me turned out to share my love of it. He fished from the other side of the reeds and although he was using the ubiquitous 2-rod carp set up he was casting one to the margins and the other a short distance out, thus forsaking the distance feeder approach favoured by many. He was, however, using 'boilies' whereas I still stick to bread flake and luncheon meat.

Conditions proved to be appalling with a very strong southerly wind blowing right in my face. It was also overcast and therefore not too warm. I stuck it out but float fishing proved to be impracticable so I changed to a light leger in the margins. Read Full Report...

Fields End (16)

Despite vowing that I would limit myself to afternoon visits after the last trip, I went for the day again and this time things worked out a bit better. I wasn't first on site this time but had decided to fish the (north-east) reed corner having not done too well on the west bank the previous week. I rather like the reed corner but it tends to produce smaller fish.

On this occasion I had regular sport up to about 3pm, when things went dead. I fished on until 7pm but then called it a day. It was a very hot day, necessitating the umbrella to provide some protection. Read Full Report...

Fields End (15)

Well, first week of retirement so first full day over the lake. Got there just before 07.00 and was first on the water. Took the tree swim as it was sheltered from the westerly wind.

As I was there for the day I tried a bit of float fishing in the margins, but despite lots of bites I hooked very little (one small roach), suggesting that they were mainly small fish. I resorted to free-lining the margin as this has proven to be a reliable technique on all previous visits. Read Full Report...

Fields End (55)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Clear blue sky and no wind
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 13ft multi-float, waggler, 4lb line, 12 hook.
10ft compact float, free-line/controller float, 8lb line, 12/16 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat and floating pellet.
Fish: 15 carp, best 12lb 13oz (5 lost), 4 tench, best 3lb 12oz, roach to 1lb 7oz, a 2lbs 2oz crucian and a 3lbs 14oz barbel.

The total weight of carp was just under 135lbs and including the other fish the catch was nearly 158lbs.

Another nice day. Again the lake was calm throughout the morning and although a light SW breeze blew up later, it was on and off and didn't cause too many problems. For the first two hours I was the only one on the lake and when people did arrive they stayed on the west and south banks, leaving me virtually undisturbed in the reed corner. Read Full Report...

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