Tench | Kilburnlad | Fishing | Diary

Kilburnlad

Stake Hill (8)

My visit was cut short by rain but the ‘skimmer’ bream were active.

Arrival time: 17.00
Weather: Cloudy with rain threatening, and actually arriving, thus cutting short my stay
Swim: Far corner
Tackle: 12ft Greys’ Rova Float rod, Speedia centre pin reel with 3lb line, waggler, 14 hook.
Baits: Sweetcorn & bread flake.
Fish: A number of small bream and one small tench.

The weather forecast wasn’t great, but I took a chance and arrived at 17.00 to find an empty lake. Obviously nobody else was brave enough to chance it. Read Full Report...

Fields End (91)

A glorious day after weeks of awful weather.

Arrival time: 13.30
Weather: Clear sunny sky and very light easterly breeze.
Swim: Reed End
Tackle: 12ft Greys’ Prodigy Rova Specimen, 5lb line, waggler, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on bread flake.
Fish: Three carp, best 10lb 12oz, and a tench.

It was the end of March when I last went fishing. The weather has been somewhat wet, to say the least, but I have also been doing other things that have kept me away from the water.

It was also an opportunity to try out a newly acquired Greys’ Prodigy Rova Specimen rod. This is a six-piece 12 foot rod designed for travelling. Now in the past such rods have not come anywhere near matching the performance of two or three piece blanks. However, this had good reviews and I wanted something I could pack in the car when going on holiday that didn’t need to be laid through the car boot and into the space between the front seats. Read Full Report...

Fields End (88)

A bit quiet but some reasonable fish.

Arrival time: 07.15 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Overcast with some light drizzle on occasions.
Light E wind swung to SE later in the day.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 12 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Lunchion meat
Fish:
Three carp, best fish 9¼lb, two tench and a roach.

Various things have conspired to keep me away from fishing over the past few weeks, so it was good to get back to the bank side.

It was quiet at the lake with probably only about five people there at any time during the day. I had the tree corner to myself. While the relatively mild period prevailed it wasn’t the best of days, although the overcast conditions should have helped the fishing. It was calm when I arrived but the easterly breeze proved a bit irksome later in the day. Read Full Report...

Fields End (87)

A visit to Fields End after a gap of a couple of months.
A few carp and a couple of lost fish.

Arrival time: 10.45
Weather: Warm and bright with southerly breeze.
The breeze freshened and was a bit of a nuisance.
Swim: Reed Corner
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float rod, centre pin, 8lb line, 14 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat
Fish: Five carp, best fish 8lb 6oz, and a tench.

After a bit of a down-beat trip to Fields End in June I thought I would see if things had quietened down a bit now that it’s September. Charlie, the owner, feigned not recognising me when I arrived. I explained that I liked it when things were quieter and that he would probably see a bit more of me into autumn/winter. He gave me a fridge magnet with their details on it, the reason being that he had used one of my photos as the background. A little bit of fame. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (6)

A bit slower this evening.

Arrival time: 17.15 (started to fish at 17.45)
Weather: Lovely evening following a sunny and warm day.
A light breeze.
Swim: Far corner.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line,
5lb fluorocarbon hook length to a 16 hook.
Bait: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Six small carp, best 3lbs 2oz, some small tench and bream.

When I arrived there were around 5 or 6 anglers on the lake. The most I’ve seen. One was in my ‘adopted’ spot, but as I set down elsewhere, I noticed that he was packing up. I went over and had a chat with him. He was from Bradford and has been fishing the lake for about four years. He remarked that it was now getting busier. He was looking forward to some barbel fishing on the Swale as the river season opens tomorrow. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (4)

Plenty of small carp.

Arrival time: 18.15 (started to fish at 18.30)
Weather: Bright with white cloud.
Light wind dropped as dusk approached.
Swim: Far corner.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 2½lb hook length to a 16 hook.
Bait: Bread flake
Fish: 16 small carp, best 4¾lb and a small tench

After two years we’re back at Cringles, near Silsden, so I can visit Stake Hill again. The fishery has been open about five years. I first visited four years ago, so I have seen it develop. It’s a very tidy lake and a credit to the owners. Read Full Report...

Fields End (84)

An afternoon and evening session.

Arrival time: 15.00 (started to fish at 15.25)
Weather: Bright and warm with increasing cloud.
SW wind moderated and eased completely into the evening.
Swim: Reed End.
Tackle: 11’ Korum light feeder, Shimano 5000 reel, waggler, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Three carp, best 8lb 10oz, and four tench, best 3lb 14oz

I was so shattered after last week’s all day session in the wind and sun that I decided to go to the lake for the afternoon and evening.

There was a fresh SW wind blowing so a swim in the SW bay would have been ideal, but all were taken bar one, and with that number of people concentrated in one area I decided to go to the NE corner, which was deserted. Back to the Reed End where I was last week. Glutton for punishment?

The waggler in fact rode the wavelets quite well and I was quickly into my first fish, a tench of 2lb 6oz. Soon after a 4lb leather came to the net and within minutes of landing that I had an 8lb 10oz common on the bank. The storming start was, however, soon to fizzle out. Read Full Report...

Fields End (82)

This was one of those days that offered much but ended up disappointing.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.15)
Weather: Generally bright and warm although more cloudy in the afternoon.
Light SW wind swung to S at times during the day.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman Avon Specimen, centre pin reel, pre-loaded waggler, 8lb line, 10 hook tied direct.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: One carp of 8lb 4oz, six crucian carp to 1lb 14oz, four roach to 14oz and a 3lb 8oz tench.

First on the lake, I tried luncheon meat down the margin. On this occasion nothing took the bait. Was this an omen?

To be fair the fishing wasn’t that bad. Very few carp were caught around the lake, with the exception of Mick Nash who was doing well off the surface. The main problem, for me at least, was that the ‘holiday’ season has arrived, and there was a considerable amount of loud talking. How it is that people can hold conversations that can be heard clearly over 100 yards away completely amazes me. Add to this a noisy neighbour to the right, who was casting two feeder rods with mortar bomb consequences, thumping around on the platform and talking loudly to himself every time something went wrong. Even my ‘quiet’ evening period was thwarted. A couple a chaps arrived and positioned themselves either side of me. They then struck up a continuous conversation while distance casting for surface feeding carp. All this noise and their continual standing and casting I think put paid to any self-respecting carp feeding in the margin. Read Full Report...

Fields End (81)

Another mixed bag with some good fish of each species.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.15)
Weather: Bright start but clouded over later. Light W wind became strong during the afternoon.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano ST6000 reel, pre-loaded waggler, 8lb line, 10 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Six carp, best 13lb 9oz, eight crucians, best 2lbs 4oz, a 4lb tench and three roach, best 1lb 3oz.

After a marvellous weekend, weather wise, things deteriorated a bit today.

I was the first on the lake, and started with my Hardy Marksman by dropping a piece of luncheon meat down the right margin. First cast was short, but the second resulted in a bite almost immediately and a good fish tore off. It turned out to be an 8lb 10oz mirror carp that fought very well. With the heavier tackle, though, there was no real risk of losing it. A couple of chaps then turned up on the platforms on my right, and the obligatory dropping of the tackle boxes onto the platforms put paid to any further margin success.
Read Full Report...

Fields End (80)

A good mixed bag and a nice couple of barbel to finish.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.30)
Weather: Bright start but clouded over later. Fresh NW/W wind.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp, best 7lb 8oz, three tench, best 3lb 11oz, two barbel, best 5lb, five crucians, best 1lb 14oz, and four roach, best 1lb 1oz.

I took a chance on the wind today (the forecast was far better for tomorrow but I had things to do) but while it was fresh, it wasn’t too much trouble in the Tree Corner. The story of the day was plenty of bites, almost one a cast, but most were unhittable. I expected this on flake, but a change to luncheon meat produced similar problems. I can understand how a small fish can tug at flake and register a bite, but the missed bites on lumps of meat remain a mystery: crucians perhaps.

There was only me and three people from the caravans on the lake. I was completely alone in the SW corner, which suited me fine. Read Full Report...

Fields End (79)

Personal best Crucian carp today.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Cloudy start, bright later. Strong SW wind.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: Three carp, best 12lbs, nine crucians, best 2lbs 7oz, a 2lbs 9oz tench and a few roach.

The forecast was for a warm day, but windy. The morning was, in fact, far from warm. Cloudy with a strong SW wind it was quite chilly. I benefitted from being in the Tree Corner, which is protected from south-westerlies.

Having succeeded with luncheon meat on my last visit I started with this bait. A couple of missed bites in over an hour convinced me that, today, this bait wasn’t working. I switched to flake, which resulted in more bites, in fact a bite almost every cast, but I couldn’t hit them; small roach, maybe. At 9.20 a nice roach of 11oz was a welcome relief but other than a couple of smaller roach, and what I think was an Ide of about 8oz just before midday, things were quite dire. Read Full Report...

Fields End (77)

Another disappointing day.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.30)
Weather: Cold frosty start with clear blue sky.
Light SW breeze that freshened considerably after lunch.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, new Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Maggots
Fish: Tench of 3lbs and some small perch and roach.

Again I was hopeful of a good day. The night was cold but the forecast was for a day of sunshine. Driving to the lake the Fenland scenery was spectacular. White frosty fields with a large orange sun shining through the mist. The magic was completed by a barn owl flying across the road in front of me and settling on a gate post.

Unfortunately the magic didn’t carry over to the lake. I had decided to try maggots in the hope of a decent perch, having seen the chap the other week pull out one that was easily over 2lbs. As it was I didn’t get a bite. Nothing for over two hours! The first bite, when it came at 09.30, was positive and resulted in a 3lb tench. Not bad, although the fish had a deformed lower lip, something I’ve seen on a number of tench at this venue. Read Full Report...

Fields End (74)

Ideal conditions and a reasonable mixed bag of fish.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 08.45)
Weather: Started clear and reasonably mild. Colder later.
Light SW breeze during morning but calm after midday.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, centre pin with 4lb line, 16 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and sweetcorn, with hempseed as an attractor.
Fish: Carp of 8½lbs, two tench, best 3lb 10oz, a few roach, best 1lb 4oz, and a 1lb 11oz crucian carp.

Second time at the lake this week. Taking advantage of reasonably mild weather and lack of wind. The Tree Corner was calm being protected from the light SW breeze. The morning was bright and mild; almost spring-like. The birds were in song and it was difficult to believe it was mid February. The wind dropped completely at midday after which it became colder.

I had a fairly sensational start to the day. First cast, first bite, and I was into a carp. After a tussle it turned out to be an 8½lb leather, foul-hooked in the pectoral fin. Fortunately I had upped my line strength to 4lb after losing a carp on Monday. Read Full Report...

Fields End (73)

A day that promised a lot but was ultimately a bit disappointing.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 09.00)
Weather: Clear and cold (4-6 C).
No wind at first but a light S-SW breeze blew up.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Avanti fixed spool with 5lb line, 16 hook on 2½lb line. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn and maggots
Fish: Roach to 14oz and a tench of 1¾lbs.

Not quite as cold as last Monday but still a bit chilly. The previous few days had been quite a lot warmer with high winds so I had hoped that a brief interlude of calmer, if colder weather would prove rewarding. I took some maggots this time to see if they may provide more hittable bites but unfortunately the small perch were a nuisance. I also fished sweet corn. There was only one other person on the lake.

If anything, bites seemed less frequent than on the previous Monday when the lake was frozen. So much for my warm spell theory. I finally hit a small roach at 09.35 on sweet corn and continued to catch occasional roach throughout the day. Most were not particularly large, although at 14.00 I did get a nice fish of 14oz on a bunch of red maggots. Of the others some were perhaps around 4-6 oz. Read Full Report...

Fields End (71)

Some roach, a couple of tench and a bonus carp.

Arrival time: 08.00 (started to fish at 08.30)
Weather: Light NW wind, mainly dry and about 7-9 C.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, centre pin with 4lb line, 16 hook on 2½lb line. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn and worm.
Fish: Roach to about 8oz, two tench, best 3lbs, and a carp of 8lbs (on 2½lb line!).

The weather looked threatening when I arrived but other than a couple of very short light showers it remained dry. The tree corner was sheltered from the NW wind so I had almost calm conditions within my casting distance throughout the day. I decided to stick to sweetcorn and bait lightly but regularly. I did try worm for a few casts but other than missed bites and a couple of small perch, they didn’t produce anything memorable.

For the first couple of hours I had a bite every cast on corn but missed them all. These were real ‘sinkers’ but I just couldn’t connect. I believe that they were roach, probably on the small side, but how they robbed my sweetcorn and avoided the hook was nothing short of remarkable. Read Full Report...

Fields End (70)

No wind but unexpected rain. Two good tench just about sums it up.

Arrival time: 08.30 (started to fish at 09.00)
Weather: No wind, lots of rain but not too cold.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, 4lb line, 16 hook on 2.5lb line. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn
Fish: Two tench, best 3½lbs, a few roach to 10oz and what I think was a dace.

Tench 3lb

Tench 3lb



First trip since 19th November! The lake was very coloured. Hard to believe that this was entirely due to fish movement. Perhaps the high winds over the past few days had stirred things up.

Forecast was for 7-9 degrees and calm. It didn’t mention rain, which started at about 10.00 and carried on until around 13.30. January rain is chilling and quite unpleasant. It also made it difficult to spot pre-bite float movements, causing me to miss some of the few bites that I actually had. Read Full Report...

Fields End (69)

Foggy all day, cold but no wind. Had hoped for roach but lake was almost dead. Another surprise tench ended the day.

Arrival time: 07.15 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Foggy, no wind and very cold.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, 4lb line, 16 hook on 2.5lb line. Insert waggler.
Baits: Breadflake, maggots and pellets.
Fish: Some small roach and perch, and a tench of 2lbs 14oz.

The fog had been forecast but there was a chance it would clear to a bright day; but it didn’t!

I had bought maggots and some soft 4mm and 6mm pellets to give myself some options. On Monday I got lots of bites on bread flake that I couldn’t hit. Today I had very few bites and bread didn’t produce hardly any at all. Neither did the pellets. Maggots attracted small perch and I caught quite a few of these through the day, some no bigger than a finger. I also caught some small roach on maggot but couldn’t seem to keep them feeding. Read Full Report...

Fields End (68)

A cold clear day. No carp but a couple of good roach and a surprise tench.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Bright, no wind and very cold.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, 4lb line, 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and sweetcorn.
Fish: Roach to 1lb 2oz, and a 3¼lbs tench.

The gales of last week had passed and a brief spell of high pressure provided classic cold clear conditions with no wind. I was on my own on the lake until around midday, with just an incredibly brave little chaffinch hopping around my feet looking for some tit-bits. I think he was after maggots but I didn’t have any. It may have been cold but the conditions were otherwise idyllic.

I didn’t really expect carp, and I didn’t get any. It was, in fact, a difficult day. I did get bites throughout the day but couldn’t hit them. I suspect roach and although I’ve scaled down my tackle from the normal carp-beating gear it’s probably still too heavy for discerning roach. Read Full Report...

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...

Fields End (64)

Arrival time: 10.00
Weather: Chilly, light to fresh north-westerly breeze.
Swim: Reed-end swim
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 10 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler and light Arsley leger rig.
Baits: Bread flake
Fish: Two smallish carp, a crucian and a 2¼lbs tench.

What a difference a week can make. Last Thursday it was like spring. Today was very autumnal. Last week I caught fish regularly throughout the day. Today I slogged until 15.30 for my first fish.

Conditions seemed promising when I arrived somewhat later than usual because of a doctor’s appointment. There were about five people on the lake and I got the reed-end swim.

I few early bites were indicative of either small fish or cautious crucian carp. I missed them all but a large scale came back on the hook on one occasion suggesting the bigger carp were in the swim. There was also reed movement. Read Full Report...

Fields End (63)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: Warm, light southerly breeze and bright
It was like a spring day.
Swim: Reed-end swim
Tackle:12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 10 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat with pellet feed.
Fish: 16 carp to 10lbs, three tench to 4lbs 3oz and four crucians to 2lbs 2oz. Lost four fish.

Back to the end of the reeds in the NE corner where I fished last week. I was the only one on the lake when I arrived and throughout the day nobody came anywhere near the corner where I was fishing. There were in fact no more than six people on the lake at any time. So, the conditions were perfect; it was quiet and I had a really good day.

The first fish came after only fifteen minutes and I caught throughout the day. Bread flake was again the most productive bait and I took only one fish on luncheon meat if one discounts a small perch that took it. I used small pellets to ground-bait the swim on a little but often basis. Read Full Report...

Fields End (62)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A quiet day after heavy rain the previous day.
Light breeze alternated from W, to NW, to SW, to S and then back to W.
Swim: Reed-end swim
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 10 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon.
Fish: 12 carp to 11lbs and a 3lbs 3oz tench.

Back to Fields End on a pleasant day sandwiched between heavy rain and wind the previous day, and more of the same predicted for the following day.

Today I went to the opposite end of the reed bank that forms the left of my usual Reed swim. A chap was there last week and did well, but more importantly it seemed easier to fish than the Reed swim, which is now a bit awkward since a new platform has been installed. I don’t like platforms and have been sitting to the side of it. However, this makes access and egress difficult with a high risk of stumbling. Also, there is a nasty snag by the left reed bank that has taken more tackle than I can remember, and playing fish is difficult because of the proximity of reeds to both sides. 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 (3)

Arrival time: 15.00
Weather: Sunny with little to no wind.
Swim: Micky Mouse Pool - Pegs 21 & 19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Some small carp, best 4½lbs and a small tench. Lost a few fish.

A bright sunny day with no wind so I went down to Mickey Mouse a bit earlier. For a Bank Holiday Monday it wasn’t that busy, but there was someone at Peg 19 where I had fished on previous days. I slotted in to Peg 21, the spot where the chap on Saturday had had such a good day. I tried shallow-fished flake casting to the edge of the willow trees by the island, only about ten yards. I got a take every cast but couldn’t hit them. I managed after a while to hook a couple of small carp. I therefore changed tack and fished to a lily bed close to the near margin. I got some fiddly bites on luncheon meat and another small carp.

By this stage the family that was at Peg 19 had left, so I moved there. 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
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 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 (57)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Clear blue sky with little or no wind through morning. Cloud cover increased during afternoon although wind remained light SW until about 19.00, when it freshened.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 11½ft Hardy Avon Marksman, waggler, 6/8lb line, 12 hook.
10ft compact float 6lb line, pellet waggler, 16hook.
Baits: Bread flake, luncheon meat and floating biscuit.
Fish: Six carp, best 12lbs, two tench, best 3½lbs, a crucian and an ide.

After being outgunned on my 13ft multi-float rod on the last visit I had set up my new Hardy Avon Specimen rod that I bought last year at an offer price. It was its first outing. I had paired it with my Rapidex centre pin and 6lb line. First cast, using bread flake, resulted in a firm bite five minutes later and a fish rushed into the reeds, breaking me easily. The tackle upgrade obviously hadn’t worked. I then lost another fish that slipped the hook as I was trying to stop it getting into the reeds. Not a good start! Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (3)


Mirror 3lb 3oz

Mirror 3lb 3oz


The second evening I arrived a bit later, about 18.00 and again fished through to dusk (21.30). It was colder than the previous evening and although the breeze was again into the corner (I fished the same spot) I think it was chilling the water this time. The water temperature, while still warmish, didn't feel quite as high as the day before.

I again waggler fished bread flake and pre-baited with sweet corn, small pellets and rolled bread pellets, and continued to feed.

Things were slower this evening and I had to wait until about 18.30 for my first fish; a 1¼lb common carp. This was followed about half an hour later by a small tench of about 4oz; the only one this evening, which may have been because of the drop in water temperature.

Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (2)

I visited this fishery in July 2007, shortly after it opened. It was interesting to return two years later. The site is still very exposed but bank-side vegetation has increased and the swims have a more mature feel to them. On this occasion I had two evening sessions.

Mirror 1lb 12oz

Mirror 1lb 12oz


This first evening I arrived about 17.00 and fished through to dusk (21.30). The weather was better than in 2007. It started breezy but became calm towards late evening. There was a little light rain. The water temperature felt extremely warm, probably due to the exceptionally warm weather we had had the previous week.

I fished the same corner as in 2007, although noticed that the locals tended to fish on the opposite bank. However, the breeze was into my corner, which was technically an advantage. This time I waggler fished bread flake - I borrowed some maggots last time, and legered because of the wind. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (1)

While on holiday in Yorkshire in June/July 2007 I visited the Stake Hill Fishery, that was newly opened (in April) and offered good mixed fishing, albeit fish sizes were quite small. The lake was high on the dale in a nice setting but the weather was awful on the day, with a cold wind blowing and no sun; but it was dry. None the less, I battled on and didn't do too bad. Read Full Report...

Market Drayton (7)

A classic tench morning (08.00 to 09.15) and my last day at the lake.

Overnight rain had chilled the air and mist hung over the water.
Read Full Report...

Market Drayton (6)

Another morning session: 07.30 to 10.00

Lost a fish after about 30 seconds, probably a tench. Missed some other pulls on free line.

Ultimately landed a bream of about 1lb.

I returned in the evening (17.00 to 22.00), which was again warm and balmy. The first tench came quite quickly, a fish of 3lb. Read Full Report...

Market Drayton (5)

Evening session from 18.00 to 21.40

A change of tactics. I bought some luncheon meat and upgraded to 6lb line with an 8 hook.

The weather remained warm and still. Read Full Report...

Market Drayton (3)

Another evening visit, 17.00 to 21.00, as we were on holiday and went out during the day.

Used same approach as previous day, at the same spot. I noticed fish rising to discarded crusts so tried casting flake with a float and no shot.

First cast the float shot away and I made contact with a large fish. At first I thought it was a carp, but it turned out to be a 3lb 6oz tench landed after a tussle. Read Full Report...

Market Drayton (1)

After walking around the lake earlier in the afternoon I went down for the evening. I fished the first fishable swim on the far bank, the lake being generally overgrown.

I fished through marginal reeds with lily pads to the left. It was very shallow and coloured. It was a warm still evening. Read Full Report...

Fields End (54)

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 rod, free-line/controller float, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake/crust, luncheon meat and floating biscuit.
Fish: Ten carp, best 14½lbs, two tench, best 3lbs 14oz, a 2lbs crucian and a 1lb roach.

A really nice day. There wasn't a ripple throughout the morning and with only two other swims occupied it was very quiet. If only all fishing days could be like this.

I started with the 13ft float rod and luncheon meat, and at 07.40 landed a nice tench of 2lb 6oz. I had missed a couple of bites previously that I suspect were also tench. Soon after I had a close-up view of a reed bunting. I had to check the bird book to see what it was; a first sighting for me.

A couple of carp followed at 08.20 and 09.10; a linear mirror of 6lb 14oz and a mirror of 5lb 8oz. I then tried a crust/flake hook bait and at 09.30 landed a lovely 3lb 14oz tench. Read Full Report...

Fields End (51)

After freezing my what's its off in January, I waited until things warmed up a bit before making another trip to Fields End. The weather had recently shown a marked improvement, with March 14th, the last day of the river season, being really quite nice. By Tuesday 16th the wind has also relented; so I set off.

Linear mirror 9lb 12oz

Linear mirror 9lb 12oz


I got to the lake at 08.00. It was completely calm and there was nobody there. The forecast had been for a westerly / south-westerly breeze, which would blow right into the reed corner. None the less I went to this swim, as I had some good early spring success there last year.

I set up with my new 13ft Fishtec multi-float rod and a waggler with 4lb line. I started with bread and missed a few bites so switched to sweet corn. After a short while (at 08.50) I had a more positive bite and was into something good. A delicate tussle with the light tackle resulted in a linear mirror of 9¾lb. Read Full Report...

Fields End (47)

With a westerly wind forecast today I went for the west bank; the bush swim that is almost opposite the north end of the island. The day started bright and clear with hardly a breeze, but the wind came up during the day and was veering towards NW. Although I was out of the worst of it, it did cause an undertow that made light waggler fishing a bit difficult.

I started by trying a piece of bread fake free-lined down the margin. I had a pull on the line, but it wasn't a carp. I therefore switched to waggler and, after missing a bite, I hooked and landed a 2lb 10oz tench. It fought very well for its size. I was using my new 10 ft compact float rod. Read Full Report...

Fields End (46)

After losing so many fish in the reed swim I was true to my word and today I fished a spot half way along the east bank. I had fished there earlier in the year when I had arrived late and most of the pitches were occupied. On that occasion I caught some tench and got the carp feeding on the surface later in the day.

It was bright and overcast with a slight NE breeze. The spot I was in was very sheltered thanks to trees behind and a large bush right next to me. Read Full Report...

Fields End (44)

The weather forecast was for a NE wind turning to W later in the day. A difficult call, but I decided to fish on the west bank by the tree, where I hoped to get the crucians going first thing and then towards evening tempt the carp on the surface, as this spot is good for getting fish feeding off the top close-in.

It was bright with a few spots of early rain. Amazingly only two of us were on the lake for the first hour or so even though the caravan site seemed quite full. I arrived at 07.00 and fished a waggler on my new compact 10ft float rod; a little powerhouse designed for margin fishing, among other things. I had to wait until 08.15 for my first fish; a crucian of 1½lbs. By this time the NE wind had blown up and it was both chilly and difficult to fish with the waggler. I therefore moved to the reed swim. Before I moved, though, I had the rare opportunity to see a water vole in full view. It actually perched on the base of the fishing platform. Read Full Report...

Fields End (43)

After a bit of a break from Fields End I went with my neighbour's father, Mick, as he was up for the week. I had become a bit disillusioned with the lake because of the number of people, and the lack of peace and quiet as some of them communicated by shouting to each other from bank to bank. However, on this occasion things weren't too hectic and at no time did the lake get too crowded. It was a bright day but the wind was fresh and it got more intrusive as the day went on. It also rained heavily at one point.

I started in the reed swim and was soon landing a 2lb 6oz tench taken on free-lined bread flake. I missed a few 'pulls' and then lost what was almost certainly a carp in the reeds. Read Full Report...

Fields End (42)

After a week away in Yorkshire where I did a bit of fishing on a local lake, I went for an afternoon to Fields End. I didn't arrive until 15.15 and the place was packed. The new caravan park has increased the resident anglers and despite there being only about five cars in the car park, there were literally only a couple of places free around the lake. It was humid and there was a very light SW breeze that disappeared completely later in the afternoon, leaving us with a picture perfect late evening.

I settled into a spot on the east bank that I hadn't fished before. It was a platform that was awkward to get to as the bank was steep and there wasn't a lot of room to move. However, it was next to a row of small trees that separated me from the next swim and provided a good screen such that movements on the bank didn't disturb any fish in the margins. There was a small reed bed, but on plumbing it was quite shallow in the margin; probably not much more than a couple of feet. Undaunted I fed small pellets and bread flake pellets in before I tackled up. Read Full Report...

Fields End (41)

Mick, our neighbour's father, was visiting, and being a keen angler I invited him along. So we could keep together I suggested he fish at the opposite end of reed bed that forms part of my 'reed swim'. I knew he would get takes in the margin but warned him that he may lose fish. I fished a bit further along, next to a smaller reed bed; a spot I hadn't fished before. We arrived at 07.00. It was very warm (27ºC the previous day) with a light SE breeze.

He caught a small carp almost immediately and went on to have a good day, whereas my progress was slower. I baited with small pellets and bread flake balls and after losing a couple of fish on float fished flake, I started catching crucian carp; the lost fish were also probably crucians. I had 6 crucians between 9 and 10 o'clock, from about ¾lb to 1lb 14oz. Read Full Report...

Fields End (40)

A bit of a full week meant that I would have to use my only spare day (Tuesday) to go fishing, so as Monday turned out to be calm and warm I went over the lake for the afternoon, arriving at about 14.30.

Choices were limited as there were already quite a few people there, so I went in the reed swim as it was free, knowing full well that the risk of losing fish was high. The middle of the day is always slow so I wasn't surprised that I had to wait for any action. At about 15.30 I had my first good bite float fishing with flake. It felt like a good fish and ran out into the lake rather than into the reeds. However, it managed to slip the hook after about a minute; perhaps I was muscling it to much.

At 16.00 I got a good solid bite that proved to be a nice 2lb 14oz tench. 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 (38)

A bit of a mixed day.

An 07.00 start again and conditions were good; clear blue sky with a very light SW breeze that dropped completely at various times over the day. At the reed swim again.

As usual, I threw in some feed pellets and rolled-up bread balls while I was tackling up. Starting with a waggler and flake I caught a 2lb 6oz tench at around 08.30, lost a smaller one as it transferred my hook to the reeds and then lost a better fish that slipped the hook while pulling for the reeds. The early tench activity then subsided and I tried some surface fishing, but without any initial success.

Having failed to tempt the carp using floating pellet with a controller float I tried casting a pellet on a free line. This is not easy as there is little weight to help the cast, but the approach yielded two mirror carp, of 6lb 10oz and 6lb 2oz, between 10.00 and 11.00. Things then went quiet again. Read Full Report...

Fields End (37)

Another less than perfect day.

I started at 07.00 and conditions were good, with a light NE breeze that was at my back, making casting and line control reasonably easy. It was colder than it had been but by no means cold. At the reed swim again.

I threw in some feed pellets and rolled-up bread balls while I was tackling up. Starting with a waggler and flake I didn't have any quick positive 'carp' bites. Striking on some less positive bites I felt a couple of fish, and brought back a large fish scale, which suggests the carp were brushing against the line rather than feeding. I hooked a fish just after 08.00 but lost it in the reeds. I had changed from centre pin to my old Mitchell 301 (using 8lb main and 6lb hook length) and the clutch was set too loose. At 08.45 I landed my first fish - a 2lb 10oz tench on float-fished flake. Read Full Report...

Fields End (34)

At last, a day with no wind. Overcast, a bit of drizzle at times and mild. Ideal really.

First cast produced a good solid bite on float-fished flake, a run for the reeds (I was in the reed swim again) and one lost hook! So the first big un got away.

Next cast a mirror of about 2lb, again on flake.

I switched to cheese, as this had worked for the tench a couple of visits ago. This time first fish was a 4½lb mirror, but shortly after a 3lb 6oz tench came to the net. I then lost another fish in the reeds. Another tench came a bit later, this time 2lb 12oz on float-fished flake. Read Full Report...

Fields End (33)

I shouldn't go fishing when there's a strong wind blowing, but as the wind doesn't seem to have let up over the past few weeks that criterion has been difficult to observe. Today was one of those days; it was bright, with light cloud but a strong westerly wind.

In the reed swim again, which to be honest isn't the easiest place to fish in strong wind. I opted for leger as this at least gave me reasonable control of the tackle. Read Full Report...

Fields End (31)


Tench 3lb 8oz

Tench 3lb 8oz


Back to the reed swim. A bright and chilly start (7ºC) with a southerly breeze.

Things again kicked off quickly with a 3½lb tench on float-fished flake. The tench always fight hard to get back into the reeds whereas some carp head out into the lake.

Twenty minutes later a 6lb common was taken using the same tactics.

Things then slowed down a bit so I went after a carp in the margins using floating crust, and was promptly broken.
Read Full Report...

Fields End (56)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Bright but with a fresh northerly breeze, which blew up during the morning. It was decidedly chilly. The breeze eased at midday and by 16.00 the sky had cleared and produced a ‘perfect’ evening.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 13ft multi-float, waggler, 4lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: One carp 11lb 4oz (a number lost), three tench, best 3lb 14oz, four crucians, best 2lbs 2oz, and roach 12oz.

After the previous week’s phenomenal day, today was never going to measure up. It didn’t start well, as five minutes after casting I lost a fish in the reeds. As the float went under it was heading for the reeds and the fish was probably already there before I struck. Half an hour later I lost another fish; my mistake this time as I put much pressure on the rim of the centre pin. I was also missing bites, probably roach or crucians. Up to this point I had been on luncheon meat. Read Full Report...

Fields End (26)

After two cracking sessions I again went to the lake, this time for the afternoon only as I had to wait in for a delivery in the morning. I was surprised to get my 'Reed Swim' once again.

This time, however, there was a cold NW wind that turned around to a westerly during the afternoon, but remained cold. The wind was creating a circulating current in the lake that was apparent from the drift of the float and I can only guess that the cold surface water was being taken down by this current at the margins and discouraging the fish to feed, as things were very quiet. Read Full Report...

Fields End (17)

The wind was forecast south westerly, which meant blowing right into my favourite reed corner spot. I took the gamble, the lake being as calm as a mill-pond when I arrived. Also, wisdom has it that one should fish into the wind.

I quickly lost the first two fish in the reeds, then after catching 3 carp to 4¾ lb lost another two, one of which broke the line. An 8¾ lb fish was followed by four more between 6½ and 8lb 10oz during the afternoon, and a further fish was lost at the net (Common, about 6lb). I was then comprehensibly smashed by a very large fish that nearly pulled the rod out of my hand, having taken a piece of luncheon meat only about 5 yards from the rod top. The evening was finished off with four more carp and a beautifully conditioned tench, culminating in the best fish of the day, a 13lb 10oz mirror. 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 (14)

After a follow-up trip to the Dentist I went over the lake, getting there about 14.30 pm. There was a stiff SW breeze and all the good spots on the sheltered west bank were taken.

I therefore went to the swim in the north-east corner (the reed swim), the first one I ever fished on the lake. It's between reed beds so is a bit tricky. I used my heavier rod and 10lb line. The wind made it difficult to free-line but I persevered with luncheon meat cast along the left reed bed. Read Full Report...

Fields End (11)

Another afternoon visit. Arrived at noon and only four people on the lake. It had been raining and still threatened more rain, which probably kept people away.

Went to the tree swim again, although the light (and cold) north easterly wind was blowing right in my face; which was even more unpleasant when it rained later in the afternoon.

Fished the margin again and was soon getting bites. These proved to be tench but I was missing so many! I lost one fish (hook hold failed) and 'felt' a few others, but managed to land three tench during the day. Only the last one was weighed at 3lb 4oz although the first two were probably between 2lb and 3lb. All were taken on bread flake. Read Full Report...

Fields End (9)

I was off for the day because of a doctor's appointment in the morning so I decided to go to the lake in the afternoon. First trip of 2008. I arrived about 11.30 to find it very busy. Only about three of the prepared swims were available. It was a warm day with a light wind.

My favourite spots were, of course, already occupied so I went to the far side and slotted in between two other chaps, although I had a tree to my right so I was far from 'crowded in'. The swim was somewhat featureless and my neighbours were casting far out into the lake. I stuck to my 'margin fishing' principles and dropped a loose-lined bread bait out a few yards; to my right, in front of the tree between me and the next chap. Read Full Report...

Fields End (4)

Well, I remembered the camera this time!

The weather was perfect but the day started slowly. Apparently there had been a match on the Sunday and a lot of bait was thrown in, leaving the fish rather full.

I fished the same swim as on the 19th. Takes were poor around the lake and I think I did as well as, if not better than most people. I employed free lining throughout the day but varied both bait and approach to get results: some bottom fishing and some floating bait. While I didn't match the biggest fish of my earlier visit numbers were up (all fish were weighed): Read Full Report...

Fields End (1)

Tench

Swim

I tried a new lake today: Fields End near Doddington. It's only a 25 minute bike ride from Chatteris so I went armed with one rod, a landing net and a small selection of terminal tackle. Oh, and a small fresh loaf for bait.

Largish fish were 'plopping' everywhere so I tried floating crust with no float, no weight: I just wet it for weight and cast carefully.

Bingo - a largish carp on second cast. It headed for open water but in my enthusiasm I brought it in too quickly. It promptly embedded itself in the bull rushes and with light tackle I was doomed to lose it: and I did. 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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