Airfield Lake Time

It’s that time of the year again, for me to get back on the Airfield lake, its been open for two weeks, but as it fishes hard, because the carp feeding on naturals, I stuck with Meadow lake for a couple more trips, the 40mph plus wind’s help me disided as well, being very open here.


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Trip 6 Carp Fishing – 2023

I’m back out after spending a week at home on 3 x 500mgs of antibiotics each day! Hopefully, this has finally kicked into touch my never end bouts of illness, I’m not 100%, but I feel 80% better than I was on my last trip.

I checked in with Ian on Tuesday about the weather and where would be a favorable area. With the wind blowing from the Northerly direction and the lack of sunshine, which would, unfortunately, vanish after the first day. We came up with a fair few options, and with not much coming out over the past few days, it didn’t look brilliant. The daylight hours are getting closer to 12 hours, I feel this is the magic moment for the carp, when they really start waking up and getting their heads down.

I arrived just before 1pm, I had to look after the youngest in the morning as it was yet another teachers’ strike. I was very surprised to find only one person here. I’d also been told about a carp coming out, the previous night, in an area we fancied. I quickly put a couple of buckets in these two swims as Ian was due to arrive at 1pm and then headed back to the car park, only to find Ian walking towards me. Perfect timing.

We had a good look about and the number one choice of areas was looking perfect.

I’d fished this swim twice this year, and it had produced 1 fish for me. I knew exactly where I would place my baits, quickly got my free offering out there, slowly set up camp, and sorted the rods.

Food was soon on the go, Ian was on the wine and cooking up his dinner, we sat in my swim watching the sunset.

It was certainly looking beautiful out there, I’m starting to quite like this swim. I’ve worked out the best spot to position my bivvy, as I have an issue with looking at people across the lake.

I was next door having a chat and my right rod burst into life. I paused at first, then realized it was my receiver going off. I quickly rushed into my swim, picked the rod up, as it was belting off and slowly pumped the carp into the waiting Nsr50. There was a close call with the overhanging trees to my right when the carp rolled off the end and nearly got under them, but I was quite quick to react and guided the fish over the cord.

29lb 7oz Common. Absolutely overjoyed with that result and can’t believe it. What a way to start a session! We can only hope it continues.

There was no frost that I’m aware of this morning, I was up around 6 a.m. The sun finally started hitting my swims at 0730. There was no more action for me over the dark hours, I’m not sure about Ian at the moment or anyone else. There’s cloud drifting across from the North, so I’m not sure how much sunshine we will get today or how many anglers will arrive, as it’s the Big One Carp show at Farnborough this weekend. I’m hoping that it will keep people away from the lakes.

Today turned from warm sunshine into overcast and cloudy, and that wind was extremely chilly. Plus, there is the prospect of it turning very cold next week. I’m hoping these carp feel like have a munch.

I topped up the swim just before noon, and then Ian and I had a walk around the lake. It turned out, I was the only one to catch, let’s hope that it isn’t a sign of the next few nights to come. I don’t think so.

Grey skies and no sunset tonight, weber cooking tea in the bivvy door to keep me warm.

I was hidden away in the bivvy by 1845, as there was a gentle breeze blowing. Hopefully, that will not put the carp off, and my rod’s rattle off again tonight.

The night was dead silent, and no carp were caught. The ducks came to visit for their morning snack. The wind was a lot lighter and didn’t feel so cold today, unfortunately, no sunshine. I slept in until 0930 as I had been up listening out for carp a couple of times in the night. We can only hope that something has a feed later on today or overnight.

I’m convinced I heard carp topping last night, which would produce me a bite, but alas dawn arrived, with still silent buzzers. There certainly were a few more signs of spring about.

With a few hours left, you just never know in these types of conditions, when or if it will rattle off. I’m due home around 1030-1100 o’clock, so there’s still time for a lucky second carp.

The next time I’m out is likely to be the following week, and I have the choice of Meadow or Airfield Lake to fish. I’m pretty keen on the Airfield, but it’s hard going as those carp are stuck back on the natural food supply as they have not seen any anglers since last October. I just need to put some thought into whether I start on there straight away or wait until Meadow closes.

Your guess is as good as mine. With the imminent changing of the clocks also getting closer and Spring is knocking on the door. We shall see.

Until then






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Autumn on the Airfield lake Part 3

Things were certainly all coming together as they sometimes do with fishing, the momentum just keeps building. We both couldn’t make the second to last weekend, due to family stuff and weren’t sure if both of us could make the last weekend at the end of October. So, we just treated each trip as our last one.

I wasn’t due to arrive until Friday morning, but with the carp coming out mostly at night, it was worth setting up in the dark on Thursday evening. I couldn’t arrive any earlier due to family stuff going on this afternoon.

Ian had called earlier this morning and take the choice of the swim and after last week’s success, we felt it was worth another go in that area.


Just on dusk


My infrared light

My infrared light lights up the rods, but to be honest, it’s more about lightning up the steps down into the lake as I get older!

I was halfway through setting up and Ian’s left-hand rod was away with the first fish of the trip and hopefully not the last. The fight was slow and steady and a lovely Common slipped into the net.



He was pleased with that and it filled us both with hope for the coming few nights.

Just before 1am, I woke to a big splash in the margins. I poked my head out the bivvy door and yep sure enough Ian was into a nice carp, I did the netting.



I lovely 30 lber it was as well. He was over the moon, as  Airfield 30’s can be a bit hard to find some years.

I was sitting on his bucket chatting and sorting out the photography and my right-hand rod was away! I was very mindful of the overhanging branches that got me last week, along with the underwater snag. I soon had the carp in the margins, then all I had to do was simply played the carp out and slip it into the net when it was ready.


20lb 5oz

Perfect start, I was still buzzing from Ian having a 30 and I  had just landed my first trip of the session.

Another PVA bag was done, I flicked it back out there and thought I better try and get some sleep, as you never know.


I woke to a screaming run at 0845. I must have finally fallen asleep last night but it was gone past 3am I know that. The carp was on a real mission to my right and probably rolled on the surface in front of the swim Ian fished last week, I coaxed it along the margins and into the weighing net.


16lb 11oz

Perfect, two carp within the first 12 hours.

We both baited up around 11 o’clock with a few more kilos of Classic Corn and Catalyst boilies, and stuck new hook baits on for the coming afternoon and evening.

I’m using my normal Ronnie rig set up with a 20mm wafter, a short hooklink conjunction with a Pva bag filled with 6mm Catalyst pellets. These have been soaking in Spotted Fin food dip for a few weeks. I very much like to prep my boilies and pellets, a couple of weeks in advance and start the next batch going on the day I get back from each session.


Cloudy afternoon

The day passed by with a couple of glasses of wine and some brie on the Weber.


It was all very peaceful on the carp front, we were hoping for a later afternoon/early evening take.


As the sun was setting, it was looking like we were out of luck. I was out and about taking photographs of the moon rising.


Along with the fantastic cloud formations when Ian’s right-hand rod burst into life.


That will do, a nice 8pm take, when we are both up and about. The fish was definitely on a mission to the right and no doubt towards those overhanging trees to my right. We thought that it had avoided my lines, until it ran back towards Ian under my lines that it had gone over. Joy!

I loosened off my line and netted the carp. We quickly got it in the sling and put it in the lake, the last thing we needed was one of my rod’s going off. Once the tangled lines were sorted out, we got the carp on the scales.


22lb 12oz

That’s no bad going, 2 x 20s and a 30lber all before 8pm on the second night! Ian was well-chuffed.

Just after 1 am, Ian was on again. I arrived just in time to do the net duties and he slipped yet another stonking carp over the cord.


Weightlifting time!


26lb 8oz

He is having a fantastic session and I’m glad to be on the net and doing the photos. This to me is just as enjoyable as catching the fish yourself. Somehow the moment filters across.



Around 11pm Ian had this lovely Common on the repositioned left-hand rod.

I was up about doing some filming when Ian was away again! I was able to film him playing the carp and landing it. It very nearly got into the overhanging trees along his left margins, the ends of the branches where twitching away as he guided the carp under them. With his rod well under the water, it eventually slipped into the net.



His rod was out again and the coffee was made. We sat in the sunshine in Ian’s swim talking about the possibility of him catching fish no 7. This will be his best session with the number of carp and definitely with the size of fish he had been catching.

The same rod was away again, he was into fish no7.


In again!

This was brilliant. After a pretty straightforward battle, involving me picking up his other rod and holding it in the air until the carp was safely in the margins. I did joke that he didn’t need two rods as all the takes had come on the same rod.


Get in there

Fish no 7 is been landed and it’s a beauty.


Thank you



This is really turning into a red letter day trip for him and with another 24 hours to go, he could easily get 10 carp.

We had breakfast at around 11pm, along with another brew. The time was coming up to around 1230 and we were thinking about when to start spombing the last of the bait out (after Ian’s success last night), when my left-hand rod was away!


Into a fish

The fish was on the surface rolling about on the surface about 60 yards out and it continued to do this all the way in until it got closer to the net and then, just went down. It stayed there for some time, I was even hopeful this was going to be a nice lump, but you really can’t tell with the big tails these carp have.


Guiding it in

Once in the net, it did look good and after lifting out of the water and carrying it to the mat, I was feeling confident.




30lb 12oz

I was overjoyed with another 30-plus carp from the Airfield Lake. I generally aim for 1 a season, I now was on to number 3, I just can’t believe my luck this month.


As the sun was setting and in the fading light of the day, we are full of expectations for the coming 12 hours. It would be extremely nice if Ian can make the number 10 carp, plus if I can bag at least one more, this would also be nice. We shall just have to wait and see. We have topped up the swim, and redone the rigs, we can only hope. We are due another clear night and the pressure is slowly rising, but it’s mid-October and they need to feed.

The first take of the night, came to my left-hand rod, just before 10pm and this fish wasn’t giving up very easily. It was also extremely interested in my margins to my right, but slowly and surely I gained ground and it was in the net.



I didn’t weigh the carp but estimated it at about 12lber. You wouldn’t have thought that it could have that much power, it certainly goes to show you that you can’t always tell the size until you get them into the net.

The fish was soon back in the lake, with my rod cast back out with another fresh Classic Corn wafter on.

At 1130 pm, the same rod was away again. I was still wide awake and quickly out to grab the rod. This one was just running out, further into the open water. I was even considering slowing down, by now I normally have started to walk backward, gently coaxing them straight into my swim. I do my best to avoid them kitting right or left, but this fish was having none of that. Eventually, it started coming my way, once under the rod tip it made a few lunges and took a lot of line at one point, always heading back out into the lake and off to my right, but I gained control again and soon had it in the net.




23lb 10oz

That will certainly do me. It was definitely getting colder tonight and Ian was quickly off to the warmth of his sleeping bag. I soon had the rod back out and was pleased to get back in my bag.

By 3 am, Ian had landed another 2 carp, 8lber, and a 16lber. Unfortunately, no photographs as he was feeling the cold from the northwest winds and the rolling mist. He now had had 9 carp and just 1 more to make double figures. After the last two nights, there’s a good chance that he would manage this, fingers crossed for the next bite.

It’s 0550 and Ian’s done it! He has landed fish No10 and it’s another 20lber to this list.


20lb 15oz

Perfect, what more could you ask for from this session? It’s truly been amazing on all counts. We have around 5 hours left to go and then it’s home time. After the last two years of disappointing October sessions, we can’t complain about it this year.



It’s another lovely misty morning and I am sure the sun will be poking its head above the trees very soon. I have a coffee on the go and I’m still in the bag, watching the water and just enjoying the moment. Fishing is such a magical experience.

I was halfway through packing up and the left-hand rod rattled off. The fight was just perfect, all under the rod tip in the margins, and slipped perfectly into the net.




28lb 4oz

What a way to finish off this session! We both couldn’t have wanted for more – brilliant company, great food & drink and best of all, a good number of carp landed.

Until next time


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Fantastic rainbow after the storm, this afternoon.

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Few night’s

I’m back on Meadow Lake after looking around the Airfield Lake and not feeling the love yet.

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Talking Carp Magazine

Welcome to Issue 85 of Talking Carp Magazine

This is the last part of my brilliant session on the Airfield lake, perfectly timed with it opening for another season.

I’m hoping for even better results than last year, but in reality, you can never tell how the carp will behave because the carp revert back to naturals, and after it is closed for nearly 5 months, each new season is completely different from the last one.

This is yet another reason why I love fishing it, a new beginning each year, can for some be hard to get your head around, but I simply love it.

Enjoy the read


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Active Pellets

*** Spotted Fin Product Launch ***
The new active pellets in Classic Corn and Catalyst from Spotted Fin. These 8mm pellets are made with an ultra sweet coating and then sprayed with yeasts, attractors, hemp particles and other juicy carp attractiveness.
In action they leak off these particles and the sweet liquid coating into the water column sending signals far and wide to attract fish into your swim. You definitely need these in your bait bag to give you an edge in your fishing. These pellets are truly active in the sense that they are visibly leeching off these particles while they are submerged in water.
These are shipping to shops now so don’t delay and get your your fishing edge now! Learn more here

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Trip 5 Carp Fishing – 2023

The wife and kids are in Ireland to visit family, so I have the opportunity for a few nights fishing. Unfortunately, the ever lasting cough has reared its ugly head again since my last trip out. My youngest was also starting to show signs of her having it before I headed off last week. I was hoping to avoid it, but alas, it’s back, I’m still planning to come this week. I’m hoping it’s on its way out and once I’m pitched up, I can just relax and rest. Plus the weather has turned a lot warmer and a lot more favorable over the coming days.

I was hoping to fish the same swim as before, but margin fishing when you are coughing like I am isn’t going to catch carp. I felt a bit sorry for the other anglers on the lake, as there were quite a few, 6 or 7 of us.

I was now looking for a swim that gave me a good 16 wrap out away from the coughing lunatic that I must be, coming out fishing.

I had a quick walk about, The Gap Swim was free, it was the ideal opportunity to be able to cast as far as I wished and avoid spooking the carp. It probably doesn’t, but it’s about how confident you feel and as I had the opportunity to stay 5 nights, this swim gave me access to a lot of water and plenty of different spots to fish.

No one had seen anything show, but a couple had come out over the weekend, and with any luck, they must be on the move sometime soon.

My plan was quite simple this trip – find the perfect spot, put 10 spombs of bait over each area and fish a couple of 12mm pops over the top. I needed to do this, as I couldn’t make things too hard, and moving swim wasn’t an option. Unless, I suddenly felt better, which would be nice, but I doubt it would happen, as I just can’t get rid of it fully and it just creeps back.

Ian is due tomorrow, and hopefully, he will be able to pitch up nearby, and we can have the first social of 2023.

The afternoon was all gone too quickly, tea was eaten and the light rain arrived.

My night shot with the estate house in the distance and the glowing town way in the distance. It does make for a cracking photo, albeit it no doubt will get megapixels reduced and not look as good on my website as it does on my phone.

We shall have to see what the dark hours brings in the way of carp and coughing fits.

The first night brought a few coughing issues, but a lot better than I thought. The main issue was a cramp in my calf muscle at some point. It involved somehow getting my leg out of the sleeping bag without bending it (not easy), wow it was painful, and then trying to walk it off in the rain. I was laughing at one point to myself, thinking if anyone could see me doing this at the same time having a coughing fit. It reminded me of the time that I got a cramp when I used to have my own allotment and as I was putting on my wellies in a very wet flooded car. Cramp set in and I was hopping on one leg in the puddles in great pain and just couldn’t get the other wellie on. Luckily it was early morning and yet again no one spotted me!

Back to the fishing. It was all quiet on the carp front, and I didn’t hear anything all night, despite being up a few times.

Hopefully, things will start to pick up as the next few days progress. Around 1 p.m, the blue sky and the odd bit of sunshine were starting to appear, short-lived. In the past 2 hours, I had spotted 3 carp out in front of me. This was really nice to see, giving me those little signs that they are on the move and every chance they will be on the feed.

I ended up baiting up at around 2 pm, I stuck out a few more spombs and switched around my hook baits. Ian arrived about this time and set up on the swim next door to me, so we can have a good chat over the next few days.

Tea was on the Weber at 4 pm, because I like to eat in daylight hours, you do spend a lot of time in the bivvy, it’s nice to get out in the open air.

With the food tasting great and the sun setting over the lake, it was only just past 6pm. The nights are certainly drawing out, bring on Spring. 

The night was a bit rough, with wind, geese, and me coughing. I’m not sure how much sleep I actually got, but I don’t think I would have been any better sitting at home by myself, wishing I was down the lake in these mild conditions. Ian was baiting up, along with a couple of new arrivals I thought it best that I get it over with quite early today. I was pretty much done by 12am and in time for some lunch, I would put on fresh hook baits later this afternoon/early evening.

I’d put out a few more Impact Particles along with my mixture of pellets, 12mm Catalyst Boilies, and flaked maize. All had been soaked in Spotted Fin Catalyst Syrup for the past few months. I am slowly building up the swim over the nights I’m here and as the conditions improve daily.

I feel it’s only a matter of time before they get their heads down and start moving more into the open water spots.

There’s still a bit of pressure on the water; 8 anglers fished last night, 3 have now gone home, but I’m sure the weekend boys will be about later this afternoon. I believe this will help to also get the carp motivated and on the move.

Another blank night passed, my cough was horrendous last night, I’m going to have to seriously consider my options today and work out if I’m better off being at home. Currently, I don’t think so.

The other thing is that I’m not giving a 100% to the fishing, which isn’t going to help me catch anything. There’s a fine line between going through the motions. However, as I’ve written about before, it’s not always about fishing, it can be about the benefits of being here, and that’s what this trip is probably more about.

I came to the conclusion that I might as well stay the fourth night, but the fifth could be one too many. I’m not fishing next week as the wife is away for the weekend, which brings me into March and even closer to getting back on the Airfield Lake.

With this spectacular view, I’m not sure if I will be straight on there when it opens this year or hold out until April. We shall just have to see how it works itself out.

With a sunny day on the horizon and a diabolical night’s sleep, I use the word “sleep” but it feels like I was awake most of the night. Along with the geese, more in the swing with the spring activities than the previous night. I think it would seriously be stupid to continue fishing for the last 24 hours available to me.

Some friends made a return visit, and at about 0830 a bream paid me a visit as well.

It was all happening this morning, I hung around until 1230, but that was the only action in 4 nights of fishing.

It was an absolutely brilliant sunny day to pack up and despite the coughing, it was lovely to be out for a few nights in the warmer weather. There were a few fish caught around the lake, so there was really every chance of a bite.

Until next time.






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Happy ST. Patricks Day

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all Irish followers.

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On The Bank Again

Last roll of the dice on Meadow Lake this year, conditions are looking perfect.


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