Looking Back Over 2020 Part 6 of 6
Welcome back to my looking back over 2020 feature as part of my Podcast series and will feature multiple trip in one long podcast, from pike to carp fishing and easy lakes, to the big water I love to fish so much.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 71 Hours
I still have the chance to get out early doors on a Thursday. I arrived at the lake just before 9 am, this was quite handy as most of the anglers were having a chat before they headed off to work. This gave me the opportunity to have a chat and watching the lake in the area I was thinking of going. A nice new fresh wind was blowing across the lake, the down side was, it was from the north east, but it just felt right. When the wind blew on my past few sessions, I had great success.
Ian arrived after having a drive around and was happy with my swim selection. We set about getting some bait out into the lake and getting our pitches sorted.
My first take happened just after 1630 and was probably a heavy liner, this certainly meant that fish were in the area. The second take happened just before 2 in the morning on the right hand rod, it was quite well behaved and slipped into the Nsr perfectly.
15lb 9oz Common
Lovely start to the trip. With the rod back on the spot it was time to get my head down.
I was up pretty early and watched the sun coming up over the forest for another sunny day. The north east had been blowing most of the night and I’m hopeful for another bite before bait time is over. The pressure is due to drop over the next 24 hours and I’m hoping that the carp come on the feed a bit more.
I had to wait until just after 9 pm before my next take. These carp are certainly like the darker hours at the moment. It was nice to have another fish put up a straight forward battle, with no real issues – other than playing it out in the margins.
21lb 15oz Common
What a peach of a fish!
My next take happened just after dawn and charged off out into the lake, I managed to get it under control and halfway back – the hook pulled. DOH!
The morning passed by with no action. I re-did my hook baits mid afternoon, got some soup on the go and settled down to an afternoon watching the water.
My next take happened just after 3 pm and shoot across the lake out into the middle of the lake. I slowly guided the fish back to the waiting Nsr50.
14lb 15oz Common
Middle of the day take, absolutely brilliant, you just never can tell.
I quickly sorted out the rod, got the bait back out onto the spot, and sat and had a brew with Ian.
The night passed with not a single bleep for me, which was odd as the action had picked up nicely yesterday but that’s fishing and its early pack up for me.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 71 Hours
This week’s trip could go one of two ways with the weather, as its going to change dramatically. The pressure has fallen way down to below 997mb and the lovely warm south westerly is going to turn into a cold north easterly. The wind is going to pick up and the sun will be shining.
I’ve pitched up with the SW wind in my face, this will mean the cold northerlies will be from behind me and I will be on the sunny/warmer bank. However, with the openness of this part of the lake, it could all go wrong, but I feel the southerly winds will have pushed them over here. It has often done this in the past with some cracking results.
The left hand rod burst into life just after 1830 with a lovely but small Airfield Lake common carp.
You definitely can’t dictate what picks up your bait, but it would be nice at some point in time to get a real lump!
I rebaited the rod and got it back on the spot. This was a good time to have some noodles.
The second take of the session, was in the middle of the night, to the same rod and the fight was pretty straight forward again. The ease of landing these fish, I’m putting down to, I’m now wearing chest waders, instead of thigh wader and the ability to get out into the lake further.
15lb 9oz Common
Now that’s a lot bigger and hopefully will stay that way. Possibly double in size!
I was up early watching the lake and spotted a couple of fish. It wasn’t until 10 am that the left rod was away again. I was into a nice steady take with definitely a better fish. It slowly plodded off to my right, I waded out past the tree and slowly pumped the fish towards the nets.
Nice action shot just moments before the hook pulled out! Joy. I am not a happy camper. But, this is what the lake is all about and we will carry on trying. It would be nice to get another daylight take and with Ian around for a brew, it was perfect timing for some action shots. The rod was soon back out there.
I topped up the swim after lunchtime, I popped over to Ian’s swim for a bite to eat and a few glasses. I headed back at just after 1600 and got the rods back out. I settled down to watch the lake until it was dark.
It was one of those quiet nights, with not a single bleep and not a fish crashed. I was awake a fair bit after falling asleep way too early; the stars are absolutely wonderful this time of the year. The sky was perfectly clear and the lake was flat calm. The NW wind picked up just after 0830, which is good conditions for this bank – just need the carp to think that.
The question today is freebies – put more out or just leave alone? Tricky choices and one of the hardest decisions an anglers has to make. I love my bait and on here you need to stop and hold the shoal when it arrives. There has been no action since my last take and having topped the swim up again yesterday afternoon. I believe its best to leave well alone.
It was yet another blank night which I was shocked about, the fish should have accustomed themselves to the big weather condition change and they were clearly more active last night, but not happy to pick up baits.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 53 Hours
With the prospects of a good blow coming from the south west, I’ve managed to get down the lake Wednesday morning, with a good deal of effort on my part with work and the family being happy to accommodate my request to go a day earlier than normal, unfortunately no Ian this weekend, as he is resting his shoulder after to much spombing last week and a incident with a hill and a wheelbarrow the other month.
My choice of swim, was completely down to the wind direction and I needed to be in the south west corner or at least near by, I looked in the three swim out on the island and the far one was just to exposed and the one I fished last weekend looked very appetising, but after seeing a couple of fish stick there heads out in the bar to the right of where Ian fished last week and then a big crash out, directly in front of the swim, my disistion was quickly made, the wind swinging around to the North east will certainly make it a cold swim on Friday, which is why I quit fancied my swim from last week, but I couldn’t ignore the carp, I now its not far away from the other swim, but a few yards can make a difference sometimes.
I baited the area we normal fish and then set about finding a perfect spot away from the baited area to put my second rod, in an attempt to avoid to many smaller fish, as I’m sure they will be about as well.
The first take came completely out of the blue at just after noon time, the rod tip gave a couple of knocks and then ripped off, with a not so happy Airfield lake carp on, which was off down towards the right hand margin, I quickly waded out and applied some more pressure, but not to much and it then wiped back out into the open water and was going for the left hand margins, I gave it some line until it was past my other rod and not much chance of it getting to the right hand snags and then, kept the rod tip as high as I could to avoid the boulders in the shallower area to my left and slowly pumped the carp into the Nsr 50.
14lb 15oz Common
Very pleased with myself and so early in the session.
With the rod back on the spot it was time for lunch and the first brew of the trip.
After having another two takes in the afternoon, where I pulled into thin air, which is another thing to contend with on this lake, the night pasted with out a single bleep, the ran and wind faded away to a flat calm silent night , with a stunning full moon.
The morning was absolutely gorgeous, with a gentle glow of sunshine over the forest.
After the action yesterday late morning, earlier afternoon I disided that I would get some bait out first thing this morning and re fresh the baits, just as a change of approach and with the wind due to pick up again over the morning, unfortunately no rain, however definitely worth a try.
Just after 1230 the right rod was away and into a carp, it was off to the right margins as normal, but I was soon into the lake up to my waste and the fish was now heading left and I gave it some line as normal, so it would continue on its way and then I could gain control again and bring it safely in to the Nsr50.
14 lb 13oz Common
Another one to the list of Airfield Lake carp this year.
I quickly got the rod back out and continued to get my Chicken Korma and rice ready.
The afternoon was very pleasant, but with no more action. I settled down for the night and the prospect of an eastly wind arriving soon with a good bit of rain over night. I will see how things develop, but I feel an early pack up coming on Friday afternoon. More rain is due Saturday. I just don’t think the carp will like such a dramatic change in the weather (nor the fisherman says the editor!). The pressure will be good but the drop on temperatures and cold winds will push them away from here, I’m sure.
The next carp was just before 2300 hours, I was fast asleep and totally zoned out. This made for an entertaining few minutes; I managed to pick the other rod up with all sorts of fun dealing with that, a tree got in the way and sometimes you can’t believe you ended up with the carp in the net and on other times the hook just pulls out.
19lb 3oz Common
This is a beauty. With the snaps done, it was time to sort out both rods, in the rain (I forgot to mention the rain had also arrived).
This was the only bite of the night and maybe this was a good thing. The rain was monsoon like. Despite my best efforts, I never put my coat on when I get a take in the rain, probably because it doesn’t happen that often. I can’t get into the process of putting one on before I get out the bivvy!
I was up earlier – no surprise really, as the wind and rain were still going strong. I made the effort to get some more bait out and fresh hook baits on. This is in the hope of repeating yesterday’s day time take.
The sun is due out later and I need to decide if I fancy packing up in a monsoon tomorrow morning (I need to be home early) or do I just head home this afternoon? The last option is feeling quite appealing. I will check on the weather at noon (after the morning updates) and make the decision then.
I’m going to head home today and spend the whole weekend with the family, this will be nice for us. I’ve been fishing very hard recently. I’ve done 2 nights and had a few and there is still a couple of trips to go on the Airfield Lake before it closes at the end of October. Then it will be time to move on my winter venue. This year I’m getting the feeling it will be a harsh one, the storms have started earlier than recent years and the trees and bushes are plentiful of berries.
I’m going to stick it out here until 1400 hours for a chance of another bite. Then there will (hopefully) be a break in the weather and a tiny prospect of some sunshine, which would be a help.
Now, that was a full on 30 minutes! I had two takes in quick succession and luckily for me the first one was no real dramatic fight, just very straight forward and into the Nsr50. With a few snaps and a quick video, it was back in the water. Only just got the wraps done on the first rod before the other one ripped off!
19lb 4oz Common
17lb 4oz Common
This was the first of the two bites. These takes happened after the monsoon past. I’ve looked at the weather and it definitely makes sense to go home before the heavy stuff arrives later today and it carries on until Sunday sometime.
As it’s only just after 11am, there could well be another chance of a carp and just maybe that bigger one, fingers crossed!
My next take slowly pulled off line as the carp headed off towards the island. I slowly slowed it down and convinced it that it was best not to go down the right hand margins but back out into open water and head left. This was a lot better for me to play out the fish and into the Nsr50.
29lb 6oz Common
What a belter and worth the wait! I’m not going to be greedy and wish for something bigger or even stay another night. The family were good enough to let me go a day earlier; it’s only fair, I’ve done so well.
Then out of the blue (as I was packing up about 1330), the left rod was away and attached to a very unhappy carp. It was clearly was not going to stop heading for those margins to my right. I pulled and stuck the tip way down, but the carp just knew what it needed to do and it found the snags. I wasn’t beaten yet. I put the rod on the rest and maintained the pressure, but loosen the clutch enough for it to take line if needed. Meanwhile, I headed off through the trees and into the margins to my right, in an attempt to spook the carp out. I knew there is a very deep hole under a particular tree and there was no other way round it other than going for a dip! Not for me thanks. The buzzers kept sounding out the odd time, so I was convinced the fish was still on. I did more stomping about up to my waist, it buzzed a lots more so I quickly ran back through the under growth and picked the rod up. I sunk the rod tip again and applied pressure. The carp rolled just at the end of the bush and I just held on. It slowly worked its way free and into open water and straight into the Nsr50.
15lb 11oz Common
This has certainly turned into one of those memorable sessions.
Better get them bags packed, into the car and get myself home.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 72 Hours
For this week, we’ve decided to head back over the others side of the lake and fish on the side of the wind. It’s due to swing around to the north west and hopefully it’ll drag some of the carp out of the sanctuary area into the main body of the lake. The only flaw in our plan could be the big south westerly that is due to pick up a blow all night long, it should swing to the NW by noontime. As long as the carp haven’t been pushed into the opposite side of the lake and decide to stay. The weather front did come with a lot of rain and I’ve found that the carp don’t like this on here. So, I’m hoping they stay in the sanctuary until this afternoon and then my swim will have settled down after the 5 kilo of bait I stuck out.
Ian had pitch up to the right of me, unfortunately he arrived just before the last of the rain pushed through, he was lucky and got his bivvy up before it started to rain.
It was a bleep free in my swim all night, the lake had been flat calm and starry. I did hear the odd fish crashing about. The pressure had gone up considerably and I felt that I needed the wind back, a spot of rain would help. This was forecast to happen later on this afternoon; it was going to be sunny and clear sky’s until then. This was not giving me much confidence for a morning take, but as we’ve not fished in October before, you can’t really tell how the season change has effected them. I didn’t fish this lake last year at this time of year, as I had moved off way before now to the Meadow Lake.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve felt that daylight takes were more possible, fingers crossed for one this morning.
I changed over to fresh hook baits just after 11am as there was a couple of hours worth of rain coming. I felt there could be a chance of a take after it had passed, I would then bait up for the night. The rain arrived just after 1pm and slowed down just after 3pm. My first take happened just after 3.30 to my left hand rod and after a straight forward fight (this swim is so much easier than last weeks), the carp was in the net.
20lb 15oz Common
Perfect start and with the snaps done, its was soon back in the lake. With a fresh bait on, it was the perfect time to top the swim up with more bait.
The second take was well into dark at 21.45, the right rod ripped off with another lovely looking Airfield Common.
23lb 14oz Common
Lucky for me it was another straight forward fight into the Nsr50. With the snaps done, the fish was back home and the rod was back on the spot.
The next take was moments after I had typed the above paragraph! The left rod slowly pulled away out into open water and after some persuasion, it was coming my way. It had a close call with the line on the other rod, but I was soon playing the carp out under the rod tip and soon slipped it into the waiting net.
21lb 12oz Common
That was nice going and the rod was back out. It was time for a brew and then get my head down, that was it for the night and a lovely sunrise again over the forest with a mackerel sky.
A couple more anglers turned up this morning, which is nice to see and will help get the bait into the lake. The wind is from the NW today and it’s a gentle breeze but it’s overcast, which hopefully these conditions will bring a daytime take or two. I’m going to top up the swim just after lunchtime and hopefully produce another afternoon take.
The last night passed without a single bleep. I’m sitting waiting for another amazing sunrise over the forest and hoping for an early morning take. This would make it my 100th carp of the year. However, we haven’t had any morning takes this trip between Ian and myself, so I think it will be very unlikely, but you never know with this carp fishing game.
It will be good to pack up in the dry on a lovely sunny morning.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 67 Hours
With only a few weeks left of the season on the Airfield lake, I’m back down despite the North Easterly wind blowing across the lake. After standing at the windy end of the lake, I was soon at the other end. The sun was shining brightly here. After seeing a carp crashing out, it just had to be worth a go and by the time I had set up there had been a few more carp showing themselves, it just had to be the right area.
I spombed out my usual amount of bait, as the water temperature were still pretty high and then set about getting the baits on the spots. I was feeling pretty confident in my choice of swim and we shall see how the first night goes.
The night past with only a single bleep, there was a couple of carp crashing, this kept me on edge most of the night.
With a generous sunrise over the whole forest, there was a prospect of a sunny day. Hopefully the wind will pick up, otherwise it’s going to be hard going. I’ve put out 8 large spombs in the hope of drawing the carp in and get myself a take or two!
Another night down and still blanking.
I’m going to get my thinking hat on today. As I know, I’m not that far away from the carp. A fellow member has had a few from the corner of the island and I’m still hearing them at night. I just don’t think they moving towards me into the area where I’ve been very successful before.
After a lot of thought and spotting a couple of fish show further out, I decided that one rod need to be put out there. The next question was do I move the other rod off the baited spot, but before I could come to a conclusion, the baited spot rod pulled away into a steady take just after 1330 and I proceeded to play the fish into the Nsr50.
11lb 15oz Common
I was very relieved to still be continuing my none blanking spell and another carp was added to the list.
Now my decision was clearly made, I would leave a rod on the baited are and the other one was definitely being put out further.
I rebaited both rods and topped up the baited area with 6 spombs. I also stuck out a few boilies over the other rod.
It was yet another bleep free night and I felt that I had been lucky to catch the carp yesterday afternoon.
Location – School Lake
Hours Fished – 6 Hours
Didn’t think I would get out this week, but with a cancellation and pukka weather a quick trip to the school lake was in order (and well over due).
I arrived just after 11am and there were just 2 other anglers on the lake; one on the car park swims and the other up by the island. The wind was blowing hard on to the other bank when I walked down the car park side. I picked a swim that I could easily flick a bait across into the gaps between the pads and catapult a few Classic Corn boilies out. I put a CC wafter on one rod and a CC bottom bait on to the other one. I wasn’t going to cast too close to the far bank, otherwise it would be likely the carp would kite behind the pads and they hadn’t died back that much yet.
It got to about 14.30 and I was starting to wonder if this was going to turn into my first blank session for sometime. I had adjusted the positions of my hook baits and would stick it out until 1700 – I’d promised the kids I would have this week off fishing, my next trip was going to be five night and the last trip on the Airfield lake.
15.00 arrived, the person fishing near the island had packed up and I took the opportunity to move up there for the last few hours. I should have a bite by then.
I flicked both rods out on to the drop off and catapulted some 6mm Catalyst pellets with some broken boilies, as a quick attraction.
Isn’t it ironic? I pop down the School Lake to test my new buzzers on an easier lake after all that success over the winter months, I think I may just blank for the first time in ages. It was well over due, but I certainly didn’t think it would be today. It goes to show you how sometimes luck comes into play.
On my way back to the car, I spotted (around the other side of the island) a carp stuck its head out. As I really didn’t wish to blank, it was worth 45 minutes on the off chance I could bag one.
Well you can’t say I didn’t try, but yep it was a blank.
Location – School Lake
Hours Fished – 6 Hours
After my failure the other day I was back out on the School Lake but I was armed with completely different tactics. The forecast was showing chances of showers during the day.
I arrived a bit later than planned; due to the forgetting my barrow wheel. As I’m a lot more mobile on here (because of the way I fish), I just had to go home and collect it. When I arrived back, there was no one on the lake, I was sure there would be as its Friday. The carp where definitely more awake than when I arrived the first time and it was hard to choose the right area, I could easily get it wrong. I picked an area which gave me a good view of the lake, this always helps with this type of mobile fishing. There was a lot more rain about than I expected, maybe that will help.
For the last few hours, my back up option is to head for the back of the island where I spotted a nice fish the other day. I need to be back home by 3pm or just after, which will give me a few hours.
Just before 11am, I moved on to my second swim and I believe I spooked the carp out on my second rod cast. It clipped a bush and landed with a bigger plop than normal. Not long after that, a carp stuck its head out and then crashed out twice more as it headed down the lake. Don’t you just love it when this happens! I’ll give it an hour and hopefully another one will move in and feed.
I am now on my third swim of the day and its certainly turning out to be another hard trip out. After today I’m not sure when I will be back on here, but I hope things improve.
I’ve just under 3 hrs left and I took the decision to move again. I feel that the island will give me my best opportunity and if I get the baits out with not too much disturbance, I just need to sit back and be patient. Hopefully, the carp will move around the island and find my baits; I’ve got one very close to the bank and in the shallower water, the other is at the bottom of the margin shelf. This will give me two variations as to where the carp may feed.
The rain has come back and I’m glad that I’m quite sheltered now.
With a few liners over the next few hours I was feeling confident, right up to my rods being on the floor! The carp were clearly there, just not having any of my bait. Next time, I’ll bring a few colour options to try on them. Maybe they’ve moved on from pink & yellow – you can’t stand still even on club waters. The carp will adapt and you have to do the same.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 152 Hours
It’s my last few nights on the Airfield Lake, Ian and I have been planning this trip all summer. We’ve been working out what we think is the best location to catch one of the big girls. For the first time ever this year, we have been allowed to fish this lake until the end of Oct when it closes for winter.
We picked on a part of the lake we have been alternating between (which are 2 swims on opposite sides of the lake). We have come to the conclusion that this gave us the best chances. We have been able to get the swims regularly, to learn and understand more about the carp’s behaviour.
We were going to start the week in the double gravel swim and then move on if we felt the need. We came to the conclusion that if we didn’t start here, there would be a good chance that the swim would get taken before we had done a few nights in the other area and leaving us stuck there or, without a go swim to move into.
I had found out from a fellow member that there were only 4 other’s on the complex and the gravel swim was free. As always the night before a session I couldn’t sleep and was up by 6 am, which as the clocks had changed was 5 am, I was down the lake by 7 am (first light). I dumped the kit in the swim as two carp crashed out, that will do.
I quickly got the bivvy up, as there was heavy rain showers forecast and boy, they were not wrong. The bivvy was up and I was stuck in the car, before I could even get the second trip done!
After seeing the fish, I opted for single hook baits until later on this afternoon when I would get my spomb mixture out there. I threw about 10 boilies of CC over each as a bit of attraction and finished off trying to set up in between more showers.
I very much hoping that the rain we’ve had over the past 24 hours have not put them off. There was certainly a lot of water going in the lake and will be (more) over this week, but that’s fishing and I will certainly be working hard to bag a few lumps.
Past with no action, but I was slightly expecting that. This is something that often happens here, today’s weather with help settle things down, the air pressure is low and the wind is from the south west. We just need rain showers and not the constant down pours, overcast conditions will certainly help the prospects and will aid the chances of a few carp.
At 1300 hours (1400 old time) we spombed out some more bait and put fresh hook baits on. I had a walkabout to see who was about.
Went by without any action. This is staying to look a bit like my last trip – extremely hard going and I only just about managed a carp. This is a bit frustrating, we’ve seen and heard plenty, the conditions are good, they are just not picking the baits up. I was hoping there would be less natural food and they would get on the my baits. The forecast is for an overcast day and light rain until the afternoon. The wind is picking up again from the south and move to the west. Perfect conditions for this swim. With 3 nights to go, I’m going to be getting my thinking cap on and switching around hook baits, I don’t believe there is a need to look at moving swims, well, not yet anyway.
After two nights of no action and clear signs the carp were about, it was time to adjust the position of one of my rods. With a quick flick about to my right, I soon found the spot I’d located on the Deeper lakebook page. I spombed out 6 small loads and put on a fresh CC wafter. All I did with the baited area rod was to add a PPS to make my CC wafter into a snowman style set up and put that back out over the baited area which was slowly building up. My confidence was boosted by seeing a few carp showing not far away, but still in the sanctuary area.
Just after 1930, the left rod burst into life. I rushed out of the bivvy and pulled into thin air! Great one of those takes, just what you need after 2 night’s blanking, but I suppose it’s an improvement on silent buzzers. I soon had the rod back on the mark.
No further action was had overnight and I was up early to put fresh baits on. I will try something different for the day. I’m not planning of moving swim as I believe I’m in the best area. I’ve seen some good carp and moving would only take me further away from the fish.
Just after noon on Wednesday, I set about locating and fine tuning my spots. I topped up the area with a few more spombs, but less than the past few days. It was definitely time to slow that down until the area started to produce more takes, we shall see how tonight goes. I’m still very confident in the area we’ve chosen will produce the goods.
Just after 1800 hours, Ian and I where sitting outside have a glass and his right hand rod gave a couple of bleeps. No, that wasn’t wind blowing giving the odd false beep. The next moment, the rod ripped off and he was in to what felt and looked like a good fish. He slowly pumped the fish in, I did the honours with the net and got the first look.
Oh, that looks like a 30+! I had had to step up out of the lake onto the bank and you just know when you lift that net it’s a good weight.
We were both overjoyed with his success and it had certainly been hard going this week.
Just after 2000 hours, my right rod was away and into a carp finally! The battle was pretty straight forward, apart from a boot full of water when I netted it.
11 pounder, but I was over the moon not to have blanked.
The rest of the night was bleep free, the rain arrived in the early hours and was due to stop, some time around mid morning.
The day was mostly overcast and drizzly, absolutely awesome conditions, but there where no signs of carp anywhere. I baited up just after 1400 hours for the last night and got the rods out perfectly. I’m filled with much anticipation and some sadness that is my last night on here until next March. It’s time to move on to Meadow Lake, which gives me a bit of anxiety, due to Covid. There will be more anglers and through traffic to the river car park. I am just going to have to find my way around this and enjoy another winter on there.
As was the case with this trip, the night past bleep free. There was a huge storm blowing through with strong winds and rain, you would think this would wake the carp up, but nope. October has been a learning curve, certainly this trip and the one before, it has shown how you think it would go, differs to how it did actually go. I will be back next year doing the same thing in October and we will see, where that takes us.
I had a brilliant 5 nights; Ian and I have had a few laughs and worked hard not to blank. I’ll move on to Meadow Lake and day’s on the School Lake over the winter. Ian will be pike fishing and may well visit occasionally over the coming 5 months. We shall see how things work out. I’ve enjoyed my season on the Airfield Lake and had my best one for some years with a total of 54 carp. Unfortunately, for the first time no 30s but close with the 29lb 6oz Common and I’m convinced I has lost 2 that may have turn the scales over 30. It’s quite nice to end the season with a long session and it means that I will be able to fish 5 on Meadow and 7 on here each year. However, you never know what’s around the corner, especial in this day and age of these strange times.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours Fished – 69 Hours
On the eve of Lockdown 2 and I’m feeling lucky I’m still able to get on the bank. I arrived just after noon, to a completely empty lake – with the exception of 1 day angler. I was quite surprised and really didn’t know where to pitch up, so I got the Deeper out and tried to locate the fish or even some weed that hadn’t died down. I just couldn’t really find anything to excite me. I then thought about the wind direction and where I was more confident in fishing, so I decided to go for a swim I had finished in before was a good place to start. I settled on a couple of suitable areas and got some bait out, I was going for a mixture of Catalyst and Classic Corn boilies this winter with various hook baits fished over the top.
As I hadn’t been here for some months, I was going to take the baiting up slowly and I’m confident in the location of the carp. As dusk creeped in, a few carp showed off by the far bank and to my right. They started to drift closer and I was feeling confident they may head over to my side of the lake (if I was lucky). The first take was just after 2115 hours, on the right rod (it was the closest in). It was quite a confidence boost, the carp must have moved closer to this bank. It was foggy so hard to work out where the carp were going and I couldn’t pick out the rod tip to give me any clues. However, with not much hassle, the carp was into the Nsr50 and my first Meadow carp was in the net. This was my first trip back after pulling off to go on to the Airfield Lake in March.
25lb 8oz Common
That’s made my trip. It could of be easily been a blank after all this time away. I didn’t know where the carp have been caught from or even showing. Unfortunately, just after 0100 hours, I lost a second carp on the right hand rod. It made it to the overhanging tree’s and pinged off – Arrgh! With the bait back on the spot, that was the last action for the night and I was up early to top up the swim with 3 spombs for hopefully a morning take.
It was a cold misty morning, with a gentle NW wind blowing. I did hear the odd fish crashing, however with the mist, I had no clue where they were but it’s a good sign.
Just after 1300 hours, I got the marker rod out as the lake was flat calm and I’d decided to put the left hand out long, to where I’d seen a lot of carp topping at dusk last night. They clearly moved on to the short rod, because I had the two takes, but the other rod didn’t bleep. I had to change something about where that rod was positioned and putting it further out was my best solution and hopefully it would generate a take in the next 24 hours. I was confident the other rod casting to the right was bang on and would certainly produce another carp. I spombed out more boilies over each area and then sorted out some lunch, chicken korma. I like to eat a big meal in the afternoon during the winter as it’s nice to sit out and enjoy the view etc. The second night drifted by with not a single bleep and not a sign of a carp, this was a change from the day before. I woke up to the third frost of the week, so I suppose it wasn’t a surprise, I normally find that the carp aren’t affected that quickly, but I still need to get into the groove of this lake again.
Today is going to be sunny again, the wind will swing to the east and pick up a bit, but the night temperature is due to be a lot warmer. With that east wind blowing, I think it’s going to be another tricky 24 hours. Being Friday a few anglers started to rock up and I decided that I would stick 4 spombs over each area. You never know if the carp have done you and I will re fresh the baits at 1430, as we may as well all disturb the water at the same time – makes sense to me. The east wind had arrived and I had spent over an hour drifting my Deeper Chirp about. With only one cast and the east wind, I could simply let it drift out and reel it back again without the need for many casts and zero disturbance.
The last night was very silent again and I think the carp are aware of the pending drop in temperature so are just holding back for that moment when they feel it’s the right time to feed. The lake gave up one of its treasures and nearly another one, so I’m grateful for that and shouldn’t complain, its always great to be out on the bank in these trying times.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours Fished – 51 Hours
I always like to spend the time driving to the lake mulling over my options of swims to fish. I find it narrows down them a bit and you can think about the wind/weather conditions. I normally follow these from trip to trip, I also mixed this with a bit of information from fellow members. I’ve come up with a list of swims in order of preference and I simply head for number 1 and move on if necessary. I still stand and look about and walk around a fair bit, but in general, I’m pretty spot on and mostly see carp in the no1 swim. And this week was no exception
As winter progresses it does get harder to see them and on here, they love the darker hours to stick their heads out and not give themselves away. So, you have to go with your gut instinct when the winter months arrive.
My issue this week was there where showing a lot closer in then normal and over an area of pretty much feature less, which was interesting and I simply stuck both rods out with single hook baits on into the area they where showing, I tried to stick some bait out, but the seagulls tele ported themselves into the swim instantly.
I would give it until about 1500 hrs and then get some bait out onto the spots I fancy, which certainly need a bit of thought over the next few hour’s.
After a great deal of thought and no pick ups from the carp I’d seen, I decided to put the right hand rod on the same spot as last week and the other on the spot I finished on. I fancy having one close and the other at range and see where it leads me, the wind is starting to pick up from the south, as per the forecast cast and is definitely looking good for a take.
The wind and rain was going through the night and when it died down, I heard a few carp crashing near by and I was confident of a take. Which unfortunately, never materialized and they stopped before first light, which meant I was unable to locate them.
The day started flat calm with the sunshine lighting up the lake.
I rebaited and moved the left hand rod a lot closer in, after hearing the carp in the night. They were not that far out. I also topped up the other spot and with any luck would get a take tonight or early evening.
The second night was also a completely bleep free night, which was not good in the slightest. I did spot a carp top not to far, which was a boost in my confidence. A choice needed to be made today about moving or staying put. The pressure is creeping up and there is another storm due tomorrow morning – with heavy winds and rain. I need to think if I fancy packing up in that, or go home today and enjoy a weekend with the family. That sounded more appealing than get soaked after blanking for a few day’s, there is always next time and the opportunity to start again with a fresh and clear mind.
My decision had been made and I would head home mid afternoon. I was convinced that the chances of any carp feeding would have passed and I could get home just as the kids got home from school, which would be nice for them.
I struggled last November with only 2 carp and I had already had 2 takes, which wasn’t to bad. I needed to do a bit of thinking this week and maybe fish a completely different part of the lake.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours Fished – 66 Hours
I had the opportunity to arrive on Tuesday afternoon for this trip. After all the angler pressure from the weekend, I thought it would be a great idea. I arrived just after 1340 and took a drive around the complex, in order to get an idea where everyone was. There were only 3 swims taken, one of which I quite fancy having a look at, may be next time. After last week’s hard times, this week I was looking at being on the back of the wind or away from the main blast (as it were). It was due to blow another good southerly again, with rain on and off over the next 24 hours. The pressure was going to be high as well, but due to fall tomorrow and then sky rocket on Thursday with bright sunshine, not ideal conditions, but all I have to work with it.
I’m fishing a swim that I’ve fished many times over the years and done pretty well out of. This will certainly give me a bit of confidence and fingers crossed, it’s not as hard going as last weeks trip.
Both rods are more or less on the same feature and I’ve baited quite heavily. I’m fishing both rods on 18mm Catalyst & Classic Corn wafter on my every faithful ronnie rig.
The first night past with only a couple of bleeps and I was woken by a stunning sunrise.
Sometimes you just don’t need a filter, to capture a stunning view.
I rebaited both rods just before 14.30 and got some more bait on the spot, after the rain finally eased off. Hopefully, something will fancy a nibble later on this afternoon or overnight. Conditions look perfect and with a high coming in tomorrow, they just have to get their heads down tonight.
The second night past with no action. However, I did hear carp crashing, not too far away and was pretty confident with catching a carp. But, by mid morning, it wasn’t looking good. I’d been thinking overnight that if I hadn’t had any action, I was going to change one rod over to a zig with some black foam as I’m convinced that’s the most productive colour.
I’m not putting anymore bait out and have just put a fresh Classic Corn wafter on and will see how thing’s go.
With another stunning sunrise and yet another carp free night. It’s time to think out of the box and head for a different area of the lake. I’m not convinced that the carp are held up in the middle of the lake yet. I’m more convinced that they are held up in an unusual area for this time of the year. It’s looking like a 3 night blank for me and I really believe they are not in that open water area yet. A completely different approach is needed for next week’s trip.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours Fished – 50 Hours
Tuesday arrived all too quickly this week and I was not as prepared as I would have liked. But after finishing my only job of the day just after 1030, I was home and repacking the car with my fishing kit.
I arrived at the lake at about 1145 and spent the next hour or so walking and driving around, trying to spot any signs of carp. This was done with not much success, so after studying the weather and chatting to a couple of members I finally picked my pitch for the next few nights.
The wind was pushing hard from the south, it was a great opportunity to get the Deeper out and draft it across the area (without much disturbance) and I located a couple of nice areas.
These just have to produce carp over the next 48 hours.
I baited both spots with a couple of kilos of Catalyst and Classic Corn boilies. I fished a pop up on the first spot and a wafter on the second, we shall see how the first night goes.
With no success in the night! Which was a shock – after hearing fish to my right and the strong winds from the south blowing (with a fair bit of rain in the mix) all night long. I was sure one of the rods would burst into life at some point. It was still raining at 9am, the wind was fading away and would swing around to the north, much colder nights are on their way.
I really don’t like this constant weather conditions changes. I’d much prefer a constant whatever, regardless of what it is, as long as it stays the same for a few weeks. The carp will settle into a rhythm.
After watching carp top to the right of my swim and being unable to get a bait that near to them, I decided that there was no other option but to put one on the safest spot possible without the possibility of losing the carp.
There’s a lovely overhanging tree to my right, it stops you from casting into that bay. So, without going too far past it, I popped a pop-up on and flicked it out there, and much to my surprise, just after 1 pm it rattled off! I was drifting my Deeper about at the time – looking for the best area to move that rod to this evening (in the hope of getting a carp tomorrow more).
23lb 5oz Common
It was an entertaining fight, simply caused by me having the Deeper out and not wanting to lose it around the corner as it drifted that way in the wind! I would have had to stop playing the carp and wind in the Deeper. Unfortunately, I caught a bird’s nest with the braid and got into a right mess. The carp made it into the Nsr50 and after returning it, spent the next 15 minutes sorting out the braid. It all turned out fine in the end.
Just after 3pm it was time to sort out the rods for the night. I’d gotten the Deeper out again and finished off my mapping of this area and I was a bit shocked at what I found.
Lots of weed and fish! Despite the depth, I just had to have a go. After locating the best clear spot, I spombed out 10 loads and flicked a natural pop up out there. I put the other rod on the same spot that had produced a carp earlier on today. It’s going to be a cold night, but the surface temperature on the Deeper was surprisingly warmer, so this gave me the confidence to fish on the plateau at this time of the year – fingers crossed.
With no joy over the second night, it was that time to make a choice, stay another night or pack up. The carp were extremely inactive last night, with only a couple crashing about. I have to be off early Friday morning, so I’m not sure at the moment what to do. The weather conditions look similar to last night at present, I will have to wait for the morning weather update.
I’ve decided I will head home today, it’s quite hard going at the moment and tonight is due to be a frosty one. I feel I should save my third night for when the lake is fishing better. I don’t see the point of putting yourself through all the blank nights when I know it will switch back on soon.
As I had a fair bit of the day to fish, I moved into the day swim to the right of my swim for the last few hours. I’d been watching the carp show there the day before. You can’t quite get a bait on that spot, there is every likelihood you will lose it in the margins snags.
With only a liner on the right hand rod, I packed up at just before 1430, hopefully, I can pick my daughter up on the way home from school as a nice surprise. I hadn’t seen any signs of carp for over an hour and I wasn’t sure where to start looking for next week, normally I have an inkling of where to start.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours Fished – 24 Hours
This week’s trip is going to be cut short, I don’t fancy sitting through a whole day of rain in freezing temperatures just to stay the third night. There’s a good possibility that the rain which is forecast to arrive on Thursday evening may well arrive early Thursday morning! I will just fish tonight and the day tomorrow. The lake is very hit and miss at the moment. I don’t believe it’s worth putting too much time in until it becomes apparent that the carp have settled into their winter routine, as they do on here.
I’ve been a bit selective about my choice of swim and if the conditions are favourable for tomorrow night, I can have a quick pack up Thursday am. This will give me the best opportunity to get away as quickly as possible before the rain.
I’ve also stayed away from baiting up this week and I’m only using single hook baits. This is because there is a steady supply of anglers each night putting bait out and just maybe, we have all overdone it and its something I’m willing to explore over the next 24 hours.
It was a bleep free night and a stunning sunrise this morning. Before the grey clouds arrive I need to work out if I stay tonight or run home before the rain arrives.
It’s just after 1pm and tomorrow’s weather is forecast to be pretty grim. I certainly don’t feel like packing up in the rain or sitting out the day in the bivvy. So, it’s time for a slow pack up and get off the lake by 3pm and then home in time for tea.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours Fished – 48 Hours
I’m back out for another few nights, in the hope of a winter carp. it’s still hard going, but you have to be in it to win it as they say.
I arrived down at just after 11 am and there was only one other person there who also looking around. My decision was made easier by the estate lads felling the dead trees at one end of the lake. There was a cold northerly blowing, not too strong, but it was very fresh with it in your face. I felt that being in the calmer water would be my best option.
I finally picked a swim I felt confident in, I didn’t see any signs of carp in my two trips around the lake. I’d spent the last few days mixing up some particles and grinding up boilies in my Ridgemonkey chopper. I only wanted to put out small particles as attraction and not that much of a food source.
I’ve just got a 12mm pop up on each rod as a hook bait and we shall see where things go from there.
With out a single bleep all night and awaking to thick fog today which was due to continue, it’s going to be hard going to stay another night. But you just can’t tell, with these carp, when they will switch on, so I just have to stick it out.
I decided to top up the swim with a little bit more of my mixture and mix up the hook baits a bit (as the bites are slow). I like to add some colour to try and get the carp’s attention and if I’m lucky they will pick it up.
The night drifted by and I awoke to the sun coming over the tree’s and into the bivvy door. There’s a Robin who is hopping about clearly eating up the crumbs. A couple of bleeps on the left hand rod from the tufts on my bait, with a hard frosty morning, it certainly must be winter.
I have a few hours left, you just never know and can’t lose faith. You can get a take at anytime of the day, this time of the year, it a flat calm beautiful morning out here.
I stayed on for as long as I could and the lake did look very carpy.
But I had to reel in at some point and get myself homeward bound. The car was due to be dropped off at the garage, as it wasn’t enjoying the cold mornings and very nearly didn’t start today.
I will be out soon and hopefully the carp will get their heads down soon.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours Fished – 95 Hours
When I come home from my last session I always start to plan for my next. With this in mind, I spotted a wet, warmer front was due to arrive over Saturday night (today is Monday). I wanted to do my last long trip of the year, so was looking at arriving Sunday. But first, I need to get all my gardening jobs done and get the car in the garage on Wednesday. It was full on for the next 3 days – not very pleasant I must say, but I just knew I needed to be on the lake. If the weather was going to continue (until Christmas) in this vein, I just had to be set up on Sunday to give me the best opportunity of a bite. If I’m lucky then I may get a second bite of the apple.
I arrived down the lake just as the last of the weekend anglers were packing away. I took a slow drive around the venue and looked in a couple of swims. I then had a quick chat with the lads packing up and it was still sounding pretty bleak on the carp front, I just hope the weather does the trick.
I continued my look about and couldn’t make my mind up, but there is something about the Gap Swim and the amount of water that it commands which draws me back here time and again. I believe it’s an area the carp love and is very well placed in the middle of the lake.
There is an area, I’ve yet to map with my Deeper. In all honesty, I’m not bothered, as it would be silly putting a bait on that area anyway. Too much of a chance of losing them.
With my choice made, I quickly set up the bivvy and got the kit mostly sorted on the dry. I’d been studying the weather conditions and waiting for a gap in the rain, I’d made sure I left home to arrive just before it arrived. I was pretty much spot on. Luckily, the heavy rain wasn’t due back until dusk time, this did help a lot and gave me more time to look about and set up.
I was going to be putting out quite a bit of bait, but only chopped boilies and particle as before.
I just wanted to get a lot of attraction into the swim – in the way of small items of food. This is in the hope of attracting their attention and hopefully holding them there. Once I’d had a bite, I would introduce 12mm boilies to build the swim up and my catch rate. That’s the plan, now I need to put it into action.
Night – 1
It was a lot more wet and windy than I anticipated! Today’s forecast is a lot less rain than previous advised with only the odd shower. The S/W wind will still be blowing strong, day temperatures of 11+c and night time 7+ c. It’s certainly amazing for this time of the year and the pressure is still below 1000mbs, these fish are definitely due to get on the munch!
We had a bit of fun with a swan or 3 this morning. I didn’t realise there were 3 swans on this lake! One of them was feeding with its head down to the right of me, the other 2 appeared around the corner, the swan to my right charged off to the left and ploughed through both my lines regardless of the chaos left in it’s wake! I rushed out and tried to pick one rod up, stick the tip under water asap (to get the line under the swan) and this was all still going on as the other 2 swans chased the other one. Once the line was free, I grabbed the other rod that was still screaming off and stuck this tip under the water and the last line was free, so it was now time to sort the mess out. I reeled both rods in and then sorted the pod out – so that the rod tips were under the water.
I now had two fresh baits on and was now planning on leaving the baits out until tomorrow morning – unless a take came my way. I topped up the swim with another 10 large spombs, to keep a supply of bait going in, I’m sure the smaller items are being picked up by small fry, etc.
Night – 2
This started with a single bleep and just after 8pm, a fish crashed out on open water. I was up at 3 am listening out for them and heard another 2 crashes out in the open water again. This was definitely a good sign and I was wishing for a buzzer to burst into life. That wasn’t to be, as the sun popped over the trees at first light this morning, we will have to see how the day goes.
If no plan of moving swim as I’m still convinced that I’m in the best area, with the best possibility of a carp.
Just after 0930, the bobbin on the right rod gave a few bleeps, pull up, then dropped down again and bleeps again when I’m on my way to the rods. Yes, you guested it, it’s a bream, but a sign (of sorts) that something is feeding out there.
I recast the rod, just as Ian turned up to join me for the day with his pike rods. No joy for him but it was a nice chance to catch up before Christmas. I’d topped up the swim at just after 1300 and after seeing carp this morning, my confidence was building at the days progressed. There was rain due tomorrow daytime, but the nights were pretty much rain free and a fair chance of a bite.
We shall see how the third night goes. There are now 5 anglers on the lake, which I’m hoping will also get the carp moving about and away from there hideaways.
Night – 3
I was up early this morning and just in time to catch the sunrise. This is before the rain arrived for most if the day.
I spotted a couple of carp topping extremely close to my spots and was sitting on the edge of my seat for the next few hours.
The rain arrived just after 0900 and continued all day long. I was bivvy bound until just after 1530. I spotted a couple more carp show at range, beyond my spot and I knew want I had to do. I put on a 12 mm Catalyst white pop and wrapped out 30 on my sticks. Once the rain completely stopped the lake, it was like a mill pond and it was time to get that rod out.
Night – 4
Bang on 2130 this rod belted off with a not so happy carp. It found a dying weed bed for a few moments and then was off again, it felt like a life time but the fish was finally in my margins. I just needed to play the carp out and slip it into the Nsr. I was home dry and could breath a big sigh.
25 lb 7 oz Common
Perfect, after all my hard work over the past few days and with the rod back on the spot it was time to reflect, write my blog and look over the other photographs.
I awoke to a stunning sunny morning and feeling very happy with my result from last night. Just before 0900, the same rod rattled off into the distance and another long battle ensued, with a close call with the left hand margin snags.
Safely in the Nsr50 and very happy with that.
22lb 11oz Common
Both caught on white 12mm Catalyst pop ups.
Simple but effective. It fills me with a great deal of confidence for my last trip of 2020 next week. I’ve picked up a small gardening job this afternoon, so it’s time to pack up and head home on a high note.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours Fished – 48 Hours
This is it folks! My last trip of 2020 and the last on Meadow Lake for some months. I start a new adventure on a new syndicate for 2021 and I’m seriously looking forward to that. It’s not going to be easy but more about that on the future.
I had in mind going back into the same swim but you never know with the weekend before Christmas whose been on there and the weather being considerably warmer – how many! The rain over the past 48 hours has been particularly tropical storm like and the angler pressure was extreme this weekend. Which I’m sure put the carp back into their sanctuary areas. Here comes the hard part and a big gamble on my part. Will the carp will find their feet again over the next few nights? Will they venture back to where I picked them up from in my last trip?
This was my plan. The pressure will go up and down some what and the chances of rain is pretty high. I don’t believe it’s going to be easy for these few day’s, but it’s generally still very mild.
Night – 1
I decided that my best option was to be using single hook baits again. If there are any signs of carp, then I will start putting bait out. After my last trip there is no sense in over doing it.
The first night past by with a what felt like a tropical storm and not much sleep. I did manage to drop off in the early hours and I slept until just before 1000. It was a tad later then normal, however I did need the sleep. It was impossible to hear anything out there with the rain and rain raging. I’m still sticking to the single hook baits and may just leave them out there until tomorrow. We shall see.
I decided that after last week’s near miss with calling out the AA (that is a story for another day) and despite the garage finding the power drain, you’re always on edge for a few weeks. I reeled in and took a slow drive around the lake, looking in all the snags etc for any signs of carp. But alas nothing was spotted. There was another belt of heavy rain and wind due this afternoon, this is the only downside of this milder weather. I had fresh 12mm white Catalyst pop ups on and got the baits bang on target first time. I now hope the heavy would arrive sooner to give me a chance of a take tonight or first thing tomorrow morning.
With the weather conditions looking favourable for tomorrow, there’s certainly every chance of a carp.
This was still windy but it didn’t last all night long and the rain was light drizzle. This gave me a lot of hope for a good chance of a bite in the early hours. Unfortunately, it was not so. This was a real shame, as something was over my rods this morning, however not sure if it was carp or bream.
I decided on a number of counts to head home, 1) the weather conditions were looking rough tomorrow morning, 2) the number of anglers had increased, 3) I’d not seen anything worth saying it was a carp showing and 4) I did fancy getting Christmas underway with the family. With this in mind, I was soon back home after a quick pack up and a chat with a couple fellow member to wish them well for Christmas.
That’s it for 2020 looking back feature, hope you enjoyed it and will get 2019 done some time soon.
Until then Richard