Looking Back Over 2019 Part 4 of 10
I’ve decided to look back over 2019 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.
This trip I have taken an old friend as a guest on the Airfield lake for a couple of nights. To my surprise, there were a fair few anglers on the lake this weekend – when I say a few, I mean 12 on 64 acres, which in reality is not many at all.
The swim choice was pretty limited. We hadn’t fished together for a long time and were looking forward to a social, so we needed an area to suit. We finally settled on the Daisy Field swim, which has produced well for me over the years, but I have not fished it for a long time.
My mate picked the right side of the swim, which gave me the entrance to a small bay area and the open water in front of the swim. I got the marker float out and familiarised myself with a couple of areas which had worked for me in the past. I set about getting a mixture of 12mm Smokey, Catalyst, Hemp plus a few tigers hook bait-wise. One rod was a Smokey wafter and the other a Catalyst wafter.
We were all done by just after 1330, not bad considering we arrived at 0930! Time for a brew.
The afternoon was very pleasant in the sunshine and the sunset was pretty good, but there were no signs of any carp yet. With a bit of rain in the night, I was feeling very confident and sure enough, just before 7 am the left-hand rod was away. After a close call with the reeds and my right-hand rod, the carp was in the Nsr, it was bigger than I thought!
20lb 1oz Common
That will do me. With a cold north wind now about and a sunny day ahead, hopefully, this end of the lake would warm up and the chance of another carp.
Certainly looking like a nice day ahead. I rebaited the rod with another Catalyst wafter and an Evo white fake corn.
And got it back on the spot. I quickly got a brew on and then later on sorted out some promotional shots for Evolution Carp Tackle in the nice morning sunshine.
It was getting pretty close to lunchtime and decision time on whether to top up the swim with more bait or not. The Tuffties were still going down on my baited spots which is a sure sign there is bait still out there. However, the last thing I need is to have them mop it all up, I may leave it until last thing tonight. This will mean there’s plenty of bait out for another morning take.
Just have to see. Around 2 pm, we decided we may as well get the baiting up over and done with. This would give me nearly 24 hrs to bag a few.
Another afternoon passed by with no action. The wind had moved a bit to the NE and was very fresh in the wind (and quite bitter when the sun was behind the clouds). As night fell the wind dropped and so did the temperature. I would not be surprised if there was a frost somewhere.
With just a few hours to go, it would be nice for my mate to catch one and you never know on here, fingers crossed for the last few hours.
We stayed until just before 11 am, but the carp clearly was not there.
Until next time
This is my last weekend until June as there are family things coming up. Which for once will fit in perfectly, the weather has not been that great the carp on the syndicate, they are still yet to spawn. On this lake, it normally starts in the first few weeks of May. They had a day at it but it didn’t really burst into life.
I am out with Ian and this trip has also doubled up as a social. This also gives me the chance to set up early, head back home and sort the kids out. This will save the big rush later with the tackle. This way we can meet up, sort out the right swim, find some perfect spots and get all the noise done by 2pm. All I need to do on my return is flick the baits out on the spots. It just couldn’t get any better.
I knew the swim quite well – I had fished there a few times in the past. Also very recently had a nice lump from here. The lake is fishing very slow at the moment and all the lakes are getting very clear. This is very unusual for here and a big surprise. Surely this affecting everyone catch results. We felt that the bottom lake was more colored than any of the others. We decided this had to be our best option. It was the deeper water and away from everyone else, this could hold the key to a fish or two this weekend.
I baited an area 70 yards out with 3 kilos of 12mm Catalyst and Smokey jack, combined with a 2 kilos bag of Hemp & Tiger nuts. This would be sent over an area large enough to get two baits on over each night. I was then going to move one rod off to the tree line by a small bay during the daylight hours. This was clearly not an option at night, as there was no way I was going to be on my rods in time to stop the fish from kiting round to my right and into another bay area.
There was no action for myself or Ian over the night. I was up early and moving my rod to the tree’s, in the hope of a day time carp. By mid-morning there were still no signs, it was time to get the Fishspy out. With the clear water, it was ideal conditions and was very surprised to find that an area of gravel was more like an area of boulders and more suited to fishing with a pop up than a bottom bait or a wafter. Some information to take back home from this weekend’s fishing trip.
By the middle of the afternoon, I was surprised that my right-hand margin rod had not gone off; the previous evening I had dropped a few handfuls of bait along there.
Well, that was a complete letdown, with not a single beep. Time for a change of tactics I think.
It was a lovely morning to pack up and get everything dry from the morning dew.
Later on that afternoon, I received a message from another syndicate member that the fish had started to spawn. This means a two-week break for them from my side. I feel it’s best to let them get on with it and then plenty of time to recover.
Until next time
Its been far too long since my last trip. But with kids birthday party’s, spawning carp and a week camping in Wales, time soon passed and we are in June. There are only 7 weeks until the school summer holidays. Time to get the fishing hat back on.
After plenty of walking and looking, I decided that the best area was off one of the island swims. The southwesterly wind had clearly pushed some carp down into this area. As I didn’t wish to disturb the fish, I only cast out two small bags into the area the carp were showing themselves.
I set up both rods with a helicopter-style set up, a Ronnie rig made up from the SF end tackle range and would use pop up on both. I was just to try and catch the carp’s eye. I would then switch one over to a wafter later on for the night.
It was just before 3pm when the left-hand rod burst into life. As always, the carp kite left as hard as possible in this swim. Doing their best to get around the small island which is to my left and leads into a small shallow bay area. This links to a channel which runs around the back of the island. It was fighting hard and gaining ground on me fast; it’s the shallow water and their big tails. You just can’t spot them. At one point, I was convinced that the fish had come off, but it was charging towards me. I think it was heading for a small gap between the island and my bank. At this point, I was knee deep in the water, the rod tip hard on the bottom and I was just holding on trying to gain line. Finally, it was under the rod tip, but no sooner there, it was off out into the lake once more in. It attempted to repeat the process – no way. I was very lucky the first time and didn’t fancy my chances a second time. I managed to turn the fish, gain control and slipped it nicely into the waiting Nsr.
15 ish Common
It may not be a monster, but these carp can give a brilliant fight. This is what it’s all about.
With the rod rebaited, I was very happy, particularly as it had been a long time since I had had a take in daylight hours from here. Let’s hope there are more to follow.
It was just after 8pm when the next take happened. I was more prepared for the fish heading left this time and had control a lot sooner, which was a great relief.
14 ish Common
A bit smaller than the last, but very welcomed after my long break.
My next take came just after 3am. It was a similar size to the previous 2. Interestingly, it didn’t try to head for the tree this time (just as well), it headed into open water. No pictures this time. With the rod re-done, it was back in the sack. Just before 5am, I decided it was worth rebaiting the right-hand rod. I had not heard a single beep on that rod. It goes to show that if you’re not quite in the right spot, they will not pick your bait up. With that in mind, I moved that rod more to the right.
It was certainly worth re doing that rod, as it was off within half an hour. My 4th fish of the night was landed, also a similar size to the last. It’s amazing how this lake changes after they have spawned each year. I am 100% sure the high water temperature caused a lot of the blank nights last year.
Well, its nearly time to head off home and I am not going to moan about this trip out. It had been a few weeks wait and it’s great to get amongst some carp again.
One in the NSR
With pack up underway, the right-hand rod was off! Straight out into open and then processed to kite right. This was a big issue, as there is a nasty tree in the water here. I tried my best and thought I was going to be ok. But NO, it found the tree and underwater branches. I put the rod on the rest and opened the bail arm – in the hope the fish would find its own way out and continued packing up. No such luck. It was time to strip down as my waders were not on the car, oops. I grabbed the rod and my weighting pole and headed out up to my armpits, but still couldn’t get out far enough. I put some more pressure on from different angles, this was a pointless exercise. I had no option other than pull for a break, which I really hate. I was confident the carp had already shed the hook.
I bit of a disappointing end to a very good trip out.
Until next time
With a couple of hours spare this evening, I popped down to the estate lake. It had been a long time since I had the chance to get down there and it was certainly looking stunning.
With a few fish moving the down the dam end, I settled into the right of the island. Not wishing to spook the fish, I just flicked a couple of bags out onto some clear spots and catapulted some sweet corn over each one (just to try something different). I sat back and made up a load of PVA mesh bags for the weekend.
I am planning on staying to just past dusk and then head home.
I discovered that it’s a bit of a mossy nightmare down there and I need to be a bit more prepared next time.
Unfortunately, no fish this time.
Until next time
I’m back on the Airfield Lake again this weekend and my youngest has joined me for the first night! After a quick look about in the rain and as I like to keep away from other anglers, I ended up in the same swim as my last trip here.
The same tactics were used as before and within 30 minutes, I was into my first fish. I was completely unable to control the fish from kiting to the right. I never even got one foot in my waders and the carp pinged off. By far, not the best start to the weekend but hopefully plenty of time to change things around.
After a lot of thought, I decided it’s best that I move my rods more to the left of the swim. This will give me more time to get any kite-ing fish under control we hope.
It wasn’t until just past 3am when the left-hand rod, ripped into action. After a very wet and windy battle, a small common was in the net, no pic or vid – way too wet and windy for any of that. I quickly recast and got back into bed. I soon warmed up and drifted back to very restless night sleep, with the wind and rain pelting down.
Looking like a different day and no signs of the storm, there’s going to be the odd shower today, mixed with a bit of wind.
The morning past by with a few heavy rain showers. The wife arrived to collect the youngest just after noontime.
After spotting a few fish topping, I knew they were in the area, just not quite on my spots. With this in mind, I spombed out about 5 loads over both rods, in the hope of holding them and picking up a few more this afternoon/early evening. I cast fresh bags/hook baits out about 1430, all set for later on.
I recast both rods for the night (just after 8pm) and with still no action, I was really starting to wonder if these carp do not like heavy rain in shallow water. The fish sightings had slowed down somewhat, just have to hope that the night brings about a change. It’s only going to be 8 degrees, which is probably the coldest night for some time. The surface temperature was 18.2 according to the Deeper this afternoon, be interesting to see how much it drops down by tomorrow morning.
What can I say? That was the best nights kip I’ve had for a long time, not a single beep and woke to the alarm clock – which I set just in case when I need to be home early. Lucky I did.
It was a complete shock and surprise as there had been a lot of fish activity late on in the evening.
Until next time
It’s the weekend again. Time for a few night’s fishing. Unfortunately, with the weather this week and having to move work about, I was unable to fit a day trip in. Which is a shame, as I have missed out on a fair few this year.
I met Ian down the lake just after midday. I had a good look around the available areas and settled for a spot at the end of the spit between the big lake and the middle pit. This gave us both plenty of options.
For my left-hand rod, I found the drop off which is situated by the channel that leads into the middle lake. I have been sure that the fish drop down as they pass through here. I simply have never put a bait there yet and it feels worth a go. The other rod is on a gravel bar – well more of a strip than a bar. It leads off the island in front of me across the lake in front of the gap. This goes into the out of bounds part of the lake and then runs to the tree-lined margins to my right. This is just full of snags and way too dangerous to put baits to close to. There is an area nearby which I may move the bait to if the other spots aren’t productive and I see fish there.
The first night passed by with no action and I was up at first light. I recast the distance rod with a fresh bag and ended up moving the margin rod. I got invaded by ducks that just would not stop diving down. After an hour of this, there was no choice but to find a nice spot along the tree-lined margins to my left. However, I wasn’t sure whether to leave the rod there for just the day or not. Will need to think more on that.
During the day, it was mostly rain showers with occasional sunshine and with a nice strong south westerly wind. Great conditions for fishing, fingers crossed for an afternoon or early evening take.
I’m very surprised to say that the second night passed by without a twitch either. After the rain finished, the sun came out and it was a lovely evening. There was a clear sky and a full moon, all flat calm and not a sign of a carp. The rain arrived again in the early hours and is still going as I write this! I’ve just changed my hook bait for fresher one and gone a bit brighter pink and yellow, odd choice as they have not worked for me here before. I’m not catching on the standard baits that have worked for me, so you need to think out the box a bit sometimes and give it a shot. I did hear a few more fish crash this morning but they were way off through the gap in front of me (in the sanctuary area). But they are moving! And a moving fish is clearly using energy and will feed at some point. The ducks are back on my margin spot clearing out the last of the bait, which proves there has not been any fish feeding down there.
The big decision today – move, stay, go home. My thought at the moment is to stay as this is a great area and the carp frequent it a lot. I just need to get the right combination location, bait, etc and one will slip up.
Well, the big decision was made. I moved lakes on to Meadow Lake into a swim called The Gap. There had only been 6 people turn up for the draw on opening night, one had gone home when I arrived. As far as I can tell, there was only one fish caught. With that in mind, I only spombed out a small amount of bait, which was hemp, tigers and 12mm Smokey and Catalyst boilies. One rod was fished with a Catalyst wafter and the other a PPS pop up. Both rods had small bags of the same mixture. My set up was a Ronnie rig made up of a Size 6 SF turning point hook, tied to 25lb semi-stiff Finskin and a 3oz monster leads distance lead.
Let’s see if the change of location brings me some luck and a nice lump on the bank.
It was about 0140 when my right-hand rod burst into life, with an absolute screaming run. I was into a very hard fighting Meadow Lake carp, After a long battle back and forth along the margins under my rods tips and even a couple of good runs back out into open water again, I finally had the carp beaten and it was in the Nsr. I was well pleased.
20lb 13oz Common
Worth all the hard work of moving lake and setting up again. With the bait back on the spot, I settled down to write my account of what happened. I got in the sack and listening to a hedgehog snuffling in the bushes to my left. I can’t quite believe the amount of wildlife I have seen and photographed this weekend.
I hope I am in with a shout of another fish or two. There are plenty topping out there. With the wind and it being overcast, it’s impossible to really tell where they are, but I am pretty confident they are not too far away.
The next bite was from a tench just after 5am. With the odd fish showing in open water, I was hopeful of the other rod going off and was starting to wonder about getting the other rod out there.
It’s the last hour and a bit, the conditions are still perfect. I have put fresh hook baits and bags out, I feel there is a good chance of another bite.
It’s been a very enjoyable 3 night’s fishing and a hard choice to move lakes. I really love the Airfield Lake, but it’s just not producing the fish at the moment. This is a real shame. I will be heading that way again on my next trip.
Until next time
Well, it looks like I’m turning into a weekend angler. Work is taking up too much time, I can’t really complain. Both lakes are open together until the end of September and there are a great many choices now. Ian is arriving on Thursday most week’s when we do a social, it gives us a great chance to have a look round both lakes before we pick a swim. I still only get down on a Friday afternoon, this time it was around 1630. My youngest daughter was up for another night on the bank.
The Airfield Lake is not performing that well and the carp in Meadow have not spawned yet, it was definitely worth a go. Only 3 other anglers were fishing, so we headed for The Gap swim again. I very nearly fished the swim next door called The Stumps, but Ian had already had a 30+ and the carp were clearly in front of this swim. I baited up with 10 spombs split over two rods all in the same area. I fished a Ronnie rig on each with a Catalyst wafter on one and a pop up on the other with a small bag was filled with 12mm Smokey and Catalyst with Betafin / Catalyst pellet all soaked in Catalyst Food dip. We will see how the first night pans out.
Another quiet night on the lake for me. Ian managed a nice twenty just after 10 pm but since then the rods have been silent. There were no fish crashing that I heard last night and with the change in the weather, I feel they will be looking at spawning soon and maybe I’m not quite in the right spot. So I plan to get the Deeper out later and see if I can find something more favourable. The fish are clearly in the weed and that’s what I need to find. I did eventually find a suitable spot and baited up with a few small spombs. As the day progressed, it got hotter, which I will not complain about, but it was nice when the sun falls behind the trees.
Just after 8 pm, Ian landed his third carp of the trip, a nice 29lb 6oz Common.
Nice one Ian
Once the sun had disappeared behind the clouds, the fish started to show more and my confidence was back up. There was a point in the day where I very nearly moved, but before I had any time to think about it too much, it was already occupied. Let’s hope tonight brings me better fortune.
Surprising we had no action at all -with fish showing as night fell, it was a complete surprise and not even a 6am belter for Ian (like the previous mornings) and with a nice overcast morning, you would’ve thought it would have kicked off.
Oh well time to head home, its been a great weekend and always nice seeing Ian catch a few; 20, 33, 29. He was well happy and all on Sf Catalyst boilies as well, they certainly love that bait, in the right spot of course.
Until next time
With my family away for the weekend and a job canceled, I was out for three nights. I originally planned on arriving about 7pm, but as luck would have it, I arrived just after 9 am! With 2 of the swims already taken, I headed for the 3 spots where I felt was our best option were. Ian was joining me again for a social, I messaged him with where I had picked and he was happy. It was going to be a hot one and probably pretty hard going with only takes at night.
We were all both sorted and back in the same swim as the week before. This time, we had swapped sides and found four perfect spots. These were baited with 12mm Smokey and Catalyst, hemp and tiger’s and a mixture of pop ups wafters and bottom baits.
The first take happened just before midnight to my right hand rod, which unfortunately dropped off after a few minutes. This was pretty frustrating, but that’s fishing for you.
What a night! 2 lost fish, one of them to a hook pull in the weed and the next under the overhanging trees to my right – this could well have been a Tench. After all that, I slept until just before 7am. This wasn’t really my plan, I was planning on rebaiting about 6am if I hadn’t caught anything. However, with 10 minutes of getting the rods back out, the right-hand rod ripped off and the fight was on to get the carp out of the weed bed it had just dived into. Once out, it promptly headed for the next one, but eventually, it was in open water and in front of me (and under control). I could breathe a sigh of relief after the night’s activities. I happily played the carp out and gently slipped it into the Nsr.
29lb 9oz Common
I flicked the rod back out and got the kettle on for the first brew of the day. It was forecast to be another hot one, but there was a good deal of wind around again today which will be nice in the midday sun.
The day passed with no action – to be honest, it wasn’t a surprise as the temperature hit 27 degrees. As the evening drew ever closer, it was time to re-bait the rods in the hope of a late evening take.
As the second night got ever closer and the sun disappeared behind the trees, the lake started to wake up with lots of carp, bream, etc. This was a real boost to the coming night. Ian started to get a few lines and surely it was only a matter of time; as I sit writing this as 0750 watching the odd fish top, I am still thinking the same thing. With the heat of the day just around the corner, I’m starting to feel very optimistic about that thought and the joy of another day sitting under the trees avoiding the sun.
It’s just after 3pm now and boy o boy it’s hot. I had chucked a couple of zigs out at just after 10 am in the hope of picking up a carp. With no success on that front, I changed one over to a PPS and flicked it by some pads (you just never know). The wind changed and was blowing from the South with a good blow on the water. I didn’t have any proper floater kit with me, being fair skinned and it being 28 degrees, I was staying put under the trees.
Just before 5 pm, I gave up on the other zig rod and changed it back to my spot. I topped the swim up with a couple of small spomb fulls of bait and would move the other rod off the pads just before 9pm, fingers crossed for a carp tonight.
As luck would have it, the weather front which was due overnight, arrived early evening. The temperature dropped and the wind changed to the west, which was blowing into this bank. Let’s hope the change in weather brings the carp on the feed.
After a hard few days in the heat, my second take finally arrived just before 3 am Sunday morning and with not much of a to do, a low twenty mirror was in the net.
With the rod back on the spot, it was time to get some sleep.
Morning arrived and the wind was from the west with plenty of cloud cover and the chance to do another night. I just had to give it a go, after the hard few days we just had and with the first-night success. Clearly, the heat put them completely off for the next 36hrs. After the change in weather conditions, which may have helped in landing me that 20 lber, I just had to put that bit of extra effort in. In all honesty, I was pretty close to going home, but a fish in the early hours of this morning and seeing signs for the first time this morning changed my mind and my mind was made up.
The day was a mixture of cloudy and sunny weather and a really good blow on the lake from the South. I had baited up with 5 small spombs again just before noon and also made the decision to move the right-hand rod to the left spot. The silt weed was getting a lot more a prolific and not so easy to find a clear spot. We had heard carp top through the night but further out into open water, it was worth moving the left-hand rod more in to open water. After about 30 minutes, I was happy with a nice clear spot and I had looked closely at the Lakebook and was looking for the 9ft area.
Which I found and then managed to find a clear area. Not wishing to over bait, I spomded out 5 small loads, but I was certainly wishing to get some attention into that area. We shall have to see when tonight arrives. Once Ian packed up, I moved my pod into the center of the swim and we headed off for a walk around half the lake. It felt good to stretch the legs, as I had not really done much over the past few days.
As the last night drew in, the carp woke up a lot more than before. I was so confident, I stayed up until gone 11pm and drifted off to sleep sometime after that. Sometime in the hours of darkness, I had a few bleeps and heard fish out there. I struggled to get back off to sleep in the anticipation of one of my rods going off, but it simply never happened. This was a shock, I reeled in and checked my hooks baits – all was well. Maybe one had a bit too much silkweed, but I don’t think so. The carp just must have been preoccupied with natural food, or just in the mood for jumping.
A great 4 nights were had, with a good laugh and a few glasses of wine, maybe a bit too hot at times.
Until next time
After a fabulous weekend away with the family and a change in the weather conditions, I did a quick turn around and was heading for the lake.
I was really in two minds as whether or not to go to the Airfield Lake. It had been a few weeks since I was last there. The problem is that Meadow Lake is full of anglers at the moment, so I just had to have a drive around. There was no way I was fishing the same swim as before; unless they were going crazy over that side. The wind had picked up nicely and there was a cool fresh breeze from the SSE and I decided if one of two swims were free, I would go and see if I could find the perfect spot. If I hadn’t had any luck after an hour, I would head over to the Airfield lake for a look.
The first swim I arrived at was taken, so I popped down and had a quick chat with Jack. I then headed on to the next swim which was free, as luck would have it.
I parked up, got the Deeper Chirp out and proceeded to see what was out there.
There was clearly too much of the horrible silkweed about which had caused me no end of problems last trip. I just had to find a harder area and with a bit of perseverance, I finally did.
I quickly got the marker on the spot and sure enough, there was hardly any weed. Also, the bottom was quite hard, this will do me.
I spombed out my usual mixture of Smokey, Catalyst, Hemp, etc. as I hadn’t found any other suitable spots and this area was quite large. I opted to put both rods out there, one with a Catalyst wafter and the other a Cat pop up. I wasn’t fishing to far out or even along the tree-lined margins, but I still set up very close to my rods, as you can never be too sure with this carp.
That was one of the most disappointing nights for a very long time. I had 3 takes and connected to absolutely zero. They were nice slow takes, the bobbin was right up and the tip was bending round, my best explanation is there is a trailing carp in that area. My hooks were still sticky sharp and I have not changed anything about my rig, etc. It becomes very frustrating on situations like this, the first two happened before 1030 at night and the last one at 6am. I was laying in the bag watching as the bobbin pulled up and the tip bent round, not that much, the line was pulling off, I picked the rod up and thin air again. I was lost for words and pretty downtrodden at this point. The geese had been pretty active since first light, so not much sleep was had, the sunrise was lovely through the fog/mist.
Until next time
After a long message exchange with Ian, we decided we better get back on the Airfield Lake before it’s too late, as the school holidays are just around the corner. I thought that it was a great idea. With that in mind and not wishing to turn up blind at the weekend, I just had to do a reccy trip during the week.
I was a bit late arriving than I hoped for but at least I was there. I had a quick look around, the wind was pushing hard on this bank. A few carp were crashing on the small bay to my right, with the odd fish on the surface. This had to be the swim. I had a good view of a fair percentage of the lake, it was also a good spot for watching the lake tonight and tomorrow morning.
As I had mapped this swim with the Deeper and also fished it a fair few times, I knew where my baited needed to be. However, I still got the marker rod out as a double check to where the silt beds were and to check the depth. You can easily end up in 2ft of water when its best to be in 4ft when the swans come to visit! I spombed out 4 loads over each area, put a bottom bait on one rod and the other with a wafter. I settled down to watch the lake and eat my packed tea.
It was some time around 2am when the left-hand rod bust in to live, in the way that only Airfield Lake carp do. I was fast off and somehow facing into the brolly which caused great confusion for a few seconds as the buzzer was still screaming away! After what felt like an eternity, I was eventually by my rod and pulling into a low double figured carp who was still heading out like a torpedo in these shallow waters. It was brought under control and after a poor attempt at running away in the margins towards the reeds, it was safely in the Nsr50.
With the fish safely returned and the snaps done. I set about recasting the rod and got my head down for a few more hours.
There were fish all over the place most of the night and first thing in the morning. They were still going when I headed for home.
Until next time
Part 5 of 10 will follow in a couple of weeks
Until then Richard