Looking Back Over 2019 Part 6 of 10


Looking Back Over 2019 Part 6 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.

Trip 51 Carp Fishing – 2019

With the wife dropping the kids off at the mother-in-law’s for a few days.  It gave me the opportunity to do a quick night before work on Monday morning.

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I’d the pick of any swim.  After chatting with a fellow member, the wind was hacking down the lake and there had also been a big storm over the weekend, I felt this was my best choice.  I was concerned that the carp may just be at the back of the wind, but the only sign and information was they weren’t.

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I baited my normal spot with 8 large spombs of my favorite combination of stuff.  I put one rod on there with an 18mm Catalyst wafter (after leading about for a clear spot) and then I set about thinking of where to put the other rod tonight.  There are so many options available in this swim.  In the meantime, I flicked a Catalyst pop up into the corner of the bar and planned to watch the lake.  I may even make up my mind as the day progressed.

The strong wind was about to push hard into this corner of the lake, so I got the Deeper out and allowed it to drift over this area a few times.  The wind allowed me to cast out of the swim and into an area I was not interested in.  The Deeper would drift into the swim negating the likelihood of any unnecessary disruption to the swim, I use this technique a lot and it works very well.

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As there was a bit of weed about, I needed to put the marker float on the spot to help me with accurate casting.  I flicked a bait out, then 4 large spombs and split the rods up, this is to make playing fish easy.  I’m not sure why more people don’t do this, probably because it doesn’t look good – I’m sure the carp don’t care.

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Just after 7 pm that rod ripped off, after the initial battle and the carp was well under control, the hook pulled out – aargh!

I checked the point and it was absolutely perfect – just one of those things which happens every so offered.  It felt like a nice lump, but you can never completely tell.

The rod had not been back on the spot for very long, another carp rolled over the spot, fingers crossed for another take.

It was just before 1130 pm when the same rod was away.  At first, I thought it was a Tench, but as the fight progressed, it was clearly not.  Even though it the only started to wake up in the margins, the fight progressively got more intense but the battle was done and a nice Ghosty was in the Nsr.

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20lb 1oz Ghosty

My third capture of this carp over the five year’s if been fishing on here.

The rod was soon back on the spot and hopefully, another carp will pass my way.

The next take came to the right-hand rod this time and it was stuck in the weed bed for some time.  After a bit of gentle pressure, it was free, but carrying a good lump of weed.  This played havoc in the margins but I had gained control, it’s like having a dead weight attached to the line but about two foot away from the carp.  The weed get stuck on the leader knot, but we finally made it into the Nsr, it felt like a lifetime and my arm was certainly feeling the pain.

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27.15 Common

The weed had damaged the line, so I had to strip a few meters off, to be honest, after any fight with a fish in weed, I tend to strip off a few meters.  It’s better to be safe than sorry later.  I feel with all the to-ing and frow-ing, the line has a lot of pressure put on it, best to get rid of that line.

The rest of the night passed with no more bleeps or takes.  There was certainly a lot of carp active last night, they were crashing everywhere.  There was a small amount of rain this morning.  It was soon pack up time, head home and get a few days of work done before the big family holiday.

Until next time

Trip 52 Carp Fishing – 2019

After an amazing two weeks holiday in Cornwall.  It’s certainly a lovely part of the UK and I’ve not been there for years but I can safely say, I will definitely be returning there again.

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One of my favourite places we visited, very hard to pick, as this area its just full of hidden away gems.

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Once back, it was time to get my fishing head on again.  After a chat with a few of the members who were fishing at the weekend, it appeared that the carp were coming out on a regular basis and I could be in with a shout.  The weather conditions were not the best, but I was bankside and who could complain about that?

Swim choice was going to be hard having been away but a very fresh NW wind was going to start blowing by noontime, I felt I needed to be in that wind.  It would be pushing along the point which has four swims along it.  It would also give me an opportunity to spot some carp who were active in the main body of the lake and in the bay behind me.  I wasn’t sure whether to wait until one of the members packed up from the swim where I was for my last trip.  It would be at the back of the wind but it had been occupied since Friday or stick to one that hadn’t been fished and was in the full force of the wind.  Then a carp rolled – job done.

I checked out one of my normal spots for weed growth and then set about finding a new area to fish.  I was sure that the carp were more spread than they had been over the past few months.

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This was the spot I picked for my right-hand rod.  I was fishing a pop up just to the right of the main body of the weed bed and I baited very heavily with a mixture of 12mm Smokey / Catalyst boilies.  I then moved on to the next spot.  I was looking for a new feature in this swim, previously it had been hard going on the left-hand side of the swim.  However, in previous years that area had produced very well.  I’m not sure if it’s the lack of bait going into that area, everyone has started to only fish the right side or it’s just gone off the boil.

I found a perfect area; just off where I’d seen a carp roll, it then moved away to the hard part of the lake.  I wished to fish one rod on silt and other on gravel, I also baited this area very heavily with the same boilies, the hook bait for this rod was going to be a Catalyst wafter.

My first take happened just after 4 am, with a couple of bleeps and a nice slow run.  I was on to the rod straight away and pulled into what felt like a good lump moving from the left across to my right and out into open water.  I was buzzing right up until the point where the hook pulled out.  Which was pretty gutting.  This has happened a few times recently, I had not changed my rigs or set up.  So, this points to the carp could possibly changing their way of feeding and only mouthing the baits.  This in turns means they/I don’t get a decent hook hold.

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After a lot of thoughtful thinking during the day and a more favourable weather conditions moving in, I finally decided that I would stay for another night even with the early pack up.

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The sun was setting real low and the carp began to show.  But not over my bait but in the vicinity and I’d not seen any real signs all day long.  However, just after 9 pm, the left-hand rod gave a few bleeps, which got me out of my bivvy!  With the headtorch pointing at the rod tip and I could see the line twitching.  Quickly, I picked the rod up and pulled into thin air.  I quickly reeled down and repeated the process until I finally caught with the carp, who at this point was heading for the overhanging tree to my left. As quickly as I could, I put the rod under the water as far as it would go and slowly pumped the fish away from any obstructions.  I played the fish out over the next 10 minute as I was probably a bit paranoid about losing another one, it was soon safely in the Nsr.

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30lb 8oz Common

I was over the moon and very happy that I had stayed.  With carp topping out there, I soo had the rod back out and feeling very confident.

The next take was just after 2 am and produced this lovely mirror.  I may well have had it before and will check when I get back home.

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23lb 5oz Mirror

Very pleased with my second carp of the night and definitely worth the effort.

The alarm clock was soon sounding and it was time to pack up in the first light of the day.

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Pack up time

Until next time

Trip 53 Carp Fishing – 2019

With a busy family weekend ahead, I took the opportunity to pick the youngest up from school and head straight for the lake.  This turned out to be a great move, as it was pretty full up this weekend, these things happen from time to time.

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However, I was quite lucky because an area that I had spotted fish in previously was not occupied.  I didn’t hesitate and quickly set up before a passing shower arrived.

One rod was placed on a spot which has produced carp before.  I baited it lightly as I was only here for just over 12 hrs and didn’t wish to make much disturbance.  The other rod was cast to a hardish spot which I found with the marker rod.  I knew what I was looking for as I had looked on the Deeper Lakebook page.

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I was after the drop off on the side of the small island, I also baited lightly.  I left the other anglers to create more disturbance and push the fish my way.  I purposely set up and baited upon arrival for this reason.  I then popped over to see Ian, who was fishing the far corner of the lake to reduce the noise level; we shall see how this pans out.

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Both rods were on large Catalyst boilies with a 15mm pop up.

We settled down for the night, as I watch the lake, my daughter watches her tablet and munches all the chocolate bars before I noticed!

My first take happened just after 1 am on the right-hand rod.  As there is a rocky ledge to this swim there is no way you can rush to the rods.  Which is always fun when you have just woken up!  But I was soon there and playing a carp in the fog, this is also great fun and you struggle to pick up which way the line is going.  I was also worried about the overhanging bush to my right, but lucky for me the fish stuck to open water and was soon slipping into the Nsr.

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31lb 15oz Common

That will do nicely.  There’s always a chance of another one through the rest of the night.  Thankfully, the daughter was sound asleep through the whole thing and none the wiser; lucky I got some photographs as she wouldn’t believe me.  With the rod back on the spot it was time to get my head down again.

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The morning soon arrived and pack up time was getting ever closer.

Until next time

Trip 54 Carp Fishing- 2019

Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 18hrs

I made it back down the lake for another quick overnighter and the angler pressure from the weekend gone (and the fact that no one had fished in the swim I was in Friday night on a Saturday night), I was just drawback there again.  Not sure why but it just felt the right place to be.

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I baited the same spot I had fished my right-hand rod on my last trip.  The left-hand rod, I moved to the bottom of the drop off on the left-hand side of the small island.  I’d seen carp there a few times before when fishing on the other side of the lake.

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The wind was due to swing from NW to SW this afternoon, and a cloud front moving in.  The pressure was due to fall not supper low, but falling.  It was leading up to a very wet day on Monday; which if I was lucky, I would just about pack up in the morning before it arrives.

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Just after 1am again, they like that time in this swim, the left-hand rod screams off and I pull into what feels like a nice fish.  No sooner than I did, the carp bumps off.  Not that again.  I thought I’d fixed that issue – apparently not.  I got the bait back out and got back into the sack a bit, there is always time for another one before my 6am packing up time.

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It turned out to be the only bite of the night, but I’m happy.  It does show that I was right with where the fish are, just unfortunate not to land it.

Until next time

Trip 55 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 63hrs

I’m back in the swing of fishing again and very lucky this weekend I am able to fish 3 nights and catch up with Ian after the Summer Holidays.

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Ian after just after 1030 and had a good look around the lake, he gave me a call with the options available.  It appeared that everyone had the same idea this weekend and had arrived down on Thursday.  We picked the area we felt was best for us.  I arrived down just before 7 pm and quickly baited up two areas which interested me.  I found these areas on the Deeper lakebook in the afternoon before the school run had been done and the kids had been fed.

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As I’d arrived so late, I didn’t fancy chucking the bait out straight away, so I planned to top the swim up tomorrow lunchtime.  The carp were responding to large beds of bait quite well at the moment.  I was sticking to my normal mixture but had added crushed hemp this time.  I would still be sticking to the large snowman bait set up.

My first take happened just after 11 pm to my right-hand rod and I played the fish all the way in.  It rolled on the surface just off and the hook pulled out.  Oh, that’s just not funny.  If this happens again, I will soon start to be me paranoid, this will also not help matters.

With the rod back out there, I was in my bed and mulling over what had just happened and it’s just one of those things that happen once every so often.  Just not to me in the past few years – I must have saved them all up until now!

Unfortunately, the night past with no more action for myself or Ian.  The conditions are still pretty good and a chance of a morning take.  The temp is due to rise up to 20 degree today and tomorrow, but the daylight hours are getting shorter.  I’m sure the carp will be aware, Autumn is underway and Winter is just around the corner.

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We both rebaited between 1130 and 1300, we feel this is the best time to avoid too much disturbance to any potentially feeding carp.  The weather had turned hot and sunny as forecasted and the pressure would be rocketing up.  In our favor, there was a lovely breeze from the Northwest.

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The night past by in complete silence and another sunny day arrived.  I felt there was no point in touching the baits until something happened, there is no real point in adding any more bait.  Ian finally managed to bank a carp (much to his joy), he’d been blanking over the past few trips – he was over the moon with this lovely.

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26lb 12oz Common

The first night was full of fish crashing about and the second was the opposite.  I’m hoping that tonight will be the opposite again and I wouldn’t lose another fish to a hook pull!

I was feeling pretty confident that all was on the mark and there was certainly still a good chance of a carp or two.

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That just didn’t happen and it was a blank weekend for me – but a brilliant social and a great laugh.

Until next time

Trip 56 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Estate Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

With Monday’s now free (I’ve rearranged my workload to only 3 days a week), I’m either going to be here for the day or stay on Meadow Lake after the weekend.  Arriving on a  Friday night will get harder as the nights draw in and Winter sets in.  I find that getting into a routine of where you fish and when; helps you organize and plan the sessions out better.  It creates less stress and disorganization which is certainly not going to help you bank fish.

There has been a work party on the lake recently, which I was unable to attend (unfortunately) due to prior arrangement.  This was a real shame, as it would have been a great opportunity to meet other members and gain some extra knowledge regarding their success and failures here.  As I don’t believe it’s been very fruitful for many members.

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I have decided for easy access and setting up in the dark, the car park side of the lake was going to be my chosen side for the Autumn and Winter months.  This gave me access to a high proportion of the lake and once the weed had died back, I would have no issues putting a bait in 3/4 of the lake and if I only baited this area, it would create a feeding area.

The spots I was focusing on today were a lovely clean area under an overhanging bush and a spot at the back of a weed bed left which divides two swims.  The margin rod was baited by hand and the other a small PVA bag.  Both rods were baited with 12mm pop-ups, one classic corn, and the other Pink pepper squid.  I was after something different and visual.

I was also planning on checking out a few areas with the Deeper for the last hour.  This was to gain more insight into the makeup of the bottom after a lot of the weed had been taken out.

I’m sure I learn a bit more every time I fish here, but it’s certainly turning out to be a hard nut to crack.  I do have to bear in mind that I probably have only fished here 6 or 7 times since joining and my main reason was for the Winter & the last of the Autumn months.  So, all in all, I’m really only now just starting what I set out to do and any previous trips were all exploratory.

Until next time.

Trip 57 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 66hrs

Ian and I are back down Meadow Lake for another few nights and it’s probably the last one until next year.  Ian will be heading for pike fishing and I will be sticking to the carp for a bit longer, then I will be after the perch over the really cold months.

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There was a change in the weather conditions and the gap swim was the best option for this weekend.  The other two favorable swims were taken.  We swapped over sides this weekend and marked about, checking out any changes in weed growth, etc. and then set about getting a bit of bait in the swim.

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Morning arrived and as I half expected, the rods were silent overnight.  The prime swims had been taken, so we need the carp to be pushed our way.  The carp was very much held up in that area and only accessible from two swims.  The far bank was another safe haven for them as well, this was way out of my casting range.

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I’m fishing similar tactics to last weekend, I’ve tweaked the sizes of bait and hooks a bit and lengthen the hair on the bigger hook bait.

In the afternoon, I set about finding a better spot for my left-hand rod.  The wind was from the East and behind us, it was the perfect opportunity to get the Deeper out and let it drift beyond my casting range (I use this method a lot).  It creates less disturbance over the area you are fishing and it was pretty much flat out there, with no real features and then, BOOM this popped up on the screen.

After locating the spot with the marker float as the Deeper was drifting still; I was after the edge of this feature and not on the middle of the weed.  I spombed out a mixture of ground-up Catalyst boilies with hemp, this had been soaking in Catalyst syrup for the last 4 days.  I added to this, a small amount of 12mm Smokey and Catalyst boilies. The other rod was left alone, I just added a pva bag filled with Betafin, Smokey, Catalyst pellets with a good load of Catalyst syrup.

My first take happened just before 1745 to the left-hand rod, it had been placed on the new spot which I found on the Deeper earlier on in the day.  It was a long hard fight, which no real issue, other than it dived into a load of weed under the rod tip and buried its head in there.  But with a bit of pressure, it was soon out and safely in the Nsr.

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30lb 5oz

I rebaited and got the bait back put there.

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An18mm Catalyst wafter with 15mm PPS pop up, this rig and bait combination has produced me a few nice lumps over the Summer.

The second night was full of heavy rain showers, these carp, just don’t like it.  It meant another silent night on the buzzer front.  It was flat calm at first light.  I was hoping to spot signs of carp, but it just wasn’t happening.  Rain was forecast throughout the day, fingers crossed, the real heavy stuff has moved on and the carp will fancy a day time feed.  The wind was due to pick up from the S/W with a drop in pressure as well, it’s looking good today.

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Just after 1130 and in the rain, the left-hand rod pulled up and I was into a tench.  That one was safety returned I chucked a new bag out.  It was breakfast time or should I say lunch, once that was over and the rain had completely gone.  It was time to top up the swim.

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I need to wait a bit longer to redo the distance rod as the wind was still pretty blowy out there, it was due to drop and that would be a perfect time.

Just before 10 pm the right had rod bobbin pulled up and after the tench early on today, I thought it may be another, but alas not.  No sooner I had got that rod out, the other rod did the same.  I pulled some line off the spool and it pulled up again.  I quickly picked the rod up and pulled into a lump of weed.  Once on the bank and a closer inspection, I had a rig, lead and a load of braided line, oh joy that was both rods not quite on the spot in just 20 minutes.  The joys of casting in the dark!

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Well its nearly the end of a very hard few days fishing and a very enjoyable social with Ian, albeit the last one for some time.  He is after the pike this Winter and will be putting a lot of groundwork in, effort equals reward and I will update you of his progress over the coming months.

Unfortunately, it was yet another peaceful night on the carp front and after a lot of thought, its clearly apparent that the carp are held up in front/in-between the two swim which have been constantly fished all season.  The others just have no carp in them.  Therefore, all the angler’s bait is going into this area, only a few are scattering in other areas.  This area is also adjacent to two sanctuaries which will give the carp a rest bite from angler pressure (without moving too far away from the food source).

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Last chance for the both of use

It was a blank for Ian and just the one for me; very hard going but these things happen.

Until next time

Trip 58 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Coombe Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

With stormy weather passing through Hampshire today – no gardening for me.  You just can’t work effectively in these conditions.

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But you never know the Estate Lake carp, may well fancy a good feed.  It’s all about learning on here and a completely different approach to my other waters.

I have decided that as you are allowed to use three rods on here, I will get myself another rod license (I only have a two-rod license at the moment).  I feel it would be beneficial to be able to put two rods on the same area over the Winter months, I will be continuously baiting these areas and use the third rod to roam about and try a different spot each time.

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It was looking very promising at one point when there was a load of fizzing going on by the weed bed where my right-hand rod was cast, but it was not to be today.

Until next time

Trip 59 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 44 hrs

I was unable to get down the lake until Saturday mid-morning, the wife was out at the ballet with a friend last night.  By the sound of things, the lake was pretty rammed and I don’t blame them, the conditions this week have been spot on and a few carp have been banked.

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I arrived just after 1030 and found the lake pretty empty, as most of the Friday night boys had headed home.  So I was in with a chance of getting in one of the prime swims.  The wind was belting down this end of the lake over the next 48 hrs and another good storm was pushing through over the next 24 hrs.  It certainly felt like the best option.

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I set about checking over the areas with the Deeper.  I was looking for a weed bed and a nice clean gravel area in front of it for better bait presentation.  After finding a couple of perfect spots I was very happy with, I spombed out about 10 ground bait balls over each area.  I like to do this in the Autumn months as you get a better concentration of particle bits – rather than a spread over a great big area.  You can never really tell where it will end up when there is a big blow on the lake.  The under toe will carry smaller particles away from your area.  I also put out plenty of 12mm Smokey/Catalyst boilies and I was fishing a pop up and snowman both on a Ronnie rig set up.

Unfortunately, my baiting up skills where rubbish this weekend, I spombed 27 wraps last weekend perfectly, this weekend I was sending them all over the place and only fishing 16 wraps out.  These things happen.  Just a bit more spread about then I would have liked.

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The first take happened just after 1930.  Unfortunately, it was a bream, not had one of them for some time.  The rod was soon back on the spot and I was drying out in the bivvy, the rain had arrived, as forecast.

Wow, that was a wet, windy night on the bank and with no carp to my name.  Mind you, I wasn’t surprised as I still can’t pick up a take when it’s chucking it down.  I was hoping for a take first thing after it stopped……still waiting!

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I re-baited the hook baits just after 9 am, to freshen up the baits and we will see how today goes.  I have spotted a couple of carp top near the left-hand rod, so my confidence was building and with any luck, I would bag a carp this afternoon.  I topped the swim up with a few more balls of ground bait and boilies, sat back and watched the swim.

Well, I waited all weekend for a take and it happened at just at 3 am.  The fish headed into the weed and managed to shed the hook.  Not what I needed, but you live and learn.  With an early pack up, my head was soon on the pillow thinking about it and eventually, I drifted back off to sleep.  The alarm clock was off sooner than I hoped and it was time to get home.

Until next time

Trip 60 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Estate Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

Back from two nights on the big syndicate and the house husband stuff done.  I am trying to stick to my Monday day session on here, it’s just hard work after packing up at 6 am on the other syndicate.

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I’m sticking to this swim all Winter, as it gives me easy access to bait up and fish from and it will simplify things if I can fit the odd night in as well.

I will stay on the same spots which I have baited twice since my last trip; once when I left and the other on Wednesday evening.  If I can stick to this routine, hopefully, I will start to get some results sooner rather then later.

Its noon time now and I have finally spotted a carp, it wasn’t too far away from my baited area.  They certainly don’t like to show themselves in here very much.  I had a look round the back of the island earlier on and I think there was fish at the back of the weed bed, but I was not going that far away from my rods.

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I do hope I catch another one soon from the lake, otherwise, it’s going to be a long hard and slow Winter.

I knocked up another blank today.

Until next time

Part 7 of 10 will follow in a couple of weeks

Until then Richard

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About richardhandel

I would like to give a brief snap shot of my life and introduce myself; My name is Richard Handel and was born in 1965 in Suffolk. I have worked as a UK Operation & Intermodule Manager for a shipping company. I live in Hampshire now and am married with 2 young children, both girls so I am a bit outnumbered even the cat is a girl! I have been fishing since I was about 7 years old. I started on small local rivers in Suffolk, then moved onto gravel pits and then carp fishing. My personal best is a 39.08 mirror, over recent years I have started river fishing again, on the Hampshire Avon, this is a nice break from the carp lakes. My life has turned a big corner this year, the company I was working for relocated their Operation centre to Estonia. I was offered a job at the head office in London. This would have meant a 5 day commute and working in Stratford. As a family, we did not fancy this, as I would hardly spend any time with the children (and the Mrs). So after 22.5 years, I was given a nice redundancy package and with my wife is working full time. I became the house husband. This has meant a complete turn around in my fishing, as I can pick and choose when I go. I have found a splendid new syndicate to fish this year, which includes 5 lakes and some 8 miles of river with only 150 members. It's an amazing change to the way I am able to fish. I am now trying to start my own tackle business and make a bit of a name for myself in the world of fishing, as I have retired from real work. Richard
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