Looking Back Over 2019 Part 7 of 10


Looking Back Over 2019 Part 7 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 61 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Estate Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

With the weather conditions not conducive to gardening today, but in favor of fishing.  I’m back out on the Estate Lake for another go.  After putting a load of bait out before I left yesterday (just a kilo), don’t want to overdo it at the moment, as other anglers still keen.

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I just flicked two bags out on the spots and sat back under the brolly out of the rain watching the lake for any signs.  They are reluctant to show themselves this time of the morning, let’s hope they have their heads down still.

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Despite seeing a good fizz up over one of my bags, it was not to be again today.

Just got to keep the bait going in and it will pay off.

Until next time

Trip 62 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 41 hrs

It’s that time of the week again and I’m back out to the Meadow Lake and in the swim, I least expected to be set up in.  It was the best of the rest and commands so much water.  I could’ve easily set up in another couple of swims but would be near other anglers.  It just made sense and my daughter loves this swim and I tells me I will catch a monster from here this weekend. You never know!

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Setting up was a complete disaster; lost marker float, two leads later and I gained the complete inability to cast accurately.  But we got there in the end.  I was very glad to sit down and chat with my youngest, who is down for the night.  Taking her helps me out, as I get here by 1630 and not 1830, as its dusk by 1900 hrs.

I wasn’t going to do anything too different, I double-checked the spots for weed and got a good load of boilies and ground bait ball out over both areas.  I was using my Ronnie rig set up, but had changed over to finskin, instead of the fluorocarbon hook link.  I had previously dropped a few fish over the past few trips and decided that a change in hook link material was in order.  I was still using a snowman rig set up, with a Catalyst wafter with a 12 mm pink pop up, one was a Catalyst and the other a PPS.

Just after dark, a few fish showed in the swim and not too far away from my spots.  This was a real confidence boost.

With a few liners on the right-hand rod early on in the night, I was convinced it would rattle off, but no it stayed quiet for the rest of the night, which was very misty and damp.  The wind had moved to the North, it was due to be moving all over the place over the next 24 hrs and heavy rain was forecast overnight.  I was in two minds whether to knock it on the head; as you know, I generally don’t get any bites on here when it’s like that.  I’m slightly tempted to move into a bay area which is near, I may have heard carp in there last night, unfortunately, there is a day angler in there at the moment, so will have to see later on

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After a morning thinking, I decided it was time to move into the bay area, there clearly are carp in here, who are still loving the remnants of the weed bed.

When I first arrived in the swim, there was a day angler on the opposite point so I found a couple of clear spots not to spoil his day.  I’d spotted a carp crashing earlier on and put a bag in that area and after looking at the Deeper lakebook, I could work out where to cast, with the least disturbance to the carp.

Both rods would have pop-ups on until I could get the Deeper out there later and find a couple of perfect spots for the night.  The wind and rain would be in my face tonight, which I’m hoping will stir them up for a few bites.

Just after 2pm, it was time to find the best place to pick up a bite from and after 15 minutes with the Deeper, it was clear there was plenty of weed in this bay, in particular, there was a channel between the very dense weed and another weed bed.  This channel leads into the bay corner and by the big overhanging trees, not an area to fish at night however a perfect interception route for any fish moving out into open water.  So I put in the last of the ground bait balls and 1.5 kilos of Catalyst boilies here.  There was still a thin layer of weed there, so the need for a pop-up was a definite.  I opted for both pink pop-ups, one Catalyst, and the second PPS.  It was apparent that it was a transit route out and I need to attract them not by bait alone, hence the pink boilies.

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There is a considerable amount of weed in this area and I have a feeling it’s going to be worth a few trips in here over the coming weeks.

The night passed with less rain than was forecast.  We must’ve been on the edge of the cloud front, there was a fair bit of light rain.

I was rewarded by a Tench on the left-hand rod at about 7am.  With clear blue sky, it was looking like a beautiful day was on its way, I am due to start packing up at 0830, which give me an hour and a bit to bag a carp.

Until next time

Richard

Trip 63 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Coombe Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

I’m on the Estate Lake today for a few hours. As there was no one about, I took the opportunity to walk around yesterday afternoon, which I prefer to do this, as I’m sure that the lake is very noise sensitive and the carp melt into nowhere if they hear anything out of the ordinary. This does appear that way on my day trips. I’m continuing to bait up 2 kilos a week, which is the best I can manage. I look at it as little and often, and the carp will home in on this area, it may take some weeks and it may only happen once the other anglers pull off as the Winter gets ever closer.

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Just bags and pop ups today – two in the weed and one by an overhanging bush. I will sit back, watch the water, read a book and soak up the peace and tranquility of this lake.

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Unfortunately it was another blank out on the Estate Lake.

Until next time

Trip 64 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Estate Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

With another October rainy day forecast, it certainly wasn’t the weather for gardening – it’s now getting beyond a joke.  However, looking back to when I was younger and out fishing this time of the year, with generally pretty rubbish wet weather gear.  All I remember is that it always rains in October, no real change there then.

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I’m on the Estate Lake for a few hours again, I have moved along a bit, to get to another spot on the dam end.  I’ve abandoned the overhanging bush for now as I haven’t seen or felt any signs of carp activity near there.  Same tactics as always here, big bags in the weed all with sorts, Ronnie rigs with different hook baits on until I can crack the code.

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Trying out the Grizzyman Clothing Gorka suit today and wow I’m warm.  I am looking forward to some Winter days to really feel the benefits.

Just after noontime the rain finally stopped and half an hour later, the left-hand rod was off.  It was attached to a very unhappy carp, but unfortunately, the hook pulled out, as the carp had found a good clump of weed.  It is not a complete disaster, I did get a take from a spot I have been baiting up and there was at least one carp down this end of the lake.

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I’ve got just over an hour left to go, so you never know…  Sometimes you get lucky, I was no soon into another carp and this one made it to the net.  I think I was unlucky with the first take as this one easily came out of the weed, must have been more of an obstruction down there.

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12lb 10oz Mirror

Not the biggest but well deserved I must say.  Two takes from the area of the lake I’m baiting has really put my confidence up in what I’m doing by baiting an area that the carp are not always in.  It’s about making life easier over the Winter months on miserable days.  Let’s hope this is the start of something good.

Until next time

Trip 65 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 20hrs

With a few family things on this weekend, I was limited to just one night.  This is no real issue, as I have a week coming up soon, I wasn’t 100% sure of my chances as there had been 13 anglers here last night and only a couple headed for home.  It was looking quieter for Saturday night, but still plenty of time for others to arrive, but hopefully i’ve picked an area that had been left alone for a few nights.

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With the margin in this swim being pretty deep and the pads had more or less died away.  There’s a good chance I can pick up a patrolling carp, the other rod is 15 wraps out in a lovely smooth area.  Both rods have a good kilo of Catalyst boilies and I have chosen to fish a pop up over the silty area and a wafter on the harder margin spot.

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It was a completely bleep free night, with only the Canada geese to disturb me.  The early lads where off by 7am, which is a great alarm clock and it gave me some time to watch the lake, otherwise, I would still be asleep.  The temperature had dropped down to 6 degrees for the first time in a few weeks and this could be the first real signs of Autumn temperature dropping.

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I didn’t think my chances where that high, but you never know with fishing.

Until next time

Trip 66 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Estate Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

I’m on the estate lake for my Monday trip and the conditions are looking favorable.  However, I am mindful that there was quite a long gap between my catch’s on this lake and I must not get too overconfident with things.

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I’m using 3 rods again today again but may just stick to 2 in the future.  I have grown quite used to two rods after being on my syndicate.  Rod 1 is in a nice clear area, where I lost my first take last time on here, the other 2 are close to the small island and in a small bay, both these areas I have been baiting over the past few months.

The hook baits are still varied until I get a better understanding of their preferences related to the time of the year and presentation situation etc.

I have just seen a carp roll already in this part of the lake, which is a first for some time during the daylight hours. The hook baits I’ve gone for are all Catalyst which is what I’m baiting up with.  I’ve gone for 12mm white, 12mm Glugged and a 15mm wafter, I have had takes on all three so I am very confident the carp are on the bait.

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I also I’m testing out my Gorka 4 suit from Grizzyman Clothing and have purposely not worn any other thermal stuff – only thin clothing.  I know it’s not Winter yet, but I generally get pretty cold sitting about at my age or it could be those long cold days pike fishing in the 80s with no protection from the elements.

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I’ve got about 20 minutes before its reeling in time and its just not happening today.  There has been a pretty harsh wind blowing and the daytime temperature is pretty low compared to the last few weeks.  Maybe this has affected them?  I’ve not seen any fizz ups today, which on previous times despite not catching they were very common.  There is a little bit of blue sky and if I’m lucky the sun will be out, it may inspire a feeding spell.

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Unfortunately, it was not to be and I will certainly be back soon for another go.

Until next time

Trip 67 Carp Fishing – 2019

After finishing my one and only job; and the fact I’m driving past the lake, it would be silly not to put a couple of rods out for a few hours.  The only takes I have had had so far have all been around noontime, so it’s got to be done!

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Same swim, spots and tactics as always, you just never know.

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Anytime spent on a lake is valuable and you can get more information each time, no carp again today, but we are still working on it.

Until next time

Trip 68 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Coombe Lake

Hours Fished – 5 hrs

With yet another rainy day forecast, I did think it had gone away, but nope another wet 3 days on the cards, but it should stop before my week-long trip next week.  It is due to turn dry and cold, frosty mornings with high pressure, it is going to be hard work catching any fish.

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Well same swim, same spots, different day and a good helping of bait, I put it out yesterday afternoon.  This was in the hope of attracting the carp and holding them in the swim until this morning.  I think I just may name this swim ‘Lazy Mans’ as it’s so easy to set up in.  I do the set up in my truck, walk through the gate and flick the baits out, its really all about simplifying the process for wet days – just like the past few weeks.

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I’m planning on doing two nights here for my next trip, which is why I have been baiting up so much and taking the opportunity to refine my spots.  It’s not looking too promising currently, I can only hope their feeding spell is later afternoon and overnight.

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Well, it’s looking like another blank for me on here, this doesn’t bode well for my two nighters, but I feel you have to try these things out to gain knowledge of the lake.  The more time you spend on the water the more you learn.

Until next time

Trip 69 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – Estate Lake

Hours Fished – 24hrs

With the family away over half term week, I have 7 nights fishing and this time I have decided to break it up over 2 different lakes.  I will be starting off on the Estate Lake and then moving on to the Meadow Lake.  My thought process is that the Meadow has been very packed over the past few weeks and this weekend the clocks change, so I’m sure it will be the case again.  Which leads on to my next conclusion, give the lake a few days rest after the weekend would be a pretty smart move.  I would then arrive as early as possible on Tuesday morning but I will need to go via home to stock up on food and bait from the freezer.

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So, Estate Lake was my first port of call and as luck would have it, there had been no-one fishing there at the weekend.  This gave me the opportunity to stick some more bait in on Saturday night, as the last time I had been able to prebait was Wednesday – after my short day session.  This was part of the pre-baiting plan; to gave them a break over the weekend.  It did allow me to bait up my swim before I arrived early Sunday morning after I had dropped the family off at the airport at 6 am.  When I arrived all I did was flick 3 bags out over the spots and set up my home with the least amount of disturbance.  This must work in my favour – unfortunately, the weather may not be, at least it’s stopped raining.  The downside is that the pressure is going up, Northerly winds and proper low Autumn temperatures and a good chance of a frost.  This is why it may just work in my favour, fingers crossed and I will only know by the end of the week.

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I’m in my normal swim; fishing the normal spots I have been baiting up over the past few weeks or maybe more.  My rods are on 15mm Catalyst wafters, all topped off with different colour plastic corn as I like to give the carp a bit of colour this time of the year.  They are building themselves for the winter months so they will be foraging more and with their inquisitive nature, I’m confident this will help me over this week’s sessions on both lakes.

I’m just using PVA bag and no need for any baiting as this was done last night at around 6 pm.  There were signs of fizzing when I arrived which is a very positive start.  I may top the swim-up with some Catalyst boilies if there is no action today.  You never know, they could have mopped up all the bait.

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As the day progressed a carp stuck its head out by the island, a couple moved about in the weed and I was feeling pretty confident.  The north wind had picked up, it was feeling pretty cold out and the maximum temperature was 11 degrees today, you could certainly feel the difference.

That was the best night sleep for a long time and not a single bleep on any of the rods.  I stayed up quite late and no signs of any more carp, the morning was just the same, so with that in mind and the thought of Meadow Lake, I was off.

It turned out that there was a very hard frost once I got out of the valley and away from the trees, the fields were just bright white, Winter had arrived.

Until next time

Trip 70 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 74hrs

After a very poor 24 hrs on the Estate Lake, I’m hoping for better.  However, with the weather as it is and after fishing here at this time of the year for a couple of years, its been incredibly hard going.  But certainly doesn’t put me off.

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When I arrived I was the only one here and had the choice of every swim.  This is always a bit of a mind-bender, as you only have yourself to blame if you pick the wrong swim.  By noontime, there where 2 more anglers on the lake, oddly in the only 2 other swims I would have picked.

The swim I have gone for is called ‘Duck’ and it gives me access to the big entrance to the sanctuary area.  Due to all the rain, the lake has gone up by about a foot.  The lake surface temperature has dropped to 12 degrees, the cold Northerly winds will swing round to an S/W and the pressure is due to drop, the downside is the rain is back, but there is a temperature change.

My real issue is to have faith in my plan and sit in the same swim all week.  I have spombed out a lot of bait at the entrance to hold them there if they come out or if angler pressure builds up at the weekend.  I sat for a long time this morning going over my options and a plan of action with the best opportunity for some lumps this week.  I’m going to find it hard to stay in the same spot, but I truly believe it will pay off by the end of the session – if not before.

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Rod – 1

Is by the entrance to the sanctuary area and had been heavy baited.  I’m fishing a size 6 long shank, turned point hook tied to 25lb semi-stiff brown fin skin Ronnie rig style.  It has a 15mm Catalyst wafter with a 12mm natural Catalyst pop up, I would like the hook bait to stand out.

Rod – 2

This is on a lovely spot I found this morning with my Deeper Chirp, it’s in a completely different place to where anyone would normally fish and I’m sure it’s roughly where I’ve seen them show occasionally over the years.  I am also using the same rigs as rod 1 and they will be moved about if necessary over the week.  I’ve spombed out a small amount of bait to start with and will take it from there; if rod one starts to produce fish, I may well move both to the same area.

First day and night

The day passed with no action, but I was expecting this as I had led about, marked quite a lot and spombed out a fair bit of bait.  I’m hoping for a take overnight or early morning, but my plan could take a few days before any action, I’m in it for the long game this week.

Overnight I had no bleeps, heard a few carp crashing out and not too far away.  This has given me a lot of confidence.  I just need to locate their whereabouts in the swim, never easy in the middle of the night.

Day and night 2

It’s a very fresh morning out here, with the wind pushing from E/N/E with a good cloud cover and no signs of any sunshine today.  I’m planning on leaving the baits where they are for another 24 hrs and not putting anymore bait out unless I get a take or clearly see signs of carp in another area.  It was good to hear carp last night, I just need to know where they are.

Just after midday, I decided I would change the hook baits on both rods, as it was clearly going to be hard going and a little variation may just make all the difference.  I will still stick with the Catalyst but just varying the color, pop, wafter, bottom bait, etc.

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I also put 6 small spombs over each rod, after hearing the carp last night you’re never sure that how much or if any bait was eaten.  But adding a small amount each day, you shouldn’t over bait the area.  The angler in the swim opposite me, popped by on his way out and had a chat.  He had also blanked and had only seen carp over my side of the lake; which was very positive for me.

Day and night 3

Another night passed by with no action and it was time to move one rod onto another area.  This was going to be the close in rod, I was sure nothing had shown there and I fancied that the channel rod would still produce something.  So out came the Deeper and as the wind was pushing hard from the east, it was the perfect timing to drift it way out.  I was amazed to find a couple of nice features, but more importantly, fish in my swim.

That will do me for future reference and nice to find there are carp in the swim.  With the adjustment of a couple of wraps, I was right on top of them.  I did move the other rod for a few hours on to a group of fish in some weed near the bar to the right of me, but they were just not interested.  I will keep that in mind for another day.  Heavy rain was forecast, it was time to get the rods on the spot before nightfall.  After getting the Deeper out and finding fish in the swim, it gives you a good boost in confidence – you’re in the right area.  I just need to get things right and they will pick my bait up.

Day 4

Wow, it’s another blank night and I was feeling my chances were a lot greater than previous ones.  I had a single bleep; which was probably a big raindrop from the tree’s above.  It certainly got the old heart racing.  I was then woken up by the swans having a feed in the margins.

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Looks like another grey day – at least the rain has finally stopped, it’s a few degrees warmer but that east wind is just not going.  It’s now due to swing round to the South tomorrow morning.  Let’s hope things start to pick up, it’s getting hard to focus on staying here until Sunday.  I always struggle this week, the lake just shuts down for a period of time and then picks up in December.  I’d originally thought of going on the river this week, but the conditions just didn’t warrant it.

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I’m going to have to put a lot of thought and effort into the next 2 nights, in order to bank myself a carp or two.  If I’m not careful, I can see myself going home, it’s pretty bleak; grey, cold, wet and after a few days, it does get to you somewhat, but sometimes you just have to throw the towel in and move on to the next session, it can be a bit counterproductive.  We shall see how the day and night goes.  If things don’t improve I’m sure I’ll be off.  I genuinely don’t fancy moving swim, I’m convinced I’m in the right area and the carp are just not getting their heads down.  I just need the strength and the will power to hang on in these hard conditions.  This is a lot easier in the warmer months, but there’s a limit to the amount of time you can spend in a bivvy, even with things to watch, read and listen to.

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After a good walk around the lake and taking to another member who had come to the same conclusion.  The lake was clearly not fishing.  I also decided that my time would be better spent coming back and doing a couple of day sessions in areas inaccessible to night anglers.  This would clearly be more productive than staying on another few nights.

Let’s see how things go.

Until next time

Part 8 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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