Looking Back Over 2019 Part 8 of 10


Looking Back Over 2019 Part 8 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 71 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 9hrs

After the disastrous few nights on the bank and a night at home, I was revitalized.   I’m out on the Meadow Lake again – probably until the heavy rain arrives later on today.

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After looking around yesterday before I left, I knew the area I was heading for and had also put a few scoops of bait about – just to give me a few options.

When I arrived that area was free, it contains 4 swims but I was only interested in two.  The plan was to get the Deeper out and check out each area, the first swim had a few fish, but the second was rammed.

They were clearly mooching about this tiny weedy bar, I just needed to find a couple of holes and place a bag in there.  I hope the fish are in the mood to feed, which they certainly haven’t been over the past week.  With the pending change in the weather, it was going to happen soon.

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About 0930 I had a massive liner, at least there are reasonably sized fish in the area moving about.

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Well, that was the only action of the day, much to my surprise and with 70 mph winds tomorrow, there is no way I’m out fishing on that.  It must be my age.  I’m convinced they will start feeding soon after the high winds a low-pressure tomorrow, so let’s hope its Sunday when I am due back for a few hours or even Monday day time if I’m feeling that keen.

Until next time

Trip 72 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 24hrs

The storm had passed by a lot faster than forecast; well the heavy rain part.  There was still a good bit of wind, but only 30mph and none of this 70mph stuff.  I was not going out in that.  I’m determined to catch a carp this week and felt I had a better chance out on the main lake night fishing and not in the day swim.

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I was already aware which swims were free as I took a drive around yesterday on my way out from the day trip.  If anyone was crazy enough to set up in the morning, they’re welcome to the swim.

I arrived just before noon as I had been watching the weather (including the wind and rain forecast) and knew it would be about the perfect time as there was a break in the weather.

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There were only really two options, one being the swim I spent 4 nights blanking in or the other one was the swim which was opposite.

With swim 1, I understood the conditions had changed but, I would be starting the session with that in the back of my mind.  Also, the way the wind was blowing you were highly likely to lose tackle in the trees, with the wind blowing the line into them.

Swim 2 looked more appealing.  Now, where to put my baits?  Into the far corner?  Can’t do that, after losing 3 fish one weekend it’s a no-no.  I can’t see the point I getting a take at all costs and then losing them, it’s just stupid in my book.

I knew roughly where I want to put my baits, but there were no real clean areas.  So I came out further from the corner, I need bait in that area, as that was where I felt the carp were going to be.  In these conditions, I finally found what I was looking for and put 10 large spombs on that spot and would be fishing a 15mm Catalyst wafter with a 10mm PPS pop up; snowman man style.

I then looked around for another area to my right. I didn’t like the idea of fishing on top of the plateau as weed is still there.  I felt with the undertow of the wind, it wouldn’t make ideal presentation conditions and I didn’t feel the carp would be there.  I was looking for a clean area on the drop-off, which I finally found.  It wasn’t so clean as the other spot and I would need to fish a pop up, 15mm Catalyst would be perfect with 10 spombs over that area as well.

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It was time for a brew and some lunch.  The afternoon was peaceful and early evening until all the local firework displays kicked off.

As the night drew on, I heard the odd carp crashing out and this pushed my confidence levels up as they were clearly not too far away, just not over my bait.  The wind was still blowing for a few more hours so I was ever hopeful.  I was up and about listening in the night a few more times and it was clear that a few anglers may well have caught, they may  well have been fishing in the middle of the lake.  It was a good sign that the carp were on the move and feeding.

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I was awoken by the last of the rain and a flat calm lake, the sunshine was breaking under the last of the rain clouds and it promised to be a warm sunny day.  Still no carp, at least I could dry out the kit.

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Well, I came and tried my hardest over this trip (and the previous ones over this week) but it was clearly not to be again – such a shame.  Over the previous October half terms my results have been similar.  So next year, I clearly need to draw from these years and do something different or just go away with the family.

That’s the one.

Until next time

Trip 73 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 24hrs

My original plan for this weekend was to arrive Friday night, but I just didn’t fancy setting up in -1 degrees and a fresh wind blowing.  So I changed the plan to go first thing Saturday morning in time to arrive and set up before the heavy rain started.  But you know what its like; nice warm bed, I didn’t wake up until after 8 am.  This was very unusual and I probably should have set the alarm clock, I checked on my phone and the heavy rain was due at 10am.  There was no way I had enough time, but the rain was due to pass over by 1530 ish or before if I was lucky.  I started to look at the Met Office’s rain radar app and it was looking like the weather would abate earlier.  Better finish off getting the kit in the car and head off.  I was planning on arriving before the rain stopped so I could have a drive around the lake and find some likely areas, I would then take a walk and a chat with anyone fishing.  When I arrived there was not a single person fishing and the clear sky was coming.

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After a good look around and no real signs of carp (which in all honesty wasn’t much of a surprise after a few laps around the lake).  With this lake, we are very lucky as the track goes all the way around and you can be lazy and sit and watch from the comfort of your car.  I didn’t spot a thing.  This did not help the swim choice, I needed to be off sharpish tomorrow morning, so a swim with the car behind it would certainly help.

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The swim was selected and I set about finding some spots; one in silt and the other on gravel, as I really wanted to keep my options open.  With both areas found and a small amount of bait over each, I cast a pop up on to each spot and was very happy.  I set about setting up camp and then got the coffee on.

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It was a lovely afternoon, the wind had calmed down, but it was swinging to the N/W and a low of 4 degrees.  It would just be warmer than last night as there was a very heavy frost, the pressure was due to be steady – fingers crossed.

The evening and night were pretty silent except the odd firework and a couple of single bleeps.  Just after 8 am, the left-hand rod gave a couple of bleeps, the tip bent round, the bobbin dropped back and I pulled into a bream.  These things happen, at least I know that my spot was clean and something would feed on it.

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With 2 hrs left until I needed to reel in the bait, I  was back on the spot and I got the coffee on as the sun was coming through the clouds, lovely morning again on the lake.

Unfortunately, that was that, until next time.

Trip 74 Carp Fishing – 2019

Location – Estate Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

With a few hour’s free, I headed to the Estate Lake in the hope of bagging a carp. It’s the first since my day and night trip.  I’ve not even had the chance to bait up, just too much going on.

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There was no signs of carp when I arrived, just after 9am, so not wishing to make to much of a disturbance I clipped on small bags.  All 3 rods had pop-ups on and with the amount of leaf matter and weed, its the only way forward.  I moved two of the rods to different spots, which I have been also baiting up and kept the other one by the channel near the island.  As the sun gets more on the water, hopefully, they may just start moving about.  I’m 100% convinced that this area holds more carp than the back of the island, a sign or two would help.

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Well, another blank trip, maybe time to find another option or go back to the perch fishing lake, we will have to think about this.

Did see a couple of fizz ups but just no pickups or even line bits.

Until next time

Trip 75 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

After a lot of thoughtfulness over the past month, I’ve decided to join my local angling club, I very nearly did this last year before I discovered the Estate Lake.  It was a hard choice to make, but the whole point of having a local water was for my quick 5 hour trips during the week when the kids are at school.  However, the Estate Lake wasn’t producing the goods and with Winter knocking at the door, it was time for a change.  I only felt that fishing on sunny days was my best option on there.  I would still certainly be giving it a go until renewal time and then a big choice would have to be made.

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The local club lakes around where I live gave me two lakes for perch fishing and a good one for carp – no massive fish, but just perfect for those winter days on the bank.

I was very lucky that the membership man dropped my ticket round in person on Friday afternoon and with an hour to spare and a quick 10-minute drive; I was walking around one of the lakes and it was just like old times.  This was the first club I joined when I moved down here some 20+ years ago, I popped into another lake which holds Perch and Crucian carp.  I have not for fished those since I was a kid.  The lake looked perfect and I would definitely be going there in the Summertime for the Crucians and I would be after the Perch in the winter months.

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Anyway, I digress; back to today.  I was amazed to find only one other person here and I had a good chat with him, apparently, it’s pretty peaceful most days and not very heavily fished.  This sounds perfect and I will refer to it as the School Lake, I’m not for naming where it is and prefer to make up my own name up for it.

I walked down to where I had spotted the carp yesterday and within a few moments, a carp topped and then again – well that was my choice made up.  They were clearly still in that area and had been here since yesterday.  I knew there would be plenty of chod on the bottom, I had already rigged up a couple of pop-ups at home last night and clipped on a couple of bags filled with Catalyst pellets only, they had been soaked in the syrup overnight and flicked these out.  One just off the far bank and the other 3/4 of the way across.  As the next few hours passed there were clearly still fish in the area and it was only a matter of time.

It was about 0945 when the righthand rod (with the masala pop up) dropped back and I quickly pulled into my first carp – not the biggest but a carp and its a start.  I can build on this and there where plenty showing themselves.

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It’s a start

With the rod back out with another bag on, I was feeling pretty confident.

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It’s certainly nice to feel the warmth of the sunshine today, we have had a few weeks of horrible rain.  There are a few carp showing today, which is nice to watch and gives me some hope for the coming months.  I’m sure it will certainly get hard as December and January arrive.  I have just about an hour to go before pack uptime, as we have friends over this afternoon and my wife kindly let me go out.  I was pretty keen after getting the ticket yesterday and seeing carp then as well.  It’s a shame I’m unable to get down for another week, I may just be lucky for a quick 3hrs one day.  I’m pretty keen and you know me… it’s bound to happen!

Until next time

Trip 76 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 3 1/2 hrs

With my car fixed by the garage just before 10am; it would be silly not to make use of the free time today.  As we are having another proper Autumn day, none of this rain rubbish, I was soon down the lake.  I found a few fish in the dead pads and had the rods both out on the spots by 11am, you couldn’t ask for more.

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These carp are quite happy to give their locations away, just a bit shy about picking up baits.  As Winter arrives, I’m sure that will change as the angler pressure drops even more.

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After spotting a nice fish showing a couple of times to my left, it was time for a swim move.  I moved down a few swims and not wishing to spook the carp, it was single hook baits and a foam nugget.  I was pretty lucky and only needing 3 casts, unfortunately, I’m sure the fish have moved down to my right, so fingers crossed.

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Within the hour my left-hand rod was away with (definitely) much bigger and a harder fighting fish to get back in the pads and off to my right.  It successfully picked up the other rod (joy!) but I managed to sort out and finally get the carp in the net.

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It was about an 11lb mirror, which I’m very happy with and there is a chance of another one.

Within moments of typing the above sentence, the right-hand rod was away, with another carp desperately seeking sanctuary in the pads.  I held my ground and another carp was in the net and this time it was common.

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At just over 11lb ish; I’m not currently weighing them but things will change when I’m a bit more organized.  With only 30 minutes left on the clock, the rod was soon out there again and you never know.

Until next time

Trip 77 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 2 1/2 hrs

With work done by 1130 and only just round the corner, I was soon home, loaded and off to the lake.  It was clearly a different day with a heavy frost and a complete lack of sunshine, but as I only caught yesterday after moving at 1215, it was certainly worth the effort and time.

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I was really hoping to try a different area, however, with 4 cars in the car park, my choice was limited.  As luck would have it the peg I was in yesterday was free, probably because it’s a tricky swim to cast from, you need to be on your knees right at the front of the swim.  It’s exactly opposite to where I’ve seen the carp and gives you direct contact with the fish, perfect for maintaining pressure.

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Within 10 minutes, the right rod was away and a small Mirror came out if the pads (across the other side) very easily, but very nearly got me on the right-hand margin.

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Just as I got the rod out there, the left-hand rod was away with another lovely Mirror, this one was so much easier to get in the net.

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Once I had sorted myself out, I sat back down and looked at the time – it was only 1235 and I had already had two carp!  I had only finished setting up at 1208.  It was turning out to be a great venue for runs and testing out the bait.  A few rays of sunlight were coming through the clouds and it wass quite pleasant on the bank.

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Well, it’s nearly home time and my last casts where deliberately off the edge of the pads some two-foot, as I was interested to see if they would venture out, but it looks like that’s a no.  Next time, I’m planning on pitching up in a swim, then walking around with some pellet and baiting up or I may try my TF gear spomb.  This opens in the air releasing the bait to fail into the water as if it had been catapulted out, the empty spomb then drops into the water some 12ft further back, giving less disturbance, my just try that.

Until next time

Trip 78 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 5 hrs

Unfortunately, work was cancelled today, I have the buzz of a new lake to play on and loads of work is booked for next week, there was only one place to be.

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In all honesty, I’d absolutely no intention of fishing the same swim again, but as I was swinging the car around in the car park, you’re looking directly at the opposite bank and two fish appeared out of the water at the same time.  I’m sure you would agree, it would’ve been silly to ignore that and we all know how carp love pads when they are dying back.  I’m sure it’s to do with the heat the pads give off when they are breaking down.

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I’ve tried my best in taking photos from different angles, as there are only so many photographs you can take of the same swim.

I’m sticking to pop-ups in varying colours and flavours, trying to pinpoint their favourite before Winter sets in and they will be harder to catch.  I’m hoping the bigger carp will start to turn up as I have found this in the past on other club lakes.  The bigger fish need to maintain their weight and eat more than their smaller brothers and sisters.

I’ve also put more bait out than previously, to see how that affects my catch rate.

Just after 10am (I had just taken a big bite out of my Bovril butty), off goes the left-hand rod; with the first of a few takes today I hope.  After a short fight the carp was in the net.

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Happy with that and the sun was coming out, it was looking like a beautiful day.  There was a good wind blowing and my brolly was needed.  The bait was out roughly in the spot where there were a lot of leaves on the water and it was pretty hard to see the difference between the pads and leaves.

It’s just after noon and I keep seeing the odd fish tight into the far margin.  Unfortunately, they were a bit too far into the dead pads for me at the moment.  Once they start to die down a bit more, I will feel a bit more comfortable about putting baits there.

The carp aren’t playing ball today.  Mind you, there’s a pretty cold S/E wind blowing and the sun never made much of an appearance.

Much to my surprise, the right-hand rod was away at just after two pm with probably the smallest of the carp so far.  However, as I’m just in it for some fun at the moment, all are good and I’m sure the bigger fish will turn up.

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That’s it for today with just over 30 minutes to go, I would be surprised to get another carp, but you just never know.  Fortunately for me, there has been more carp action, can’t believe it’s home time so soon.

Until next time

Trip 79 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 74hrs

With a free weekend and a friend kindly looking after the children after school.  I was on my way to the syndicate straight after the school drop off.  I arrived to find only 2 other anglers on the lake, which is a good start, there was no hiding from the wind this weekend as it was going to be every direction possible, but the pressure was low and only going to rise slowly over the next 48 hrs.  I settled on a swim where I believe the carp would be close by, if not in the swim.

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With immediate heavy rain forecast which would last until just after 3pm.  I took the decision to find one spot, bait that area and fished both rods there.  I would then spend the morning and early afternoon looking for signs of carp.

I have baited with a mixture of 12mm and 15mm Catalyst boilies, particle blend mixed in and some leftover pellets from my day trip all nicely soaked in Catalyst Syrup.

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I’m using bright pop-ups today in the hope of attracting an inquisitive carp or two to pick up my bait and I may well change them over for the night, will think on that one.

The rain finally died away and I got the marker rod out again.  I quickly located the spot I was looking for (after viewing my Deeper lakebook logs) and soon had a load of bait on the spot.  I moved my right-hand rod over there.  I didn’t change the hook baits, as I was interested to see.  The water was very clear so I was hoping this would give me an edge over the other anglers who had arrived during the day and early evening.  The wind had swung to the East – which is right in my face and something I would have to live with for a few hours, not the best option for me, but I feel the carp are over this side of the lake.

The first take happened just after 1am to the right-hand rod, it was a couple of bleeps, the bobbin pulled up to the top and held there.  There was no option put to pick the rod up instantly and pull into a fish, at first I thought it was a Bream or Tench as there was no fight from the fish at all and was quickly in the NSR.  The photos were even pretty simple, except that it was raining at the time.

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18lb 14oz Common

That will certainly do for starters and with a fresh hook bait sorted out, the bait was back on the spot.  I could get back in the dry, sort the kit out and update my blog while it was fresh in my mind.

It was a peaceful night after that,  with only a single bleep at around 5ish.  I was up pretty early and spotted a couple of fish roll over the right-hand rod again.

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It’s a very murky morning with a lot of fine rain and a N/E wind, oddly there is a warm feel to the wind after the past few days.  The pressure is down to 989mbs, there is certainly a good chance of another take over the next 24 hrs.

At around noontime, I baited up both areas with 4 spombs and changed over to fresh hook baits.  I got the rods back out onto the spots, as I didn’t think there is any need to change anything for tonight, I feel there is a great opportunity for another fish tonight.

The second take of the night happened just after midnight to the left-hand rod again and this one was certainly not being reeled in straight away.  The take was an absolute belter and the fight was the same, the first part was to make sure it didn’t get anywhere near those snaggy tree’s all along to my right.  It was tying its upmost to make ground on me, but I held firm and finally had the fish under the top rod.  I was paranoid about the large boulders that this swim is built on, but after what felt like a lifetime, the carp was on the surface and under my control.  It did have the odd lunge down to the depths again, it was soon on the surface and nicely into the waiting Nsr.  Love that feeling when you know it’s all done.

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33lb 13oz Common

Perfect, well happy with that.

Another PPS pop up, flossed on, blobbed down and flicked back out.  I then put a brew on and sorted out the bivvy, no point in trying to get my head down yet.

Just after, that I heard a carp crashing over my spot, well that’s a nice boost and fingers crossed for another bite, you just never know.

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A very misty morning arrived and it was soon packed uptime; it’s always nice to get home early after a long weekend fishing to spend the whole day with the family.

Its been a very productive weekend, will have to work on getting the right-hand rod to produce some action – certainly not going to complain.  I was in fact, over the moon – considering that my weeks trip was not that long ago and it was a complete failure.  It does put you on the back foot, but you have to believe in yourself, have the confidence to move on and leave that week in the past.

Until next time

Trip 80 Carp Fishing – 2019

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Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

I’m out for my normal Monday trip, this time in the rain, I’m interested in how the rain affects the Carp in any way.  I was hoping for a peg I had fished before, I’d seen bigger Carp topping off the front of the pads.  I was planning on catapulting a load of 12mm Catalyst boilies and fishing PVA bags filled with Catalyst pellets soaked in the syrup, this makes them all sticky and smells amazing.

It was not long before my first take and a small Mirror was in the net.

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That’s a nice start and with another bag back on the spot, that one was soon away again! With what I hoped felt like a better Carp.  Once it was under my top tip, it did look a lot bigger and that was soon in the net.  I thought I better weigh this one and it turned the dial round to 16lbs 12oz.

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Happy with that.  I did up another bag and flicked it across to the spot.  I’d now put a loaded of boilies; well, 4 big catapults full and 3 medium-sized bags.  I know it sounds crazy but I didn’t want to over bait the area.

It was just after noon time when I had my third take of the day.  This time on the right-hand rod, I’d been watching the line twitch a few times over the past 30 minutes and I was sure it would finally rattle off.

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Another one of the smaller residents, but I’m sure when Winter arrives these will slow down and the bigger residents will appear.

The same rod was off again within minutes of getting the bait back out there – I’d not even finished sticking my 12mm out there before the rod was off!

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15lb 1oz

Second double of the trip.  The sun may even poke its head out from behind the clouds, it’s looking promising.  With just under 2 hours of fishing time to go, I’m very hopeful of another one or two Carp.

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The next take was also to the right-hand rod and also on the PPS.  I was thinking there must be an issue with the other rod, after another nice battle fish 5 was in the net.

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15lb 2oz

Another nice Common, but this one was a lot bigger, time to check the left-hand rod and sure enough, it was hooked up on a stick.  With that removed and a fresh Pineapple Nbutyric acid pop upon, that was also back out there and with 30 minutes to go, we shall see.

With no more fish, it was time to get home, what an amazing few hours of action.

Until next time

Part 9 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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