Trip 55 Carp Fishing – 2021

I was away from West Stow by 10 am and after capturing a carp, I was in a great mood. I wish I could’ve stayed longer, you never know the carp could’ve switched on at any moment.

I was at home for a restock of water by 1 pm. Ian called about 11am to discuss our swim options, I was still really in two minds about where to fish and need a good look. The wind was going to be blowing from the south, pretty strongly, the entire time we were there, rain was also mixed into the equation. I also really wanted to be close to Ian, as this was the last trip of the year for him. Pike where calling.

Love this place

Ian had gone for the middle lake, on a spit that divides it from the main body of water. This gave me lots of options as well. I arrived just before 2 pm and dropped my bucket where I thought I was going to go. However, after a walkabout and a bite to eat, I headed to the end of the spit, also fishing into the middle lake, but there was always the option to fish the main lake behind me if the going wasn’t as straightforward as hoped. This was only the second year of fishing being allowed in October and completely different weather conditions to last year. You just never know. Not seeing any signs of carp is becoming the norm on here, which is no help.

On the spit

My swim has me quite a bit of water and plenty of features. I’d not fished the middle lake this year and it had produced some nice carp and maybe the bigger ones are held up in here.

The complex

I checked on my Fish Deeper page and found a lovely deeper area, which I really fancied.

The deepest area

It was going to be fun baiting up, the wind was really pushing hard into this bank. I’d tucked myself out of the direct blast of the wind, behind the trees. This will be a help. The temperature is pretty warm for this time of the year, the pressure is way down at 997/998 for the next few days and then rising up again by the middle of next week. I’m a little undecided about fishing into the wind, a few anglers have been getting good results recently on the back of the wind. Last year it was, most definitely, get yourself in a swim with the wind full-on in your face. Looking at the middle lake today, it’s extremely colored up as well. We shall see how the next 2 nights go and then take it from there.

Wild waters

The night was void of carp for both me and Ian. The stags are still rutting, which means listening to the stags giving it large all night long.

My swim

Not sure if I will stay here or move swim. It would be nice to see or even hear something carpy, but they don’t like showing themselves anymore.

Big open waters

Just love the vistas of this place. Just after 2pm, I topped up the swim with a few more spombs and changed to a bottom and wafter for tonight. The man who was in the gravel swim, popped down to say he was off and I really wasn’t sure what to do. But Ian and Steve (who was over for a chat from the bottom lake), said come on we will help you, you know you will regret it tomorrow morning, that was it, decision made.

2 hours later

Two hours later, I was all done and dusted and was very glad of the help. Thank you guys, if I bag a monster I certainly owe you a few drinks, even if I don’t, I still owe you as it would have been dark if I hadn’t had any help.

Both rods were blasted out towards Seagull Island and about 10 spombs on the spot, I was soon done for the night, I was fishing a drop-in, in front of the island.

Deeper Map

Unfortunately, just out of range for me and my Deeper at 360 ft, but with this strong southerly I’m going to have a go at extending it tomorrow, by drifting my Deeper out there. I know it will get there under the right conditions, it’s been out further before.

Bit windy

That was a very wet and windy night, last night and still lacking on the carp front. This definitely needs a bit of thought put into it today. I’m sure Ian will be thinking the same unless he’s had some joy in the night.

There are showers forecast on and off today, but the pressure is so low, these carp have to be on the munch.

The rain is heavy

As the day progressed, the weather got a bit calmer and I was going to move one of my long-range rods back to 18 wraps where I had spombed out in anticipation of moving that rod. However, after seeing a carp show off the corner of the island, I just had to leave both rods on the spot for another 24 hours. Hopefully, a carp would venture out of the sanitary and pick up my hook bait.

Islands everywhere

If I was still blanking tomorrow, maybe it was worth sticking a bit on to the normal areas where I’d put a few spombs earlier today.

Just after 4 am on a Saturday morning, the left rod had been put out as far as I could go, with the aid of a very strong southerly and a 4oz flat distance pear lead, finally rattled off over 48hrs after putting out there. If I hadn’t spotted a carp show off the side of the island a few times this afternoon, I was going to move that rod to my normal 18 wraps area that I had put six spombs on at lunchtime, in anticipation of moving it unless I spotted something out there

21lb 9oz Common

Glad I didn’t, after 2 and a half nights and a move later, it finally paid off.

The wind was still pushing hard and after a couple of goes, I finally hit the clip and the bait was back out on the spot.

After the storm

Just after the storm had passed, the phone rang and it was Ian saying he had a carp on that had snagged him in the tree to the left of the point he was fishing. Could I go around there with my waders and see if I could release it? As you could see, it was hooked up over a branch under the water.

The point

I headed off over there with my waders and a pole, I got in the lake and headed around the point towards where Ian’s line was pointing. As I got closer, I could see the Common was still attached. I ended up snapping a few branches off, then lifting up a larger one to get underneath it, to get next to the carp, and started quickly snapping off a load more to release the carp. Ian was in direct contact with the carp again and played it back to the waiting net.

13lb 1oz Common

He was well over the moon and we both hadn’t blanked now.

At about 2 pm, it was time to bait up for our final night on Airfield Lake. Let’s hope something comes along for both of us over the next 15 hours.

The last night was event-free, other than a bit of star gazing until the cloud front arrived. The wind and rain and yet more 50 mph winds arrived, these carp must have hidden away under the snags again and are staying out of open water. The bad weather is due to pass by 9 am and we will nicely be in the mid-morning feeding spell and hopefully bag another one. I’ve always thought they don’t like the heavy rain, let’s hope they feed once this has passed, and also with any luck we can dry some kit out, otherwise, it’s going to be strung up anywhere over the next few days!

The Airfield Lake season has come to another end. It’s also time to make a big decision about my other syndicate that I’ve clearly been nowhere near since August. You get the feeling that you may already know the answer, but now this month has passed, I can put a considerable amount of thought into this thought.

Stormy Conditions

I’m very happy with my results on The Airfield Lake, it has rewarded me very well for the small amount of time I’ve spent on here over 2021. At some point in time, I will no doubt have another play on Meadow Lake over the winter and not relive that one and only trip this year. There are certainly new nice lumps swimming around and it would be a bit silly not to have a go.

See you soon

The wind was due to abate around 9 am, it was picking up as the tail end of the front got closer. At this point, my bivvy started to rattle and shake a lot and it was a bit of a worry, at this point I thought I better check on Ian. I sent him a message and got a callback, his bivvy hadn’t survived that impact of the last gust and it had taken him out completely! I got the waders on as the rain was still pouring down, grabbed my fleece and headed over to see him.


That was a bit of a disaster, the wind managed to break a pole, he managed to sort it all out without anymore (probably) and I’m sure after a few days, he will be telling the story with a smile on his face.

Until next time






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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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