Looking Back Over 2019 Part 9 of 10

Looking Back Over 2019 Part 9 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 81 Carp Fishing – 2019


Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

With another rubbish rainy day for gardening, it was perfect for a spot of fishing (before the pressure goes sky high over the weekend).  It’s a great opportunity to get back on the School Lake and this time try something different.  I’ve baited a lot more than I have been doing and also off the pads a bit.  I’m convinced the bigger carp will feel the pressure of everyone casting into the pads and I’m hoping as this is a very popular venue in the Summer months.  There will likely be a fair bit of bait accurately going in and will fall short (where no-one fishes) and the bigger carp will feel a lot safer feeding there.


They will be less active, but hopefully bigger carp – 20+ I’m am aiming for!  Sticking with the same color & flavor pop up (being PPS & Pineapple N-Butyric acid) and large PVA bag filled with Catalyst pellets soaked in the syrup.


Which smells fantastic.  I will just have to be patient and see how it pans out.  There has been a fair few Carp showing along the far margin and I have decided that if by 1230 I’ve seen no action, I will move the right-hand rod closer in and see what happens.  Most of the carp showing, have been to my left and right, maybe the bait application, pushed them away and they could well drift back later.


Well that didn’t take long after moving a rod close to the dead pads and the far bank.  I have only switched one over, which now tells me there are fish in the area and hopefully a bigger one off the pads more and over my baiting area.  I’ve had a liner that is very positive on the left rod.

For an hour and a bit I really thought the sun was coming out, but alas it’s pouring down again.

With only twenty minutes left on the pack up clock, it certainly looks like just 1 Carp today and this was due to the location change.  I was really hoping the baited spot would produce, not going to give up on that one and will have the Deeper next time.  It’s time to get mapping the lake as the pads have mostly gone.  I will stick some screenshots of my findings.

Until next time

Trip 82 Perch Fishing – 2019


Location Various

4 hour

As there were 3 lakes or 4 that contain Perch, I decided that today I would go and investigate, take the jig rod and see how things turn out.

It was a very pleasant walk around all the lakes and I even took a trip to investigate the river which was close by.

Unfortunately, no Perch in the 4 hrs I was walking around in the lovely sunshine, but well worth the time spent on the bank.

Until next time

Trip 83 Carp Fishing – 2019


Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 48hrs

I am down on the Syndicate lake this weekend for two nights.  I was unable to get in the same swim as last weekend – which would have been nice, after bagging a couple of Carp.  I looked at another option nearby, but with a strong easterly wind forecast that just didn’t float my boat.  It would be pushing hard on to that bank.


I arrived after dark, so there was no real rush to get set up.  After two laps around the lake and a fair bit of standing listening to absolute silence, I finally settled on a swim that I felt would produce a fish or two.

Now to get some bait and rods out.  As I’ve fished this swim many times, it does help things a bit and knew exactly where I was heading.  I clipped on a 3oz distance lead from Touchdown leads and counted out the number of wraps on my marker poles.  I flicked the rod out and sure enough, there was a nice tap tap of gravel from the right-hand rod.  The other was on a lovely smooth patch of silt, just of the gravel.  Both were very close to each other.  I find this helps when spombing at night, you’re only really baiting up one area.  With a PPS & Pineapple pop up on, the rods where done.  You have to be confident with your casting and baiting up when setting up in the dark.  If it’s always perfect in the daylight, why would it not be at night?  As we have light pollution, this does help with those horizon markers!


The night drifted by with a fresh East wind picking up through the night and died down by first light.  The sun is due to make an appearance then its going to turn into a grey Winter’s day, just in time for the 1st December tomorrow.  May catch a Winter carp tonight?!  The wind is still due to blowing from the E then swing NE later on with the pressure up to 1018 from 985 two days ago, I’m sure this will affect the Carp.  These big girls have to feed and its more likely to be today/tonight as the pressure will have settled.


Ian popped down for a few hours Pike fishing today and we spent it chatting away.  His time was soon up and he headed home.  Unfortunately, the Pike rods were also silent.  I rebaited the rods and settled down for an evening of Netflix.  The wind was now from the N/E and it was pretty fresh out there.

With a liner in the night around 10 pm, I was feeling pretty confident.  However, it’s now afternoon on Sunday and with not a carpy sight – it’s looking like a blank.  The sun has been up and along the treeline since 10 ish and I was hoping for a take.  When they ventured out of the sanctuary it’s very sheltered from the sunshine and that spot is also on the back of the wind.

I was packed up by just after noon time and drove around that lake.  I stopped in one of the days swims that looked incredibly Carpy, so I parked up and set up one rod for a couple of hours, but there was no joy in the end.


Until next time

Trip 84 Carp Fishing – 2019


Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

I’m back on the school lake today for a few hours gardening and the pads have completely gone.  We are now getting frosty mornings, Winter has set in.  It’s time to be a bit more mobile in my approach and may start using the Deeper to find their secret hideaway.

After seeing absolutely no signs of Carp, I’ve set up in peg 10, it has been the most productive area and I can see a large part of the lake.  Hopefully, I will spot something to move on to, the opposite bank does get the morning sunshine.


By 2pm there had been no signs of Carp and I’d not moved swim, there had been a couple of other anglers walking around and setting up.  They had also not seen a thing.  I had recast and changed over to different color pop-ups, but still no action.  My next trip, I will be changing one rod over to Catalyst wafter, I had had a couple of single bleeps and that was that.

Winter has certainly arrived and it’s going to be hard work at times.

Until next time

Trip 85 Carp Fishing – 2019


Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

With another opportunity to get on the lake again today.  It was going to be another cold start to the day, but sunshine was forecast.


I came armed with my Deeper Chirp and slowly walked around the lake.  I was more or less sure where I would find them.  It would be nice to start mapping the lake, as the lilly pads had just about gone.  I’d been watching the Grebe over the past few trips and I’m sure that he had found Silverfish and they would certainly be in a warm part of the lake.  This meant that the carp would not be far away.  Once I came to that area, sure enough, the Deeper picked up the shoal of fish.


Not 100% sure that any are Carp, as they could be balled up tight together.  However, I’m always confident that if its a good spot for them, the Carp will never be far away.  I flicked out two small bags with pop-ups on, sat back and we shall see.  I like to have the tips up in the water, as you can watch the line for any signs of Carp and it did twice a couple of times, which kept me in this part of the lake.


I decided around noon time to bring the right-hand rod close in as I had seen a bit of movement and felt it needed to be closer rather than in open water.  Just after that, the left-hand rod was away without any warning and a small battle ensued as the fish was determined to get in the overhanging brambles.  However, I had the opposite opinion and finally managed to get a low double into the net.


11lb 14oz

Very happy with that as the Deeper had recorded a surface temperature of 5 degrees, not too conducive for feeding carp.  After finding those fish on the Deeper I was ever hopeful and it paid off.


I very nearly moved to swim up to the island, but just felt comfortable here, I had another liner, but that did not materialize into anything, unfortunately.

Until next time

Trip 86 Carp Fishing – 2019


Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 38hrs

With a change in the weather conditions; from freezing to +8 degrees C overnight and S/W winds blowing there was no stopping me getting out.  This did involve setting up in the dark to take full advantage of getting two nights on the bank.


I did two laps of the lake and could only see one other angler on the lake.  After my last blank trip on here and a few discussion with other syndicate members over the week, I was heading for a couple of areas.  Lucky for me, my first choice was free and after not seeing any signs of Carp on my travels around the lake, it seemed like the best place to start.

I selected my spots and check them out with the marker – they were still nice and clean.  I then spombed out 15 or so medium on to one spot where I was 100% confident in, then settled on the next.  I only chucked out six spombs, as I would fine-tune that rod tomorrow morning.  I was using my trustee Ronnie rig with a PPS pop up on one and a Catalyst wafter with a 12mm PPS pop up on the other.  The traps were all perfectly set.

The night was very uneventful from a take point of view, however, the location of the Carp’s whereabouts was certainly discovered.  As the morning progressed, a Carp stuck its head out.  The downside of this, I was close to their location (but not too close), however, I was the only night angler who could put a bait near them.  I really need a day angler to go in one of the days swims, however, they are mostly underwater.  It was very nice to see signs of Carp moving and maybe tonight I may even catch one?  There was a heavy band of rain due to push through, which I’m not a fan of here.


Just after noon, I set about getting the rods all done for the night and top up the spots with a little more bait.  I then sat back and relaxed watching the lake all afternoon.

As night closed in another Carp rolled not to far away from my spot and I hoped this was a sign they were getting closer to my baited area.  I was also hoping other anglers would turn up and push the fish towards me.  Unfortunately, the reverse happened and I’m the only one on the lake tonight.


Just after 11pm the wind really picked up and the heavens opened for a fair few hours.  I think spoilt the best chance of a bite last night.  I hoped that once the storm passed there would be a possibility of a take at first light, this was not to be.  I really felt that the conditions changing this weekend would put them on the feed, they may well have had been on the first night.  I was just too far away and they just didn’t move to the bank far enough and just stuck it out on the sanctuary.

Until next time

Trip 87 Carp Fishing – 2019


Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 4 hrs

With high winds and heavy rain at the beginning of the week and not that much motivation after the hard going on my last trip, it wasn’t until Wednesday that I finally got the rods out.


And after an hour and a half of searching for good signs of Carp with the Chirp.  I finally settled on a swim by the island, my previous trip on here had revealed either a shelf for the Carp to feed on or an amazing drop-off.  Both these features would produce Carp in the right conditions over the Winter months.


I set up my rods as normal and flicked them out both with PPS pop-ups.  One on the bottom of the drop-off and the other on the shelf and catapulted some 8mm Catalyst pellets.


I’d purposely got these for this lake with my last order.  Within 10 to 15 minutes, I was getting liners and not long after that my first take.


A lovely Mirror, but before I got a chance to do anything the other rod was away with a Common!


I quickly sorted out the photos and got the fish back.  I sorted the rods out and was just catapulting more pellets out and the right rod was off again, with another Common.


Wow, that was a mad 30 minutes, may get a chance to finish my cold coffee!


It all went a bit dead when the rain arrived and I had to wait until 1230 for my next take.


Another small Common to the list and that was the last take of the day.  This was a good 4 hrs worth of fishing and I was just hoping for one fish.

Until next time

Trip 88 Carp Fishing – 2019


Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 4hrs

With gardening nearly done for the Winter months.  I’ve now got the opportunity to pick and choose when I go.  Obviously, with the exception of the school holidays over the Christmas period.  This will be a great bonus for my fishing, but it’s still certainly going to be hard going (as you would expect this time of the year).


I’m back down the School Lake today.  Unfortunately, where I located some Carp on my way out the other day, there is a guy fishing two swims down.  In my book, I can’t set near there, so I headed for the island again and the way the wind was pushing across I felt it to be the best area.  It was the same spot as before and this time I had come armed with Catalyst boilies and pellets, I catapulted a good load of them into the margins around the island.  As the wind was very fresh and all the rain yesterday, I’m sure the lake will be colder and it may be a bit harder today.


The first take happened within the first hour, which I was surprised about and it was a very hard fighting fully-scaled Mirror.


14lb 1oz

The second take was about 10 minutes after getting the rod back out on the spot.  It was all happening on the right-hand rod again and I was considering moving the left rod.


16lb 1oz

A lovely Common this time and also a good size again, which was nice and want I’m looking for.  After getting the rod out again, it was definitely time for a few more pouch fulls of bait out there, just as I had finished that, the rod was away again.  This time to a smaller Common, never the less the third fish of the day.


I was now really thinking that the left-hand spot may have been blown from all the pressure over the year’s or do I hold out the bigger fish?


After all that action it completely died and I even moved both rods around, but I can’t really complain about today’s results.

Until next time

Trip 89 Carp Fishing – 2019


Location – Meadow Lake

Hours Fished – 20hrs

This is probably my last night of 2019.  The kids are off next Friday for two weeks and it’s family time over Christmas – I may slip out for a day Pike fishing.

I arrived to find only one other angler on the lake and a day angler looking round.  After all the heavy rain last night, I was not surprised to hear he had blanked.

I needed to be off by 6 am tomorrow morning so I was looking for a swim I could park near and as the track goes all the way around the lake.  I spoke to the other angler, who had heard Carp in the night to his left.  This was also the swim I had fished on and off over the past month.  It felt like the right area to finish this year’s campaign.

The swim choice was made and the rods were soon on the spots.  I put both rods out into the same area and as its quite big I would put 6 small spombs out later on this afternoon and unless I spot anything else.

The weather was mixed with sunshine and light shows, the pressure was rising – however slowly.  I felt I was certainly in with a chance of a Carp and a few had been out over the weekend.

As the day turned into the night there was an amazing sunset with an orange glow over the lake.


I was happily watching Netflix and listening to the rain on the brolly when the right-hand rod burst into life.  I was straight out there and pumping the fish in desperately, hoping it hadn’t kited left, as it was trying to find the margin with the overhanging bushes/tree.  Once I had the Carp in front of the swim, I loosened the clutch on the reel and played the fish out under the rod tip it had a couple of lunges towards the right-hand bush.  This had me worried for a moment but the Carp was under control and soon in the Nsr50.  Boy, was I happy!


26lb 3oz Common

That’s a peach and will do me nicely.  I sorted out the photos, got the fish back, the bait was back out on the spot and I was hoping that another one may come along before dawn.

My next take happened just after 2145 and it was pouring down.  Oh, well had to happen one day.  I followed the same process as before and soon netted my second Carp of the night, wow I was over the moon.


19lb 13oz Common

I quickly got the rod back on the spot (after a very wet photograph session) and I was back in the bivvy warming up with the stove on.

The third take of the night came just after 2 am, this was another hard fighting Carp that pulled the dial round to 24lb 12oz


24lb 12oz Common

This has turned out to be the best night fishing of the year and it also my last night.  Absolutely amazing.  I’m buzzing so much, I doubt I will get any sleep.  With the hook checked and a fresh bait on, the rod was back out there again.

The alarm clock was soon sounding and it was time to head home.  This has been a brilliant night and it was time to say goodbye to my syndicate water until next year.  Hopefully, I may fit a few short day sessions in before the kids break up for Christmas.

Until next time

Trip 90 Carp Fishing – 2019


Location – School Lake

Hours Fished – 5hrs

With another rainy day on the cards, it was time to get down the school lake.  There’s never a great deal of gardening to do this time of the year; once everything is all cleaned up, I just have a couple of big gardens which take me some time to get there and its been a lot longer this year with the weather.


There were two other anglers on the lake when I arrived and to set up in areas where they’d seen Carp.  After a chat with one of them, who had seen no other signs except in these areas.  I had my work cut out and with a long period of rain due, I was hoping to settle in one spot for the duration.  So, I spent the first hour with the Deeper looking for a group of fish, which was not that forthcoming but I did locate some.


I set about getting a couple of small mesh bags made up, filled with 6mm Catalyst pellets and attached them to my Ronnie rig with solu-ties.  This prevents the hook beads being moved in the cast and PPS as hook bait.

Bag set up.

I had set up 30 or 40 yards away from the other anglers, but in the middle of them and just under arm swinging the bags out.  I then scattered a few Catalyst boilies and pellets to encourage a bit of feeding.  I set back on my chair under the brolly as the rain had properly arrived.

Well, it’s starting to look like a blank for me today and could turn out to be my last trip before Christmas.  I have a bit to organize before the kids start their two weeks off.

I did think I was in with the chance of a pickup, but perhaps the rain fixed my fate.  Perhaps not, the rods ripped into life with this lovely blank saving Common.


Only a small one about 10lb, but very happy with that fish.

Until next time

Part 10 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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