Trip 43 Carp Fishing – 2022

After the success of my last trip, I was hoping to get back to that area. As the lake had been pretty quiet over the last few months, I was feeling very hopeful, until I had a phone call from Ian saying there were two people set up along the area we were heading for. At this point, I’d finished my gardening job and was just pulling up to the gate.

I met Ian in the car park and went for a walkabout. There was no point in looking on our normal island swims as the water levels were too low unless we fancied splitting up around the complex. I spend a lot of the winter by myself, it’s quite nice to be sociable these days.

We wandered down to the Bottom Lake car park and much to our surprise it was empty. We continued on and had a look around some swims and decided on one of the points and the first lawn swim. I’d not fished this part of the venue since before the first lockdown in 2020, late March I think, when I had a lovely 26lber

We call it the Bottom Lake or South Lake, but it’s all joined together with wide channels between each part, totaling about 64 acres.

My swim

I was set up on the Lawn Swim and Ian was in the First Point Swim, there’s in fact another point that no one actually fishes.

As I had not fished this lake for some years, I headed over to my Fish Deeper Page and refreshed my memory of the features that were out in front of this swim and the number of wraps needs to be cast. I always like to add on a couple in these situations as it helps to get a feel for the swim again. There was no point in getting the Deeper out of my bag as the wind was pushing hard on this bank.

Bottom Lake

This part of the complex is pretty big, unfortunately, the far bank is out of bounds, hence no Deeper readings.

My Area

This is my swim and I’m going to focus on the far bar. It is 7ft deep and 23 wraps out, this gives Ian a bit more water, as he is tucked up under the trees on the point.

Back of the bar

7ft on the top of the bar and 10ft over the back, give or take a couple of feet, due to the drop in water levels this year.

I’ve baited this spot quite heavily with about 4 kilos of 15mm Catalyst and Classic Corn Boilies and I will be fishing a 20mm Wafter of each flavor over the top. There’s been plenty of carp showing at long range ever since we arrived today.

With a few light showers tonight, the wind swinging around to the north, and the pressure only slightly rising, I am feeling confident about this trip, it’s cloudy and overcast until Sunday morning.

Ian sat in my swim this afternoon, after getting everything sorted, with the exception of casting his rods out. He headed back around 6pm just as the sun was going behind the trees.

The rain arrived sometime in the night, not really sure when and once it had eased off around 5 am the carp came on the feed.

My first take was on my right-hand rod and it absolutely belted off into the distance. I had to walk back up my slippery slope to gain some height, as I could feel the carp knocking around on the boulders. Once it was over the bar, it just ran towards me, I struggled to keep up with it and was wondering where it was heading next. It’s been so long since I’ve fished down here, my lack of knowledge regarding the snags hiding under the water is showing.

Once in the margins, it just hugged the bottom. After a few minutes, it was slowing down and eventually in the net.

10 lber

10 or 11lber, I wasn’t weighting it as there was still a lot of light drizzle about in the air. I quickly slipped it back, got the rod out, sat on my bed to tidy up my stuff and the other rod was away! I followed the same process of walking up the bank after picking up the rod and found it less problematic than the last fish. This also ran towards me after it was over the bar, there must be something out there that they are heading for and I look forward to finding it at some point.

This fish felt just like the previous one – up until the point it found the deep margins and took off, it suddenly felt heavy. It was hugging the bottom with a lot more power and weight than the last one. Once it was ready for the net. It was very kind and slipped in the first time.

22lb 1oz

I got the fish back in the water and walked back up to my bivvy to sort the rod out, but before I even got through the door, the other rod that I had just put out was away again. I couldn’t quite believe what was happening, nights like these on here are a thing of the past, or so I thought.

It was a complete repeat of the last capture, I’m starting to think they’re looking for the deeper water in front of me.

11 lber

Wow, what an hour that’s been, at one point, I had no rods in the water! By now it was 0645 and I was well in need of a cup of coffee, this was the point I realized that I’d forgotten the milk, oh well black coffee for me then.

The rain faded away and the odd break in the clouds started to appear. The temperature started to change as the wind moved to the north. We are pretty sheltered here.

The day was spent chatting, topping up the swim, going for a walkabout and then back for some wine and food. After that, I did my evening video and headed over to Ian’s swim for a look at the sunset.

Looking down the path

I walked into his swim chatting about the sunset and taking photographs as I went.


I didn’t notice that he had a rod on the floor and the net in the water. I captured part of this on a video dairy, which is definitely worth a look at! Head over to my channel on YouTube.


A happy Ian. We were still laughing about the footage that I recorded and for about 10 minutes thought I had accidentally deleted or pressed stop on the camera.


Isn’t nature absolutely amazing?

After a good laugh and plenty of jokes about the last 25 minutes, I headed back to swim to settle down for the night.

I had to wait until 0330 for my next take, sometimes I wish you could choose the fish you catch, but alas unless you floater fishing, this isn’t the case.

Baby carp

It’s still a carp and it counts in the numbers game, and at least I’ve not blanked tonight, I’m happy really. 

I tried to take some photographs of the stars, but the camera wasn’t playing ball and it was pretty nippy outside, plus very damp, time to tuck myself back in that bag.

This time it was the left-hand rod that rattled off, just after 0530. These carp certainly know where the boulders are situated in this lake as I could feel every knock and tap.

As beforeit charged towards me hoping to get under the overhanging branches of the trees either side of me, as far as I can make out.

15lb 6oz

That’s better, a bit of an ugly fish, may have a little bit of Koi carp in its genes.

I’m going to try and get my head down again.

I managed to get to about 9am before the heat of the sunshine warmed the bivvy up too much.


It was most definitely coffee time. It would be nice to catch something in daylight hours, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this trip.

The day passed with no action and it was soon tea time, I had Chill Carne from Parsley Box. These are perfect for long session anglers who don’t wish to carry a large cool box, as they are Shellife and can simply go on your bag, etc.

With the sun slowly going down, it was lovely sitting just watching the water and the tranquility of my surroundings.

I was on my bed watching Netflix and the right rod screamed into life (in daylight hours I might add). It was interesting to see where the carp went and how its behavior was in the fight. This was so I could learn what they’d been up to over the past 3 nights, as your never 100% sure in the darkness and this place is pitch blank.

17 lber on the dot

I was extremely happy with my daylight capture, it makes things so much easier. The rod was perfectly positioned in the dusky light and time to work out where I was in the episode I was watching.

To my amazement, I don’t think that rod was out more than ten minutes and it was away again, It was quickly dispatched into the net.

10 lber

Ian came over and was in my swim for less than 2 minutes and his sounder box screamed into life. I quickly did my photos and headed next door. He was still playing with the fish and it was fighting a lot harder than the last two I had. The rod was hooped over and he was pumping away but not gaining that much ground, but after about 10 minutes I slid the net under the fish for him

20lb 1oz

That will do nicely sir.

He was well chuffed with that and hopefully, there are a few more heading our way that size, fingers crossed.

Just after 2130, Ian was on the phone, asking if I could pop off to take some more photos!

16 lber

This trip is turning into a fantastic one, unless the cold snap tonight puts them off, we should well be into a few more between us.

My next take was just after midnight and was on the left rod. I’m starting to wonder if there’s an issue with the right-hand rod, but not wishing to disturb the swim too much as I’m catching quite regularly, I’m opting to wait and see. The fight was similar to all the others and another lovely Airfield common slipped over the cord.

17lb 3oz

That’s perfect. It looks like this is the general stamp of the fish down here at the moment. With the rod on the spot, I’d better get my head down, as you never know.


What an absolutely gorgeous morning, this is certainly what fishing is all about.

I’m in no rush today, the family is away and not due back until later this afternoon. So, before the wind picked up, I’ve rebaited, put 5oz leads on and blasted the rod out even further. Due to not catching during the day, over the last few day’s. It would be completely pointless to not change something about in the hope of picking something up. My other option is to put a bag on and flick it off the front of the point to my left. I’ve not seen anything there over the past day, but once the wind is blowing, I’m not going to be able to get a single hook bait back out that far again. We shall see where we go and what happens.

Nice Slope

Bit of a tricky slope to deal with on these damp mornings.

It’s coming to the end of my trip and rebaiting the rods hasn’t paid off. I didn’t see any signs of carp, like we did the previous morning. I think the change in pressure and the drop in the dry temperature last night had put them off for a bit. All the stuff is on the barrow and ready for the off.

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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