Trip 46 Carp Fishing – 2022

I wasn’t due to arrive until Friday morning, but with the carp coming out mostly at night, it was worth setting up in the dark on Thursday evening. I couldn’t arrive any earlier due to family stuff going on this afternoon.

Ian had called earlier this morning and take the choice of the swim and after last week’s success, we felt it was worth another go in that area.

Just on dusk
My infrared light

My infrared light lights up the rods, but to be honest, it’s more about lightning up the steps down into the lake as I get older!

I was halfway through setting up and Ian’s left-hand rod was away with the first fish of the trip and hopefully not the last. The fight was slow and steady and a lovely Common slipped into the net.


He was pleased with that and it filled us both with hope for the coming few nights.

Just before 1am, I woke to a big splash in the margins. I poked my head out the bivvy door and yep sure enough Ian was into a nice carp, I did the netting.


I lovely 30 lber it was as well. He was over the moon, as  Airfield 30’s can be a bit hard to find some years.

I was sitting on his bucket chatting and sorting out the photography and my right-hand rod was away! I was very mindful of the overhanging branches that got me last week, along with the underwater snag. I soon had the carp in the margins, then all I had to do was simply played the carp out and slip it into the net when it was ready.

20lb 5oz

Perfect start, I was still buzzing from Ian having a 30 and I  had just landed my first trip of the session. 

Another PVA bag was done, I flicked it back out there and thought I better try and get some sleep, as you never know. 

I woke to a screaming run at 0845. I must have finally fallen asleep last night but it was gone past 3am I know that. The carp was on a real mission to my right and probably rolled on the surface in front of the swim Ian fished last week, I coaxed it along the margins and into the weighing net.

16lb 11oz

Perfect, two carp within the first 12 hours.

We both baited up around 11 o’clock with a few more kilos of Classic Corn and Catalyst boilies, and stuck new hook baits on for the coming afternoon and evening.

I’m using my normal Ronnie rig set up with a 20mm wafter, a short hooklink conjunction with a Pva bag filled with 6mm Catalyst pellets. These have been soaking in Spotted Fin food dip for a few weeks. I very much like to prep my boilies and pellets, a couple of weeks in advance and start the next batch going on the day I get back from each session.

Cloudy afternoon

The day passed by with a couple of glasses of wine and some brie on the Weber.

It was all very peaceful on the carp front, we were hoping for a later afternoon/early evening take.

As the sun was setting, it was looking like we were out of luck. I was out and about taking photographs of the moon rising.

Along with the fantastic cloud formations when Ian’s right-hand rod burst into life.

That will do, a nice 8pm take, when we are both up and about. The fish was definitely on a mission to the right and no doubt towards those overhanging trees to my right. We thought that it had avoided my lines, until it ran back towards Ian under my lines that it had gone over. Joy!

I loosened off my line and netted the carp. We quickly got it in the sling and put it in the lake, the last thing we needed was one of my rod’s going off. Once the tangled lines were sorted out, we got the carp on the scales.

22lb 12oz

That’s no bad going, 2 x 20s and a 30lber all before 8pm on the second night! Ian was well-chuffed.

Just after 1 am, Ian was on again. I arrived just in time to do the net duties and he slipped yet another stonking carp over the cord.

Weightlifting time!
26lb 8oz

He is having a fantastic session and I’m glad to be on the net and doing the photos. This to me is just as enjoyable as catching the fish yourself. Somehow the moment filters across.


Around 11pm Ian had this lovely Common on the repositioned left-hand rod.

I was up about doing some filming when Ian was away again! I was able to film him playing the carp and landing it. It very nearly got into the overhanging trees along his left margins, the ends of the branches where twitching away as he guided the carp under them. With his rod well under the water, it eventually slipped into the net.


His rod was out again and the coffee was made. We sat in the sunshine in Ian’s swim talking about the possibility of him catching fish no 7. This will be his best session with the number of carp and definitely with the size of fish he had been catching.

The same rod was away again, he was into fish no7.

In again!

This was brilliant. After a pretty straightforward battle, involving me picking up his other rod and holding it in the air until the carp was safely in the margins. I did joke that he didn’t need two rods as all the takes had come on the same rod.

Get in there

Fish no 7 is been landed and it’s a beauty.

Thank you

This is really turning into a red letter day trip for him and with another 24 hours to go, he could easily get 10 carp.

We had breakfast at around 11pm, along with another brew. The time was coming up to around 1230 and we were thinking about when to start spombing the last of the bait out (after Ian’s success last night), when my left-hand rod was away!

Into a fish

The fish was on the surface rolling about on the surface about 60 yards out and it continued to do this all the way in until it got closer to the net and then, just went down. It stayed there for some time, I was even hopeful this was going to be a nice lump, but you really can’t tell with the big tails these carp have.

Guiding it in

Once in the net, it did look good and after lifting out of the water and carrying it to the mat, I was feeling confident.

30lb 12oz

I was overjoyed with another 30-plus carp from the Airfield Lake. I generally aim for 1 a season, I now was on to number 3, I just can’t believe my luck this month.

As the sun was setting and in the fading light of the day, we are full of expectations for the coming 12 hours. It would be extremely nice if Ian can make the number 10 carp, plus if I can bag at least one more, this would also be nice. We shall just have to wait and see. We have topped up the swim, and redone the rigs, we can only hope. We are due another clear night and the pressure is slowly rising, but it’s mid-October and they need to feed.

The first take of the night, came to my left-hand rod, just before 10pm and this fish wasn’t giving up very easily. It was also extremely interested in my margins to my right, but slowly and surely I gained ground and it was in the net.


I didn’t weigh the carp but estimated it at about 12lber. You wouldn’t have thought that it could have that much power, it certainly goes to show you that you can’t always tell the size until you get them into the net.

The fish was soon back in the lake, with my rod cast back out with another fresh Classic Corn wafter on.

At 1130 pm, the same rod was away again. I was still wide awake and quickly out to grab the rod. This one was just running out, further into the open water. I was even considering slowing down, by now I normally have started to walk backward, gently coaxing them straight into my swim. I do my best to avoid them kitting right or left, but this fish was having none of that. Eventually, it started coming my way, once under the rod tip it made a few lunges and took a lot of line at one point, always heading back out into the lake and off to my right, but I gained control again and soon had it in the net.

23lb 10oz

That will certainly do me. It was definitely getting colder tonight and Ian was quickly off to the warmth of his sleeping bag. I soon had the rod back out and was pleased to get back in my bag.

By 3 am, Ian had landed another 2 carp, 8lber, and a 16lber. Unfortunately, no photographs as he was feeling the cold from the northwest winds and the rolling mist. He now had had 9 carp and just 1 more to make double figures. After the last two nights, there’s a good chance that he would manage this, fingers crossed for the next bite.

It’s 0550 and Ian’s done it! He has landed fish No10 and it’s another 20lber to this list.

20lb 15oz

Perfect, what more could you ask for from this session? It’s truly been amazing on all counts. We have around 5 hours left to go and then it’s home time. After the last two years of disappointing October sessions, we can’t complain about it this year.


It’s another lovely misty morning and I am sure the sun will be poking its head above the trees very soon. I have a coffee on the go and I’m still in the bag, watching the water and just enjoying the moment. Fishing is such a magical experience.

I was halfway through packing up and the left-hand rod rattled off. The fight was just perfect, all under the rod tip in the margins, and slipped perfectly into the net.

28lb 4oz

What a way to finish off this session! We both couldn’t have wanted for more – brilliant company, great food & drink and best of all, a good number of carp landed.

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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