Looking Back Over 2019 Part 3 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.
After my last trip and seeing all the carp in the bay, that was clearly not interested in feeding. I felt the only option was to come back that night and find out if they feed in there once night arrived.
As its quite close to home, I took the youngest and left the eldest with one of her friends and the wife came by and collected her. This gave me the ability to set up in daylight without rushing around or with a head torch on. I just hoped this would make a difference.
Now, that was a real learning curve. I really expected to catch and they were certainly a few fish about when I got there and a few crashed out early evening. Then they must have just bugged out.
And a pleasant night on the bank was had, with a 6 am pack up.
Until next time
The weather has completely thrown me this trip! I spent most of yesterday afternoon sorting my floater kit out. Only to wake up with a clear blue sky, thinking this is perfect. I then spotted a grey front moving down from the North and after checking on the weather apps again, oh joy it had changed.
When I arrived at the lake, the temperature had dropped to 7 degrees and it was 9am, it was probably warmer a 7am.
I was not 100% sure where to fish, but right on cue, a fish rolled on the bay area. That was as good a place to start as any.
I picked a slightly different spot to set my rods up in and I also had my chair set up away from the rods. It was also angled looking down the main body of the lake if I spotted any fish showing I would be on my way.
Since the last trip I have been doing some thinking and I need to step away from the mindset I have for my other lakes. These have only been stocked recently and have been reared on pellets in a fish farm.
This is a real shame, I was looking forward to using some bread and one of my viewer’s had suggested Classic Corn. I have tried casters in a bag a couple of times, but very it was expensive.
I have moved over to yellow baits today in the Frank Warwick range, a corn pop up and a pineapple pop up. I think I need to ascertain their preferred colours.
It was not until the afternoon that I finally started to spot the odd carp in the upper levels amongst the weed. They were clearly not interested in floaters yet, as I had put a few out about 1130, which are still about, but I think its worth a go with some bread.
They are different, not interested in floaters or bottom baits They are much more happy sunning themselves, it finally made an appearance and definitely warmed up a lot.
I’m very much enjoying this new adventure, as it has revitalized my thought process regarding fishing and gets you thinking more about other waters I fish.
No joy today, but I have decided to go back here tonight, instead of my other water. Once the clocks change, I will switch over more.
Until next time.
After my day trip today, I put a lot of thought into where I should go fishing tonight. My original plan was to fish on the Airfield Lake, but this would mean a bit of a rush job on finding a suitable area to fish before darkness arrived. This is never ideal on a venue that I’ve not seen or fished for the past few week’s. Reports are that the lake is pretty hard going and I felt that a return trip to the Estate Lake would be more productive and informative as it would be my second night on there.
My swim choice was made more or less at home, I really needed to fish a different swim/area at night. After seeing all the fish out in the main part of the lake, it had to be that area. I knew from a previous day trip which area was clean from the weed and as I had the time at home to rebait my rods with free hook baits (as the kids were eating their tea), I was already prepared and I catapulted a few small pouches of 12mm Smokey & Catalyst boilies out. I soon had the camp set up and all sorted for the night.
I awoke in the night a couple of times as there where fish crashing. Due to the size of the lake, they could have been anywhere. I didn’t walk about, as this may have disturbed the carp.
It was not to be again! But I have certainly learned something more about the lake.
Until next time
I’m finally back out on the Airfield lake, after two weeks and it’s also the last time of setting up at dusk, the clockS change to British Summer Time. Which is just great news.
I had spent 4 hrs on Thursday having a good look around the whole complex, instead of going fishing. I just felt that it would be more beneficial for me and formulated a plan for the weekend. It was going to be very dependent on where other anglers were set up. I would not arrive until 1830, which would just about give me 30 minutes to decide what my best options where. I settled for the second point of the middle part if the complex. With the lack of time, I’d planned on finding one spot and point both rods on it with about 8 spomb’s of a mixture of 12mm Catalyst and Smokey. I would fish a Natural wafter on one and a masala wafter on the other. Both rods were fished with a large pva bag filled with pellets soaked on Catalyst particle syrup.
With a few fish showing on the far tree line, I was pretty happy with my choice. Let’s hope the next 48 hrs turns out that way.
The night passed me by, with just a few lines and a lovely Spring day arrived again. This must start waking them up soon. I say waking them up but they’re pretty much on it as normal – just all under the overhanging tree. This comes out into the lake some 20 ft, just need the carp to venture out into open water more.
Another night passed me by again and a very early pack up. I need to get back for Mothers Day, head off for lunch with the family and the Mother in Law.
Until next time
Now that the clocks have changed, it’s full steam ahead on the Airfield Lake. They spawn in early May, would you believe? But yes they do. It’s because it’s so shallow in the main lake and it warms up very fast. It’s hard going at the best of times but after they have spawned they spread out more.
With a definite plan already formulated, there is a definite pattern to this lake – well to a point anyway.
I pulled into the car park just after 1830 and was very happy to see that there was only one car in the car park. I knew where he would be, so I loaded the barrow and headed off for a long hard walk, this certainly takes it out of you but effort = reward.
Having fished this swim a number of times over the years, it was a very straight forward set up. I was fishing 1 rod on the back of the bar and the other over the top. I had spombed out about 8 loads of a mixture of Smokey & Catalyst 12mm boilies. I was fishing a size 8 turning point hook ronnie rig style using stiff finskin and a 3oz zipp lead from monster leads. With a pink pepper squid & a natural Catalyst wafter on the other.
Let’s hope tonight bring me some better luck.
Other than the odd liner in the night, that was it. I had a few hours in the rain before I needed to pack up and am hoping it will have eased off some what by then.
I’m more and more convinced that the carp are happy feeding on the hatches. Until that dies down a bit and they discover boilies again, it will always be hard going at the start on here.
It’s certainly looking like another Spring blank is coming my way. It’s sort of to be expected but it still surprises you every time, especially when you feel it’s the right conditions.
Until next time
I have the chance of another weekend, just as the school Easter break starts and my Dad is down to help look after the girls. This is so I can carry on gardening and the kids don’t have to go to a holiday club. I was on my way once the wife was home Friday night.
When I drove around the first lake to the Tower car park, I was amazed to find about 10 anglers on that lake. I was starting to panic a bit, so I drove on to the next car park to find only 2 cars on there, phew. I headed off to find the location of the owners of the cars, one was doing the weekend and the other was just packing up which gave me the choice of the middle lake or the top lake.
The top lake is always my first choice if I can get a swim. I was in two minds as to fish the same swim as my last trip, go into another one or even go to the swim I fished last weekend as no-one was on there.
After looking and waiting on the long point between the middle and bottom lakes. It meant I could see both lakes and any signs of fish. The one issue was, I was certain I only had my large spomb, as I had carried the other one about for so long without using it, I had taken it off my car bag. This is a bag which has a lot of kit I may need but don’t necessarily need it in my swim. This is the beauty of fishing a safe place off the beaten track.
So it’s single hook baits for me this weekend, as clearly the carp are here and any overactivity could push them out of the area.
It’s starting to come a bit of a habit, another blank night has passed by. I just have to stick with it and have faith that I am getting closer, things will come together very soon and I just need to stick to what I know best. I shouldn’t start changing things around and panic, as this tends to result in you continue to blank. You change too much all at the same time, it’s best just to alter one thing at a time, as you will never know which factor has caused or affected your results.
Once 11 am passed, it was time to get thinking about where to put the rods tonight or not move them at all.
I decided to move the right-hand rod a lot closer to the channel which runs between the middle lake and the bottom lake. This was one of the areas I had seen fish in when I arrived yesterday. Not sure if I will leave it there at night yet. Hopefully, it will catch a carp and see how it behaves. The left-hand rod will be moved slightly right, as I have found a harder bottom to fish.
I just about managed to get some bait in the area with my large spomb (that was fun), maybe its time to have some casting tuition.
All was sorted out by 1 pm, so let’s hope that the carp move back into the area, as they where there last night when I arrived and we can pick one up.
Last night was action free and with an early pack up, I was off by 8am and heading home.
Until next time
At my eldest daughter’s request (honestly) she wants to come fishing on the Estate Lake over the holiday, not to fish, but just to have some Daddy time. She had taken a bit of interested in the lake since I joined and had come along to check the otter fence after the storms in early March. She had helped to get a fair few of the sticks out of the lake which had fallen in.
We’d been for a walk around the lake the last two evenings and baited up an area where I believed I had heard the Carp topping in the night on my last trip. A fellow syndicate member had also informed me the same thing, as we are sharing information about the lake in the hope of understanding their feeding patterns quicker.
We had a quick look about and I felt this swim would give us the best option. There were absolutely no signs of any carp, clearly, they did not like the rain. I was hoping that it would put them down and get them feeding, I hope this will be the case over tonight.
I placed my baits in a lovely hole in the weed it was nice and clear. The other off the side of the island where I had previously seen carp and it is most likely a patrol route. Both rods had large bags filled with a mixture of Catalyst & Betafin pellets, which I soak in the Betafin liquid.
Hook bait-wise, I opted for a Smokey Jack wafter with a white Go2 wafter on top and a single Smokey Jack wafter on the other rod. Both set up on Ronnie rig with lite leads to keep the noise down when I recast, as I would just be dropping the leads back in with no bags. I felt that keeping the disturbance down would help me catch another fish, once I had caught the first one. I put about 6 handfuls of 12mm Smokey and Catalyst boilies over each spot.
The rain continued until after dark and once it stopped, I had a liner on the left rod. Hopefully, it will mean that the carp had found my baited area. But that turned out to be the only action and the buzzers fell silent for the rest of the night.
We here not due home until just before noontime. I was really hoping that they feed at first light and up until mid-morning, the forecast was for sunshine today, but it was overcast first thing. They clearly loved the sunny days, would they be back on the top sunning themselves? I really hope that I would pick one up by then.
It was not to be.
Until next time.
I’m out for 3 nights with Ian on the Airfield Lake, after a lot of walking and discussion, we finally settled on a swim. The big issue we had was the lack of seeing fish, the cold east wind but we feel that this is our best option. We did finally spot a couple of carp, one close by and the other one, some distance away.
Around 6pm after the day time feeding period was over, we set about finding a few perfect spots. I opted for one to my left, along the margin shelf, right at the bottom in 7 ft of water, with a very dramatic rise up in a matter of just over a rod length.
The other area was on a 7.5ft Plato with 9ft over water surround it. This just had to be a feature they would visit. Both areas were baited with boilies, hemp & tigers with a Ronnie rig injunction and a 3oz & 2oz Zipp lead. One rod has a Smokey wafter and the other a Catalyst wafter.
We then sat back, soaked up the view and had a couple of glasses of wine.
Over the night I heard plenty of big fish crashing out, but couldn’t locate their whereabouts, it’s pretty dark out here! As there is no light pollution, it’s a great spot for stargazing – too much cloud cover tonight.
Morning arrived with no action in the night for both of us! This wasn’t much of a surprise at the cold east wind blew most of the night and there was a good drop in temperature first thing. As the night progressed, it did warm up, the pressure was starting to drop.
The lake does produce fish in the day time, I wasn’t planning on reeling in until noon time. The Tufted Ducks had moved in on the Plateau rod, which as long as there is only a small amount activity, I feel will cloud up the water and encourage passing fish to investigate.
Just before 10am, the very same rod ripped off and I was attached to my first Airfield Lake carp. After a pretty straight forward fight, the carp was safely in the Nsr and we began to organize the weighing/photographing kit.
23lb 6oz Common
That will do me. I hope a few more grace my net over the next few days.
The morning passed with no more action, around noontime, we set about locating some more features with the Deeper and always with the marker float. We certainly discovered some very interesting things out there!
The beauty of the Deeper is that it was all done with a minimal disturbance on the 4 casts we did, we simply let it drift in the wind and it recorded away. As the baited rods were still in the water, we had analyzed the data and quickly sorted out the rods for the night.
I moved my margin rod as after 24 hrs of no action, it was time for a change. The first night I clearly heard fish in open water, Ian moved one rod out of the bay onto a nice spot we found. We topped up the swim with some more bait, being very mindful, that the Tufted Duck was on the munch!
The second night passed by with no night-time activities! The discussion was made to not recast until after 7pm tonight unless we really needed to. The rain which had been on and off all night was due to stop by mid-morning and the pressure was nicely dropping down still more.
With no signs of any carp in day, I redid my rods and was hoping for a last night capture. The wind and pressure had dropped and we were expecting a warm night ahead – it was certainly looking more favourable. Just before midnight, the left-hand rod was off and I was into my second carp of the trip. It was off down the left-hand margins hoping to find one of the snags down there and it came close, I felt the line twang a branch or two, but with a bit of added pressure, it was under my control and in the margins in front of me. I was feeling a little bit more relaxed and it soon slipped into the Nsr.
18lb 13oz Common
Very happy with that and especially after all the effort I’d put in to find the right spot and getting the bait application right.
Let’s hope there are more to come before I am off home tomorrow, to spend the rest of the week with my family.
The rest of the night passed very quietly and a misty morning soon arrived, with the odd fish showing. This was a real change from the last few days and a boost of confidence for the last few hours of my trip.
The weather had finally changed for the better (after the cold snap and very frosty mornings), the night temperatures are looking better from now on and the trees are more full of colour. We heard the first cuckoo of the year, no signs of the swallows or swifts yet, but I am sure they will be heard by next week.
Ian is staying for a couple more nights and with the change in the weather, I think he will be in with a real chance of some nice carp.
I’m off just after noontime and it’s time to have some family fun in the sunshine with a BBQ or 2, the Easter weekend is set to be a real hot one – makes a change for a bank holiday weekend!
its interesting going over past trips out and how hard it can be at time to catch carp.
What a complete change in the weather! For a change, a very nice bank holiday weekend. I had the opportunity to slip a quick over-nighter in on the Sunday night. I was soon sorting my tackle out and putting away the winter sleeping bag. I didn’t arrive too early as it was 24 degrees out there and the carp would just be sunning themselves. These conditions can be very productive as you know, the carp are most likely to feed at night, which narrows down the window of opportunity.
In all honesty, I’m not a fan of hot weather, especially when 4 days ago it was only 12 degrees, I just don’t cope very well.
With that in mind, my swim selection was in the cool wind and under some trees (that’s not too hard on this lake). As it had been some time since my last trip to this swim, out came the deeper. With a little breeze across the lake, I soon had mapped out a large area with minimal casting and zero disturbance to the area I was looking at. I soon found a couple of perfect features.
I found two very simple areas – 40 yards apart and with smoother areas either side. I just fancied putting a bait amongst the peaks and troughs which were very clean. As I always run the marker rod over each area with a small gripper lead – to check for any chod.
Both areas were baited with 12mm Smokey and Catalyst and a mixture of Sf pellets. I was fishing 15mm Smokey Jack wafter with an Evo fake corn one in white and the other in pink, just to add a small amount of colour.
It was time to sit back, watch the world go by and have a glass of ale.
The burning sun started to fade away, the wind dropped and a stunning evening watching the sun go down was had.
Darkness fell, I settled down into my bag and soon fell asleep only to be awaked by an absolute belter of a take, with a very hard fighting carp on the end. It was clearly determined to reach the snaggy tree line to my right and after numerous attempts with a few close calls with the branches (just to my right). You know that twang you get when the line pinging off and you breathe a sigh of relief once it’s safely under the rod top. It was still permanently heading right, it would just not give up until it slipped into the NSR! I did breath another sigh as I knew it was going to be a pukka fish.
32lb 1oz Common
I was well over the moon. After sorting out the photos and get the carp back, I sat down and reflected on the fight, how lucky I was and wise these fish are.
It was time to get my head down again and all to soon pack up time arrived.
That’s was the only take if the night, but certainly nothing to complain about.
Until next time
A big storm was moving through over the weekend, the likelihood it would stir the carp up. I just had to get myself down the lake. As luck would have it, a friend could collect my youngest from school as well as their own. I got down the lake by noontime. This gave me the opportunity to look around for a bit and I got myself sorted by 2pm, fingers crossed for an early evening take.
The main lake was pretty busy in the areas I fancied and I wasn’t keen on sitting out in the open with 50mph winds forecasted! I needed a bit of shelter to protect me, I still really wanted to be in the thick of it. The carp had been showing signs of spawning the other week – proper signs such as thrashing about in the reeds and full on chasing each other. It amazes me that with the carp in this lake spawn in the first few days of May.
After a good look about, I ended up in the same swim as my last trip out for no particular reason other than it felt the right place to be. I put both rods on the right-hand spot I had found as I was planning on moving one of the rods to my margins midmorning Saturday, as the wind would be pushing onto this bank. It would give me the opportunity to bait up a spot and just leave it be until tomorrow morning (unless I had a fish). I would not put the rod out next to the other one, in fear of spooking any other feeding carp.
I am sticking to the same tactic as previous sessions as there is no point in changing anything when it’s working for you.
With that all done it was time to sit back, relax and get my book out.
The night was incredibly rough and pretty cold. I made the hard decision, I would head home because I didn’t feel the conditions where right and I could make better use of my time later on in the year.
Until next time
Part 4 of 10 will follow in a couple of weeks
Until then Richard