Looking Back Over 2019 Part 2 of 10

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Looking Back Over 2019 Part 2 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 11 Carp Fishing- 2019

Firstly, I must say a big thank you to my wife & kids for understanding my need to go fishing over the few days that storm Eric pushed through the South of England.  Especially to my wife who took the Friday off work and then let me go on Thursday night and set up in the dark.  The storm would arrive in the early hours of Friday morning.


I arrived just after 1930 and had a drive around the lake, there was only one other person fishing.  This ruled out that area.

My big dilemma was, do I fish in the wind or at the back of the wind?  The wind still had a bit of a chill to it but it should stir the carp into feeding (well we hope so).  The first swim I looked at was very calm, it was set back in a bay but after 40 yards you would be in the full blast of the wind.  The second swim was out on a point and down the southern end of the lake, it would take the full blast of the wind.  You can’t get a bait to the south bank.  Or do I fish the back of the wind, where I had picked up some fish on the Deeper when I was out Tuesday, I didn’t catch anything then but they may still be there.  I walked into the swim and a fish crashed out over this area, I took this as a sign that I just had to stay.  The guy who had set up before me on the other point had heard fish, so you never know they may be waking up a bit.


There is a bar that heads out from the swim to about 40 yards and then drops into deeper water.  This is where I was going to place my baits and also baited up with crumbed boilies micro pellets and hemp, all had been soaked in the catalyst particle syrup for the past few days both.  The rods were set up with 3oz flat pear leads and a Ronnie Rig set up.  Both had dumbbell wafters on Catalyst and the Pink Pepper Squid and packed nicely into a solid bag of the same mixture.


And that was me all done.  Time for a brew and wait for Storm Eric to arrive, which was supposed to peak around noontime on Friday.


The night passed with no fish action.  The storm arrived and kept me awake on and off.  There was less rain than I expected which was nice.  I  struggle to catch in the rain on this lake, still don’t understand that.  My plan is to watch the lake for any carpy signs and then move 1 rod off the baited area or leave it there.  I will continue to top up the swim, as its only micro pellets and will soon break down over 24 hrs.  With a small break in the weather (well rain), I took this opportunity to rebait both rods and stick another 10 spomb over the area.  Unfortunately, I still hadn’t seen any more carpy signs, since my arrival.


Fingers crossed.  There are now 8 other anglers on the lake.  This will add a bit more pressure and hopefully get the carp on the move.


The second night has passed without a bite.  I’m feeling the conditions are improving as last night the wind carried on blowing and the temperature dropped.  This makes me feel that the back of the wind can only be the place to be and with some sunshine forecast today, that could easily bring them on the feed.  The lake has not fished that well over the winter and I feel that they will soon pick up their game.  It normally fishes very well over the winter period and you just need to be there when it happens.

I have moved the right-hand rod along the treelined bank for the last 24 hrs with a single hook bait on it.  I’ve been playing around with different colour combinations just to try and entice them a bit.


We shall just have to hope and see if the next 24 hrs brings me a carp.  Effort equals rewards or madness this weekend!

I settled into the last night and as the wind calmed down, I had a couple of carp show over my spot.  This was a real boost for the last night until another burst of wind and rain arrived, they seemed to vanish again.  Around midnight, it was all flat calm again and I sat up watching the lake until 1am but didn’t see or hear anything more.  I drifted off back to sleep no long after that.


Well, it wasn’t meant to be as they say.  The water level came up over an inch in the past 24 hrs, which can’t of helped.  Also perhaps the sudden influx of anglers.  It’s been very quiet over the winter.  But saying this, it’s been very enjoyable being back on the bank.

Until next time

Trip 12 Carp Fishing- 2019

After the weekend’s bad luck (or poor choice of a swim).  I am thinking its more about the weather and when the fish where there.  I was unfortunate with the rain, which clearly put them off.


Armed with the information from the weekend, I’ve set myself up for a few hours in what was the most productive area.  Would be silly not to!


I’m also only using single bright wafters from the Frank Warwick range which Spotted Fin do.  I’ve picked Miracle Berry and Masala, which have worked well for me before.  Both rods are along the righthand treeline.


There is a gap into the sanctuary area and some very nice overhangs to place your baits. I am hoping that the carp with be moving about, there is a lot more sunshine about today and is forecast to stay like this for some time.  This may start to bring on Spring.

My first take happened just before noon and to the Miracle Berry rod.  I had a hard fight to maintain the pressure on, to keep the fish from finding any snags – it’s quite deep water.  If they can gain a bit, they can find the snags and with the wind at the weekend I was hoping for no new ones!  The fight was soon under control and I could play the fish normally and slid it nicely into the Nsr ( Net, Sling, Retainer).  I left the fish happily in there knowing it would come to no harm.  I sorted out my camera, scales and lifting bar, find them much easier at my age!


Very happy with that and just 1oz over the 19lb mark.  With 2 hrs left on the clock, I soon had the rod back out on the spot again.

With my kit half packed away, the same rod ripped off again and another hard fight was underway, but not for long.  The fish was under my control and then safely in the net.


Another fish banked on the miracle berry wafters.


Very happy with that and my first twenty of 2019


There was no time left, it was just before 2pm when the take happened and I need to be back home for the school run.

That was a slow start t0 2019 on the carp front.

on to the next trip.

Trip 13 Carp Fishing- 2019

After the success of the other day, the perch fishing didn’t stand a chance, as you can see.


I just couldn’t resist the temptation.  As I am the only one on the lake it would be silly not to.  Spring is getting ever closer and the crowds will be back soon.  When I say crowds, I mean there will be 6 anglers on 20 ish acres!  It’s nice to be the only one on the lake.


My rods are more or less both on the same spot, 10ft apart but both on the channel entrance and just beyond.  The closest rod is on the Miracle Berry Wafters and the other I have switched over to the Pink Pepper Squid.  Same set up as before 3oz flat Zipp leads, with size 8 Longshank Turning point hooks Ronnie Rig style and no freebies again.


Well with only 45 minutes to go, it’s certainly looking like a blank.  This is a surprise as the conditions are pretty much the same as the other day.

Oh well, until next time.

Trip 14 Carp Fishing

With half term upon us already and Spring ever closer.  I am on the bank for the week.  I’m not sure if it’ll be the lake only or some river fishing, but after spending a good two hours looking and thinking, I settled to start in this swim


My thought process is, the fish have been feeding in the main lake and sanctuary area, which has produced some very good fish, but I think they have drifted back into the sanctuary.  I’m hoping with the news that a few fish have been picked up in the day swims over the past 3 days, more anglers will follow and hopefully push the carp out of their hidedy holes.

I’m fishing my right-hand rod off the gap, as I need to make sure I can get to the rods before the fish makes it to the channel!  The left-hand rod is out in open water, but up against the drop-off of a bar which runs along towards the entrance to the channel.  If the first bait doesn’t tempt them, just maybe the other will?  I have baited up with a mixture of crushed hemp and chopped boilies, all soaked in the catalyst particle syrup over the past 4 days.


I have gone for Miracle Berry & Caramel cream wafter to start with.  I will be playing around a bit in the hope to tempt them.


The night passed with a few liners and I heard a couple of fish crash out around 1 am.  I stayed up until around 3am listening, watching and hoping.  I was up just before 7am and recast the right-hand rod into the spot I like to fish in the day time.

There is a band of rain passing through this morning and it should be brightening up later on today.  There will be some sunshine to warm up the lake, the surface water temperatures are between 7 / 8 degrees.  Unless I see big signs of fish movement in another area, I will stay put for another night and then probably move.

The rain finally stopped and I rebaited the swim just before 2pm with hopefully a good chance of an afternoon take.  I’ve not seen or heard any carp so far today but with the liners last night and hearing a carp or two out in front of me, it’s worth another night.


I had a friendly robin in and out of the bivvy most of the morning.

I recast both rods with fresh PVA bags filled with crushed hemp and chopped catalyst boilies.  This time, both rods are on catalyst wafters with a Go2 8mm wafters tip.


All set for the night.  I discovered a tangle on the channel rod that had been out all day.  I’m not 100% sure but it looks like it may have been done by a carp, which was very frustrating going into my second night.


There was a very nice sunset and the mist was rolling in across the fields, all set for a very foggy, frosty night.  Just after 2 am, the left-hand rod gave a few beeps and the bobbin pulled up tight to the rod.  I was straight into a nice fish kiting towards the small bay and overhanging trees to the left of me.  The bolt was thwarted and it was under my control for a small amount of time, before it was off up the right-hand side of the swim.  It nearly picked up the other rod, it gave a couple of bleeps I was happy to get away with that, as I fish with slack lines.  It doesn’t have any negative effects on my bait presentation.  The fish was back under my control and up an down the margins under the rid tip for what felt like ever, until it finally slipped into the Nsr.

26-5 Common

Nice start – 26lb 5oz common.

I soon made up another bag, got the bait back out on the spot and I hoped the next one will not be far away.  I got a brew on and started to write my blog.  I love to do them with it all fresh in my head and it also gave me some time to consider my options regarding change swims.  It was clear that I had caught at a very similar time of night when I had heard crash the night before.  Was this a sign that there where carp out in open water and not so much in their sanctuary area?  It was time to ponder.

Well after some 2 or 3 hrs, I have decided to move swim in a hope that the fish are more in open water.  I believe they are and the weather condition is improving.


Well, what can a say about last night?  It was all looking pretty good.  I found some perfect spots and even had fish crashing nearby and then Man Flu kicked in.  With hot and cold flushes and insane coughing all night long.  Sorry to all other anglers about.  I had some pretty freaky dreams I was completely all over the place.  Despite feeling like I was up all night, I did hear the odd fish. I was probably in no fit state anyway.


With Ian arriving at about 10am, I needed to get some tablets in me.  You probably think I am crazy, but there is not much difference being ill at home or down the lake.  I find with a head cold, fresh air is best but I’m not sure about the coughing.  Once I have had the sweat, I generally start to recover, we shall see how this pans out of the next 24 hrs.

I’ve decided to say another night, as there will be no difference if I am at home or down the lake.  After last night’s lack of success and no signs of carp, I have put on a miracle berry Wafter and a pink pepper squid wafter, I’ve not topped up the swim with any more bait, as I don’t feel there is any point at the moment.

Just before 10 pm, the right rod was away and it was a Tench of about 2 lb.  Now, if they have awoken, the carp must have done.  Sure enough, just after midnight, I was into my second fish of the trip and it pulled the scales round to 21lb 5oz

21-5 Common

I was very happy with that.  I was also getting a better nights sleep than the previous one, this is definitely a help to my man flu.

My next take happened just after 4 am with another hard fighting common.

22 Common

22lb on the nose

After I rebaited the rod, I stuck about 30 boilies, in the hope of holding the fish.  I certainly will chuck more bait in the area tomorrow day time.

Morning arrived at the sound of the geese pairing up, which is not what I need.  But it’s certainly a sign Spring is on its way.


My third twenty of the night/morning came on the right-hand rod again and to the Pink Pepper Squid on a Ronnie Rig set up.  This was certainly upping my confidence and I was soon up the shop for extra supplies (for the next few days).

25-4 Common

25-4 Common

I also took this opportunity to put some bait in the swim as I hadn’t done since I moved in here on Tuesday.  But with a change in the weather and my results last night, it just had to be done.  I was still only using the crushed hemp and chopped catalyst boilies mixture that I had made up.

It’s now Thursday and Ian has gone home for a go after the Pike tomorrow.  I am so glad I stayed last night (despite man flu), thankful that Ian made me see since that I would be no better off at home or down the lake.  I would never have had those fish.  It’s funny how a simple choice can change things.  I’m now the only one on the lake but am sure with this weather, someone will turn up tonight and there will be a fair few here at the weekend.  I’m going to leave the rods as they are tonight and see how things pan out, as it’s still Winter and the water temperatures are still low.

The day passed with no signs of any carp or angler’s until just gone 7pm.  The first of the weekend lads arrived and pitched up 3 swims down from me, near the end of the point which goes out into the lake.


My next take didn’t happen until the early hour’s of Friday morning, with my fifth 20 of the week.  It was another hard fighting common which was taken on the PPS.  I had been very successful in the testing stage and the final product has become very successful as well in the Winter months for me.  After a brew and a listen out for any fish, it was time to get my head down again.

22-4 Common

22lb 4oz

Just before 03.30 am, the right-hand rod was away and after the easiest of battles, the fish slipped into the Nsr.  However, when it came to the photography part, this lovely mirror had other plans but I finally won the day.

20-4 Mirror

20lb 4oz

And a stunner as well.

I drifted back off to sleep listening to the odd fish crash out.  As the fog had arrived, I just couldn’t work out where they were!  My next take occurred just before 7 am and it was very nice to play a fish in the daylight again.  This carp also came pretty much straight into the net and played up good a proper on the mat – I never like that.  I managed to get a couple of pics and a tiny bit of usable vid footage.

23-6 Common

23lb 6oz Common

This trip so far has been hard work with being ill and I really should have gone home, I am sure.  But this would have not resulted in me having the last two nights of great fishing.

After my last carp, it was closely followed by a bream.  At this point, I had both rods on the bank and I was pretty keen to get them back into the water.  Due to it being feeding time and this can last until 1030.  I will be most certainly be staying until Saturday morning and I will be using up the last of the bait.  This had played a key role and I just hope that the extra anglers who are on for the weekend don’t affect my catch rate.


I’ve topped up the swim with the rest of my mixture and sorted out some more fresh rigs.  I also found some more PPS that I had boosted with the spray some days ago.  I did this a bit early today due to the influx of the weekend anglers.  Fingers crossed that my area will be one of the quietest and the fish may get pushed towards me. It may even be that elusive 30+ who drifts into my baited area later on tonight.

The first take of my last night came a lot early than any of the previous nights and was a complete surprise.  It was my second mirror of the trip.

18-3 Mirror

18lb 13oz

The next take came along just after 11 pm and also was a nice mirror.  The takes are pretty full on, but I can more or less reel them straight into the net.  Whereas the other nights, they would be under the rod tip for some time.

18-8 Mirror

18lb 8oz

The last morning has arrived on a very ridiculously hard week – from the point of the weather which was not quite what I was expecting and to top it off having man flu.  This didn’t help.  The fishing just took off on the 4th night and continued into the early hours of the last morning.  This turned my trip into a one of the most memorable where effort certainly did equal rewards, in the form of 9 carp, 7 of them being twenty.

I do need to go home and today is the day.  With luck, if I get bites in the day time, it will give me the opportunity for a nice slow pack down!

I hope you enjoy reading this blog, it may vary from past writings as my head felt it was in the clouds all full of cold.  I very much like to write as it happens, it brings out the passion of the moment from a hard time to overwhelming moments.

wow that was some trip and with a lot of effort and I’m sure some lucky, it turned out pretty well.

Trip 15 Carp Fishing- 2019

So, this was the day I joined a lovely estate lake syndicate.  The main aim of this is to reduce the number of miles I drive to go fishing for my quick 5 hours trip.  I was traveling a good 1 hrs 30 minutes to my lake, which now can be used to walk around the lake.  With the Airfield Lake, it had become apparent that I was leaving on feeding time and only just turning up after the day time feed had finished.  This was certainly a good waste of fishing time.  However, I had a different problem on Meadow Lake, if you can’t get in the winter swims, it was a long drive for not a lot.


I’d also enjoyed my time perch fishing and had looked at a few options to join the local club.  In all honesty, I couldn’t face the prospects of being a member of a club again.


And by chance, I found out about this lovely lake.  It has gorgeous surroundings and is off the beaten track. As luck would have it, my gear happened to be in the car 😉 .  I wasn’t wasting this opportunity.  I had walked around the lake a few times to get my bearings, flicked the Deeper out and bear leading a lot.  I’m sure that my chances are extremely low after all that noise but just to sit on the lake and watch for a few hours today will help me get the feel of the place.  It will also give me a sense of where to start baiting up some spots.

After two hours it was time for a swim change, as I still wanted to observe the lake.  I moved the rods into the small bay to the right of me.  I flicked some more bags out, with a new batch of my crushed hemp and chopped catalyst boilies mixture.

Until next time

Trip 16 Carp Fishing – 2019

With the man flu finally fading away (I hope), I’ve popped down my Estate Lake (my new lake) for a few hours today.  This will still take a fair bit of effort, which I need to be mindful of, as gardening season is just around the corner and it’s time to stock the family fund up again!


After spotting some carp yesterday in the bay behind the island and with more sunshine today, that just had to be the area to put my rods in and see if I can winkle a bite!


As ever with the weather, it didn’t quite do what they forecast!  The sun did pop its head out a tiny bit and just after 1115, I had a take.  It was a hard fighting mirror that had me in the weed once or twice, but I finally had my first fish in the net.


11lb 6oz

I re-baited that rod but didn’t put it back near the other bait, as I had placed both baits in the same area on my first cast when I arrived this morning.  This time, I opted for the drop off on the side of the island.

That, however, was the only take of the day but very well received.

Until next time

Trip 17 Carp Fishing- 2019

With a few hours to spare today and I’m still not feeling 100%.  I’m out day fishing again.  I’m aiming for my first night trip in over 3 week’s this coming weekend!  The Airfield Lake will be open and I just have to be there.


Today, I’m on my Estate Lake after a walk around with the eldest daughter yesterday afternoon.  I felt pretty inspired.  The swim selection was pretty straight forward as I plan to fish a couple of different areas each time I come, this is to get a better understanding of the lake over time.


I’m just flicking a couple of baits across to the far margins. after first walking around to put some pellets and broken boilies out.  I’m using a mixture of catalyst & Smokey Jack boilies and the same for the pellet.  The rods have a Miracle Berry Wafters with a washed out and the other a Evo maggot cluster .  These have been soaking in the catalyst boost spray for quite some time.

With conditions pretty perfect and some sunshine to warm up the lake, I am very confident.

With less than an hour to go, it wasn’t looking hopeful, I had managed to spot the same 4 carp as I had the other week.  These I understand are the latest stocking which happened about a month back and they certainly prefer the warmer end of the lake.  I may just head back that end again next time (or stick to the plan of investigating other options), or see if there are other carp up that end.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

Trip 18 Carp Fishing – 2019

With a few hours to spare today, the sun was out and after all the rain yesterday, I headed back to the spot which had produced my first carp from this lake.  It was clear that a group of fish liked this area, the lake is stream fed so there is a lot of cold water passing through the lake.  However, this bay behind the island would definitely be the warmer part of the lake and with the sunshine on it again today, it was my best option to bag a carp.


Rigs and hook baits where the same as my last trip, how I was using solid PVA bags filled with pellet and paste and some liquid attract.


With only 30 minutes left to go, it was certainly looking like another blank.  I can live with this as I spotted a couple of showing carp.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a bait on that area, due to a lot of floating debris.  I may just have to remove before my next trip.  I did get a heavy liner, that I thought was going to turn into a run, the fish were clearly about but not on my bait yet.

Until next time

Trip 19 Carp Fishing- 2019

I can’t quite believe that it’s taken me this long to get well enough to go night fishing. Anyone who has had this virus will understand.  It’s a pretty bad one and it is by no means gone away yet.  The previous night’s fishing was the 22nd Feb which was at the end of my week’s trip out.  I have done the odd day trip, I just had to get out!  It’s been 3 weeks but I was targeting this night, as its the first full night that the Airfield lake is open.


I arrived just after 1230 and proceeded to have a long walkabout (this took up a couple of hours), but well spent (as always).  I had no particular interest in any areas on the top lake.  Mainly because there where already two other anglers on there and a third would put some more pressure on the lake.  What is the point in that, when there are another 40 acres free?  There was another guy on the spit between the big lake and the middle one.  After looking in the windiest part of the lake, I found a couple of topping carp and this area is known for holding carp.  It can be tricky to catch them as they just love the tree line and its certainly not the area to fish at night.


My tactics are as follows; small bags over pellets, over a mixture of crushed hemp and pellets.  I would have been introducing a mixture or 12mm Smokey and Catalyst boilies, but they are safe at home in the freezer.  Doh!  I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to use them anyway.  Well, I’m not now!

I’m playing around with the Evo maggot cluster and other parts of their range.  They are very natural in looks and touch.  I think they are going to be very productive here.  I have soaked mine in Catalyst boost spray over the past few months to give them that extra boost.

The night and day past with no action and only a couple of carp spotted.  The next day was a pretty wet and windy day, it was spent mostly in the bivvy.  I was really sure I would get a take on the left-hand rod during the day.

I had rebaited both rods at just after 6am in the hope fresh baits would do the trick.


I found a different spot to fish on my left-hand rod for the last night.  I topped up the swim with more crushed hemp and pellets as the old ones would have broken down and been mopped up by small fry.

I settled down to a very wet and windy night ahead and discovered I would be eating my meatballs, sauce and pasta with my swiss army knife!  I had also forgotten my cutlery, survived without cutting my tongue off.


I awoke to a clear blue sky and sunshine – what a difference a day can make!  It’s a shame I need to be home early, it would be nice to see the lake with some sun on it.  I’m not back here for two weeks, the nights still need to draw out a bit.  This will give me a chance to play on my little Estate lake.  Unfortunately, the buzzers were silent overnight, there’s always next time.

Until next time

Trip 20 Carp Fishing – 2019

This year I fitted in a day off each week (varying from Tuesday to Wednesday) to allow myself a day’s fishing on a regular basis.  This will be spent on the Estate Lake until the rivers open up again and we will see where we go from there.


After walking around here yesterday, watching a good few carp who were spread well over the whole lake.  They were predominately in this area again, I put most of my bucket of pellets & boilies in this area, in the hope to hold the fish until morning.  I’m starting to feel they love this area in Spring, as it has the sunlight and avoids the through current from the stream to the outlet.


I have scattered a few 12mm Smokey and Catalyst boilies over where my bags have been placed.

And I’m using a mixture of catalyst pellets and crushed hemp soaked in catalyst particle syrup in each bags, which with an Evo maggot cluster boosted with Catalyst.  On the other, I have two Go2 10mm Wafters white choc and a Natural Cat wafter, Ronnie Rig style with a 2oz Zipp lead, just in case I feel the need to recast without a bag.  There will be less disturbance and less likely to spook other carp in the area.

As you know, I have talked about before about observation being a key factor, and after a couple of hours, I thought it was time to check out what was going on.  There where clearly carp in the swim and the odd liner had confirmed this.  I carefully climbed a little way up a tree to give myself a better view and found after watching (for the best part of an hour), the carp were on the top, despite the very overcast day and light drizzle.  Unfortunately, coming here light in tackle it was not possible to change over to floater gear.  First job on the list when I get home I feel.  I could only seat on my chair and hope one of them fancied a feed.  By the time 1 o’clock arrived and there was only an hour left to go, it looked pretty inevitable a blank was coming my way.  By now there were a few more fish up and about.

But most importantly fishing is about learning and moving forward, which is another part of gaining knowledge about the lake.

I certainly need to do a night at some point, as they may well feed more at night and the floaters will be packed ready for my next session.

Until next time

Part 3 of 10 will follow in a couple of weeks

Until then Richard







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