Looking Back Over 2020 Part 5 of 6
Welcome back to my looking back over 2020 feature 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.
Location – Icehouse Lake
Hours Fished – 5 hours
To mix things up, i’m back out on my Crucian hunt. They are certainly providing to be very hard to catch but they are definitely in the lake. I’m having to contend with Roach and Rudd.
They are a bit of a pain but, I’ve made a small step forward this trip. I believe I may’ve lost two Crucian, one in the pads and the other one up the margins, not 100% sure, as you just can never tell for certain.
This could also be the culprit of losing fish, I’m unfortunately not going to get the answer until I get one on the net.
I enjoyed my evening, but no Crucian again.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 18 hours
I was doing another 3 nights on the bank and the weather looking ok but could turn out to be too hot (which would be a shame). The pressure is up to 1022 mb, but there is a good N/W breeze over the lake, with the swim I’ve set up in will give me the opportunity to get the bait out further and to keep cool.
This part of the lake is probably the furthest you can cast out – I personally think you would need a boat. It’s over 200 meters to the far island and 111 meters to the closer one, but between you and the deeper water is a shallower area of 2ft. There is a couple of rods lengths in front of you which is 3 foot plus but until you hit that magic distance you don’t find any silt which I prefer to fish in.
After using the Deeper in conjunction with my marker rod, I found a couple of perfect spots and one a lot closer than expected.
An interesting 4-foot area surrounded by 3ft and below. I baited this spot not too heavily as I’m not sure about it yet. The other rod was on the bottom of the drop-off, leading down into the silty area. I baited this a lot more as that was going to be my banker rod.
Both rods are baited with 15mm Catalyst wafter with a 12mm pink pop on.
The night passed without a bleep or a sound of a carp, and in the morning the conditions looked pretty bad. So, it was time for a walk and some thinking. It was time to head home and spend a long-overdue weekend with the family.
We have a Camping trip in Wales booked on a couple of weeks, fingers crossed we get there, as it’s certainly nice to look forward to something.
Location – Icehouse Lake
Hours Fished – 5 hours
I will get one soon! My main battle is with other species, but it’s a pleasant change in stunning surroundings and it’s very peaceful.
I’m back in a swim where I’ve fished before, after my last trip and the tench going into the lilly pads, which I’m sure didn’t help my cause.
It wasn’t long before the Roach arrived!
And the lake bed was fizzing up, we shall have to see want happens.
Later on in the after a few more Roach.
The right had rod on the center pin was off with what felt like a much bigger Tench than I’ve had before.
Definitely much better quality and put up a lovely fight on little tackle.
Just after 9 pm, I lost a fish on the float rod. It could have been a Crucian or one of those small Tench that I’ve had in the past.
Other than that minor issue, it was a very enjoyable evening on the lake.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 49 hours
With a change in the weather, there was a prospect of light rain and strong winds coming from the southwest. I was feeling particularly confident that this weekend could produce a few carp – if I can get in the right area.
I arrived just after 9 am Friday morning, it was my daughter’s birthday the day before and we did our best to make it special for her under current circumstances.
I had a few options in mind, 1 specific area had produced well a few year’s back, but then it just faded away and turned into a particularly hard area. It’s been some time since I’d seen anglers there and with the coming weather, it was the perfect combination for this swim. I’d looked around after dropping a bucket in the swim, but the fish were pretty much everywhere in this part of the lake. The wind was steadily picking up. The swim I chose gave me better access to a deeper area of the lake, but the swim came with a lovely underwater snag to the right. This (over time) has accounted for a few lost carp I’m sure.
I knew from my Deeper lakebook the exact location of the deeper area and flicked the marker rod out looking for the perfect silty area. I then set about getting plenty of bait out. I was using a mixture of Maize and 12mm Catalyst boilies. I would be fishing pva bags over the top filled with Catalyst pellets and I was planning on adding some Catalyst food dip – but that was safely at home, these things happen. So instead, I added some Tiger Nut paste that was still in the car from my float fishing trip the other day.
My first take happen just after 23.30 and after a hard fight which involved me wading up my left margin in the dark, wet, windy night to avoid the overhanging tree to my right. I did gain control of the carp and was just getting net in my hands, this was also after avoiding the other rod successfully. It was as if the fish knew I was stepping out further, it made an almighty lunge towards the tree. I was delayed by a split second, as I only had one hand on the rod to apply pressure, it gained ground. I was now holding on with both hands and the rod tip was underwater, the carp was boiling up a foot away from the tree and then the hook pulled. GUTTED! It felt like a big fish with plenty of power, how I will never know. The tales of the one that got away will last and last.
With another pva bag sorted, the bait was back out on the spot, let’s hope I get another chance and I’m more fortunate.
The next take happened just after 03.00, this time was the left-hand rod and it was heading to the left. This is perfect and so much easier to handle. I still needed to get out in the water with my waders on, but so much more straight forward.
16lb 4oz Airfield Lake Common
It felt nice to get one on the net. It did make the pain of my earlier take fade away a bit, never goes really, just gets damped down a bit.
I soon had another bag out there and with any luck, the chance of another bite.
The next take ripped off as they do on here, just after 0430. This was also on the left rod and was a bit more well behaved, until it went off like a rocket halfway through the fight and towards the right-hand side of the swim, oh and that lovely overhanging tree! I soon had it under control and heading into the Nsr50.
14lb 8oz Common
Happy with that! As the light was starting to break through, it was a lot easier getting the bait back out.
The next take was about 0630 and was a very small single figured carp and with the rain doing best to get me wet. No photo was done and the next bag was on the money. My head was certainly telling me I needed more shut-eye.
Just after 0800, I the next take and it promptly fell off, like they do here. This is something to get used to, it’s hard but it appears to be a factor of fishing this lake.
The next happened around 1100 and was for only the second time a drop back, which is rare on here. I reeled like mad to find myself attached to another 10lber, can’t complain its a take, and you can never pick which fish picks up your bottom bait. No photo again, as raining still, these conditions are perfect.
Within half an hour, the very same rod was off but the fish, unfortunately, bumped off a few moments later. I believe these are the smaller carp – well that’s what I tell myself. I don’t think they get the bait in their mouths properly. It could be a bit of competition feeding going on and they quickly grab the bait.
In the middle of a big down pour, my next take happened, it must have been about 16.00, this fish made it to the net and that will do me.
It was a 10lber, I am getting a bit plagued by these. Let’s hope the bigger fish move on over tonight. I had baited up the area just before 13.00, to get a take now is pretty hopefully. I have a few more in daylight hours and the rain is due to stop very soon.
The right-hand rod was away mid-evening and out into open water, it was heading to the left side of the swim, I had the top tip high (as you get a few knocks as they kite up and over a bar). I held on as normal but what I thought was another hook pull, but the knot had gone between the stiff boom and my semi-stiff hinge which I connect to my Ronnie rig. It was at this point, I remembered when I put the new rig on last night (after losing the first fish), I ended up using a knot that has let me down on occasions in the past after having a few bites on the rig. My plan was to change it over at first light, but because of the lack of sleep, I completely forgot, so that one was all down to me. This is a real shame and brings the lost fish tally to 4. I’m not overlying happy with but these things happen. As I’ve analyzed what happened I can see on two of them it was down to me and the other 2, down to the unfortunate probability that you lose fish on this lake. Let’s hope I can get a few more on the bank over tonight. It’s been odd catching carp throughout the day, something that’s not happened for some time, so there is always a positive somewhere to be found.
The next take was on just before 1900hrs and shot off like the rest and as always you are confident of a lump. It was taking line and heading out into the lake with no signs of stopping, I had to start putting the breaks on, otherwise, I’m not sure when it would have stopped! I managed to avoid the overhanging tree by walking out into the lake, along the left margins, and applying side strain. It would pass underneath with no issues, eventually, it made it into the Nsr50.
And it was not that big after all, but certainly gave a good account of itself.
I was pretty wet after the photoshoot and as I was making up the next bag, the heavens opened up and it absolutely bucketed it down for a good 10/15 minutes.
I also took the decision to stop using bags on one rod. I need to know, was it the combination of the bag, etc? Would I catch on single hook baits over the same area? I understand some people will think this strange as I was catching constantly, but you need to know these things and the only way is to test it out.
The twelfth take of the trip happened well after 20.00 and oh! would you believe it, yet another hook pull. This is getting frustrating now, its a 50/50 chance at the moment that if I get a take I can land the fish, not good. On a positive note, I can’t believe I’ve had this many takes. It’s like going back 4 years in time and forgetting how hard it’s been for the past 2 or 4 years on here. I had better not complain too much.
With the bait back out and hopefully the possibility of more action overnight, its time to get my head down and get ahead of the game.
Very interesting night after all that action in the past 24 hours; not a single bleep last night. I switched over to single hook baits, from using bags with pellets in, or was it the change in weather? There were also fewer fish crashing last night. I will need to put some thought into what I learned last night and see where we go next.
This is my last weekend for a few weeks as have a couple of weeks off with the family. I may slip an odd few hours in but that will be it for a bit.
Location – Headlands Farm Fisherys
Hours Fished – 12 hours
I’m out today on a day ticket water with an old work colleague. It’s a lovely place called Headlands Fisherys and it’s in Wellow, Hampshire. There are even lodges to say in! It has plenty of swims, when we arrived at 7am there were only 4 other cars in the car park. They where all fishing at the end – it’s much more open. We found a lovely area with a couple of islands and a backchannel that leads up past the lodge swim. The weather conditions are perfect, so let’s hope we can catch a couple each.
My left hand rod is on the corner of an island; nicely cast under the overhanging willow branches with a scattering of 8mm Catalyst pellets, a few 12mm Catalyst boilies and I’m fishing a Classic Corn wafter over the top. The right rod is straight out into a bay just in front of some reeds (just perfect), this just has the 12mm boilies, as I was having catapult issues and my hook bait was a Masala Spice wafter. I’m planning on mixing it up a bit and change around the hook baits until I find want works best.
My first take happened just before 11am on a recast and a change of wafter over to a Miracle Berry. The adjustment was to where I was fishing on the drop off of the island.
12lb 14oz Common
Lets hope its the first of many and my friend can catch one as well, it’s always nice to both catch on a social day session.
The rig was back on the spot and topped up with a few more 6mm Catalyst pellets.
My second take was on the right hand rod and had a much better fight with this.
13lb 12oz Mirror
Very happy with that result and nice to catch a mirror carp for once. The rod back went back on the spot and I catapult a few more boilies out and got the coffee on.
My next take was a few hour’s later, but on the left hand rod. I had just reeled the right hand one in as I was fed up with the duck’s, who had recently discovered my rods location and just would not give up. So time to move it. I think the best option is to fit both across the front of the island as it’s clearly the most productive spot.
21lb 9oz Common
This one tried to go left up the channel, I had no option but to sink the tip to the bottom and slowly pump the fish under the overhanging willow tree.
After getting the rods back out there, I raised the tips up, put the butts on the floor and slack lined it, so not to spook them from feeding. I catapulting some more Catalyst pellets out, which I had soaked in the Catalyst food dip and changed both rods over to the Miracle Berry wafters.
That was it for me, but my friend managed a 14lber just before pack up time.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 70 hours
After a fantastic week away camping with the family in Wales, I’m back at it again.
Hopefully, after the ridiculous hot weather over the few days, the thunderstorms we’ve had this afternoon will wake the carp up.
With the water temperature is showing 27.5 degrees on my Deeper Chirp. I was looking for deeper water this trip and after being away for 3 weekends, I wasn’t sure where the fish where going to be. I’d message a couple of fellow members of the syndicate and they’d given me a good bit of information. With this information and my intuition, I was heading for one of the islands you can fish off. Ian (my friend) was joining me this weekend, it had also been sometime since he had fished and was of the same opinion as me.
We couldn’t double up on here, but could fish one swim apart. We could bait up a large deep area of the lake, which hopefully would hold a few carp and also could be their favoured area to feed in. As there had been thunderstorms forecast, but this was had been like that for the past few days and we were still waiting. But if we were lucky, it would hopefully bring on the carp’s feeding spell, there was a drop in temperature forecast for Friday, fingers crossed.
The swim I picked was an overgrown one, it clearly hadn’t been fished this year. It was the first swim that I ever fished when I joined 5 year’s ago. It was one up from the swim I fished on my last session here. I also needed to map this part of the lake, as there is a chunk missing from my Lakebook page. This would give me greater insight into the lake and this particular area.
I got the bivvy up first as for once (this week), the weather man may be right! Sure enough, as I was using my Deeper, the first rattle off thunder was heard in the distance. I wasn’t going to get to excited as the same thing happened last night at home and that was all. However, soon after, the rain started. It was lovely and cooling. I carried on, baited up with 12mm Catalyst boilies and Maize. My bivvy was a tip, as I had just stuffed the the rest off the kit in there. As the rain got heavier, I tucked myself inside and sorted it out. I popped over to Ian’s swim and had a glass or two of Guinness, after the thunder went away, I went back and got the rods out.
I was using the same tactics as the last time; solid pva bags with Catalyst pellets soaked in the food dip and a Classic Corn wafter on one rod, a 15mm Catalyst wafter with a 12mm PPS pop up on the other. Both cast no more than 20 foot apart, into the bait area.
Morning arrived, it was so much cooler after the rain in the night. I only had 1 bleep, so I was surprised how badly I slept – it must have been excitement for being back on the bank and the anticipation of a bite!
I will spend a bit more time today with the Deeper, as I didn’t fancy it yesterday. There where clearly fish about, I believe Ian had something last night as I heard him casting back out at around 3 am. The fellow down from me was playing a carp at first light this morning, which is all good news that I’m not to far away, just need to fine tune my spots.
Just before 10 am, the left hand rod was away and I was into my first carp of the session and wading out into the open water to convince the carp not to head to far down the left hand margin and make contact with the overhanging trees. It all went well and the carp was soon in the net and I was very pleased.
15lb 8oz Common
The perfect start, it was getting closer to 11 am and this was the time I had decided that I would get the Deeper out and investigate more. I left the other rod out and would recast the other one after I had played about – no point in disturbing carp if they’re out there feeding.
I reeled both rods in just after 11.30 and got the Deeper out. I spent 30 minutes checking about and filling in some gaps on my Lakebook page.
There was no real point in changing the rods from the spots they’re in.
I’ve pretty much covered this area.
The swim was then topped up with more 12mm Catalyst boilies and particles. It was then back to Ian’s swim for a chat and a brew. After an hour, I headed back to chuck out a couple of bags. Just before 1830, the right hand rod rattled off with a very upset carp off towards the island. I tried to slow it down but nope, it was still going. I felt the line grating on a boulder and tried my best to get the rod up higher, as I was in the water by now, I just had to hold on. The fish boiled on the surface and the line came free, it was now heading right and towards me. I needed to reel quickly and gain line, it was clearly off to my right and making for any escape possible. I was pumping hard to avoid them, my rod tip was well under the water and the tips of the trees where bouncing about. I held on and I gained ground, finally the fish was in my margins. It was certainly not over, it made a couple of belting runs for the trees, eventually it was in the Nsr50 and I could breathe again.
16lb 1oz Common
You wouldn’t think these fish could fight so hard, but they certainly do give an absolutely brilliant fight.
With another bag out on the spot, I felt it was time for a brew.
Have had a bit of a disaster today. I had a belter of a take at 0015 and pulled into thin air. And just now (which is 0450), I had a mega drop back that ran towards the trees to my left, by the time I got the line tight, it lunged and snapped my line or clipped the tree and cut me off. I hadn’t even had the chance to get into the water. This could’ve helped – you never know.
With a new rig and bag sorted, I was soon back on the spot. Dawn was arriving and the Nightjars on the heath by the lake were starting up.
My next take (and finally another carp on the bank), happened just after 0700 and just because it was light, it was all very straight forward.
10 lb – Common
It’s always a relief to get one in the net after having things go wrong (size doesn’t matter so much). With another bag out there, it was time for the first brew of the day.
Just after 1400, I rebaited and did the rods for the night. I was hoping for an early evening bite, but it didn’t happen, so I’m now hoping for better results tonight.
I had to wait a long time before the next take. It finally happened just before 0200 Sunday morning. I’m glad I’ve had a few takes and I’m starting to understand their patterns of where they like to run towards certainly snaggy areas.
13lb 9oz Common
Not 100% sure how I would get on with a bigger carp in this particular swim, but hopefully I will discover this sooner rather than later! I’m glad of the practice and have got the ability to understand more about the swim before I catch a lump.
Another bag was put out and it was time to get my head down.
There was no more action to be had overnight, which was quite a surprise. The carp were very active. However, as noise travels at night more (and it was pitch black), i’m not 100% sure where the carp were. They could easily have been off the island, we will never know.
The rods are there
It was getting closer to pack-up time, but there is always a chance and we never gave up or stop hoping.
I’m very pleased with my success and being my first trip back on the lake, this could so easily have been a blank. As the carp are pretty nomadic and just have so much water to get away from the anglers, those lumps will have to wait another week.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 71 hours
Ian and I are back down the Airfield Lake for another 3 nights. We are in the hope of finding better and bigger fish. We’ve moved area and are fishing into different lakes, but our bivvies nearly back onto each other.
I’m feeling quite lucky as I’m fishing across to a point where I can simply get the bait out with a spoon and then cast over there! I’m not using bags this week as when the wind picks up, I’ll have no chance of getting them out there.
The storm arrived just after 0300 and boy did it shake! I needed a couple of pegs redoing and I managed to get some sleep in (I think).
I patiently waited all night for the morning take, which happened just after 0730. The carp headed out and towards the shallow plateau, it found a couple of boulders and managed to bump the hook out.
With a new bait on and checking the hook (which was perfect), they just know where to go to avoid capture.
During the mid-morning, I decided that if I was going to get any sleep (which is vital in my book for successful fish), I needed to move out of direct contact with the wind. So, with this in mind, I had a look at another swim down from Ian which was just perfect. However, I didn’t fancy moving in on Ian’s water, he’d already had 4 takes! He only landed 2 carp. I also felt very confident with my choice of swim and still felt that I needed to stay in the area. After looking 30 feet to my right and making a new path through the vegetation to get my rods on the water. I just couldn’t stand to be too far away from them, this area felt the better and more confident solution. I was completely out of the wind, the funny thing is, I nearly pitched up here yesterday. The wind was supposed to swing West, this was not the case as it stayed Southwest all the time, with gusts up to 50mph, not much fun.
I then set about topping up the swim and get fresh hook baits on. I needed to step up the lead size as it was like fishing the sea – let’s hope this afternoon and tonight bring more success.
My second take happened just after midnight the second night and was a lot less aggro than the first. I, unfortunately, picked up the line from the right-hand rod, that will teach me to lower my rod tips down.
16lb 11oz Mirror
I managed to get both rods back out in the wind and they were looking ok, which was a surprise as the wind was pushing hard into my face. It was hard to make out the tree-line as it was a very dark night and there is no light pollution about.
My third take happened at 0630 with a couple of bleeps. I ran to the rod and it was as though nothing had happened, had I dreamed the bleeps? It then dropped back, I grabbed the rod and pulled into a small carp, at the same moment the other rod ripped off. After my cast out last night, there was a slim possibility that I was fishing very close to my other rod. Had it been picked up? I took the chance to get the smaller one in as the other one just stopped, maybe that’s what had happened. Once that one was safely in the net, I picked the other rod up, and would you believe it? There was another carp on there, that was a pretty straight forward fight to the net.
The results of take 3 & 4. You can’t choose what picks up your bait and this place, unfortunately, has some very small carp in it still. They’ve tried netting them to a degree of success, however, they just escape capture.
With everything sorted, it was 0700 and time to watch the lake for carpy signs with a coffee in my hand.
My fifth take happened after 0930 and completely out of the blue. It started heading out towards the plateau, this time, I held the rod tip as high as possible to try and avoid any contact with those boulders. It worked well this time but I managed to pick up the other line again, this was soon sorted out – thanks to Ian. I was now in control of the carp in the margins and slowly played the carp out until it slipped into the Nsr50.
20lb 9oz Common
Both rods were sorted and back out, so I settled down for another brew.
At noontime, I topped up the swim for the final night and redid both rods with fresh bait. I took a walk for an hour to rest the swim before getting the rods back on the spot, for the afternoon and night. I’m very confident for another bite or two, just as long as I can avoid those boulders, I’ve got a good chance.
The night was completely void of bleeps, fishing crashing – very strange indeed. It could be down to the volume of anglers fishing the middle lake. I know 3 isn’t a lot but it’s two more than normal.
It’s been a productive few nights and I’m looking forward to the next.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 67 hours
With the last summer bank holiday of 2020 this weekend, I moved things around and arrived Tuesday afternoon after storm Francis had moved through, well the rainy part of it, the wind was still forecast to blowing over 45mph for the next 10 hrs then fade away. Fishing the back of the wind would have been nice, however, that bank is out of bounds, and the other swims that I fancied the wind would have been right in my face.
After spotting a few carp showing in the blast of the wind, I popped onto one of the islands. The wind was more across the swim and this area was sheltered by the trees. It was quite pleasant on the bank, the lake was still taking the force of the wind and another fish stuck its head out.
That will do me. I got the kit from the car and spombed out some bait. As I’d arrived later than normal and needed to get the noisy part over first. This was very interesting in a huge crosswind, but I got there in the end. Then came the fun of casting on to my spot – heavy leads where definitely the way forward.
The bivvy was all tidy and time for my first brew, relax and watch the lake for a few hours.
The first take happened a lot quicker than I expected – just after 1900. The left rod screamed off and I was into a carp who was heading out into the lake and kiting right. It was soon had under control and was coming in nicely. I flicked the rod over the top of the other one, just as the carp headed right again, it again was soon back under control and heading left towards a shallow area. I’m sure it was looking for those boulders. At this point, it became apparent that I’d hooked up the other line, I tried passing the rod over the other rod, but I must have got it wrong and it was nicely wrapped around the line. The only option was to pay line out and play the carp out under the rod tip and then sort the mess out.
15lb 2oz Common
That will do!
After sorting out the mess and just before the rain, both rods were back out.
My second take happened nearly 12 hrs later and I was starting to wonder if I’d got my swim choice wrong.
It was around the 10 lb mark, you can’t choose what picks your bait up, but it was a welcome fish.
As ever, once the bait was back out, a brew was in my hand.
My next take happened right in the middle of me trying to film some Deeper tips. By the time I had land and taken my photos of another lovely looking Airfield Lake Common, my Chrip had drifted around the corner of a small island and caused me some issues.
12lb 7oz Common
The tail on that fish certainly gave it plenty of power and it was well on its way towards getting under the snaggy margins.
I was laying on my bedchair thinking when it would be best to top up the swim with some bait and how much when the right rod belted off towards the island and kiting right. I’m so glad I’ve been putting my waders on each time, as I needed to walk to the left and get the tip underwater to avoid the overhanging tree to my left. Once the fish was under the rod tip, it was well behaved and just needed to be played out and slipped into the Nsr50.
20lb 10oz Common
I now had the perfect timing to get more bait out.
I didn’t get a single bleep through the second night. Perhaps as the wind had gone completely and the lake was flat calm since yesterday afternoon. By 1100, it was all due to change again.
Another weather front was coming. This would stir them up again and bring on another feeding spell. So, I’m staying put in this swim and will stick out some more particles, I think more boilies would be a silly idea.
As it got closer, I’ve put fresh Classic Corn wafter on both rods and we will see how the next 24 hours pan out.
The change in weather has got them feeding again. Only 30 minutes after the rain arrived, the left rod belted off with a very unhappy carp. It was chasing out into the middle of the lake and off to my left, it was doing its best to nip around the corner of a small island. I held on, turned the fish, and gained ground steadily until I slipped it into the Nsr.
14lb 12oz Common
Again, you can see from the tail, where these carp get all their power from. After I quickly got the bait back out there, I carried on sorting out lunch.
The next take was about quarter past 2 and was also on the left-hand rod, this kited off to the right and I had to wade out to avoid a tree in the water. I turned the carp and it belted back towards me, right in front of the swim, and picked up the other line. There wasn’t time to put the rod over the other one, this fish had in its mind that it needed to get around the small island and into the bay behind me. I was wading off down the left margins to keep the fish under control. It finally succumbed to my persuasion and was finally under the rod tip. There was absolutely no way of getting the other line separated, I just had to slowly play the carp out and gain line. Once it was in the Nsr50, I cut the line, zipped the net into a floating retainer, and set about sorting the rods out. The last thing I needed was another take, which isn’t too out of the ordinary on this lake.
15lb 5oz Common
I was very happy with that one. Now, it was time to strip a load off the line and redo both rods. I also warmed up in the bivvy as it was now monsoon season here, what a difference a few hours can make.
The storm arrived and past, it was certainly a bit rough out here this afternoon, but by 1900, the sunshine was back out and there was a gentle breeze from the S/W. Hopefully, there was a chance of a couple more carp before I pack up tomorrow morning.
Look at this weather! Isn’t it amazing how thing’s can change? I had a funny take just after 6pm and it was a carp who must have gotten the line under one of those boulders. It didn’t belt off like they normally do, just pulled the bobbin up and down and when I picked the rod up it was stuck fast.
The weather is looking for tonight.
My next take was my first in the night and behaved pretty well until the head touch shone on it for a split second. The carp bolted under the overhanging tree and I sunk the tip and held on. The only 2 outcomes from this are either a hook pull or away from the snags, the carp just powered away under and unfortunately resulted in a hook pull.
With a new bait on and the rig checked, I flicked it back out onto the spot.
What a perfect last morning, I’ve got a few hour’s left to go, before the next lot of rain arrives.
I’m planning on having a lovely bank holiday weekend with the family and will be down again next week for a few more nights. The kids are going back to school soon and we will see how this pans out over the next 3 weeks. By then I’m sure the wife will be moving out of her front room office and back into the real one, things may return as much as possible to normal. This may mean a few nights less fishing for me, but that will not be a bad thing as Winter will be knocking on the door and the Airfield Lake will close for the season and I will be back on Meadow Lake over the Winter months. Not sure how that will pan out, we’ve got a few new members and they will be as keen as mustard (as we all were at the beginning) until they come to terms with how hard fishing is on there in the Winter.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 70 hours
I met Ian at the gate mid morning and we drove around looking at our options. There were a few anglers on the lake and a couple packing up. Autumn has certainly started to bring them back out onto the Airfield lake, after a bit of time we finally came to a decision on the best available area. Ian dropped into the swim where I was last time and I dropped into the one to his right. It was the ideal solution and we could bait up the same area and stick a rod on each end as we normal do. I needed waders on at all the time, I have come accustomed to wearing them all day long and pulling them on at night.
I had switched back over to 12mm Classic Corn boilies, a helping of maize and I was fishing 12/15mm CC wafters on both rods.
I checked on the Deeper lakebook page, measured out the distance and direction to a perfect spot and got the marker rod bang on the spot first time. I’d filled in a lot of the gaps when I was out the last time – by drifting the Deeper over my line. This is the beauty of them, you can cast out once and let them drift about with absolutely no disturbances, other than the initial cast, I even had a take while I was doing that on my last trip.
Last night was not the best start to my session, no takes in the night and a belter first thing this morning which felt like a nice fish, until the moment the hook pulled out. I was having to apply a lot of side strain to stop the carp gaining ground on me otherwise it would have found the snags to my right. I suppose it was only going to end one way or another.
I wound in just after midday, topped up the swim and popped over for a chat with Ian. He had managed a 10 lber just after 9 am, we sat talking until just after 3 pm and then I headed back over to my swim. I flicked the rod out and got some late lunch/early tea on the go.
I went to bed quite early this evening as I wasn’t feeling a 100%, it’s never a good thing when you are on the bank, you need to put a 100% into your efforts.
I laid in bed this morning as I was woken up by a local shoot over the back of the lake. I was feeling a lot better after another full nights slept. This was good in one way, but clearly the carp were not over this side of the lake at night. There had been rain at some point, which I did think it may switch them on. I’m still hoping for my early morning take at around the same time as yesterday’s lost fish. As I was just finishing the paragraph, I managed to get this one in the net!
12lb 13oz Common
Spotted Fin Classic Corn wafter picking up yet another carp for me.
After getting the second brew of the day on and the rod back on the spot, I was looking at the weather forecast and thinking there was a small chance of another bite this morning.
Dam boulders in here! Just lost a carp! The problem was, I needed to put on side strain to avoid the snags to my right, but I need the rod tip up to avoid the shallow plateau. I felt the lead knock and lifted the tip up and avoid that one, but the carp was powering in towards the bank still, so more side strain was needed, it knocked again and the hook pulled out. I’m 100% convinced they are aware of their actions and the ability to knock the hooks out.
3 takes so far and only one landed – not a good average this session. They start off by heading left and quickly turn right once they are halfway in, they can get to the snags quicker. I waded out and got wet trying to gain ground, not a happy camper.
After having another brew and calming down, I got the rod back out again.
At just after 1 pm I reeled in and put a couple of spombs out. I headed over to Ian’s swim for a drink and a chat for the afternoon to give the swim a rest.
The fourth take of the trip happened just after I had got the rods out.
Just over 10 lb if I’m lucky. This fish is very welcome after the lost two, it starts to give you hope and your going in a more positive direction. Mind you, it did manage to get under the tree to my left, but by sticking the tip of the rod right underneath it and down to the bottom of the lake, I kept it away from the underwater branches.
With everything all sorted out, it was time for something to eat.
Its amazing how the carp have completely stopped feeding at night for Ian and I over the past couple of weeks. I’ve had a bleep less night yet again and I’m hoping for a last minute take, before home time, but time is not on my side.
Unfortunately it was not to be, I can’t complain, 4 takes again this weekend.
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 43 hours
What can I say? The kids go back to school and within days, I get my normal virus, I generally get twice a year and it was looking like no fishing for me. However, I rested and took care of myself and by Friday am, I was feeling that the worst was over. My energy levels were up and I could manage to do things around the house without needing to sit on the sofa for half a hour to recover!
I was off down the lake Friday morning with a clear plan in mind. Which was, easy fishing, so I could but a 100% effort in with out making myself worse. I needed to be able to effectively fish, without to much effort. This reduced the number of swims available to me and I ended up waiting for one to become available. I was completely OK with this as I was sure in the long run, I would better off down the lake rather than at home. Simply because I would start tinkering about doing stuff, which would not be resting myself, down the lake, once my pitch is up and all sorted, it’s a waiting game.
Ian had given me the information on the location of the other anglers fishing. Being near my car was a must and I was only using my brolly, as I needed less kit, just in case I needed to head home. I picked a swim just down from the old control tower.
The car park and loo was just behind the building, it was perfect. It was a swim I’d fished in the past and Ian fishes it quite regularly. There was a gentle westerly blowing, so after some advice and studying the Deeper lakebook page, I was pretty confident in catching a few carp.
This was an ideal opportunity I was planning on trying out (in preparation for October). I finally got everything sorted just after 4 pm. I’d spent a few hours with my rods in another swim, on the middle lake with no luck; just flicking out single hook baits, but now I had camp all set up.
The night passed by with not action and that was indeed what I thought would happen. I’d changed over to much bigger bait, as I didn’t fancy any action from the smaller Airfield Lake’s residents. I had also opted to change over to a darker bait amongst the maize that I was putting out, this was in the hope of targeting the larger carp. Also, my spot where the hook baits were being cast to was off the main baited area. They where working well in producing takes but the size of the carp where not the lumps we where hoping for.
I had rescued the throwing stick from storage and was also topping up the swim with a small number of 20 mm baits to get the carp hunting area for the larger offerings and hopefully my hook baits!
The first take was on my right had rod, the bobbin smashed up to the top and then instantly fell to the floor. I ran out and grabbed the rod, I ran back hoping to pick up the slack line, this never happened – the line must have found a boulder and I just got cut off on the take. Thankfully, I’d grabbed some 20 lb Asso line on the way out the door yesterday.
It was certainly time to change over, lost carp on these boulders was getting ridiculous. To be honest I don’t like littering the lakes and putting the carp/wildlife in harms way. I need to address this situation sooner rather than later.
I baited up at just after lunch and then pop over Ian’s swim with a bottle of red. We got lost in fishing talk and before I knew it, it was 5 pm! Time to get the rods back out and hopefully a carp (or two) this evening/overnight.
My second take happened at just before 4 am, it was nice and steady, slower one than normal. It wasn’t one of those lower doubles that cause all the issues! It felt like I guided the fish all the way into the net. At one point the line got tangled up with the vegetation as I was negotiating my way through it to the waters edge and into the landing net. I quickly sorted this out, the carp had just stopped and sunk to the bottom of the lake to rest, it hadn’t bolted off! I’ve never experienced this before, it was as if the fish was unaware of being captured! I quickly did the photos and a quick video, as I was a bit concerned, it was pretty active on the bank and was soon safely back in it home.
20lb 10oz Common
Very happy with that and quickly got the rod back out on the spot.
That was the only action of the night and I couldn’t be to disappointed because at the beginning of the week I didn’t think I would be out at all.
Part 6 of 6 will follow in a couple of weeks
Until then Richard