£1.99 was £6.50
Location – Airfield Lake
Hours Fished – 64 hours
With the weather conditions turning so much the lake was calling me and after lots of persuasion, the wife kindly agreed (she is my editor and my disagree). I managed to get down the lake by 1630 and I probably owe her lots. Better catch and make it worth my effort.
I was heading for the same lake with a couple of swim options in mind, when I arrived they were all free, so was a bit lost for some time. After watching the carp showing over the area where I’d fished last week, I decided to go be to that swim. I also had the ability not to be cut off from the action if the lake filled up. The weather was just going to be amazing, the pressure had gone from 1023 to 1006 overnight. On Wednesday morning, there was a good cloud cover, light rain for a good part of the day and the coming day were going to be similar.
This week I’d soaked up some 20mm Catalyst, just in case the wildlife had found my spot. For the first night, I like to fish one spot and move on from there. This is something I’ve not spoken about before, but if I’m doing more than one night I prefer to put all the rods on one spot and then move on from there. Unless you are extremely familiar with the swim. You can easily bait up two or three spots depending on the number of rods you can use and then realize (as you spend time in the swim), that you’ve got it wrong and need to move rods and there is unwanted bait in the swim, which is not ideal.
With that in mind, I spombed out 3 kilos of Catalyst boilies and fished both rods on 15mm Catalyst wafter. As the evening progressed, it was becoming clear that some carp were passing closer in than the previous trip. I’d probably found my second-rod spot, quite quickly, and would get the Deeper out to find out what my opportunity there were.
The first night was bleep-less, which was very unexpected after seeing all the carp showing pretty much everywhere, there was certainly less of this after last night. I’m definitely thinking of moving one rod a lot closer this afternoon.
I popped out to get supplies just before 11.00 after I’d located a closer in feature which was about where I’d seen the fish showing last night. I put about a kilo on that spot and put the rest of the bucket on the original spot from last week’s session. If this fails tonight I will be very surprised, but you never know and that’s fishing.
This trip is turning into a real headbanger, with no action for the second night and the conditions couldn’t be better. The carp certainly don’t feel that way, they are clearly about but just not on the bait.
I’m going to have to put a lot of thought into what I do today – cut my losses and head home or stay. This would be ironic after all the fuss I made about going as the conditions are perfect. The pressure has now dropped to 997 mb, with lots of cloud cover and a good wind on the lake. Compared to last week’s flat calm, roasting heatwave.
I will have to weigh up my opinions this morning. At noontime, I headed off for a walkabout and came back revitalized. After watching the carp showing this morning, not too far away, I felt that adjusting the range of one rod further out and switching back to the point of the bay. It had produced me a couple of carp the last trip, so it must be a good option for the last night. There’d been a couple of good heavy rain showers which will definitely revitalize the lake and hopefully switch them back on the feed over the next 24 hours.
I sat watching the lake and hoping it would pay off in the end, otherwise, I’d never hear that last of it from the family, and could you really blame them? All that fuss to go in the perfect conditions and I blanked, that just couldn’t happen, could it?
I was staring out around 0500 thinking it’s not over yet. The most productive time for the lakes at the moment is now. I drifted off to sleep again and my dreams where interrupted by a belting take on the right-hand rod, which had been positioned in the bay to my right. I was on the rod like a whippet and bent into a Airfield Lake carp at last! It was kiting right, which is not a great issue, as long as you keep a tight line to the fish, as it will just run out of water and head back out into open. I played it towards the net, once played out, it slipped into the Nsr 50 and I was very happy.
17lb 11oz Common
With the rod back on the spot, it was time for a brew and the possibility of another carp (if I’m lucky), as there is a good could of hours feeding time to go.
The next take was at 0740. Unfortunately, I didn’t fair so well with this one. It managed to gain ground and find a nice snag to get its head into and then came the inevitable. After a new rig was made, the bait was back on spot. With only an hour to go, it was going to be tricky, to get another one.
It certainly looks like I had had my two chances this morning and I’m happy with that. It could of so easily been a blank trip.
Until next time
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Looking forward to the next few days.
The syndicate where I’ve fished for the past 5 years, I have been hunting the unknown carp. This is what I enjoy the most and get the most reward from. It is a 64-acre gravel pit, which was in fact 3 lakes once and now has channels connecting them.
It has its own particular challenges, it has a lot of history as it was once an airfield and still has it’s original control tower! Albeit a bit run down.
It even featured in a propaganda film starring David Niven. It was then dug out for its gravel, filled with blitz rubble and then dug for yet more gravel and then sort of landscaped into 3 separate lakes. A water company then joined them all together with a channel. It was finally run as a fish farm, until the overpopulation of carp destroyed nearly all the natural food sources, at this point they removed most of the stock but left a few lumps in there. It then had a restocking program from an adjacent water. I bet you can agree that it has had an interesting past and no one has any real idea what’s in there!
There is no maintenance on there, it’s just left to run wild and the anglers fit in around the wildness of the lake. Which is how I like it. I’m not a fan of manicured waters, where you feel you are fishing someone’s back garden.
There are a few issues to contend with, but this adds to the adventure of searching for these unknown carp. Firstly, it’s only open 6 and a half months each year from mid-March to the end of September. Secondly, the carp spawn extremely early, sometimes around the 1st of May. This year it was just before, this is due to them being partly an Austria strain of carp and a high proportion of the lake is only just over 3ft deep. So the lake soon warms up in those warm Spring days.
Prior to the carp spawning, it’s pretty easy to track down the larger residents. In reality, you only get the April to catch them, once they start spawning – which can last on and off for all of May (which is pretty frustrating). Then the small carp appear and just take over the place, you catch the odd one beforehand, but they just go crazy. It then becomes a battle of wills to keep on going through this carp, until you bag a lump.
There are also considerable amounts of out of bounds areas – mostly the West Bank. It is also pretty much unusable by casting, so there is a 2-acre area that you can’t get a bite into.
All this adds up to an incredibly challenging water, which I’m utterly obsessed with. It contains some huge carp, yet to be captured and my adventure will continue for a few more years I’m sure. Normally, I’m only on a water for about 5 years before it’s time to move on as I have caught what I was after. I also get bored of the view and need a change in scenery. I can’t see this happening for some time as the six months on-off routine keeps the enthusiasm going and some years I’ve not even fished a particular area or lake, as I have broken them down to their original 3 lake structure. Even though they are just one giant lake, joined by channels which contain 7 islands, 2 of which you can fish off.
Oddly there is no real angler pressure; mostly due to the other lake, which comes with the ticket. It’s a lot smaller and stocked with a greater number of larger carp and none of the 10 pounders that plague you for most of the season.
I can’t get enough of this place and can’t wait for another season to kick in this year and maybe one of the monsters that I’ve spotted a few time way out by the island that is completely uncastable even for the boys that can blast them out, one day it will grave my net and it could well be this year.
Until next time
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The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is illusive but attainable. A perpetual series of occasions for hope.
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