Tag Archives: lake

Never Fish Off-Rota

It was the last day of my trip and I  never look forward to the long journey home. The issue is that my route takes me very near to this pond, and I always tell myself that I will just fish an hour or two and then get back on the road home. This invariably never happens and I stay at the ponds far longer than intended. Today was no exception.

I had contacted a few of the members to see if it was ok to fish on their day and was very pleased to get a reply to say yes, there was no issue.

I checked out of my hotel and made my way to the tackle shop in order to purchase some fresh bait. When I arrived, no sooner had I opened the car door it began to rain, and by the time I walked the short distance to the tackle shop it was pouring down, accompanied by a deep rumble of thunder. I must be mad going fishing in this!Non-the-less, bait tubs full, I made my way to the ponds. The tops of the trees billowing over, and the wind was just getting stronger and stronger developing into a gale. No sane person would choose to go fishing in this weather, I was on my way home so had nothing to lose by giving it a go.

Remarkably the swim I was to fish was out of the wind. This pond is surrounded by trees which not only gives protection from the wind, but  are great for sheltering under in light showers. The wind was ridiculously strong by now.  Another issue was falling Kelly kindling (branches) which were a close encounter on more than one occasion, but came in very handy during the day for my tea making.

I did the same as yesterday by raking the swim a couple of times and only brought in light weed, baited it, and retired to put the Wizard together.

I was soon fishing and once more could hear distant rumbles of thunder and temporarily, I remained dry. How long could my luck last? Not long as it happened.

I caught a lovely palm-sized Crucian. The swim from time to time was cluttered with bubbles, so I was praying again to catch one of the fabulous Tench that reside here.

Fishing was quite slow, but very enjoyable.  Concentrating on my inactive float for so long then turning to attend to a boiling Kelly the split second my reel screamed into life. By the time I had put the kettle down and got my hand on the rod, the fish was well into the weed and there was no way back from there, loosing a float also in the disaster. If you are ever short of a bite, make tea! It’s amazing how many times stopping concentrating on a float actually gets you a bite. Obviously I had lost a Tench.

I missed a couple of lovely lift bites too, probably Tench although I have known Roach to feed in this manner also. I missed some proper thumping bites with the float shooting under, today was not going well.

Another cracking bite saw the float zip under, I lifted the rod and was into either a really good Crucian, or a Tench. The fish dived down into the lilles, my line kissed the stem of one of the lilles and gave way as if it had been cut by a razor blade; I could not believe it!

It was not long before my luck with the weather ended and the rain came in earnest. For the first shower I was quite comfortable sheltering under the boughs of the tress. When it stopped, I retrieved my brolly from the car in case of a big storm. The brolly came in very handy as the heavy rain did come, but I didn’t get any thunder surprisingly.

The last straw was another thumping bite, the float shot under and down towards the lillies, I struck into it, but the line between my reel and first eye on the rod had caught around a branch on the ground, the float shot out of the water and wrapped itself many times around the top of my rod – the air was blue!!! It was an impossible tangle. I had no option but to cut it off. This marked my time to head for home, the lake gods were telling me to go.

Tripping over the chain on my Kelly while packing up which was full of hot water and scalding myself in the process, gave even more proof that you should never-ever go fishing off-rota.

 

One day like this a year will see me right

The new course fishing season seemed to have taken ages to come around this year. I have not been able to cast a line for a trout in the interim., I have either been too busy with work, or too busy at the allotment.

The weeks forecast ahead for the opening day was enjoyment; with high readings on the thermometer to boot. I would have to pack sunscreen along with all the fishing paraphernalia.

I arrived on the 15th at a favorite lake in Wessex, to be greeted by blistering heat. Fishing would be hard-going in these hot conditions.

I met another member who was there in advance of the glorious 16th who would be camping out in order to get the first cast at midnight.

Following a leisurely morning for me, and devouring a cooked breakfast with a large mug of tea, I arrived at the lake around 09:30. There were only two members there, which was amazing.

Temperatures rose during the day, and the fishing was tough. I had been advised to rake my swim as the lake had a fair bit of weed growth due to the recent warm weather and the low water levels. I did not like the thought of crashing a rake through the swim making so much noise and disturbance in the process. In the afternoon I gave in. I fetched the rake and began wielding it through the swim for about ten minutes dragging lots of weed out of the way. I did however pick out any oxygenating plants that I had dragged up and returned them too the water.

I could not believe it, the fish were far from scared off by all the commotion and were back feeding in the swim within half an hour.

All day I had watched what I though to be a pale mirror carp go back and forth between patches of lillies. Another member came round for a chat in the evening and we both stood and watched this fish approach my float, then stop. He said “grab your rod, hes going for it”. We could see the fish nose down and a patch of bubbles arose. Straight from the pages of Mr Crabtree  “strike!” and the lake erupted. It was immediately apparent as soon as I saw the fish briefly out of the water, that this was not a Carp, but a Golden Tench. The angling gods were indeed looking down as I had dream’t of a Tench from the very last day 14th March of the last fishing season, I could not believe it.

Summer Idyll

Today, the good lady ‘allowed’ me to take an afternoon out of our holiday. and I got the chance to fish my secret lake in Wessex again; this time with a ‘secret’ bait.

This particular lake proved troublesome all 2015 season; as I did not catch a single fish all year. This summer day was a real treat, catching numerous Crucian Carp; great fun!

To top it all, I was able to christen yet another ‘Edgar Sealey’ rod.

Christening

Christening, more like a baptism of fire.

Today I fished my local pond for the first time this season. I took along with me a new rod that I have just had made up from a blank. A rather superb Fred J. Taylor Roach Rod. My aim was to catch a Tench.

However, my lake is full of Carp, they were certainly in evidence today, cruising about in the hot sunshine just below the surface.

I set out a single grain of corn with one swan shot just about one rod length out into the margins.

Some time passed and bubbles around the float showed that fish were definitely feeding today. The float swayed side-to-side but never went under.

I reeled in and reset the hook length making it a little shorter. After around ten minutes away shot the float and the reel sang its rasping tune. I was hoping for a Tench but instead I had hooked one of the lakes ‘zoo creatures’. It put up one heck of a fight and it took all my courage with my new rod to stop it reaching snags in the middle of the lake.

Eventually I won the day but I hope I do not hook too many of these Carp on this rod.

Midsummer Madness

I have been very fortunate to get to fish another secret lake in deepest Wessex.

This midsummer day brought warm overcast conditions. Perfect fishing weather.

I lost count of the Rudd I caught, nice ones too. I was very fortunate to land these two Crucians while being kept company by all the dragon flies around the lake.

The Glorious 16th

This year I have been very fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to become a member of another very secret lake in darkest Wessex.

Driving overnight, I arrived at the lake around 11:30. Walking round the lake I looked for signs of feeding fish; there were many. I introduced myself to a couple of members who were fishing the bottom lake. Nice bunch of chaps.

I set up on the top lake, and settled down after a very long drive. It was not long before I had landed a couple of cracking Roach. Although I was very pleased with my catch of Roach, I knew that the bottom lake was famous for its Crucian Carp. I was eager to see if I could catch one on the opening day of the course fishing season.

Setting up in a corner away from everyone else, I made myself comfortable, opened my flask of tea which was luke warm, but perfectly drinkable.

From the colour of the clouds above, it was evident that a storm was brewing and I could hear the distant rumbles of thunder.

I could not believe it when as soon as my float entered the water, I would mend the line then I would be into a fish immediately. Catching well over ten lovely Rudd, I suddenly hooked something far more substantial and put up a good fight,  rolled on its side as a bream does and gave up. As I drew it up through he surface and towards the net it turned out to be my very first giant Crucian Carp, just like a huge bar of gold. Stupidly I did not weigh it, but it was well over 2lbs. I fished on for a few more hours watching storm after storm pass by without getting a single drop of rain and suddenly I hooked a train! It made for every lily pad in the vicinity until I finally had it under control. I was absolutely over-the-moon to land a Tench of around two and a half ponds on the very first day of the course fishing season. My favourite species, and a classic summer fish. Not only had I not caught a Tench all last season, but this cracker was caught on a brand new, and in mint condition Edgar Sealey Floatcaster that I was using for the first time.

Was this all a dream?

Last Day Of The Course Fishing Season

I had been looking forward to the last day of the course fishing season from September 2015, when I made my annual batch of tomato chutney. A jar of which I always put aside as a gift to celebrate the last course fishing day of the season.

Having managed a few days off work, I arrived at my location a couple of days prior to the 14th only to find the river had burst its banks, and was actually part of the surrounding fields – what a disaster!

Changing tack slightly, I met up with friends and fished a local lake. I had set myself a goal of netting a Carp from the surface. Quite a mean feat in a cold biting wind in mid March. I did take some time to get any fish on the surface, and non of them where really competing for any of the freebies, but I persevered and managed to land a good double. It came too the net quite easily and fought just as well on the bank as it did in the water. She was full of spawn as well, a really good sign of things to come when the weather warms up. Back she went very gently.

As the final day approached, the 14th, my prayers were answered by the angling gods and the river had fallen quite some height. Enough to drop a line in. I had a fantastic day on the 13th, catching upwards of 40 Gudgeon, and upwards of 20 Roach and a Dace. All very small, so the landing net hardly got a wash, but great fishing non-the-less.

On the final day I met up with friends. We all fished from before lunch, and all had a great day. We were treated to a beautiful sunny day, and, as per usual, much tea drinking and cake eating took place along with our angling exploits.

The One That Got Away

Fishing at my favourite local lake today for my first Tench of the season.

Arriving late, I found not a sole there, and so I had a choice of my favourite swims.

The day started very sunny, however in the shade it was quite cold. The tips of the reeds and grasses are just turning brown. It is clear autumn is close.

Fishing a rod length out, in the margins, very close to a small patch of lilies that I remember decimating last season when I got a carp lodged in them. It looks like they have recovered well.

Bite after bite I missed until I saw the float quiver, then dip, raising the rod and I was ‘into’ a fish. It moved nonchalantly too the left, not sure what was happening, I raised it too the surface to reveal a HUGE mirror carp, well over 15lb. I am sure it did not know at this stage that it was hooked. I put on a little pressure, turning the fish towards me. It was then when it realised what was happening. It turned again to the left and bolted off like an exorcet missile. The fish continued on its path to the left while the float sprang past me to the right. The line had not broken, but on inspection, my hook had bent, totally.

I am very pleased, in a way, that I did not have to do battle with this leviathan. My vintage Edgar Sealey has done battle with too many large Carp in its time, and is designed for a far gentler lifestyle.

 

First one this season

Due to work commitments I really haven’t had any opportunity to get too my local lake this season.

I have only managed two trips, blanking on the first attempt, and loosing a fish right at the net last time I was here.

Arriving around 06:00 I found the lake deserted. A perfect Carp Fishers dawn (Although I was really fishing for a good Tench). Fishing a single grain of corn, around one rod length from the bank. I’m not sure if my line was sitting properly, because after a short period it seemed to spook two fish that were in the swim. This is easily identifiable by a sudden underwater earthquake, followed by huge concentric ripples on the surface and more often than not, your float sitting motionless.

Non-the-less I persevered, and after about an hour the lake seemed to lift once more, but this time the Aerial reel ‘sang’. I teased the fish down the lake a little into open water as there were many snags near to where I was, steering it away from a huge reed bed where I was fishing. The fish made open water and battled well. run after run it made and when it rolled on the surface, turned out to be a good mirror carp. This was to be the only view I would get.  As it powered down again it snapped the line. Darn it!

I re-tackled with a grain of corn. re-cast, poured some tea and settled back down.

After some time the reel once again sprang into life, and the vintage rod bent over. Again after an arm-wrenching , rod creaking scrap, I eventually won the day.

What a cracking morning. The only thing to better it would have been if the Carp had been a Tench. Never mind, there is always next time.

The Net’s Too Small

Another trip to my local lake today. I fished only maybe2-3 rod lengths out but nothing was happening. One of those times when you know you need to move swims.

Moving down two swims I recast a single grain of corn a short distance, just beyond some aging rushes, scattered a handful of corn on top of my float, poured another cup of tea from my flask and sat back to relax.

With no signs of a fish feeding, my rod bucked violently in the rod rest, followed immediately by the reel screaming! At first I thought that I had hooked a really big Tench. However, when I saw it roll on the surface it was evident it was a Mirror Carp. It did fight like a Tench though, making many powerful surges towards every snag in the area. First it dived left, straight underneath all the rushes which I thought that would be it, as I was only using 5lb breaking strain hook length. Luckily for me, it swam straight out the other side and I was able to guide it back in  front of me and get some sort of control. Making yet more powerful runs toward the rushes a number of swims to my right, I was just able to stop it. Trying to constantly gain line, it would be off again. Soon I got it close, but then it saw the small patch of Lillie’s to my right which it made a direct beeline for, and found. Drat! stuck. I let the line go slack and it freed itself, again out into the middle of the lake only to dive straight back into the Lillie’s when I got it closer. This battle of too-ing and fro-ing went on for some time until I eventually got my net under it. I could not believe when I tried to lift it, it was a really good double , at least 15lb’s. Infact, it was so big, I could not take a proper picture of it in the net. I tried to capture its huge paddle-like tail, but simply could not get it in the picture. Furthermore, it was quite lively on the bank, so after a quick snap, I returned it straight away.

 

What A Scorcher!

 

Parked up at my local lake around 06:20 and after a ten minute walk across a couple of farmers fields I was at the waterside, where I was greeted by a mirror like, flat calm pool. There were no signs of any fish feeding at all. Normally as I trudge along the bankside, I will sometimes ‘spook’ the odd fish, but nothing today.

Presented with an azure blue sky, punctuated only by a perfectly formed cotton wool like, thick, small cloud that drifted nonchalantly towards the horizon, then out of sight.

Nobody else was present at the pond, I had it all to myself. Armed with my Edgar Sealey ‘Octofloat‘ rod today and the usual 3.5″ Aerial, I quietly tackled up and threw a handful of sweetcorn close to overhanging grasses. Fishing lay-on style, using the classic ‘lift method’, I cast a single grain of corn on top of the free offerings, sat down on my creel, and opened my flask.

Almost immediately the float lifted and I hooked a Roach.

By now it was around 07:00 and the day was getting very warm indeed. After about an hour the float lifted once more and I thought I had hooked into one of the small Carp in the lake but after a 5 second fight I knew what my prize was as a Bream came to the net like a wet cloth after a spirited 5 second battle.

Cleaning the slime of the hook link, I recast to a different area and again baited with a handful of corn.

I was joined after an hour by 2 local lads, who although they said they fished the lake, were definitely not members, non-the-less, I unusually made time for them as they were knowledgeable about their fishing. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my float ‘zipp’ away and I was in to a small carp. When I got it closer one of the lads, who was standing higher up the bank watching the action, said it was a Crucian, just then it rolled and I too could see what it was. No doubt, it was a Crucian. I could not believe it. I had no idea all the time I had fished this lake that there were Crucians’ present. I was absolutely over-the-moon with the catch.

The sun was still blazing down when I left the lake around 12:30, what a day!

West Compton Manor

Very privileged to be able to fish this lake. Stayed at the manor for 2 nights whilst in Dorset.

The lake is an anglers paradise which has been left in a natural state without any resemblance at all to a country park. Had the whole lake to myself for the 2 days. The only visitor I had was an Adder that got a little too close for comfort. No fish, but really enjoyed my trip.

Will have to return one day for another crack at the wildies.