As I retrieved the lure up through the margin it appeared. Suspended in mid water staring at the creature bait. I held the lure suspended for a single moment then gave a little twitch, with a movement of its tail it attacked, I stuck. Fish on.
For a while I have need to increase the weight of my rod, I have been using a 0.5 to 6g but struggles casting bigger lures, so I have purchased a Spro Light Jig up to 14g.
Along with some Lmab Kofi Bleak lures to start with and some Lmab Finesse filet craws I was good to go. All these were purchased from Predator tackle. https://predatortackle.co.uk/
With the river season now open I was back on the Chelmer for my first session. With my new rod and new lures to try out, I had been looking forward to this session for a while. Starting late Saturday morning and walking through a few locks was on the agenda.
First on was the Kofi Bleak as I walked up the river, except a few knocks I had no takes, until I dropped down the side of one of the locks and on the retrieve, it went limp, no, bitten off probably by a jack lurking in the depths.
So, a change of lure to the craw and I continued walking,
With the river flow on the fast side due to the rain for the past few days it was hard going with no actual takes until I had almost got back to my starting point and was desperate for at least one bite.
I found a little deep spot against one of the margins where a small flick into the still water and as with my starting statement one in the net. A new PB of 27 cm was landed. Well happy after a photo then an upload to the lure competition. UK Lure Series. https://uklureseries.co.uk/
I moved to the last spot where I unfortunately lost one.
So, I decided to book the Friday off work and get down the lake early, but with a communication breakdown with the wife I left later than expected, I eventually arrived at about 10, parked up and started walking around the lake looking for signs of fish in the morning sun. The main swims of the lake already taken. My intention was to fish the back half of the lake where the majority of anglers head, as I turned the corner there is a little swim that all the undergrowth had been trampled under foot, it is not fished by many anglers as it only commands an underarm cast, but I spotted ringlets and bubbles appearing on the surface. I ignored the swim and moved on. How many more times do we ignore the obvious because we feel the need to cast out across the lake. Anyway, after walking around the rest of the lake. I returned to the little corner swim and again seeing bubbles, I decided this was the swim to fish, I could always pack up and move on if nothing occurred.
In the swim there are snags to the left and right which means I was to fish locked up and no quarter given to let a fish run. I pre baited with a few boilies and a hand full of pellets in front of the snags. The bushes in the water are proper snags and are not cut back so any run into them will be a nightmare to get out. With the pre baiting done, I set up the rods, both with a multi rig and a 15mm natural looking pop up both were place on the spots. A rod length out where I was able to feel down the lead. I locked the handle in place with bivvy pegs so when my first moby dick arrives it will stop the rods shooting off into the ocean in front of me.
I settled down for the afternoon, Now sitting there in the evening sun having a tea fore one pondering over the fact that nothing has occurred not even a knock, I started to question by hook bait choice, a while ago I bought some 10mm dumbell’s bright yellow corn flavour and had not used them, so on went the dumbells in hope that the colour more than anything would be the attraction.
At this point I also moved to a different spot in front of me instead of up against the snags. Straight a head one and half rods lengths out, an underarm cast and about ten boilies around each wafter. At 8 pm the alarm sounded into life as the fish took the bait, all I had to do now was bring it on home, the battle was on, after playing the fish for ten minutes and having to reel in the second rod and getting the net tangles up in four sticks the carp was safely netted. A nice 16lb common was photographed and set back on its way. I re set the rods as the dancing days disappeared into a tangerine sky as the night beckoned, I retired for the night with more expectation another would surely take the bait.
Waking up early on Saturday morning the lake was placid as the sum creeped over the tree like it had been out on the tiles and had a few too many, I pulled in the rods to re set them for the day ahead. With the first rod now positioned I set about the second rod, Now, we all have good times. bad times and again at this point was a bad time, feeling that the hook was blunt I thought that I would do a quick change, whilst threading the new hook through the eye, I dropped the rest of the rig of my lap and as I had not removed the 2 ½ oz lead, yep another hook attached itself to my finger, luckily I was fishing barbless so I removed it myself, to all make sure that you remove the lead or your time is gonna come. Anyway, with both rods now in place I sat back and nursed my sore finger.
The second common again of about 16lb came at 3 in the afternoon, Bloody hell that’s 2 fish in daylight, Celebration day, as all mine have been night time bites for the past two months. So, with the rods reset on the spot, my rock n roll session is taking shape, shame as all my friends were doing something this weekend but that’s the way it is I suppose, no social. Common number three appeared to be going to California when it took off across the lake at full speed even though the clutch was tightened up, it was taking line like no tomorrow. After roaming across the lake, I had him under control, but he had other ideas and decided to tangle himself in my other line, nobody’s fault but mine as I should have bought the other rod in like I had on the previous captures. After untangling the rods, bringing one in whilst having the battle of evermore on the other, I finally landed him. Another common of 14lb even though this one was a bit dazed and confused to what had just happened he happily swam back out into the lake.
Now it was about to get dark, so after re setting the rods, I settled in for the night. The final fish came at 1 am another common at 12lb.
I know many of you will think four fish is not much, but from a tiny corner that most ignore I was happy, what is and what should never be said is that that swim is no good without giving it a second look.
‘About having a float fishing day’ – this was a comment from my good friend Andy.
Now I have not used a float in probably 40 odd years, I agreed, as I still have my teenage float rod and reel, so going into the dark depths of the garage to retrieve all the float gear I need for this session. Blowing off the cobwebs and cleaning off the dust and here is how it went.
Firstly, let us start with the set up.
Diawa Sensor 10’ Carbon Feeder Rod. This was a 13th Birthday present (God that was 1981)
Isusu Charger RDX-10 reel (Did anyone else have this reel)
Lineaffe Float (The only Float I own)
Pack of Kamasan Size 16 Pretied barbless wide gape hooks (Found in the odds and ends)
1 pot of Maggots (Actually bought the day before or they would be a bit dead from 1981).
I would say that we arrived at the lake, but I was already there from the night before where I was in pursuit of carp. With the carp rods pulled in I set to work setting up the rod. Well, my eyes are definitely not what they used be and trying to thread the line through the eyes of the rod took some doing. I got there in the end after several times letting go of the line, and it is finding its way back down through the eye’s so having to start again.
I threaded on the only actual float I own which is probably around the same date as the rod. With a couple of shot either side I dropped it in the water where sank all the way to the orange tip, perfect.
Put on the pre tied hook and a couple of very small shot down the line then set the depth around eight foot as the lake was around nine feet deep, attached a maggot then threw (sorry precisely cast it in).
Watching the tip do a little jig before being dragged under the small waves of the lake, I was in and bought a little Roach to the surface this was all in about 30 seconds, happy days.
At this point it was on with a maggot out with the float and in with a fish, I had hit a shoal of perch, some fell off and some stayed on to reach my outstretched hand after an hour of this we had breakfast a fry up is always good for the soul. Anyway, I digress.
Back at the swim we continued the ritual of maggot, cast, float disappearance and then fish on the bank. After 3 hours and 7 Roach and 49 perch, it was decided to retire the rod for another day.
A great couple of hours fishing as I did when I was a teenager and with very basic equipment. You never know I might invest in another float.
Well after a night carp fishing which I caught a couple at stupid o’clock in the morning, I had already decided to make the Sunday a perch session on the lake. As I was packing up a knew I need content for a blog, why not turn this into a challenge. On the club waters I was at has nine pits. So, I decided I need to catch at least one fish from each lake. So, starting at seven in the morning and having to get away at two in the afternoon, I had seven hours to catch from nine lakes ‘simples’.
As I was going for Perch originally on the day, I decided to stick with them in hope that they would be in all the pits. My weapon of attack for this would be my six foot 0.5-to-6-gram rod, 1000 reel loaded with 5lb braid and a 4lb fluorocarbon leader with a size 6 Gamakutsu 325 hook and a 1-gram weight on a Texas set up. I went small as size was not going to be an issue in what I had challenged myself to do. In fact, I hoped that it would help. First lure of choice was a Gunki Tispy lure.
Bear with me on this as the pits will be out of order and there is no pit 7.
My starting point was pit 9, I had fished for perch and caught out of here before, the lake is shallow full of weed and with lilies at one end, I started walking around casting on the margin’s deep spots and through the holes in the weed. Always the way is that it is full of small carp that were cruising the surface and making their way to the sunny end of the lake where all the lilies are. Typical I am not carp fishing and they must know it. Anyway, after a frustrating half an hour and no fish I moved to the second pit.
Pit 5 is the next one to pit 9. This is extremely small and an underarm cast you could cover the lake. At about four to five foot deep and has cut away trees and large roots going into it, these were my first port of call. Dropping the lure in on the first retrieve I had a knock, second cast a large knock but no take at this point I decided to remove the tail of the lure just in case it was too large and quickly has a take that fought and then fell off. I moved slight around the corner and casting against some reed and a hit on the drop. This time no mistake and the first perch and the first pit down. One hour down six hours to go.
Pit 4 was next along, this is u-shaped and just solid with weed and again the carp were cruising through the upper layers, with two lakes with carp cruising I should have gone back to the car and got out the stalking rod with some bread crust, but I did not. So, after about twenty minutes I went onto the next pit, to returning later thinking I would get as many pit’s out of the way quickly.
Pit 2 is just a small bowl that has weed and swims that need repair, not actually sure if anyone fishes it, had a few casts but did not get the feeling that there was fish in there. So on to the next one.
Pit 1. This is the main carp lake of the complex with weed around all the margins but clear in the open water, at one end there are some snag’s, so I headed there first. Nothing hit the lure, so I started heading around the lake trying all the margins. Getting frustrated I pulled off and headed back to Pit 4.
Once back at pit four, I decided to drop the lure in between the weed and the edge and blow me got hit and taken by a little fellow, so with two and quarter hours of fishing I had two fish. Woohoo. Now I headed over to Pit 8 which I believed would have been the hardest pit.
Pit 8. This is a large reservoir that is just clogged up with weed, down the far end there is a little inlet that has a few snags to cast at, so I was hopeful a nicking one there. First cast snagged on the retrieve at about a foot out, it started moving slowly as a small branch appeared slowly into view. At this point intuition played a vital role as I had the urge to flick my head to the right as the hook hold gave way at the rig flew past my head imbedding itself into the hood of my coat. Wow that close to another hospital trip. The hook snapped as I removed it from the coat, so I had to re rig my set up. Now I downsized the hook to an 8 and put on an FFS finesse lure. I moved a couple of swims down and caught another little fellow. So, at three hours in I had three fish. On to the next pit.
Pit 3. This is a small pit which predominantly is carp but the day before I had a few knocks on the lure rod so I headed to the spot by a few lilies to see if I could nick one, after half an hour and one knock I trudged off to pit 6.
Pit 6 being a long pit which has a few lilies at one end and a small reed bed the other I headed for the lilies first, had nothing so I went to the reeds and again I had nothing. Time was now really against me, but I was to have a bit of luck as the morning had been sunny, but it was now clouding over and a little bit of drizzle. With this I headed to the last lake that I had not visited which is a small reservoir with and island where I had carp fished the night before.
I cast close to some snags and got a hit and bought the little devil to the surface and to the bank so that was four banked only five to go.
With a bit of hope and with only one and a half hours to go I went back to pit 3, again to the spot by the lilies and after a few casts I had another hit followed by another on the bank. With a spring in my step, I went back to pit 6 to the lilies again and bagged another.
I was now with fifty minutes to go and three fish to conquer. So back to pit 1 and the snags and the weed. I was now just dropping the lure in between the weeds in hope a bite and after a few sessions of removing loads of weed from the lure I had another take. I was now down to half and hour with two perch to go.
Back to pit 2 and casting into the snags dropping it through the weed time was running short, then I had a knock, so I recast and bought the lure back through the same part of the water and this time it was taken. So, I only had one fish to go and ten minutes left.
I ran to pit 9 to where this all began and started casting in the weed around the snags. I had a take I was going to do this but unfortunately it came off in the fight, I believe that it was not on the hook and only had the tail. So, I failed my challenge but what an enjoyable way to spend so time.
Maybe next time I will set up various rods to target various species.
This is all good practice for the #uklureseries that I have entered.
The primitive idea of a hunter feeding his family food with the knowledge of the waters around him.
Has technology now been so accepted in our lives and pastimes that we do not have hours, days and months working out a body of water and we now have succumbed to knowing where the fish are in minutes and then dropping the bait straight on their heads?
After watching an episode of Zanderpro on YouTube this question plagued my thoughts, I will get back to that later.
I personally have no electronic equipment that aid my fishing, call me old fashion or stupid but I would rather spend a few blank sessions working out the lake that I am fishing.
But knowing that you can rock up to a swim put out a finder and see if there is fish, weed, gradients, depths and then walk away to the next swim if you do not see what you like, is that fishing.
Once you find a swim you then can load a bait boat and drive it across the lake to a spot underneath snags that can not be cast to and now with GPS you can return to spots in open water to dispense of your load time and time again without having to navigate the boat. Do you need to learn to cast a rod anymore?
About not actually having to go to the lake to have a search for fish, we are talking drones. What better than to pull up in a car park get out of the car put up a drone and buzz the lake using the live feed to view the signs of any fish prior to unloading the car. There is a Facebook page ‘Drone Fishing Community’ which has 22 thousand members.
Not to put people down everyone is entitled to their own approached but what really compelled me to write this was Zanderpro where a team of two fisherman go after their quarry across lakes, now under the competition rules they are allowed to use electronics to find spots, But Westin went one stage further where one man fished and the other man directed him on not only where to cast, but the speed of the cast, slowing or speeding the drop though the water depending on how the fish was moving in the water, he could monitor the lure and the fish to the point of telling him when to strike, Lets be serious is this really fishing.
Do not get me wrong, people have little time in their fast hectic lives and want to be as productive on the bank but how far do you go before you might as well save even more time by just staying at home and watching it on YouTube.
What are your thoughts, has fishing become past just an enjoyable recreational pastime of having pleasure on the bank or must have to catch a fish to share on Facebook or Instagram at any cost a priority?
It has been a few hard months; I have stuck so far with the tactics that have continued to get bites during the winter months but alas this year it has been but a blank. I have even tried a bit of drum and bass (apparently the ultimate carp weapon) but this had no effect what so ever to increase the capture rate.
Anyway, I have chosen this session to come off pop ups and go to bottom baits with a PVA mesh bag of Pellets.
As my club waters have now re opened after a month hiatus, I chose to go to a lake I know well with every chance of a bite. (So, you would think).
On arrival at 5.30 am with the mist rolling over the lake and the sun breaching the horizon it looked a good session was to be had, now as this was the first day, I was expecting the lake to be overrun with Carp men in even conceivable swim, so it was a surprise to find that only 3 people had shown up. So, with 6 acres of water that had not seen a line in a month happy days.
I chose a double swim that is on a small spit that commands the centre of the lake where there are reeds to the left, and small over hanging trees to the right, just off to the right there is weed bed that when its up will cover most of the right-hand side of the open water, straight ahead the weed bed stops and it is underneath a power cable that runs the length of the lake, to this point is where you can pick up bites.
With a spread of boilies at this point each rod had a 15mm on a standard hair rig cast to it.
The day being cloudy with the sun breaking through confidence was high that I could entice a bite, but alas not even a knock. As dusk fell and the night gradually fell into place, I retired to the bivvy for my evening meal. It was around midnight that the alarm started beeping with continual knocking from Bream. If I know a lake has bream in, I tend to fish a long hair as I have found that though they can pick up the bait they do not tend to hook themselves.
At 2.00 am a single beep followed by a screaming alarm told me I was in, hoorah.
As expected with night it was pitch black and a mist had fallen on the lake, so the fight to bring the carp in was completely done by the sense of feel. As I could see the line at all, I was going by where the tip of the rod was positioned to where in the lake the fish was. Its run had given it at least another 50 yards somewhere in the lake, which I believed that it headed to the reed bed to my left. I was retrieving line quite quickly, but it surged every time the line was taken, so I was losing what I had gained, this went on for about 10 minutes. Playing the fish which, I believed was still about 20 yards out I was surprised when a big swirl at about 10 foot in the centre of the swim materialized.
I was now scrambling for the net whilst trying not to give it line again, I kicked the other rod and tripped over the cradle but still managed to stay in control. (Note to myself make sure everything is at hand). With the net now in the water I was able to land the fish. A large mirror graced the net.
I removed the hook whilst it was in the net and then let it rest whilst I got my phone for pictures and scales to weigh it. At this point I managed to injure myself again, I got the scales out of the bag but could find the hook to hang the weigh sling from, so rummaging through the bag I stab myself with a tent peg in the side of my hand. So bloody dangerous this fishing.
Anyway, with the fish bought in and weighed at 21lb I was happy, but the way the fishing had been going at present a 10lb would have made me happy. I returned him to his abode and put the rods out in the mist as best I could (NB: – should have clipped up for the distance).
At about 3 am another run on the same rod, sadly to say this one avoided capture when it managed to dislodge the hook against the weed bed to the right.
I did have another common of about 14lb on Sunday night.
So, two fish over the 48 hours I was happy with. Roll on next weekend.
Well, if ever I know how to do something, I know how to blank.
With warm breezy days and cold nights, the fishing has not thrown me much luck. Due to my club being shut through out the month of April, I have been forced to seek other lakes to get my rods out on. Not knowing lakes and not having time to work them out, I was not expecting to smash it up, But one would have been nice. So, for the last two weekends I have pitched up on Clayfield lakes in Weeley just outside Clacton.
Clayfield has 5 lakes with 3 being mixed with carp, Bream, Roach, Tench, Rudd, Ide, Grass Carp and Golden Tench
The Main lake which I was fishing has Carp up to 40lb and Cats up to over 50lb and Pike close to the 20lb mark and at £18 for 24 hours it is nicely priced.
This happens to be one of the few waters that you can drive to, find a swim and fish instead of booking in advance. It has been busy and even turning up at 7 am the lake and best swims can be taken, but as I like to get out for the weekend, I will take a swim that I feel can produce at least one bite. The swim this weekend did show signs of fish just off a small island and in the margin. So, a little pre baiting whilst I set up the rod’s I was hopeful. Using a natural pop up tipped with a yellow half dumbbell then whittled down to balance the rig and the other rig was tipped with white and again whittled down. One rod cast to the tip of the island and the other to the centre edge of the island. And then waited and waited and waited. I had a knock on the yellow rig and that was that.
At this point on Sunday morning after less than warm night and an unexpected wake up call from a feathered Friend, I decided to pack up and try for some bass on the river blackwater.
As I was outside Clacton I set the satnav to Goldhanger where I was to park and then proceeded on my way 16 miles. Watching the satnav for direction I noticed after about 4 miles it now said 21 miles and I was now for some reason heading then driving around Colchester. Bloody thing.
Anyway, I got there, Park up and got out my rebuilt rod which I was going to use. 11 foot 3 ¼ test curve, I attached the reel loaded with 15 lb braid which I attached 12 lb fluorocarbon a quick link and a patchinko replica lure. With a rucksack with other lures and tools I walked down a footpath to the incoming tide.
All I can say it was bloody windy and was only able to cast with the wind into the bay entrance I chose to fish. Yep, not a sniff, but then again not having a clue what I was doing after a few hours I chose to call it a day. Hopefully I will find a mate to show me the ropes. But if you do not try you will never learn. I did learn so it was not wasted time.
At this point I decided to go back to my local river / stream that I have been lure fishing to see if I could walk to the source of it inland. This would lead me beyond the point where I normally fish to, and I could find a few more spots.
It was about a two hour walk in all and I had to cross a Troll bridge, to keep them at bay I paid out the penny charge and carried on.
I found a few deeper holes and dams made from fallen trees, but I found the source through a out flow from a field. The river did carry on, but the flow was negligible. But I was happy with what I have seen and will go back with a map to mark a few spots and hopefully when the season starts, I will be able to catch a few from it.
Well as I type, I am preparing for next weekend as the club re opens and I can go back to a lake I know and hopefully catch a few to display in the blog. But as for now tight lines everyone and make sure that you always pay the Troll.
Well, this was a long time coming. Originally booked in the beginning of October 2020 then moved to the beginning of November due to covid and yet again moved to this easter weekend. Firstly, thankyou to the owner Darren Hilton for being so accommodating with the continuing movement of our slot.
We had hired Caney lake and had been looking forward to fishing it due the pictures of the fish on facebook. With fish coming out slowly on the run up to out weekend hopes were high that we would catch.
When you book the hours are midday to midday so there is no early morning rush to the lake, and you can have a leisurely packed down when you leave. Which is better than the mad rush at 6 am in the morning of most places.
We arrived at about 11 am and went for a walk around the lake, as we already knew our swims everyone was already trying to work out the spots to fish to.
The lake is three acres, and every swim has its own section of lake to fish to without interfering or casting over other anglers. The photographs on-line do not do justice to the actual area that each angler has, and they look small but, you do have a good area of water to fish in. There are three islands that separate the two banks that you can fish down. These have cut outs and reeds growing in them so there is plenty to aim at. As the back half of the lake was only dug out a couple of years ago it is still work in progress with newly planted reeds at the far end. Underneath the water, they have cut channels and plateau’s so there is plenty of under water features to keep the angler searching to where the fish could be.
All the swims are big enough to fit a double bivvy in, they are wood chipped and have surrounding wood so that you do not getting covered in mud on them wet days, Each, swim also comes with a landing net, landing mat and weight sling so leave yours at home.
To get to the swims the path around the lake has been matted and wood chip over the top so on wet muddy days you will not be clogged up with mud.
Once settled in Darren as a host could not be more accommodating in showing you where to fish to, He wants you to catch his fish and he was thrilled when one of us caught a fish and came round to photograph it.
The lake when it becomes fully established will be a beautiful lake to wind away the summer sun on.
Unfortunately, only one fish came out over the 48 hours we were there but that is fishing, do not expect to turn up and it to be a runs water, you will have to earn your fish, which is my style of fishing. But when they do get caught expect a Carp worthy of the wait.
There are on site toilets and a shower, which are clean. Make sure that you take a couple of two-pound coins for the shower, which is hot, a bloody nice if you have had a cold spell as we did.
If you have seen the website, Facebook or Instagram you will know that they cook breakfast and main meals on site, my advice is use this service you will not be disappointed their food is A1.
All of us were impressed with the size and quality of the food and the price you pay I could only but recommend it. So, take a few snacks and your tea and coffee and leave the cooking to them.
I could not recommend this fishery more and it is well worth every penny we spent for such an enjoyable weekend and we will all be back in the summer to have another try to catch a fish and eat the food that is on offer.
Well with the river season now closed until June and the pursuit of my quarry now suspended it has not stopped me from going down to the river. Instead of being armed with a rod and line I am now armed with a camera. Just because you can not fish does not mean that you can not walk the river to find spots and marks for when the season re opens.
I parked in my local country park where there is the first access to the river and started walking along the bank clambering through the bushes and long grass to firstly find new access points and then to spend time looking at each spot. Climbing trees and jumping banks, with each potential spot photographed to take another look when I get home.
I am looking now only for fish activity but also deeper holes, shallows, and slack water.
This also gives me a chance to see any unseen snags that would not normally be observed until it is too late.