Author: <span>Thirdageangler</span>

During the winter my club lost the use of one lake, which was mainly a carp lake, and obtained the use of another. This was handy for me as the new lake is about a mile from where I live, just a few minutes by car, or at least it is at the moment! They are going to close the road for six weeks soon and I will have to drive about five miles to get to it passing several of the club’s other waters to get there so I don’t think that I will bother!

I wanted to fish that lake before the road closure and had a free evening so took the opportunity. The Club’s Facebook page was reporting good catches during the day so I was looking forward to a full net. It was cloudy and much, much cooler than recent days, I even needed a sweatshirt! I drove the length of the lake peering out to find a swim. I turned the car around and this time the driver’s door was on the side of the lake and in one swim I could see three carp nuzzling up to the very edge of the water. I couldn’t resist that so quietly got my stalking rod out which has the advantage of fitting into my car already rigged up, and crept down to the water. The carp had spotted me and drifted away but a few bits of white bread had them coming up to the surface and sucking them down. I put a piece of bread on the hook and cast out and within a minute or two a fish had taken the bait and was off! I pulled on the rod and there was a sudden “twang” and the line whipped back and caught the float in some bushes. I carefully retrieved it then saw that my hook length had parted so I had to tackle up again. This gave the fish time to settle down and a few more pieces of bread had them coming up again. I noticed that the fish were much shyer than other places where I have surface fished and would quickly rise, take the bread and be gone, none of the lovely slurping noised when carp are sucking in off the surface.

A new piece of bread and I cast out again. This time I had to wait, the fish were not coming to my single piece of bread and so I threw a few more pieces in which seemed to get them going and I was soon into what felt like a decent fish. Indeed it was a hard fighter and took line easily even when I tightened the clutch a bit more. He shot off in all directions trying to get away but eventually began to tire and I got a glimpse of him. A nice common, probably into double figures and a personal best. I was gradually getting him close to the net when suddenly the line went slack and he was away. This time the hook was still there, he had slipped it and really spoilt my evening, I have to admit that the air was blue!

I baited up again but the fish had gone really shy and I got no more surface bites so decided to change tactics and put a method feeder out and also my quiver tip with maggots to see if there were any silver fish out there. I had been baiting an area fairly close in with sweetcorn and pellets and hoped that I would attract some fish which had been on the surface. As soon as I changed rods I could see carp cruising just below the surface again!

The one I did manage to land!

I had just settled down when the buzzer sounded and I was in again. This time I managed to land it, a nice looking common of about five pounds, I didn’t think it was worth weighing and after a quick photo I slipped him back. At least I had caught a fish and felt in a much happier frame of mind. Then the tip on the other rod went and I was into something small, a beautiful looking perch, which made a change. Then it went a bit quiet and so I decided to move the method feeder to where I was fishing the quiver tip and to give my float rod a go. This wasn’t the best idea as the light was fading and I had a small float on which was dotted down. In fact it was dotted down so far that it sank at times! How is it that a float can sit nicely in one water then sink in another? Anyway, it was getting late so I decided to persevere as I didn’t really have time to change it and managed to catch another perch. This one had another much larger fish follow it into the bank, possibly another perch.

Such beautiful fish!

I had another fish on the method feeder and you’ve guessed it, it came off near the net making the final score Carp 3 – Angler 1. By now it was time to go so I loaded up and drove home with mixed feelings. I hadn’t blanked and I had seen a lot of fish but losing three was not great. I will have to have a think about that, was it the hook type, hook size or just bad luck? I am sure that I will be back to that lake as it feels like I have unfinished business there. It is also conveniently close when there is not a road diversion and the great thing is that the farm track runs alongside the lake so you can unload and set up without trekking miles with all your gear.

To finish on a different note, my blog about the little lake near me has really taken off and for some reason is getting hundreds of hits a day as well as several comments from readers. It used to be that my readership shot up for a few days when I promoted a new blog entry on Facebook etc. but wouldn’t reach a hundred then it would settle down to around ten visits a day until the next blog. Recently I haven’t fallen below a hundred a day for weeks at a time and I have no idea why. The internet moves in mysterious ways!

As for the pond, like all the local waters it is suffering from lack of water and the weed has taken over again. I will go over with my rake and see if I can make a clear spot and see what I can catch this time of year. As there is an interest I will keep you updated. 

The Small Pond, not looking its best.

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Well, it has been some time since I last went fishing as life has been getting in the way but I finally found a free afternoon and evening so thought that I would try one of the other club waters as I had only been fishing the local pond recently. I did have a look the other day and the weed is taking over large areas of the water but there are still holes where you can fish. The club had a session for juniors recently and they all caught something, including the obligatory goldfish and it is great that the water is being put to good use.

During the winter the club has obtained another lake, quite big and a bit of an unknown quantity and I haven’t fished there so I thought that I would give it a go. That is until I arrived and found most of the swims taken with a stiff breeze straight into my face. Now I know that it is supposed to be good to fish facing the wind at times but I really hate it and it is not my idea of fun so I turned round and went to an adjacent lake where I have fished before. There was one guy fishing there so we had a chat for a bit before I found an ideal swim, not far from the car park and surrounded by trees and bushes where I could tuck myself away from the wind. I set out my carp rod with a method feeder and cast it across to the nearby island then set up the float rod and thought that I would have a go at catching silvers. The depth was set at only about a foot from the last time I fished the local pond so I thought that I would give it a go and see what happened. (It could have been that I was too lazy to change it after carrying all my gear and setting it up!)

Anyway, I cast out and the float was soon moving around, lifting, going sideways, ducking under but each time I struck I didn’t connect with anything. I was fishing double maggots so decided to take one off and was immediately successful with a small roach followed by a rudd and more rudd, none of them very big so I decided to fish a bit deeper to see if that helped. During all this I was regularly refilling the method feeder and casting it out and also catapulted some 8mm pellets that I had to try and attract the fish. I was getting the odd beep from the buzzer which sounded like line bites which was encouraging as it showed that fish were around.

I’m getting quite good at catching fish of this size!

I carried on pulling out the rudd at a fish a cast and for a change pulled out a tiny perch, they are beautiful looking fish, and was enjoying myself watching the float when the buzzer went for real and I was into a fish. I could tell that it was a carp by the way it was pulling and had to be careful as the swim had trees overhanging each side so I had to keep the fish directly in front of me. It is times like this that I find that I need more than two hands, and the arms to go with them! I had to take the float rod out of the water before I caught another rudd and get all tangled up, then I had to reach for the carp net, which was behind me on a flat piece of grass while all the time playing the fish and not letting it slip the hook. I managed to do all this and gradually brought the fish in closer and could see that it was a nice common. After a few minutes I got him close to the net when he did what carp always seem to do and got a new lease of life and was off again. However, he soon tired and I got him into the net and brought him close to the bank where I left him for a minute while I laid out the unhooking mat and got the scales ready. He weighed in at eleven and a half pounds and taking off the weight of the wet landing net was a good nine pounds. I soon slipped him back and he was away while I sat down for a well-deserved rest and a cuppa!

Definitely my fish of the day!

I put out the carp rod again and decided to have a change from float fishing and use my feeder rod to get the bait to the bottom and try to catch something bigger. Last season I changed from a cage feeder to a small method feeder as I was getting all sorts of tangles and it was still on the rod so I used that. I stuck with maggots on the hook and cast out into the swim I had been catching in and waited for the rod to bend around like it does in the YouTube videos. Unfortunately, all I got was some tentative nibbles which I wasn’t sure I should strike and even these died away as the afternoon wore on to evening time. In fact it all got a bit quiet, here I was expecting the fish to come on the feed but instead the opposite happened. I wasn’t even getting any line bites on the buzzer and noticed that the other angler had packed up and gone home so I was all alone. Not quite all alone as the sound of an aircraft grew nearer and louder until it passed overhead and I could see that it was the air ambulance. It made a couple of circuits and I could hear it landing nearer the town before shutting down. I love seeing aircraft but not the air ambulance as its arrival always means that someone has had a serious accident and can’t wait five hours for a road ambulance!

And that was about the last of the excitement for the evening. No more fish and when it got to eight o’ clock I thought that I would go home for my dinner. So, my first proper lake session of the year came to an end with a decent common and plenty of small fish to keep me busy! Nothing on the feeder rod though, I will really have to think about what I need to do to improve and now that I am back fishing think about what I want to achieve this year. I have had a couple of summers now and caught some nice fish. Time to ring the changes I think. 

I just had to include this picture as perch are so beautiful!

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