Another day, another country

Wed 29 January 14

 

So after my plans to get out fishing more and be more active with my articles it seems that once again a few months have passed by without my inane dribble!

That’s not to say that I haven’t been on the bank, far from it, in truth I have had quite a few weekends on the bank, the issue has been finding the time to sit down and actually type out the damn things!

So what’s changed? Nothing really but I am currently sat in my mums house in Spain helping her settle back in after she spent Xmas in hospital with pneumonia, that on top of losing my nan during December and you can see yet another reason why I’ve struggled to write.

Well that’s enough of my excuses; let’s talk fishing, or rather camping as my year has mostly been.
So as I have discussed the lake I am fishing is your not so typical large, low-stocked venue in Kent on the Medway Valley Fisheries ticket, as we’ve discovered this year the tench clearly out-number the carp as we’ve seen and heard of more of them being caught than carp, well there has only been three carp banked this season!

But the real appeal of this venue to me is to learn, albeit the hard way, how to fish gravel pits, and I am seriously lucky that I have a couple of friends that I fish with who have really helped me find my feet.

I have learnt that attention to detail is imperative, nearly is not good enough especially when it comes to casting to small holes in the weed. The other big benefit of this venue is that the margins are deep so it’s not all been about casting to the horizon, a lot of the time I have been fishing no more than 5-10 feet from the edge.

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For me, apart from a 7.5lb tench which I had a few months ago my alarms have been silent, we’ve often joked about scaling down our gear and only taking the things we really need – which means leaving the rods, reels, bite alarms and tackle box at home!

As this is a fairly new venue with regards to carp fishing on the MVF ticket, not a lot has been done until this year. Tony and a few of the guys did a lot of work on the North bank and the Railway bank to the swims, and even made a start on the river bank.

Since mid-November we have been busy on the lake too, continuing their work on the river bank, finishing the track behind the swims, making the swims more permanent with log fronts and back filling/barking them. This work has been done during the day then we’ve all sat round a fire at night, well the cleared wood needs to be dealt with somehow. I have also managed to fish a few times over on that bank; the big bonus with the swims on this bank is that the margins are deep which makes it perfect for fishing during the winter.

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The downside of all this is that with the recent rains most, if not all of what we have done has been washed away, but with the recent flooding that people have had to endure in their homes it’s not a big deal on the grand scheme of things and I am sure that once the water subsides sufficiently we can get back down there and repair or redo any of the work we had already done!

On a bit of a tangent, at the beginning of December my cousin Chris turned 50. As he’d always wanted to fish on West End Lake at Elphicks Fisheries I organized a trip for him. I’ve known Mark, the fishery manager there, for quite a few years and whilst the venue isn’t the sort of place I would normally fish I cannot deny they venue is really well set up and managed.

As there were 4 of us fishing we were lucky enough to have the lake to ourselves, and as it was a social event we set up along one bank, in hind sight it would have made more sense to set up two on each side to cover the water. The weather was a little changeable and as such only two fish came out, both to one guy, but in saying that my cousin had a great time so when all’s said and done that’s all that matters.

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So now we are in 2014 and what’s the plan? Well basically more of the same really, I’ve enjoyed my fishing more in the last year or so than for many years before, let’s just hope that once the water level drops and I can get to the lake again I can finally bag one.
I also have my annual trip planned to Island Lake in France at the end of June and with the massive weight increases that the water has seen since the ban on pellet and particles was introduced I am seriously excited about going back out there again.

Tight lines
Stef