Playing catch up

Thu 27 March 14


So once again here I am writing, realising that it’s been a little too long since my last blog piece, now in my defence between early December and the middle of March the lake was virtually unfishable due to the flooding but I’ve managed about 12 nights since the flood water rescinded and only now am I putting fingers to keys!

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So let’s jump back to December, we’d just finished a stack of work down one of the banks, and the rest of the winter was going to be spent tidying up the tree’s that had been cut back so that come spring that side of the lake once again looked presentable.

Then the rains came, I honestly don’t ever remember rain being like that and not just how heavy the fact it carried on for days and days, then weeks and weeks! The end result was that the water level rose by around 3 feet, compounded by the fact that we discovered in March that the outlet had blocked up and so little or no water was able to escape the lake. I had a few dog walks around the lake but many areas were inaccessible due to the flood water.

Finally though the water did recede enough that we were able to get back down there and assess the banks for a tidy up. Initially it looked like a massive amount of work, but the fact we were able to get use of some machinery meant that we could do the work quicker than we first thought.

That being said the entire fishery is having a lot of work done to improve it further so we’ve had to share the use of the machinery, the end result being that even after a few weekends work we’re not quite where we would like to be, but as one of the bailiffs said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and it’s certainly closer now than it ever was.

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Moving onto the fishing, well surprisingly I have managed to catch a couple of carp! There was a small stocking of fish over the winter of fish in the 6-9lb bracket and these fish certainly know how to eat and have already got the existing stocking in the mood to eat bait with a couple of fish already being caught.

Sadly so far I have only managed to catch these stock fish, one of 7lb and one of 7.5lb, but even at that size the adrenaline you get in the middle of the night, not knowing whether it’s a stocky or an original is still a rush, add this to a 9lb 12oz tench and I can’t complain too much about the start of the season.

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So let’s talk about the actual fishing, I started off with a couple of quick overnight sessions which got me back in the swing of things, although I didn’t see much just being back on the bankside was a real sense of relief. In the week leading up to Easter I had booked 4 days off work and after checking with my girlfriend I convinced her I had enough brownie points to spend 5 nights on the bank, in truth I reckon she was grateful that she could get rid of me and the dog.

I turned up on the Saturday morning to find it a little busier than expected, well when you are used to a maximum of three or four people on the lake to suddenly have 6 fees cramped, however, I decided that I would plot up next to a friend for a catch up and then move once people went off home on Sunday.
By Sunday lunchtime I was in one of the prime swims, not only because it commands access to a bay but it’s produced a few fish in the past and gives you a great view out over most of the lake. I spent a little time out in the boat drifting around and trying to find some good spots, which in truth wasn’t as difficult as I first thought it would be and by early evening the traps were set.

Monday was a glorious sunny day although at that time of year the wind is still quite chilly so I sat by the water’s edge and kept my eyes peeled out over the lake for any signs of fish, in the early afternoon I watched a group of 8-10 fish swim past just under the surface and circle round back into the bay. This happened no more than 10 feet out from the bank so a quick change of tactics saw me put a zig out, I moved back a bit and sat watching the zig bob around about 3 feet under the surface.

After about an hour I was toying with moving the rig further round towards the mouth of the bay when two fish, which appeared to be low doubles swam out of the bay, circled the zig twice then swam straight back into the bay. Ok so that plan was quickly rejected, and on went a wafter with a small handful of chops and I retreated back to the bivvy so I was totally out of sight.

By Tuesday morning nothing had happened, the bait was totally untouched even by the birds and the wind had swung around and was a cold easterly. I had originally planned to move but a tench angler was set up in the swim I had planned to go in and there were a couple of anglers around the lake so I decided to sit tight. With it being so cold by late afternoon I was wrapped up in thermals and a hat trying to keep warm so it was no surprise that I saw no signs of fish at all that day.
As I was fishing so close in on Wednesday morning I stayed in bed longer than normal so as not to disturb any fish moving around close in, by 9am I decided that I could no longer use this excuse to stay in bed and be a lazy git! As I was out of milk I decided to bring in the rods and pop down the shop, after stopping off for a coffee with a friend on the next lake I got back late morning and whilst standing at the front of the swim playing around with my marker rod, about 6 of the original fish between 20-25lb swam past about 4 feet in front of me, the downside was that I hadn’t put out the margin rods so past they went and round into the bay. Throughout the afternoon fish were moving in and out of the bay but sadly I couldn’t tempt any of them.

All too soon it was Thursday morning and the session was over, despite seeing more fish through this session than I’d seen since I started fishing I couldn’t manage to tempt any of them.

The weekend following Easter was my birthday, this basically involved a few of us setting up in the swims around the car park, having a few beers and a bbq, the fishery manager and his assistant joined us and the weekend was a really good laugh, obviously no fish were caught but it was nice to not be doing a work party for one weekend.

So finally we are almost up to date, last weekend was the May day bank holiday. I decided that I would spend Friday night at home then head off to the lake on Saturday morning for a quick work party. Due to the rain we’d had a few days before there was only so much we could do before the track became too badly churned up, not that I was complaining as it meant that by midday I was in a swim and setup ready to go.

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I’d decided to fish an area of the lake I hadn’t fished before and surprised myself by finding half a dozen interesting spots so now was left with the decision of which spots to fish, once the rods were out it was time to get the kettle on sit back and watch the lake, with all the noise that had gone on through the early morning it was not a big surprise that we didn’t see anything that day. Sunday was a completely different day though and all through the day there were signs of fish moving around.

About 10pm I had a one-toner, sadly that was about it as the fish came in really easily and went 7.5lb on the scales, a quick photo on the mat for the records and back to bed, annoyingly I hadn’t measured out the spot on the bank so the recast ended up being a pub chuck roughly in the area which sadly wasn’t good enough.

So there we have it, the season is in full swing and I’ve managed a couple, wonders will never cease. The next couple of weeks I have some studying to catch up on for an IT exam that I will be sitting at the end of the month so I will have to forego fishing until that’s done with, then it’s just a couple of weeks until I am off to France. Dave, the guy who organizes our trip, went out there recently for a work party and whilst there had his best ever session including 2× 56lb mirrors and one of 70lb 8oz, needless to say I cannot wait to get back out there.

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Tight lines,