Sunday 14 April 2019
With only a week or so left in Bristol I decided to squeeze in one last carp fishing session in between the packing! Of all the places I've fished, Follyfoot Fishery has been by far the best so it was a no brainer to book myself in for 24 hours to see if I could get amongst a carp or two before the off...
Unluckily for me, although spring had sprung a few weeks ago the UK seemed to have gone back a month or so and the weather was cold, grey and windy - far from ideal, especially as the carp at Follyfoot Fishery love warner conditions. But hey, sometimes you just can't choose when to go and as this was to be my last opportunity I was determined to give it my best shot.
Zigs are an absolute winner at Follyfoot so I decided to fish three rods at various depths and a fourth on the bottom. And absolutely nothing happened... For hours and hours... Not a liner, an indication, a show, a nothing... It was almost as if all the fish had left the lake a decided to go on holiday!
It wasn't until late evening when I'd switched all the rods onto the bottom that the left hand rod burst into life. A solid PVA bag of pellets and a Sticky Baits Buchu Berry Wafter doing the business. A nice fight and a plump boxy common carp was in the net.
I'd love to say that the action picked up over night but despite regular recasting, baiting and switching things around I just couldn't produce a bite. I'd set my alarm for 6am and woke up to a reasonably bright but windy morning. Luckily I did see several shows over towards the aerator (which was still on) and decided it was as good a pointer as I was going to get...
It wasn't possible to cast due to the pylons that bisect the fishery so I walked the rod down the bank, cast, baited and then walked back to my hut. I did't have to wait long for a bite but unfortunately the fish shot straight into the snaggy looking bush that hangs into the margin and cut me off!
Lesson learned, this time the rod went back on the same spot but I fished it locked up and sat on the rod... And off it went!
Another common of a similar size to the first fish and then a smaller ghosty about an hour later, happy days ;)
As the sun rose and the wind got up the action completely dried up and I decided to cut my losses and call it a day at 1pm. I would've loved a few more fish, especially on the zigs but with the weather against me it was quite a result to have landed 3 fish (I'm not 100% sure if any of the other 6 angers had blanked or not but I'd certainly not seen or heard anything...).
But that's it for UK fishing for now - I don't think there'll be another chance to get out on the bank before the off and the next time you see me, it'll be in Australia with (hopefully!) a completely different species on the line!
Monday 26 March 2018
You wouldn't know it by the weather but spring has sprung and with the Easter holiday coming up it was time to head out on my annual fishing trip. As I was going to be down in East Sussex, I decided to try a new venue - the excellent sounding Furnace Brook Fishery in Hailsham.
It's been snowing recently and with it all melting in a couple of days worth of rain, everything was pretty soggy... Arriving at the venue, I had a quick scout around before settling in swim 2. While I'd been watching the water from the entrance, several fish poked their heads out to open water and the swim also had the added feature of an inflow pipe to the right. At this time of year, oxygen levels are pretty low and any fresh water flowing into the lake is as good a draw as any.
As it turned out, the inflow swim was the only spot to produce a bite in the 24 hours of fishing! A clean common carp of around 12lb ripped off at 4am which saved me from a blank.
Despite moving swims and giving it everything, I just couldn't get another bite... However, I will return! The lake looks fantastic and with a good head of prime condition fish, I've a feeling that once we get into late spring and early summer the fishing will really pick up. Fingers crossed, there'll be another opportunity to head down to Furnace Brook Fishery before the summer is over.
Tuesday 13 March 2018
Spring seems to have sprung! It's been pretty cold, wet and miserable lately but today the sun was shining, the birds were tweeting and I was off to fish a new venue on the Crosshands Angling Club ticket, the excellent looking Hunters Lake.
With only one stop en route to pick up some maggots, I arrived at Hunters Lake at around 9.30am to find it completely devoid of anglers... I decided to settle on the on the 'point' swim and cast the feeder to main the tree island, with the 2nd rod being fished to the small island on my left with a medusa rig of 15 or so red and white maggots.
Amazingly, the small island rod ripped off after 10 minutes! The result was a fighting fit mirror carp of around 15lb which game an amazing account of itself on light gear.
The action was slow and steady throughout the day, with definite feeding spells where the feeder rod would produce a run of fish. I worked my way through a couple of common carp, a crucian carp (my first in over a decade!) and a decent size bream which baring in mind the time of year, wasn't a bad haul.
The day finished with a prime common carp which was in immaculate condition - not bad, not bad at all!
I'm already looking forward to my next session at Hunters Lake, I've a feeling that once we move into spring proper the fishing will really pick up and there maybe some monsters lurking... Watch this space!
The first one was just before the snow arrived in Bristol. I've been desperate to try Ashlea Farm since joining the Crosshands Angling Club and decided to give it a go last Monday. The sun was out and good weather was predicted for day but I arrived at the lake to find half of it frozen over... I did fish for a couple of hours but my heart wasn't in it, plus one of the local farmers was burning something disgusting and the smell was making me feel seriously ill! Not wanting to completely give up I headed to the Holiday Inn lake only to find that completely frozen over... At that point I called it quits and headed for home.
And then it snowed... and snowed... and snowed! All hopes of fishing were dashed and as the thaw set in, the river flooded meaning the chance of a end of season pike is quickly slipping away.
The snow disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived and today I decided to come up the the Holiday Inn lake for a day session. Although it's warm enough the top end of the lake towards the hotel is still frozen and try as I might at the bowl end, I just couldn't nick a bite...
It's funny, in my head I always think of winter as being November to January but it turns out March is the worst!
Last minute update: I wrote this post on the bankside and didn't have time to update it... I didn't blank! In the last hour of the session it started raining and I managed 3 fish in the space of 10 minutes! My guess is that the slight change in temperature and conditions triggered a feeding spell ;)
If you've been following this blog or my YouTube channel you'll have noticed I've been fishing up at The Holiday Inn Lake (otherwise known as 'The Crest Lake') quite a bit recently and it's yet to let me down in terms of bagging up (a rare thing in winter!). So after dropping my daughter off I headed to the lake, pulling into the car park at 3pm on the nose and then ran round to the 1st swim to get set up.
As it was late in the day I decided to fish a swim at the top end of the lake where the sun would've been on the water for the most amount of time. It's also shallower at the top end and my thinking was the fish may have moved into the warmer water as the day wore on.
The proven tactics so far have been a feeder rod with liquidized bread and sweetcorn hookbaits and today was no different as I had my 1st bite within 10 minutes of casting out! And amazingly, the bites kept on coming with 6 fish in the net and two lost. Baring in mind I've had this number of fish to show for a whole day session in the past, it wasn't a bad result. Just goes to show that reading a lake to figure out where the fish might be and getting on them can result in bites even in the coldest of conditions.
The weather is set to get mind bogglingly cold over the next couple of weeks and with chilly winds, heavy frosts and snow predicted so this might be the last lake session for a while... I'm really glad I braved the elements today even if I couldn't feel my face or fingers by the time I packed down! The heater in the car never felt so good...