I’ve rolled the last two months into one blog as I didn’t get much fishing done due to other commitments and the fact our lovely quarry had other things on their mind.
The fishing I did get done at the beginning of May was just short sessions between my night shifts at my local club water. I finish at 6am so can be down the lake by 6:30am unfortunately these sessions didn’t quite go to plan and resulted in several blanks. One of the main reasons I didn’t do much fishing was I had a week off work at the end of May/early June, Whitsun week, so I had to gain some brownie points as my plan was to fish the whole week. Once I had done my chores around the house I could start planning my fishing.
The plan was to go up to the Whittle mere syndicate for a few days and then possibly head up to Skegvagas to fish with my dad on a little lake near to where my parents have a caravan.
So with all of my reels re-spooled and rigs tied I was 100% ready for my week off, unfortunately the Thursday before my week off the fish in Whittle Mere decided it was sexy time and the lake was shut (rightly so) until the fish had got the spawning out of their system. I had to change my plans, fast. Thankfully with the club water being on my doorstep it was quite easy to decide where I was going to fish. I finished work at 6am on the Friday morning and headed straight for the lake. I knew getting down there at this time I would beat the weekend rush, but as I drove along the side of the lake my heart sank. The fish in here decided it was time to start spawning too. ARRRHHHHHHHH!!!!
Although the club doesn’t shut the lake during spawning, I do not fish for spawning fish so just sat and watched them for a few hours. I always find it fascinating watching our quarry in such close quarters without a care in the world apart from either chasing or being chased around. I stayed watching with one of the other members till around midday before going home to re think my plans. After a power nap and a chat with my dad I decided to head up to the caravan that evening. This meant passing through Peterborough to pick the keys up for the van. Due to it being a bank holiday weekend I didn’t leave Peterborough until late so I didn’t hit the traffic and after a couple of hours of traveling I got to the Van without too much hassle.
Now… the lake we fish up there isn’t the most scenic lake in the world, in fact far from it but you can have some great days fishing on there. I was up relatively early on Sat morning to take a walk around the lake to see if anything was happening. There were around 8 anglers on and only one had been catching. On my walk round I found some fish behind the island just milling about under the surface. I nipped back to the Van and grabbed my floater gear. On returning the fish were still there and it didn’t take long to get them feeding. I cut down PCF stinky pink pop up and attached it to the hair on a size 12 hook. Casting over the top of the fish they were oblivious that I was there. Slowly drawing back my hook bait so it sat amongst the free offerings. It didn’t take long before my hook bait was taken by an angry mid double mirror. Keeping my rod tip low I manage to get the fish away from the remaining fish that were still feeding. I quickly unhooked it and slipped it back. Putting out some more pellets, I had the fish feeding confidently again. Unfortunately I pulled out of my next chance but the next 4 takes I managed to hook and land them all. I was getting some looks from around the lake and I heard the phrase ‘he’s got another one’ from one of the other anglers. Everyone else was fishing on the bottom and not getting any bites. It just goes to show they are catchable you just need to give them something they want in a place they want it.
The following day I was up nice and early and at the lake by 5am. I set up in a swim called ‘The way in’. As I had fished this swim on numerous occasions over the years I wrapped up my rods to the right distance and after a quick cast with a lead to confirm the distance I attached my hook links and I was fishing. This lake is stacked full of fish but it can be quite moody at times. I have always found you have an early morning feeding time then it kicks off again in the afternoon. Well it didn’t take long to get my first bite resulting in a common of about 10lb. My tactics for this lake is constant recasting. If I haven’t had a bite in 10 minutes I’d reel in and recast. You can only fish 2 rods on this venue but I always have a third rod rigged and ready to go so as soon as I reel in a rod or catch a fish I can get my spare rod straight back out. As for bait and rigs I was using a fluro ‘D’ rig with a 10mm nut job bottom bait and then various coloured 10mm pop ups. I just used little sticks which was made up of a stick mix with some crushed boilies. Well the action didn’t stop there and I went on to catch a further 16 fish and lost a few too. I did use Zigs during the lunch time period which caught me few bonus fish. There were about 9 other anglers on the lake that day and I think there was only about 10 fish caught between them.
My parents joined me at the caravan that night and I had another couple of days fishing with my dad which always turns into a mini competition, one of which I normally win (sorry dad xx).
I returned home on Thursday so I could spend the weekend with my very understanding wife, however she was at work on the Friday which freed me up to go on the hunt for some carp that maybe interested in a floater or two.
I got up relatively early on the Friday and headed for the club water. The sun was up and it was looking to be a very warm day. I stopped and had a chat with a friend who was fishing on the ‘Sheep Field’ bank who told me there had been a few fish coasting around just under the surface. I left my gear in his swim and wondered up the bank a bit. Just before reaching the gate I spotted a few fish milling around the island. I nipped back and grabbed my bucket of floaters and a catapult. After a couple of pouches I had them feeding. I grabbed my rod and net and headed back to the swim. I rigged up with a light controller float, about 6ft of 12lb zig/floater line and a cut down Coco Fruit popup as the hook bait.
I catapulted another half a dozen biscuits out which got the fish feeding again. I cast over the top of the fish and reeled in slowly so not to disturb them. As I stopped reeling I dragged the controller float over a decent fish which boiled viscously under the surface. It wasn’t until the rod was getting ripped out of my hands that I realised it was a take rather than a spooked a fish. After a spirited fight it glided nicely into the landing net mesh. I wasn’t until I looked at the shoulders of the fish did I realise I was rather large. This lovely mirror spun the needle round to 31lb 8oz. My first 30 off the top for a few years. After a few photos and a bit of treatment on a spawning wound I slipped her back into the crystal clear margins. I could have, and probably should have, packed up and gone home but the temptation kept me there but unfortunately after pulling out of a couple, the fish moved off. It was probably one of the fastest bites I’ve ever received whilst floater fishing and a fish I’ll remember for a while.
I missed a few weeks in June due to the fish spawning again. As much as I enjoy the hot weather it makes fishing quite hard at times. Timing is everything this time of year, and unfortunately it has been rare I’ve timed it right. I did manage a weekend on Teakettle Fisheries at the end of June where I fished all 3 waters. I did the night on the reservoir to check how the stock fish are coming on. I managed 2 fish that night, one around 9lb and the other around 15lb. I then moved onto Thorney Mere to do some filming where I caught a 22lb common and lost a couple. And guess what, yep they started spawning, so I packed up and moved onto Whittle Mere. After finding some clear areas amongst the weed I settled down for the night only to be woken up around 4am buy the fish, you guessed it, bloody Spawning again!!!
Needless to say I packed up and went home. I had had another enjoyable weekends fishing but with the fish having other things on their mind I left quite frustrated thinking about what could have been!
Well next month is Team PCF’s second Social of the year on Holme Fen Fisheries Meadow lake. A lake which contains some monsters. Hopefully I’ll have a good draw this year so I can get on some fish, we will see.
So until next month, Get out there, enjoy yourself and remember…..Its only Fishing.