25 June 2013

Small Pit 2013

16/06/13 - June the 16th has arrived and my plans were to tackle the Small Pit for my target fish as I did last year. As I was fairly successful last season I opted not to change my tactics and continue with what I knew worked. I had heard through the grapevine that a few more anglers were expected to be fishing the small pit this year and that It would receive more pressure. I set off, parked up in the car park (three hours before the draw) and walked down to the lake. My plan was to find the fish, making the swim selection easier however this was not the case and I spotted one carp that threw itself from the heavily padded area in the out of bounds bank!. Choosing my swim blind and going on my knowledge of the lake I selected four swims and put them in order of "most wanted", 10, 6, 1, 8.

All membership cards were in the bag and the draw began. There must have been over forty anglers gathered in the car park and although not all of them had their eyes on the long lake I knew a few had been interested. I felt that swim 10 offered the best chance of a fish for various reasons and so this was my first choice. As the draw plodded along my name was finally called out near to the end and I asked what swims on the Small pit were still available. 10, 6 and 1 had been taken so I settled in 8 for the night slightly disappointed.

The session was planned for a whole five nights and six days as I really wanted to get off to a great start and bag a few fish early on in the season. New lead core leaders were spliced on and my reels re-spooled with 15lb line. All my kit was serviced, cleaned and I was more organised then ever. It really was a military operation and everything had to be spot on. I spent weeks selecting a bait suited for the time of year and lake etc., sharpened all my hooks for maximum hook holds and tied a selection of new rigs. I was ready to tackle the lake and succeed.

The first night drew a blank but luckily I managed to have chat with the man set up in swim 10. He was leaving in a few hours and so I quickly jumped in the swim and set up feeling more confident. Swim 10 offers more water to fish and was where I had seen fish moving so seemed a good option. The night again passed uneventful and I began to scratch my head. Only a small double figure carp had been caught by this point which considering open season had just started and six anglers were fishing a ten swim lake seemed low. The lake was fishing hard and a change of tactic was required.

I decided to move into swim 1 located at the opposite end of the lake to 10. I was aware that the weather was to change and become extremely hot for two days. I figured that since the fish had not spawned the incoming hot weather may trigger the yearly spawning. This would push the fish into the shallow area of the lake (swim 1) and I could pick of a few carp. At 4am my right rod let out a few beeps and I bent into a fish. Finally I said to myself as I played what I though was a small carp. After a weak battle I netted a beautiful Tench that was sure to be my PB. The fish had sever fin rot but was a lovely olive green lump, weighing in at 8lb 2oz smashing my previous PB (above left). This personal best Tench raised my spirits and I began to think of my next tactical move. I reeled in my rods and went to see my mate who was fishing another lake a few minutes walk from my swim. As I walked along the path I noticed a dead mole on the path (above right). I haven't a clue how it got there but it was an amazing sight as you rarely see them dead or alive.

After my third night of the session I decided to head back to swim 10 where the fish had been showing all week. The fish were preparing to spawn and were all held up in the thick pads at the back of the lake. I decided a long cast with a single hi-visual hook bait positioned at the entrance to a gully that ran through the back of the pads. I thought this would be my best shot at picking out a fish as they moved down the far margin and this was the only accessible are to fish. Within four hours at approximately 4pm the left hand rod positioned in the bay ripped off. A strong health fight followed and I landed my first carp of the season. A beautiful 16lb mirror (left) with a great scale pattern. Another fish from the small pit and one I have not caught before. I was so happy to be of the mark.

I caught no more fish during the session but with another carp out the Small pit and a PB Tench I was not complaining. I will continue to focus my attention on the lake for the next two weeks until I have a stab at some specimen Bream fishing. Until next time "Tight Lines"

03/07/13 - Decided to fish a work night and stuck with swim 10 that I have been baiting heavily. I had no fish to show for my efforts. I was asleep by 8pm and did not wake up until 6am. After completing the long  walk back to the car and getting a McDonald's breakfast I was ready for work.

04/07/13 - Settled in swim 10 to the end of the lake for a quick night session before work. I managed to see a few fish crashing at the far margin but had no takes.

Twynersh Pit 2 2013

After three years part time I have now finished my degree and can concentrate on my fishing. I renewed my ticket for my local lakes but as they have a closed season I was back down Twynersh to feed my addiction and catch some hard fighting carp. My original plan was to jump on pit 4 for four nights targeting the big commons that reside in the quiet lake located at the back of the complex but this was not to be.

On arrival I head directly down to pit four excited with the knowledge that I would be the only one fishing the lake during mid week and had a great chance of catching some superb looking carp. To my disappointment and disbelief there was an 80 tonne digger in my swim digging up the surrounding group and dumping it in the lake. Many of the trees lining the lake had been removed and it looked a mess. Apparently the lake is being opened up so it can be fished by more people. The plans are to shallow the lake to "make it easier to fish" and put an island in. In my opinion the lake was great as it was and will now be just another bivy lined pressured carp water. I understand the potential for making money of such a lake and making it more accessible to fish but this was the one lake that actually made Twynersh worth fishing for a number of anglers regular to the complex. I'm sad to say that after ten years fishing Twynersh this would be my last session, I was truly upset.

After my bitter disappointment encountered on pit 4 I decided to settle on pit 3 and then later in the session pit 2. Pit 2 was fishing well and after speaking to the regulars it was apparent that a few thirties had made an appearance. I settled in a corner swim looking forward to the chance of a carp or two.

I changed tactics to accommodate my margin fishing methods. I created some tightly packed small PVA mesh bags filled with boilies and some crumbled up. These were connected to simple supple braid hook links tied to a size 8 Drenham star point. I decided to fish the margins on the drop of as I know this is an effective method on this lake.

Day one  passed uneventful but on day two my right hand rod rattle of at mid day. The fished pulled hard tyring to reach the dense shrubs and felled trees located in the lake corner. I managed to get full control and guide the fish into open water when the line went slack. I reeled in the rest of my set up and checked the rig. Nothing seemed out of place and I come to the conclusion the hook pulled. I was really expecting a few fish from the trip as the lake is heavily stocked and is not a hard lake to tackle. Compared to the usual 30 fish in 20 acres fishing it should have been a doddle. These fish are extremely pressured and have wised up in recent years.

After losing that fish I felt disappointed. I wanted to get of the mark quickly hoping to bag a few in the long session. I quickly put the left rod back out and just as I was standing by the alarms I looked at the other rod poistioned slightly further out to the left hand margin. Somehow I just knew it would go off and immediately it did. I grabbed the rod quickly and a amazing fight followed. The fish would not stop, diving for any cover within reach. Eventually, with an aching are I netted a beautiful mirror carpof 22lb 6oz.

The next two days passed along with only a small common to show for my efforts. The run came at midnight to the right rod. I didn't weigh the fish but it was around 14lb. I ordered a lamb vindalloo on the last evening but the delivery man could not get it over the 10ft barbed wire security gate. I was extremely funny with him passing the dishes individually under a small gap at the base.

7 June 2013

Trout At Cotsworth Mill 2013

Back in April 2013 my mate Joe asked if I wanted to try out some fly fishing at a small fishery located in Oxted called Cotsworth Mill. The venues mainly caters for weddings but as a subsidiary business the lake are well stocked with trout. For around £10 you can take home three fish and fish the whole day which is more then enough considering the average size is 4lb to over 10lb!There are three lakes on site that contain both Brown and Rainbow trout of excellent quality.

If you just want to practice your fly fishing skills
then I recommend the stock pond as this is more suited to beginners. The other two lakes, although reletivley easy are larger and locating the fish requires a more experienced eye. The staff at Cotswoth Mill are extremely friendly and helpful. You can hire any equipment necessary to complete a days fishing and the tackle shop located on site contains everything you would ever need when fly fishing.

We arrived at the lakes at around midday and I was amazed at how small the lake was. We fished the stock pond where the fish jump on your line but it was a great chance to experience fly fishing. Casting was difficult at first but I managed to get the hang of it and began to practice different retrieves. Within the first ten minutes my mate Joe had landed a fish and the I was in. The fight was completely different to what I was used to and I lost a good fish.Great fun on such light rods and

I managed five fish in the day up to about 5lb and a few pints in the pub located on site. It was a great day out with my mates and something different that I am really pleased I experienced. I will be back to Cotsworth Mill when my freezer becomes void of trout. All the fish we caught during the course of the day were in excellent condition with vibrant colours and put up a strong healthy fight.