When Pat Gillett isn’t in France fishing for carp you’ll find him bankside at a number of English rivers. This time he’s turned his rod to a nearby Estate lake. Here’s his diary so far…
With the rivers still being very low and clear and the weather still being very warm, I decided to give them a miss for a couple of weeks. I dusted my carp fishing gear off and decided to have a go on an old estate lake that I have retained membership for but because of fishing the rivers a lot more, I seldom seem to get to fish.
Tuesday August 5th & Thursday August 7th– Old Estate Lake
I arrived at about 10.30am on both days. The weather was a mixture of heavy rain showers and then bright sunshine. With the lakes being crystal clear it would be a case of moving about quite a bit to keep up with the carp.
I spent 2 hours walking around the main lake on the first day and couldn’t even find a sign of a carp! On this water, if you can’t find them it isn’t really worth fishing (in the daytime). Because of this I decided to drop onto the much easier smaller lake. With not fishing the water very often for a few years, I hadn’t got a clue what was in there and so was pleasantly surprised to take 6 carp up to 16lb 2oz (common), before I packed up at 7pm.
On the second of the days I found a couple of fish straight away in the main lake and managed to catch the smaller of the 2 after about half an hour. This was a common of about 18lbs. The sun then burst through and stayed out all day, the fish – as normal in these conditions (and with the crystal clear water) – became very spooky. I spent the rest of the day moving every half an hour until it became obvious they weren’t going to feed again.
I gave it until about 5.30pm when I decided to have the last couple of hours on the smaller lake. This lake proved to be ‘dead’ until I was packing up at about 7.30pm when I had a ‘double take’, the first proving to be a lovely looking common of 19lb 2oz. I was just weighing this fish when my other rod shot away. This proved to be a mirror of 24lb 8oz which is a real old history fish. I first caught it over 20 years ago when it weighed about 22lbs and it could well be 50 years old now.
At this point the swim was in mayhem, I had got a herd of bullocks that wouldn’t leave me alone and rods and tackle everywhere so there was no way I was going to set the tripod up for a self take (I didn’t want any of my stuff being trampled) so a couple of quick photographs on the mat would have to suffice.
Rigs wise, I used 10mm snowman rigs fished on a combi-link. These were waded out to find the clear spots amongst the weed and about 15 baits of 10 and 15mm were spread around each hookbait. Six of the carp fell to the Quest Baits Rahja Spice and three (including the biggest) came on the Quest Magnum White. 1 on Magnum White, 10mm Snow man rig with 15 mixed freebies.
Although both sessions were very enjoyable, the second day was to be the start of a problem that was to last (on and off) for the next five weeks or so. Whilst climbing over a metal bar gate that keeps the cattle out of one of the fields I lost my footing and fell flat on my back from about five feet. I was wearing wet waders and simply slipped off and I guess I don’t bounce as well as when I was younger! I thought nothing of it until a couple of days later when a load of bruising appeared on my lower back and my ribs started really hurting!
Friday August 15th – Upper Trent
I shouldn’t really have gone fishing with the hassle my back and ribs were giving me, but after ten days, I had to get out. I fished the ‘new area’, as it is relatively flat and not too far to walk.
This time I was armed with the Quest Baits Special Crab and Absolute Seafood. Both were fished along with the usual feeder mix. The river was still really low and clear but at least it was cloudy and then raining soon after the start (about 4.45pm).
A really bad start saw me lose 2 fish early on to an unknown snag. Then just before dark, the Absolute Seafood rod produced a really long barbel of 10lb 6oz. I took a photo across my 36” landing net just to show the real length of the fish. It gave me the impression of being at least 12lb+ when in the water.
Another barbel of 10lb 4oz rounded off the session as I had packed everything away (bar my last rod). This one falling to the Special Crab& paste combination at around 11pm. I have to admit I struggling to land both fish with how my back was feeling, but it did show that with the current low water conditions there are obviously a few fish in this new area.
Wednesday 20th – Upper Trent
Went back to the new area and never had a single indication on either rod. This was a really clear bright night, which, with the clarity of the water was the reason I think the fishing was so slow!
Friday 22nd – River Derwent
Not much to say about this trip either really, another total blank without so much has a tap in over six hours of fishing.
So a relatively quiet month this one, but still with some lessons learned, the main one being that I don’t bounce has well as I once did!
Courtesy of the Quest Baits blog