August was a strange month in many ways as some anglers had a great month and yet for others it was really hard work. The weather continued to be really good, so even on those blank days it was nice just ‘being there’.
‘The Park Grapevine’
The Ski Lake was for the most part below par. There were one or two reasonable fish caught, but most anglers were struggling. Early during the month Jacob Harris continued a good run of form with a lovely 27lb common carp (see picture below). A few anglers were having the usual moan about there being no fish and yet on those really hot days there were dozens of good fish cruising on the surface. One very windy afternoon in the middle of the month Chris Brownsword had a cracking catch of quality roach to just under 2lb on the pole from a deep swim in the South East corner. Steve Knight had a good catch of mid doubles with all the fish coming in darkness and Kev Mansfield had a ‘14’The Residents Lake fished quite well during the early part of the month. There were some big carp caught. Colin Smith had a 20lb 14oz mirror early in the month. Paul Hickson took a 21lb mirror, his first on a boilie after I suggested a rig and bait change. I had a nice catch of carp overnight towards the end of the month. (See below story) Graham Johnson had several good fish to over 20lb fishing boilies over a bed of particles, but towards the end of the month the fishing seemed to slow down. I believe this was down to ‘angler pressure’ during the holiday period.
Kingfisher continued its consistent form with lots of fish being taken. Match angler John Hayes had some cracking fish of all species mostly on pole tactics close in.
Fountain View 1 continued to produce plenty of fish including some nice carp into mid double figures. New resident ‘Ozzy’ took some lovely carp to 16lb 8oz all on very simple rigs and luncheon meat.
Fountain View 2 had a great month with lots of fish being taken on several different tactics. Lots of nice tench, bream and roach being caught as well as some nice double figure carp. One angler managed to take one of the bigger fish in the lake in the form of a 21lb 8oz fish taken during the night.
Willow View/Banks was also in great form with lots of carp, tench and bream taken to all methods. The bigger fish were taken on ‘proper’ carp tactics, but the pole and method feeders were taking some cracking mixed bags, especially to young Matthew Leach. Now I have been teaching Matthew as part of the park’s Introduction to Angling on a Tuesday morning on his Granddad’s fishing platform. He is a pleasure to pass my knowledge on to. He started the summer sessions using an 8m margin pole targeting silver fish, before moving onto Willow View’s extensive shoals of bream, tench and carp. During one of the 2 hour sessions he took 5 bream to 6lb on pole fished corn, then went on to take a further 4 bream, a tench and a carp later during the afternoon. The final two sessions I moved him onto a different technique in the form of ‘method feeder’ fishing. After a little practice Matthew was soon casting really accurately (which is so important with this technique) and using a flat feeder and mould was very quickly into fish, including further bream, tench and some lovely carp up to a new PB common of 9lb 8oz (see picture below). Matthew was like a sponge, for knowledge, constantly asking me questions. I am chuffed to think that I have helped a great young angler get a good foundation in the sport.
Heronsfield Lake has continued with its inconsistent form. Some good fish were taken, but it was hard work for the better fish. Michael Dodds fishing only at the weekends had some nice tench for his efforts but then was rewarded at the end of the month with an 18lb 4oz mirror (see picture below). I personally didn’t fish Heronsfield much during August as I was busy elsewhere, but I did have 3 nice tench during one morning session to just over 6lb.
Canada Lake was in good form for most of the month with lots of carp and tench showing, but towards the main holiday weekend there were lots of anglers fishing the lake and the ‘pressure’ began to tell and the results slumped. A lot of anglers were still losing carp because they were using completely inadequate tackle. I had a couple of evening sessions using my big rods in other words proper carp gear with 15lb main line. I felt that in the swims I was fishing I needed this heavyweight gear in order to stop the fish getting into the rushes. They are not big fish I took then to just over 9lb but it’s the way they fight. These carp are – size for size the hardest fighting carp I’ve ever come across.
Mallard, Grebe, Lilly and Teal didn’t fish well. For most anglers fishing during daylight hours the fishing even for the silver fish was really hard. A couple of anglers ‘bivvied up’ for a couple of nights at the end of the month took 5 carp just into double figures. The River Gt Ouse was in good form at the beginning of the month that was until the Environment Agency did a fish survey on several sections within the park using electro fishing methods. The results of survey were very good. In one 200 metre section 150 fish were recorded including barbel, big chub, perch over 3lb and dace to 14oz, but since the electro fishing the river has been completely off form.
‘The Seventh Match’
15 anglers turned out for this match fished on the 3rd August, conditions were perfect, but the fishing was very disappointing for most of the anglers, especially those drawn on Grebe Lake. Only 4 out the 15 anglers fishing caught and the top two places were from Mallard Lake.In 1st place was me. I had drawn peg 27 right at the narrow end of Mallard Lake. Initially I pole fished for the silver fish using very light tackle including a no 5 elastic and a 20 hook to 0.10mm dia hook length.
In the first couple of hours I took 30 or so small roach and skimmers. I then had a similar bite and on lifting into the fish soon realised that it was a carp. The carp was only 3lb or so, but on such light tackle I played the carp for nearly 10 minutes. I had primed the far bank rush line throughout the match and during the later stages of the match fished the long pole with proper match carp gear. Despite losing my second carp hooked in the weed, I managed to take two more small carp for a winning weight of 8lb 10oz.
Mike Wilson took 2nd place. Mike drawn on peg 20 on Mallard Lake had to contend with heavy weed in his swim, but found feeding fish in a hole in that weed. He lost a good carp early in the match, but went on to land a good tench, 2 small carp and a few silver fish to run me a very close 2nd with 8lb 4oz.Neil Kilsby took 3rd place from peg 5 on Grebe Lake. Neil thought he was in for some fish as there were lots of carp cruising in front of his peg. He lost several fish on both method feeder and pellet waggler tactics before scratching for a couple of silver fish to weigh in 5 ½ oz.
‘The Eighth Match’
16 anglers turned out for this match fished on 17th August. The weather conditions were pretty good, being dull, overcast and very mild, but this didn’t seem to have any positive effect on the fishing which was dire.
Only six anglers weighed in and the match was won with a single carp.
In 1st place was Gary Walsh who had drawn peg 21 in the corner of Mallard Lake. Gary fished a hole in the weed to take a single common carp of 2lb 2oz.
In 2nd place was Tim Jolley fishing peg 6 on Grebe Lake. Tim couldn’t find any sizable fish, but managed to scratch some silver fish to weigh in 9oz.
In 3rd place was Mick Wilson fishing peg 5 on Grebe Lake (next to Tim). Mick matched Tim fish for fish on the pole, but Micks fish were just a little smaller than Tim’s and weighed a very close 8oz.I was really disappointed how the match fished. I was drawn on peg 20 that can be a very good peg.
Despite the swim being heavy in weed I found a good swim under the outer branches of the left hand tree. Cutting a long story short I couldn't buy a bite even from small silver fish, so I stuck it out using my really heavy margin pole with red 'hydro' and a heavy rig and big bait. Just after 1pm with just 30 minutes to go the swim started to fizz and with a few knocks on the float I knew some fish had moved in. At 1.20pm I had my only bite of the match. I saw it was a common carp of about 4lb as it ran into the trees, but using heavy gear I turned it easily it then dived into a nearby heavy weed bed and went solid. I put a little pressure on the gear which just popped out minus the fish. This seems to be an unfortunate side effect of using barbless hooks as I've pulled out of several fish in the matches this season this have dived into the weed.
My own fishing this month was pretty good. I had plenty of fish and some nice ones as well. The month started well with an evening session on Canada Lake taking 5 carp to just over 9lb and 2 tench. I had previously fished the lake ‘match stylee’ using pole and method feeder tactics, but was losing a few so decided to use proper carp gear and even though the fish were mostly small as I’ve said before they “don’t half hang on” and I started landing most. I had a frustrating blank overnight session on the Ski Lake during the middle of the month. I was getting mullered by the crayfish that loved my boilies even though I was meshing them up using a section cut from a pair of my wife’s tights. This was slowing the cray’s down and at least I was confident that I had a bit of bait left after a couple of hours, anyway I had one run at 2am. I was well in the land of nod when I had the run a classic ‘single toner’. The fish was still running hard as I lifted the rod and I couldn’t believe it as I struck fresh air – bu**er or words to that effect.
This was to be the only run of the session made more frustrating as when I was packing away during the Friday afternoon several good carp including a big grey coloured common rolled over my baited spot.Just before the bank holiday weekend I had a great overnight session on the Residents Lake. I had been told it had not been fishing well, so wasn’t expecting great things. On arrival there was a lot of bubbling in the central area of the lake, so I spodded out a good bed of mixed particles, pellets and chopped boilies. I fished over the baited area with a pop-up/bottom bait ‘snowman’ on a blowback rig and then fished a solid PVA bag rig cast to different areas. I sat for several hours with not a touch so I turned in at about 10.45pm. I was snuggled up in my sleeping bag and was just dozing off when I had a short stuttering run. I immediately thought bream, but it was heavy as I lifted into it. I pumped the fish into my near margin when all of a sudden it decided to wake up. I was fishing very slack lines and the fish managed to snag my other lines, but I managed to net the fish without to much trouble and I was well chuffed when it registered 21lb 8oz on the Fox digital’s. I wanted to get a good photo of the fish in daylight so sacked it in deep water for the night. (See below picture) To cut a long story short I didn’t get a lot of sleep as I had a further 7 carp all in double figures including my last fish a stunning 16lb 8oz common taken at 6.15am and 3 good bream. It was interesting that all the fish except the common were taken in darkness. You also might like to know that I spodded (yes in the dark) 3 spods full of the mix after every other fish.
On 31st August Cosgrove residents fished The Mick Linford Trophy match at Lakeside, Duncote nr Towcester. It was a great match with the 21 anglers weighing in nearly 700lbs of fish. John Hayes took top spot with 75lb 2oz. Despite coming 6th with 53lb 13oz I fished like an idiot. I made a fundamental mistake early in the match. Trying to force the fish that were obviously in my swim, I started with method feeder tactics, but was feeding heavily with pellets over the top. I had several carp very quickly including one of 9lb 8oz, but I brought them up in the water. Initially I was quite happy with this as I wanted to take them shallow on a pellet waggler as in theory I could have caught them much quicker. This completely back fired as I only had 2 carp fishing shallow in the next hour. All this time my wife Claire who was in the next swim was busily building up a great catch - all be it with smaller carp still using the method feeder. I tried the long pole to the island, but only caught roach so I went back on the feeder, but couldn’t buy a bite for the next 30 minutes. I stopped feeding any extra bait and eventually some of the carp went back down and I had a great last hour and a half probably taking 30lb in that final time. I was completely water licked by my wife who I believe caught more carp than anyone else but they were mostly small so she finished in an excellent 4th place with 63lb 9oz.
I love September, the weather starts to cool down and I’m sure the fish start to sense that winter is not to far away. In years gone by I’ve had some of the most productive fishing of the year, especially as the park becomes really quiet when the ‘kids’ go back to school. I will still target the carp hoping for ‘lump’. I would like to try the river, especially as the Environment Agency had taken some good barbel, but as said above it seems as though the electro fishing has really put the fish down.