August has been a really strange month weather wise. With July having been so lovely and warm I think everyone, myself included expected it to continue, but it took a turn for the worse towards the end of the month with much cooler temperatures and a few days of heavy rain. The change in the weather together with more angler pressure that the lakes see this month has meant that the fishing overall has been a little patchy.
The Park Grapevine
The Residents Lake was as always in fairly good form, not so much for big fish but for plenty of fish of all species. Even the pike were having a munch as top match angler Micheal Buchwalder found when a good pike picked up his boilie hook bait while night fishing for carp!
The carp fishing has been good not so much for really big individual fish but lots of nice fish in double figures. Kingfisher Lake has remained good especially for mixed fishing including some excellent catches of roach on soft pellets.
Fountain View 1 has for most of the month been in good form with plenty of superbly conditioned carp of all sizes up to low 20's.
Fountain View 2 has been in pretty good form. Anglers have continued to catch some nice carp off the top particularly on bread near the lilies when the weather has been warm. The cracking roach fishing subsided a little to be replaced by 2 to 4lb bream that provided great sport for those anglers fishing lighter tackle. For me fish of the month was Clare Burch's new PB carp. Newcomer to the sport Clare did a great job playing the mirror carp for nearly 30 minutes on light float tackle.
Willow View / Banks has been in strange form and in truth has been fishing well below par from previous months. There have been one or two nice fish but it has been much harder than of late.
It is really interesting to me that quite often when the fishing is poor on one lake it is poor all over and conversely when it is good it is good all over. Last year I was witness to 3 good double figure carp taken from three different lakes on the park all in the space of 5 minutes.
I am friends with quite a few residents who fish virtually on a daily basis. It really does appear that the fishing goes in cycles. For reasons only known to the fish, whether its weather conditions, water temperature, moon phases etc, etc, etc! These guys who it has to be said are primarily carp anglers have a few really good days followed by some days of pretty poor fishing. It occurs to me that for other anglers myself included around the park if they are angling when the fishing is down in one of those 'low' periods they will struggle. Unbeknown to them if they are only fishing during these low periods they could easily have a pretty biassed view of the lakes potential. This issue together with the fact that a lot of anglers either wont or cant move far from their own 'plot' seriously restrict the fishing.
The Ski Lake has at times produced some lovely fish. Albert Humphries took some nice fish of several species.
Carp angler Darren Stones had some good sessions this month using the bait and wait approach. Darren puts in a lot of time and often a lot of bait but he does get the rewards. Interestingly this month Darren has had mostly commons.
Heronsfield has continued to fish well especially for its tench. I personally believe this season has been the very best in recent years for the tench fishing. The numbers of fish caught has been fantastic with anglers taking at times 10 or 12 tench in a session. Simple tactics are favourite, either a float close in or particularly method feeder tactics using corn on the hook.
Canada Lake initially fished well but as the month wore on the fishing got much harder, I suspect this down turn was not only the weather but mostly due to the angler pressure this lake received.
I get a little exasperated over this lake. Whether its because its tucked out of the way I don't know but it seems to encourage some complete 'numties' fishing, particularly through the school holidays. I've mentioned many times before about the litter - particularly beer cans that some 'so called' anglers leave on the lake, but now it appears that some cant fish without lighting fires! I also was bombarded by residents complaining about youngsters fishing unaccompanied and often using totally inappropriate gear. I actually witnessed a couple of small carp dragged up the bank by 'anglers' who hadn't even got a landing net. I also had to give one guy a bo*******g for the volume of the music coming from his van parked right behind his peg!
Anyway rant over. A few nice fish were taken including the usual carp, tench and some nice rudd taken on float tactics.
The back lakes - Grebe, Mallard, Lilly and Teal continued to fish inconsistently. Although the match results overall were poor, pleasure anglers did at times do well with some nice catches of particularly carp well into double figures. An example of this was the evening before we fished the Macmillan Cancer Charity match over the bank holiday weekend. A pleasure angler fishing peg 14 tight in the corner of Grebe Lake took several lovely double figure carp on simple float fished meat, yet the guy who drew there in the match the next day totally blanked!
The Rivers Gt Ouse and Tove continued to fish pretty well particularly for good catches of silver fish. One angler I spoke to had just taken 2 superb dace of 10 and 12oz which for those that don't know are massive for the species. A few good bream were also taken on the slower sections.
My fishing this month has been mostly of a what I would describe as 'pleasure' fishing in that ive done a few matches (unsuccessfully I might add) and a few other morning sessions particularly using the pole. I had a couple of very pleasant mornings with the Heronsfield tench. Tench are superb on the pole as they are big enough and fight hard enough to give really good sport but are not so big that when hooked they just smash you out of sight like a lot of Heronsfield carp do! Mid month I had a two night session with my old pal Mike Martin on the Ski Lake.
One of the big issues with the Ski Lake at the moment is the very heavy weed that is causing real problems. It is growing so high in the water the ski boats are chopping the tops off and this is floating around the lake in big rafts. Its hard enough finding the fish, then even if you can find them you've got to try and find a 'clearer' area in which to present your bait! Most of these clearer areas are the deeper swims in the lake - and I'm not totally sure that this is where the carp are at the moment anyway after another 2 hours with the marker float I managed to find an area at 80 yards range.
These days you read and hear carp anglers talk about fishing at 120 to 150 yards as though it is routine. Let me tell you this is utter tosh! Fishing and particularly baiting up beyond about 80 yards is not easy and is actually dammed hard work - especially for an old git LOL. Any way on the evening of the first night - as is my way I 'spombed' out two or three kilos of mixed particles, hemp, pellets, corn and chopped boilies. Over this I fished two rods one a boilie with a plastic corn 'topper' and the other with a bottom boilie - pop up 'snowman'. I also fished a third rod with a pop up on a chod rig about 20 yards away from my main area. This rod was baited with about 1/2 a kilo of boilies put out with a throwing stick so as to spread them over a fairly big area. I've often found this rod fished away from the main swim has produced the best fish of the session.
Just one word of warning about using three rods. It does say in the park rules about a maximum of two rods. If you have enough room in your swim and more importantly your wont cause any grief to other anglers then it is OK to use three rods - However you must have two Environment Agency rod licences. If you are caught fishing three rods (and the Environment Agency does checks on the park from time to time) and you only have one rod licence you will be prosecuted for fishing 'without' a licence for that third rod and the fines are astronomical. I heard a few years ago about an angler caught fishing Heronsfield without a rod licence getting fined £800.
As is often the case after a heavy initial baiting that the early part of the first evening was quite slow, anyway I had a fairly busy night taking four good bream between 9 and just over 10lb.
A very weary angler went to work the following morning leaving Mike soaking up the sun.
Later that evening after work I again baited up my areas with the same 'spomb' mix and a scattering of boilies over the third rod. Just after midnight I had a single bleep on the alarms followed at a regular 15 minutes by another. Believing this to be crayfish I left it for about two hours before pulling my hair out thinking I would not get any sleep if I just left it. You can imagine my surprise when on lifting the rod there was a good fish on the end. The bream that weighed exactly 10lb had just been sitting there for all that time without moving off - having said that I was using 4oz leads!
After that fish I had a pretty quiet night until 6am when I had a proper run that turned out to be a lovely tench of exactly 7lb.
Over the next couple of hours I had another three good bream all in the 9lb range then at 10.30 I had the run I had been waiting for, a carp picked up my chod rig and ran for the best part of 30 yards before I could turn it. I managed to get it coming towards me when all of a sudden it reached the main area of weed about 60 yards out and all went solid. Whether if I had 'dropped' the lead it would have helped, but Ill never know. Eventually I gave my rod to Mike and went out in a neighbours boat. I wound myself to the fish. I was right over it and started to pull on the line. Eventually I got the fish that was still on moving and could see that it was a common of about 11 or 12lb.
As it came into view it gave one huge rush and before I could let the line go it had come off. I wasn't too disappointed, at least I hadn't left any tackle in it and not being 20 or 30lb I was happy that I had the take in the first place, obviously I had been doing something right.
All in all not a too unsuccessful session - at least for me. Bless him Mike fished really hard for those two days and nights and never had a touch. One of those sessions I guess and we all get them form time to time. What made matters worse was that Phil Moate whose plot we were fishing dropped a single bait over Mikes bait later that same evening and promptly took a 17lb 10oz common! I cant repeat the phrase Mike gave when i told him!
Hopefully September will be a good month. The park will of course quieten down considerably which will give us 'residents' a bit more space and more choice of swims.
The weather will probably start to cool down a little and usually this will signify to the fish that winter is not a million miles away so hopefully they will start to really feed hard. My own fishing this month will probably be more of the same. Nothing planned yet.
I am going to France for a week in the middle of the month, but its not easy to get my carp gear on my motorbike!