July was a great month for fishing with some lovely spells of settled warm weather. This in turn was great for the fishing with some really good catches and some lovely individual fish, although the middle week of the month was very hot and the fishing really shut down on most of the lakes for that period with particularly the carp spending their days cruising on the surface.
The Park Grapevine
The Residents Lake continued its good form with mixed catches all around the lake and some good carp caught. Two notable fish were Aidy Webster's 26lb 7oz linear mirror carp caught on bottom tactics close in to the margin and Paul Hickson's 'Zig Rig' caught 18lb 8oz mirror. I have been trying to get Paul to try the 'Zig' throughout the summer and eventually he got his head around the tactic and caught a stunning fish fishing just under the surface on a piece of foam!
Kingfisher continued fishing great particularly with its mixed catches along with some nice carp into double figures.
Fountain View 1 was in really good form for its carp and also its mixed fishing. Using what I call proper carp tactics of 'boilies and buzzers' Gary Osgood took loads of lovely condition carp to mid-double figures and one particularly very good common carp. Anglers using more pleasure/match tactics took great bags of bream and tench.
Fountain View 2 suddenly took a turn for the better with loads of lovely carp to just under 20lb! Several anglers took advantage of the carp's preference for the cover provided by the lily beds in the lake and were able to take numerous good fish on floating bread tactics. The bream and roach shoals in the lake were also in ravenous mood and numerous good catches were made with as many as 9 - 10 bream caught in a session.
Willow View / Banks continued to fish well with most anglers taking some good catches of bream, tench and particularly the carp. Richard Mason continued catching some lovely carp to just under 20lb on 'proper carp tactics'. The Ski Lake fished OK with some nice fish being caught. Carp were taken to mid double figures along with some very big bream taken at night and some lovely tench. The bigger bream and tench are taken by the carp anglers using boilies.
Heronsfield has been in superb form especially for its tench. Regular anglers on the lake have taken numerous multiple catches of tench to over 7lb.
Canada Lake was 'on fire' with its turbo charged carp making up the bulk of the catches. Mostly small carp along with tench and some nice rudd were taken by pleasure anglers particularly on corn but some good carp into double figures were taken on 'proper' carp tactics. I'm sure more good carp would have been landed if only anglers used tackle that was up to the job!
Mallard, Grebe, Lilly and Teal Lakes were in good form, at least for pleasure anglers. It seems the case on these lakes that the match results do not reflect those catches that can be had by good anglers fishing pleasure sessions. During a mid week session Michael Dodds took 10 carp with a couple nudging double figures on feeder tactics from peg 5 on Grebe Lake. Several of the 'match lads' and girls pleasure fished (I think they needed the practice) and had multiple carp catches using pole tactics from both Mallard and Grebe Lakes!
The rivers have been fishing well, not so much for any big fish but ive had lots of reports of good mixed fishing particularly for the anglers fishing the float taking some lovely roach, dace, perch, chublets and a few bream.
I've had a really good July, not really for any outstanding fish but just lots of nice fish of several different species on lots of different tactics which is how I like it. As ive said before I consider myself to be a 'jack of all trades' and some would say a master of none LOL!
The month started with a morning pole fishing session on Heronsfield and in a few short hours I took 8 tench to just under 6lb all on my favourite '3 reds on a 14'
I was a bit disappointed the morning after this session when I was using the same tactics and bait and having taken four more lovely tench I hooked what I thought was a nice carp. It fought really hard and I managed to keep it out of the heavy weed. When I got it within netting range I could see in the clear water it was in fact a very big tench that I guestimate to be the best part of 8lb in fact it would have been the biggest tench ive caught for a few years - anyway it dived into the weeds at my feet and just as I managed to pull it up and out the hook pulled.
I made a lunge for it with the landing net but just managed to jab it in the flank and it swam off leaving me to ponder what might have been - bu***r or words to that effect. In fact the air really turned blue about a hour later when I hooked a carp that took off around the tree to my right and pulled so hard it pulled me up off my seat box and stretched my 20 red hydro elastic like I'd never seen before the hook link broke - bu***r again! The following Friday I had a great session on Canada Lake again on the pole mostly using corn on the hook taking 13 carp to 5lb, my first bream of 3lb from the lake numerous rudd and a couple of nice tench before being completely mauled by a carp that I don't think it knew it was hooked. It was like trying to stop a car from driving off. My size 16 black hydro stretched for perhaps 20 metres before the hook length parted, at least showing the importance of having a slightly weaker link in your end rig.
During the middle of the month I had a really nice two night 'social' session carping on Grebe lake with my pal Mike Martin. In fact we fished pegs 17 and 18 as these are nice open swims with plenty of room and plenty of options for spots. Cutting a long story short Mike had 8 carp with 4 doubles to 13lb 8oz. I had 7 including 3 doubles to 11lb. One interesting thing to note was that all the bigger fish came from open water spots and only the smaller carp came from the island margins!
Just after Mike took this mirror carp we had the Grand daddy of all storms with torrential rain and a real firework display of both sheet and fork lightening. Fortunately we had no more action during the night that is just as well as I didn't fancy holding twelve feet of carbon in that storm!
My final session of the month was a Thursday night after work into Friday session on the Ski Lake. With a South West wind howling into the top of the lake the location was not to difficult but after an hour during my lunch break and a hour into the session with the marker float I had only just found one area that was relatively weed free. I spombed a couple of kilos of my usual mix of particles, pellets and crushed and chopped boilies to an area just past the weed at 60 yards in 11 feet of water. I fished a bottom bait and a snowman over the baited area. I also fished a pop up on a chod rig over an area of sticked out boilies off to my right but this didn't produce a single touch. I had just settled down for the night when I had my first bite - I wont call it a run as I was a tentative little bite but on lifting into it it was obviously it decent fish and fought pretty well for a bream. It did in fact go 10lb 2oz on the Fox digitals.
A lot of carper's really don't like bream describing them as slimy vermin, but when they are this size I really don't mind them and they are really special fish. I had no further action during the night but the following morning I had a further 4 bream that were all nearly as big certainly 9 plus and a 6lb 12oz tench just before I packed up at 2pm. I did in fact pull out of 3 more fish that I suspect were also bream that weeded my up on the way in.
None of my hoped for carp but I was pleased with how I fished and in my mind I was happy that if I had been on the carp I would have had one. With the water being so clear in the Ski lake the weed growth is prolific - what is making matters worse is that the ski boats are chopping the top off the weed so especially with the strong wind blowing straight at me I had real problems with floating weed on the line.
Lets just hope that the weather continues nice for August. Its always difficult as yes we want the nice weather, but not too nice as this makes the fishing so much more difficult. The other issue is that the park becomes so much more busy, so if you do get a few days off in the week make the most of it because the weekends can be a nightmare!