What a month May has been, the weather has been so varied from a mild dry start, through a very hot middle then ending with torrential rain that threatened to flood the park. Even with the varied weather and conditions the fishing has been really good for most anglers ive spoken to with some good catches of all species and some lovely individual fish.
The Park Grapevine
Nearly all of the lakes have fished well at times for all species of fish whether anglers have been targeting the carp or messing about with silver fish. Fountain View 1 has continued through May where April left off with really good mixed catches and some nice individual carp up to mid double figures.
Fountain View 2 continued to fish a little harder than some of the other lakes. Anglers were still catching fish with carp just into double figures as well as lots of silver fish, but it seemed that one day you were successful and the next day you blanked! The Residents Lake continued with some great form particular early and late in the month. Top match angler Michael Buchwalder had some good catches of bream on feeder tactics early in the month before turning his attention to the bigger carp. Michael had some cracking carp in double figures topped off with a couple of 20's to 25lb 6oz.
As you all know the middle of the month was lovely with some high temperatures. During this time the carp in 'The Residents' came up on top and just cruised around the lake in big numbers showing just how many big fish are in there!
Towards the end of the months as temperatures calmed down a bit the lake started to produce again. Paul Hickson had several multiple catches of carp to nearly 20lb's and this was typical of several anglers around the lake, but it just goes to show you its all about location - location - location as match angler Graham Johnson struggled for bites in a usually productive area until the final weekend when the fish moved in and he caught some nice fish to 15lb.
Mike Wilson finished the month with a stunning 20lb mirror carp.
Island View is considered by some to be fairly hard fishing, but not for Rob Love who has recently moved from FV 1. On Robs first few sessions using pole tactics he took some good catches of bream, tench and carp to nearly 10lb. Willow View / Willow Banks continued with its sparkling form on all methods. For those anglers fishing 'big rods & buzzers' the carp action was good with several multiple catches of double figure fish. Richard Mason had some cracking carp to 20lb on boilies, while his Grandson Matthew had some outstanding mixed catches of bream, tench and smaller carp using pole tactics close in.
One thing Mathew found was how much feed fish eat when they are 'having it' as he used several pints of maggots, pellets, groundbait and sweetcorn each session in order to keep the fish in his area. Highlight of the month for Matthew was when busy catching bream and tench he hit into a carp just under 10lb on his pole that proceeded to pull him all over the lake for over 30 minutes before being netted - good angling M8!
The carp shown by Jacob above had an extra bit of interest with it in that on un-hooking the fish he discovered that it had been hooked previously and fairly recently it seemed as the rig was still hooked in the fish's mouth. He and I were horrified on seeing the very crudely set up method feeder rig attached to lead core. As you can see below this is a real tether rig and really it was lucky that Jacob caught the fish and managed to rid it of the rig before it potentially got caught up in any snags. If anyone reading this recognises the rig then obviously you have lost a lovely carp but also get some advice how to tie up some effective, but safe rigs. As you can see its all the swivels on the end of the leadcore that causes the problems - not necessary! Put simply if the leadcore had a simple spliced loop in the end of it and was tied directly to the mainline without all the swivels and the knotted loop it would be safe as the feeder could simply slide away.
Another angler that was in good form on the Ski Lake was Phil Moate. Phil had been struggling for bites during April but as spoken about many times before - 'effort equals reward' and by sticking at it particularly by baiting a new area Phil had a great run of carp that any angler would be proud of to just over 20lb.
One slightly unusual thing about the Ski Lake was that because the weather and wind conditions were so varied anglers all around the lake caught and no one angler having the lions share!
Heronsfield Lake was in great form particularly for the tench, anglers from all around the lake reported some good catches and some nice individual fish to just under 7lb - and on all methods. Even with the torrential rain at the end of the month making the lake rise by 18" and threatening to flood the fish continued to feed.
Regarding Canada Lake there are two words of warning - one bad and one good. The bad is that some 'so called' anglers are still leaving their litter either on the ground where they fish or are throwing it in the bushes. Only last week I had a few hours fishing after work and had to clear up several sweetcorn tins and plastics bags from my peg before fishing. It seems that because the lake is tucked out of the way and is as yet undeveloped that it needn't be looked after.
Let me just reiterate - this issue has been spoken about by the management of the park and unless the situation improves we will lose the right to fish it! Again you have been warned. The good word of warning is that the carp in Canada Lake eat their shredded wheat every day! Pound for pound they are the hardest fighting carp ive ever come across so please make sure you are 'tackled up' for the job or you will lose every carp you hook!
The match lakes - Grebe and Mallard were in fine form with anglers catching loads of the new stock of carp that provided great sport on light gear.
The Blue Lagoon!
Talking of the match lakes - Grebe and Mallard and also Lilly and Teal, you may have noticed that they have taken on a blue tinge that is not unattractive. Well this is an experiment we are trying this year by using an environmentally friendly dye. The Dyofix blue dye (that is a powder and comes in PVA bags) filter's out out the blue colour light from the spectrum that feeds the subsurface weed. Does it work? Well the jury is still out on that one, but it seems to have slowed down the growth of the silk weed and algae that causes most problems for anglers. By the way it is totally safe for fish, humans, wildlife and even if your dog swims in the lake!
How Accurate Are You?
Accuracy is in my opinion one of the most important aspects of my fishing. Its fairly easy when you are fishing with a float especially when pole fishing to be very accurate with your rig placement and accuracy with feeding etc, because you have the target of the float to feed to whether it be catapulting maggots out over a waggler or when potting in bait with your pole, but when ledgering with feeder tackle or when fishing with the 'big rods & buzzers' its very difficult to maintain that degree of accuracy that I believe makes the difference.
May for me continued where April left off with loads and loads of tench. I have fished several overnight sessions on Heronsfield and although I was really targeting the carp I have actually been overwhelmed with tench. My two best sessions taking 14 and 11 to around the 6lb mark. One interesting thing is that this month ive taken so many more during the night than during daylight which for me is not the norm. I did manage to take a couple of double figure carp including an immaculate 12lb 'zip linear' mirror and a single bream from Heronsfield of 8lb 8oz.
During May as I always do I had a weeks holiday fishing on the park. This year I had mixed fortunes with a couple of good sessions followed by a serious blank!
My weeks holiday started on the Monday with a good session on Heronsfield taking 8 tench including a 5lb 10oz male fish. It was during this session that I started to seriously experiment with fake baits in order to combat the horrendous crayfish problem in the lake. Although I have used fake corn especially the pop-up corn to good effect I wanted to use a boilie approach and resurrected some yellow fake foam boilies that I bought years ago and have been soaking in a glug/flavour for months. It worked a treat taking 5 out of the 8 tench and although the crayfish still had a chew of the bait it did deter them overnight which made fishing easier that the 2 hours it was taking for them to demolish my tied on boilies.
On the Tuesday I moved lakes to do a 24 hour session on the Residents Lake with my mate Mike Martin. My spodded area out in the lake produced 9 bream during the afternoon and it was only when I scaled up to 'double 18 milers' with a size 4 hook did the bites slow down, but the carp weren't interested either. I had to wait until 11.50pm for the bite I was after. Having changed my baiting strategy to boilies only to try and deter the bream it worked a treat with a cracking 22lb mirror carp that fought really hard and tried to get me under the platform on several occasions before being netted.
One thing did happen to sour this particular capture. Because I was fishing with my mate I didnt have a lot of room to place out my 'distance sticks' where I was fishing so I placed them out in the neighbours/friends garden who I knew were away. Somtime during the night some lightfinger 'person' walked off with them. They are only rod rests valued at about £1.50 but it is the principle of the thing and there are thieves on the park! Mike and I really wanted to do a couple of nights on the Ski Lake, but the weather took a turn for the better - for us - with bright sunshine, no wind and temperatures well in the 20's, but the fishing inevitably took a nose dive and to cut a long story short we sat bite less for nearly 48 hours. Even a couple of hours stalking on Grebe Lake on the Friday afternoon found the fish in spawning mood and not the slightest bit interested in my bait!
Looking Forward To June
Hopefully the slight blip in the weather over the weekend of the 31st May / 1st June wont effect the fishing and it will be more of the same. Just keep at it, baiting and fishing and take advantage of the weather conditions when the arise, remember that often when the weather is not too good for us with low air pressure and windy conditions is when the fish feed. Also don't forget the traditional fishing season starts for the rivers on the 16th June. I've no doubt I will have a few short sessions after the clonking chub in the Ouse and I always live in hope of finding a barbel. I have caught several double figure barbel from the Gt Ouse, but not from the Cosgrove stretch. Over the last few weeks I have seen several barbel spawning on the shallows within the park.