Following on from my last blog the Spring early Summer weather this year through May and into June continued with its very up and down nature, in that one day it was very warm with what seemed to be perfect fishing weather and the next it was freezing, even at the end of May I did an overnighter and had frost on my car at dawn. This did nothing to keep the fishing at its best, although when it was good it was very good! The Park Grapevine
The Residents Lake was in fine form over this period with not only lots of mixed catches but a few very big individual fish taken by the more serious 'carp men'.Mike Wilson and Paul Hickson took one or two lovely carp to over 25lb.
Kingfisher lake continued with its fine form especially with its mixed catches. Match anglers John Hayes and Neil Kilsby continued to plunder its good fishing by taking several great catches of bream and carp as well as roach and perch.
Fountain View was also in great form for mixed catches depending on your personal style of fishing. Gary Osgood particularly had some lovely carp during this period as did Trevor Bird.
Fountain View 2 also fished well during this period although at times was perhaps surprisingly hard, however it continued to throw up some really nice catches of mixed species for those more general anglers as well as some good individual fish to those targeting the carp. I did hear fish to over twenty pounds were taken.
Island View was very quiet during this time and I have not received many reports on the fishing.
Willow View / Willow Banks started out in superb form before having a bit of a lull in early June before coming on strong again. Again lots of mixed catches for those anglers fishing in a more match/pleasure style as well as some good individual carp up to 20lb. I have heard one or two rumours of a mid '30' being caught but as per usual no one can give me any details on the capture or any photos!
One issue that has raised its head again recently concerns particularly carp anglers who not only own a lodge but also static caravans and in some cases on the touring areas as well and that is with anglers using modern electronic alarms as bite detection and with modern rigs tending for the fish to hook themselves it seems the done thing to cast out the rigs then retire to the comfort of your 'Ultimate Bivvy'. On numerous occasions a bite alarm has been heard to scream out a single toner and there is no sign of the angler. The alarm continues to scream for a lengthy period of time before somebody suddenly turns up and if the fish is lucky reels it in. I recently was witness to this but by the time the angler appeared the fish was well buried in the weed and the angler was 'bust up' - needless to say i wasn't very happy and had a word in his ear!
Apart from the fact that it is illegal the be away from your rods I thought the idea was to be fishing not watching the telly or cleaning your car!
Swan Lake was in great form for not only some big carp but also some lovely tench and bream. The best I heard of was Steve Knight taking a 26lb mirror during May with some lovely back up doubles as well as some 'proper tench' as Steve would say. Darren Stones and young Josh Newcombe had some beauties to well over 20lb during this period.
Before I leave Swan lake you may have noticed that the park has now provided several 'row boats' as well as a couple of catamarans for sailing. These are available free of charge and for any anglers who fish Swan lake it would be well worth your while taking out one of the row boats and have a good investigation of your swim. Take out a long landing net handle and have a good prod about to find any clear areas in the weed etc. I was lucky that I had to do some work in Heronsfield Lake during this period and while I was working did a little prodding around at the same time and found a couple of new likely looking areas that have since produced some good fish for me. Talking of Heronsfield. It has been superb form.
I still believe that Heronsfield is the best lake on the complex for its tench fishing, not necessarily for the very biggest that I believe are in Swan Lake but definitely for the numbers of good fish. The only downside to these continued good catches of tench are that I've noticed more mouth damage on this years fish captures than during any previous seasons - please guys lets look after our fish and treat them with the respect they deserve. I've said this so many times before but using the correct unhooking tools of a mat and forceps etc doesn't cost a lot and makes such a difference!
Not only has its tench fishing been good but also some lovely carp to over 20lb and some bream to near double figures have been taken. The great thing about Heronsfield is that it's not all about carp tactics, you can use and catch on everything from pole fished maggot to boilies and buzzers!
Canada lake continued in great form with carp up to double figures being taken. The litter is still a problem over there but I am hoping that as the lake becomes more developed 'so called anglers' will take it home with them!I had one nice session on Canada that could have turned to disaster. I was giving some tuition to a 12 year old son of an old colleague and with the weather not being very good we were tucked under my umbrella shearing my feeder rod taking it in turns to land the fish. We had taken 7 carp apiece with me casting tight to the far bank rushes when Edds took his final fish as his dad arrived to take him home. It turned out to be his best fish of the day a carp of near to 7lb and both his dad and I were photographing the fish when a freak gust of wind got up and with my umbrella attached by a bracket to my match box and blew it straight into the lake. Without thinking I jumped straight in to retrieve my gear, drowning my IPhone in the process. What was more dangerous and a little stupid on my part was a few bits were floating across the lake, I tried to retrieve them and soon got out of my depth. I actually had on my work toe tector boots. Now I am a very strong swimmer having formerly been part of a competition life saving team but I have never swam in heavy 'street' foot ware and I soon found myself struggling even to tread water. Fortunately I realised what was happening and swam back to the bank before really getting into trouble, so big lessons learned.
Grebe, Mallard, Lilly and Teal together with 'Richards Pond' were in mixed form. The match results don't really reflect the true form of the lakes. An example of this was when my wife Claire and I fished pegs 26 and 27 on Mallard Lake a couple of days before a match. I pole fished on 27 and had a thoroughly enjoyable day taking 7 nice carp and about 30 roach and perch. Claire on 26 using 'method feeder' tactics casting tight under the far bank trees completely 'battered' me taking 13 carp to around 4lb and also losing 3 one of which was like trying to stop a car driving away as it powered up the lake and into the snags! Yet during the following Saturday's match the guy drawn on 27 blanked and the angler on 26 had just a few silvers. This is how the form on Grebe and mallard lake has been.
The Rivers Ouse and Tove at this time are fishing well, mostly for small stuff I believe as a result of the low water conditions but there have been one or two good chub, one or two very big bream and lots of roach, dace and some nice perch in the slower sections.
Gary's May / June My own fishing during May and June has on the whole been pretty good. I have not really done as many serious 'sessions' as I have done in previous years but ive been having some great 'pleasure' session using a variety of tactics as and when the mood takes me.During May and June I had a bit of a result in the matches taking 2 wins and a 2nd.
Highlights for me have been a couple of 'Teach Ins' we held during May. One on Fountain View early in May where I had the pleasure in taking a 13lb mirror for the little crowd that had gathered to watch. Both these teach ins were a great success but it still amazes me that lots of anglers on the park don't take advantage in seeing some very good anglers in action, then they moan when they are not catching. The other was organised in conjunction with the local Wolverton tackle dealer Gone Fishin.
Another of my highlights was not so much about what I was catching but about the way I caught them. On Whitsun bank holiday weekend Sunday I was fishing Heronsfield and I took 6 lovely tench during a short morning session using method feeder tactics, although I did lose what I think was a carp that roared off into a nearby tree and broke me up. Later during the evening although I hadn't intended to fish but the wind died right away and I thought I might be able to reach my earlier swim using waggler tactics. Using just double maggot on a 16 hook and getting though nearly 2 pints of maggots catapulted out every few minutes I took 6 more tench to 6lb 11oz in just over 2 hours!
Another highlight of the months so far was a 2 day and 3 night session on Heronsfield I had with my friend Mike Martin. we were hoping for some carp and carp we got together with a stack of tench a a couple of big bream for good measure. We both decided that we would fish several different areas a short distance apart but so we could sit between swims and have a 'social' during the evenings. On the Monday evening following a hefty spodding session where I put out several kilos of mixed particles, corn, pellets, dead maggots and chopped boilies I was treated to a show of several good carp crashing over my bait, I felt it was only a matter of time. At 10pm I had my first carp a lovely little common just into double figures, 10 minutes later as I was spodding a couple more spombs full over the area I had a flyer that resulted in a 16lb 8oz common.
I then had a manic few hours until 2am taking 7 tench and 2 bream. I weighed the first bream at 9lb 4oz and the 2nd could have been the same fish!Mike had to put up with my banter as he caught nothing but I had just got into my sleeping bag when I heard his buzzer sound and I got up to help him land, weigh and photograph a 17lb common (the photo of this 17 is above). The banter soon stopped when no sooner had he put this carp back that his other rod out in the lake roared off and we were treated to the sight of a most beautiful common that went exactly 22lb!
Both Mike and I had been using plastic baits that I had recommended due to the crayfish problem in Heronsfield. At this point the action slowed right down and we were able to get some sleep until at 5am my margin rod absolutely melted off and I had a 17lb 8oz mirror carp that fought all the way to the net.
Later on the Tuesday evening spombed again and settled down hoping for some more carp. For reasons only known to the carp they just switched off although I was kept really bust with 7 tench and another 9lb plus bream, but Mike blanked. The final evening we went through the same motions again with the spombing regime but this time it was me who had nothing through the night. However I was enjoying a restfull sleep in my bivvy when Mike woke me asking if I would photograph a common he had just taken. It was my pleasure to take the pictures of another stunning common of exactly 20lb on the Fox digitals. This particular fish had taken a single grain of pink plastic corn!
At dawn the tench moved in again and I took another 4 small fish to round off the session.
A few weeks later I did another overnighter and although I was being tenched out taking 8 through the night I did manage to snare another mirror of 13lb.
This fish showed the value in using proper carp gear in Heronsfield with at least 15lb mainline.
This fish weeded me up big time and it was only with gentle persuasion (ha) and hefty mainline strong hooks etc was I able to get this fish out of the weed! Lets hope July continues on where May and June have left off.