September ranks as one of my favourite months of the year, as in years gone by I have had some exceptional catches. September 2012 was not a good month for me, but this year has been really good. For a lot of anglers I've spoken to this September has also been good with some nice catches and a few really big individual fish. I believe this is due to the weather which has been exceptionally good with higher than average temperatures and lovely warm winds.
'The Park Grapevine'
The Ski Lake was on mixed form. Quite a few anglers struggled but others including myself had some nice fish. Some nice catches of quality roach were reported as well as the odd carp and tench.
The Residents Lake fished really well for most anglers throughout the month with some good catches of all species and a few really good individual carp. The best that I had the pleasure of weighing and photographing was a superb 26lb 6oz mirror carp taken by Paul Hickson at midday on a very sunny and hot day (see below picture). It's funny how often those bigger than average fish come out at the most unusual of times and conditions.
Kingfisher continued its very good form with lots of nice fish of all species being taken. Match angler Neil Kilsby had a really good catch of bream and roach on feeder tactics and John Hayes had some lovely catches of roach and skimmers on light float tackle.
Fountain View 1 fished well with plenty of small carp in the 5 to 6lb class to ‘method feeder’ tactics. The bigger carp came to anglers fishing what I call proper carp tactics of big rods and buzzers. Although new resident this year 'Ozzy' took the best fish of the month a 23lb carp on meat and a fairly basic ledger rig.
Fountain View 2’s carp were really having a munch during September with a fair few nice doubles taken not only by the 'carp boys' but those anglers that like to wield a pole. Several anglers I spoke to said it had been there best year so far and that they were really getting amongst them during September. What was a little strange was that the tench and the bream fishing was not so good.
Heronsfield was fishing a little more inconsistent than of late. Some of the regular anglers were struggling even for the silver fish, yet there were some lovely tench caught to 8lb. I personally haven't fished Heronsfield for over 6 weeks as I have been busy fishing elsewhere on the park.
Willow View/Bank Lake was in good form as it has been all summer, with carp into double figures as well as lots of bream, tench a small silver fish.
Canada Lake was in good form this month, with several regular anglers really catching well. Fred Jackson had several good evenings with multiple catches of carp on ledger tactics to 15lb and I was told that one angler had an 18lb-er. So well was it fishing that the last few 'Introduction to fishing' courses for the youngsters that I took were fished on this lake. Young Sonny Lee on one of his first ever sessions was busy catching lots of small silver fish on a 3m whip (pole) when a carp about 3lb picked up his single red maggot, he thought he was going to be pulled in but you should have seen the smile on his face, it was an absolute picture - literally (see below).
I mentioned an issue at this same time last year, but again I just have to comment on the quantity of litter left around this lake - particularly beer cans thrown in the rushes. Please guys (and girls) take your litter away with you when you leave as its not beyond possibility that if the litter continues the management have commented about closing this lake down to anglers!
Grebe, Mallard, Teal and Lilly Lakes seemed to be in fairly quiet mood, but there was one or two anglers fishing some longer sessions even during the night and there were some nice carp into double figures caught.
The rivers looked good during September, but with the very low levels apart from a few silver fish taken 'on the float' it was in pretty dour mood. Hopefully as the Autumn wears on we will get a flush of water through to liven it up for October.
'Macmillan Charity Match'
This charity event took place on the 7th September. I was a little disappointed that only 12 anglers turned out to support this worthwhile charity. I wanted to do something a little different so all the 'back lakes' were included. The anglers drew a number out of the bag in the usual way, but the angler with peg 1 had 1st choice of a peg on any of the lakes, the angler drawing peg 2 had 2nd choice and so on. Anglers could use two rods and all species including pike would count. The draw was held and 6 anglers chose Canada Lake, 4 chose Grebe Lake and 2 chose Mallard Lake. I chose peg 18 on Grebe Lake. Although I thought Canada Lake would provide the winner, we had some good prizes for the largest fish and I thought Grebe Lake would provide me with a chance of a better fish. Cutting a long story short I fished hard for 5 hours even trying a pike dead bait for a while, but I never had a touch.
Gary Harris (see picture below) won the match with a great catch of carp and silver fish from his favourite pleasure peg - 15 on Grebe Lake. Gary fished long pole tactics and caught throughout the match including the 2nd largest fish in the match a 9lb common carp with 15 minutes to go to weigh in 19lb 13oz. In 2nd place was Tim Jolley fishing Canada Lake. Tim lost a few carp in the rushes but caught a few including the 3rd largest in the event a 4lb 5oz mirror carp to weigh in 13lb 13oz. In 3rd place was Mark Jones who caught the largest fish in the event a single 11lb 3oz mirror carp from peg 8 on Grebe Lake on a big boilie.
'The Ninth Match’
The ninth and penultimate match in the series fished on the 14th September was held in cool and wet conditions. 15 anglers fishing on Grebe and Mallard Lakes. Fishing overall was hard, but most anglers caught some silver fish.
In first place was Gary Harris with his 2nd win in a week. Gary was drawn on peg 18 on Grebe Lake. He thought he was in for a few using long pole tactics as he hooked and lost a good carp within minutes of the start. He managed another carp later in the match together with a roach and this was enough to take the win with 3lb 3oz. I managed to take 2nd place with just 1lb 6oz. I was drawn on peg 14 tight in the corner of Grebe Lake. This is the 3rd time I've drawn this swim this year and I've had a win and a 2nd place from it, so I was reasonably confident, but with the water levels dropping down so much I only had about 12" depth tight in to the marginal rushes where I would look to take some bigger fish and with the cooler weather I couldn't buy a bite 'down the edge'. I managed to catch some silver fish mostly roach on the pole at 11m. In 3rd place was Dave Swaden who was drawn on peg 25 on Mallard Lake. Dave took 1lb 1/2oz of silver fish on waggler tactics.
My own fishing this month has been really good, although I did have a slow start to the month with an overnight session on the Ski Lake. I made an error with the location on this trip as I was fishing off the back of an Easterly wind and I've always had my best catches into the face of the wind on big gravel pits, anyway I did have one lovely tench of exactly 7lb at 1am on a 10mm critically balanced pineapple pop-up fished in a solid PVA bag so all was not wasted and it was lessons learned as you'll see later.
I had a couple of very enjoyable after work evening sessions on Willow View. On the first one I had a couple of low double figure common carp followed by some nice bream as it got dark. I did try 20mm boilies to deter the bream but I was just getting aborted runs, until I scaled down to 14 mil-ers. I have found over the years that you can slow the bream down a little by using pop-ups, although not completely. On the 2nd session I had an 11lb mirror and a 9lb common, but I also managed to pull out of 2 carp that had weeded me up early in the fight. I then had two consecutive Thursday evening overnight into Friday trips on the Ski Lake, as it happens at either end of the lake.
I used the earlier mentioned adage of following the wind and on the first trip fished into the teeth of a strong South Westerly. Standing in one of the only rainstorms of the month I 'spombed' out a big bed of my usual spod mix of mixed particles, hemp, pellets and crushed boilies, I then used my usual approach of fishing two rods over my baited spot and a 3rd rod as a rover or in this case on its own over a scattering of boilies. At 8pm I took a 9lb bream followed an hour later by one of 9lb 8oz from my baited spot. At 2am I was awaken from a deep sleep by a 'single toner' that resulted in a 13lb mirror that fell to a pineapple pop-up on a chod rig. For those interested the photo that I took of this fish was taken using my camera on 'night mode' that I think gives an interesting result including the moon lighting up the lake (see below). I had just managed to drop back off to sleep and I was in again, this time with a tench that I didn't weigh but it was well over 6lb. I had no further action through the dawn period that was a bit of a surprise bearing in mind the fish I'd had, anyway mid-morning I changed tactics on one rod.
Over the previous few weeks there have been some really nice roach taken on a variety of tactics but for me one of the best methods is using a block-end feeder with maggots, initially I used a big flat Drennan blockend feeder fished 'inline'. I cast out onto my baited area with a 14 hook and 3 red maggots and on the very first cast had a gentle bite. On hitting the fish 'I thought' it is definitely not a carp and its fighting too hard for a bream OMG this is the tench I've always dreamed of. My mind was racing at the prospect of a huge tench but to my surprise it was a pike that weighed 11lb on the digitals (see below picture). I looked at my rig that I thought was a bit hefty even for big roach and decided to change it to an old favourite of mine - a helicopter set up still with a heavy 2oz feeder to get the distance, using a 16 hook on a 4" 6lb fluorocarbon hook length baited with 2 red maggots.
On the next couple of casts I had a small roach, but the 3rd roach was a beauty of 1lb 8oz. I then had another tentative bite that turned out to be another pike of 9lb - has the world gone mad two nice pike on maggots! Anyway the next cast resulted in a lovely perch that was all of 2lb that as I was reaching out with the net was hit by a much bigger pike that actually flipped the perch into my waiting landing net! Every pike in the lake must have been 'on the feed' but I didn't have any proper pike gear with me and by then it was mid afternoon and time to pack up. On my 2nd overnighter fishing into the face of an Easterly wind I used to same approach using two rods over bait and a third over a scattering of free boilies. Initially I thought I was 'just' on the wrong spot as during the night I heard several fish crash out to my left, but at 3.45am I had a steady run from my baited area and after a steady fight I landed a beautiful looking 15lb 8oz common (see below picture). Needless to say I didn't get back off to sleep but as I was sitting in the dark with a cup of tea in hand a couple of good fish crashed out over my baited area so it was fingers crossed. I was still sitting out on what was a very mild night as dawn broke and I just had to take a picture as it's not just about catching (the picture is actually on Cosgrove Park's Facebook page).
I was a little disappointed that I had no more action, but at 11am several nice fish crashed way out to my left, but still within casting distance, so never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I cast a single pop-up into the area, 15 minutes later I had a violent liner that banged my rod tip round. A further 15 minutes later I had a proper run that tore off. It gave a good account of itself and at one point I had to pass my rod around a tree, but after a few minutes I landed an immaculate 13lb common. I had no further carp but between 1 and 2pm my baited spot that I had been 'topping up' came to life again with 3 lovely tench. I weighed the 1st one at 7lb 6oz and the other two were of similar size. Following this it was like someone had turned off a switch and I didn't have another touch, but I was pretty chuffed!
Along with September October can be a favourite month if the weather conditions stay kind and we don't get any prolonged frosts that kills the fishing stone dead. Anyway the forecast into October looks pretty good so although I would like to give the river a go, as it's been a while since Ive had a river barbel, the current form of the river is not good and it needs a flush through of water, so for me I'll stick with the carp. I've taken some of my biggest carp at this time of the year as they can sense the weather is cooling down and they need to feed up for the coming winter, although I cut down on the bait quantity and try to be a even more subtle with the ‘traps’. Towards the end of the month I like to have a few piking sessions. Hopefully I can bag one or two by design or both lures and dead baits.