Tuesday, 29 May 2018 @ 16:56
Cosgrove Caster's - Spring 2018
recent years – April has been a really good month for me. Especially during the
middle and end of the month, when the weather usually starts to warm up and the
fish really start to feed, although it can be feast or famine, by that I mean with
the water temperatures still on the low side the fishing can either be very
good or virtually as hard as during the winter.
year the weather in early Spring was not good with the ‘Beast from the East’
hitting hard then over Easter with the opening of the park the weather was
atrocious with heavy rain causing both River’s Great Ouse and Tove to rise and
flood the park. There were still one or two hardy souls that were prepared to
put a bit of effort in and except the inevitable blanks and it was these
anglers that started to pick up one or nice fish and some respectable catches,
especially when the water receded and the weather started to get more spring
like towards the end of the month. Towards the end of April then into May the
weather really turned for the better with real summer weather and some quite hot temperatures. This really turned on fish of all species, although their
minds soon turned to spawning. Up until and soon after spawning the fishing was
'The Park Grapevine'
Residents Lake was, as with all the lakes initially slow. Andy Bray and his Dad Pete fished hard and took some lovely carp to over 20lb.
A lovely April Residents Lake common for Andy Bray
Pete Bray with a early Spring Residents Lake mirror
As April wore on several
anglers had some good mixed catches of bream, small carp and silver fish as
well as the odd mid-double figure carp. As the weather really started to warm
up during May the carp really turned on and in fact quite a few were taken on
Young Mason Lougher with a couple of his Residents Lake stunner's
Mason's dad Mark has also been getting some beautiful Residents Lake carp to just over 20lb
Kingfisher Lake was in quite good form, particularly with its good head carp and bream. Match
angler John Hayes had a brilliant couple of months – it started out steadily especially
with the recently stocked carp and just got better and better. John using both
pole and feeder tactics had numerous carp to nearly 20lb but lost one or two
fishing Fountain View 1 had plenty of small carp in the 5 to 6lb class on not
only ‘method feeder’ tactics, but it was boilies and buzzer tactics that took
the better fish with a fair number of doubles. The best I heard about was a 22lb common carp
to the rod of Gary Osgood.
Spawning carp in Fountain View Lake!
Great to see the Fountain View ladies getting in on the carp action - Dani and Jen with a couple of doubles
Ian Fellows with a good looking 17lb Fountain View mirror
Grenville and with a good double figure common
much news from Fountain View 2 other than good mixed catches of carp, bream and
silver fish although there was a rumour of two very big carp 38lb and 35lb
being taken by a new resident. These carp are considerably bigger than any
previous carp taken from this lake and in fact are bigger than the existing
park record of a 35lb mirror carp from the Residents Lake. As far as I know no
one has seen any pictures to verify the rumours!
View/Banks had a really slow start other than plenty of silver fish that were
taken as well as a few bream and one or two carp to just over 20lb.
As with lots of the lakes as the weather got better so did the fishing
especially with the carp. Regular Richard Mason really got amongst them during
May with loads of lovely carp most well into double figures.
Richard Mason with one of his Willow View doubles
Another of Richard's beautiful Willow View carp
Lake was quiet to start with, but one or two reasonable fish were taken. Match
angler’s Jacob Harris and Wayne Robinson had some lovely tench early in the
month and I heard that one or two good carp had been taken, although as with most
of the lakes results were a little inconsistent early on.
Jacob Harris with an April Swan Lake tench
Match angler Wayne Robinson with a good April Swan Lake 'male' tench
As the weather got
better in May the fishing really took off with some very nice carp over 20lb.
Colin Dye had a stunner of a mid 20lb common!
Colin Dye with a beautiful dark Swan Lake '20'
There was some lovely bream well
into double figures, good tench and some big perch taken.
Jacob Harris with a new PB bream from Swan Lake of just over 12lb
Jacob with another superb Swan Lake tench
Wayne Robinson with a double figure Swan Lake bream
Gary Harris with a stunning Swan lake perch
Young Ben with a couple of his superb Swan Lake carp
I had a very pleasant
morning’s tenching! I really should have known the Swan Lake tench would not be
cooperative as the water was so clear and the weather was just too nice, but I
had 3 superb perch over 2lb with the best at 3lb 3oz on hair rigged worm my
first ‘3’ for about 10 years.
Not good tenching weather but I was well chuffed with this 3lb 3oz Swan lake perch
was as inconsistent as ever early on. Here to start with it really was feast or
famine. As usual Michael Dodds put a lot of effort in and was rewarded with
several carp to 18lb! Steve Jordan and his son James took some stunning carp
using proper tactics of baiting pretty heavily using boilies. James had some
really big fish including a stunner common of 28lb 8oz.
Young James Jordan with a stunning 28lb 8oz Heronsfield common carp
James with another big Heronsfield doubles
Not to be outdone dad Steve Jordan with one of his big Heronsfield carp
Steve with a stunning very early morning Heronsfield common
It also seemed the lion’s
share of fish caught (including the tench) were taken in the dark. Again, as the
weather got better so did the fishing with lots of tench being taken especially
by Fred Jackson who had a few catches of ten good tench to over 6lb taken on
float tactics close in. Rolly Smith had some good luck and some bad. Early on
he landed an 16lb pike on a boilie then managed to lose a couple of very big
carp at the net, despite this he was caught lots smaller carp and tench!
Rolly Smith with an early April Heronsfield tench
a few nice tench to just under 6lb and a 9lb 15oz bream using maggot feeder
tactics that I prefer for the species.
A very nice feeder/maggot caught Heronsfield tench
A 9lb 15oz Heronsfield bream that managed to flick a leaf in my eye as I was taking the picture (for those interested my pictures are 'selfies')
Because of the weed I ‘tweaked’ the
inline feeder rig that I was using at this time, I used a scaled down carp
angler ‘stiff hinged rig’ with maggots popped up with red rig foam shaped like
My in-line feeder rig with a scaled down stiff hinge rig with popped up maggots - superb for tench and bream
Micheal Dodds with a lovely 18lb Heronsfield common
Mark Jones with the first '20' of a four fish catch of Heronsfield carp taken in the last week of May
The 2nd '20' of Mark's four fish
Lake and Moorhen Pool was in particular good form early on, Gary Harris and
Fred Jackson both using pole tactics with paste took lots of carp to low double
figures. As usual ‘method feeder’ tactics took the lions share of the carp.
Pole tactics accounted for lots of the Moorhen Pool ‘stockie’ carp, using
Fred Jackson with a pole & paste caught Canada lake double
Karen Jones with a typical Canada Lake common carp
Jacob Harris fishing Canada Lake showing how effective pole & paste tactics are
A beautiful Moorhen Pool fully scaled mirror - stocked in March
Mallard, Teal and Lilly Lakes were very quiet in terms of numbers of anglers
fishing during April. This may be partly due to vehicular access being
restricted, which was a shame really as particularly Grebe Lake produced a few
really nice fish to the anglers that were able to walk to the lakes. Once the ground had dried and cars were allowed lots more anglers started to fish and
especially following the first match on Grebe and Mallard Lake in May started
to plunder the new stockies using pole tactics.
‘The First Match’
The first match in the 2018 series
was fished on the 21st April by a full house - 20 anglers, fishing both Canada
Lake and Moorhen Pool. Conditions were really good. The fishing actually went
against the form and was hard for most anglers!
In 1st place was John Hayes who was
drawn on peg 14 on Canada Lake. John fished his favourite feeder tactics around
his corner swim. John caught steadily from the off and was delighted to take his
first win of the summer weighing in 25lb 6oz of carp, together with a maximum
1st place - John Hayes
2nd place went to Rob
Rendle who was drawn on peg 15 right on the lake balance pipe. Rob using pole
tactics and maggots took a number of the small stockie carp for a total of 14lb
Rob Rendle with his 2nd place catch from Moorhen Pool
3rd place went to me
with 4 small carp to weigh in 7lb 2oz. I was drawn on peg 17 on Moorhen Pool. It
took me 2 hours before getting my first fish then on the strengthening breeze
sprayed maggots and fished on the drop roach fishing style.
’The Second Match’
second match in the 2018 series was fished on the 12th May by 17
anglers, fishing both Grebe and Mallard Lakes. Conditions were really good. Most
anglers drawn on Grebe Lake struggled with the fishing really going against recent
form, but for angler lucky enough to be drawn on Mallard Lake the lakes
‘stockie’ carp really turned on and some big weights were taken, mostly on pole
tactics with maggots!
1st place was Lee Millen who was drawn on peg 26 on Mallard lake. Lee fished Pole
tactics close in and caught steadily from the off and was delighted to take the
park match weight record of 59lb 6oz together with a maximum 12 points.
Lee with part of his match winning catch
place went to Tony Allison who was drawn on peg 23. Tony using pole tactics and
maggots took a big catch of the small stockie carp for a total of 43lb 7oz.
Tony with his 2nd place catch
place went to Neil Kilsby also with a good catch of small carp to weigh in 33lb
4oz. Neil was drawn on peg 27 on Mallard Lake. Neil used an unusual method of a
pellet waggler tactics to cast to the far margin rushes but at full depth.
is usually a brilliant month. The weather is usually very pleasant and the fishing can
be superb as the fish should have spawned and really start to feed. Now is the time to really start putting some bait in. I still like to bait up on a
‘little and often’ basis and prefer not to go for a big hit of bait then wait
approach. If you happen to visit the park a day or two before you fish it
really is worth putting some bait out.
need not cost a fortune, my favourite mix for carp, tench and bream is particle
and pellet based, using mixed hemp, pigeon conditioner, corn, mixed pellets and
chopped boilies together with various oils, which now the water is warming up
really are effective. It really does work.
of course on the 16th you have the start of the river season.
Fishing on both rivers can be very nice and really make a nice change with good
chub and even the chance of a barbel on ledger tactics and of course for those
that like to trot a float there is a good head of roach, dace and smaller
you have any, good individual fish, good catches or any interesting stories
please keep in touch on Cosgrove’s Facebook page
Lines – Gary S