Cosgrove Caster's - Spring 2018

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Cosgrove Caster's - Spring 2018


In 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. This 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 really good.

'The Park Grapevine'

The 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 floating bread.



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 ‘lumps’!

Anglers 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

Not 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!

Willow 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

Swan 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 

Heronsfield 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

I had 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 a maggot.

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

Canada 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 maggot.

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

Grebe, 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 12 points.

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 3oz.


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’

The 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!

In 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

2nd 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

3rd 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.  

‘June 18' 

June 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. Pre-baiting 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.

Also 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 chub-lets.

If you have any, good individual fish, good catches or any interesting stories please keep in touch on Cosgrove’s Facebook page

Tight Lines – Gary S

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Venetian Marina Whilton Caravan Storage Whilton Marina
Cosgrove Park. Main Street, Cosgrove, Milton Keynes, MK19 7JP.
Phone: 01908 563360 Fax: 01908 263615