Sunday, 28 June 2020


Since the lockdown was lifted and we have been able to get back out on the bank i have been to the big water 3 times. First time was for a recce and to purchase my yearly ticket and get a key for the various gates situated around the water. I,m glad i took the time for a short walk around as i,ve settled on an area that i will be fishing for a while, which i know, and has also been been confirmed by a regular angler, holds carp, or at least they past through the area regularly. Situated well of the beaten track in a very difficult to access spot, and i,m pretty sure, judging by the lack of trails, that no one fishes this particular area.
 It has been fished in the past though as there was a few, very overgrown, swims cut into the bankside undergrowth. I had actually found this area last year and thought it looked good for a session or two and did clear one swim to fish for a day session. I didn't catch anything then but i did log the place in the 'Old Memory Banks' for exploring at a later date.

                                                           Anyways the following weekend saw me pulling into the carpark at first light and loading my barrow with enough gear to last a week let alone the 2 nights i had planned to stay. Pushing the barrow along the track was no problems at all but it was soon to become apparent that as soon as i wheeled of the solid pathway i was to experience issues. Now i knew it wasn't going to be easy carting all my gear to the actual swim through all the undergrowth but i didn,t realise just how difficult it was really going to be. within 10 yards the barrow got stuck in soft mud causing me to unload everything and carry it all to slightly higher and drier ground before the barrow could then be moved. Then due to there being no track i had to carry the rest of my gear to the swim area, through the tangled undergrowth, roughly quarter of a mile away. This took four trips to do and after half an hour i collapsed on the ground, next to a mountain of kit, a big huffing, puffing, sweaty mess.

Lesson 1   Take less kit.....

After a life saving latte and a stomach filling sammidge was consummed it was time to get stuck into the task at hand, clearing somewhere to actually fish. Tucked in my bag i had a pair of pruners and a fold up garden saw and using these it didn,t take too long for me to clear a nice swim to fish and a nice area to pitch the basecamp. Next job was to clear a pathway through to another swim, and clear the swim itself, just a short distance away. This was so i could keep my options open as to where i was going to place my rods. An hour later and this was also done. Next i turned my attention to making the trip to and from this area easier to access, so i set about creating/clearing a pathway through the undergrowth from the swims to the access track. Not quite upto the track though as i didn,t want it too easily seen, i want to keep this area a bit 'Secret Squirrel'. All of this work had taken me into the early part of the afternoon and now it was time for another latte and a bite of lunch before getting the marker rod out and finding out what was in front of me.


On with waders, which i,ve now found out leak, and out i splashed to edge of the trees either side of the swim. Water here was just below wader top depth but it gave me a good view around the trees, and it was a good spot to chuck the marker float out from. A little point to note here is that if you are planning on wading around in the margins of any lake or river it is worth doing so with a wading staff so that you can probe the lakebed checking the depth in front of you, and also to find out how soft the bottom is, as you ease forward. A staff is also handy to help you keep your balance if you stumble or get stuck in silt. My staff is actually a shooting stick i found a few years ago whilst walking the dogs locally. It was left leaning against a bush near a a small layby that was used to park in to access the fields beyond. I left it there for a couple of weeks before returning and seeing as no had returned and claimed it i took home. So waste deep in the lake i spent next the hour or so markering around the area to find a grand total off nothing of interest. The bed was pretty uniform and clean except for a big band of weed that reached out from the margins for roughly 4.5 wraps until it hit about 8ft in depth. So the decision was made and two spots at 5 wraps were liberally baited with spombed particles, groundbait and chopped boilies. I then moved along to the next swim and found roughly the same, except for a slightly rougher patch situated 7.5 wraps out in roughly 10ft of water. Out went more mix with the spomb before i baited up and chucked out my rigs in the 3 chosen spots. It was now late evening, i,d taken my time with all this preperation as i didn,t want to rush around, and i was knackered and hungry so out came the stove and on went a big fat ribeye steak for my dinner. Dinner quickly consumed it wasn,t long before i was away with the fairies..

Nothing happened overnight, just a few bleeps on the alarms, in fact nothing happened for the rest of that day. I spent the day clearing more of the undergrowth to make the area more comfortable to fish and relax in, trimming down branches that were in the way and stacking some of the windfall timber that litters the place. Evening arrived and i re-baited and  recast the rods to the same spots as well as giving them some more spombs of groundbait over the top. Nothing else happened that night or the following morning which was a bit dissappointing as expectations were high initially, but i,m not too bothered really as it was only my 1st return trip and it was also a newish area to me. hopefully better luck next time. Mid morning it was time for the gruelling walk of shame back to the van with all my kit, fortunately a little lighter with less water and bait to carry. Rather than just drive straight home i popped over to another area and had a little explore there to see if it might be worth a trip there, it is.........


I did take my bait boat along but only used it early on the last morning as i didn,t really want to give away where i was located. I ran her around the swims and right out to the middle of the lake searching the bottom but, as i,d already found with the marker, there really wasn,t anything of interest out there. Not to worry, this means that i don,t have to bring her again, to this area anyway, now. It was good fun to play with her though and i love the echo sounder feature i had fit on it.

The following week i was back in the same swim but this time just for an overnighter. With my kit trimmed down it was a lot easier to transport everything to the swim, but still bloody knackering. The previous week i had noted down in my phone where the spots were that i had found, so it was a quick and easy process to wang the rods out and bait over the top of them. In all i reckon i was fishing within 2 hours of turning up in the carpark. I,d arrived late afternoon this time,  as i had been to a river on the way up, so after setting up and downing another nice ribeye steak it was time for some shut eye. Around midnight i had a bream like indication on one rod but seeing as nothing else happened i left it alone and went back to sleep. I was, shortly after first light, sipping on a lette watching the water but other than small stuff rising nothing of note was seen. I had a little clear around the track and inspected another swim further down before reeling in and packing up at 10am. Interestingly the rod that had the bream rattle had the hooklink bitten through, i reckon a pike had taken a silver and picked up my rig by accident before its teeth cut it clean through. The walk of shame again before i set off to explore another area to fish in the future, there is so much water to go at here.

So to sum up ive fished 3 nights so far for the total of zero fish, of any shape or size. I,ve learnt more about the water each visit though, so i,m not disappointed, and i,m now formulating  a plan of attack for future visits.


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