First Session on The Dell and what a session it was!!

Monday:   Well what more can I say except that the last week has been a very steep learning curve on the new lake.   Both John and I arrived on Monday afternoon to set up.   Not knowing where to fish we decided to fish on the end of a southwesterly wind as we had heard the fish like to follow the wind.   We set up in a swim called The Ramp and being a 2 man swim was ideal as I was working the days and fishing afternoons and nights for the week, John could keep an eye on things while I was working as he was at the lake full time.   The Monday was blowing a gale and raining quite hard so setting up was a mission.   Not knowing the lake very well we had to find suitable spots to fish in the newly growing weed on the lake bed. By the time we had our rods out the wind was really picking up and trying to get a bed of bait out was proving harder than we imagined and we settled down with single hook baits for the night ahead.   Both were not very confident as you could imagine and the night passed uneventful.   Peter the fishery manager was fishing and managed two carp. 
Tuesday:   At 1st light I reeled in and walked round to the hut to freshen up and went off to work.   John remained at the lake and during the day the wind dropped and the sun came out for a few moments on and off.   John had a lead around to find some likely areas to put our baits.
On my return at around 4pm the heavens opened, thankfully it was only showers and I was able to get the rods on a few likely spots.   Bait was introduced to the areas and we settled down to a beer and dinner.   The wind swung around during the evening and started blowing in an easterly direction and the temperature started to drop fairly rapidly.   We retreated to our bivvies not seeing any signs of fish all day.

Anyone order a storm cloud?

Anyone order a storm cloud?
Wednesday:   I awoke in the morning and it was absolutely freezing.   The windscreen was frozen over and temperatures were really low and no carp to boot. During the day it warmed up and temperatures started to rise and the wind changed back to a southwesterly and John saw a few signs of fish not far from where he was fishing.   This was good news but unfortunately for me I had work and then a Family Birthday meal to go to.   I arrived back at the lake around 9.30pm, John had baited the areas and helped me get the rods out to their spots.   The wind had continued to blow SW and the evening was peaceful and we saw a few fish show out in front of us.   We started to have a few occurrences on the alarms, a few twitches here and there but just liners for the night. 

Thursday:  As usual I got up and headed into work and at around 9am I got a phone call from John, he’d had a carp and to boot it was a new PB at 29lb 12oz and a stunning capture.

Johns new PB @ 29lb 12oz from The Dell

Johns PB @ 29lb12oz

Nothing more happened and I returned to the lake and congratulated John with a KFC and a beer.  This was a great milestone as we both had previous PB’s at around 26lb.  We had fished lakes with bigger but due to location, time and just being unfortunate we couldn’t bag a biggy over the last few years.  We talked on numerous occasions on what it would be like, we run through scenarios on what we could possibly do on our new lake including catching our PB on our 1st proper session and that is exactly what happened to John.
John went off to freshen up and cook some dinner as evening approached and left me in charge of the rods.  It just so happened that on this occasion one of his rods roared off.  I lifted into the carp and it must have gone through a weedbed as it was quite solid, steady pressure and I got movement but I thought the carp had made its getaway until it neared the bank and I saw I had a fish still attached.  It wasn’t the biggy I was after and it was a carp no bigger than about 7 pounds. Still a pretty fish and I hadn’t blanked!!! Although I did receive a ribbing for the size.
Nothing more happened so we jumped into bed around 10pm.  Within an hour later one of John’s rod burst into life, we were both up in the darkness and soon a lump of a fish was in the folds of the net.  On weighing the carp pulled the scales round to 23lb 2oz. 

Johns new PB @ 29lb 12oz from The Dell

A 23lb 2oz Mirror Carp for John

With carp returned and rod recast we slipped back into our pits.  That lasted for all of about 45 mins when John’s left hand rod signalled a run, which was confirmed as “fish on” moments later.  A brief fight ensued and soon a lovely mirror carp was safely in the net.  It was definately a 30lber but just how big? It looked good and on the mat looked bigger than we both imagined.  On the scales it went round to 36lb after deductions of the sling.  We were absolutely jubilant and jumping around at our success.  Pictures were done and a lovely PB mirror carp returned to its watery home.

Johns new PB @ 36lb from The Dell

John’s 1st English 30, his 2nd PB @ 36lb

A cup of tea was made and we celebrated John’s success in finally capturing his 1st English 30lb carp. We just couldn’t believe what was happening. We had talked about this for months and it was all going to plan.  As we were standing there drinking our tea my middle rod sounded out a take and I was on it in an instant.  I played the fish with great care and managed to work it into the bank not crossing my other lines.  John landed it expertly and nodded in approval.  I personally didn’t think it was as big as it was and was greatly surprised when the scales crept round to 32lb 8oz. After the sling had been deducted a new PB and 1st English 30lber @ 30lb 6oz was confirmed and we both jumped around like kids for the second time in just over an hour.  Two English 30’s and 2 new PB’s you just couldn’t make it up.  The lovely Mirror carp was returned safely and we celebrated with another brew.

New PB and 1st English 30 @ 30lb 6oz

My 1st English 30 and new PB @ 30lb 6oz

I stayed awake till I had to go to work and was non such a high. I couldn’t wait to get back to the lake after such a great nights carping.  I’d been at work a few hours and I received another call from John that he had caught another 36lber, and that it looked exactly like the one he had during the night, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.   Peter went round to do the photos and on closer inspection actually noticed a few different scale patterns on each of the fish and confirmed this as a known carp named ‘Spike’, This was a great result and absolutely top angling from John.   

Johns 2nd 36lb Mirror Carp

John’s 2nd 36lb Carp Known as ‘Spike’

I couldn’t wait to get back to the lake so being self employed decided to call it a day and leave work early.  At 10.30am I was pulling up through the gates when the phone rung again, John had just landed another at 27lb 3oz, what a result and impressive haul.  

A 27lb 3oz Mirror to end a great session

John’s final carp of the session @ 27lb 3oz

In 24 hours we had 7 carp, 2 x 36lb, 30lb 6oz, 29lb 12oz, 27lb 3oz, 23lb 2oz and a small carp at around 7lb. What an impressive session it turned out to be.  I cant wait till next weekend 🙂

Tight lines 

Getting ready for the new season of carping

Hi guys, well I’ve not done much over the last few seasons due to one reason or another. The passion is still there but i’ve needed to get a few things in my life sorted.  This season I’ve got big plans and that includes fortnightly fishing on the new members lake I’m joining in April.  I’m very much looking forward to catching some of the monsters that swim in the depths, there are 2 x 45lb carp which head the impressive back-up of 30 known 30lb carp. There are many more back-up fish too.  Can’t wait!!!!!

In the meantime I’ve had a clear out of some stuff and got some new bits to try out for the upcoming season, I’ve swapped my Basia’s for some Infinity X’s and beefed up my rods to 3lb tc. New bite alarms in the shape of the ATTs items and some Matrix cheeky monkeys for bite indication. (a bit retro but they look good).

I’m putting all my gear to the test next week as I’ve booked John and I onto the back lake at Par fisheries in Essex for an overnight session.  If the weather is anything like its been today then I’m really looking forward to it (and a bit of a social) before the real action kicks off in April.  

Till then Tight lines. I will blog my results 🙂

New Lake for next season

Hi there fellow carp anglers. I haven’t updated for quite a while now as for one reason or another a few things have happened over the months so I’ve not been on the bank as much as I would have liked. One of the reasons was the arrival of my beautiful daughter a few months ago so not much time recently.

I have however been on a couple of afternoons and the odd night to various lakes. Slough House was visited on a few occasions and some nice carp were caught its nice to get a bend in the rod every now and again.

I also visited Oaklands Lakes in Southminster, Essex for a night and had a very weedy swim for the night but surprisingly had 5 runs but only landed 1 of about 15lb.

I have been itching to get back to a syndicate/members lake for sometime so set out with carp nut and best bud John and we researched a few lakes and through various people we know took a walk around one of   The Priors Fisheries called The Dell.   Its approx 22 acres and   quite weedy in summer but has a good head of fish to 45lb. There are two carp over the 40lb barrier and around 30 known 30lb carp with plenty of back up fish to go for.

On chatting with the baliff we decided to part with our deposits to guarantee our space on the lake for next years start in April. The good thing about the lake is its only 10 minutes from home so a lot of time should be spent there with more pics to add to the site in the future.   I’m so excited at the thought of getting amongst some decent fish that rigs have been made and fishing tackle sorted all ready.  

Sadly I couldn’t stay at  Colnbrooke West as its 60 miles away and I didn’t renew my ticket this year as I was out of work for 6 months and couldn’t drive hence the lack of updates.

I’m gonna try and get on twitter and facebook with the site soon so followers can be kept up to date. Tight lines for now 🙂

Colnbrook Short session

I had the opportunity yesterday to get down to Colnbrook West to have a quick afternoon session. It turned out to be quite productive considering it was a bit of a wet morning. I arrived at the lake just after a very heavy shower. My swim of choice had been taken so I decided to fish the Smellie swim. On surveying the lake from the swim I saw a fish crash out on the plateau just in front of me. Justification enough for me to stop here and fish.   I set up the shelter first as showers were likely then set about setting up the rods.   Not knowing what I would be fishing on I decided to have a quick cast with the marker in the area I saw the carp crash out. I don’t usually do this but on the plataeu it was fairly weedy. I cast just beyond the weed and found a small area which seemed to be a little lighter of weed. I set up the rod with a slow sinking snowman rig aided by a few nuggets of dissolvable foam to help the hook link settle on the weed.   I placed a few boilies over the top and catapulted a few pouches of pellet to the area.   The second rod was cast out in front just beyond the plateau to an area of about 4 foot in depth. This again being fished on a snowman set up. The only difference was I was adding my hook link to a PVA bag of pellets and crushed boilies.     A couple of hours passed and the coots moved in to the area infront of me and began diving on my bait. They were picking up the hookbait and drooping it so I could tell it was visible and at least out of the weed.   Then the swans moved in on the rod fished to the plateau and being about two and a half feet in depth decided to wipe me out by eating all the free offerings. All of a sudden the right hand rod signaled a take. I stuck only to find a pesky coot had decided his eyes were bigger than his belly and picked up my hookbait and promptly dropped it into its foot.   After landing my prize coot I reset the rod.   I also re-cast left hand rod and rebaited with a few more freebies. About half hour passed and it rattled off leaving me in no doubt the Mr Carp was attached to the other end.   After a brief fight I landed the fish and weighed it in at 16lb.   My neighboring angler came over and took a few snaps for the blog and left me happy.   The other anglers had been on the lake most of the day without so much as a bleep so I was quite made up with my capture.

16lb Colnbrook West Common Carp

16lb Colnbrook Common

All too soon it was time to go. The light was fading and I had a 60 mile drive home. Still no biggies yet but no-one else has had any recently so theres always a chance. I think that due to the weed there is a high stock of natural food and they are all pre-occupied on that. A few biggies graced the banks in April and May. At least 4 of them 30lb fish.   The lake record is still to make an appearance. Half tail has been out a few times, it seems he likes a munch and is quite a friendly fish. Apart from that a few upper 20’s have been caught since the start of the season so theres still plenty to go at. Its just being in the right place at the right time. Soon it will all come together. The lake is fishing quite hard so I’m pleased with 8 carp in 11 sessions and only 1 loss. Tight lines for now!!!

Colnbrook Catch Up

Weekend 3-5/7/09

Well its about time I updated as I have been to the lake now twice since my last entry.  Lets go back to last week and a quick social at Colnbrook.  I had managed to get a friend of John and I to fish with us for a birthday get together.  I was fishing the nights and leaving about 6am Saturday and Sunday mornings to go to work. I was returning about 1pm to continue fishing.  On the run up to the weekend I had put a little bait in on a spot that doesn’t get fished much.  I thought this may provide an edge when the weekend came.  The week was very hot and it seemed that all the carp wanted to do was chase each other through the weed beds.  This was no different to the weekend.  I got down after work on the Friday afternoon and set up in my chosen swim. I baited and sat back and awaited the arrival of my carp fishing buddies.  I had managed a little cast around in their swims to find a few clearer spots for them to fish as this saved them alot of time when the turned up at 7pm.  Soon the rods were out and we settled down for a beverage to celebrate Stu’s fourthcoming birthday.  We finally got to bed around 12ish.  Stu had an occuarnce on his left rod during the evening but on striking found nothing on the end.  Nothing happened until my right hand rod burst into life at around 4am.  The persuing battle finished with a lovely common carp hitting the spreader block.  Mr Carp weighed in at 17lb 10oz and was very welcome as the lake has been really fishing slowly due to the really warm weather and the carp in spawning mode.  No-one else had managed to catch so this was a good achievement for me and a really big confidence booster.  Soon after I was reeling in and getting ready for a mornings work.


A 17lb 10oz Colnbrook Common Carp










A 17lb 10oz Colnbrook Common


On arrival back at the lake I found Stu was trying to poach my spot but both John and Stu had nothing to report.  The carp were showing themselves all day but were just not interested in our baits. We thought that things would possibly improve during the cooler evening and the night time.  Nothing happened during the night even although carp were showing over my baited spots. As I reeled in ready for work the rod took on a bend and I thought it may have been weed but there was definately a kick on the other end. All of a sudden it was gone.  I reeled in and left for work. I retuned later and packed away. Stuart had a carp of about 12lb just after I set of so at least something happened.  John had two lovely tench after raking an area the previous day. He also lost a couple off the surface early on but it wasn’t to be. We all packed up and left. John and I would be returning the following weekend.

Weekend 11-12/07/09

I was due to meet john down at the lake on the Friday 10th but due to a few un-fore-seen circumstances John couldn’t get to the lake. I had just arrived about 3pm and received the call he couldn’t get down as his van which was due to be repaired was still on the ramps and wouldn’t be done this weekend.  I really didn’t want to fish a night on my own so arranged to pick John up next day after work and we could travel down together for a one nighter.  Saturday morning came and went and we were on our way to the lake mid afternoon.  Its a long way to the lake, about 60 miles so we were a bit concerned that a night wouldn’t be a worth while cause.  But having been kicked out by the boss anyway we were going to make the best of it. (The boss was having her bridesmaids over for a girly evening to work out hair and make up for our big day in October) I didn’t need an excuse anyway!!  We arrived and set up in a swim called Baliffs.  I really wanted the left side of the swim as I had found a few clear spots on a previous recon mission but John having a bad week with the van asked if he could fish there.  I didn’t want to dissapoint him so agreed.  I would fish the right hand side, the left rod out in front and the right one would be cast into open water about 30-40 yds to a spot that I found clear on the first cast. After a few more casts I lost the marker up the tree.  It was a difficult cast to the area as you just had to avoid the tree on the right.  I knew roughly where it was and my right hand rod was dispatched to the area. followed by about 30 baits. I was using a snowman set up on this rod with a scopex bottom bait topped off with an indian spice pop up in pink. My left hand rod was on tiger nuts. This was fished with a few spodfuls if hemp, tigers and maize over the top. John had his right hand rod just off that spot too. His left was fished to some gravel out in front at about 80 yds. We set up camp and had a bite to eat and John had a take on his left hand rod but didnt connect. Hes not having much luck at the moment.  His luck will change!!!  We sat back and chilled out after setting up then went to bed around 11.30ish.  At about 1am i had a run and I knew as soon as I Hit it that a bream was on the way in.  I unhooked it in the margins as it was raining. I knew that it was my biggest ever bream and looked about 7-8lb. I cast out again and retreated back to the brolly.  My sleep was broken again as my right hand rod burst into life and the delkim let out its unmistakable one toner. A brief battle insued and John put the net under a carp of around 14-15lb. A quick photo was taken for the record and the carp was released.  The recast rod was again out on the spot with another 20 free baits accuratly put over the top.  My last words to John as I entered the shelter of the brolly were see you at 5 o’clock.  True to my word I was out of the bed and striking into yet another fish.  It immeadiately felt a better fish and I told John so.  He was up and manning the net again, soon the carp was nestling in the folds of the waiting net and it looked a good size. There are alot of carp in Colnbrook, with alot of 20lb+ fish and anything upto 12 x 30lbers.  there is a good head of other carp and they are all fairly difficult to catch. Its not an easy water by any means and this is a steep learning curve for both of us. The carp in the net weighed 21lb 10oz.  A good result considering the lake had been quiet all week.  I think the rain helped a little and I seemed to be in the right place. All three other rods were motionless all night. The carp was returned none the worse for wear and after casting out I was having a cuppa and discussing the nights events with John.  Just before we went to bed John commented on the fact that I had not had a bream as I am usually the first one to catch one. We then discussed the prospect of catching on of the bigger carp over 20lb. Again it happened.  Very spooky how things work out sometimes. We are still waiting for the biggies. Soon hopefully.


Colnbrook Common Carp










A Lovely Colnbrook Common


Colnbrook West Common 21lb 10oz










Getting Bigger 21lb 10oz of Common Carp







Opportunity Knocks

Today all I was going to do was look in at the lake and see what was going on. I wasn’t going to fish today but just bait up a few spots for a few hours carping on Wednesday and Thursday. I stopped at Point 1 swim and got talking to ‘Stokey’ who was just leaving. In the bay to the left a few carp were sunning themselves and I just couldn’t resist a few casts. I had just given Stokey my last half of box of chum mixers so quickly drove to the local garage and purchased 6 softwhite rolls. On returning I threw out some freebies into the bay and let them drift into the bay where the carp were. Whilst waiting I got my travel rods out the boot (I always keep them in there just for such occassions) and assembled one as quick as I could. I was going to freeline a bit of bread so setting up was not that complicated and it wasn’t going to scare the carp off with a big splash. By now a few carp had taken the free bait on offer so I baited my hook and cast in. It didnt go that far so another bit of bread was placed onto the hook and dunked quickly into the lake so the water added a little bit of casting weight. This time it was bang on the money. Within seconds a carp had sucked in my bread and after striking was making its way across the bay at great speed.  A few hairy  moments passed but eventually I slid the net under My first mirror from the lake. On weighing it pulled the scales round to 16lb 2oz.  During the battle the rest of the carp spooked out of the bay. I waited for a while and had another chance at one but the bread was so soft it was soaking up water very quickly and my hook was falling out. Twice this happened and both times Mr. Carp got away with it. I’ll get him another day. Soon the bread run out so I made off pretty happy with myself.

Colnbrook Mirror carp 16lb 2oz










16lb 2oz of Mirror Carp

Quick afternoon session at my local

I have just returned from a quick session at Slough House. I managed to get home early and the weather was beautiful so I thought an afternoon surface fishing was in order. I persuaded my better half to come with me so she decided to tiddler bash whilst catching a few rays. I set up my surface fishing rod and threw out some bread and mixers to get the fish going. Whilst waiting for the carp to start slurping down their free lunch I set up my other rod which I was going to fish a bottom bait. I thought that I would try and do something a little bit different. I mixed up a tin of tuna with some pellets of all different shapes and sizes and added some broken up shellfish boilies. I also added a few grains of corn and corn juices.   For the hookbait I used a 14mm shellfish boilie topped off with a buoyant piece of imitation corn.   This was all cast out in stick fashion to the margin opposite.   I started fishing around 1pm and was going to pack up at 6pm.   During the first few hours I banked a few carp on the surface rod, the biggest being around 16lb.  

!6lb Common off the top







Best of the bunch off the top

During the afternoon I recast the bottom rod on regular occasions. Once after having a take and finding the fish was still attached to   another anglers   line and lead. At the net the line snapped and the lead fell off and parted from my line also. The fish however was attached to the net by the trailing line. I tried to hand it in but the line snapped. I was mad that someone could be fishing with such weak line. This was the perfect example of really bad angling and could have been dangerous for the carp had I not hooked up on the line.

After A few near misses off the top the swim went a bit quiet. At around 5.30pm I got a run from the bottom bait rod and on striking the fish ran 40 yards right to left. I managed to turn the fish and all of a sudden it woke up an headed off to my right it took alot of line on the run. I mentioned to Vicky that it could be a catfish as the runs were so powerful. I have had one from here weighing 17lb last year and that was still quite a fight.   My thoughts were confirmed when I saw the line entering the water and a swirl about 2 meters behind. After around 20 minutes Vicky slipped the net under a very long catfish. I knew it was a PB and thought it was around 20lbs. I almost fell over when I weighed it and it pulled the scales round to 34lb. I was stunned to say the least. Vicky took the photos and the catfish went back safely leaving me with a big smile on my face. Needless to say that was the last of the action and we packed away.   Tight lines for now!!

PB Catfish @ 34lb









Personal Best Catfish at 34lb


Quick overnight session Colnbrook West

After our last outing John and I had an opportunity to do a quick over night session at the lake.   I was able to get down early on the Friday afternoon and John was meeting up with me later.   On arrival at the lake I found only one other angler fishing and they were on the road bank swim know as A4.   The wind was blowing into the the little bay at Point 1 swim so without any further deliberation I set up and cast one rod to the reed line and the other rod to the island.   I was just using a single pop-up on the left and imitation corn on the right.   Nothing much happened during the afternoon but I took the opportunity to find a few spots out in front.   Just before John arrived I shifted my rods over to the right hand side of the swim and cast out to some likely looking spots in front.   I had to go to work first thing in the morning so let John try out the reeds and island overnight.   It has produced a few fish over the last few weeks so I think John was confident of a bite.   I however was less confident but it was all in the name of learning.   During the evening I had a series of bleeps on the left hand rod and the bobbin stayed up at the top of the rod.   On striking nothing appeared to be on, I then noticed I was bringing in a big branch that had drifted in on the waves and got caught on the line.   It was dark and windy so   after   attaching a   small PVA bag to the hook with the pop up corn it was cast   roughly to the area.   At 4.45am the corn rod was screaming out a take, I was on the rod in a flash and it took on a curve as I battled with an angry carp.   On landing the carp it weighed 19lb 4oz so I was over the moon.   Photos were taken and the common was returned to the lake.  

Common Carp at 19lb 4oz









Colnbrook Common at 19lb 4oz

Shortly after I had to leave for work and leave John to it.   I would return later to pack away and see how John got on. On my return John informed me that he hadn’t had a single bleep which was quite surprising considering the swim usually produces.  

On returning home something weird happened, John emailed the photos to me and on inspection noticed that I had already caught the same fish on the last session at a tad over 17lb.   Check the photos out!!   Not only have I had three takes from this challenging water but two have been the same fish and the other one escaped before the shutter went click.   The other weird thing is that it was caught at the same time in the morning.   250 carp in the lake and this one comes out to the same angler on two separate occasions at the same time. Spooky!!

Colnbrook West 2nd Session

Hello fellow carpers I have just returned from a five day session carping at Colnbrook West   and must say its proving to be a bit of a challenge. I thought it would have produced a few more fish to both John and I. To be honest what we lacked in carp we more than made up for in finding out lots of carpy knowledge about our new lake.   Previous to our session I visited the lake to bait up a few likely spots around the islands in preperation. On arrival at the lake Monday evening we found the Islands swim available which was a right result as it is quite a popular swim. There was only one other person fishing on the lake and they were in Point 1 off to our right.   Colnbrook is a little on the weedy side and a new experience for us. We had a plan and after casting out we set our plan in motion and that was to spod out some gravel along with some pellet and hemp to a spot.   We were going to try and make our own clear spot and fish it.   The weed at this stage is only light but its still enough to make your presentation useless if you get it wrong.   Its a learning curve and a challenge which should prove fruitful in the future with every bit of knowledge learnt.   Monday night was uneventful and after reeling in we had a walk round to see who was fishing in Point 1 and found Frank one of the bayliffs. He saw us spodding out and told us that for this time of year it was the kiss of death and that the carp didn’t feed well off big beds of bait.   You gotta believe Frank as he has been fishing the lake for more than 20 years so should know what he is talking about.   We decided that we would give it another night in the Islands and just use single hookbaits to see what happened.   During the day we could see the gravel we had put out into the lake so we achieved something and I am quite confident that the Bream and Tench would mop up the bait and keep clearing the spot for future fishing.   Nothing happened that evening so we decided to move over to the other side of the lake into a swim they call The Smellys.   We got a few pointers from Frank on where to fish from this swim and proceeded to follow his instruction.   We found a lovely plateau in front of the swim   and a big bloodworm bed further out. There were options for small gravel bars too.   Wednesday night was also very quiet and the buzzers didnt move.   We decided on a change of tactic and opted for some pop-up corn on one rod each.   I put a few glow in the dark pieces on and cast to a clearish area about 30 yards out and John cast his out towards the bloodworm bed.   At about 11ish John had a lovely 6lb Tench on the artificial corn.   He cast back out and during the early hours managed to land an 11lb common carp.   At 4.45am I woke to a take on my corn rod and landed a lovely 17lb 5oz common carp.   Things had started to look up.   


17lb 5oz Common









A 17lb 5oz Colnbrook Common Carp

Friday produced another tench but   nothing over night for either of us on the carp front. At around 9am Saturday morning we started packing away when suddenly Johns corn rod gave a few beeps and on inspection we noticed the line was now pointing in a different direction to when cast out.   I said to join he should strike it.   After a few turns of the reel he felt a fish on and promptly landed another carp , this time a bit bigger at 13lb.   Straight away he cast out the rod he just landed the fish on,   more in hope than anything else.   It was away again less than 30 minutes later.   John proceeded to land a beautiful Linear mirror carp of 15lb.   It was a really cracking fish and a prime example of the stamp of fish in the lake. Still we hope for o few more biggies.   With fish up to 38lb (possibly bigger) and at least 10x30lb carp to go for and a stack of back up 20’s we should be having some soon.

1st Session on the new lake

Well I just got home and must say I am feeling quite pleased with myself having fished at Colnbrook West for very first time and caught one of the original commons that inhabit it. I was only down for 6-7 hours so had to make the most of it.   I chose to fish in the swim called Islands. There are 2 islands on Colnbrook and both are fishable from islands so I positioned a bait out to each, one left and one right. Nothing was forthcoming for the first few hours so I decided to reposition the left rod to just off the point of the island. Within half hour the rod was letting out a familiar tone and I was into a fish. After a very spirited fight I landed a beautiful common carp of 22lb 7oz. The only problem was that I could not get a photo as the only other angler was the opposite side of the lake. I tried to take one of the carp on the mat but just as I was about to release the shutter it flipped and escaped back into its watery home.   Still I have the memories!   I tempted Mr Carp on a 15mm snowman rig comprising of a Shellfish bottom bait and a pink fusion pop-up and lead clip semi fixed system. I have got a few days down here soon so will try and bank a few more.

Colnbrooke West Google Earth view

Colnbrook West from the air thanks to Google Earth

New Lake

Its been a few months since I added anything to the blog but have some news on the carp fishing front. I have just joined a lake called Colnebrook West out by heather airport with my fishing bud John. I have been wanting to fish here for some time but the opportunity never really was a possibility as its an hours drive from Essex. But after twisting John’s arm and telling him I would be able to fish some weekends he was willing to join. So let me tell you a bit about the lake.  

It holds   an impressive stock of fish for what is a relatively small lake (around 4.5 acres).   Colnbrook West Lake can and often does, produce some very big catches to anglers who get it right on the day.

Some carp that were   introduced   a few   years ago continue to pack on weight with one or two attaining 25lb, with a current stock that can include over nine thirties (to the current lake record of just over 38lb) along with over thirty five fish over 25lb and hundreds of low twenties and doubles it is easy to see why this water is so popular.

This venue is also well known for its quality Tench and Bream which have benefited from a diet of high protein carp baits. Reports over the last three seasons have included Bream to 12lb, Tench to 11lb and the odd 2lb+ Roach.

Well this sounds quite promising with a few 30’s to go for because as yet both John and I have not had an English 30! Our PB’s are just over 25lb so this is a great opportunity to get some serious fishing done. I will be able to go more often than John as working in and out of Heathrow is a bonus, especially when I finish there its just a couple of minutes drive. Good job I have some travel rods which fold down neatly in the boot. The extra time on the bank should go some way to helping me land a whacker.   I have seen a photo of one fish that has really caught my eye and its a 30lb+ Leather carp.   There are lots of 30lb commons too.   Colnebrook West her I come!  Well starting in April anyway.  

More info on the lake and other lakes run by Boyer Leisure can be found on their website.                                       

HalfTail, sort after fish







Over Nighter at Horton Kirby

Well just come back from a night carp fishing session with my Dad at Horton Kirby, but sad to report that on this occassion fail to catch any carp. I however did manage to pull in yet another slab of bream around 5lbs after it greedily swallowed a double 15mm boillie. On a positive note at 1230am the old man did catch a lovely common carp around 22lbs which I think he was quite pleased with. It really did give him a good ole scrap all the way to the waiting net.  It was only a brief encounter of an over nighter as I still needed to work today. Well done to Dad who managed his fish even if it was down to my accurate baiting!!!

Common Carp @ 22lb

Saturday 24th November 2007

Well what can I say, it was the next day after the coldest night of the year.  It was -3 last night and I had planned to do a 24hr session with John but given the over night temperatures thought maybe a day session was in order. I arrived at Birds Green fishery at around 7am.  It was my 1st ever trip to the venue so didn’t really know what to expect.  Walking around the small lake I was surprised to see that at least 5 people had done the night. I spoke to a couple of regulars and picked their brains on size of fish, stock methods etc. Usual questions! I really didn’t know much, but the only swim worth fishing was towards the end of the island at the shallow end of the lake.

Carping at Birds Green

 Birds Green at dawn

Most other anglers had set up nearer the bottom deeper end. No-one had a bite all night so it really was looking a bit bleak. The days had been quite warm since Wednesday and I was hoping for a warm one today. It started to look like it was going to warm up but it remained overcast all day.  John was meeting me a little later as he had a late one the night before. I set my rods up using running rigs and had scaled my rigs down to size 8s and 6mm & 10mm boilies.  I was using my camo-skin combi rig with the hair just long enough for the boilies to hang just off the bend of the hook.  My thinking was that the carp may be a bit finicky in feeding so running rigs would give less resistance at the business end. I usually use semi-fixed set ups so wasn’t that confident, but thought this tactic might pay off.  I was using pineapple and banana boilies on one and double 6mm sweetcorn boilies on the other. The sweetcorn rod was cast just short of the island point with a small PVA bag of 6 milers and pellets, hopefully just at the bottom of the shelf The other was cast 10 yds to the right in open water with a 3 bait stringer and 6 freebies in the general area just to get’em looking. I set up my shelter and tackle and made a well deserved hot cuppa and sat down to read the paper. Twenty minutes went by and the right hand rod was away, a steady take which I was on to in a flash. I lifted the rod and bent into a carp. There is quite a few 20’s in the lake and possibly a couple of 30’s, but I didn’t mind the size, I was more than happy to have one on the end. After a spirited fight she kissed the spreader and I lifted her out of the water. The weight 14lb 120z, what a lovely start!!! The bailiff and his boy came round so I got the young boy to do a quick photo, (wish I hadn’t the photo was terrible, I mean, how can you mess it up just look through the view finder and click. Not in his case, see for yourself, Amateurs!!!) I put her back none the worse for the brief visit to the bank. Lovely looking carp though.


14lb 12oz Birds Green Mirror Carp

 14lb 12oz of Winter Mirror

John arrived shortly after and couldn’t believe I had one already, I helped  him set up and he slotted in next to me. He was using one semi-fixed and one run-rig with pellets and scopex boilies. Nothing much happened for an hour or so when John had the bobbin of his left rod pulled tight. He struck into nothing. A few recasts to different areas trying pop-ups, snowman rigs and peperami producing nothing but a few touches. It was almost time to pack away so a recast back to where I had caught my carp, I recast with the old faithful pineapple and banana. Minutes later it was off again, what a result. A scrappy but well fought battle came to an end when my 2nd carp slipped over the net. This time John in charge of the photos and some good pics of a good looking mirror carp of 12lbs. Well that was the last action of the session and a good start to my first visit to the lake and an excellent result considering the cold conditions. Only 2 other carp out all day!!

12lb Mirror Carp from Birds Green

       12lb Mirror an excellent end to the day

      Keep checking in hopefully some more soon


Friday 22nd February 2008
Well here I am again writing up the details of my latest fishing trip!!  Its been a while since the last one back in November but hey better late than never.  All I can say is that it was a great opportunity for a social get together.  I was picking up Stu and meeting John at Whitevane as he just had a job interview/test just a few miles from the lake, (no invitation required).  It was a nice easy journey to the lake and on arrival found we had a good selection of swims to fish. To my amazement the island swim was free so we headed there.  This swim could easily hold three anglers so I set up Stu alongside where john could go as he would possibly still need a helping hand as he is still a little green behind the ears.  I opted for the better swim where i could fish tight up to the island snags (its usually a toss up for swims but Stu being a bit inexperienced and not so confident in this type of fishing left me in a nice little spot). See below:
Waiting for a Carp to bite
View from the rods

John arrived soon after we got there and we all finished setting up.  I was using my lovely new Realtree Camo bivvy for the 1st time and must say it looked the muts nuts all set up wit the winter skin too.  Excellent bivvies the Trakker Armo.  So easy to set up!!

New Carp BivvyReady and waiting for Mr Carp

New Bivvy !!

We settled down for the evening feeling pretty confident, our baits had been placed exactly on the spots with Johns new bait boat. We were fishing!! within an hour John was away but as luck would have it he pulled in a good 4lb snotty. Stu quickly followed suit with his bream 30 minutes later.  Well something was feeding.  We just needed the carp to move in.  The evening passed with a few beers and a Chinese takeaway but no fish.  
Too Many?Lovely catalogue pose
Too many beers and John and Stu looking for more Bream
Morning came round all too quickly with no action to anyone of us. We recast fresh baits for the remaining few hours of our session but unfruitful in obliging carp.  I must say that I was a little disappointed that I had nothing from the island as it usually produces, maybe the weather was just on the wrong side of cold.
Neatness PersonifiedNice shiny carp reels

Motionless rods

Until next time have tight lines and keep haulin’
Tuesday 1st April 2008
Hello again and welcome to my latest update.  I did manage to get an afternoons carping at Slough House lake. On today of all days it could have been disastrous but that didn’t stop me. A window of opportunity had presented itself so it would have been rude not to capitalize.  The weather was sunny and dry but was fairly windy so when I arrived at the lake I decided to fish into a corner where the wind was blowing into. Its a lovely area to fish and its got a nice deep hole where fish tend to hold up.  Within an hour I was away and landed a nice ghostie common of around 14lbs. Sorry no photo as no-one else was around to do the honors.  I recast my rod with a few boilies in some funnel web, I was just fishing for bites really. I was using 14mm Scopex Squid Livers on the bottom with my Triggerlink rig and a few pellets to get them interested.  I was rewarded again with another common of around 12lb which I did get a photo of buy using a camera on a rod rest and self timing function. Not a professional job but a snap of a carp for the blog.
The day progressed with only two small carp of about 5-6lb landed. not a bad day considering the blustery weather and only 6 hours fishing.

12lb Common Carp
12lb Common from Slough House

  Le Valdore: 30/8/08 – 6/9/08

Steve, Kev, John, Stu, Lenny, David, James and Big John

Sat 30th Aug:  We arrived at the lake at around 1:45pm with great expectations. We settled up the balance on our account and set off to find Lake 5 on the complex. To get to the lake you have to go out off the complex and work your way through a small picturesque village. We followed the instructions so were quite surprised to find ourselves in an old French ladies back garden with her looking on in amazement. I donÂ’t know who was more surprised, us or her especially as we were traveling in a London taxi with a long wheelbase transit following. After working out where we went wrong we found our lake and had a walk around to decide swims. Kev and I chose peg 27 as we thought the island looked rather promising. The rest of the boys also picked their places to fish and so the task of setting up camp for the week began. By 6pm everything was set up and dinner on the go. Pork chops and sausages on the bar-b. We settled down to a DVD and retired to bed at around 11.30. All we had to show for our efforts were 2 tench of 5lb.

View from the bivvy Lake 5 Valdore, France 

Our swim at Le Valdore, Lake 5

Sun 31st Aug:  This morning I had a screaming run at around 5.30 and after flying out of the bivvy I struck into a carp which I lost within about 5 seconds, the line parting at the loop to the safe zone leader. It wasnÂ’t at the knot as expected but at the loop. Very puzzling considering the new line! We reeled in at breakfast so we could go and shower and get freshened up. On our return we had a recast of all of our rods. Kevin had another Tench whilst I struck into a fish which parted the line at the reel. I have not got great confidence in this line at the moment. I re-baited and just after that at about 5.45pm the heavens opened and a storm set upon us. Kev got flooded and I am in my bivvy writing this in the complete dry. Lovely!!!! Its 6.50pm so I am going to reposition all my rods for tonight and hope that it brings a bit more luck than yesterday. Fingers crossed!!!

Mon 1st Sept:  No luck for me today but at 6.15 this morning Kevin had a run just as he was halfway through relieving himself behind a tree. After hastily pulling himself together he struck into a carp. On landing and weighing at 16lb 12oz it was a new PB. Not hard really considering his old one was about 10lb.

16lb Common carp 

 KevÂ’s new PB 16lb 12oz 

 Nothing else was forthcoming for us today except the odd tench. Big John lost about 4 or 5, Lenny had 2, Stu had 2 also, one of which was 20lb+ and was a new PB for him. John has been unlucky losing a few, hope he catches soon. David and James are still not off the mark yet and neither am I.  I am going to have a recast and a change of tactics will report again tomorrow hopefully with better news. 

Just had to add that at 10.30pm I had my first carp of the week so far and it turned out to be a beautiful mirror carp of 31lb 12oz.  Looks like the change of tactics proved to be very rewarding. John came round to do the pictures which turned out brilliantly.

Nice 31lb 12oz Mirror Carp from Le Valdore31lb 12oz Mirror Carp

 Lovely mirror carp at 31lb 12oz 

Tues 2nd Sept:  This morning after waking up with a big smile on my face Kev and I drove to the cabin and had some breakfast with John, Stu & James. We freshened up with a shower and drove into town for a few essentials. On our return we set about repositioning our rods which we did until the bait boat ran out of steam halfway across the lake. Thanks to Lenny he used his boat to guide ours back to shore. With new batteries the rods were redone and we are now awaiting our next big fishes. Right now it is pouring with rain but we are keeping dry under the shelter of our bivvies.

 A wet day 

Not a nice day

During a break in the rainy weather we removed a post from the edge of the swim so we could drive the cab right down to the bivvies so we could hook the PC up to the taxi so we could watch DVDs. The sun started shining through for the last part of the evening and we found ourselves looking at a near perfect rainbow which stretched for what seemed miles. I decided not to reposition the rods just before dark as I had found some nice spots to fish so was going to leave them all night. That paid off because at 12.30 the left hand rod signaled a take and I was striking into a carp. The carp weighed 17lb exactly. Kev done the photos and we recast the rod.

 Carp at the end of the rainbow?17lb Mirror carp

Lovely rainbow and 17lb mirror when the rain finally stopped 

Wed 3rd Sept:  Last night at 3.30am I managed to land a small grass carp and at 7.00 am another tench. I didnÂ’t recast the rod I just hit the sack again. I finally got up when Kev bought a tea. Kev went for a wander and I was surveying the small bay to the right when I had a few beeps on one of the rods. Nothing more occurred until John came round to catch up on the nightÂ’s events. John had 4 but nothing big. All of a sudden my right rod signaled a take and shortly after another carp graced the net. At 17lb 8oz it was very welcome.

 A 17lb Mirror carp

Another 17lb mirror 

 Kev came back and he decided he was going for a walk around the local town and to get some fuel. I met up with John and Stu and we went to the cabin for some lunch. Kev came back and on arriving back at the swim we made a small jetty as the bank was getting slippery when putting the bait boat in. It turned out really well and very sturdy. Not bad for an hours work and some old tree stumps that were laying around. Very ingenious!!!

We put the rods out and I gave up half the island for Kev as I would like him to catch another. I put that rod I had fishing there down the right into the bay. We have just had some dinner and are waiting for some carp to have theirs. 

Thurs 4th Sept:  Last night I had 3 carp and lost 1, two carp were around 16lb and a smaller carp about 12lb. Kev had nothing last night but John had a good night with about 4 fish around the 15-16lb mark. I think Lenny had a couple. David and James are still yet to catch although they have had their chances. 

  16lb Mirror Carp

One of the 16lbÂ’ers

In a while we are going to have a little float fishing competition over by the lodge just to break up the day. It should be fun, Kev is looking forward to it he just loves a tiddler. We have just come back from the float fishing competition and what a good laugh it was, Kev finally won with a last gasp roach. John had a 10lb sturgeon and what a fight it gave.Kev had a couple of lovely carp and I had a few too, (one biggie did get away though).We had a lovely steak and chips dinner and now we are back ready to put our rods out for the evening. Well what can I say but Kev has just had the fish of a lifetime catching his 2nd only carp of the week. We had just put out his second rod and were just about to do the third when of the second rod went. It had been in no longer than 10mins. What a fish!!!! 32lb 10oz of mirror carp to be proud of. He played it in like a pro too.

Kev''''''''s PB at 32lb 10oz from Valdore, France 

32lb 10oz of mirror carp. KevÂ’s fish of a lifetime

 Fri 5th Sept:  Last night was KevÂ’s night he had 3 carp including his “32”. He had two 15lb commons but didnÂ’t want to photograph them as they werenÂ’t up to his previous standard and he also wanted to get straight back into bed. A few tench also made an appearance as per usual. Today has not stopped raining and we have been stuck in the bivvy most of the day. Kev did venture down to the local town but thatÂ’s about it. Our rods are out for the night so and we have had a little bit of dinner (after spilling half the soup).

I just had a small carp around 10lb and am hoping for bigger on our last night here, fingers crossed!!!!!!!

John and Stu came over to our swim for a BBQ we had a laugh and talked over the weekÂ’s happenings, the ups and downs and the reasons for this and that. I had a run on my middle rod and played it out of the bushes on the island then the hook pulled out. I was gutted. The rods had been out since 11 oÂ’clock and this was the first bit of action all day. Most of the day we had sat in our bivvies as the rain poured, it had only stopped as evening approached. After the bar-b John and Stu went back to put their rods out for the evening whilst Kev and I settled down to watch more CSI. I lost another 2 fish before we hit the sack. Hoping for some more action tonight!! 

Sat 6th Sept:  We didnÂ’t get much sleep last night the rods were going on the hour every hour. Kev had 3 common carp all of around 15-16lb. I had 2 carp one common of 16lb and another mirror slightly bigger, although we didnÂ’t weigh it as it was raining. A quick recast was all that was needed then back to bed. I lost 2 more carp during the night but at 8am I had another run from my right hand rod fished to the bay. I played this one with great care especially after all my lost carp during the night. Kev landed the fish and as soon as he took it out of the water I could see it looked about 30lb. I shouted over to John who thought I was winding him up. After weighing the mirror carp at 30lb 6oz I called over to John to come and help with the photos.

 30lb+ Mirror Carp from Valdore, France

Last fish of the week 30lb 6oz

Straight after the fish was returned we started packing up our campsite ready for the journey home. I had started the week with a 30lb carp and ended the week with one. What a week! Kev had seven carp in all which was excellent for him. He was getting right into it towards the end even running out into the rain in just his socks. I couldnÂ’t fault his dedication to the week. John, Stu, Lenny and big John had their fair share of carp to 25lb. Unfortunately luck was not on the side of David and James as 18 lost fish deserved better especially after all the effort put in.


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