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Published in website
Wednesday, 25 October 2006 00:00

Thorpe Lea Surrey

Regular readers of my diary pages and the UK Fisherman Fishing Forum will know that for some time now I have been itching to try some carp fishing at Thorpe Lea in Surrey, a venue in Surrey renowned for its huge stock of fast growing carp and as a quality "bagging" water. Anywhere with "easy fishing" suits me to a tee !!

not quite my PB - a 14lb 8oz Thorpe Lea mirrorI couldn't resist a kind invitation from Luke "crazy_carper" Thomas to meet up with me and show me how to get the best from a days fishing at Thorpe Lea so duly took the day off work (any excuse to get away from the computer) and met up with Luke at 8am in the Thorpe Lea carpark.

The weather forecast had been for heavy rain and wind and for once the weathermen had got it right. The grey skies got greyer as we walked round to the far side of the lake and the heavens opened as we settled into our swims. Luke explained that the reason for choosing these swims is that about 60yds out there is a plateau around 4ft deep that the carp patrol along, hoovering up any feed they come across. Luke set up a simple rig with a hair rigged Richworth Dumbell boilie whilst I opted for a method feeder using a hair rigged squid boilie.

The morning was hard going !! I failed miserably to get a take at all and to be honest I was having difficulty reaching the shallow plateau. Luke's spodding seemed to be paying off however as he managed two decent mirror carp, the largest tipping the scales at 16lb.

Luke with the biggest fish of the day, a 16lb 8oz mirrorThings livened up in the afternoon (as the bailiff said it would). Luke continued to catch at a steady rate and ended the day with 9 fish, the biggest of the day being a 16lb 8oz Mirror Carp. (In fact all the fish we caught were Mirrors).

Luke decided that the method was the not the best tactic for me and switched me to a simple rig similar to his and launched some of his spod mix out for me. It didn't take long for my baitrunner reel to whir into life (thanks incidentally to Bun at Eccleston Angling Centre for the reel) and I was soon banking a lovely 14lb 8oz Mirror carp. As we weighed it I was unsure whether I had beaten my PB but it fell just short by 8oz.

The rain got the better of us by around 4 o'clock and we decided to call it a day. Despite being easily beaten by Luke I was delighted with my fish and am itching to get back and try Thorpe Lea again. It was a pleasure to meet and fish with Luke. Thanks mate for your advice and patience in trying to educate me in the strange ways of you carp fisherman and I look forward to our next trip.

On that subject, we are planning a pike fishing trip to Farlows lake sometime before Xmas. If you fancy meeting up please indicate your interest via the UK Fisherman Fishing Forum.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Saturday, 24 June 2006 00:00

Manor Farm fishing, Bedfordshire

Despite still suffering the effects of a chest infection and subsequent muscle strain from coughing so much [god I'm getting old !!] I was determined to get out of the house, get some fun on my face and hopefully catch some fish. I decided to hook up with my mate Steve at his "local" venue, Manor Farm in Bedfordshire.

Coarse fishing venues in Bedfordshire - Manor FarmManor Farm is set amongst 86 acres of grass and woodland, and as such attracts a wide range of bird and wildlife. The site currently has 5 lakes, a match canal and a stretch of the River Ivel made famous by local fisherman Dick Walker. They offer a range of types of fishing including a fly-only trout lake (Damsel Lake), an any method trout and mixed coarse fish lake (Becks Lake), a 2 acre mixed lake (Blunham Lake), a 4 acre specimen carp lake (Carp Lake) and a very popular specimen carp lake (Winters Lake) stocked in 2004 with fish from 18lb to 36lb.

By the time I dragged myself up the A1, the rain had already given way to clearing skies and Steve was already set up on Carp Lake. I chose the adjacent swim to him and set up a simple ledger rig using pva bags of crushed boilies and pellets with hair rigged boilies. I set up a splashing waggler on the second rod as there were plenty of carp showing up on the surface. Using banded pellets I reckoned we could be in for some fun

Coarse fishing venues in Bedfordshire - Manor FarmIt soon became sadly apparent though that the resident carp had other plans. Neither of us had a bite or take in the first two hours. The bailiff lifted our spirits somewhat though as he explained that plenty were being caught on the neighbouring Becks Lake. As it truned out, one bloke had caught a few but despite lugging all our gear around to the new lake and perservering for a few hours, we still ended the day with nothing to show for it.

Hey, that's fishing I guess. If you've had better luck recently, why not send in the details to Fish South East or even send me some pics for the gallery.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Friday, 21 July 2006 00:00

Gold Valley Aldershot

Phew what a scorcher !! Although the record breaking weather of earlier in the week had given way to slightly more bearable conditions, the thermometer in the car still read 31 deg c as we headed down the M3 to Gold Valley in Aldershot, Hants. We debated the effect that the recent hot weather would have on the fishing and expected that things could be quite tough going.

7lb Gold Valley Common - nice hat dude!!Three of the lakes were taken up with matches when we arrived so we opted for a swim at the near end on the main lake. I opted for the "spasher wagger" approach as there appeared to be plenty of evidence of carp patrolling the upper levels of the water. Jim plumped for a standard insert waggler approach, again fishing only about 2ft deep, fishing luncheon meat cubes, loose feeding small pellets.

We were soon catching roach, rudd and skimmers to about 8oz, but despite varying depth and hook baits we failed to tempt any of the resident carp which go to well over 20lb. It was at Gold Valley last summer that I caught my PB, a 15lb common. It didn't look at this stage as if there was much chance of that getting beaten. By about 1pm it was so hot and humid that we decided to retire to the bar for a bite to eat and a couple of cool ones!!

Not another tangle JIm!!Somewhat refreshed we decided to change tactics and we swapped to the feeder approach. The guy next to us was having a great time landing carp after carp using this approach so we resumed with renewed confidence. Still nothing of any note to report until I switched to the method feeder, using half a strawberry pellet boilie cast to the island in front of us.

Bingo, I had found where the fish were and promtly landed about 7 carp to 9lb over the next 90 minutes or so. Jim had by this stage got pissed off and decided to resume his waggler fishing for roach. Things slowed down considerably late in the afternoon and with an hours drive back to London up the M3 we decided to call it a day. To sum up, this is not the best days fishing we've ever had at Gold Valley by any means but I can't really complain. The hot weather was not really ideal for fish or fishermen alike so I was more than happy with the day. I will just have to resume my battle to better my PB another day.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Tuesday, 13 March 2007 00:00

Lizard Fisheries, West Drayton

I had heard on the fishing grapevine that Lizard Fisheries in West Drayton, Middlesex had been fishing well of late, presumably due to the mild late winter weather we have been having. I decided therefore that my first visit of 2007 to Lizard was in order !!

I arranged to meet by buddy Steve there and decided to start on lake 1 and see how the fishing was, before possibly moving on to Lake 2 later on. For those of you who have not fished Lizard Fisheries before, Lake 1 is the "match" lake and holds huge stocks of fish with carp to 10lb+, tench, bream, perch and huge shoals of roach and rudd. Lake 2 is primarily a carp fishing lake, much harder to fish but with carp to 20lb+ being the reward for those who like their fishing a little more challenging.

The conditions were bright and definitely "gusty" to say the least. When I pulled into the carpark after a "leisurely" start to the day, it was clear that the choppy conditions were not going to make fishing especially easy.

Depsite this I adopted my usual tactic at Lizard, waggler fishing, this time slightly overdepth, to try and hold the waggler in place against the stong wind. Unlike my usual summer tactics of using pellets or meat, I thought conditions favoured the good old maggot, so I loaded my size 16 hook with four maggots and loose fed a small handful of maggots every third cast of so.

No sooner had my float hit the water for the first time, it dipped boldy under the surface and I was soon into my first fish of the day, a hard fighting mirror carp around 4-5lb. What a great start !! To be honest I was expecting a tough day and was delighted to catch on my first cast.

The afternoon continued very much in the same vein and I ended the day with 9 carp, the best topping the scales at just under 11lb, plenty of small roach and rudd and a bonus perch late on. As the sun went down behind the trees around 5pm, the weather reminded me that we were still in fact in the winter, and I dediced that having had a great day it was time for home.

Lizard rarely disappoints - fishing is relatively easy on Lake 1 and the fish will take most baits. Bear in mind that it can get very busy at weekends, escpecially in the summer, so get there early. There are quite a few bait bans on Lake 1, so don't take groundbait, boilies (ok on lake 2), oily pellets (such as halibut pellets) or sweetcorn with you. If you are caught using any of these banned baits, expect to be thrown off the fishery. Don't let this put you off however, as Lizard is a great no frills fishery where you are sure to catch.

Lizard Fishery is loacted on Trout Road, Yiewsley, West Drayton, Greater London, England

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Friday, 13 October 2006 00:00

Lizard Fisheries, Cowley

An afternoon session at my "local" Lizard Fishery tempted Jim and I on a reasonably mild, early October afternoon.

common carp just shy of the 10lb markLizard wasn't really on it's best form and we both found the fishing hard going, despite some early success for me in the shape of a quality looking common carp just shy of the 10lb mark.

There were few signs of fish being caught by the handful of fisherman at Lizard and when the roach and rudd aren't in feeding mood, you just know things are going to be tough.

 

good condition common carp which weighed in at 9lbA couple of skimmers and roach were the only reward over the next couple of hours, followed late on by another good condition common carp which weighed in at 9lb, which is a decent enough fish for lake 1 at Lizard Fisheries.

So, like so many of my fishing adventures, an OK day with a couple of nice fish despite the fishing being generally hard going.


Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Sunday, 10 December 2006 00:00

Pike Fishing at Farlows Lake

Regular readers of the fishing forum here at UK Fisherman and Fish South East will know that for some weeks now we have been planning a pike fishing trip to farlows Lake in Iver, Buckinghamshire - the first UK Fisherman "social" if you like.

Predicted numbers were anywhere between 3-10 and not surprisingly the number who actually turned up was 3 (myself, Nigel Laughton and Luke "crazy carper" Thomas. Undaunted we met in the carp park at 9am. The weather seemed ideal for a spot of winter pike action: clear skies overnight had left a touch of frost on the ground, whilst the morning saw still, glouriously sunny conditions. We were in confident mood as we chose our swims and set up our rods.

Not a monster pike but welcome nevertheless on cold day at FarlowsNigel had done a fair amount of pike fishing at Farlows and we followed his advice to live bait on the match lake. After a quick trip to the tackle shop on site we all set up a float rig with a free-roving trout livebait set around 3-4 feet under the water. As the floats bobbed and moved around we felt sure it wouldn't be long before the hungry winter pike gobbled up one of our offerings. It was just a case of waiting !!

Well, we waited and waited, and then we waited some more and after that we waited a little bit longer and nothing happened. Several hours went by and despite one run on Nigel's rod which, despite a firm strike, failed to lead to a fish, there was no action at all. By early afternoon, the bright sunny skies had given way to grey, rain filled clouds and a cold wind had sprung up leaving the lake choppy and making it difficult to control our floats effectively. After a brief discussion we decided to move to a more sheltered corner of the lake, which looked much more inviting for the fish.... and us in terms of keeping warm !!

As it turned out, this happended to be the best decision we made all day. After only about 15 minutes in our new swims, my float which I had been fishing in the margins, dipped once and then disappeared under the surface. Slightly surprised, I grabbed the rod and low and behold, I was in !! Now before you get too excited, the fish I landed will not break any records for weight - in fact It was probably the smallest pike caught at Farlows so far this winter. As you can see from the photo, it probably was around 1lb or so. Not a monster, but so, so welcome on an otherwise unproductive day.

Luke looks pleased enough with one of only two fish on the daySomeone must have rung the dinner gong because as soon as I had slipped my capture safely back into the depths of the lake, Lukes pike float boobed and dipped under. He too was soon into a monster pike (again around the 1lb mark). He and I, as novices to the art of pike fishing, were delighted to have actually caught something.

That was unfortunately the beginning and the end of the action for the day. Nigel sadly failed to catch although he is experienced enough at this fishing lark to except that's how fishing is sometimes. I big thanks to Nigel for showing Luke and I the ropes. I thoroughly enjoyed his and Luke's company and I'm sure this will be the first of many enjoyable fishing trips together.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Sunday, 10 September 2006 00:00

Gold Valley Lakes

The weather man was right for a change ! Highs of 27 deg c were on the cards and I felt like another fishing trip coming on. I knew jenny would need little or no persuasion to sit in the sun for afew hours and I desperately need to redeem myself after my woeful performance at Lizard last week. [See diary 07-09-06]

After a leisurely start, we decided on a visit to Gold Valley lakes in Aldershot, hants, where you are almost guaranteed some fine sport. It was midday by the time we arrived, the sun was high in the sky and the main lake was almost full. We had little choice of swims, although fortuntely one of the few availble was nearest the car park.

Mirror carp - Gold valley main lakeJenny adopted the "quantity" approach fishing up in the water for the many silver fish using a waggler, alternating between corn and banded pellets. I adopted the "quality" approach and determined to break by PB [15lb common] set up a method feeder, burying a 15mm pineapple boilie in the mix and casting to the central island. It didn't take Jenny long to find the hungry roach and rudd and it wasn;t much longer before I was playing the first carp of the day, a 7lb common which was soon safely in the net. That was quickly followed by a 9lb 8oz mirror. Meanwhile, Jenny continued to heave out the roach and rudd.

As the heat of the day really kicked in, the fish undertsandably decided that a rest was in order and things went very quiet for a while. It wasn't until about 4pm that things started to liven up again. I decided to ring the changes and opted for the splasher waggler approach using a banded pellet and feeding 6 or 7 pellets every cast.

Mirror carp - Gold valley main lakeThis bought some immediate success. Almost immediately by skud waggler hit the water, my pellet was devoured by a hungry carp which hurtled off into deeper water. Over the next hour or so, I couldn't go wrong and banked another 7 carp, the best tipping the scales at 11lb. They then switched off the feed again and I could only manage one more carp of 9lb before we decided to call it a day as dusk fell.

Gold valley had certainly lived up to its reputation once again as a fisrt class commercial fishery. Despite its various drawbacks [£10 for only 1 rod, a host of bait bans, some poor quality fish and a disappointing attitude to disabled access that we once encountered], it is still worth a visit and you probably won't go away with an empty net !!

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Thursday, 07 September 2006 00:00

Lizard Fishery, Middlesex

Lizard Fishery, Lake 2 - Middlesex

I decided that working too hard makes Paul a dull boy and gave myself the afternoon off. I was meeting up with Steve, an old work buddy of mine who is an avid carp angler. Last time we went fishing, neither of us got a bite all day so we were determined to set the record straight.

14lb Lizard CommonPartly due to an email I recently received from Nigel laughton, who had enjoyed an excellent days fishing there a week or so ago, I decided to show Steve the delights of Lizard Fishery. As I hadn't fished on Lake 2 for some time we decided that we would try for some of the larger carp at Lizard.

We met just after midday and bagged two swims on lake 2. This wasn't difficult as there was only one other guy fishing. Steve set up his two rods, bait alarms, pods etc etc and I set up my one rod, no bait alarms, pods etc. It probably isn't too difficult to guess who had the better day !!

4lb lizard tenchThe fishing was slow and neither of us got a take for the first hour or so. Then I heard the unmistakable sound of Steve's bite indicator going off and he was soon playing his first fish of the day...which turned out to be his best....a 14lb common.

Enthused by this success we both thought this was the start of something good. Well for Steve it was. He caught 4 carp and one tench which weighed in at a credible 4lb. I caught..........1 skimmer.

I'll let the pictures of Steve tell the rest of the story as I'm too depressed to say any more !!

Til next time, happy fishing (and better luck than me) !! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Wood Lane Fishery, Buckinghamshire

Wood Lane Farm Fishery, Iver, Buckinghamshire

Its always a pleasure to try out a brand new fishery. That sense of the unknown just adds to the excitement you already feel when going fishing. Well that was definitely the case today. Jenny had spied a sign to Wood Lane Farm Fishery on her way back from work one day and had been suggesting we try it for some weeks now. Then funnily enough, Nigel Laughton [check his pics out in the gallery] sent Fish South East an email explaining about Wood Lane Farm and the fishing on offer there.

When we arrived, it was, as luck would have it, pouring with rain. After a brief stint sheltering in the car, the skies started to brighten and we were on !! Wood Lane farm consists of two coarse fishing lakes. The larger lake is the match lake and is probably around 3-4 acres with I'd say room for about 20-30 swims. It is pretty featureless and exposed. The smaller lake is more sheltered with swims seperated from each other by tress and bushes, giving it more of a secluded feel. I guess its around half the size of the match lake. I was "reliably" informed that 4 hour matches on the match lake have already been won with weights approaching 200lb and that the second lake holds carp to 30lb. One word of warning - because the fishery is fairly new, the owner hasn't built proper swims/pegs yet, and as some of the banks are fairly steep, care needs to be taken, especially in the wet.

Wood Lane match lake is stuffed full of carp to around 2lbSo enough of this waffle - was the fishing any good you want to know, right? Well in a nutshell, yes it was good. We made a start on the match lake fishing the far bank near the three big trees and it soon became apparent that the lake was absolutely stuffed full of fish. We caught an endless stream of roach, skimmers, chublets, tench and hard fighting carp up to about 2lb. Everthing was on the small side but we had great fun on light tackle and the action was non stop. Sweetcorn, pellets and meat all seemed to gobbled up with equal relish by the hungry fish. They won't stay small for long!

Having sent a few hectic hours on the match lake, we decided to try our luck on the second lake. We chose a swim in the left hand corner of the lake where it looked like there would be some likely fish holding spots. It was pretty evident right from the off that the second lake was very well stocked too and straight away we were catching ths same fish as in the match lake although on the slightly larger size. The weather gods decided to ruin our fun shortly after that so we decided to call it day.

Superb condition fish at Wood LaneWood lane Farm is located about 500 metres down Wood Lane on the left hand side as you approach form Iver. Prices are £10 per day and you must use barbless hooks, dip nets and you cannot use groundbait, boilies and nuts. Despite these restrictions, I would suggest that once the owner has made the venue a bit more access friendly [forget it at present if you are disabled], this will be a cracking venue and will become very popular. So give it a go while you can still get a swim.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Page 1 of 5

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