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23/9/17 – Kirton Hall Lake

I decided I’d had enough of blanking for a while, and that it was time to restore some confidence and get some fish on the bank, so a trip to Kirton was in order.

I chose a spot at the wider end of the lake that the wind was pushing into, and just before setting up I gave the bloke in the swim to my left a hand landing a nice lower double.

Within an hour I’d had a couple of tentative bites on the left hand rod resulting in a bream and a tench.

Despite it being pretty overcast all day, perseverance managed to get a few carp feeding off the top and finally resulted in a common of about 9lb

Nice to get a bend in the rod again and it’s always nice to catch a bonus tench, whatever the size. Sorry Mr Bream.

Another intere-sting visitor was this hornet who popped in for a drink about five times during the session. Finally got a decent pic on his 4th visit after freaking myself out on the previous 3 attempts to get close. 

Where’s the catch?

27/8/17 – Suffolk water park (Big Lake) – overnight session

Another opportunity to get three rods out for 24hrs. I struggled to choose a swim today due to the wind chopping up the surface making it hard to read any signs of life. I opted for a peg facing the deeper, open area of the lake. During the day I used the third rod to try and get some surface activity going but the gulls were a proper nuisance and the fish, when they did feed, seemed incredibly wary of anything attached to a hook.

Throughout the night I was getting single bleeps almost every half hour, which must have been the bream and not liners, as I was using back leads on every rod. Not great for trying to get some kip and to make matters worse, the fuckwits in the next door swim got a screaming run at 2am which they didn’t seem at all interested in picking up (presumably due to a few too many beers). After two minutes I’d had enough and stomped out of my bivvy and shouted “for fuck sake guys, come on!” One of them finally staggered out, seemingly confused as to what this strange disturbance was. Amazingly when he picked up the rod, the fish was still on. As I trudged back to my pit, I prayed for it to come off… At least something went right for me. I mean ffs! When you have a lake this hard where bites are so desperately hard to come by, why the hell would you risk missing one??

Rant over. What a beautiful morning vista!

Winged things

8/8/17 – Taswood Lakes (Heron Lake).


The last time I came to Taswood, I caught a duck. Off to a flying start…

Not my finest hour.

A much needed week off work allowed for a rare overnight session and the chance to dust off the bivvy again for only the third ‘successful’ time. As per last time, conditions weren’t great, with a potential storm on its way. But I was out on the bank and in-it-to-win-it. I didn’t care.

I was in good company for the session. A cormorant in the peg to  my left, a Heron in the trees to my right and the family of Kingfishers in the bank opposite. Oh yeah, and the Osprey that scared the absolute shit out of me, thundering past just a few hundred feet above the lake.

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. Not my photo – I wasn’t quick enough!

Anyway, with the exception of the Osprey, it seemed like everyone was catching except me. I was happy with my swim choice. It actually gave me myriad choices and the absence of anglers within sight meant I had access to about 6 swims-worth of water.

My first bite came about 3pm in the afternoon. A very positive take which unfortunately only resulted in a severed hook link. Possibly a pike as I was fishing a Nash Key Krill boilie and felt no resistance when I lifted into the run.

A short while later a tentative take on the left rod resulted in a sizeable roach, which had attempted to take a 15mm boilie.taswoodroach1

This was followed soon after by a similarly over-confident bream.


For the night I brought both rods just a few feet out in front of me where there appeared to be quite a bit of bubbling. The night passed without event though, apart from having to get up and shoo a couple of hedgehogs away that were truffling around at the door to the bivvy and driving me crazy.

The rain finally arrived in the early hours and got heavier as the next day went on. I managed to get a couple of carp feeding off the top so switched one rod to a surface approach but all I managed was three more sprightly roach.

I hate packing up in the rain and the two long trips along the deep gravel path to the car park and now torrential rain made it a far from enjoyable experience to round off the session. My spirits have not been dampened though and as far as that lake goes, we definitely have unfinished business.

I’ll be back.

Does exactly what it says on the tin.

30/7/17-Suffolk Water Park (Traditional Lake).


I was convinced the rain and my early start would help me beat the crowds and ensure a spot on the Big Lake today but alas, it was not to be. Instead I had to settle for a blank on the Traditional Lake. Not my favourite place.

I would rather blank on the Big Lake any day. It’s just a better kind of blank. Far more picturesque, far more satisfying.

Cause for alarm

Kirton Hall Lake – 16/7/17

Back home for the first time in ages. I’m so easily distracted by hunting for ever elusive monsters. Conditions seemed promising with plenty of bubbling and surface activity. kirtonjuly

It could have been such a relaxing day had it not been for the family of four anglers to my left who all insisted on dragging their lines through their full volume alarms to take up the slack immediately after every cast. This is one of my biggest bugs and although I too can occasionally emit a high pitched squeal (normally when I hear one of my alarms scream off), I generally try and keep them as low volume as possible . That coupled with every effort to try and blank, all helps to keep my noise and the disturbance of my fellow anglers to a minimum.

kirtoncommon1kirtoncommon2kirtoncommon3There were three disturbances today. All hard fighting commons up to 7lb.

On the subject of alarms, I’ve just sold my Fox MX+ alarms and down-graded to a set of 3 Saber S4 alarms plus wireless receiver (bought from tacklehound for the same price as just one of the Fox alarms!). I just couldn’t get on with the Foxes. They didn’t seem particularly sensitive, plus I was replacing the batteries every other trip! I’m well aware the build quality of the Sabers is way behind the Fox’s but aside from just a couple of very minor complaints (a couple of sharp edges could have done with smoothing off in the tooling process, plus the line rollers do have a tendency to spin for a good few seconds after the rod is lifted on a fast take) they do a perfect job for my requirements, and the wireless receiver is just an added bonus.

Maybe I’ll do a post sharing some of my favourite tackle bargains, but at the time of writing this I’m already two write-ups behind.

Sound the alarm!


3 is the magic number



9/7/17 – Suffolk Water Park (Big Lake)

Unlike most sessions, there was absolutely no doubt where I was heading today. I had only big fish on my mind (which roughly translates as a blank). Another fair weather session meant limited swim choice but I was determined to do a proper recce of the available spots, rather than just being lazy and jumping into the nearest swim to the car park. This did however involve quite a bit of trekking. There are some beautiful feature-rich areas adjacent to the car park, but I could see no signs of life and I finally settled for what is normally a very popular location, right at the end of the inner spur of the large horseshoe.


I had spotted a couple of fish about 10′ off the far bank, plus a single fish crashed out right in front of me. That was enough to make my mind up. Almost two hours after arriving, I finally had three rods out. The first time, incidentally, that I’ve fished three rods! I found a gravel bar about halfway out and sat the two main rods out on this after spombing out a bucket full of hemp, pellet and crushed boilie (# first mistake). The right rod was flicked out just a couple of rod lengths on the spot where the fish crashed out.

It was the middle rod’s day today. When the alarm first sprung into life, the only thing going through my mind as I leapt from my chair, was ‘it’s gonna be a new pb!’, and you know what? – I was right!


Not quite what I had in mind, but at just under 6lb a new pb bream.

Two hours later, when i’d just about removed all the slime from my hands, middle rod was off again resulting in a new pb of 6lb 12oz, and half an hour later, yet another improvement on that with another of exactly 7lb.


Yes, in hindsight, with the spomb contents, I probably asked for their attention (#lessonlearned) but it sure beats a blank.




Sweet Sixteen

25/6/17 – Somewhere in Suffolk.

A nice early start. A brief pause to sweep up the layer of bird feathers from the kitchen floor and a quick ‘wheelie-bin-burial’ for the previous owner of the feathers, before hitting the road north-bound with a choice of two locations.

Deciding not to take any punishment Melton had in store for me today, I headed for my little hideaway out in the sticks. In my very first post about this location, I mentioned a conversation with the bailiff where he had told me about two young lads who had caught fifty carp between them in one session! At the time I took this tale with the pinch of salt I thought it deserved but I’ve since come to learn the possibilities this lake has to offer.14

My prayers for an empty lake were answered when I arrived to find not another soul around. I set one rod up on the ledger which I cast to the far margin (where the larger fish usually lurk due to it being inaccessible from that side of the lake). The other rod was to be my surface rod for the day. I’d brought my bucket of dog biscuits and within a few minutes I was in to my first sprightly young carp. To be honest, I wasn’t totally prepared for a day of surface fishing and was somewhat limited with my hook bait options. While these carp are incredibly greedy and confident feeders, they still spook quite easily at poorly presented hook bait. Boilies are mouthed or just ignored, so my remaining options were hair-rigged biscuits or the crust from my sandwiches (which was all I was prepared to sacrifice). Neither of these options like to stay on the hook for long so it proved to be a busy day re-baiting. Nevertheless, it was still a very fruitful day.

Sixteen fish made it into the net. About five slipped the hook. I had one run on the ledger rod which I lost in the far snags. Not quite as bad as the other bloke who turned up halfway through the day and watched as the rod and reel he’d borrowed from a friend was snatched out of his hands as he was setting it on the rest, and disappeared into the depths, despite a frantic scrabble around in the shallows before it vanished. I couldn’t help chuckle, and as he packed and left, I promised to keep an eye out for it.

Some you win.