Christmas tree decorations

30/12/17 – Kirton Hall Lake

I can’t believe it’s been 3 whole months since my last trip!

I wouldn’t say i was rusty but it took half an hour to attach the first of my new hand-tied rigs to my main line.

Four! Yes, four attempts! The first three all managing to miss out a, different, key part of the carefully prepared rig. I was literally laughing out loud at how crap i was.

In hindsight, i could have saved myself the time & effort by just walking along the bank a short way and throwing it in the tree where it eventually ended up.

There were only a few bites today. A couple of missed runs from the rod in open water (probably bream) but luckily there was one very welcome present from under the tree which managed to save a blank on the ‘last trip of 2017’.

A beautiful 11lb common

Overall its been an up and down year. Not exactly a plethora of day session fish, but i did manage to get a couple of successful overnighters under my belt at last.

So, plans for 2018 include trying a few new venues that have been on the to-do list for a while, plus hooking up for some sessions with a couple of mates, or as i like to call them ‘photographers’ 🙂

Happy new year to my followers and good luck to you all in 2018, whatever your pursuit.


Busy day at the bank

27/9/17 – Kirton Hall Lake

A week off work enabled a mid week session at Kirton. I arrived expecting to have my choice of any swim but so did everyone else apparently. I settled for a peg only two away from my spot last week, which was actually slightly better as it enabled me to reach the edge of the pads on the opposite bank.

Final tally for the day was four nice commons up to 13lb, one recently stocked fully-scaled mirror and yet another beautiful tench of 4.5lb which I’m pretty sure is a tench pb for me.

Frustratingly, I just don’t seem to be able to up my carp pb which has stood at 18lb 12oz since Jun 2015.

I have got an overnighter scheduled at a new venue at the end of this month which I’m absolutely buzzing about, so fingers crossed I can finally break the deadlock and tempt a twenty!!

Tight lines all!

Home advantage

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!