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Carp Fishing 2019-2020

Well, Happy New Year to you all and would like to wish you all as many pb's and wonderful fishing adventures this year.

At this time giving that I have had limited fishing time, looking back at 2019 for me and where it has led me in my carp fishing aspirations this year is important to how I approach my years fishing. I like to set myself little goals that are easily achievable with applied hard work and persistence.

At the beginning of 2019 Jan I was out on the bank tidying my gear up as lets face it, its the best time to do it as the bites come slowly. I soon realised that after a few visits, the hoodoo of the year before was behind me. Fish were back in the net in difficult conditions which started me in good stead for the coming year.

It was a year of trying new fisheries and opening up the diverse range of lakes around the Lincolnshire area and further. A few sessions with different friends, relations and on my own allowed me to catch a variety of fish that i did not intend to catch at the beginning of the year. First Catfish, first Salmon (we were targeting them:) and many carp from different locations.

In cold conditions right through the to Spring, I try smaller lakes where a chance of a bite and a bend in the rod chances are increased. Still lovely lakes and worth the challenge, I've found that this helps kicks the year off with a few fish on the bank where the harder lakes I tend to leave until the fish are actually feeding!

As mentioned before, i have taken to my little local fishery - Monarch Lakes - with 2 one acre lakes with a decent head of fish of a very good size up to 37lb. Gary always looks after you and one of the most welcoming fishery owners i have come across including his wife and daughters.

Gary and the team will offer you breakfast on arrival which has not to have a head turned against. Somehow he or shall I say mostly his wife, manages to bring it around the time you have cast your rod out and sat down... don't ask me - They have has the knack. Lets not forget to mention, that breakfast can be accompanied with a tea or coffee.

I like coming here in the winter, the weather can have an adverse effect on enjoyment but in Gary's fishery, the home comforts of hot food and drinks go a long way.

The lakes themselves - Hope & Glory are two very different lakes. Hope is where you would go if you were to be confident of catching a fish giving the right tactics at the right time are used. Fish in here go up to upper 20's and around 200 carp at least to go at. There are three lakes that split the lake down the middle and give the lake an even break of swim for each angler. I have caught fish here on all sorts but found the Link by mainline to be quite useful here. I even used snails from the specimen hemp tins to save a blank with 3 fish in the last hour when all else had failed.

Glory lake is a much harder lake with much bigger fish who are spooky and hard to catch. Having said that, when it turns on, it turns on and the chance of landing a PB is very real here.

I accompanied my big mate early in the year - Alan Lilley who blanked for 24 hours then landed a 22lb carp at first attempt in the last hour. He is the grumpy one in the gallery :).

We both have come here and seen many fish caught which are brilliant sport. I spent about 100 hrs fishing here early in the year and had over 10 wish in very difficult conditions. In the summer the place takes off!

I accompanied random visits to Monarch Lakes as well as visiting Bain Valley Fisheries which is close to my heart as its where i learned to carp fish and tweak my carp fishing.

I can turn up here and have an approach for any of the 3 lakes i fish. Doesn't mean i always catch fish but i know here i am in with a chance of a mid-double on the colder conditions quite regularly.

Hurricane is a 2 acre match lake, looks like a carp lake though, a lot of silvers but plenty of carp to go at too! I like this little lake, swims are secluded and your not fishing on top of each other. I usually use a single boilie with free offerings of about 10-20 and usually can grab a bite - slowly topping up through the session.

Spitfire is much the same but more of a night carp fishing lake. Land on the right spot in here and you can have a very exciting 24hrs with good sport. Fish in here go over 23lbs and some cracking fish to go at. The far right hand side corner from entry point is well know to produce some cracking fish but I have caught fish all around this lake so don't be downhearted if the swim you want is taken!

Stirling Lake is where the challenge becomes more apparent and there for the taking. There are big fish - unknown weights as its not fished enough. I've seen 30's come out of here that look in pristine condition. What I do like about all these lakes is that you can drive up to your peg with masses of room remaining. Cracking little venue and worth a bash for day/long sessions and even if you do love the challenge, the specimen lakes are worth a go!

As i got the colder months out of the way and realised I could be onto a good year of fishing, the enthusiasm to get out on the bank around work and 2 kids as much as possible was stronger than ever and i think the warm winter definitely set up my year off to a good start. I started trying different lakes by chance and different people who had asked me to go which help me spread a wide variety if the choice was soley down to me.

I tried Willow croft Fisheries in Wisbech for the first time on the Cafe Lake in early Spring which did not fail its reputation of a prolific Carp Fishery. In 6 hours, i had 12 carp up to 20lb and at that point, i had said no catfish thankfully..... as i had never caught one. After speaking to the bailiff i was made aware that it would cost me a mere 5 pounds to continue through the day. I am not one for carrying a lot of cash but reached in my pocket and it was right there to make the session continue. A quick phone to the boss to let her know that the option that had been presented was too good to refuse! After my mate Simon Beal left late afternoon, i sat their pondering realising that today was going to be the day i catch my first catfish and i will not have a clue what to do with it!!! Later that night, it had all quietened down landing one mid double around 8pm, i got into bed and lay there cringing as something was telling me it was coming. With Cat fish to 80-odd lb, I was on edge.

11pm comes round, the rod screams off and instantly thought pb or a cat, i eased my rod into a nice bend and it was still going. The fight was different, lumpy, deep and not much movement at all after it shot of to a fair 50-75 yards. The whole time I was thinking, olay it gently and you could have a pb carp in the net. On the other hand I knew I was playing my first ever catfish, heart was thumping and soon realised that netting this thing was definetly taking longer than usual. after playing it for a while I was looking over the lake to see who was still awake if this monster was too big to net.

The funny thing was, after finally getting to see it enter my net and curl up, I thought 40lb come on.... Got it on the scales it was 25lb ha aha ah. I was looking at this alien thing like, how can that be? Lesson learned, cats look bigger than there weight.

Between a few visits at Willow croft, i was then invited to fish for a week at Swangey Lakes on the last week of submitting my Masters Degree! I could not refuse and decided to study there hoping to not catch too many, which was always going to be the opposite. Plus it was good to catch up with my old muckers. By this time it was the middle of July and the weather was Spain like. Not really realising this was another venue full of cats, on the first 2 days here i had around 3 carp to 19lb and 8 Catfish. One thing I found here is that the people are really friendly and always keen to see how you are getting on. I supposedly had one of the least fished swim called Twenties which produced constant action. When asked, the people were surprised to hear that I had netted 3 carp. This just shows you how many cats are in this place but the carp are there to be had. I revisited to land a 35lb'er later in the year.

The burger van there is to die for and saves a lot of food packing! and the choice of swims give you a good space of water to fish on. If you can accept that cats are definitely going to come out to play, there are certainly special carp to be had at this place.

Not so relevant to the site itself, i had a brilliant year carping and catting if there is such a word. For me, its the carp all day long, the cats seem too greedy for me. When you are catching them on 12mm boilie's it tells me more about the fish than it does the bait. I get this vision of how the must just swim around like Dyson's in Bill Gates house.

To end the year i was invited to the River Deveron for a bit of salmon fishing with my brother and friends which i happily accepted. By the end of the week i knew that i had just given this river a little luck with the year i had to look back on full of carp catches, cats and now fresh water salmon. The lads i went with had been going for years - and 29 fish between 4 for 5 days was something the river had not seen for years and to throw in that i caught the freshest salmon of the week on the last day topped my year off completely.

If i have half of a year in 2020 that i did in 2019, i will be satisfied although my plan this year is not to catch lots of carp, but to try and get that big one. I have a plan and the coming year will soon let me know if that plan is going to work!

Happy New Year Everyone.

Tight Lines

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