It was Saturday evening and I just couldn't decide whether or not to fish the following morning. This gave me a perfect excuse to drag the family out for a walk around the Marsh. After a hot day it was just cool enough to be comfortable as we left the car and headed down to the lake. The first part of our walk was through woodland which in the kids imagination became a tropical rainforest full of Tigers, Snakes and Rhinos. I don't know how the kids would fare in a real rainforest as the “dangerous” stinging nettles were a real challenge to them. In their imaginations they were both Indiana Jones and battled bravely through the swamp and dense forest to emerge unscathed in the savannah, AKA “The bunny field”. Here they squealed with delight watching the multitudes of wild Rabbits scurrying for cover as they approached. The kids wanted to get closer but their heavy footfalls gave the game away no matter how hard they tried.
Meanwhile I was nipping in and out of the various swims we passed, scanning the Lake for signs of activity. This place is usually quiet but this evening it was fairly busy, the hot weather had brought a few extra people out for the night. At first glance it seemed too busy for me and I'd half decided not to bother the following morning. I nodded to the angler bivvied up in the swim I'd fished last time out but he either didn't see or pretended not too. The next swim I passed was one I haven't yet fished and looked nice, a large bed of lilies to the right and reed beds to the left. No fish showing here tonight however. We reached the far end of our walk and as the kids strived to get ever closer to the elusive bunnies I crept into another swim for a look. I passed a couple of young Carp anglers bivvied up with enough gear for an army. They ignored my greeting...or maybe I should give them the benefit of the doubt and say they couldn't hear it above the sizzling stove? Whatever, the swim next door to them looked good, opposite me was a bed of lilies which looked the part and as I stood there Madison clumsily joined me, spooking a decent sized fish which displaced a lot of water in the margins in front of us. That was enough for me, I decided to set my alarm and have a couple of hours fishing right here, in the early morning.
We retraced our steps through the bunny field and this time I decided to give the mud and nettles a miss and steer us on a more comfortable course back to the car. We passed plenty of Rabbits, to delight of the kids, along with unidentified birds singing their hearts out in the trees. However, to Isaac's disgust there were no bats putting on an aerial display, we were a little too early for that tonight.
By 5:30 the following morning I was back, in the swim next to the slumbering Carp anglers. I quickly cast a chod rig baited with a pop up strawberry boilie and a PVA bag full of pellets across to the pads. The other rod was an open end feeder fished bolt rig style, baited with pop up fake maggots and filled with the green Lake wizard groundbait. The plan with this rod was to be vigilant and cast to any bubblers showing. If any particular area showed lots of signs of fish or the unlikely event of me actually catching a Tench then I'd put a load more bait in this area. As I tackled up I hadn't seen any bubblers so cast into open water in an area I'd seen a Tench roll before. What I had seen however was Carp, lots of Carp and they were spawning.
Throughout the session Carp were crashing in the pads opposite me, rustling the reeds beside me and swimming hurriedly by in twos and threes. It was all very showy and noisy but I suppose if you only have sex once a year you might as well make a big deal about it. Most of the fish were mid doubles but I did see a couple (or was it the same one?) that were big fish. It's almost certain that it was a Carp that Madison had spooked the previous evening.
My fishing was uneventful to day the least. I left the Chod rig in place all morning and apart from the occasional blip on the alarm nothing happened. I did see the occasional patch of fizz to my right so decided to concentrate the feeder rod here with three big balls of groundbait chucked in too. At 7.30, with an hour to go I decided to set up a float rod too, fished very close in shallow water near to where the Carp were spawning. This failed to stir any fishy interest either. At a little after eight o'clock the slumbering Carp anglers beside me awoke and began swearing at each other. They were greatly excited by the amount of Carp activity around them and were dumbfounded as to why they hadn't caught anything. Not that they talked to me of course but you could have heard them in the next county.
By 8:30 it was time for me to pack up and get away as child care duties were calling. Usually I hate packing up but today I hadn't seen a sign of any Tench today, would they be scared off by the spawning Carp? Who knows. I definitely didn't relish sitting next to the two cursing, clueless Carpers any longer so getting away wasn't too much of a wrench. Another trip has passed without the elusive Tench but the fat lady ain't singing yet!
In the absence of any fish here's another picture of the Lake, nice hey?