Over the years we have noticed that the size of the fish reported being caught has increased.
In 2015 the largest fish reported was a 37lbs mirror carp
In 2016 the largest fish reported was a 37lbs common carp
In May 2017 at 38lbs 8oz mirror was landed
Two weeks later another record, this time a common carp which was weighed in at 41lbs.
Over the next few months we have a number of private functions taking place. On these days the opening hours will be different to our usual hours. On the following dates only, we will be opening at 2pm:
- Saturday 29th October
- Saturday 12th November
- Saturday 26th November
- Saturday 10th December
- Tuesday 27th December
- Saturday 7th January 2017
- Saturday 21st January
- Saturday 28th January
Grandma and Grandad had the children for the week. It was Monday morning and the caravan was hitched to the car and the destination was Gabriels Fishery.
Camping and caravanning is separate at the site to the fishing on a level field adjacent to the River Eden and just the other side of the hedge to the fishing lakes. There is a public walk East across the river bridge to the recreation ground at Edenbridge or West to Lingfield or walk North to Haxted and South to Marsh Green and a little playground.
The fishing through out the week was wonderful with a different Lake providing a selection of fish species. Hare Lake was great for pumpkinseed and chub although a common bream of 6lbs was the big fish of their first day.
On the Tuesday they fished with a premixed ground bait that they bought in the Anglers Rest Shop. A golden tench at 4lbs was the fish of their day although Grandad landed a 9.5lb common carp and a lovely 2.5 lb perch. Gudgeon, roach and rudd was the most common caught in their total bag. Each time a fish was caught it was marked on the score card. At the end of the day this showed the total bag for the family was one hundred and twenty two fish;
The caravan had been parked adjacent to the river and although the water was flowing slowly and the water level was dropped so at that point it appears quite narrow with reeds and water lilies and overhanging bushes, the water itself is very clear. At the bridge the children played ‘poo sticks’, dropping a twig each into the water and seeing who‘s was the first to appear on the other side. Grandma noticed that there were a number of fish lying just below the bridge and after a while a much larger fish would dart out and all of the smaller fish would disappear. So in the morning Grandad tried the River Eden. From the shop he bought a tin of luncheon meat and another of sweet corn. He showed the children how to take his plastic biro pen apart and then to use the casing to make small round plugs from the slice of the luncheon meat he had just cut. Then how to put this neatly shaped plug on to the hook, a size 16. To then crimp on a split shot weight just heavy enough to hold the bait in the water below the float. He tried in the river first a swim in the field next to where he parked the caravan. Almost at once a dace was on the bank. This was followed by a fat roach and then a chub of about 3lbs. Several more gudgeon came out and then another chub of 1.5lbs. Four roach on the trot and then a common carp of 3.5 lbs. A small rudd and it was time for a picnic, so every thing changed. After lunch a small expedition was planned to walk up stream into the next field where there was a herd of horses grazing with foals that suckled then went off and played with their friends. The crocodile of four walked past the old weir pool
Oak Lake is Packed full of Carp to 30lbs and these are coming out on fishy boilies, although sweet corn and hemp are still standby favourites. With sensible rigs and the correct tactics for the day, you will catch.
Swallow lake is dominated by smaller carp although they are growing and there is often 8lb and 10lb fish on the bank. The record for this water this is 11.5lbs
Admiral Lake has seen 20lb and 30lb fish on the bank.
Hare and Silver Lakes support between them some twenty four spices of fish with the trees forming sheltered swims and natural coves and islands with their different forms of reed and sedges. They all create natural features to watch and wonder at. Will a fish be waiting there? Rings ripple on the surface as a fly evolves and a fish jumps to capture it. Watch the flycatchers and long tail tits call to their brothers and sisters then flitter amongst the plants and bushes. A shrew with its pigmy tail out straight behind and its long nose out straight in front runs across the front of the swim, its little legs going so fast that it looks like the body is hovering over the bumps in the grass. Then the float disappears. Too late, the angler forgot to strike and the hook is bare. Was it just a little fish or a specimen pumpkinseed, a North American perch with a red or sometimes a black dot on the gill line, a feisty small fish at just over 8ozs?
On the bank there is a new form of fisherman and I can report seeing this specimen now on several occasions. He comes in different shapes and sizes, normally in the late teens to early thirties, however there are a few older ones but they tend to be a little scarcer. It seems that this angler enjoys his fishing but has evolved from society in which he lives and works to the extent that he has to be in contact with his work mates, his friends and all of his family all of the time no matter what else is going on. He is just too busy to concentrate on anything around him. He is easily identified because of the phone that is stuck to his ear or you may notice that his thumbs that are always sending text messages.
One such specimen fisherman was sitting on a stool with his tackle around him in what can only be described as an untidy manner. His rod was on a rest and he was fishing with a float near to a pad of water lilies on Hare Lake. He was wearing a pair of trainers with baggy trousers, a chequered shirt and green fishing jacket with lots of pockets. He had a phone stuck to his ear. His left arm kept waiving around as if conducting a fantasy orchestra. His float went under and his line went taut and pulled at the rod in the rest. This specimen fisherman jumped up quite quickly with his phone stuck to his right ear, being right handed, he then danced, first with one leg and then with the other, over the rod. With his left hand he picked up the rod and pointed it vertically to the sky, then proceeded to dance, one step forward and two steps back, working the fish away from the lilies. Three steps side together side. His left arm was now pointing the rod behind him and the fish was close to the bank side and so was he. Not remembering his dance steps or the fact that he was still on the phone and he still had to land the fish, he took two fatal steps forward. His phone hit the water first as his left hand described a complete arc in the air with his rod following the movement. His face hit the water before any of his clothing got wet giving him a shock he probably needed.
The fish came off the hook as the line went slack; the rod came to rest on top of the lilies. The specimen fisherman came to the surface and said into the phone stuck to his ear ‘’ I’ll call you back’’. I helped the specimen out of the water and onto the bank. As he dripped and stripped off to put on his dry boiler suit he explained to me how fishing should be about relaxing in a peaceful location and that diving into the water is not only dangerous but against the fishery rules , it disturbs all the wildlife as well as the other anglers.
At Gabriels Fishery, anglers can arrive at 7.00am , go fishing, sit about and relax , picnic and absorb the tranquillity of the watery environment , watch the reed warblers and king fishers as well as the gold crest wrens then catch a pumpkinseed or chub or gudgeon , roach , common bream or perch . Golden tench are a beautiful fish and have not evolved any further than their present perfect form since the geological cretaceous period and yet they are here for us to marvel today.
For those of you who would like to go straight to work after fishing, please note there are hot showers at the camp site, so you have no excuse to leave for work in the mornings, smelling like…..When camping , please enjoy the roasted marsh mellows but leave hot coals to cool in the fire pits provided.
The River Eden is producing catches of perch, chub and roach as well as a lot of others as the river can. Two brown trout were reported caught last week in the weir pool.
Beautiful pink cherry blossom is out in full flower. The fish are jumping out of the water as if they want to pick the fruit before it is set on the tree. The first cuckoo was heard and seen at the fishery on the 17th April.
The fish are feeding on maggot and roach, bream and perch to 4lb have come out of Hare Lake.
Silver Lake holds fifteen species of fish. The record last year was nine species caught in four hours. The fish are feeding well, but can you present the right bait on the right rig in the right place, to beat this record?
On the surface in the afternoons when the sun has warmed the water, carp are caught on floating dog biscuit. During the day though, the fish seem to favour halibut prawn and shrimp on Oak Lake.
Swallow is a lake for those who want to catch fish up to 10 lbs and right now the water is rated good to easy fishing
Boilies such as crab, halibut as well as prawn are producing regular 20lbs and 30lbs carp on Admiral Lake.
There is a real mix of species on silver lake, with chub, tench and carp all feeding. Over the holiday fishing has been very good with the initial warm weather bringing the expectation of a great day and the fish responded well, and everyone caught something.
Why is it that we call our sport coarse fishing?
Well on Friday I came across a possible answer when i heard a car pull up at the car park. Two people got out, one in their teens and the second was in his sixties. They settled like a couple of butterflies in a double swim but not before they had examined the swim in some detail and then gone off to see what everyone else was doing. Eventually they got set up and put small hooks onto long traces which were attached to quite large floats. So it appeared they were after strong or even heavy fish. In certainly four to five minutes the float was dancing and bobbing about. A bream of about 1lb was brought to the surface but came off the hook before it reached the bank. This happened again with a roach and again with a chub of about 2lbs so they had nothing reaching the bank! The hook was changed to the next size up.
I was fishing the opposite bank and catching perch with maggot and small red worm. In two hours I netted eight fish on a 16 hook, all perch up to 2lbs one went over 3.5lbs but not quite 4lbs.
The two men used ground bait sprinkled over the surface and the float was positioned in the centre. The rod was placed on its rest and the float disappeared below the surface. The older man struck and the rod bent as the line went taught. Then the line went slack as the fish swam towards the bank and an area of reeds to the left of the swim.
But instead of turning the fish with the rod and keeping the fish in open water, the man let the fish swim into the reeds. Realising his mistake, the older man began to mutter to himself. The fish had outwitted him and now using the slack line was weaving the reeds into a tangle.
The young man, who turned out to be the grandson, took a landing net round to the fish in the reeds. Thinking that was a good tactic, the grandfather followed. The fish was still in control but the hook was holding firm. Then with a lot of splashing the fish was on the surface and showed itself to be a large common carp of about 15lbs. The grandson took advantage and placed the net in the water close to the fish which continued ti splash about. An alarmed moorhen burst out of the reeds across the water just to create a distraction.
The fish flapped into the net but the line was still caught up in the reeds. So taking a step forward, grandfather proceeded to untangle the line using the tip of the rod. At first this worked, but as the line was retrieved so it became tighter and more securely attached to the reed. Grandfather started to instruct the grandson to unhook the fish which was still in the water splashing about in the net.
“Lift the net up and bring the fish in!”
“I can’t, the line’s caught”
“Well get closer”
“I can’t, your rod’s in the way”
“Put the net handle the other side of you”
The fish was splashing about again
“Keep the net up!” instructed Grandfather
“I’ve got wet feet now!” Explained the grandson
“You’ll have more than wet feet if you don’t come round here and be a bit more helpful!”
Grandfather was now panicking because his footing was also precarious, as he took another step forward into the reeds.
The reeds tend to grow on top of themselves with a root mat that floats on the surface of the water so that new roots are always wet. This mat over the surface of the water provides the fish with protection from overhead predators as well as a larder of food. The reeds were not capable of supporting anything other than their own weight and the weight of a person was too much!
Grandfather slid sideways towards the fish in the net. In slow motion he put his hand out to his grandson who was knocked off his feet, falling onto the handle of the net. Grandfather pushed the rod into the reeds as he fell into the water. It snapped in two places and the line was cut as the handle of the net went into reeds under the weight of the grandson. the fish was lifted from the water, still in the net. The words now coming from both men were numerous and from and ancient English origin when language was gestures and still evolving into words.
Rolling over, the grandson was able to put the net with the fish onto the bank and proceeded to free the carp from the hook.
It all happened in the time that it took me to reel in and put my rod in the rest. I walked round the lake and informed the two men [with a smile ] that I would have to fine them both for swimming as it was against the fishery rules, and they were both given a pair of overalls which didn’t really fit anyone, but they still went home saying how much they had enjoyed the day.
The lakes at Gabriels Fishery are a natural environment with bushes, trees, reeds of different species and many other different water plants, creating the ecology and habitat for all local British wildlife. I can report that safe coarse fishing is available at Gabriels’ Fishery.
This winter we have only recorded three nights of frost and then the temperatures steadied at around 8 degrees each night. The winter storms brought with them a lot of rain and strong winds which brought down trees blocked ditches and flooded the roads to our fishery. Throughout much of the winter, anglers have not been able to get to the water even though the lakes themselves have not been affected by the flooding. The temperature of the water has remained high and the fish have continued to feed.
Strong and healthy fish are every where. But watch out for the heavy weights as they have uncharacteristically fed themselves silly all winter and put on muscle in the warm water and are in prime condition. I will not be surprised to hear that record weights for roach, rudd and perch are being broken this year.
The sun has come out and the temperature has risen again and the fish have started to jump.
Those anglers who have recently dipped their lines in the water, found that the large carp were turned on and fed franticly on anything sweat or fishy. Boilies flavoured of, strawberry, tutti-fruity, pineapple, scopex, crab, halibut and prawn all of these have caught 18lbs to 36lbs carp this last month.
Within a couple of days the bird life around the lakes changed. The swans arrived along with the buntings and the reed warblers, long tailed tits and gold finches. kingfishers have been seen first sitting in the poplar trees where the buds are just breaking, then diving into the water and coming out with a small fish in their bills.
Fishing, looking and listening, participating and experiencing life is evolving into spring. The tips of the reeds have started to show their first signs of growth and the perch have chased the small fish as they fed on the new roots. Maggots worked well to catch the perch close in the margins particularly where this new growth was obvious. There are a lot of frogs croaking in the margins and shallow water. This means that there will soon bee lots of natural food for the fish and the fishing will be fantastic.
The Environment Agency closed season is now with us and this means that many club waters are closed too. Don’t put away your rods just yet Gabriels Fishery and many other still water venues are open for business.
Dominated by carp with an average size of 6lbs and a lake record of 12lbs. Other fish include roach, bream and rudd. An excellent days fishing can be had with a few maggots but be careful not to loose the catch in the margin, reeds. This lake is easy to access from the central car park where there are also toilets and litter bins.
Perch to about 2lbs have come out on maggot in the margins all of this month Silver lake
This water is fishing well in the sun where tench chub, rudd, dace and roach have all put in a regular appearance. Many people have taken time to explain that they have had their best days fishing in this month’s early sunshine.
The river Eden is controlled by the Environment Agency and it is the closed season
For the first three weeks of the period has meant warm water and Admiral Lake has fished its head off
For those who fished with maggot found that perch and roach were easily caught, as were carp to 12 lbs. Larger carp have seen on the surface where skilfully placed floating baits have seen 21lb to 27lb fish on the unhooking mat.