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.