Trying a new venue for carp (Entry 36)

A change of venue for this weeks update but not for the species I targeted. With the rivers now closed I have decided to focus my attention on fishing a few waters for carp until I feel the weather is suitable to start my tench campaign. I’m really looking forward to that but I know its going to be hard even before I begin so the next few weeks fishing will be relatively laid back. Having said that I’m still not an angler who will sit motionless on the bank without changing my rig a few times or moving to find fish, and its a good job really, if you read on you’ll find out why.

IMG_1570The fishery I headed for this week was Field Farm Fishery near Sandbach. I had it in my mind to fish its specimen pool to try and tempt some of its bigger residents. With it being open to the public, and a busy water, I imagined it would be hard going. The weather had decided to turn very cold again, and overnight, heavy snow fell. Thankfully on my arrival to the fishery just after dawn, it had all but melted, with just a light scattering left. My approach today was going split between the two rods. On one rod I would fish with maggots flavoured with turmeric  a winter carp favourite, and on the other rod my usual bright pop-up fished KD style and cast around to any features in an attempt to try and find a feeding fish. I assumed on such a water the fish would see a lot of bait so fishing one rod with a natural bait and the other as just a single hookbait might give me a little edge. As you can see from the picture the swim I settled into gave me a lot of options admittedly over quite a small section of water but it seemed like the swim had a lot of potential. My right rod was fished to open water where I managed to find a small silt bed. Here I Spombed out a small bed of maggots and fish a simple maggot rig over the top. My left hand rod was my ‘searching’ rod and I began by exploring along the bank of hawthorns to my left, leaving it for around 30-45 minutes before recasting.

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As I expected the session began very slowly. I watched the water during dawn and not once did I spot anything move. No carp, no silvers. Nothing at all. A few other anglers had arrived whilst I set up and they all seemed to be feeding fairly aggressively. It being my first visit I thought maybe the fish might react to a bit of bait on here. Surely they couldn’t, it just didn’t seem right to me so I stuck to my guns and waited to see who would catch first, if at all. Turns out it was this little guy who would get a bite before any of us as he wolfed down all the maggots I could throw to him. I love how tame robins become if you offer them a little food. He was a cheeky little thing and grew so confident he didn’t need me to throw the maggots to him by the end of the session and instead, perched on the side of my bait tub, and helped himself.

IMG_1575After a few hours I had my first indication. It came from my left hand rod a few minutes after casting to a different area, just off the marginal slope by a bed of dead reeds. It was clearly a line bite but an indication none the less. There were some fish in the vicinity. It didn’t develop into anything so I recast to the same area but this time on top of the marginal shelf. A line bite often means the fish are closer than you are or higher in the water. I had a hunch that they were patrolling in and out of the dead reed stems where the water was now being warmed by some weak sun. With that rod in position it was time to recast the maggot rig, threading another bag of maggots onto the hooklength and casting out. I put another mini Spomb of maggots over the top and sat back. I admit I have a tendency to try to push things in these situations which can sometimes be to the detriment but on this occasion I reigned those thoughts back and waited. Midday came and went with still no signs. No body on the lake had caught. There are apparently some lovely fish in the venue however and I do not doubt it. I can’t wait for a little mild weather to have a serious go on here. I soaked in the atmosphere and watched the small, colourful birds busy collecting soft looking items from the bank, no doubt preparing nests for batches of eggs. Spring will soon be here I kept telling myself.

IMG_1589Around three o’clock with still no signs of action, I had a wander around the lake to see if I could spot any fish. I took my rod, alarm and net, unhooking mat and camera. There was only one other person still fishing at this point so I wasn’t going to be disturbing anyone. I was so glad I made this decision, as in a shallow bay sheltered from the wind and bathing in weak sun, I found some carp moving in amongst the reeds. On went a cut down yellow pop-up with a small bag of pellets soaked in flavour. I cast the rig out and felt it down. A clean landing. I set the rod on the alarm resting the but on the bank behind me. Sat on my unhooking mat I decided to give it half an hour. It took less than ten minutes for the bobbin to lift deliberately and I hung on as a carp bored hard for the sanctuary of the reeds stems. I applied a steady pressure, not exactly bullying the fish, just enough so that it didn’t gain any line. Eventually the fish turned of its own accord and made its way to open water. I thought I had the fish beaten a few times but each time it found renewed strength. I don’t know what the fishery owner supplements the fish with but I would certainly like some! This was one fighting fit fish.

IMG_1587A lovely conditioned and chunky common carp was my reward for not sitting on my laurels. Probably a scraper double it wasn’t one of the waters bigger specimens but on such a hard day I really couldn’t care less. I returned to my swim and fished until the gates closed at 6pm. Ideally I would have loved to stay into dark but rule are rules. I’ll be back for sure once we have a more mild conditions. Filed Farm Fishery is a well laid out complex with very comfortable pegs spread over four lakes. It is also a stones thrown from the M6 so very easy to find. The fishery owner, Chris, is a friendly guy and will try to help you out as much as he can.

If you have enjoyed reading this, please follow my blog. You can also be alerted of blog updates via twitter @NorthwestFish. I aim to update every saturday morning.

Until next time,



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