....... The next evening I found myself on yet another different area of Trent in pursuit of a Barbel. It was quite late by the time I arrived and I didn't get much time to setup before dark. Straight away I was getting taps on the rodtip so there was obviously fish out there.
I didn't have to wait long to get an idea of what they were however because within minutes a large bream rolled out in the middle where my baits were, then another and another, the place was alive with them!
It didn't take me long to catch one, a typical Trent stamp of 6-7lb, and realise that I would be struggling to catch a Barbel amongst them. It was too late for a move so I resolved to stop till around midnight and hope a whiskered beast would be able to bully it's way through.
Of course it wasn't to be and after catching a more than respectable bag of several Bream to 8lb2oz I packed up still frustrated at the lack of barbellage. Looking at my records I now realise that I've never done great for Barbs at this time of year and my best results by far have come in late august through till early October, I'm not giving up just yet though!
I decided upon something completely different for my next trip as I'd recently acquired permission to fish a very private estate lake. I had no idea what to expect and even the gamekeeper couldn't tell me a great deal other than he reckoned there might be some carp and tench in there. The only way to find out was to fish it I guess so I planned a short Saturday afternoon session on there.
Armed with bread, maggots, sweetcorn, worms, ground bait and pellets I think I had all bases covered and upon arrival I settled into a nice looking corner swim fishing off a boat jetty. It was overcast but very muggy and a lot of Rudd could be seen milling around under the surface. A couple of balls of groundbait introduced alongside a overhanging tree soon turned that area of the swim into a jacuzzi as the tench homed in on it.
A good plumb around revealed that the lake was no more than 18inches deep all over and after casting a grain of corn into the jacuzzi it didn't take long to get an enquiry. A small Tench was soon swung to hand and that was followed up by several more and some Rudd aswell.
After around half an hour I finally managed to hook something a little more substantial which turned out to be a small carp. Well so far the lake certainly wasn't what I was expecting, it was stuffed with fish but they were all small!
I could see some bow waves and other signs of larger fish moving out in the middle of the pool so I decided to setup a small bolt feeder rig baited with a large pellet in bid to catch something better.
I placed the rod down on the edge of the boat jetty and before I even turned away the tip was pulling round! After a spirited scrap another little carp was soon netted.
And so that set the tone for the next 3 hours, cast, catch, net, rebait, cast, it got to the stage where I wasn't even putting the rod down, I just held it till it pulled round. It was still very shallow in the middle because every bite resulted in a splashy swirl out where I'd cast to.
I even attempted to fish two rods at one point but gave that up as a bad idea after three double hookups on the trot! The place was absolutely heaving with small stunted carp.
Eventually I ran out of bait and although I'd just had one of the maddest few hours fishing of my life it was a bittersweet end because I was almost expecting such an old estate lake to hold some really special fish. I'd enjoyed my trip on there though despite small carp not really being my thing, every one pulled like a demon and every one had a perfect mouth and was in great condition, certainly a lake to rival any commercial I've ever fished.
Anyway, having had my lake fix, I was soon back on the river with the lures for my most recent trip .....