So it was that in hot sunshine the gate once more creaked open to the car park. The difference this week was that it was my last week on the water before moving on.

There were a few people already there fishing, a contrast to March and April where I had the lake to myself. My usual swims were free but I fancied something different. I decided to drive up the far end of the lake where a snaggy area has overhanging trees and ever increasing weed beds. It was from this area that I had lost a big ghost carp a month before and was where I had seen the majority of the bigger carp during the spring. The only proper swim to fish from has a small platform built out a few feet into the lake. I am not a fan of platforms but I set up with a rod pod with the front feet just on the wood and the back two on the bank proper, this meant the rods were at a downward angle so that just the last foot of them extended over the water, perfect for a snide attack.

It was hot in the sun up in this corner but a breeze was blowing into a small bay off to the left and sure enough, three carp could be seen slowly cruising around the bay, in front of my swim, then to under the trees and snags to my right. A perfect area to ambush them. I chose to fish one rod into the bay and the other the short distance to the right, close to the bank between the snaggy trees and an area of emergent weed, not lilies, but the weed with long triangular leaves with thick root stems. Neither cast was as easy as I thought but after a couple of goes I was all set. As usual the areas were liberally covered in trout pellets.

Not surprisingly all was quiet until much later in the evening, and after all the other anglers had gone home. Then I received several vicious line bites on the rod by the trees. By creeping nearer I could see the shapes of a couple of carp feeding away near the weed. The line bites continued and also a couple of fish rolled out in front of the swim by a set of lilies that were just breaking surface.

I was watching the rod tip, sitting right next to the rods when I saw the line twitch and the rod tip pull round an inch. Something made me strike instead of waiting to see if it was another line bite and I surprised myself by connecting with a good weight. The fish was in the weed in seconds but I managed to haul it out and the fight commenced in front of the platform in open water. It soon was apparent I had in fact hooked a tench and not a carp but it was fighting hard. It looked too big to be a male tench but certainly was fighting like one. In the net I saw immediately it was a male tench and a nice one at that. It was well hooked so perhaps I struck just as it picked the bait up. On the scales it went 5lb 4oz, my biggest male form the water by a couple of ounces and as usual in fantastic condition. I had been picking up a few males in the last few sessions and with the water feeling warm to the touch I guess they are gathering to spawn.

After returning it I got the bait back in position in its snaggy, tricky spot and also re-positioned the other rod to just off the lilies as fish had continued to roll there. It was only half an hour later when this re-positioned rod was away but after the rod bending over nicely and the tip pulling down under the surge of what was definitely a carp, the hook pulled and I found my self pulling in a lily stem.

I quickly recast but did not have time to reflect on my mis-fortune as the rod by the snags tore off. I was on it in seconds and I saw a good fish tear out the other side of the weed and away up the tree line. Fortunately the line pulled free of the weed so I was in direct contact with the fish. I managed to coax it back away from the trees into more open water and I surprised myself with how well it all went. I had now seen it, lunging around in front of the platform. Kneeling down I slid the net under the carp first time and sighed a sigh of relief. It was a common carp but with a tinge of gold around its fins and gill covers so I guess it was an exotic cross. On the scales though it went 11lb 3oz so I was very happy with it on just 8lb line.

The fight had disturbed the swim completely so, after recasting as the sun finally disappeared for the day and a bright half moon shone above me, I settled down for a bit of sleep with the bedchair right next to the rods. I had not been asleep long when I found myself with the snag rod in hand and a fish thumping way on the end. I guessed it was a tench and soon I had it in the net. I lifted the net onto the platform to have a look at the size of the presumed tench and could not believe my eyes, its flanks were very deep and it seemed thick in girth, my mind envisaged an 8 or 9lber. Reality struck though as I realised I was looking at a very fat bream!

Sure enough, in the moonlight on the bank I could see the bream was covered in spawning tubercles and had a fat gut. It was in fantastic condition though and on the scales was a shade under 8lb. It was a black old fish and not slimy at all. I like bream, big bream anyway and an 8lber is still big despite the few 15lb plus fish around; they are the minority. After all a 30lb carp is now just half the record fish in size but hopefully no one puts back 30lb carp in disappointment.

The bream was soon swimming off and I settled down to the rest of the night being very quiet, not even a chance at dawn. Later that day I was back, and returned to the same swim. In hindsight fishing the same swim for a second night was a mistake. However I connected with plenty of fish but failed to land any. After landing three good fish from the snaggy area on the first night, this time I hooked four fish from the same spot and lost all four when they swam into the weed and shed the hook, transferring it on to one of the tick root stems. I saw two of the fish, one a nice carp and the other another fat looking bream. The other two were probably tench.

Not a good end to my sessions on the lake but its time to move on and I will be back during the summer for the odd session, I still have unfinished business with a ghost carp, but now it's time for bigger carp.

Have fun!