The wind was getting back to a westerly so I wondered if the carp might have moved back up the lake, into the channels between the big weed beds. I raced down the hill eager to get my first look at the lake for 4 days.

Despite the wind and rain I still did not like the look of the area as the water still looked far too clear to me so I wandered on down the track to an area opposite a large lawn. The weed beds still were plentiful but there were clear areas in the margins and as I looked, a carp or two showed in the weed further out. I quickly baited up a nice looking spot in the margins and fired out some particles and boilies to a large clear area between two huge weed beds.

The afternoon passed quickly and as evening fell so some carp moved in to the margin spot. The actual spot the bait was positioned on was a little indentation in the weed and I could see the shape of carp near it but it was too far out and the light wrong for me to see how big they were. As I peered carefully at these fish the other rod signalled a short sharp take. I was on it in a second, just in time to see the line tighten again. Without hesitation I swept the rod back and connected with a solid weight. The fish moved off quite strongly, thudding around; it did not feel like a huge fish and I presumed it was one of the stock carp. As I gained line through the weed it dived down and all went solid. Increasing the pressure helped and soon it was on the move and on the surface, splashing around. Finally I forced it in to the waiting net. Instead of the expected small mirror carp there was a large bream.

My initial disappointment changed when I could see this bream was not like the others I had been catching from here, this one was jet black on the back with deep gold flanks. A quick weighing showed it was in fact 8lb 5oz. I was hoping for bigger, though it was still the biggest I had heard of from the lake. I admired it briefly before slipping it back.

It was getting dark by then so I quickly whacked the bait back out. Peering into the murky water in the margin spot I could just about still see some life, I expected a take any moment. However it was not to be. I never received a bleep on that rod and the carp came to life out in the water in front of me they leapt and rolled all night but when a take came just before the rain set in it was a 3lb 9oz eel! As dawn came I could not believe I hadn't caught a carp from either spot. I packed up very frustrated.

When I returned two days later the wind was very strong so, despite not seeing any carp, I set up in the area that had the channels in the weed. I quickly cast out both rods with identical set ups, stringers of boilies and a single small hook bait. I plastered the area with hemp as well. I was in effect fishing the same weed-free channel with both rods. Nothing showed at all but just on dark the right hand rod tore off and I connected with a good fish. It did not do anything too exciting though and soon I forced it through the weed and into the net. This time it was a carp, a nice half linear mirror carp of 12lb 7oz; I took a quick photo of it on the mat and put it back. Re casting was not easy in the dark as the channel is only 10 feet wide about 30 yards out but I felt a slight thud as the lead landed so I left it.

It must have been good because at 1am the same rod tore off again. This time I had to give line straight away as a carp tore into the weed on the other side of the channel. I kept the pressure on and walked backwards a bit and slowly the grating through the rod worked as the carp rolled on top. Now it was just a matter of getting it through the marginal weed, this was usually the easiest bit but just as I had it working through, the carp dived down and all went solid. I pulled hard and something gave. Convinced the carp was still there, I led the huge ball of weed in to the edge. Despite my hopes though the weed was just weed, the carp had slipped the hook. I was disappointed and even more so when the usual productive dawn period produced nothing.

I returned later the same day, the wind had eased so I walked further around the lake to be amongst the islands. This area is deeper and the weed therefore not quite so bad, but bad enough. After some thought I settled for a swim opposite a channel between two islands, off to my left was a huge weedbed. I knew the channel was often fished so I decided to fish it just with a 3-bait stringer. The other rod, I found a clear area in the weed and baited it with hemp and, again, just with a 3 bait stringer. It sounds clever but the real reason was that I was short of boilies after the session the night before!

The evening was quiet. My friend Ian wandered around and we talked of the fish in the lake, him being new to the water, we talked of the fish he had caught recently and how I had caught them years before at much lower weights. Not long after he left I recast both rods and I was firing more hemp over the spot in the weed when the channel rod tore off. I raced round a small bush and leant in to the carp. The carp rolled on the top under the island's bushes but the line was heading straight out in the middle of the channel. I heaved some more and felt the line ping free of the weed. Now I was in direct contact and I led the carp in towards me. It took an age but finally I had it in the edge fighting well. It was good to feel a fight instead of having to haul the fish through marginal weed. In the net I saw it was a linear, being bigger than a stock fish I knew straight away it was the original linear that I had been talking to Ian about. I had caught it years before at 12lb but it was now a real carp weighing, this time, 17lb 14oz. It was a peach of a fish and I quickly got the photos taken before dark.

After I had put it back I recast, using the line clip on the reel, and set up for the night. All remained quiet until at 1am the other rod screamed off. This rod was cast a lot nearer so straight away I had a good fight on my hands as the carp fought close in. In the light of the stars I saw a scaly flank roll in front of the net but on the second time of asking it was in the net. This time on peering in the net I saw the sight of the lake's smaller fully scaled mirror, another fish I was talking to Ian about. This one had put on weight as it was always around 8lb but now it was 18lb 2oz. It is a gorgeous fish apart from a deformed top lip.

I decided to sack it up to get a good look at dawn, I was just doing this when the channel rod tore off again. I had to sort the fully scaled mirror out first and when I struck a few seconds later all I felt was a dull thud and grating line as it pulled through weed. I dragged in the weed hoping a carp would be on it but it was not to be, just weed again.

I sorted myself out and recast both rods but was not disturbed again until just before dawn when an eel and a 5lb bream turned up, one on each rod. I packed happy though, a result after an interesting week.

Have fun!