An invite to fish a lake owned by my local council, was followed up by a visit this week. Needing Google maps to find the water, which sits in one corner of a recreation ground, surrounded by a network of streets among a 70’s housing estate, I arrived to find a well laid out car park, with a path down to the lake a 100 yards away.
Part of a project to involve the community in nature projects for the whole family, the lake has benefited from tree clearance and the creation of six disabled swims next to the car park, while paths and existing swims have been made safe. A club was recently formed, offering access to an on site community hall, where regular nature based events have been held, while the inclusion of fishing tuition for the whole family, by qualified coaches, has raised awareness of fishing as a safe, healthy pastime for youngsters.
Looking out at the lake for the first time, a patch of lilies to my left looked very fishy, although with rudd topping all over, I thought that any swim would have done.
Plumbing the depth, I found the bottom shelving steadily away to 4 ft at 7 metres and selected a 4 x14 float to suit, the shot bulked to 18 inches, with a No 6 shot six inches from the hook.
On the opposite bank a mother and child were busy emptying a bag of bread into the water, feeding the ducks. Bread must make up a fair bit of these fishes’ diet and I opted to start on the bread punch, having fed three egg sized balls of ground bait, heavily laced with hemp seed and sweet corn, in a tight group 7 metres out close to the lilies. First cast in the float dipped and sank in seconds, swinging in a well rounded roach in good condition.
In again, the elastic came out on my next lift, this time a thumping rudd, that needed the landing net.
This rudd had lost it’s top lip to an over eager angler, who preferred barbed hooks, my barbless size 14 slipped out easily once the pressure was eased. Off to a good start, I soon tried a sweet corn, netting my best so far.
I continued to catch, this roach having a lot of rudd in it’s genes, the pole elastic staying out, until just before the net.
Half an hour into the session, the silver fish stopped and small bubbles began to burst on the surface; a better fish was in the feeding zone. Selecting a large piece of corn, I dropped the bait on top and waited. Rings appeared around the float, before it lifted slightly, then slowly moved off, until it was gone. I lifted and felt the sudden surge of a very good fish, as it ran toward the middle, scattering rudd in it’s wake, the pole bending against the heavy elastic, which stretched out beneath the surface, arcing round back toward the lily bed. Pushing the pole hard over to the right, the fish surfaced in a boil, a dark body visible for a second, before it’s broad black tail forced down again. I was winning the battle, keeping the tench clear of the lilies with it rolling on the surface, then lying on it’s side with a single pectoral fin erect as if in surrender ready for the landing net.
A female tench in perfect condition, which weighed in at 4 lb 4 oz, my best for a long time and certainly the largest I’ve netted on the pole, making my choice of red 12 -18 elastic, the right one.
I continued pulling roach and rudd from the same spot, bread punch and red worm reviving the action, when the bites slowed on the corn. More bubbles produced a perfect tench bite, which I missed, probably in haste. I was joined by another club member, who settled down to fish on the other side of the lily bed. He spotted a large koy carp among the lillies, giving me a running commentary of it’s whereabouts, which was well clear of our baits.
Dave, the other angler, gave me the low down on what was in the lake, no pike, but a few good perch, carp and koy, plus a big goldfish. The environment agency had also introduced a thousand crucian carp into the lake during their improvements, but they had so far failed to show.
A shower of rain seemed to pull the switch on my bites, so at 4 pm, by which time I would have expected to be catching more tench, I packed up.
The tench dwarfed some of the quality roach and rudd in my net, estimating around 10 lbs taken in two and a half hours of fishing.
The Braybrooke Nature and Fishing Club http://www.bcnfc.btck.co.uk/ are offering a family membership, (two adults and three children) for £25, with an adult ticket at £20. Seniors £15 and juniors over 12 £10.