Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary – End of March

Here we are then, April has finally arrived, the official first day of spring has been and gone and the clocks have gone back to provide us with a glorious extra hour of evening light. Of course the next line should read “The sun is blazing down on the lakes, the daffodils are all out in bloom, and nature is resplendent in all her glory” but the reality is that it’s still snowing!

Never mind though, let’s just ignore that fact because the time has come to get out there with your carp fishing tackle and catch some fish, who cares what the weather man says, it’s April and the fish must be starving by now. I have had two more trips to the Estate Lake, possibly my last two for a while because it is nearly time to move onto pastures new.

One of the two visits doesn’t really require much in the way of a blow by blow reportage as I just cowered away in my Hard-core Bivvy, sheltering from a bitter North-Easterly wind and snow flurries, but we are not going to mention that again are we?

The other trip was far more productive, the air temperature rose a couple of degrees, the fish decided that it was in fact spring after all, and I caught not one, not two, but four carp in a frantic twenty four hour period.

Not only were the bites forthcoming but, for the first time this winter I managed to get two of the pick-up’s from a new area, rather than just out in the middle in the silt.

There is an island out to the left of the swim I have been concentrating on and it has a hard gravel shelf that runs around its perimeter. There are various trees and bushes that overhang the margins out there and these provide the perfect haven for carp. By clipping up and adding a yard at a time I managed to place a bait tight between two of these snaggy overhangs and present, for once, on firm and clear lake bed, a perfect trap for any island margin patrollers.

I have obviously tried this ploy a few times over the last couple of months but always without success so I was over the moon when this was the first rod to rip off. More than just another capture this was a sign that the fish were finally on the move and willing to leave the sanctuary of the deep silt in search of food and sunlight.

Over the next twenty four hours I managed another island bite and two more fish from the old spots in the middle. Although none of them were monsters I was still well happy with four carp to mid-twenties after the previous week’s non-entity of a trip.


It really does take such a little change in the elements at this time of year to kick start the chain reaction that results in a successful session, a few hours of sunlight or a swap in the wind direction can be all it takes.

Talking of which, look out for the weather this coming weekend as they are forecasting the first bit of South based wind for months, on the strength of this I am predicting some big catches all over the country so make sure you are out there to cash in, remember where you heard it first!

I will be out filming the new TF Gear DVD all next week, we have some exciting new products to showcase and, hopefully, there will plenty of action on the rods as well, I can’t wait!

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary

Well, it’s been a few weeks since my last blog as I have been a bit busy with my writing schedule, carp shows and trying to extricate some carp flesh out of the Estate Lake.

What a terrible month it has been for weather again, this winter seems to be the longest I can ever remember and every time we think we are through the worst of it, along comes yet another cold snap.

As I write this the date is showing on the computer as the 8th march and the little weather symbol is threatening yet more snow at the weekend followed by temperatures as low as minus five for my next session on Monday. I don’t know about the rest of you but I can’t wait for a nice bit of sunshine where we can all sit out side in the evenings in a pair of shorts with a cold drink and watch the sun slowly setting over the lake as you wait for your carp rods to scream off.

I think the fish are in a bit of a quandary as to what’s happening as well, February is usually a very productive month but not so this year.

It started off well enough, in fact it started very well indeed and on my first trip of the month I managed to bag myself three nice carp.

I had set up in the same area that I had my previous captures form, figuring that the carp were not going to move far in cold water. The first day was un-productive but, just as the sun started to creep across the horizon; I had my first take and duly landed a common of around twenty four pounds.

As seems to be the way on this particular venue, one fish usually means there are more to come and a couple of hours later I was away again on the same rod. This time it was a mirror that graced the banks, not quite as big though, he weighed in at eighteen pounds.

Although this is quite a small fish in comparison to some of the beasties in there I was still well happy with my result. Two fish in a morning in February is good angling in my book, no matter what size they are.

Although the day had started nice and sunny, by mid-afternoon the clouds had thickened and a wickedly strong wind had whipped up, to be honest it looked like even more snow was on the way.

About five o’clock I had a third take, this time a real belter and the fish I’d hooked into was obviously far bigger than the previous two. He charged about all over the place, three times I managed to get him close to the net before he turned and belted back out into the middle again.

Eventually though, he waved the white flag and slid over the net cord and, just as he hit the bottom of the mesh, the skies opened.

Huge great flakes of snow like white mice were whipped across the surface, almost horizontal in the force of the wind. I pinned out the landing net with the fish inside and darted for the cover of the extended porch on the Hard-core bivvy, from here I could crouch down out of the weather but still keep an eye on the net. It fell so hard and fast that I thought I might, at last, get the snow carp picture I so wanted but it turned out to be far too windy for it to settle. After about ten minutes it eased up and battled my way out into the wind to take the photos.

Dave Lane 34 Mirror Estate Lake

Although there was no snow on the ground there are obvious signs of it bouncing off my jacket so I suppose I am getting closer every time. To be honest though, I’d rather give up on the snow photo and catch one in the blazing sunshine instead; surely it can’t be long now can it.

This lovely orange coloured mirror tipped the scales at a shade over thirty four pounds and he turned out to be, not only the last fish of the session, but the last fish of the entire month so I have no idea what went wrong there.

The lake just seemed to shut up shop totally, although I did manage one more bite the following week but that turned out to be a twenty pound pike!

Hopefully at some time in the next two weeks I will be moving onto a new water for the spring and summer, I have a good one in mind that is stacked full of thirties, a few forties and, hopefully, the odd surprise, I can’t wait, and I’ll keep you posted as to how I’m getting on.

Good luck with whatever waters you target this coming year and lets all hope for a nice warm spring.

January – Carp Fishing on the Estate Lake

Well it’s all back to normal again, the tinsel is keeping the mice warm in the loft and the tree is all folded up in its box again. I had a bit of a lay off from fishing over the holiday period but I was breaking my neck to get back out there at the beginning of this week, especially with the mild weather we have been having.

I set off on the Monday morning for Northampton and a return to the Estate Lake, arriving just as it was getting light. Apparently nobody had even thought about carp fishing the place for two weeks and I wondered if the carp would still be holed up where I caught my last three fish from?

Obviously this was going to be my starting point and it didn’t take long to get three rigs out there on the spots.

I was sticking to my successful method of a standard hair rig with a bottom bait and the addition of a small PVA bag of 10mm baits, just to give the carp something to home in on through the thick silt.

With the fishing rods out I quickly set up the Hard-core Bivvy and then stuck the kettle on for a brew but something seemed different, quieter than usual, and then I realised there were no sheep. Usually there are woolly Ovines wandering around everywhere, sneaking up behind your bivvy and startling the hell out of you with a sudden loud bleat but, for some reason, they had all disappeared today; maybe Lamb had been on the menu at a big New Year’s Eve dinner at the manor house!

I didn’t have to wait long to find out if I was in the right spot, sheep or no sheep, the carp were definitely still there as I had my first take about ten o’clock in the morning. After a bit of a tussle in the silt where the fish sent up huge sheets of bubbles as he tried to bury himself under the mud, I managed to steer him into the margins where he just plodded up and down for a few minutes before waving the white flag and rolling up into the net.

This was a nice welcome back present and a great way to start the New Year but I couldn’t help but wonder what I might have missed out on over the previous few weeks. On the scales he registered twenty eight and a half pounds and, after a couple of pictures, I slipped him back into the cloudy water.

With such a quick result I had high hopes for the rest of the session; especially when the next rod ripped off at three in the afternoon. This fish fought far harder than the previous one and I really did think I had hooked one of the really big commons for a while but, as he eventually came over the net cord, I could see he was another mirror. Incredibly pale in colour, probably due to the lack of light getting through the muddy water, he weighed in at just over thirty and a half pounds.


Now I really was confident and I could see a session to remember stretching out ahead of me but, as is the way with carp fishing, the lake had other ideas. It was as if that last fish had pressed a panic button and all the carp retreated to the bunker for the next two days as, apart from two bream, the alarms remained silent.

The weather just got better and better and I still find it hard to believe that nothing else fed although I certainly am not complaining at two big fish in the first week of January.

I hope the rest of the month goes as well, although they are forecasting some horribly cold conditions over the next few days so let’s just hope the lake doesn’t freeze over as that’s about the only thing that will stop me being out there again next week!