Displaying items by tag: fishing diary

Despite the generosity of Priory Farm lakes offering me a years complimentary membership, it had been over a year since I had last visited this stunning 4 lake coarse and carp fishing complex in the heart of Surrey. On that occasion in February, I had struggled all day in the cold conditions and didn't even register a single bite.

Uk Fishing diary, May 2009Priory Farm Fishing LakesDetermined to do better this time,( I certainly couldn't do any worse), I was encouraged by the recent catch reports and gallery pictures that showed the lakes were on good form. A quick chat with Ian Ford, the fishery manager at Priory Farm Lakes, confirmed this was the case and as I pulled up in the carp park I was filled with confidence that I was in for some great sport. The lakes looked very different to the last time I had seen them in winter. Bathed in late spring sunshine, with the bank side vegetation in full bloom, this well maintained, members only fishery looked first class.

I headed first to Priory Lake, built by the Victorians in the 1850s and set within an area of outstanding beauty, looked down upon by the old Priory itself.

I set up two rods, one using a groundbait feeder cast as close to the island as I dared, baited with hair rigged boilies / halibut pellets. The other rod I float fished with a waggler and banded pellets close to the lilly pads. The wind had got up considerably by now and it was hard to keep the float still and cast close to the lillies. Aside from that, it had got quite cold sitting in the shade of an old tree so despite catching a few roach on the float rod, I decided to head for the relative shelter and warmth of Hogtrough Lake.

Hogtrough lake is the youngest lake at Priory Farm, just over 5 years old. Despite this, the lake is maturing nicely with the island and bank side vegetation growing rapidly.

I wasn't overly encouraged as I noticed several anglers packing up for the day, I sure sign that the fishing was going to be as tough on Hogtrough Lake as on Priory Lake. I settled down with the same two rods, expecting little but as least warm and comfortable. To my surprise, after only a few moments, my waggler dipped slowly under the water. The dull weight on the end of the line with little fight meant only one thing ... bream. And what a lovely bream it was, around the 5lb mark. Over the next hour or so, I banked another half a dozen bream or so, none as large as the first, but all within the 2-4lb bracket.

Happy with some action at least, I headed back to London, determined not to leave it another year before I visit this superb fishery again, this time hopefully to capture one of the Prior Farm resident carp.

For more information on Priory Farm Fishing Lakes, visit their website at:

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The weather man was right for a change ! Highs of 27 deg c were on the cards and I felt like another fishing trip coming on. I knew jenny would need little or no persuasion to sit in the sun for afew hours and I desperately need to redeem myself after my woeful performance at Lizard last week. [See diary 07-09-06]

After a leisurely start, we decided on a visit to Gold Valley lakes in Aldershot, hants, where you are almost guaranteed some fine sport. It was midday by the time we arrived, the sun was high in the sky and the main lake was almost full. We had little choice of swims, although fortuntely one of the few availble was nearest the car park.

Mirror carp - Gold valley main lakeJenny adopted the "quantity" approach fishing up in the water for the many silver fish using a waggler, alternating between corn and banded pellets. I adopted the "quality" approach and determined to break by PB [15lb common] set up a method feeder, burying a 15mm pineapple boilie in the mix and casting to the central island. It didn't take Jenny long to find the hungry roach and rudd and it wasn;t much longer before I was playing the first carp of the day, a 7lb common which was soon safely in the net. That was quickly followed by a 9lb 8oz mirror. Meanwhile, Jenny continued to heave out the roach and rudd.

As the heat of the day really kicked in, the fish undertsandably decided that a rest was in order and things went very quiet for a while. It wasn't until about 4pm that things started to liven up again. I decided to ring the changes and opted for the splasher waggler approach using a banded pellet and feeding 6 or 7 pellets every cast.

Mirror carp - Gold valley main lakeThis bought some immediate success. Almost immediately by skud waggler hit the water, my pellet was devoured by a hungry carp which hurtled off into deeper water. Over the next hour or so, I couldn't go wrong and banked another 7 carp, the best tipping the scales at 11lb. They then switched off the feed again and I could only manage one more carp of 9lb before we decided to call it a day as dusk fell.

Gold valley had certainly lived up to its reputation once again as a fisrt class commercial fishery. Despite its various drawbacks [£10 for only 1 rod, a host of bait bans, some poor quality fish and a disappointing attitude to disabled access that we once encountered], it is still worth a visit and you probably won't go away with an empty net !!

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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