It has been a very long time, almost half of my life, that I have waited to join the night syndicate on this lake. There are only a very select few that get the chance and it is literally 'dead mans shoes'.
It was a day of epic proportions then, when the good old posty dropped a white envelope on my mat containing my membership card and rota (week on,week off for newbies) details.
The ticket starts on May 1st and the lake is currently enjoying a short close season. What better time then to go and have a mooch about.
The lake is an oasis, set in a depression. Many years ago it was used for washing gravel. It is now a far cry away from those times. You feel like you are entering another world.
At the first swim I was greeted by old Esox, as he drifted by in the clear margins. This is the home of large predators, it's Catfish population amongst the oldest and biggest in the country. That's not what I'm after though. The Carp population is an enigma, some old original fish are there and a few recent stockies.
It's a lake of character, edged with mature native trees. I really can't wait to get stuck into it, so much so that I can't summon the desire to fish anywhere else at the moment.
Some of the swims just scream....CARP.
A bay at the far end was an obvious place to explore, quiet and snaggy, it has all the ingredients you'd look for. I was strolling through the undergrowth when something caught my eye.
Do you see an orangey/yellow shape in the centre of this photo? That is Carp, a rather large Koi. I was intrigued and tried to manoevre myself for a better view, he soon clocked me though, and set off down the lake away from me. I continued my circumnavigation.
I soon found a couple of carp in this quiet corner.
Remarkably, tucked well in behind a large snag, I spotted another, different Koi, this one I have christened Casper. I tried to shuffle towards him without 'spooking' him.
By the time this fella came there wasn't much left.
By now the afternoon sun had reach the little bay and it contained a group of commons as well as Black Cheeks. That Koi really looked a peach though, wide across the back, waddling as she went. I was unable to guess a weight.
It was lovely, sitting in the late March sun watching Carp, acquainting myself with my new mates.Something flashed in the corner of my eye, and there in the margins was Casper flashing in the sunlight, rubbing himself on the lake bed. My guess, having seen a few of the fish doing this, is that they are removing leeches that have latched onto them in the winter, when the fish would not have moved much.
He then proceeded to swim right in front of me, he really is a friendly fish!!