Here we were, 7am on a Sunday morning, the first time we had visited this fishery. This is one of the few fisheries that was designed specifically for the fish and if we hadn't known that it was there we would never have found it without the directions that we were provided with.
We were met on the bank of Pond One by Valerie, the joint owner of the two ponds along with her husband Simon, a Fisheries Officer for the Environmental Agency. She explained to us that Pond Two contained a wide variety of coarse fish including Mirror and Common Carp to 14lb. Crucian Carp to 1.5lb, Tench to 3lb, Rudd and Roach to 2lb plus plenty of Skimmer Bream between 1-2lb; whilst Pond One contained Tench averaging 1-2lb with bonus fish to 4lb, Rudd, Roach and Crucian Carp to 2lb, Bream to 2lb plus Mirror and Common Carp to 8lb.
Our decision was made, Pond One it had to be. The setting for this pond was idyllic, surrounded by mature Oak trees and almost hidden away, with two islands, average depths of around six foot, it more than fitted the part for a leisurely day's fishing after a hectic week.
There were no plans, no special tactics, just a desire to catch. We headed off towards the far side of the pond to the second island which was some 12 metres from the bank. Pole being the first choice, set up to fish just laying on, size 18 hook to a 3lb bottom and double red maggot.
Steady feeding soon produced some small Tench whilst around the corner a Carp was giving the other member of the Team some worrying moments. There was a sloping shelf to the far side of the island that was warming up nicely with the early morning sun. This was to be a 'hot-spot' in more ways than one as the temperature rose, providing a steady stream of Carp, Roach and Rudd, all in excellent condition and fighting fit, falling to Castor over loose fed Castor and Hemp.
On my side of the island things were relatively quiet in comparison but not to be perturbed I decided to set up a float rod, a small Drennan waggler on the drop with a three foot hook length and go hunting. In the main body of this one acre pond, there was a large shoal of Rudd that were topping in the warm surface water; it wasn't until I got a clear view that I realized how large a shoal. Rudd after Rudd fell to my almost free-lined maggots. Below the shoal were several Carp milling around, taking the loose fed maggots that the Rudd missed. I tried but I couldn't tempt one as they cautiously swam up to the hook and turned away, that was when I could get it past the Rudd.
A quick change of tactic was required. I shortened the hook-length to 18 inches, three maggots, one of which I threaded onto spade of the hook and gazing through my Polaroids, I waited for one of the Carp to come into view. A quick cast and I wound in up to the nose of the fish. It worked, the Carp tore off scattering small Rudd in its wake. It eventually came to the net but not without leading me a merry dance in it's bid to escape. Several more were caught using the same tactic along with Rudd that were literally coming every cast.
Back at the island, several more Carp and decent sized Roach were still being caught. So much for a leisurely day's fishing, this was an extension of our hectic week, but there were no complaints. This fishery was a credit to it's owners, well thought out with a strong emphasis on providing the right environment for the fish and tranquil settings for the angler and one that we will definitely be returning to - we've still got Pond Two to fish.
For further information on this fishery, visit their web-site www.paradiseleisure.com