The weather today has been amazing for October! Amazing full stop in fact. Hot and sunny and not a breath of wind. Isobel and myself headed to Kia Ora lakes near Cullompton this afternoon for a chilled out session.
We set up on the smaller of the two lakes to fish for the ‘Silver fish’ and proceeded to pull out a steady stream of quality roach, rudd, skimmers and small tench along with a few hybrids and gudgeon. All were on a short pole and double maggot. Isobel really got into the swing of things and amazed me not only with her patience (not a quality 9 year olds usually have), but her enthusiasm for pole fishing. I would have to admit that she definitely takes after me when it comes to striking bites though… not exactly lightening reflexes shall we say. In fact she made me look positively on the ball… Still – loads of fun and she enjoyed herself.
The ‘Gold’ lake containing the carp was just a couple of yards away from where we were fishing, so I popped over there to stalk a few carp with the fly rod, whilst Izzy was making a dent in the food supplies.
Floating baits aren’t permitted at Kia Ora and as I didn’t want to fall foul of the bailiff should he visit, I fished a sinking fly – my squirmy worm fly.
There wasn’t that many carp to be seen, but I did spot and get to cast to a few that were sunbathing or just cruising around. I probably managed to cast to half a dozen, and hooked 3 of those. It was really satisfying to cast to a stationary sunbathing carp and land a fly a foot in front of his nose then watch him suddenly swim purposefully forward to take the slowly sinking ‘worm’. All close range stuff and pretty arm wrenching.
I had 3 carp in total, the biggest 8lb and the others around 6lb.
Izzy did’ take that long to demolish the sandwiches and before I knew it I was called back to catch more of the ever obliging roach and rudd. Will have to bring more food next time to buy myself a little more time to myself…
Last time I fished Exeter & District’s, Kia Ora lakes with Rhianna, she had 60 rudd from the smaller pond in not that many more minutes. This time we started off on the smaller pond again targeting the hoards of rudd before moving onto the larger pond to try our luck for the carp.
We pole fished using maggots which on the smaller pond, without exception were hit on the drop by ravenous rudd. Even cubes of luncheon meat were savaged mercilessly. Not a chance of getting a bait near the bottom. This is the perfect kind of fishing for my daughters but after a while I managed to persuade her that it would be better if she watched me catch carp from the bigger pond just behind us.
We moved to a nice looking swim opposite a wooded island that I’d be able to reach with a long pole. A few decent sized carp were cruising around basking in the sunshine, but on this venue, surface fishing is banned so we plumbed the depth tight up against the island opposite. The water in front of us was fairly consistently shallow at only about 2 – 3 foot deep, so as there was no obvious deeper spots we decided to fish tight against the overhanging vegetation agains the island opposite. With my pole at nearly full reach, this was going to be a little more challenging.
I loose fed maggot and luncheon meat before going straight for the meat bait on the hook. Bites were easy to come by but connecting with anything was a very different proposition. It wasn’t long before Rhianna’s interest was waining and I knew me time was fast running out unless I could hook something..
The first two fish I hooked felt a good size but were off across the lake and into snags quicker than I could say “oooh, I’ve got one..”. Putting on the pressure only resulted in the hooks pulling out. I stepped up the rig and went for a beefier hook length in the hope of being able to stop any other fish I hooked a bit easier, and also increased hook size in an effort to hopefully get a better hook hold. This seemed to work and we swiftly landed 2 nice fish, the bigger of which went to nearly 7lb. I’m sure we could of caught more but with a small child moaning about being bored it seemed a good time to call it a day. We did chat to another angler leaving at the same time as ourselves to learn that he’d caught around a dozen carp up to 12lb. Nice to be sat by the water in the sunshine.
I’d promised to take Rhianna fishing on Sunday, so we decided to explore new waters, or new to us at least, so we headed up to Kia Ora ponds near Cullompton, just a short drive up the M5 from Exeter. The Kia Ora fishery consists of two ponds on the Exeter & District Angling Association’s ticket, so being members the trip wouldn’t cost us anything. The ponds are by all accounts heavily stocked with the ‘Silver Pond’ being mainly silver fish and the larger ‘Gold Pond’ featuring the bigger carp.
With neither of us being particularly patient anglers we hit the silver pond and started off on pole with maggots. Rhianna’s short 4m whip meant we were only fishing in 2 foot of water, just out past the reeds, but the bites were instantaneous. We swiftly settled into a routine of me bait up, her swing the rig out and within seconds swing a small rudd back in to me, for me to unhook. After an hour of this she’d clocked up 60 or so rudd, roach and perch, without me managing to really get in on the action. Most of the fish were small but with the occasional slightly larger specimen in amongst them. The rumoured crucians, tench and skimmers didn’t make an appearance.
In addition to double maggot, we tried luncheon meat which usually sorts out a few carp on most waters. Today however it just didn’t happen, although the spam did bring a better stamp of roach.
Eventually with a short window of opportunity to wet a line myself, I rigged up the #4 fly rod with a floating line and a bead headed worm type fly. The worm fly was simply made by threading a bead followed by a length of the Veniards ‘Squirmy Worm Body’ onto a barbless size 14 hook. The resulting fly sank slowly and seemed pretty irresistible to the rudd (although to be fair I think they would of attacked pretty much anything!’. With the hordes of ravenous rudd around I didn’t seem to be able to get through the tiddlers to get to anything bigger. Still – fun all the same.
Next time I try this ‘fly’ I think I’ll make the worm body considerably longer to really get it wiggling.