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PAUL's COARSE FISHING DIARY
Fishing Hut

05.01.07 - Wood Lane Farm Fishery, Iver, Buckinghamshire.

After all the excesses of Christmas and New Year, Jim, Connor and I decided to clear our heads and get in an afternoons fishing at Wood Lane Farm Fishery, situated in Iver, Buckinghamshire.

Wood Lane farm Fishery on a somewhat warmer day.As we turned into the car park it became apparent that no one shared our thoughts on this grey, blustery day. At least we had first pick of swims as no one else had ventured out to try and tempt the match lakes large population of skimmers and carp. We chose our swim for comfort rather than one which may produce better fishing and set up with the wind at our backs in a sheltered corner of the match lake.

We all set up waggler rigs fished slightly over depth with double red maggot as hook bait. Small amounts of loose fed maggots and casters completed our plan of attack. It took quite a while to tempt the fish into feeding but after about an hour we stated to pick up the odd skimmer as bites started to come more frequently. Upping the feed rate a bit tempted the fish into feeding pretty well and amongst the regular skimmers we caught quite a few of the fast growing F1s in the lake.

Wood Lane Farm Fishery only opened to anglers around 6 months ago and already the F1s we caught in the summer have packed on a fair amount of weight. Fish we were catching around the 8oz - 1lb mark are now tipping the scales at around 2-4lb. Talking to Danny the owner (who I think was quite surprosed to see anyone fishing on this dreary winter day) he explained that the carp in the second lake are now nudging the lower double mark.

Around mid-afternoon the leaden skies opened and a steady drizzle soon got the better of Jimmy "Tangles" and Connor who had unfortunately forgotten their umbrella and they were soon heading for the car for some shelter. Bites dried up soon after as we approached dusk and we decided to call it a day. I caught around 20 fish in all including around 4 or 5 carp in under 3 hours which was pretty good. Apparently recent winter matches (one which even included Keith Arthur) have been won with well over 100lb. Not bad at all.

Give Wood Lane a try....I think you'll find its worth it.

We are planning our second pike fishing trip to Farlows lake on Sunday 28th January. If you fancy meeting up please indicate your interest via the Fish South East Fishing Forum.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ Fish South East


25.10.06 - Thorpe Lea, Surrey.

Regular readers of my diary pages and the Fish South East Fishing Forum will know that for some time now I have been itching to try some carp fishing at Thorpe Lea in Surrey, a venue in Surrey renowned for its huge stock of fast growing carp and as a quality "bagging" water. Anywhere with "easy fishing" suits me to a tee !!

not quite my PB - a 14lb 8oz Thorpe Lea mirrorI couldn't resist a kind invitation from Luke "crazy_carper" Thomas to meet up with me and show me how to get the best from a days fishing at Thorpe Lea so duly took the day off work (any excuse to get away from the computer) and met up with Luke at 8am in the Thorpe Lea carpark.

The weather forecast had been for heavy rain and wind and for once the weathermen had got it right. The grey skies got greyer as we walked round to the far side of the lake and the heavens opened as we settled into our swims. Luke explained that the reason for choosing these swims is that about 60yds out there is a plateau around 4ft deep that the carp patrol along, hoovering up any feed they come across. Luke set up a simple rig with a hair rigged Richworth Dumbell boilie whilst I opted for a method feeder using a hair rigged squid boilie.

The morning was hard going !! I failed miserably to get a take at all and to be honest I was having difficulty reaching the shallow plateau. Luke's spodding seemed to be paying off however as he managed two decent mirror carp, the largest tipping the scales at 16lb.

Luke with the biggest fish of the day, a 16lb 8oz mirrorThings livened up in the afternoon (as the bailiff said it would). Luke continued to catch at a steady rate and ended the day with 9 fish, the biggest of the day being a 16lb 8oz Mirror Carp. (In fact all the fish we caught were Mirrors).

Luke decided that the method was the not the best tactic for me and switched me to a simple rig similar to his and launched some of his spod mix out for me. It didn't take long for my baitrunner reel to whir into life (thanks incidentally to Bun at Eccleston Angling Centre for the reel) and I was soon banking a lovely 14lb 8oz Mirror carp. As we weighed it I was unsure whether I had beaten my PB but it fell just short by 8oz.

The rain got the better of us by around 4 o'clock and we decided to call it a day. Despite being easily beaten by Luke I was delighted with my fish and am itching to get back and try Thorpe Lea again. It was a pleasure to meet and fish with Luke. Thanks mate for your advice and patience in trying to educate me in the strange ways of you carp fisherman and I look forward to our next trip.

On that subject, we are planning a pike fishing trip to Farlows lake sometime before Xmas. If you fancy meeting up please indicate your interest via the Fish South East Fishing Forum.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ Fish South East


13.10.06 - Lizard Fisheries, Middlesex.

An afternoon session at my "local" Lizard Fishery tempted Jim and I on a reasonably mild, early October afternoon.

common carp just shy of the 10lb markLizard wasn't really on it's best form and we both found the fishing hard going, despite some early success for me in the shape of a quality looking common carp just shy of the 10lb mark.

There were few signs of fish being caught by the handful of fisherman at Lizard and when the roach and rudd aren't in feeding mood, you just know things are going to be tough.

 

good condition common carp which weighed in at 9lbA couple of skimmers and roach were the only reward over the next couple of hours, followed late on by another good condition common carp which weighed in at 9lb, which is a decent enough fish for lake 1 at Lizard Fisheries.

So, like so many of my fishing adventures, an OK day with a couple of nice fish despite the fishing being generally hard going.


Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ Fish South East

 

If you would like to submit an item for the diary [such as a tackle fare, your clubs match dates etc] or you would like to comment on my attempts at fishing, please send them to Fish South East via the contact page.



Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 10.09.06 - Gold Valley, Aldershot.

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 fortunately 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 @ Fish South East



Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 07-09-06 Lizard Fishery, Lake 2 - Middlesex.

I decided that working too hard makes Paul a dull boy and gave myself the afternoon off. I was meeting up with Steve, an old work buddy of mine who is an avid carp angler. Last time we went fishing, neither of us got a bite all day so we were determined to set the record straight.

 

14lb Lizard CommonPartly due to an email I recently received from Nigel laughton, who had enjoyed an excellent days fishing there a week or so ago, I decided to show Steve the delights of Lizard Fishery. As I hadn't fished on Lake 2 for some time we decided that we would try for some of the larger carp at Lizard.

 

We met just after midday and bagged two swims on lake 2. This wasn't difficult as there was only one other guy fishing. Steve set up his two rods, bait alarms, pods etc etc and I set up my one rod, no bait alarms, pods etc. It probably isn't too difficult to guess who had the better day !!

 

4lb lizard tenchThe fishing was slow and neither of us got a take for the first hour or so. Then I heard the unmistakable sound of Steve's bite indicator going off and he was soon playing his first fish of the day...which turned out to be his best....a 14lb common.

 

Enthused by this success we both thought this was the start of something good. Well for Steve it was. He caught 4 carp and one tench which weighed in at a credible 4lb. I caught..........1 skimmer.

I'll let the pictures of Steve tell the rest of the story as I'm too depressed to say any more !!

Til next time, happy fishing (and better luck than me) !! Paul @ Fish South East



Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 21.07.06 - Gold Valley, Aldershot.

Phew what a scorcher !! Although the record breaking weather of earlier in the week had given way to slightly more bearable conditions, the thermometer in the car still read 31 deg c as we headed down the M3 to Gold Valley in Aldershot, Hants. We debated the effect that the recent hot weather would have on the fishing and expected that things could be quite tough going.

7lb Gold Valley Common - nice hat dude!!Three of the lakes were taken up with matches when we arrived so we opted for a swim at the near end on the main lake. I opted for the "spasher wagger" approach as there appeared to be plenty of evidence of carp patrolling the upper levels of the water. Jim plumped for a standard insert waggler approach, again fishing only about 2ft deep, fishing luncheon meat cubes, loose feeding small pellets.

We were soon catching roach, rudd and skimmers to about 8oz, but despite varying depth and hook baits we failed to tempt any of the resident carp which go to well over 20lb. It was at Gold Valley last summer that I caught my PB, a 15lb common. It didn't look at this stage as if there was much chance of that getting beaten. By about 1pm it was so hot and humid that we decided to retire to the bar for a bite to eat and a couple of cool ones!!

Not another tangle JIm!!Somewhat refreshed we decided to change tactics and we swapped to the feeder approach. The guy next to us was having a great time landing carp after carp using this approach so we resumed with renewed confidence. Still nothing of any note to report until I switched to the method feeder, using half a strawberry pellet boilie cast to the island in front of us.

Bingo, I had found where the fish were and promtly landed about 7 carp to 9lb over the next 90 minutes or so. Jim had by this stage got pissed off and decided to resume his waggler fishing for roach. Things slowed down considerably late in the afternoon and with an hours drive back to London up the M3 we decided to call it a day. To sum up, this is not the best days fishing we've ever had at Gold Valley by any means but I can't really complain. The hot weather was not really ideal for fish or fishermen alike so I was more than happy with the day. I will just have to resume my battle to better my PB another day.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ Fish South East


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 05.07.06 - Wood Lane Farm.

Its always a pleasure to try out a brand new fishery. That sense of the unknown just adds to the excitement you already feel when going fishing. Well that was definitely the case today. Jenny had spied a sign to Wood Lane Farm Fishery on her way back from work one day and had been suggesting we try it for some weeks now. Then funnily enough, Nigel Laughton [check his pics out in the gallery] sent Fish South East an email explaining about Wood Lane Farm and the fishing on offer there.

When we arrived, it was, as luck would have it, pouring with rain. After a brief stint sheltering in the car, the skies started to brighten and we were on !! Wood Lane farm consists of two coarse fishing lakes. The larger lake is the match lake and is probably around 3-4 acres with I'd say room for about 20-30 swims. It is pretty featureless and exposed. The smaller lake is more sheltered with swims seperated from each other by tress and bushes, giving it more of a secluded feel. I guess its around half the size of the match lake. I was "reliably" informed that 4 hour matches on the match lake have already been won with weights approaching 200lb and that the second lake holds carp to 30lb. One word of warning - because the fishery is fairly new, the owner hasn't built proper swims/pegs yet, and as some of the banks are fairly steep, care needs to be taken, especially in the wet.

Wood Lane match lake is stuffed full of carp to around 2lbSo enough of this waffle - was the fishing any good you want to know, right? Well in a nutshell, yes it was good. We made a start on the match lake fishing the far bank near the three big trees and it soon became apparent that the lake was absolutely stuffed full of fish. We caught an endless stream of roach, skimmers, chublets, tench and hard fighting carp up to about 2lb. Everthing was on the small side but we had great fun on light tackle and the action was non stop. Sweetcorn, pellets and meat all seemed to gobbled up with equal relish by the hungry fish. They won't stay small for long!

Having sent a few hectic hours on the match lake, we decided to try our luck on the second lake. We chose a swim in the left hand corner of the lake where it looked like there would be some likely fish holding spots. It was pretty evident right from the off that the second lake was very well stocked too and straight away we were catching ths same fish as in the match lake although on the slightly larger size. The weather gods decided to ruin our fun shortly after that so we decided to call it day.

Superb condition fish at Wood LaneWood lane Farm is located about 500 metres down Wood Lane on the left hand side as you approach form Iver. Prices are 10 per day and you must use barbless hooks, dip nets and you cannot use groundbait, boilies and nuts. Despite these restrictions, I would suggest that once the owner has made the venue a bit more access friendly [forget it at present if you are disabled], this will be a cracking venue and will become very popular. So give it a go while you can still get a swim.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ Fish South East


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 24.06.06 - Manor Farm.

Despite still suffering the effects of a chest infection and subsequent muscle strain from coughing so much [god I'm getting old !!] I was determined to get out of the house, get some fun on my face and hopefully catch some fish. I decided to hook up with my mate Steve at his "local" venue, Manor Farm in Bedfordshire.

Coarse fishing venues in Bedfordshire - Manor FarmManor Farm is set amongst 86 acres of grass and woodland, and as such attracts a wide range of bird and wildlife. The site currently has 5 lakes, a match canal and a stretch of the River Ivel made famous by local fisherman Dick Walker. They offer a range of types of fishing including a fly-only trout lake (Damsel Lake), an any method trout and mixed coarse fish lake (Becks Lake), a 2 acre mixed lake (Blunham Lake), a 4 acre specimen carp lake (Carp Lake) and a very popular specimen carp lake (Winters Lake) stocked in 2004 with fish from 18lb to 36lb.

By the time I dragged myself up the A1, the rain had already given way to clearing skies and Steve was already set up on Carp Lake. I chose the adjacent swim to him and set up a simple ledger rig using pva bags of crushed boilies and pellets with hair rigged boilies. I set up a splashing waggler on the second rod as there were plenty of carp showing up on the surface. Using banded pellets I reckoned we could be in for some fun

Coarse fishing venues in Bedfordshire - Manor FarmIt soon became sadly apparent though that the resident carp had other plans. Neither of us had a bite or take in the first two hours. The bailiff lifted our spirits somewhat though as he explained that plenty were being caught on the neighbouring Becks Lake. As it truned out, one bloke had caught a few but despite lugging all our gear around to the new lake and perservering for a few hours, we still ended the day with nothing to show for it.

Hey, that's fishing I guess. If you've had better luck recently, why not send in the details to Fish South East or even send me some pics for the gallery.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ Fish South East


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 12.05.06 - Gaywoods Fishery.

Definitely been working too hard lately and not doing enough fishing, so when Jim rang and suggested a day out...well what could I say. This particular Friday was one of the warmest days of the year so far, so not only did I think the fish would be up for a bit of a feed, but I figured if they weren't then at least I could get the tan going.

Coarse fishing venues in Hertfordshire - Gaywoods FisheryI have heard great things about Gaywoods Fishery in Hertfordshire and with it being located just off Junction 20 of the M25 is only about a thirty minute drive for me from West London. First impressions were favourable as we droive into the carpark and viewed the lake for the first time. It really is quite countryfied at Gaywoods and the sping fed lake looked well maintained and on top form. There are quite a few bait bans at Gaywoods although having spoken to the owner you can see that he really cares for the fish on his lake and as far as he is concerned, every rule is there for a purpose...good on him I say.

Coarse fishing venues in Hertfordshire - Gaywoods FisheryHaving had the obligatory burger and tea which were pretty good we settled down to some sun-bathing.....I mean fishing. Immediately it became apparent that what I had heard about Gaywoods was in deed true...namely that the place is heaving with small roach, rudd and skimmers and they can be quite hard to avoid, if you want to that is. After an hour of catching numerous silvers I decided to try for something a little larger. Alternating between hair rigged boilies and large stawberry flavoured sweetcorn, it soon became obvious that the carp were not really in feeding frenzy mood but the hard fighting tench certainly were. The guy next to us had caught countless tinkers between the 3-6lb mark and it wasn't long before we were doing the same. I did catch one common late on which weighed in about 8lb. Very welcome it was too.

We spent the last 45 minutes having an informal match between the two of us, using fine tackle and some expander pellets I'd prepared in the pump the night before. The final tally was 59 fish to me and 40 to Jim. Thats right, nearly 100 fish between us in 45 minutes. If catching small stuff is up your street, then Gaywoods is definitely the place for you and is an excellent evenue for beginners and more experienced anglers alike. I will definitely be trying it again soon, in search of the elusive carp that go to 30lb.

For full details of gaywoods Fishery and day ticket prices, click here

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ Fish South East


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 14.04.06 - Lizard Fisheries.

Bank holiday Friday and why am I surprised that it's raining. Undaunted, Jim, Connor and I headed to Lizard Fisheries in Cowley, Middx, hoping that the warmer weather of late would have brought the fish onto feed. Coarse Fishing in South East England - Connor shows us how to do itWe obviously weren't the only ones to be thinking the same thing - lake 1 was pretty full when we arrived so we had to settle for the only swim left which the three of us tried to share. There seemed to be quite a few fish being caught so things were lookimg good.

We all started on the waggler fishing double maggot and were soon hooking into small roach and perch. Connor was the first to get a sniff of anything decent and he was rewarded with a mirror of about 5lb - putting us adults firmly in our place.

Coarse Fishing in South East England - I couldn't let Connor win now could I?By now the rain had stopped and we were all feeling much more cheerful. The fishing really picked up in the afternoon as we discovered that the carp were further out from the bank and feeding up in the water. Switching to banded halibut pellet bought immediate success with a series of mirror and common carp to about 8lb heading for the net.

All in all a pretty successful day I'd say. Connor and I battled it out for top honours and I only just managed to pip him to first spot - he had me worried though!!

It proved not to be Jim's finest hour unfortunately, although one carp spared him the indignity of blanking. Better luck next time mate.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ Fish South East


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 09.03.06 - Hemp Fishing at Lizard.

The arctic weather of recent weeks has given way [finally] to much more familiar British weather, wind and rain !! And boy did it rain today !!

Since my visit to the Go Fishing Show at the NEC in Birmingham [see www.fishsoutheast.co.uk/articles] where I purchased [amongst many other things] some hookable hemp and tutti-frutti flavoured loose feed hemp, I was determined to put it to the test and and see if hemp is as good a winter roach bait as the "experts" maintain.

I set up a light waggler rig with a size 20 hook holding a single piece of hemp. The first thing to point out about fishing with hemp is that it is quite a "fiddly" bait to fish with. I experimented with different ways of presenting the bait on the hook - wedging the shank of the hook through the split in the hemp was OK but the hemp invariably fell of the hook after each bite. Hooking it through the shell was more reliable once on the hook but quite difficult to achieve without destroying the whole grain completely.

Hemp - the perfect winter roach bait?Having mastered the presentation, I settled into a steady routine of feeding a small amount of loose feed each cast. I maintained this feeding pattern for a couple of hours and got a steady if not spectacular stream of bites and managed to land around a dozen small roach.

Switching to double red maggot proved somewhat more successful with quite a few roach, perch and one common carp of around 4-5lb tempted to the net. I also lost two decent feeling carp due to the light tackle I was using.

By mid-afternoon, the heavens really opened, and after a complete soaking, I decided to head for home. So to sum up, hemp proved successful for roach although no more so than maggot. Also, you are restricted to catching roach only and only once I switched to the maggopt approach did I catch other species such as perch and carp. So, the jury is still out - furrther investigation may well prove necessary.

Do you fish with hemp? Got anything interesting to report. Why not let me know about your recent fishing trip via the contact page or via the forum and I'll post details on the site.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 19.02.06 - Farlows Main Lake.

Regular readers of my diary page will know that I have been on a somewhat desperate mission to catch my first ever pike this winter [and no doubt getting fed up with my lack of sucess!!]. My recent appeal to the nation for "any help available" in my quest was answered by two kind souls, John and Tom.

Jim and Connor cold, wet and pretty peed offJohn suggested I try the main Lake at Farlows as he had been quite successful there in the past. So, armed with a supply of livebaits, deadbaits and lures, Jim, Connor and I headed down to Cowley for what would surely be our "finest hour". Sadly, the weather wasn't playing ball and the heavens opened shortly after we arrived and it rained, rained, rained and then rained a bit more !! Determined not to let this put us off, we soldiered on regardless.

I could bore you with details of our tactics, tackle and bait but the long and short of it is that the fish just didn't want to know [nothing to do with our lack of skill of course] and all three of us failed to net anything at all. So we headed for home, cold, wet and pretty fed up...although not to fed up to back next week and the week after until I catch my first pike.

Have you faired any better lately? Got anything interesting to report. Why not let me know about your recent fishing trip via the contact page or via the forum and I'll post it on the site.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 11.02.06 - Lizard Fisheries.

A cold day at LizardNever before have I had to break the ice at a venue before attempting to fish [shows what a fair-weather angler I am], so today was a novel, if not rather chilly experience for me. I hadn't even considered that Lizard would be frozen when I arrived at about 11.00am. I was tempted to head straight home agian but having spoken to the only other soul fishing who told me that the fish were deifnitely feeding, I decided to give it a go.

The ice wasn't too thick so clearing a space large enough to fish comfortably was not too difficult. Having done so, I set up an insert waggler fishing double maggot hard on the bottom and started loose feeding small amounts of maggots. The bites were definitely hard to come by although after about 30 minutes I landed a plump winter roach which must have been about 1lb 8oz, a decent sized roach by anyone's standards.

A plump Lizard winter roachI thought this could be the start of a productive afternoon but I failed to get the fish really feeding and could only tempt around 7 or 8 smallish roach for the rest of the afternoon. Not a disaster by any stretch of the imagination but I really can't wait for the first warm days of spring to arrive and with it hopefully some better sport.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 14.01.06 - The River Colne.

Those of you who have read these diary pages before will know that this winter I set myself a target of catching my first ever pike. I have failed miserably on my last two attempts at Bury Hill Fisheries so I was hoping for third time lucky !!

Jim and his search for the Elusive PredatorMy good mate and angling buddy Jim and his son Connor had tried fishing for pike on a stretch of the River Colne near Cowley, Middx. the week before and whilst not actually landing any fish, had a couple of takes on lures. [So he tells me anyway !!]. The Colne is noted not only for pike but some pretty good chub and barbel fishing.

In confident mood we chose a likely fish holding area recommended to us by the bailiff when he collected our day ticket money. [3 a day per rod offers pretty good value fishing by anyones standards]. We tried to cover as much water as possible with a variety of lures and some roach deadbaits but after a couple of hours with not a pike in sight ad only the odd plastic bag landed [this is not the cleanest stretch of the River Colne by a long way] we decided to up sticks and head round the corner to Farlows Lake.

The River Colne at Cowley. Prime pike territory...allegedlyFarlows lake is noted as a decent carp fishing venue but the match lake holds some pike so we figured it was worth a go. You can also fish a stretch of the River Colne that runs to one side of the match lake. Employing the same lure and deadbait tactics we soldiered on for another hour or so. By this time it was raining, cold and generally pretty miserable so like the "fair weather" anglers we undoubtedly are we decided to call it a day and head to the local cafe for a warming cup of tea and a plate of pie and chips....definitely the highlight of the day.

So another pathetic attempt from Jim and I to tempt the "Elusive Predator". I emplore anyone reading this who knows anything about pike fishing and pike fishing venues to get in touch with me and help me out. You would make me very happy if you could help me catch my fist ever pike. It could be a very long wait otherwise !!

If anyone has recently caught a pike or any other fish for that matter and would like to share their catch with Fish South East, please send your pics to me and I will display them on the Gallery Page which is coming soon.

Happy fishing [and better luck than me] !! Paul @ Fish South East


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 04.12.05 - Lizard Fisheries, Middlesex.

My planned pike fishing trip to Bury Hill Fisheries failed to materialise, largely due to my inability to get up early enough. Guess it will wait !! So, I settled instead for a few hours at Lizard Fisheries in Cowley, Middx. Not having fished since the end of October, I was well up for it.

Coarse fishing venues from Fish South East - Lizard Fisheries


The weather was a cool 7deg c, overcast but generally calm. I knew the carp wouldn't be "having it" so I planned to target the many roach and rudd at Lizard. Armed with a pint of the wriggly fellows, I arrived about midday and chose a swim on the far bank. The only other anglers brave [or stupid] enough to also be on the bank were a few old timers who seemd to be having little success.

Waggler fishing a couple of metres from the bank brought some early success in the shape of a few small roach, swiftly followed by a decent mirror of about 4-5lb. After an hour or so, the bites dried up and I spent the next couple of hours trying to stay warm.

As is often the case, however, things livened up considerably about an hour before sunset. Feeding small amounts of maggots with two red maggots on a size 18 hook brought a steady succession of roach and rudd, another common about 3lb and couple of small perch. By the end it was a fish a chuck. What a shame the sun went down !! I must admit that I do really enjoy this type of "all action" fishing. Carp fishing has its place, but I will never concentrate solely on Carp. Small fish can be extremely enjoyable to catch especially when they are feeding well [what fish aren't?]. It brings back memories of my early fishing adventures in Devon where anything over a pound was a monster. Happy days !!


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 012.12.05 - The Elusive Predator [part 2].

My long awaited trip in search of the elusive pike finally became a reality today. After several aborted attempts I was up at the crack of dawn [for a change] and Jim and I were soon speeding down the A3 from London to Surrey. Choice of venue, the picturesque Bury Hill Fisheries in Dorking, well known as one of the best pike and zander waters in the South of England.

Coarse fishing venues from Fish South East - Lizard Fisheries


We had phoned ahead and reserved a boat, which as it turned out was not strictly necessary. Surprisingly on a cold mid-December day we were the only hardy fools wanting to hire a boat. In fact there were only 3 other pople fishing at all !! It was strange to see Bury Hill virtually deserted but kind of nice to have the lake almost to ourselves.

Having stocked up on roach deadbaits, wire traces and an assortment of weird and wonderful looking lures, spinners and plugs, we paddled our way towards the Jungle area of Bury Hill, an area of the main lake only accessible by boat. On the way, we stopped around the island and tried our luck there. Unfortunately, lady luck was not smiling down on us and we failed to tempt the Pike and Zander with our efforts. Despite moving aorund and covering as much water as possible, our deadbait and lure approach failed to register anything all day. I even resorted to some waggler fishing with two red maggots in an attempt to tempt some roach or bream to feed. I should have known better !! No one faired much better. One of the other anglers caught a 9lb pike but the other two blanked. Winter fishing eh !!

So, my wait for my first ever pike goes on. Jim managed [for the first time ever] his first ever no-score draw against me - maybe you'll beat me next time mate???

So, we headed home to thaw out and plan our next assault on the elusive predator. Just a quick note finally to say a big thankyou to Exchange Tackle in Cowley, nr Uxbridge for the complimentary tickets to Bury Hill. Blanking is not so painful if you've had a free days fishing. Cheers guys.

This will probably be my last diary entry for 2005 so thanks to all have taken the time to read my diary and may I wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and New Year.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 22.10.05 - Lizard Fisheries, Middlesex.

Me with a 10lb+ Mirror CarpThe best of the weather has certainly deserted us by now and with it I fear, the best of this years fishing.

Lizard Fisheries was looking quite wintry when we arrived. The trees have all shed their leaves and a cool wind made it seem even more wintry still. Overcast skies sporadically gave way to bright sunshine, warming our hearts and bodies ocassionally that made up slightly for the slow fishing.

Jim and I both decided to fish the waggler. Jim settled for luncheon meat whilst I opted for banded 16mm halibut pellets. Slow was definitley the right word with bites hard to come by. This appeared to be the case for the other brave anglers who seemed to be fairing little better.

Jim with a prime Lizard Common CarpThings did pick up somewhat later in the afternoon and by the time dusk was upon us I had banked 4 carp and 1 bream, notable fish included two carp of 10lb 12oz and 10lb 10oz. Jim also caught 2 carp. So the day was not a complete disaster fishing wise and as always we enjoyed the crack, although the best of the fishing at Lizard seems to be over for another year.

I think it is time to explore some other fishing avenues , maybe some river fishing for chub and barbel now water levels are back up and later some pike and perch fishing.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 11.10.05 - Gold Valley, Aldershot.

Another trip to Gold Valley in search of beating my PB [15lb common carp] before the winter months set in...and more importantly, trying to beat Jenny's PB [15lb 8oz common carp]. Neither of us could beat these weights although Gold Valley again offered some excellent sport, particularly later on in the day. A dozen carp to 12lb 8oz, a bream of about 4lb and two stonking perch to about 1lb 10oz were the results of pop-up boilies fished using the method feeder and waggler fished halibut pellets in the margins later in the day. I'll let the pictures speak for themeselves.

Paul with a 10lb Common CarpJenny with a double figure mirror carpPaul with a cracking 1lb 10oz perch


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 25.09.05 - Gold Valley, Aldershot.

Gold Lake at Gold ValleyAfter my thrashing of Jim at Lizard the previous Friday, I was full of confidence as Jenny and I headed south down to Gold Valley in Aldershot. After taking advantage of the on-site tackle/bait shop and the cafe we settled for a swim at the far end of Gold Lake, the main lake at Gold Valley that holds the biggest carp.

I have been wanting to try fishing pop-up bolies for while now and this seemed like a great opportunity. So I set up a feeder rig stuffed with crumb and pellets with a squid pop-up on a hair rig. Jenny chose to fish a waggler close in with a strawberry boilie pellet on the hook. As often happens...not alot happened. It seemed as though everyone was struggling [the lake was definitely not resounding with the sound of rod alarms going off]. Even the match fishermen behind us seemed to be finding it hard going.

Jenny's 15lb 8oz common carpAll that was to change in quite dramatic fashion around mid-afternoon. Having changed to the waggler, we both switched to banded halibut pellets fished hard on the bottom. It was as though the dinner gong had been rang as the fish suddenly switched on to the feed. After a couple of small fish, Jenny was first in with a 15lb 8oz common carp. Not only is this her personal best but it beats mine by 8oz. The match fishermen were certainly impressed if not a little jealous.

My 12lb 8oz common carpThe next few hours were some of the best fishing we've had this year. The carp were really switched on by now and bites were coming thick and fast. My best of the day was a lovely 12lb 8oz common. To be honest we lost count of the number of fish we caught but apart from the two crackers already mentioned we had three fish aorund the 10lb mark, two around 8lb and five or six around the 5lb mark....and we lost about eight fish into the bargain. I fear that there may be no going back to fishing for silver fish again for me. Gone are the days when I was content catching small dace and roach. The thrill of a double figure carp stripping line off your reel cannot be beaten.

Til next time...happy fishing !!


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 23.09.05 - Lizard Fisheries, Middlesex.

Jim and I decided it was about time we did battle once more on the fishing front and we duly headed off to Lizard Fisheries in Middlesex. We arrived about 10:30 and chose a swim near the carpark. The wind was blowing towards this end and we figured that the fish would be drawn in this direction....and of course we couldn't be bothered to walk any further. Armed with a selection of baits including meat, corn, pellets and worms we both adopted a waggler approach. It was a dull, overcast day. There was little sign of fish feeding near the surface and we reckoned the overcast, coolish conditions would mean the fish were feeding on or near the bottom.
The first few hours were slow to say the least. A few small perch and a couple of bream approaching the 2lb mark were all we managed between us. And then the heavens opened. After 30 minutes huddling under the brolly, the skies brightened and the match was back on. The sun came out to play and so did the fish. Jim was recording all our catches and has promised to write an article for Fish South East so I will leave the result [as if you couldn't guess who won] and details of the fish we caught to him. I will leave you with a couple of photos to wet your appetite.

Jim with a Lizard CommonPaul with a Lizard Mirror


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 11.09.05 - Royal Berkshire Fisheries, Berkshire.

So we are into September and I have been reading alot recently about this being the month when carp really come onto feed big time. The hot summer days have given way to cooler conditions and the carp stock up on food before their winter lay-off. Well, the carp at Royal Berkshire Fisheries obviously had not been reading the same articles I had.

Royal Berkshire Fishery - 9lb mirror carpOur plans to head down to Bury Hill Fisheries were thwarted by traffic on the M25 so we diverted to Royal Berks instead. I thought the drop in temperature might have had a positive effect on the fishing but it was actually quite cold and rainy. We set up around the back of Lake 3, setting up the waggler alternating corn, luncheon meat and pellets on the hook. Despite trying varying depths and distances from the bank, I only managed one gudgeon, one small roach and a skimmer in the first couple of hours. I did manage one decent carp of 9lb [pictured] later on the day but failed to tempt them into feeding. Most seemed to be fairing worse than I and by 5pm we and most of the others were heading for home.

To be honest I will not be trying Royal Berkshire Fisheries again for a good while. I have fished it about 5 or 6 times over the last year or so and have always left disappointed. At 8 per day for one rod, it is not overly cheap and you are severly restricted as regards bait and tactics [no boilies, no method, no groundbait, no floating baits etc]. The bailiff always cheerily tells me that the fish will definitely "come on" towards dusk, but in my experience they don't and today we didn't have the patience to wait for it.

All in all a disappointing day - lets hope the Big Feed starts next week.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 14.08.05 - Twynersh Fishing Complex, Surrey.

Twynersh Fishery - August 05What better way to finish off my 40th Birthday weekend than a few hours fishing at the renowned Twynersh Fishery near Chertsey, Surrey. After a later start than usual [it's never that early at the best of times], we arrived at Twynersh at about 2pm. Pit 1 seemed strangely quiet and as the owner later explained that some anglers had already gone home, we were not overly confident. The weather was slightly overcast but on the mild side [about 20deg c] with a brisk westerly wind blowing across the lake. We chose a swim near the car park end with the wind blowing towards it as I have always read that fish tend to follow the direction of the wind.

Twynersh Fishery - 6lb common carpAs usual at Twynersh, we were soon into loads of roach to about 3/4lb fishing up in the water with sweetcorn and pellets fished on the waggler. I set up a second rod fishing the method feeder using hair rigged bolies. After losing a couple of decent sized fish, I finally landed a 6lb common. Things went a bit quiet after that and despite trying different flavoured boilies, I failed to connect with any other decent fish. Jenny meanwhile was fairing little better. She was fishing close in, hard on the bottom alternating between banded halibut pellets and strawberry boilie pellets. She did however land a couple of cracking roach near the 1lb mark.

Twynersh Fishery - fishing the marginsTime I thought for a change of tactics !! By this time we were approaching evening and I decided that it was worth trying the margins. I had been baiting them steadily throughout the afternoon and immediatley in front of us there was a thick bed of reeds and some tree routes that looked likely fish holding areas. Fishing a large halibut pellet on the waggler fished slightly overdepth, it didn't take long for the fish to respond. The next hour was full of some cracking margin fishing action. Positive bites were easy to strike and for a while it was a fish a cast. We both lost a couple of decent fish as they dived for cover but the action was exciting and non-stop for about 45 minutes. I landed about 8 carp, all within the 6-9lb range. You really can't beat fishing close in on a short line. Not only is it much easier to control where you are fishing and where your loose feed is going, but the battle that you get is real adrenaline inducing.

Twynersh Fishery - one of the adrenaline inducing margin caught carpThe bites soon dried up unfortunately but I thought that maybe the fish had moved off the bottom to intrecept my feed and might be feeding higher up in the water. I set to half depth and immediatley hooked a decent tench, about 3lb. This was quickly followed by the best carp of the day [a 9lb common] that screamed off into the middle of the lake. By this time, it was about 8pm, we were getting hungry and Jenny had managed to snap her rod trying to free her line from a tree. We decided to call it a day, happy with the excitement we had experienced over the last hour or so. A great end to my birthday weekend. Guess we'll have to get Jenny new rod though !!

Happy fishing from Fish South east.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 30.07.05 - Gold Valley.

Gold Valley in Aldershot was the venue for the inaugral Fish South East mixed doubles challenge. [Actually it was just another day out fishing with some great friends of ours, a bottle or two of wine, a few cold beers and some munchies.] Three teams took part in this years challenge. Here's how we got on:

Paul with an 8lb commonTeam 1: Paul and Jenny - The Dark Horses!

Paul and Jenny were up against it from the start, partly because Paul has not fished for many years and Jenny was a non-fishing partner [I wondered where the two bottles of wine went]. Despite these handicaps, Paul's true class showed through early on as he hooked into the first decent fish of the day. After a reasonably hard battle on light tackle, Paul banked a decent 8lb common. Another fish of a similar size completed the catching for team one, a decent enough effort.

A lack of staminar saw Paul and Jenny depart the match early. Maybe this had something to do with the fact that Jenny had finished reading the paper and it had started raining and I was the only one with an umbrella. A great effort from Team 1 - better luck next time!!

Julie with her first ever fish, a cracking 10lb commonTeam 2: Jim and Julie - The Underdogs!

Jim and Julie were underdogs for two reasons - Julie has never fished before, Jim has, but he's crap at it!!! Despite never having held a fishing rod, Julie banked the teams only notable catch, a stunning 10lb common that was played and landed like a true professional. Jim failed to contribute anything of any note to his team's tally apart from a few piddling little roach that would probably have failed to record on the scales. I had to remind Jim that it is overall weight, not numbers that count in fishing matches.

Another early departure for team two probably more down to Jim's sulking than the weather. He had fallen just short of his anticipated 100lb total - by about 90lb. Lucky Julie was there to show you how to do it eh!!


Paul with an 9lb mirrorTeam 3: Paul and Jenny - The Favourites!

Paul and Jenny were obvious favourites for various reasons. We fish alot more than others, there was no really decent opposition and I [Paul] am writing the article. Nuff said.

I was slightly worried about the fast start Team 1 had made and was glad to see the bites start to come and a few decent fish being banked. Admittedly though for all of us, Gold Valley was not at its best and the fishing was somewhat slow. I think by the end of the day we had the best total weight, even though the best fish were caught once the other two teams had packed up and gone home. 8lb and 14lb mirrors were the notable catches along with a decent bream. Jenny chipped in with a nice carp and some smaller roach.

So the result went pretty much to form. All teams caught, we had a good laugh and really enjoyed each others company. Thanks guys for a great day out and remember to get in plenty of practice for round two!!

A cautionary word about Gold Valley:

Gold Valley is undoubtedly a good fishing venue although one issue did get our day off to a bad start. Jim has some difficulty walking long distances and as the three teams wanted to fish in adjacent swims we had a fairly long walk to find three vacant swims. We asked the bloke working in the tackle shop if we could drive Jim to the spot we had chosen and then bring the car back to the car park.

The paths between the lakes are perfectly suitable for cars and it would have been no intrusion to other anglers if we had done so. The response from the tackle shop guy was a blunt no!! We tried to argue our point but he refused to budge and only offered to refund our ticket money and actually recommended us to another nearby fishery. Not only does this make no commercial sense [the loss of 6 day tickets at 12 each], but is wholly inconsiderate to those less fortunate than himself. He refused to offer any explanation as to why h e was unable to allow us to use the road, so we naturally put it down to bloody-mindedness. We [and more especially Jim] were left upset and frustrated by this poor, unhelpful attitude.

In this day and age, providing decent disabled access is morally and legally essential. Its time Gold valley got with the programme and re-considered there access policy for those unable to walk long distances.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 25.07.05 - Cotswold Water Park, Gloucestershire.

Cotswold Willow Pool - July 05If you are after peace, relaxation and free fishing on virtually unfished lakes, you could do alot worse than get yourselves down to the Cotswold Water Park, near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. Thats exactly what Jenny and I did last weekend! Urgently in need of some R & R we booked into Costwold Willow Pool for a couple of nights to re-charge the batteries....and of course to do some fishing!!!

Cotswold Willow Pool is a B & B run by Steve and Viv Jones set in beautiful surroundings with three fishing lakes that are open to guests at the B & B only. We were greeted by our excellent hosts on our arrival and it wasn't long before the talk turned to fishing. Steve explained that the carp, tench and roach in the lake could all be easily caught on sweetcorn [rather than fancy new-fangled baits]. He added that, apart from the few swims he had dredged, the main lake [which offered the best fishing] was full of weed and strong tackle was required to avoid snagging up. I never fish heavy tackle, prefering the thrill of playing fish rather than hauling them in, although as it turned out I should have taken his advice. We chose a swim that was weed free at the far end of the main lake and set up wagglers fishing hard on the bottom with two peices of corn on a 14 hook. Almost immediately, something grabbed my bait and headed straight for the weed banks in the middle of the lake. Lost fish number 1 !! The same happended a few more times and it soon became apparent that not only were there some decent fish in the lake, but they were canny and our tackle was not strong enough....why didn't I listen to Steve? We only managed to bank two tench that afternoon but each was around the 5lb mark, in perfect condition and had probably never been caught before.

5lb tench - July 05Day 2 - the weather did not look too promising so we decided to head into Cirencester to have a look around...and to stock up on bait and tackle. Cirencester is quite a quaint, interesting town but to be honest I was itching to get back to the lake and get the better of those bloody tench.

After a great lunch on the lawn overlooking the lake, we returned to the same swim and again set up, this time using 8lb line and size 12 hooks. What a difference a day [and stronger tackle] makes!! I hooked into a fish almost immediately, this time being able to control it and stop it making for the weed and I soon had a lovely 5lb tench in the net. The weather had warmed up considerably by this time and the skies were clear. Whether this had an effect on the fishing, who knows but by the end of the session we had about a dozen tench between us all around the 4-6lb mark and all in superb condition. We still lost quite a few fish and failed to land any of the resident carp but it was a great afternoons sport which we both thoroughly enjoyed.

Sunday sadly was a complete wash out. It poured with rain all day so we decided to give the fishing a miss. Having had such a good day on Saturday we didn't mind and it in no way spoilt a throughly relaxing and enjoyable weekend. Thanks to Viv and Steve for their hospitality and hope to see you next year.

Fish South East highly recommends Cotswold Willow Pool. For more details, visit their website at:

http://www.willowpool.com


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 17.07.05 - Gold Valley, Aldershot.

Gold Valley, Aldershot - July 05Gold Valley in Aldershot is a 6 lake coarse fishing venue that had been recommended to me by two seperate people who maintained that the fishing is quite easy there. That was all I needed to here so Jenny and I set off there on another gloriously hot summer's day. The Lakes are about an hours drive from where we live in West London and we were both full of anticipation and hope as we made our way there - well, I was anyway.

Gold valley is an extremely well run coarse fishing complex with a well
stocked tackle and bait shop on site as well as a bar and cafe. The lakes are
all quite near the car park and quite suited to disabled anglers. Having stocked up on bait and food we settled for a swim on the far bank of Gold Lake. [We were somewhat limited with our choice of swim as it was quite busy]. I am not really a dedicated carp angler but was determined to fish for carp only and break my PB which only stood at 11lb. I set up initially with a waggler fishing a variety of hookbaits such as pellet, sweetcorn, luncheon meat and maggots. I was plagued by small fish no matter how deep or how far out I fished. I soon decided therefore to switch to the feeder again trying the same hookbaits as before with the addition of chocolate mini-bolies and regular spicy shrimp boilies, all hair rigged. I tried fishing close in and right out in the middle but couldn't get the carp to take the bait. Plenty of others were catching but I flet like it wasn't going to be my day.

15lb Gold Valley carp - July 05That was until my rod was almost pulled straight into the water and I was into a fish that felt pretty decent and went tearing off across the lake. Only using 6lb mainline I had to go easy on the fish and it took fifteen minutes to get the fish to the bank. As i saw it break the surface for the fist time, I knew this was going to break my PB and I wasn't wrong. It tipped the scales at just over 15lb. Whilst not a monster by many carp anglers standards, I was absolutely delighted. I lost two further decent fish over the next hour but didn't really care. I had got what I had come for!!

Jenny meanwhile was happy catching one roach or rudd after another and is getting rather good at this fishing lark. Maybe she'll even learn to tie her own hooks soon.

All in all a very satisfying day. I will definitely be trying Gold Valley again very soon.

You won't find details of Gold Valley on Fish South East as it is outside the area covered by this site but for more information visit the Gold Valley Website


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 10.07.05 - Thames, Runnymede.

Thames at Runnymede - July 05What a gloriously hot summer's day. Probably more suited to sun-bathing than fishing but decided to try a bit of river fishing for a change. I had read recently that the stretch of The River Thames at Runnymede is a good roach and dace venue and is also noted for some decent barbel and chub and even the odd big carp. The river bank was absolutely packed when we got there....not just with anglers but with sun-worshippers.

Another late start meant I couldn't get to the tackle shop for some maggots or casters which I knew were the bait of choice at this stretch. I had to make do with sweetcorn, luncheon meat and pellets, not traditional river baits by a long way. Not surprisingly I didn't have a bite in about three hours. The only consolations were that hardly anyone else caught much [apart from the odd roach] and my tan came on a treat.

Next weekend, I'm heading for Gold Valley in Aldershot, renowned for some excellent carp fishing. Check back next week for my report.

For full details of The River Thames at Runneymede, please visit my venues page


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 03.07.05 - Lizard Fisheries, Middlesex.

Lizard Fisheries - July 05Date - Sunday 3rd July 05, Weather - overcast, about 20 deg c, physical state - severely hungover!!

Hoping that a few hours of fresh air would wake me up a bit, I headed over to Lizard Fisheires once again. I had thought about trying Farlows Lake but a quick visit there and a chat with a few of the disgruntled anglers there soon changed my mind. No one was getting a bite on the match lake, let alone a fish!!

Lizard Fisheries seem to have been doing quite a bit of work to Lake 1 recently, improving the swims and part-felling some of the trees around the lake so they hang into the water, making fish holding areas. It also gives each swim a slightly secluded feel. However, I decided to try Lake 2 which I have only fished once before. This Lake holds the larger fish at Lizard and I fancied trying for a decent carp. Bad decision - after a couple of hours only one small perch was all I had caught. So I duly headed back to Lake 1.

There was plenty of evidence of fish being caught right around the lake and I was soon getting bites and landing small roach, rudd and skimmers. Soon after I hooked into what felt like a really decent carp. After a 15 minute fight [only using 4lb mainline], I landed a lovely 9lb 8oz part scaled mirror. It felt much better because I had foul-hooked it in the tail. It still counts....doesn't it?

I couldn't really get the carp to feed regularly though and only had a couple more smaller fish over the next hour or so. Maybe the new swims were attracting most of the decent fish with their added cover. Thats my excuse anyway!! Lizard is a great fishery for non-stop action though. I would urge you to try it - its very rare [in fact its never happened to me] to blank there and it certainly seems to be at its very best at the moment.

For more information on Lizard Fisheries, please visit my Venues page.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 21.06.05 - Lizard Fisheries, Middlesex.

Lizard Fisheries - June 05Took the day off work supposedly to wait for the gas man to service our boiler, but really that was just an excuse to sneak in an extra days fishing at my local venue which is nearly impossible to get on at the weekend [especially if, like me, you don't like getting up with the lark]. The temperatures were down slightly on the weekend although still bloomin' hot although a gentle south westerly breeze kept the edge off, so I felt confident that the fish would be in a feeding frenzy.

All my recent diary entries seem to start the same way - heading to the venue full of anticipation and confidence, only to come away slightly disappointed. Well, I am glad to report that this was not the case today !! I set up on Lake 1 with a waggler fished high up in the water using pellets and meat as my hook baits. Bites were fast and furious with smaller roach, rudd and the odd skimmer plentiful.

One for the ladies - LOL!!About an hour into the session, I hooked into what felt like a pretty decent fish. It wasn't fighting really hard but I had to be careful as I was only using 4lb line. The fish soon succumbed to my superior fishing skills [yeah right !!] and the result was a fine 10lb 8oz mirror. [Yeah, I know the picture makes it look smaller - it doesn't exactly flatter me much either. Think I'll keep my shirt on next time].

A 10lb carp is a good size for lake 1 at Lizard as most of the larger ones were transferred to lake 2 some time ago. You can imagine how chuffed I was then when about half an hour later I banked another mirror this time just short of 11lb. I persevered for a while after these two fish and managed another carp about 4lb and loads of silver fish, but just couldn't tempt the carp to really start feeding, a problem most other anglers seemed to be having.

So, one of my more succesful days of late. I knew that Lizard wouldn't let me down although, believe me, the fishing can be a lot better than that when it really gets going. Nor being a carp specialist or ever bothering to weigh the fish I caught, I reckon that 11lb could well be PB for me. A most satisying day.

For more information on Lizard Fisheries, please visit my Venues page.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 18.06.05 - Twynersh Fishery, Surrey.

Twynersh Fishery, SurreyDecided to try Twynersh Fishery in Surrey again despite mixed success there two weeks ago. The weather was outstanding - the thermometer in the car read 30 deg c as we headed down to Surrey and I'm sure it got hotter while we were there. Great weather for sun worshippers, but not you may think for fishermen.

By the time we got there, Lake 1 [reputed to be the easiest lake to catch] was full so we opted for a secluded swim with a large patch of lilly pads at its centre which looked like it could hold some good fish. Perhaps on a cooler day, it might well have done but our meat, pellets and corn fished at varying depths on the waggler failed to tempt all but a couple of small roach and skimmer bream. Fishing the method feeder with hair rigged boilies faired little better.

Your host with a 2lb Twynersh tenchThe hot weather combined with the lack of success meant that many people packed up and headed home mid-afternoon, whcih meant that swims were now available on lake 1. We didn't have to wait long for a bit of action. Small roach, rudd and skimmers were soon taking our offerings and then Jenny hooked into a nice tench about 1lb 8oz. Almost immediately I landed a tench about 2lb 8oz with a couple more smaller ones following quickly. All fell to chocolate boilies fished with the method feeder. There was no sign of any carp being caught at all on any of the lakes - too hot I guess !!

So the day ended better than it had started although again not an outstanding day. Will have to wait for another day for Twynersh to reveal its true potential. So it was off to the pub for a well earned pint of shandy and then home to rub after sun soother onto my burnt back.

For more information on Twynersh Fishery, please visit my Venues page.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 13.06.05 - Royal Berkshire Fishery, Berkshire.

Royal Berkshire FisheryRoyal Berkshire Fishery has a reputation as a decent enough mixed coarse fishing venue although the last few times I have fished there, results have not exactly been brilliant. Time to give it another go I thought. The weather was slightly disappointing for early June, overcast and decidedly chilly. Taking the advice of the bailiff, Jenny and I decided to fish Lake 2, a lake we have not fished before. Fishing a waggler up in the water, alternating between corn, luncheon meat and banded pellet as bait, things started slowly with small roach and skimmers all to show for our efforts.

Speaking to others around the lake, it appeared as though others were fairing little better and mid-afternoon, many anglers started heading for home. A quick chat with the bailiff lfted our spirits somewhat as he explained that the better fish, especially the carp are renowned at Royal Berkshire Fishery for feeding later in the day towards dusk.

Jenny with the only decent fish of the dayWe decide to move swim, chosing a corner swim with some enviting lilly pads to one side which looked like it may well hold cover for some decent fish. Immediately, we started to catch slightly bigger fish, rudd and skimmers mainly up to about 8oz. We continued to catch regularly, mainly on corn, but failed to tempt any fish of note apart from the bream of about 2lb that Jenny landed.

Not a bad day all in all but one or two bigger fish would have been nice. Jenny certainly seems to be getting the hang of this fishing lark. She beat me hands down today.

This coming weekend looks like its going to be warming up considerably. Not sure where we will be trying this Saturday, but it should be good !!

For more information on Royal Berkshire Fishery, please visit my Venues page.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 04.06.05 - Twynersh Fishery, Surrey.

Twynersh Fishery- Lake 1 Having had mixed success on my last few fishing trips, I was determined to try a location that I had not fished before and one that I knew could produce some excellent sport on the right day. After conduction some research, I settled for Twynersh Fishing Complex, an 8 lake coarse fishing complex just outside Chertsey in Surrey. I rang the owner, Paul, for directions and advice on bait and tactics before setting off, again rather late in the day thanks to a very late night courtesy of Jenny and our friends Paul and Jenny. Initial impressions were excllent as we entered the venue, with plenty of others fishing and the venue looking in first class condition. Twynersh makes you think you are in the heart of the countryside with plenty of wildlife around even though you are only just outside London.

Paul with a 7lb common carp Having met up with Jim and Connor [for round two of our 2005 angling competition] we headed for lake 2, a mixed coarse fishing lake next to the car park. I set up one rod fishing a waggler and another fishing a groundbait feeder with hair rigged chocolate boilies. After about an hour the four of us had only managed two small perch between us. Other anglers on the lake seemed to be doing little better. One guy we spoke to had been there since 5.30am and hadn't had a fish....and by then it was 2.00pm. Feeling somewhat disappointed and in need of some sustenance we abandoned the fishing and headed to the snack van for a burger and cup of tea. Feeling somewhat revived we took the advice of the lovely lady serving the food and switched to Lake 1 which apparently is the easiest of the 8 lakes to fish and will always produce fish whatever the weather.

7lb Twynersh MirrorThis seemed to be good advice as almost immediately the bites started and we were soon into some nice roach about 4-5oz each. The roach fell mostly to hair rigged pellets fished with a waggler up in the water although we also caught them on maggot, corn and luncheon meat. I managed one decent carp of 7lb and lost one that felt considerably better. The roach continued steadily throughout the rest of the day, mixed with some small perch although there was no sign of the bream and tench that thrive in Twynersh.

So the day ended with more success than it had begun with, although the fishing could have been better. Steady rather than exceptional would probably be a fair description. At 12 for a day ticket, the venue is not the cheapest, although this does allow use of two rods. It is obvious that plenty of this money is ploughed back into maintaning the venue to a high standard so maybe it is money well spent. I will definitely be trying Twynersh again some time and hoping for more success. At least round two of our competition went to Jenny and I - better luck to Jim and Connor next time.

For more information on Twynersh Fishery, please visit my Venues page.



Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 13.05.05 - Spring at Lizard Fisheries.

Lizard Fishery May '05What better to do with a well earned day off work than switch off the mobile and head for my local water, Lizard Fisheries in Cowley, Middlesex. After another leisurely start to the day [not that the lie in did much for the bags under my eyes] we got to the venue about midday. Things started poorly though as I realised I had left my tackle box at home so after another trip to the tackle shop to pick up some accessories, we finally settled down to some fishing about 1pm.

The venue was fairly crowded which combined with the guy in the tackle shop saying Lizard was fishing well, filled us with hope. The weather was sunny but with a fairly cold NE wind blowing which pegged the temperature back to about 13 deg c.

Paul with a 7lb common carp Waggler fishing up in the water using pellets and luncheon meat soon paid dividends with a decent common about 7lb [pictured] and a couple of bream about 2lb. Jenny had a nice tench about 1lb 10oz and a carp about 3lb. However, we were somewhat plagued by small roach and rudd that although always a pleasure to catch, did tend to keep the larger carp away. They seemed to be at the far end of the lake where other anglers were having more success.

Still, all in all, a very enjoyable day. Don't forget if you want to post a review of Lizard or any other venue featured on Fish South East, let me know via the contact page


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 03.05.05 - Earlswood Lakes, Earlswood, West Midlands.

Earlswood LakesVisiting the parents in Birmingham offered the opportunity to try out one of the West Midlands premier fisheries, Earlswood Lakes set in pleasant wooded countryside next to the village of Earlswood to the south of Solihull. This venue consists of three lakes and is widely recognised as the finest of its type in the Midlands and one of the leading fisheries in the UK. After a leisurely start, we arrived about midday. The weather was warm and overcast, excellent fishing conditions you may think.

Earlswood BreamThe place was packed which I took as an encouraging sign. It soon became apparent however that the many anglers on the water were having little luck on what is renowned as an excellent carp and bream bag-up water. Un-daunted, we set up at the far end of the main lake choosing to fish a feeder with white chocolate boilies on a hair rig which are rumoured to be the bait of choice at Earlswood. The fish just weren't feeding sadly despite trying many other baits such as sweetcorn, pellet, maggot and luncheon meat. I did manage to catch 2 decent bream about 3lb each which meant the day wasn't a complete wash-out.

Everyone we spoke to was really surprised that the fish were not feeding and many had expected to catch up to 100lb easily.

Billy with an Earlswood MirrorHowever, my parents, Jenny and I had a great day at this stunning location and I will definitely give it another go soon.

The day was also memorable for meeting two great blokes fishing next to us, Billy [AKA Nuddy] and Bob. Their banter was hilarious and they were more than happy to share their bait and knowledge of Earlswood with us. Thanks alot fellas and hope to see you again at Earlswood some time. Thanks also to the guys in Birmingham Angling Centre for their help and advice and finally, thanks to Mum and Dad for a great weekend.

For more information on Earlswood Lakes visit www.fisheries.co.uk


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 03.04.05 - Lizard Fisheries.

Lizard Fisheries April 05After a very late start I headed off for my first taste of Lizard Fisheries in 2005. By the time I got there, Lake 1 was pretty full so I had little choice but to fish a swim I wouldn't normally choose, at the far east end of the lake. Alternating between waggler fished luncheon meat and banded pellet, things started fairly slowly, only manging a small skimmer of about 6oz in the first hour.

6lb common from Lizard Fisheries April 05Others seemed to be fairing little better and in fact many packed up and went home. I'm glad I didn't make an early start as It wasn't until about 3pm when things started to liven up. A couple more skimmers [one about 1lb 4oz] was followed by a decent common carp of 6lb, a bream of 5lb 7oz, several more bream and a handful of roach and rudd.

5lb bream from Lizard Fisheries April 05Altogether, not a bad afternoon - especially considering my recent lack of success !! It would appear as though Lizard Fisheries is fast approaching its best form and as the weather continues to improve so will the fishing. Get there early though as it will start to get even busier over the coming months. This is a popular venue that is a good bag-up water in the summer. For details Lizard Fisheries visit my venues - Greater London page or to post a review of this fishery or your recent catch reports, visit my contact page.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 28.03.05 - Bury Hill Fisheries.

Easter Bank Holiday monday and it's not raining. In fact it was a beautiful day and surely the fish at Bury Hill [see venues - Surrey] would offer some excellent sport. I had phoned the day before and pre-booked two of their boats that can be rented for 5.50 pp, so we [myself, Jenny, Jim and Connor] were all set for a day messing about on the water. Bury Hill main lake has a section called "The Jungle" which can only be fished from a boat so we headed straight for this spot. Things started promisingly as Jim and I both hooked into decent carp, sadly only to loose them. Despite trying various baits [pellet, corn, boilies, luncheon meat], that was about all for the morning session as the fish refused to play the game. From what we could see, no one else was doing much better.

After a hearty lunch in the on-site cafe, we headed back out to the jungle to try our luck again. The afternoon saw little improvement apart from a 3lb bream that fell to a waggler fished banded pellet. And that was that!! A disappointing days fishing [again] but Bury Hill is set in such wonderful surroundings and the weather was so good for March that we all had a great day. At least the Bream I caught means I take an early lead in the 2005 Summer league that we are having between us - better get practising guys !!

Bury Hill Fisheries - The JungleBury Hill Fisheries - The Competition !!
Bury Hill Fisheries - The Jungle
Bury Hill Fisheries - where are the fish?


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 20.03.05 - Royal Berkshire Fishery.

Jenny's first doubleThe glorious spring weather of the last few days tempted me and Jenny to try out Royal Berkshire Fishery [see venues - Berkshire,] which is just outside Windsor, Berkshire. The hot weather sadly deserted us and the many other anglers hoping for some early season sport. The fish were sadly lacking too with very few fish being caught. That is apart from my better half, Jenny who caught a fine 10lb common carp on her first cast. Using a single grain of corn on a size 18 hook with 4lb line, the fish took some landing but was well worth the ticket price in itself. Jenny certainly put all the other fishermen to shame today - her fish would have been good enough for 3rd place in a match that was taking place on Lake 3. Hopefully this will encourage a few more fishing trips for us both this year - it surely has to be better than watching the Eastenders omnibus edition on a Sunday afternoon.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 06.02.05 - Farlows Lake - Another Stab.

Fish South East @ Farlows Lake - February 2005After my usuccessful attempt at pike fishing at Farlows Lake [see Venues-Buckinghamshire] in December, I thought it was time for another stab at conquering what is known as a decent carp and match fishing venue right next to the M25 in Buckinghamshire. The morning was sunny, still and about 10 deg. I headed for the match lake and set up two rods, one feeder fishing at long range and the other waggler fishing close in, both using red maggots as hook bait, which I had been reliably informed was the bait of the moment. Sadly this proved not to be the case, as both rods failed to catch, well apart from the perch I caught just before packing up. And that was so small it wouldn't have registered on the most sensitive of scales.

Some did fair better than I however, particularly on the main lake where a good number of carp up to 27lb were caught during the day. Even the guy next to be managed a couple of decent bream and a carp just under 15lb.

Reading back through the last few entries of this diary make pretty sorry reading in terms of numbers of fish landed. Maybe I need to go back to golf and leave the fishing to those who really know what they are doing - NO WAY !!!!

If anyone has fished Farlows recently and would like to offer any tips on top methods for this venue or share your experiences of fishing at Farlows, please visit the contact page and let me know.

Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 31.12.04 - Farlows Lake - The elusive predator.

I've been itching to try some Pike fishing for some time now, never having been before. I'd read that Farlows Lake in Buckinghamshire [ see my Venues - Buckinghamshire page, ] holds a good head of pike on both the main lake and the match lake, and with it being fairly local, it seemed an excellent choice.

Farlows Lake - The elusive pikeThe weather was overcast, relatively mild (10deg c) with a fairly strong westerly wind blowing. The guy in the tackle shop on site advised us to try the match lake, so armed with some roach and lamprey dead bait and artificial lures, Jim, his son Connor and I were full of anticipation. There were quite a few other fishermen on the water so we were all hopeful of landing our first ever pike. Unfortunately this proved to be false hope. Never having been pike fishing before I'm not sure the tactics we adopted were any good, but ledgering a dead bait section and lure fishing both failed to catch the elusive pike.

As part of the 5 day ticket for this venue you can also fish the river Colne that borders the match lake, reported to hold some reasonable barble and chub. Having given up on the pike fishing, we tried it for a while but were plagued by minnows and gudgeon. Still at least we could say we didn't blank !! I will definitely try Farlows Lake again as I have heard good things about this venue, particularly for carp fishing on the main lake. Guess I'll have to wait for some warmer weather, as I will for my first pike. Til then, Happy new Year to all.



Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 15.12.04 - Winter at Lizard Fisheries

Fish South East - Winter at Lizard FisheriesWhat better to do with a day off work than freeze my jacobs off trying to catch fish!! Its been almost three months since my last fishing trip so I was full of anticipation as I set off for Lizard Fisheries in Cowley, Middlesex [ See Venues - Greater London ].The temperature was a little up on recently (about 10 deg), overcast initially with very little breeze so I thought the fishing could possibly be quite good. I began to think again when I arrived and was the only soul brave enough (or mad enough) to be out fishing. Using a medium waggler and red maggots brought some success with 6 roach about 3-4oz each and a perch about 8oz. The carp were obviously not feeding and pellets failed to tempt them. I know why fish generally don't feed as much in the colder months, but it doesn't half piss me off sometimes. Anyway, not a complete disaster of a day...and it beats work anytime. Until next time....happy fishing.



Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 27.09.04 - Lizard Fisheries
Fishsoutheast - 8lb mirror

Almost a month since I last went fishing so I decided to take a day off work and check out my "local", Lizard Fisheries [ see venues - Greater London ]. The weather was overcast, a mild 17 deg c with a gentle South Westerly breeze - ideal fishing conditions I thought.

After a slow start I soon hooked into a couple of small carp (between 2-4lb), fishing a banded pellet on a small waggler, about 10ft in front of me. After a couple more, the bites dried up so I set a bit shallower and decided to fish the margins. The next couple of hours were marked by long periods of no activity mixed with 10 minute spells of hectic action. In the end I caught about a dozen fish ranging from 2-9lbs. Notable fish included the three carp pictured, all around the 8/9lb mark, which is a good size for lake 1 at Lizard Fisheries, and a tench about 3lb. All in all, a pretty successful trip.

Must get some scales soon. The weights given above are rough estimates and I guess I could be way out with my guestimates. And.....you know what they say about fishermen and the size of the fish they caught...lets just say some are prone to exaggeration.

Til next time...happy fishing.

Fishsoutheast - 9lb mirror
Fishsoutheast - 8lb common


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 29.08.04 - The Colne, Yiewsley

Fish South East - The Colne, YiewsleyBank holiday Sunday....and it's not raining.... so set off for a spot of river fishing for a change. Decided to try the River Colne at Yiewsley. The river there is shallow and has a combination of swims ranging from very shallow fast moving water to slower, deeper channels. There is also a fairly large lake rumoured to hold some good Carp and Tench. The river and lake can all be fished for 3 per rod per day. Fish South East - Yours truly I drew a blank on the lake but caught quite a few Dace and Perch on the river. Although all were fairly small, I was quite happy trotting down the river on light tackle...and fishing with maggots for a change. It brought back happy memories of fishing in Devon when I was a kid....with lake Carp fishing so predominant these days it was good to get back to some good old-fashioned river fishing. This stretch of the Colne is noted for some reasonable Barbel and Chub so give it a go....at 3 per day, what have you got to lose. The river and lake are both located on Old Mill Lane, Yiewsley. Some parking is available and tickets are sold on the bank.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 15.08.04 - Durgan, Cornwall

Fish South East - Durgan, CornwallA slight departure from the coarse fishing theme as Jenny and I set off last week for Cornwall and a spot of sea fishing. We were staying with our good mate Jim and his son Connor in the tiny fishing hamlet of Durgan on the Helford River, just south of Falmouth. What a delightful spot, not only for fishing but sailing, swimming, messing about on the water and generally taking it easy and re-charging the batteries. Having hired a small motor boat from the nearby Fish South East - Paul, Jim and ConnorHelford Passage and armed with a load of sand eels and lug worms we set off not really knowing what we could expect to catch. Several mackerel were the first fish caught and then between us we caught a Pollock, loads of Wrasse and assorted weird and wonderul species that we are still are unable to name. Never having been sea fishing before I was to be convinced of its merits - needless to say I can't wait until next year. Many thanks to Jim and Connor for a superb week and brilliant company. Sadly back to work tomorrow, but with some wonderful memories.


Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 08.08.04 - Perch at Lizard Fisheries

Took advantage of the Mrs. going shopping and headed off for Lizard Fisheries. The lake I usually fish was full (serves me right for getting up late) so for the first time I thought I would try Lake 2 which is reported to hold much bigger fish than Lake 1. Unfortunately, the carp were not feeding (my excuse for not catching any) but I caught loads of small Perch up to about 1/2lb. The weather was dry but very hot and humid. [ See Venues - Greater London ]



Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 29.07.04 - Royal Berkshire Fisheries

Royal Berkshire Fisheries, near Windsor [ see Venues - Berkshire ] was the venue of choice for Sunday 25th July. I dragged my unfortunate better half along with me who enjoys fishing...if she catches something and the weather is sunny and over 25 deg. The weather was OK but the fishing was slow. Half a dozen skimmers and a few small roach were all that was on offer. The carp seemed loathe to feed apart from the one that pulled my rod in. Just about rescued the rod (it was very close) but lost the carp. I've certainly had livelier sessions at this venue before. Anyway it was all too much for Jenny...as you can see. Have you had any experiences of Royal Berkshire Fisheries? Good or bad, let me know. Just nip over to my contact page.

Fish South East - Jenny



Paul Orford's coarse fishing diary 22.07.04 - Blanking at Bedfont

My first fishing trip for nearly a month. My mate Jim wanted to try a bit of pike fishing so we decided to try Bedfont Lake in Feltham [ see Venues - greater London ] which allegedly contains Pike as well as good numbers of Carp, Bream etc. We were full of optimism....unfortunately this did not last long. Neither of us had a bite in 5 hours fishing and the other brave soles fishing faired little better. According to one guy I spoke to the lake fished well some years ago although it has been overrun with weed and not well maintained. At least Jim's good sense of humour kept me going. His Avid Merrion impressions are first rate - shut up Stephen!! If anyone has any recent experiences (either good or bad) of Bedfont Lake please let me know via the contact page.


13.07.04 - Fish South East up and running!!

The wait is over....fishsoutheast is finally up and running...at last !! I put this site together partly for a HTML web site design course I am taking but I was also driven by the desire to see a simple web site that provides all the information coarse anglers need to go fishing in the South East of England. I hope you enjoy it !! Your comments on the design and content of the site as well as anything else you feel like letting off steam about are more than welcome. Just visit the contact page.

Fish South East - Paul

That's me...on one of my more successful fishing trips.

I first started fishing with my two brothers (Tim and Bill) when we lived in Exeter, Devon. God that was over 20 years ago !! Most of our fishing was on a small tributary of the Rive Exe called "The Leat", trotting with light tackle for small silver fish, mostly dace, roach, and the odd trout. We also made the occasional ventures onto the Exe itself , Exeter Canal and a beautiful reservoir called Squabmoor. To say we were obsessed with fishing would be a major understatement. If we weren't actually fishing, we were talking about it, reading about it or planning our next fishing trip. Happy days !!

Although I hardly picked up a fishing rod for 20 years, I always fancied giving it another go and last year I finally got round to it. All those feelings of excitement, heading off for a days fishing and first feeling the tug of a fish on the line soon came flooding back. Guess I'm hooked again. Now living in Ealing, West London this site is for those of you, like me, who want to know the best places to fish in the South East of England. So, enjoy the site, enjoy your fishing and as they used to say in the West Country...."tight lines".


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