As carp anglers, we often find ourselves talking about certain lakes and their former glory. We dwell on fond memories of past captures and atmospheres matched by but a few. This holds true for just about the only park lake in my area of residence.

The crack of dawn, often the most precious hours at the Park Lake

This formerly prolific lake tested the best of us. Some cracked the code whilst others just couldn’t seem to get in touch with how the lake shared its jewels to the dedicated few. One would’ve been a fool for mistaking its maturity for kindness though, as a kick in the teeth will always be on the cards for the best of the best. I was taught this lesson the hard way on my most recent session.

As past luck would have it, I’ve never done a blank session at this lake. Some days were slow but more often than not the action came thick and fast. The average day session would produce up to 10 fish with some of my best sessions producing a total of 23 fish for the day.

One of many Park Lake characters caught on a wet but very productive day

I remember my very first session at the lake. Doubts of catching anything was high as rumours of how difficult this lake was played with my mind. To cut a long story short, on that day I caught my fist Park Lake fish with a simple yet devastating method , a method that would proof itself the downfall of many a Park Lake carp.

Mirror’s weren’t plentiful but I was lucky enough to have caught all but two of these gems

I was lucky enough to have caught most of the lake’s gems. The ones I didn’t catch were either moved from the lake or died in a tragic sewage spill which killed off a massive number of the bigger fish stock present in the lake at that time.

My biggest from the lake, a fish called ‘Piet’. This was one of the big commons that died due to the unfortunate sewage spill.

Over time, as the lake became more public, the condition of the surviving fish started to deteriorate as more and more uneducated people treated the fish they caught with very little care. The fishing got a bit easier as more younger fish started to make their presence in the absence of the big fish. Ever since then there’s only been a few scarper 20lb fish around.

This character is proof of the sad example of uneducated people handling fish with very little care.

It has been a good 5 years since my last proper session at the Park Lake. Ever since I’ve always had the idea of returning someday. This is where my ‘kick in the teeth’ came from. Myself and a few good friends is currently in the process of producing a new #InSession video series (which will be available soon). I decided to do a segment at the Park Lake as this would’ve been a good opportunity to present the method I mentioned earlier. On the day everything went well. We got some decent footage at a very productive swim. The only problem was actually landing fish to present in front of the camera.

Out of the 8 runs I got for the day, I landed zero fish. I was fishing a to very productive area close an island. Of all the session I’ve done in that area, I’ve never experienced lost fish due to snags being present. In fact, the area has always been devoid of snags except for the trees and branches scattered around the island. This time around, I lost every single hooked fish to underwater snags. It was mind boggling. Even after casting a few meters to the left and the right (and even a few meters short of the spot), the fish would get snagged exactly on the spot that they’ve picked the bait up from.

It was frustrating to say the least. I wasn’t blanking due to not receiving bites, I was blanking due to losing fish in snags that wasn’t suppose to be there… This broke a zero blanking streak for all my time spend fishing this lake. This marked a sad day as it appears that the lake never really recovered from past events.

Although we’re not producing the video we set out to produce, I did put together a short film of the days events. Good footage should never go to waist so please enjoy the below video of me blanking my socks off!