This page will be regularly updated with latest news from the fishery and our consultancy work, whether it's catches, wildlife sightings, a new project or anything else of interest.
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Added at 20:14 on Sunday 14th April 2019
Creatures of habit? Or just coincidence? I caught these two Ashmead commons as a brace, over two nights five years ago.
They were both landed last week at over thirty pounds and were the only two fish caught. Neither carp is caught more than once a year normally.
Is it something in their diet that prompts them to feed on bait in the spring? Is it that their metabolism means they are more active than other fish at this time and more willing to feed? Or is it just coincidence?
These patterns and little mysteries help to make carp angling the fascinating pastime I love.
Added at 12:45 on Tuesday 26th March 2019
I always like to fish the Spring and Autumn equinox if I can; those talismanic dates when the day length is the same as the duration of night time. It's not that I think these days are any better for fishing for any reason, it's just that they mark the change of the seasons at my favourite times of the year.
The spring equinox also ties in with the start of the booked season at Ashmead and the end of the winter syndicate. It's a lovely time to be on the wetland, with the spring migrants arriving and the weeping willows bursting into leaf. This year I fished for two nights and, in contrast to last year's snow, the sun shone and I found some carp browsing in one of the small bays. A carp took a bait that I had presented accurately on a glowing clay spot, just out from the marginal reeds, on the first morning and after a frantic tussle I landed a 23lb mirror with huge scales. It was a carp I haven't caught before and it marked what I hope will be the start of another successful Ashmead season.
Best wishes to everyone visiting the wetland this year; Shona and I look forward to welcoming you to Ashmead.
Added at 10:48 on Monday 19th November 2018
The Ashmead Winter Syndicate is now underway for 2108/19. I fished a night last week myself and found some carp in a deep bay near the car park. A bait presented just an inch out from the bank produced a run the following morning and after a heated exchange I landed this beautiful 35lb mirror. Other Opening Week carp included some of Ashmead's young mirrors that have been spawned in the wetland in recent years and a lovely common of 33.08lb to Trevor Sturgess.
Added at 12:03 on Thursday 27th September 2018
Last week, James Seaton (an Ashmead regular) couldn't make his booked visit and asked us to auction off the five days fishing amongst our regular guests, with any money raised going to support Ebonie in her fight against childhood leukaemia. ( https://www.facebook.com/EbonieroseM ). It was a lovely gesture and a winning bid of £800 from Cully Hassard secured five days of fishing at Ashmead in glorious autumnal conditions...
Cully has always wanted to catch a thirty-pound common and Ashmead repaid his kindness with two personal bests over the five days; a 32lb 12oz common on his second afternoon and then a glorious thirty-five the following day. Moments and memories like these make Ashmead special and I'm touched by the generosity of spirit of both Cully and James.
Added at 17:32 on Monday 10th September 2018
Throughout the summer, oxygen levels have determined the feeding times in the wetland. Heavy weed has been absorbing oxygen at night and producing it throughout the day. Even on the hottest summer days, most fish have been caught in daylight, with many coming out in the heat of the afternoon sun, when oxygen levels are at their peak. As we move into autumn however the patterns change and oxygen ceases to be the main determining factor. Over the past few weeks, a few carp have been caught in darkness and late evening and early mornings now seem to be the prime feeding times.
The ever consistent Dan Smith with a beautiful thirty plus mirror and thirty-four plus common and Graham Mustoe (maker of the finest muffins on the planet!) with a perfect twenty-eight pound common.
Added at 14:47 on Tuesday 21st August 2018
Not that it really matters one jot but I think that my old friend Jon Berry's recent capture of Moonscale at 46lb was the record for the largest carp ever caught on a cane rod and a centerpin reel. In any case, it was a fine bit of angling and Jon watched the carp visit a spot within inches of the bank to feed over the course of a few days, before he finally hooked her on his final morning at the lake. I love the astonished and disbelieving expression on Jon's face in the catch photos...
In other news, Darren Walkin landed a lovely brace of commons recently. One of these was just over 30lb but the more interesting carp was a mid-twenty that had never been caught before to the best of my knowledge. The capture each year of these unknown carp from the Ashmead wetland shows just how naturally rich and productive the water is. Knowing there are uncaught fish within Ashmead also adds that essential bit of mystery to the fishing!
Added at 16:50 on Wednesday 08th August 2018
The best moments at Ashmead come when old friends create new memories to share and when old passions are fired by close encounters with some of Ashmead's wonderful carp...
Added at 10:09 on Saturday 07th July 2018
Single Scale at 55lb, landed by Jake. Patch, the fully-scaled mirror landed by Jimmy. Opal landed by Ed. Despite the blazing temperatures, three of Ashmead's finest mirrors were landed last week... All second generation Ashmead carp, spawned in the wetland and grown on naturally in the rich Ashmead environment over the past twenty to thirty years.