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Return to Stevenstone - 24/04/12

It was a glorious April day, and after my sea fishing trip, I had a great yearning for a complete change of technique as I enjoy all sorts of methods and styles of fishing and really believe that variety is the spice of life. I hadn't been floatfishing for a while so thought that a day on the old estate lake at Stevenstone after tench and "wildie" carp (with one or two larger stocked fish) would fit the bill perfectly.

When we moved to Torrington in 1992, we rented a house adjacent to the lakes and I could just walk across the field and fish.  A lovely old boy, Mr. Parnell, used to run the lakes and he never charged me for my son to fish as long as I called in one the return trip to tell him how we had done and pass the time of day.  My favourite pool was the bottom one of the three which was 75% covered in half lily. It was perfect for tench and you could get there early and catch a few before the action ceased, which it always seemed to do at 11.00 am. If you made any noise, it would stop immeditely.

Since those heady days, the fishing has largely been spoiled by the clearing of all the lillies in the bottom pool, and a jetty built on the top lake for outward bound style courses for school kids, whilst the price has gone up to £10 per day.

As it was only April, I thought it would be too early for the kids and so it proved - we were the first people there this year.  Had I realised that I would probably have taken worms rather than corn as natural baits often work best in such circumstances.  Reg and I set up in the deeper end of the lake laying on with float tackle. 

We didn't get there until 8am and I had hoped to see the tench bubbles, but there was no sign of fish.  In fact it proved a really difficult day before we packed up at 11am, with Reg having the only bite of the day from an immaculate common carp of 14lbs which fought well on light float gear.

Whilst the fishing was a little disappointing, we enjoyed watching the long tailed tits, and a great spotted woodpecker on the tree between us just a few feet away, and the sun was glorious for the time of year. Sharing this with good company made the day all the more enjoyable.