Bayeswater Day Ticket Lake.

As you can see this is a new web site and we fully intend to keep it up-dated and interesting.  As well as general chit chat, information and catch reports we want to create an album of the fish with picture records of individual fish so if you can, email us any nice Bayeswater fish pictures you have to info@bayeswaterfishing.co.uk.  It might take a while to get it all together and I do have a lot of pictures but especially once it’s up and running if you spot a fish you’ve caught and your catch picture isn’t on the fish history please email your picture to us.

I’ve left my first introduction to Bayeswater lakes under this one if you’re interested.  If you do read both you’ll see we have made a lake out of a raw hole in the ground and if you joined Bayeswater in the early years we wish you a big thank you.

It seems like yesterday when we first started to set the Bayeswater lakes up.  On one hand it’s been a hard struggle taking up a lot of my fishing time, but then on the other hand it’s been really rewarding, more so than I can express in writing.

The original plan to create a day ticket lake where the angler can fish it like a good syndicate can be fished works.  Lot’s of the anglers who fish there have said how nice it is to fish with 4 rods and none of the nonsense rules of the local club lakes.  We do have rules but any sensible angler doesn’t do any harm do they.  We try to bailiff the lakes by helping people rather than looking for fault and have had hardly any problems in doing so.  I hate fishing with a 3 rod restriction, not being able to help an angler with a fish a couple of swims up or having to look over my shoulder all the time wondering what the tin pot idiot rule makers have dreamt up to hassle the angler next.  It’s only fishing, we’re supposed to enjoy it and I hope we can carry it on just as it is now.

I’ve been impressed with how easy it is to get on with the anglers on the day ticket lake.  I tell everyone that we have good people fishing there and I mean it.  Fair enough some need a bit of help with their fishing but that’s what we try to do.  Steve knows our fish really well and offers help to all, it pays to listen as well, and he’s saved me a blank or two.  We both had to learn a long time ago though, to simply walk away, with a smile when the angler “knows best”.  Our passion for wanting the angler to catch still lives on and I can honestly say we’re just as please as the angler when a good fish is caught.  We’ve lost count years ago how many personal bests have been caught on Bayeswater lakes, every PB caught is a result for us, it’s like every good fish caught on the bait I design, totally rewarding.

So, what is the fishing really like on the day ticket lake?  We prefer to be totally honest when we describe the lake, there is no hype, and we tell it how it is.  The day ticket lake has grown up a lot in the past few years.  We often have anglers who joined in the early years comment on this.  It used to be totally bare, no trees, hardly any reeds, nothing, just a hole in the ground but now it has matured and we even have to cut reeds and the odd tree branch back. 

In the early years we worked on the underwater environment first.  Some of the early anglers will have clocked this.  The farmer put 500 ducklings for the shooting on there one year, some moaned but I relished the potential silt and environment fertiliser the ducklings provided, it gave the lake a jump start for the natural food growth.  In the first few years there were often around 1,000 bats feeding across the surface on the summer nights.  Anne, the wife used to only half believe how many there were in the half light, until I taught her how to use her peripheral vision, then she thought it was to spooky.

I put weed pens in both lakes and filled them with weed and every time I was on rich waters bought in bucket full’s of naturals to boost the lake potential.  I also netted bucket full’s of shrimp and naturals from the surrounding ditches, fed the lake to try to keep them of the naturals so the lake could establish its own environment.  We planted reeds, sedge and other wet land plants.  Scrounged out of date plants from a friend in the trade, thanks Jeremy and generally did what I could to get the lake going, digging up and borrowing fauna from Fen Drayton, The Essex Arena and anywhere else I found myself (not being watched).  I had a lot of help from different people, Steve the Bailiff, Mark the Bailiff, Lee Copping from the bait factory, Anne and Rose and many more.  Each plant almost gets personal and I still look at some thinking “I planted that and lots more, after filling the car to bursting point”.  The almost bamboo type plants in the car park corner of the shallows are unique to any lake I’ve fished, Jeremy gave us these and informs me that this plant was around at the same time as the dinosaurs, that’s wicked isn’t it.  We literally started from scratch when every blade of grass counted but now we have a lake and not a hole in the ground.

Last winter I bought £1,000 worth of trees, planted most of them and due to the poor soil planted the rest in pots for planting this winter, so it will get even more grown up.  I’m also still on the prowl for “spare” trees everywhere else I fish and we’ll plant up a few more willows here and there this coming winter, so all the lakes will mature up more.  You do have to watch it planting too many trees though; they drop the leaves in the water and block the oxygenating winds.

So what of the fish on the day ticket lake?  Well we started by buying as many as we could, stocking in the region of 1,200 fish in the first couple of years.  The idea was to grow them on as good as we could and then net the lake, taking the non growers out.  I really made a big mistake putting so many fish in the lake and also didn’t realise just how many new home bread babies we’d get.  I was hoping to only net the lake every 3 years but have to net it nearly every year.

Years 3, 4 and 5 we removed all fish under 6, 8 and then 10 pound progressively.  In all we’ve removed over 6,000 pound of fish from the day ticket lake including silver fish.  We don’t pocket the money from selling fish; it all goes back into the lakes, spending it on digger and dumper hire, building materials, trees, netting etc with a back up fund should any good fish come available or an emergency pop up.  Our 2 biggest day ticket residents, both having done 38 pound were bought with this fund as were 4 of the other 30’s in the lakes.

When we net the day ticket lake now it’s anything under 15 pound has to go.  This might sound excessive but we recon theirs still a lot of small fish in there with over 300 good fish with an average of around 20 pound going from captures.  Last August I did a night on the day ticket lake catching 5 fish, 18, 19, 20, 22 and 29.8, all spawned out at low-ish weights, the 29 is usually 33-35 pound.  This is the type of fish weights we want, bigger the better.

So, although it’s impossible to say exactly how many fish are in the day ticket lake there is definitely 5 different 30’s regularly caught, best weights being 32, 34, 35, 38 and 38.  There used to be a bit of a gap from 30 down to low 20 but now there is a lot of 25 pounders caught and several fish have put on good weights.  There are some easily recognised fish that seemed to always be scraper 20’s that are now mid 20’s and even after spawning there is a lot of 20’s being caught.

I originally stocked roach, rudd, tench, perch and carp.  I hoped that dads would bring kids to learn the kids float fishing and fishing for bites but hardly any do.  In the summer it can be a bite a chuck and even I enjoy it but on the flip side I probably shouldn’t have put the roach rudd and tench in the lake.  They eat the naturals the carp could be eating and are hardly ever fished for.  I did hope they would grow to huge sizes but a decent roach or rudd, 2lb plus has never been caught, when we net we take out as many as possible below about ¾ lb but hardly seem to be making a dent in their numbers.  Tench wise they have been reported to 9lb, there is definitely 7 pound plus tench, again when we net we remove any we get less than 5 pound.  Perch are our only predator and they are doing well.  

In the syndicate lake we also have pike.  I really didn’t want pike in either lake, I’ve nothing against them, like catching them but they can be a pain for biting carp lines.  Last spring when the pike were spawning lots of lines were bit through on the syndicate and lots of rigs were out there fishing lose and very unsafe after being bit of.  Once pike are in a lake they are difficult to get rid of and culling them only seems to lead to higher populations.  I hope we don’t end up with them in the day ticket lake but fully expect it.  Now we have them I want to look after them.  Both the pike and perch are fragile fish, waters come good but then the anglers kill the bigger ones through fishing wrong for them.  All too often you hear that so and such venues USED to be a good pike or perch waters.  There might be natural ups and downs for predator populations but I know that good predator management can produce long lasting populations so there is a strict rule on this.  If you want to bait fish seriously for the perch on the day ticket and pike and perch on the syndicate you have to prove to us that you know how, please note below from the rules.

29.  Both lakes have predators, the syndicate pike and perch, the day ticket lake perch only.  There is NO live bait fishing for either unless you have permission from a bailiff.  If you want to bait fish seriously for the perch on the day ticket and pike and perch on the syndicate you have to prove to us that you know how.  Lure fishing is allowed but please look after all fish caught extra carefully.

Both these species are very fragile and will perish if deep hooked or handled wrong.  They are no where near as robust as carp and cannot handle excessive handling.  No one is allowed to sit away from the rods or leave the swim if they are fishing for these species on any method without reeling in first.  EA laws say we can’t be more than 10 metres away from the rods, generally unless you’re fishing near snags your OK with carp but with predator fishing, especially perch you want the rods at arms length maximum and even then you have hit bites quick, deep hooked and over stressed pike and perch die easy, they are fragile and these days scarce at decent weights.

The last few winters both lakes have turned very muddy with all the rain we had.  I meant to sort it out the year before but the weather beat us, remember Southend being flooded!  However we managed to get the syndicate bank on the day ticket sorted a bit and some path work done on the rest of the lake and made it a bit dryer and last winter we did a bit of wood chip covering.  This summer I intend to get the lake finished although as I write this I have a hernia operation booked for next week.

The plan is to extend all the swims by 1 railway sleeper out and one across like we did on the day ticket bank of the syndicate lake.  This is to make it easier to net and look after the carp and make it a bit cleaner to fish.  The swims will then be raised a little and sloped like peg 1 on the day ticket lake so water won’t sit on them, keeping them dry.  We’ll use reasonable soil to infill the swims with ballast, similar to the track to blind the swims of so bank sticks and pegs are reasonably easy to put in.  I like the weeds and fauna that grow through this so the swims look more natural than wood chip but if we have to will wood chip bivvey areas.

We’ll let you know through the web site and Steve’s Facebook when we’re doing this if you want to help. It will probably be August time so my hernia can get mended, I couldn’t be there un-able to work.  It will be start on a Friday evening through till the following Sunday so roughly 9-10 days working.  It’s not compulsory or anything, I don’t believe in work parties but if you help certainly some free fishing in the future will be on the cards.  Like I said, we’ll notify the date later.  In the mean time if anyone knows of any sleepers, scaffold poles, straps to strap the sleepers together, terram sheeting to put under the pathways and swims going cheap let us know, we can collect.  Likewise any plant, diggers, dumpers, skip loaders, whackers plates, tools etc are obviously handy, I can always borrow a digger and 1 tonne dumper but more is better than less.   If not I’ll just buy and hire what we need but every bit saved is more money if a few bigger fish come up.  Food and drink is on me for all workers.

Most anglers will already know this but we use the stock pond to grow Bayeswater babies on and to quarantine any fish that come up for the lakes.  We’ve emptied the stock pond twice now.  The first time we moved fish out of it into the day ticket lake, mostly doubles with a few 20’s, one of which has grown on to a best weight of 34-35 pound.  We then built up the stock pond again with babies from the syndicate and a few bought in fish, grew them on a bit and then emptied it again, distributing the fish between the lakes including several 20’s to just over 30 into the day ticket and 2 x 30’s into the syndicate. 

This is an ongoing lakes management project, to keep the big fish stocks healthy on both the day and syndicate lakes.  We feed the stock pond hard, knowing roughly how many fish are in there and although we do appreciate anglers giving them any left over bait I would rather left over bait went into the main lakes please.  The stock pond is small, and getting a bit full of fish so we need to carefully monitor how much food goes in there, if anglers through several kilo’s in per week I can’t be sure if we’re feeding to heavy for the fish health and water condition.

I’ve mostly written about the day ticket lake so far, briefly mentioning the syndicate lake.  It’s a difficult one really and I’m going to keep it short about the syndicate because it’s unlikely many of you will have chance to fish it. 

The fish have done really well with an un-known amount of 20’s and 30’s present due to the over breading they have been doing.  Of the original 120 fish stocked there is around 90 left, I would say all over 20, the majority over 30, with 6 having been caught over 40 up to a lake record of 48.12 and they all seem to still be growing.  This has made the lake very popular and there is a massive waiting list of over 300 names.  I let people know the list is huge but anglers still want to be put on it.  I’m looking for new waters all the time and will use the waiting list to fill places on any new water I get but new waters are scarce, so it’s not easy.

I have only ever stocked 4 fish over 20 pound in the syndicate, a low 20, 28, 30 and 32 and grown them on to the present stock level.  Most of the original stock was 10-19 pound.  If I get another lake I’ll stock it similarly but with an higher level of fish over 20 pound so anyone on our syndicate waiting list wants to keep an eye out for any new lakes I do get because I think I can make a new water as prolific for good fish as the existing lake a few years quicker now, so like the existing syndicate it could pay to join as early as possible if the chance comes up.

That’s it for now, I’ve droned on long enough but hope it has given anglers an insight into what fishing lakes are about, I love my fishing, I’m just about to go now but behind the scenes of the better lakes there is a lot more to it than meets the eyes.

Tight lines

Gary Bayes.

Day Ticket lake intro 2006

The day ticket lake is starting to mature nicely, with marginal weed and plant life. It’s taking its time in my opinion, but then I'm impatient as far as Mother Nature is concerned.  There's a lot of carp, roach, rudd, perch and tench in the Day Ticket Lake.  Although it is primarily a carp water all of the other species are doing very well.  There is some good float or feeder fishing to be had.  Don’t fish too close in though; the best distance is around two rod lengths out or more, at 20-30 feet.  I don’t know why this is but except on the odd days the margins can be very slow, it’s worth remembering this.

The carp though are catchable close in, especially on the windward banks.  It’s worth bivvying up well back from the waters edge to milk this, especially on hot days.  The shallows at the far end of the lake are always worth a go, especially in hot weather.  Multiple catches are possible for the quiet angler in the shallows.  Don’t think you have to cast all rods to the sanctuary side either; the spinney bank is just as good, just keep back as far as possible and the carp will come to you.  The best catch, numbers wise, from the shallows is seventeen fish in an afternoon, that’s hectic, well done Steve Copplestone, I could have done with some photos though!

Bayeswater carp are not rig shy, bait shy or over complicated in any way except that they are natural food eaters. They regularly colour big areas up, digging the naturals out.  Try maggots, worms or other more natural foods as well as boilies.  I’ve caught quite a few on maggot and worm when feeder fishing and some of the members have really done well doing the same.  It can turn a tricky days fishing into a very interesting one.

We managed to get the carp going on the surface pretty well last year.  The seagulls, ducks and swans are sometimes a pest though but then that’s floater fishing.  The upside of getting fish eating floaters is that zig rigs work better, i.e. fishing pop ups on long hook links either on the surface or sub-surface which equals less trouble with the bird life.

All methods will catch on the right day at Bayeswater, as will all baits. Unlike some waters there are no bait bans or restrictions.  Providing safe, well cooked, particle bait is used they are allowed.  I hope never to have to get heavy on rules of any kind, especially anti angling ones like you see in some fishing venue rule books. There are obviously some rules that must be adhered to, without fail.  

The biggest is NO LITTER I’ve had to pick up far too much this year.  Alright, most of the items have been small but the odd sweet wrapper, the ends of milk cartons, ring pulls off cans etc., are all classed as rubbish as far as I’m concerned.  Please take all rubbish home with you.

Anglers must not drive on the grass, even I don’t do this and I could probably get away with it.  No fires, unfortunately no dogs, no fishing from the sanctuary bank, baiting up of the sanctuary is ok, plus all the sensible rules we have are conditions of the lease or just plain sense to ensure we fish in peace and harmony.

Now the lake has matured nicely and the fish are doing very well, I’m working on obtaining more stock. Keep an eye on this web site for further stocking dates and details. You will be welcome to come and help.  Don’t come in your Sunday best though because you’ll be asked to help hold a few for the fish identity photos.

Bayeswater Fishing has an e-mail address, Bayeswater@aol.com, feel free to ask or enquire.  We’ll try to reply as promptly as possible.

You can also e-mail any pictures and news you have. To get us up to date send in previous, pre-2007 pics as well.  Please don’t forget to include weights, dates, etc. also your name would be nice.  If you have slides or prints I can get them scanned to include on the web site.  Don’t forget your name and address though so we can return them to you.  I’ll send anyone who submits photos of 10lb plus fish caught before January 2007 a free £10 day ticket to chip in on your next session so don’t forget your address.  Before you ask, NO, not per fish, cheeky!

I am going to introduce some more photo incentives or competitions in the future, on a monthly basis. One will be a pair of £10 day tickets for the most impressive catch.  Not necessarily the biggest fish. There’s a carp called Quassimodo, an ugly brute, but very very special, that would win.  A 2lb roach, 3lb perch, 8lb tench or a 2lb rudd could also win.  So could a young angler with a big grin holding a personal best fish, so take some photos please, and don’t forget to smile.