As part of his work experience at Seven Lakes, Shane Clare has to keep a diary to give to the college of his time working at our fishery. He has kindly agreed to share his diary with us and we think it’s a good read, so we thought we would share it with you! Further updates will be added as his 3 weeks’ progresses. Happy reading…
Monday 16th March 2015
Today was the start of my work placement and I arrived at the office at 8:30am. The day began going through the Health and Safety rules and precautions around the lakes, you can imagine what joy that was but I must say thanks to Roy Young, the Fishery Manager, for making it as enjoyable as possible. Finally we finished and I could actually begin working.
The day began with Roy showing me the office side of the fishery, immediately after the first five minutes I could say how much a lot of us take it for granted by how much work is actually put in behind closed doors. I was shown the fishery database which is such a useful tool to have it enables the fishery to automatically manage ticket sales, season ticket holders and manage a lot of information amongst the bailiffs. Immediately I began to understand the amount of work which is put in to the fishery other than what the bailiffs do around the lakes. I found this very interesting and I began to get familiar with the database and everything in which it entails.
The final part of the day I read through the fishery rules, a lot of which I could see where out dated. My task was to read through the rules and write down any suggestions or new rules which I would add to the fishery. As I went through them I noticed that the present rules don’t really focus at all upon fish welfare so I took this to account while I wrote my fishery rules.
Tuesday 17th March 2015
Today was the second day of my work placement, I began doing a morning walk around the lakes ensuring everything and everyone there were ok and behaving. After I had done my walk there was about an hour before I had to be at the office so I decided to sneak in an hours fishing, I set up on lake 6 by the Island. The method that I chose was a critically balanced corn rig that I know works very well down the lakes. So I cast my rod out and shortly after I began getting a few little knocks on the line and then a massive drop off which I immediately struck into which resulted in a short battle with a 6lb Common Carp.
After I brought the fish in it was pretty much time to make my way to the office so I packed up. When I got to the office I was greeted by Roy with an Environmental Agency test kit. The idea behind the kit is to remove 3-4 scales from around 30-40 silver fish to send off to the agency for testing. They will then provide you with results which allows the fishery to understand the age and the breeding habits of the fish. My first task of the day was just to do a little bit of research about the tests and to see what were the certain species in which we could do the test on.
After lunch I went to do my bailiff duties around the lake, I began my work but then I noticed several carp cruising on Lake 6 then I went to lake 3 and there was around 20 carp just sat in the weed. I could clearly see that it was warming up and the carp we becoming more active.
The final task of the day was to create a booklet (using Microsoft Publisher) so all the bailiff’s had something to hand with all the information that may be required on the bank, including ticket prices, rules and any other information anglers may require – A sort of Bailiffs Bible!
Wednesday 18th March 2015
Today was the start of my fish ageing survey, a task that I initially thought would take a few hours ended up not even being completed by the end of the day. I set up fishing on Lake 6 by the island, my chosen bait was maggots, the main reason of this was to discourage the chance of catching carp, which seemed to be impossible.
I set up and put the rod out and immediately before I even had a chance to sit down the rod ripped off and I was into a carp straight away, the result of this was a 5lb common. I chucked the rod back out and it was silent for about half an hour and again the rod ripped off, the result of this was a very nice newly stocked mirror. During the course of the day it was becoming seemingly impossible to catch anything BUT carp, I would catch a carp and then it would go quiet for half an hour to an hour and I would catch another one. This continued through the course of that day and I ended up catching five and losing two. I couldn’t manage to catch any silverfish all day, normally it wouldn’t have bothered me but this resulted in me failing the first day of the survey.
Thursday 19th March 2015
After yesterday’s tragic attempt of catching silverfish I decided a change of lake may help, so I set up on lake 3. I also decided to change my tactics. I fished one rod on the bottom while I fished with the pole. I began fishing and for the first hour it was all quiet with absolutely no bites, then out of nowhere the float slowly went under and I struck into a fish which I immediately realised was a carp. Then during the fight the other rod ripped off, I struck into it while playing the carp on the pole and immediately I had two carp on at the same time, so I put the rod down and put the run on and tried to bring the fish on the pole in as quickly as possible. Unfortunately after netting the first fish the second one had come off. But I was still happy catching a 6lb common on such light tackle although it still wasn’t my target species the task was increasingly seeming more and more impossible. So I repositioned the rod and carried on fishing with the pole and within five minutes the rod screamed off again which resulted in a 5lb common.
After bringing in the second fish the lake then went quiet for a few hours and then I managed to catch four roach within ten minutes of each other, but that was it for the rest of the day the lake went quiet again. So the day drew to an end and the survey just didn’t happen and of the thirty fish I targeted I only caught four.
Friday 20th March 2015
With my recent success down the lakes catching Carp I decided to sneak in an hours fishing before I had to be in the office. Again my chosen swim was on lake 6 casting towards the island. I was using my critically balanced corn rig, a rig that I have begun using so much down the lakes now. The rod was in for around ten minutes and it resulted in a short battle with a 4lb common, my session didn’t result in anymore bites and I made my way up to the office.
My first task was to finish off the bailiff booklet which I had previously started, after about an hour I looked out the window and could see the clear skies and all I could think about was going fishing down the lakes but I had to stay at work. I finally finished the leaflet and ate my lunch, I knew it was about time I went to do my bailiff duties, so I began my walk collecting any litter that I came across. I walked round lake 6 and saw several carp cruising, then on lake 3 again I saw around 20 fish just sat there. Lake 2 was the same a few carp were in the weed and then once I got to lake 1 there was a large shadow just sat in the bush probably around 20lb. Then I made my way to lake 7 and as I walked past the bush at the far bank there was a few massive swirls and I must have scared around 10 fish that were just sat in the bush.
I made my way back to the office and Roy presented me with a massive smile and the report that had finally come in from the surveys that were undertaken last year. So I began reading through this massive file, however much I hate reading this was actually really enjoyable and some of the future plans for the lakes were actually remarkable and some great results came back from the survey. Obviously it was going to take me a few hours to read this but I actually enjoyed reading it so much I took it home something which wouldn’t normally happen.
Monday 23rd March 2015
Today I continued doing my normal early morning walk round the lakes, but this time instead of fishing I pre baited a few spots because I was going to be night fishing tonight. My chosen swim was the second swim to the right of the Island, the first spot was just on the point of the Island and the second spot was open water. After I had finished putting some bait out I done a few water sample tests, testing the PH value, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the water, I have been doing this every morning and I have been recording the results to create a data table showing the variants within the lake. By the time I put all my bait out and walked round the lakes and done my tests it was time I walked up to the office.
My first task one in the office was to finish reading through the survey report, this meant I could finally read the section about the future of the lakes. The most interesting part was the plan for each lake and the species which are going to go in each lake; you could imagine how interesting they were. After I finished reading through the survey I created a 1200 word report, which included my thoughts and opinions on the survey, just in case you were wondering I thought the survey report and the future plans are amazing and can’t wait to see the progress.
Finally it was lunch time and this meant I could go for a walk around the lakes, something I had been waiting to do all day just to see if I could see any signs of fish on my spots. As I got to the lakes I was disappointed at first glance to see the Island pretty quiet and no signs of fish. However, as I looked towards my open water spot which was where I put the majority of the bait there were a few silt patches and all around my spot was just fizzing the Carp were clearly on the bait and digging through the silt. You could imagine after seeing this how much I wanted to just finish work and get the rods out. I continued my walk and saw the normal 20 or so carp on lake 3 just cruising about, there was also a few on lake 2 sitting in the bush but once I got to Lake 1 there were 2 carp sat in open water both of these were way over 20lb, I just starred and them watched them for a good ten minutes and thought both of these are bigger than anything I have ever caught.
I made my way back to the office and once I arrived I came up with a few ideas of an April promotion offer to save anglers money. Once we had made our decision on which promotion we were going to choose I began to create the advert to promote the offer unfortunately there were not enough hours in the day to finish this off. But this didn’t bother me it was time to get down the lakes and get the rods out for the night something I’d been excited for all day.
Tuesday 24th March 2015
During the night I had four runs, only one of the runs was from the valley by the island. I had this fish on for a good five minutes and it really just wouldn’t stop, I got it out of the valley but it just kept taking line and made its way to the middle of the lake, it began to head for the the floating island. As soon as the fish got to close I realized I had to stop it so I put the clutch up and stopped it going any further, not to any surprise the fish wasn’t having any of it and it kept fighting which shortly resulted in it snapping 12lb line. Obviously I was gutted and this killed the swim for several hours until the open water rod kicked into action which resulted in a lovely 10lb common, during the space of the night this rod provided me with another two fish both around the 4lb mark.
Morning kicked in and as soon as the sun come out I began catching again, I caught two lovely perfect condition commons both about 5lb. Shortly after, the weather began to get worse and a hail storm hit, as soon as this hit the rod ripped off which resulted in a new stock common. I put the rod back out and on the drop it was taken again which resulted in another new stock, but this time it was a mirror. The hail stopped and it went dead again but every time a drop of rain hit the water the fish became active again and I would start catching. In the end I caught 11 fish the biggest of which was a 10lb common, all the fish were caught either on a critically balanced corn rig or a snowman rig. My results can be seen below:
Wednesday 25th March 2015
Of course I did my normal walk round the lakes early in the morning and done my water test and snuck in an hours session. I cast the rod out tight towards the island and I set the clutch pretty high as the where I had casted the fish would get to the snags really quick. Unfortunately the morning was really quiet and the Rod was out for a good forty five minutes which was then when I began talking to a bailiff, as we were in deep conversation the rod ripped off and nearly ended up in the lake and of course I was way too late and the fish ended up snagging me up and I lost the fish.
So I packed up and made my way to the office, my first task of the morning was to complete the April promotion offer and get it sent out to our subscribers and posted on our website and social media accounts. Which you can see online now and will become active in April. We then went through the bailiff bible that I had been creating through out my time here and somewhat finalized it, it just needs a few more minutes work on it. After quite a chilled day it was lunch time.
After lunch me and Roy went to the lakes and done some striming, in this case around lake four for the rest of the day, we actually got done quite a lot of work completed and pretty much opened up the whole lake to be fished by ourselves. Of course you’ll have to wait till there’s any fish in there, which shouldn’t be to long.
Thursday 26th March 2015
I done my walk around the lakes but I decided it was for the best not to fish today as the weather was just awful. After I completed my water test I made my way to the office and met up with Roy and he gave me my task for the day, which was to update all the fishing directory’s that we are on and ensure all the details they provide are accurate and up to date.
So I spent the whole of the day searching online at everyone who had listed us on their website. I then emailed the directories with amendments to their websites. I also searched at other directory’s which were yet to list Seven Lakes on their website and emailed them asking if we could be listed and provided them with the appropriate information
Friday 27th March 2015
I completed my walk and water tests this morning and the weather was the best it had been in a while, so I set up in my normal spot on Lake 6 and fished towards the Island. Within a few minutes the rod went and I had a short fight with a fish which came off a few minutes after hooking it. I knew that the fish would have killed the swim so I picked up my stuff and went stalking round Lake 3, this was because I had seen several fish cruising earlier this morning on my walk. I began fishing and the fish were just cruising about everywhere which is really embarrassing considering I blanked.
I began walking back to the office and met Roy, the task for the day was to meet up with Paul Seddon a Seven Lakes bailiff. The task for the day was to go out on the boat and put a mesh cover over the top of the floating islands to protect them from the birds, as they had been damaging all the plants and resulting in them not growing efficiently.
So we loaded up the trailer with the boat, the mesh and all the appropriate tools needed for the day. We then made our way down to Lake 6 where we launched the boat; my job along with Paul was to install the mesh over the top of the islands while Roy cut the mesh to size. We completed the first and the double islands on Lake 6 just before lunch, as we were at the islands we could see there was still plant growth on them and the roots were sprouting under them and spreading which is a positive sign and would make ideal spots to fish to. Considering the amount of time two of the islands took we realized that it was a lot harder than expected and we may not be able to complete the whole task.
After lunch we began to finish the last island on Lake 6, which had the best plant growth on it and somehow had two trees growing on it considering we didn’t plant any they must have been stuck onto the bird’s feet or something when they landed. As we finished the island we had about an hour and a half to go and weren’t sure if we would have time to complete lake 7 but we decided to give it a try anyway.
We took the boat out of the water on lake 6 which was a lot harder than expected and placed it on to the launcher and made our way to Lake 7.
By the time we got to Lake 7 we only had an hour to complete the task, so we set to work as quickly as possible and luckily this island turned out to be the easiest of the lot and also the most productive providing us with several leads . We finished just in time and packed up as quickly as possible because we were all eager to get home.
Saturday 28th March 2015
Today I attended a voluntary bailiff meeting, the agenda of the meeting was to give everyone a debrief of the recent survey rep
ort. I won’t bore you with the boring stuff, but during the period of the meeting we discussed the several things, including planting around the lakes to encourage spawning and giving the anglers areas to fish to, removal of snags from all the lakes, the future of each lake including the style of fishing each lake is intended for such as match or specimen anglers and most importantly the future stocking of the lakes which shouldn’t be too long if everything goes to plan.
Monday 30th March 2015
It wasn’t my day to bailiff today so I didn’t bother going down the lakes considering the weather. So I made my way to the office at 10:30am and the first task which obviously I didn’t mind doing was to get prices from various fish farms to restock both lakes 4 & 5, I had to take into account both the prices but also ensuring quotes were from a suitable fish farm that had good recommendations from both the Environmental agency and CEFAS. I ended up getting three different prices from various places for Bream, Tench, Carp and Gudgeon.
I then after lunch as the weather was a bit better done my bailiff check around all of the lakes, I also done the a water quality check we were interested to see if it would vary in the afternoon compared to in the morning. For the rest of the day I updated my Diary which we had fallen behind on by quite a few days so it took the rest of the afternoon.