Firstly, huge thanks to all members for sticking by us in our first season as an independent company and I assure you we will continue to improve and expand the fisheries for you. We have had an exceptional year, better than we had anticipated for the first year and our membership was full; it was also the busiest year yet on the consultancy side of the business. This is mainly thanks to the very hard work of Chris Junior, Keith and latterly Lee a new member of staff who also did far more than he was ever paid for.
Jo (Chris’s wife) also worked very hard, unpaid, helping out on the admin side which is huge as you can imagine, therefore a massive thank you to these guys for all their hard work. Lin and I, as most of you know, decided that we should take a bit of a back seat as we wanted to make sure the future of MKF is safe in the hands of Chris Junior with Keith’s help as fisheries manager and the only way to do that is if I let them have the reins.
We also have Simon behind the scenes (who is a director and who many of you already know from the forum) who looks after our web site and forums and generally has a lot of input, coming up with ideas for new ventures - thanks Simon for all your input. Lin and I of still do a lot of the admin and I attend meetings etc therefore we all have a role and to date it has worked very well.
So to summarise, the future of MKF is stronger than ever, which is really good news for all you guys and gals because it means your fisheries are safe. One last comment on this matter, because I was going to retire last year Chris started have a collection for a leaving present and was also arranging a party for me. I asked Chris to cancel this because I thought it a bit of a cheek to do if I was still working. He did have some money already collected though so rather than try and give it all back, he bought me on your behalf a top of the range pair of binoculars, something I had wanted for years. Therefore a huge thank you for your kindness it was and is really appreciated, I use them on a regular basis when fishing or even when I take Barnie for walks because the local wildlife is exceptional.
2012/13 TICKETS AND TIERS
As I have stated on the forum we are introducing a new tier this season. The new tier 4 ticket will cover Littleton North and South lakes, Devils Lane and a stretch of the Thames at Sonning. The cost of this ticket will be £125 per year. We are also including Freemasons Lakes on the tier 2 ticket. Lastly we are adding an extra charge of £25 onto the tier 3 tickets if you want to use three rods (four in the winter) on Westbere. The reason for this is that anglers fishing for carp are taking up swims for a couple of days, it is hard to keep everyone happy but if you pay a premium for something you are entitled to a bit more hence the nominal extra fee which is less that 50p a week. Full details of membership fees are at the end of the newsletter with the membership form.
Our annual meeting this year will be held at Chilham Village Hall on Friday 23rd of March. We will cover and report on all that has happened this year and present our trophies as usual. There will be a Q & A section and if you have any ideas or suggestions which may improve our club please let me know beforehand so that I can schedule it in. I am really pleased to report that I have arranged for Martin Bowler to give a slide show and talk on all aspects of angling and if you have any questions for Martin please let us know.
Martin as most of you know is probably the best all round angler in the country, his personal catch record is beyond compare. He is at present making a film on shark fishing around our coasts which I know is not quite what we do but I am sure some of you might like to see a short section of the talk on this subject. Chilham Village Hall is on the main A251 Maidstone road just before or past (depending which way you are driving) Chilham Fire Station.
We ask you to be there by 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Beers, teas and coffee will be available before the start, at the break and at the end of the show. It is open to members only and cards will be checked at the door.
CAN I ASK ALL TROPHY HOLDERS TO PLEASE RETURN THEM TO THE OFFICE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE - WE NEED TO GET THEM ENGRAVED.
These will be presented by Martin Bowler. We still haven’t got any reports of specimen fish as yet which I find amazing. If you have caught or have witnessed a specimen capture of any species please let us have the details.
A huge thank you to Alan (Camo) Turner for all his hard work organising the bailiffs, it is much appreciated. Many of you work full-time but still attend evenings and weekends and I would like to thank all the bailiffs for their efforts, without you guys it wouldn’t be possible to run the club and I think I can say on behalf of all the members and staff, thanks for making the lakes a safer place.
I know we appeared to have a spate of thefts over a couple of weekends which was all very strange and we never did get to the bottom of it. What it did do was make me go to the top of the Police and from that we now have a great reporting system avoiding call centres etc so please report anything you are not happy with as it happens, not three days later. A raid of undercover Police on a couple of boot fairs produced good results leading to the retrieval of stolen tackle and the arrest of a couple of individuals, investigations are still ongoing. If anyone would like to become a bailiff please contact Alan Turner on 07702455970 or email him at camo532002(at)yahoo.co.uk.
There will be a bailiff meeting on 14th March at Old Wives Lees Village Hall, Long Hill, Old Wives Lees, CT4 8BN at 7pm for 7.30pm. Please let Alan Turner know if you are not able to attend.
This is becoming a real problem - please keep your eyes open for anything you are not happy with. If you see any lines, ropes or nets in the water then don’t touch it, let us know and we will deal with it. I don’t have to name fisheries but there are so many popping up, even in Kent, with numerous thirties and forties in the lakes. These do not grow on trees and if they were for sale on the open market legally I would know about it. I don’t have to go into details!!! Remember you are paying good money to fish don’t let others take that away from you.
NO PERSON FOR ANY REASON SHOULD USE OR HAVE IN HIS GEAR ON OUR WATERS CARP SACKS. IF YOU USE THEM YOU WILL BE BANNED.
We are not hosting the British Carp Competion this year. We thought it took up our lakes for too long. The Pike match is being held on Conningbrook at the end of the month (THANKS RON FOR ORGANSING THIS) and we hope to hold some general fishing matches on the Match Lake (THANKS KEV FOR HELPING OUT ON THIS). I also tested the water on the forum about the possibility of a golden maggot competion but we haven’t had a lot of response. If there is anything you would like to suggest please let us know. I would like to keep it to members only though.
We have had discussions with Fat Fish Tackle who would like to sponsor a members’ carp comp (the Fat Fish Carp Cup Competition) to be held on Loggies Lake. This will be a 24 hour singles competition with the top four anglers from each of three heats going through to the final. The three heats will start on the 26th May, 23rd June & 21st July and will be made up of twelve anglers on each, fishing from midday to midday. The final will be held on the 29th September.
Entry forms are available from Fat Fish Tackle and only once payment and application has been received back in store will spaces be reserved. Entry to the competition is £30 and will be strictly on a first come first served basis until the 36 places are filled. Every person getting through to the final will get a Diem hat and T-shirt valued at £22.99. The winner of the competition will receive a trophy and a Trakker Armo MkII Bivvy valued at £429.99; second place will receive their choice of any Diem clothing to the value of £150; third place will receive £100 of Bait. Good luck to all who enter …. may the best angler win!
STOCKING OF OUR LAKES
This year I was determined to put something back to our fisheries. For the past few years unfortunately the company I worked for was only concerned with profit. The first thing Chris Junior, Keith and I said that no matter what, even if we had to take a cut ourselves we were going to invest money into our waters, and this we have done big time this year. We have stocked to date:- Blue Lagoon, The Handle, Stour, Loggies, Reed Lake, Devils Lane and the Match Lake. These lakes have received many beautiful carp, some of the best I have seen, plus big bream and roach. We have invested many thousands of pounds into the lakes and have already allocated the same for next year.
WORKS ON LAKES
As many of you know we have carried out extensive works on the Loggies complex this year and we intend finishing the road off as soon as possible. We have already started work on the Match Lake, it has been divided into two and we are now working on the banks. The next job is on Devils Lane where we intend removing lots of reeds which have encroached into the lake. We are intending renewing swims on the railway bank of the Stour very soon and also work on the Pan and Handle, I will keep you informed of ongoing works and stocking on the forum.
There have been many rumours regarding this venue. All I can say is that we have attended all meetings and we are in the forefront of the plans set out for the site. Fishing will continue on site and we are told we will control the fishing, that is a fact, plus we still have a lease. Of course there will be change, that is unavoidable but rest assured we will fight the anglers’ cause which at this time seems very positive. I will keep you up to date through the forum. We have meetings arranged in the next few weeks. Chris Jnr has worked very hard on this project.
As I have not been there all year I have asked the Keith and our bailiffs to give me the reports this year plus it is a far more independent report. Kev Durman has also written a really good report on his years angling at MKF so thanks guys for taking the time.
SHALMSFORD STREET COMPLEX (Written by Ron Tupp, Bailiff)
Before I do my report I would like to thank MKF management team who saved our fishing. Cheers team, also to Chris Jnr and Keith for all the work they put in during a really wet week to renew the swims on Loggies, Reed and the Lagoon and the road around the lakes. (EDITORS NOTE: The roadway will be redone as soon as it dries out, sods law it rained everyday we had the machine there.)
It has been a really good year and has produced 6 different 38lb + carp with many 20’s all of these mirrors and are the most beautiful looking carp you will find anywhere. Tench have been caught to double figures and there is a good head of nice pike. Some big eels have also been caught but on a sad note, the lake has been frequented by the cormorants, up to 10 of the Black Death drying themselves in the trees on the island. Hence the reason for the decreasing numbers of silver fish.
So many anglers have had red letter days this year, some catching 15 or so carp over a weekend, 6 to 8 fish a session is not at all uncommon. The carp are now reaching high 30’s with many 20’s. You can catch 10–20 tench at the right time in a day session with the odd carp thrown in for good measure. Roach and rudd are caught now to nearly 2lb+ along with some big eels. This lake will produce a 40lb carp in the next couple of years.
Lots of quality tench, bream and the odd barbel are being caught plus some very nice carp if you are prepared to track them down. Good winter pike as well.
This is now a coarse fisherman’s dream. Specimen carp, tench and bream into double figures, pike, roach, rudd, perch and eels can be caught on this lake. (EDITORS NOTE: I spoke to a member who had caught 2 double figure bream a double figure tench plus a 16lb carp in a morning, I don’t think I have seen a bigger smile. All on float by the way!!).
I would like to thank all those that pick up theirs and others litter they find around the lakes. The whole complex is cleaner now than I have seen it for years. Let’s keep it that way it is a pleasure to walk around.
The following Lake Reports are from Fisheries Manager, Keith Gambrill
Starting to produce nice fish again now, many high 20lb+ carp coming out along with tench up to 10lb+ together with good size bream. The pike are into double figures with lots of roach. Best carp this season reported was a 33lb mirror.
Fished really well this season with lots of 30’s coming out. .The best carp caught this season is the “Swirly Back” common at 46lb4oz. The lake is still producing fantastic tench fishing, with fish well into double figures. There has been plenty of pike coming out in the winter months, up to low 20’s.
Again, this season has produced some lovely carp, with many in the high 30’s. Best fish out was just under 40lb. Some very big rudd and bream also being caught.
The lake has fished really well this season with lots of carp caught. Stuart Wilson has landed 26 fish so far this year his best fish being “Rasta” at 38lb, this fish later came out again at 41lb.
What an asset this venue has been with the Bird Lake producing great days for anglers with multiple catches of carp up to mid-30. The Scout Lake, although much harder, contains some real lumps for those who want to sit it out for a big one. Also some very large rudd and roach in the Scout Lake.
Mill Pool/Wood Pool
Both lakes have fished really well this season with good catches of tench, carp, bream and roach. (EDITORS NOTE: Please read the article on these venues)
There have been big bags of bream and tench some weighing into double figures caught in the summer months. The carp fishing just gets better and better with a few fish getting near the 40lb mark. Congratulations to Kev Durman on his beautiful 39lb 10oz mirror (pics on the forum) which equals the lake record. The lake has produced plenty of pike over the winter months.
There have been some really nice carp coming out for the regulars who are fishing there. One member caught ten fish this season, over 40lb. Best fish reported this season is 49lb. Still a great lake! It is also starting to produce some nice pike into the low 20’s. Congratulations to Brett (Whitey) on his very nice pike, pics on the forum.
This complex just keeps getting better all the time. This season produced a lot of 30’s with two fish now over 40lb. Both of the two small lakes are now producing fish over 20lb.
All lakes have fished really well. Members fishing these lakes do not give out much information but rumour has it that a 41lb has been out of No.2 with lots of 30’s. No 2 also produced lots of big tench catches with fish just over the 12lb mark. There has been plenty of big tench also coming out of Road & Island together with big carp. The Ocean has produced some very big commons up to 40lb+.
As a rule, not an easy venue to fish but for the anglers who persevered and put some thought into their angling, the lake produced some lovely carp to just over 40lb this season.
This lake has produced some very good perch up to 3lb plus roach to 2lb. Congratulation to Den (the meat) for some very good catches. Good bags of tench to 8lb and carp to just around the 30lb mark have also been caught. As CMEX will no longer be able to fish Staines it is possible that we may lose this water – please keep an eye on the forum or check with the office.
Great little mixed fishery with plenty of bags of small carp, roach and rudd.
DUNGENESS LONG LAKES
Very good bags of tench are caught in this lake along with some nice roach and rudd. Please remember there is no night fishing on this venue.
This lake is still very much a favourite with lots of members. Many members have caught big bags of carp with some into double figures (best reported 23lb), also there has been very nice tench and bream up to high singles and plenty of roach plus a few chub. (EDITORS NOTE: - We are planning lots of work on this lake in 2012). Please See the note under “New Venture” regarding day tickets on this venue.
DEVILS LANE : Report by Ian Penny
Members have caught tench to over 11lb, bream 10lb + pike 18lb+ with a few big carp caught to 32lb. (EDITORS NOTE: Please see section on stocking.)
LITTLETON NORTH and SOUTH LAKES : Reports by Nick Hook
Both lakes have produced double figure bream around the 10lb–12lb mark although the average would be around 8lb–9lb. Both lakes have again produced double figure tench, the South’s best was 12lb and the North 13lb. The best confirmed carp captures are of a 36lb common and a 36lb linear by Les Cole. There has been lots of low 30’s and my own Pb’s are a 28 common and 29 mirror. There have been rumours of a couple of 40’s but nothing confirmed.
A SPECIMEN YEAR by Kevin Durman
I’ve titled this "A Specimen Fishing Year" it’s actually the title of an early John Wilson book in which he as good as publishes a diary of a years angling. It’s one of my favourite books and is now in the office in the Dave Padgham library. So rather than talk about a season I'll write a little about my year of 2011.
My January started the same as everyone else’s, frozen!! But mid-Jan the weather broke and I managed to get on the bank. Having spent most of the winter after carp on Westbere I really fancied a change of scenery so headed for Chilham. Half the lake was still frozen but the middle part was free so I jumped in One Pole. With the water still at 3c nothing happened apart from a 30lb common hooked squarely in the dorsal on the retrieve. That would have made a cracking fish to have, had I actually caught it!! With hindsight I should have had all the rods on zigs as the carp were clearly off the bottom.
Westbere really grabbed me last winter, I'd put a lot of weekends in leading up to the freeze and I'll admit to getting bored ridged at times. With nothing at all to show for my efforts I was undecided as to whether to carry on. But my stubbornness meant I was back on Westbere at the start of February. I'm so glad I did as that weekend I finally managed a winter carp, all 36lb of her. A cracking mirror that I followed the next day with another of 19lb. I did the end of the season on Westbere but did not manage to catch anything else before the close on March 15th. April arrived, which is BCAC time, my brother and I managed to catch several in the qualifier but not enough to go through. By the end of April I had started my spring Tench campaign. Milton pan is home to a good few double figure Tench so this is where I spent my next few trips. Baiting with groundbait and maggots with mainly maggots as hookbait over the course of April and May I managed a number of nice Tench up to a new pb for me of 9lb 11oz.
June arrived and with it a trip to Littleton for Bream. There are two lakes here, North and South. The North Lake is very coloured from the gravel workings whereas the South lake is gin clear. I fished the South lake for a night on the M3 bank. I baited with 100 balls of groundbait laced with dead maggot, micro pellet and corn at a range of 30 yards to a slightly raised area but still in 12ft of water. Fishing with long paternoster groundbait feeders and maggots or plastic corn as hookbait it wasn't long after dark that the liners started as a shoal of slabs moved in. Sure enough overnight I'd managed 8 bream the best going just over 10lb, the smallest 8lb. The shoal I had in front of me that night were clearly of a similar size, there are bigger bream present though which I intend to have a go for at some point.
The rest of the summer I spent mostly on Westbere with the odd trip to other lakes to keep my sanity and remind myself that I am still a competent angler; it’s easy to have self doubt when you sit behind motionless rods. Westbere proved tough again with just a 27lb common, but trips to Stour, Handle and Ham Road provided plenty of action. Ham Road Bird Lake is a lovely lake, reed lined, quiet and some lovely carp, I managed a few twenties from here as well as from my ever reliable Stour Lake.
Handle provided an alternative; this has not been fished a great deal since the fish kill of a few winters ago, but believe me when I say some of the bigger fish survived. This combined with the new stocked fish means you just don't know what the next bite is going to be; I’ve had a few nice weekends down there. Going back to Ham road for a moment, if you do fish there take a match rod. I still have all my match gear from when I fished the Kent and National leagues and have a match rod ready made up in a case that I take for catching the massive shoals of rudd. Both lakes are full of them to over a pound.
And so summer turned to autumn. I had been planning all summer for a serious piking campaign this winter but traditionally October and November have always been good to me on the carp front so I decided to split the difference and fish for carp up until Nov 1st and then it was to be out and out piking. Mid October saw me back on Westbere, this time of year always sees carp moving in the out of bounds area of the yacht club and in the middle part of the lake, with this in mind I decided to move out of the various bays that I had been fishing all season and set up for a couple of nights on the island.
We always used to call this the ‘yacht club island’ but in recent years for some reason it has morphed into ‘Carp Island’. My normal routine on Westbere is to just bait and fish with 22mm boilies, this time however I put out 5k of hemp and corn as well as chopped boilies. My thinking being that this area is very flat with no features and a constant 4ft depth for hundreds of yards in every direction. I wanted something to keep any passing through fish in the area for longer; the particle would do just that. But particles on Westbere means bream, it’s why I tend to stick with the boilies. Sure enough with darkness came bream after bream, thankfully they moved off at midnight. At 3am a proper take, and after a battle in the pitch black what with no moon I had a big mirror in the net. And what a beauty it turned out to be at 39lb 10oz equalling the lake record. This was a bonus indeed for not only was it a cracking carp it also meant that I could now put the carp rods away and get on with my pike fishing as I couldn't see me improving on that capture and it was a fine way to call a halt to carping.
So piking began, I'd just had a big delivery of deadbaits so the freezer was fully stocked. I’ve been after a truly big pike off and on for more than 25 years and have had several low twenties and hundreds of doubles but never what I consider to be the holy grail of pike, a gravel pit 30. In fact if you look back over the 20 years of Mid Kent Fisheries and other clubs in the area you can count on one hand the number of different pike that have ever been caught at that weight. They are a rare fish indeed and you can see what a task it is. I would go as far as to say that I would genuinely give up every memory of every fish I’ve previously caught to be able to slip my net under a 30+ gravel pit pike. So would this year be the year, well one thing is for sure, big Pike thrive on neglect. A lot of our waters at Mid Kent Fisheries do not get pike fished, with so few people pike fishing I had whole lake to myself, sometimes carp anglers were present but only me and an occasional mate were piking. I’ve fished several pits but not Westbere, Westbere is one lake that does still see a fair bit of piking so I’ve deliberately avoided it.
As I write this at the start of January I’ve managed 2 low twenties and 22 doubles plus a further 30 or so singles. I only fish deadbaits, I want to maximise my chances of a better fish and have felt for a long time that this is the way to do it. I much prefer static baits and will spend 3 or 4 hours in a swim before making a move elsewhere. To my mind this gives any big pike present enough time to consider taking your bait and also gives you enough time to try a few methods. With lure fishing I feel you are most likely walking past the majority of big pike in the lake that just don’t want to be chasing a flashy shiny bit of metal. Statistically I will never catch the amount that a lure fisherman will. But then for me as a specimen hunter and not an out and out pike angler I have to play the odds and put them in my favour by selectively targeting bigger fish, my piking is certainly not a numbers game.
So that’s my 2011, a big thanks to the team at Mid Kent Fisheries and all those who have helped make it another special year.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: For those of you who don’t know Kev he, along with his brother Colin, have been members almost from day one (20 years). Kev is an all round angler, an excellent match angler a very competent carp angler and a very good specimen hunter.)
This year sees Mid Kent Fisheries linking up with Fat Fish Tackle. Fat Fish will be selling and monitoring all day tickets for the Match Lake from 1st April 2012, so all day tickets required must be purchased at our store.
Fat Fish Tackle, for those who have not yet seen it, is 3000sq ft of angling retail space situated in the Stour Valley Business Park on the A28 between Loggies and Milton complex. We provide a massive range of angling equipment, tackle and bait from all the top brands. Our prices are discounted up front with larger items like rods, reels, chairs, bivvies and bed chairs already up to 40% off BUT as a special to Mid Kent members, we are extending our January bivvy, brolly and bed chair sale for the entire season! Typical example: Trakker SLX V2 with winter skin - RRP £299.99, Fat Fish price £249.99, Mid Kent price £224.99! That’s a 25% reduction for Mid Kent members! So if you’re looking for a huge range at great prices with excellent service just a few minutes from the lakes……you’ve got it!
For updates on special events and special guests in store, just ‘like’ the Facebook attachment on the Fat Fish website www.fatfishtackle.co.uk
These will be changed on 1st April. The new number will be sent out to you with your membership.
We will be holding work parties on our lakes over the next few months. Details will be enclosed with your membership.
Works At Faversham Mill & Wood Pools
We are entering into a joint venture with an organisation called “CARP CREW” and Faversham Council who wish to take local kids and teach them to fish and respect the environment. Not everyone comes from a privileged background and it is good to put something back. There will be a qualified angling coach supervising the kids but part of this course is for them to actually work on the lakes, creating safe swims etc and this is where we come in. We have agreed to plan and oversee the works with the angling coach (Tony) and Faversham Council who are hopefully going to part fund the project. It is a win/win situation; we educate the youngsters in how to look after the lakes, they in turn hopefully will take pride in what they do and of course the lakes will be tidied up and swims improved. If anyone would like to get involved please let us know.
The membership on this venue is changing on 1st April. Ticket A is as per normal except that this will cover only 2 rods all season. Ticket B allows for 3 rods and 4 in winter.
Some bailiffs have reported confusion over live baiting as is it not stated in the Rules that it is banned, only that they cannot be brought onto the waters. To avoid any further confusion, livebaiting is banned totally, no fish to be brought onto the water and no fish from our waters to be used – no livebaiting at all on any venue.
To avoid confusion for those who do not visit the forum, plastic leaders can only be used with chod and helicopter rigs.
We will still close lakes as and when we feel it necessary to protect fish that are spawning and are under too much angling pressure.
Banned in 2011 and will remain so.
Ron Tupp has passed on comments regarding Reed Lake only having 2 rods because of Tonford/Swan. This is a different type of venue and not mainly a carp lake – it will therefore remain as a 3 rod water.
I think that is about all there is for this issue, thanks to all of you for supporting us and remember we are always there for any help or advice. A massive, massive thank you to Chris Junior, Keith and Lee for their hard work this year - you do not know what it means to me, it took me 20 years to create the fisheries and knowing you guys are there now makes me confident it will be there for another 20 years. A big thank you to Jo who, despite working full time for another company, still puts lots of hours into MKF without any rewards. Again a massive thank you to all our bailiffs for all their hard work and it is hard work sometimes, all hours checking security on your behalf. Finally thanks to Lin who still has to put up with me worrying about things and putting in loads of hours when she should be retired with her feet up, I guess I will never stop, it means too much to me. I will continue to try and make this the best fishery in the country and between us all I think this is achievable.
Thanks and goodnight!