Liz and I had a week’s break … made up actually of two breaks on adjacent sets of dates made up with a Monday 4th October to Friday 8th October break immediately followed by a Friday 8th October to Monday 11th October one. All done via Sun newspaper £9.50 holidays with the booking made to Park Holidays Chichester Lakeside Holiday Park which lies adjacent to the Chichester Lakeside Fishery for which day tickets are available on some of the 10 lakes with the remaining lakes having been leased out to syndicates.
Booking an adjoining week/weekend pairing is easy – and we’ve done it for the past 4-5 years now for various venues. Just book two adjoining sessions you want normally via the Sun Holiday page … and when the booking confirmation from the actual site booked is received just reply to the site itself informing that you have 2 bookings made with adjoining dates and request that you be allowed to retain the same accommodation for the whole period. Sometimes they say ‘we’ll note the request but cannot guarantee we will be able to’ but that’s never been an issue as when we’ve booked in on arrival we’ve informed the reception staff of the request that was made and its always been arranged without problem. ONE thing though … when making the bookings make sure that there are vacancies available for both week and weekend slots! Once booked the week slot but when making the booking for the weekend there were no vacancies – so we booked a weekend tent pitch at a place ½ mile up the road … but covid lockdown happened and both bookings were cancelled by the sites and monies refunded anyway.
Anyway … the fishing…
The main lakes available to fishing are as below….
Descriptions as to each individual lake can be found at: https://www.parkholidays.com/caravan-holidays/activities-recreation/fishing-holidays/chichester-lakeside.
We arrived at the holiday village on Monday afternoon and rest of day was spent unpacking, etc, visiting the bar/clubhouse, etc. Tuesday, we walked around some of the lakes to check them out and decided to fish ‘Deep Lake’ which looked really nice with regions of lily pads and had the added benefit of not having carp listed in its species-to-be-caught list. Factors against the others – East/West/Copse banks – lined with ‘carpers’ and very featureless and open, Triangle looked OK but exceedingly weeded, Peckham just didn’t grab us at all, Nunnery not appealing and also weeded.
We decided to fish on Thursday as the weather was looking to be kinder then with the heavy breezes of the beginning of the week having subsided and so on Wednesday we had a day out at Bognor Regis. On the evening I booked our tickets for our chosen swims on Deep Lake for Thursday via the http://www.fishingticket.com website which is currently the only way to get fishing tickets for the Lakes. Pre-Covid it seems that tickets were available from the holiday village’s reception or from the bailiffs on the bank but that has now changed. Tickets for Peckham and Deep Lakes are £10 a day … the other lakes use a session system that seems to be £20’ish for 24 hours, with 48 hour and 72 hour options also being available.
So… come Thursday morning we set off for Deep Lake at 0800 in the car. There is actually a gateway into the lakes available to holiday villagers via the use of a security ‘button’ key but for us access was too distant by foot and it was far easier to drive to and through the main gate of the fishery and so park closer to our destination.
We toddled down to our swims – it seems we were the only bookings for the 11-peg lake – and set up in our respective and adjacent swims (Pegs 3 and 4).
Liz’s swim was more open but with an island patch of lilies some 30 yards in front of her and also had the left side of my right hand lilies… and she elected to ledger/feeder fish to the outlying lily patch with maggot bait and tried sweetcorn later in the day.
Myself I baited up the gap between my lily patches with groundbait with added particles (wheat, barley, corn, rice,…) and maggots and fished with the float rod in my usual way – lift method, 5AAA driftbeater float, size 16 hook, maggot, etc.
ONE UNUSUAL RULE AT THESE LAKES – BARBLESS HOOKS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT ALL! BARBED OR MICROBARBED HOOKS ONLY ARE ALLOWED. MOST OF MY USUAL FISHERIES HERE AT HOME BAN HOOKS WITH ANY SORT OF BARB INC WHEN PIKE FISHING (LURES OR BAIT) – THE ONLY EXCEPTION BEING THE BIRMINGHAM AA AS I CAN THINK OF AND THEY ALLOW BARBED HOOKS BUT DON’T INSIST ON THEM. ANYWAY THAT HAD MEANT THAT I’D HAD TO BUY, AND TIE HOOKLENGTHS TO, BARBED HOOKS ESPECIALLY FOR THIS ONE VISIT. THING IS … I STILL BOUGHT 4 PACKS OF 10 OF EVERY SIZE FROM 8-16 IE 20 PACKS IN ALL … AND WE ONLY USED 3 SIZE 16 HOOKS BETWEEN US… AND I DON’T FORESEE THE USE OF THEM ANY TIME IN THE FUTURE, NEAR OR FAR!
I was first off the block in terms of captures with a tiny roach but Liz was only a few minutes behind with a small (2oz perch).
Between 1000 and 1230 Liz had 3 rudd up to 3oz and then her swim seemed to just die.
Myself, between 1000 and 1245 I had a further 26 small roach and then the best landed fish of the day, an 8oz perch..
… and then up to 1315 more small roach to bring their total to 40+ … and at 1340 the best fish of the day was lost to the lily pads to my left with a breakage at the hook knot. Unknown species but due to the fight, etc I suspect it was a tench although probably not huge but would say 2-3lb possibly.
Following that the swim died completely probably due to pike on the hunt, there having been signs all day at various locations on the lake of predators on the feed with sudden fry leapings,etc….
So, at 1500 we called it a day and tackled down and headed back to ‘home-of-the-day’…
Initially I had hoped to get out pike fishing on Thursday 14th BUT the logistics of unpacking from the holiday, sorting out (inc making new wire traces, etc) tackle, checking and sourcing deadbaits, etc have made that a pipedream … so, more realistically, I’m now looking at getting out for an initial pike outing on Monday 18th – that allows me to sort the tackle with less pressures (so hopefully less ‘forgotten’ stuff!) and also gives me the chance to visit Birmingham Fish Market, and the Chinese Quarter, in search of the new ‘super’ bait LOL!