I joined Kingfishers (KAPS) late last year, mainly to fish the rivers, and to fish with friends who are already members.
But they do also have a number of stillwaters.
One of these is comprised of three lakes that are only about 20 mins from where I live (Why did I buy a house so far away from decent fishing, 20 years before retirement - No longer working, I'd love to be able to just pick up my rods and stroll down to the local river, rather than having to plan a journey).
There's the main lake, where the bivvy brigade live, the stock pond where more of the bivvy brigade can be found, and The Cut where noddy anglers like me can practise catching tiddlers.
Stocked with smaller carp (not too many, and not too small), some large bream and tench, there's also plenty of small roach and perch (although nobody fishes for them), Oh! and pike.
Not too long, and not very wide (in fact in some places not very wide at all), mature vegetation, both bankside and in the water, it is packed with features.
The attraction for me is the possibility of some early season tench.
But first I have to get the measure of the place.
The first tentative trips had me exploring various swims with a float road, plumbing around (mostly hard gravelly bottom, with a fairly constant depth).
The place is a delight, not heavily fished (the proper fishermen stay in their bivvies on the main lake), packed with wildlife. Rabbits, warblers, kingfishers, swifts and swallows, moorhens and coots, hawks etc, there is always something flitting, splashing or rustling around you, and bold bullfinches to mop up any maggots you may drop.
So, the first 3 trips produced bites, but no takes, but I loved just being there anyway.
The fourth trip had me putting out a feeder, but using the float rod to target the roach and perch (and anything else that might want to play), and I soon had the action I was looking for, some of the roach getting on for 1/2lb and needing the net.
A 9" pikelet appeared and hovered in my swim a while, and I saw another of around 2lbs doing the same thing further up.
(During these explorations I wasn't using any groundbait, though a variety of hookbaits, the idea was to see what was there).
The fifth trip had me fishing another swim, to which I had been attracted by the hint of some bubbles that MIGHT have been a tench.
As I tackled up, I saw the shapes of large fish near the top (in about 7ft of water), which I came to recognise as carp, ranging in size from about 3 - 10lbs, and about 30 fish in all, patrolling imperceptably slowly between two reed banks,.
Of course I couldn't help but try and tempt them!
But they really weren't interested (apart from bumping into my line!).
Time to stop messing around.
So, last night I aimed to fish the dusk into darkness, and to put in some groundbait to get the fish interested.
Fishing a feeder and a float rod, I was using worm, sweetcorn, pineapple flavoured pelllets and bread as hookbaits, tried fishing up near the top, and down on the bottom.
I watched the carp, meandering, the birds flitting, the insect-life buzzind (and biting), the sun going down, the moon reflected amongst the reeds, small perch chasing the fry amongst the reeds right at my feet and the occasional larger fish bumping through the reed beed.
But my feeder tip remained motionless, as did my float.
Eventually the light reached the point where my eyes began playing tricks, so it was time to leave, feeling frustrated yet satisfied at the same time, as my bank of knowledge about this place and the creatures who live in and around the water increases.