I have been fishing Keston ponds for many years now and am still unsuccessful in catching one of the elusive carp that swim in the pond. The pond is stepped in carp history with a fish named the pet that went over 30lb and was caught in 1981 at 31 and a half pounds (pictured below). This fish was last caught around four years ago and has since gone missing. The general (sergeant or granddad) was another carp that also at its biggest weight went over thirty and reached a great age of around 65. The fish in Keston are extremely old and appealing to catch because of how difficult they are and the history of the pond. Due to the small size of Keston (under 1 acre) it’s pretty certain that the fish is either dead or has been moved. Keston does still contain some of its original fish that although are not huge are great characters and extremely hard to catch. The pond is full of weed and the lily pads cover most of the water. This makes fishing it very difficult and most of the fish are caught of the top in summer floating bread or mixers in the pads. Keston is a five minute drive from where I live and so I thought I would give it a proper go this season when I haven’t got time to put in long sessions at Chertsey. Below is a list of the carp on my wish list in Keston.
Top Pond Mirror 20-22lb
Single Scale 22-24lb
Redmire common 18lb
Pop Belly common 20lb
Top Pond Common 22-24lb
Wandering Bastard ?
There are other carp in the pond including some stockies that have been introduced plus Stealth, Penny scale mirror, plated fish and probably a couple more that I haven’t mentioned. As I mentioned before the fishing is extremely difficult. The lake is a park lake with numerous dog walkers, bikers etc which all contribute to the difficulty of the water. For the size of Keston it actually has a large stock but the carp have seen it for many years and are not stupid. I have spent many hours on the banks of Keston especially last winter and for no reward. My approach this season will be hinged stiff rigs with fluro pop ups the same as I’m fishing Chertsey. I will update throughout the year on this post.
09/07/10 – Completed a quick session down Keston. It was hot and I decided to float bread crust in the pads. After walking around the lake twice and looking carefully I could not spot any carp which for Keston is unusual. However as it became evening fish decided to show in the waterfall swim. I put the bread on the head of a couple of fish but they didn’t want to know.
05/08/10 – I have decided to hit Keston hard during the summer evenings and throughout the autumn. I completed an evening session staying until half ten tonight. The weed has grown rapidly and there are only a few spots on which to place baits. I found a nice gravel spot fishing between the pads from 4 post swim. Three rods were cast out and I manage a “half take” but it did not develop. Will keep you posted but soon I will have one in the net.
11/08/10 – I completed a overnight session at Keston. Slept on my bed chair beneath the stars. Fishing in the same swim as posted above I found some nice gravel areas. I put around 20-30 baits in the gap with two rods and one rod close in 2ft of water with a few freebies around it. The night passed uneventful but a good social and a few beers went down well. My mate Bill slept on the road behind my car!! But also had nothing to show for his efforts. Had to get up early to go work but can’t wait to get back down there.
13/09/10 – Completed an evening session. Weather looked perfect for a carp but it was not to be. I fished two rods, one on a chod and the other a hinged stiff rig. Neil was fishing earlier and caught Waynetta at 15lb. Just as it got dark he was in again and I photographed a fish known as the Redmire common at 16lb. Great fishing. They were both caught on snowman rigs fished no deeper than 2ft. Neil said he actually watched Waynetta take the bait and caught both the fish in the waterfall swim. Next session I will find the carp feeding on the bottom and not just boshing out. Now that autumn is here I will get some good sessions at Keston in.
14/09/10 – Did another evening session as the fish have been feeding? Set up in waterfall swim and changed baits to hi viz. Weather was really bad and I got soaked. Still no fish to show for my efforts but will keep trying.
16/09/10 Did yet another evening session but had to cut it short. Fished waterfall swim again but no fish. I did see some moving around that area and getting their heads down but a take didn’t develop.
19/09/10 IVE GOT ONE. Top Pond Common at 20lb on the money. I decided to go Keston at around 11am this morning and give it another go for the carp. I set up in a swim near waterfall and fished two rods with a hinged stiff rig and a chod. These were both baited with my trusty hi viz fluro pop ups. I walked around the lake for an hour and a half before even setting up to try and find a fish but they were just not showing so I opted for the quiet end of the lake. There were loads of people fishing and kids running around so I thought this may push the carp up towards me.
One rod was cast to the edge of a weed bed and the other in a hole of around a foot in a heavy blanket weed bed. 20 or so homemade freebies were then scattered around the area. Although I still had seen no fish I felt confident. At around six pm my mate Neil turned up and set up next to me. We were having a fag in Neil’s swim when my rod cast to the small hole in the weed bed decided to go off. The take was slow and as I approached the rod I could see a fish was hooked and weeded. I struck and instantly felt the pressure of a fish. At one point I thought I had just hooked weed until I felt the flick of a carp’s tail. After a quick fight which was more like winching in a ball of weed Neil managed to get the net under the carp. The amount of weed it dragged with it was amazing and this is the reason for the quick fight. I was so happy to have caught a Keston carp but when we pulled the weed back and saw that it was Top Pond Common I was over the moon. We weighed her at 20lb exact and she was returned to her home. (Pictures below). I must say a big thanks to Neil. If Neil wasn’t there I would not have landed the fish as I would never have got the net under it. Thanks mate. Can’t wait to get back down there and catch another. I am so happy today. Tight lines
20/09/10 – Se up for another session down at Keston. Got to the lake at around 5pm. I fished the same swim and same spots where I had Top Pond Common from. Didn’t have a take but managed a few liners. Met Neil who fished in 4 post and had a good social. Neil moves down to Hampshire on Sunday and his last day fishing Keston is this Friday. I will meet him down there and say my goodbyes. It’s a shame because he’s a great bloke and who will I have to net my weed fish?????
Completed another session on Saturday and Sunday about two weeks ago. No fish were fooled into taking my bait. Uni work has now taken over and Keston will have to wait for a while.