II were to ask you which species you have never caught, I would hazard a guess that it might just be a beautiful grayling. Would I be right?
I had a really lovely session on the River Dane recently with Steve Collett, and we encountered some splendid grayling during a truly memorable morning’s fishing.
These graceful fish, with their splendid, big dorsal fins, fight strongly for their size. The main tip I would give would be to make sure that your hooks are always sharp, because their boney mouth means keeping them on is not always guaranteed.
If you have never encountered a ‘Lady of the Stream’ (not sure if there is a name for male grayling), do yourself a favour and go and find some – they’re awesome creatures. a case of getting to know this length of river and its moods for continued success. Tactics? A roving approach will usually pay off here, with a lightly legered larger hook bait such as a lobworm, bread flake or meat. I prefer meat myself, with some flavour added.
Alexandra Park Lake
Where? Oldham, Greater Manchester, OL4 1SH. Day tickets £5. Tel: 07753 414838. What’s being caught? With shorter days now, it makes sense to stay local at this time of year. This municipal park lake can provide some decent roach and skimmers sport, with a bite a cast once you get them going. Tactics? Bread punch can work well to start. If bites tail off, follow up with maggots and casters. Pole fishing at around 11 m is effective for best presentation, under a lightly shotted rig, and size 20 or 22 hooks. Waggler or a light feeder may be best when it’s windy.
Slack Lane, Bolton, Manchester, BL2 4JW. Day tickets £8.50.
Tel: 01204 307197.
The Canals are still producing up to 80 lb of carp. Lots of roach, bream and ide feeding strongly on lower Lodges.
Just trickle feed in at first at this time of year. Let the fish dictate what they want, and aim to build up slowly towards a more productive afternoon. Use casters and maggots for the silver fish, with soft 4 mm pellets on a pole for the carp.
Coppull Mill Lodge
Where? Mill Lane, Coppull, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 5BW. Day tickets £3.
Tel: 07708 262322.
What’s being caught?
This deep water is capable of producing some worthwhile roach sport, as well as some decent perch to 1 lb.
Tactics? Try pole with red maggots over a light brown crumb groundbait, which should quickly induce the fish to feed. Typically, action will improve after half an hour, depending on how cold the water is. It makes sense to keep lines fine and hooks small – size 20 to 0.10 mm.
Hampton Springs Fishery
Where? Shay Lane, near Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8AD. Day tickets £8.
Tel: 01948 820789.
What’s being caught?
Day catches of up to 50 lb can be expected here, with still a good few carp to 8 lb eager to feed, despite the colder conditions. Definitely worth a session on any of the pools. My choices would be Meadows or Rock Pool.
Tactics? Fish to suit the prevailing conditions. Currently doing well is pole and maggots down the margins, but that could all change quickly, so bring a waggler or a feeder rod to fish further out if required.
Where? Hickhurst Lane,
Little Budworth, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 9AY. Day tickets £7. Tel: 01829 760366.
What’s being caught?
Carp and Moat pools still worth a November day session, particularly for silver fish as well as a few decent-sized carp. However, you will have to work that bit harder and be a tad more patient.
Tactics? Just keep introducing half-a-dozen hook bait samples every chuck, and make fairly frequent casts on straight lead or feeder. If it’s calm, just keep moving the rig gently on a pole until you start to get a response from the fish.
Where? Lingham Lane, Moreton, Wirral, CH46 4TB. Day tickets £7.
Tel: 0151 677 7911.
What’s being caught? Sport is still pretty reliable. It may become trickier if we have further frosty nights, but for now there are plenty of F1s and a few carp to 10 lb. Catches to 40 lb achievable with a positive approach. Try near the margins and by the islands.
Tactics? Soft pellets are worth using, as well as maggots and casters, which will become increasingly effective over the next three months. A pole or a light feeder will bring plenty of fish. Match your approach to the conditions on the day.
Meadow View Fisheries
Where? Whitbarrow Road, Lymm, Cheshire, WA13 9BA. Day tickets £8.
Tel: 01925 757985.