Wonderful Willowbrook offers some real surprises amid the peace
WHETHER you’re a carp angler, a fan of rivers or simply after a mixed bag of quality fish, Willowbrook Coarse Fisheries has the lot packed into its sprawling Northamptonshire site, from the River Nene through to the newlyacquired Grange Farm Lakes.
Willowbrook is a classic natural fishery with no cafés, snake lakes or accommodation. Instead you get peace and quiet on well-matured lakes well away from the hustle and bustle of life in pursuit of fish that really pull back when the float or bite alarm goes! Big carp, tench and bream are the main quarry, but there are also plenty of smaller fish, plus some real surprises in the lakes and river.
If carp are your target, the 40-peg Willowbrook Lake will be heaven. Well-matured and picturesque, Willowbrook has that estate lake feel to it and, at roughly 12 acres, there’s plenty of space between swims for anglers to fish a couple of rods in safety.
Stocked predominantly with mirror, common and ghost carp, the fish range from 3lb through to
40lb, and catches of smaller carp exceeding 100lb are regularly taken on pole or waggler tactics.
For a big carp, try the bait and wait approach. Night fishing is allowed to let you focus on tracking down a specimen.
Silverfish are also a big draw and, unlike many waters, whose tench and bream average 4lb, the Ryson Lake is a real specimen water.
Although you will still find smaller fish, the depths can produce tench and bream to double figures alongside roach, rudd, perch and a few big carp.
Again, the lake is large, covering nine acres and 34 pegs so there’s lots of room.
Some swims are classic tench territory, with lily pads in the edge where the float or pole will score. The feeder is a popular ploy for the bream, casting to the middle of the lake.
Willowbrook’s most recent acquisition are the Grange Farm Lakes just a few miles away. These are super tench and bream waters for floatfishing and pike sport is also good when the colder weather arrives.
Running water fans can get stuck into the stretch of the River Nene near to the lakes with bream and roach on offer and, for a spot of stalking, visit the tiny Harper’s Brook, a little stream full of roach and some decent chub to 4lb.
Contact: 07999 589011/07765 851820 or visit www.wbcf.co.uk
Location: Willowbrook Coarse Fisheries, Islip, Northants, NN14 3LE
Prices: Day tickets £7, season day permits £70 for Willowbrook Lake, £60 for Ryson Lake, £110 for both. Season night permit for Willlowbrook Lake £160, £200 for river and Willowbrook Lake. Season permits for Grange Farm £45 each, midweek permits £35
Rules: No keepnets (only to be used in matches or with fishery consent), no fires, night fishing only on night season permit, no tins at the fishery, no bread or floating baits, barbless hooks only (size 10 upwards), groundbait to be fed in a pole cup or feeder only, day fishing from 6.30am until dusk, pike fishing from December until March only, please take all litter home, wherever possible use unhooking mats