Find the secret fish in your local lake in our big Where to Fish guide.
NOT knowing what lurks beneath the surface of our stillwaters is a real thrill.
On some fisheries, the range of species you can expect to catch can be all too predictable.
Despite this, most venues – even the nation’s top match waters – have a hidden secret.
For some it’s monster catfish that no-one has ever landed, shoals of giant bream that never get targeted, and roach so big you’ll have reach for your scales!
Here’s our guide to catching something different now...
FROM unknown monster carp in a lake full of bream to shoals of roach in a carp-only pool, the UK’s army of stillwater fisheries has lots more to offer than first meets the eye. Here are seven secrets revealed...
WESTERLEY LAKE, WHELDRAKE, YORKS
This 1.5-acre, spring-fed carp water is also home to specimen perch to nearly 4lb and roach to 3lb. Worm and maggot hookbaits will catch both species from the margins. For the bigger perch try a legered prawn. Contact: 01904 448500 Postcode: YO196AH
DENHALL FISHERIES, BURTON, CHESHIRE
Kingfisher, the coarse pool here, is primarily stocked with carp, tench and mixed silvers. There are, however, stillwater barbel to near double figures and crucians to 3lb. Corn, worm, maggot and caster hookbaits work well for a mixture of species here and may just catch you a big barbel or crucian. Woodlands Lake, the on-site specimen water, is a carp hotspot, although few people know that it also supports a small head of monster catfish to 50lb-plus. Contact: 07983 988703 Postcode: CH64 0TG
CLEAR WATER FISHERIES, CARNFORTH, LANCS
Formerly known as Borwick Fishing Lakes, Clear Water holds a number of crucians from 2lb-4lb. In 2015 a potential record of 4lb 14oz was caught on corn but never ratified. Most anglers who have caught these crucians have been fishing for tench and carp, so a scaled-down boilie approach is advisable to give yourself the best chance. Contact: 01524 736341 Postcode: LA6 1JU
GARBOLINO LINDHOLME LAKES COUNTRY PARK, DONCASTER, S YORKS
There is more to Lindholme than just match carp. Specimen perch to 4lb are in Laurels Lake, and these show every autumn. Contact: 01427 875555 Postcode: DN9 1LF
MARSHLAND FISHERY, BARTON UPON HUMBER, E YORKS
A £4 day ticket will allow you to fish this relatively unheard-of water run by Scunthorpe and District AA.