Fish­ing around the houses

An Ox­ford­shire hous­ing es­tate is an un­usual set­ting for a top fish­ery but that’s ex­actly what you get with Lady­grove Lakes

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Night Time Is The Right Time - Words & Pho­tog­ra­phy Tony Grig­or­jevs

NEW hous­ing es­tates are crop­ping up all over the land and that is giv­ing those look­ing to get on the prop­erty lad­der a huge ar­ray of op­tions. The amount of choice on of­fer means that con­trac­tors are hav­ing to work harder than ever to sell all their plots and rake in the prof­its, with bricks and mor­tar just part of the mix on mod­ern es­tates. Large parks with a va­ri­ety of equip­ment and small shop­ping com­plexes are com­mon­place on re­cently built sites but some es­tates are, amaz­ingly, even think­ing about an­glers when the blue­prints are drawn up! Seem­ingly aware of the num­ber of keen an­glers there are in the UK, builders are cre­at­ing lakes as part of the land­scape within the es­tate. Some have been dug and hold noth­ing more than a few stick­le­backs or other minia­ture species, but there is the odd gem that can com­pete with the best venues in the land. Hun­dreds of houses have sprung up on the pop­u­lar Lady­grove Es­tate in Did­cot, Ox­ford­shire. The spa­cious prop­er­ties draw in the non-an­glers but those who love to wet a line will have cer­tainly con­vinced their part­ners to sign on the dot­ted line with the in­cred­i­ble fish­ing at the fore­front of their minds.

One of a kind

Two pools make up Lady­grove Lakes and you can’t help but be im­pressed by what has been cre­ated. Wooden plat­forms are spaced around the banks, with well-main­tained paths mak­ing it easy to haul your gear to a peg. But it is what lies be­neath the sur­face that is the big­gest draw. Sil­ver­fish hauls made up of big roach and skim­mers reg­u­larly break the 70lb bar­rier, carp grow to well over 20lb and there’s even the chance of a gi­ant 4lb perch. Dy­na­mite Baits-backed Ryan Gib­son has been a life­long an­gler and first got into the sport in the East Mid­lands where he was born. But a move down south for work pur­poses meant start­ing from scratch on the fish­ing front and when he stum­bled across Lady­grove he was stunned at what was on of­fer. “A few friends had told me about how good the

carp fish­ing was at the venue and my ex­pe­ri­ence told me that good big-fish waters of­ten hold plenty of sil­ver­fish,” ex­plained Ryan. “I went down to have a look and I didn’t know what to think at first – it was such a well-kept fish­ery but it was in the most unique set­ting I’d ever seen – your pole is al­most touch­ing gar­den fences when shipped back!” A trial ses­sion to see whether his the­ory was cor­rect was pen­cilled in and it didn’t take long for him to re­alise he had dis­cov­ered a true gem, with a huge catch of skim­mers and pris­tine roach his re­ward dur­ing his first ses­sion at the venue.

Com­mer­cial at­tack

There used to be a time when worms, mag­gots and cast­ers were all that you needed to catch sil­ver­fish but the in­flu­ence of the com­mer­cial scene has changed all that. Pel­lets and boilies are of­ten fed in large quan­ti­ties by an­glers af­ter the carp and in­evitably the sil­ver­fish get used to feast­ing on the left­overs. “You’ll catch plenty of roach on mag­gots but the big skim­mers have been weaned on to pel­lets and fish­meal ground­baits. “I fish a line about 6m out for the roach and then have another at 13m for the skim­mers.”

“He had dis­cov­ered a true gem, with a huge catch of skim­mers and roach”

Two wo big balls of ground­bait are fed short at the start with a 50/50 /50 blend of Dy­na­mite Baits Sil­ver X Roach and Fren­zied Hempseed Match Black be­ing Ryan’ss mix. The sameame amount is fed long although the blend is dif­fer­ent, with damp­ened mi­cro pel­lets and Sil­ver er X Skimmer a bet­ter op­tion. “It’s s the sort of place where feed­ing small quan­ti­ties doesn’t t work. Ev­ery peg holds a big stocks and they’ll ’ll hoover up any bait quickly so you need to put in plenty to keep them grub­bing around.”” A look on the short line pro­duced an in­stant re­sult with small roach com­ing ev­ery drop in. As with all bream fish­ing, al­low­ing the swim to set­tle­tle for a pe­riod is im­por­tant. Catch­ing a cou­ple of quick fish wouldn’t be dif­fi­cult but at­tack the swim wim too soon and the rest of the shoal will spook at the com­mo­tion be­cause they haven’t had time to set­tle. An hour plun­der­ing the short line saw the stamp im­prove with a big 1lb 8oz roach the pick of the bunch be­fore it was time to go long. Had Ryan waited long enough? Too right he had and in the next few hours qual­ity bream av­er­ag­ing 2lb apiece and run­ning to just un­der 4lb came at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals. Top­ping up both lines when bites dried up or the stamp of fish dropped rein­vig­o­rated things. It was hard to be­lieve that such top qual­ity fish­ing was avail­able on a lake in the mid­dle of a hous­ing es­tate, with over 50lb of sil­vers go­ing into the net. “There aren’t many places that can pro­vide such var­ied fish­ing. Whether you are in­tro­duc­ing a young­ster and want to catch silv-ers on the whip or a seasoned spec­i­men an­gler, Lady­grove is the real deal.”

Qual­ity bream to al­most 4lb came thick and fast for Ryan Two big balls of pel­lets and ground­bait get the skim­mers feed­ing

An im­pres­sive Lady­grove Lakes catch that many waters would strug­gle to match

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