TACTICAL Briefing Best in the West
Within easy reach of the M5 motorway in Devon, Cofton Country Holidays offers a huge range of activities and accommodation, with fishing just one of the star attractions. Reporter Steve Lockett takes a peek…
WITH the beautiful South Devon countryside and coast very near, and with a staggering array of things to do on site, Cofton Country Holidays should be on the wish list of every angler.
For those with families, through to retired couples and even single anglers, there will never be a dull moment at Cofton. Alongside the five lakes, there are swimming pools, sports activities, evening entertainment and restaurants and bars in abundance.
Every lake has its own separate identity, but pellets are a great starting bait all across the complex.
On the carp lakes, a Method feeder loaded with dampened pellets, baited with either a bright pop-up, a wafter, or grain of corn, works well. Swinging a feeder along the margins is a great option, but casting to the islands is important in pegs where you cast to them, as they have almost vertical slopes, where the fish love to patrol.
Floating baits tempt carp on Mamhead Lake, but carp can often be seen cruising on all of the lakes, when it's warm. The fish on Luscombe and Trusham are very cute, but the rewards are there for those prepared to work. Maggot clips are a winner here, especially when the water is cooler.
8 mm boilies presented over pellet feed is also a top method, because the carp prefer small baits. Mussels and prawns on strong float tackle will bring perch to 4 lb and eels to 3 lb. Pole fished corn over dampened micros brings big bags of skimmers, fishing tight to Powderham’s floating islands.
A summary of the lakes
Mamhead Lake. With a mix of species, including lots of smaller carp, this lake is a great water for bites galore. It averages 4 ft, but there are a few shallower and deeper spots, perfect places to catch fish for those prepared to plumb up. There are 26 pegs in total, split between two bowl-shaped areas either side of the access bridge. This lake is also a perch hotspot, and despite being known as the match lake, has some very large fish of all species.
Powderham Pool. A good head of tench to 5 lb, lots of skimmers and bream to 8 lb are among the reasons for trying a session on this pretty and popular pool. Plumbing up is a must, with varied depths between 2-8 ft and features galore. The floating islands, lily beds and reed-lined margins are perfect areas to target the fish. Keepnets can be used here, for those who want a record of the day’s hectic sport. Pegs 1 and 2 are by the deeper water, coming into their own later in the year.
Ashcombe Pool. Tucked away in the far corner of the site, and with only nine pegs, this intimate pool allows a quiet day for those who prefer it. On days with few other anglers around, this venue will be great for baiting a few spots and rotating between them. Fairly shallow, at 2-3 ft, with a few deeper spots to 5 ft, the carp run to 20 lb, and can be found alongside the marginal features. A good head
Holidays is a superb place for a quiet angling holiday, with pretty lakes to suit anglers of all abilities. of single-figure fish will give great sport, but a known 20 lb ghost carp is an attraction for many.
Luscombe Lake. Larger carp, including some into the 20s, are the draw here. With lots of double-figure fish, runs can be expected on well-positioned rigs. An active stock management policy means silver fish are removed to the match lakes, allowing the carp to grow on in comfort. Very shallow on the near bank, with many areas around 2-3 ft, but a deeper area on the far bank, where depths drop to 5 ft, offers prime sport year-round.
Trusham Lake. This is the venue for those who want to grapple with a large carp, as there are fish to 24 lb swimming in the depths. The deepest lake on site, with some spots down to 10 ft. The
Lots to smile about – venue regular Shaun Watts displays a pretty Cofton carp, taken while stalking with hired kit from the on-site shop.