The Ap­ple of my eye


Anglers Mail - - Anglers -

North West re­gional Where To Fish colum­nist Ian Chap­man clocks up thou­sands of miles ev­ery year vis­it­ing fish­eries coun­try­wide with top-notch an­glers. This week the pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher vis­its Ap­ple­ton Reser­voir, near War­ring­ton, Lan­cashire.

AU­TUM­NAL an­gling is typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with roach, and the redfin sport avail­able at War­ring­ton AA­con­trolled Ap­ple­ton Reser­voir is of­ten out­stand­ing at this time of year.

This is a pleas­ant lo­ca­tion, with easy ac­cess and a pad­locked car park. It used to be a put-and-take fly fish­ery, but as the in­ter­est in that side of our sport dwin­dled, the club de­cided to in­tro­duce some carp, and to­gether with the ex­ist­ing stocks of roach and perch, they have thrived.

These days, it ap­pears that an­glers who fish Ap­ple­ton have two choices: they ei­ther go for carp or they fish for the roach and perch.

Two an­glers who adore this venue for its redfin ac­tion are club mem­bers Steve Da­ley and Danny Bell­field.

On an over­cast day with a warm wind, I caught up with the pair as they stood in the wa­ter, bag­ging a fish a chuck.

Be­fore I wax lyri­cal about the roach sport, let me say that Ap­ple­ton is prob­a­bly more pop­u­lar with carp an­glers, and there are plenty of qual­ity carp to be caught. Within min­utes of my ar­rival, I spot­ted sev­eral ‘head and tail­ing’.

Ac­tu­ally, it would have been a per­fect day to go for carp, but the lads had roach on their agenda. The carp have been out to over 20 lb, so it’s cer­tainly some­thing to bear in mind, if that's your pas­sion.

Stand­ing in wa­ter

It’s un­usual to see two an­glers stand­ing well out in the wa­ter these days. It re­minded me of great days spent in Ire­land, where wad­ing out into deeper wa­ter is of­ten nec­es­sary.

The swim that Steve and Danny had cho­sen to fish en­ables you to stand in the wa­ter, as there is a long sand­bar reach­ing out, mak­ing it quite shal­low. If you didn’t wade out in this par­tic­u­lar spot, you would have to cast an aw­ful long way to find the fish.

By wad­ing, the lads had a much eas­ier cast into around 4-5 ft of wa­ter, where there were clearly lots of roach shoaled up, judg­ing by the reg­u­lar ac­tion.

When you wade out, a min­i­mum of kit is sen­si­ble, with a bait apron or a bait-waiter ta­ble used to make life eas­ier. Some hooks, shots, dis­gorg­ers, a rod rest, a land­ing net and spare bait is all that you need to pre­vent you from wad­ing back­wards and for­wards.

Ap­ple­ton Reser­voir was once a fly fish­ery, but has now switched its fo­cus to coarse fish­ing, with roach be­ing one of the species that pro­vide qual­ity sport.

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