Don’t be afraid of a frost

Anglers Mail - - Where To Fish -

IT’S been a sur­pris­ingly mild win­ter thus far. In my gar­den, the blue tits have been in­spect­ing the nest boxes, the black­bird has started build­ing a nest in the ivy, and the flow­ers are try­ing to bloom, the ear­li­est I’ve ever seen these things hap­pen.

The fish­ing has been spec­tac­u­lar, too. There’s been a 40 lb bag of roach re­ported on the Aire and Calder Canal, 150 lb-plus bags of carp on com­mer­cials, and a 100 lb-plus bag of bream from the River Don in the past cou­ple of weeks.

Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary tend to be the cold­est months of the year, and the months when the

along with perch and skim­mers. Dou­ble-fig­ure bags aplenty, with a few catches top­ping 20 lb. Plenty of pike strik­ing at fish hooked by an­glers.

Tac­tics? Pole and bread punch has brought the best bags of roach. Pole or wag­gler with cast­ers, mag­gots or pinkies over ground­bait for mixed bags. Ground­bait feeder to the far bank also worth a try. Drop shot­ting, lure fish­ing or dead­baits to tar­get the preda­tors.

Bev­er­ley Canal

Where? Water­side Road, Bev­er­ley, East York­shire, HU17 0PP. Day tick­ets £4, from the Co-op shop on Water­side Road be­fore fish­ing.

Tel: 07976 779983.

What’s be­ing caught? Plenty of small roach, perch, dace and skim­mers, as well as a few bet­ter bream and ide, in dou­ble-fig­ure bags.

Tac­tics? Pole with bread punch to tar­get the roach. Pinkies or mag­gots over ground­bait for mixed bags. Chopped worm for the perch. Feed and fish two or three dif­fer­ent lines to keep the bites com­ing. fish­ing is hard­est.

How­ever, with some care­ful plan­ning, there are still plenty of fish to be caught, and that is largely thanks to our of­ten-ma­ligned com­mer­cial fish­eries.

I’m old enough to re­mem­ber the days be­fore com­mer­cials, when you could go the full two months on the canal and river match cir­cuit rarely break­ing a cou­ple of pounds, and there would be many a day when you’d blank.

Nowa­days, by choos­ing your venues and tac­tics care­fully, even in the worst of the weather good sport can be had. Listed be­low are some of the venues that I would rec­om­mend when the weather turns, if you want to keep fish com­ing to the net.

Tac­tics? Pole and pel­lets best for the carp, or mag­gots will get you plenty of bites from sil­ver fish.

An­gel of the North Fish­ing Lakes

Where? Birt­ley, Durham,

DH3 1RF. Day tick­ets £13.

Tel: 01914 100449.

What’s be­ing caught? Carp still feed­ing, but shoaled more tightly in the colder weather. Some good mixed bags of cru­cians, ide, roach, rudd and bream re­ported by those tar­get­ing them.

Tac­tics? Long pole with chopped worm and cast­ers or mag­gots over ground­bait for the best mixed bags. Pole with banded pel­lets, corn or paste for the carp.

As­ton Park Fish­eries Where? As­ton Way, off Mans­field Road, As­ton, Sh­effield, South York­shire, S26 5EP. Day tick­ets £6. Tel: 07743 845737.

What’s be­ing caught?

A crack­ing win­ter carp from Lodge Farm Fish­ery for Alain.

Plenty of roach and skim­mers feed­ing, bags of 30 lb-plus of sil­ver fish re­ported. Carp to dou­bles still feed­ing, es­pe­cially in milder con­di­tions, but tend to be shoaled up tightly. If you can find them you could be in for a bumper day.

Tac­tics? Long and short pole with mag­gots or cast­ers over ground­bait for the best sil­ver fish sport. Feed one line at

11-13 m and one at 6-7 m and work them both. Wag­gler and mag­gots has also brought some good bags. Long pole with pel­lets or bomb and banded pel­lets or corn for the carp.

Dren­nan Lind­holme Lakes Where? Ep­worth, Don­caster, South York­shire, DN9 1LF. Day tick­ets £6.50. Tel: 01427 875555. What’s be­ing caught? F1s, carp, roach and skim­mers feed­ing on all lakes, along with some bar­bel and some huge perch. Big­ger carp and pike on Loco Lake. Match bags reg­u­larly top­ping 50 lb, and much higher when the carp are feed­ing. Tac­tics? Pole with mag­gots for good mixed bags. Small Method feeder with pel­lets has given some good bags of F1s and carp. Dead­baits for the pike on Loco.

Lodge Farm Fish­eries Where? Scrooby Top, Bawtry, South York­shire, DN10 6AX. Day tick­ets £6. Tel: 07815 030694. What’s be­ing caught? Carp are still dom­i­nat­ing match bags, with weights to 80 lb recorded in re­cent matches. Good bags of roach and skim­mers to plea­sure an­glers tar­get­ing them. Sand

What’s be­ing caught?

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