Don’t be afraid of a frost
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.
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?