Sunday, 25 May 2014

Westfield Lakeland Park - Fitling East Yorkshire

Overview
I recently payed a visit to Westfield Lakeland Park situated in the small village of Fitling in East Yorkshire. This was my first visit to the venue for many years, and to say it has changed a bit is an understatement. Originally when I went, there was only 1 lake and that was it. Now there are 3 well stocked lakes, as well as a cafe/ tea room offering excellent food and service. There are also high class lodges on site to rent; many with there own hot tubs! If you rent one of these lodges you will also benefit from 1 of the 3 lakes to yourself, as this lake is reserved for lodge guests only.

Lake 1 - This is a long thin stretch of water with depths between 4ft - 6ft, covering over an acre, with fishing from both sides. It also has staggered pegs to avoid being directly opposite another angler.

Lake 2 - The larger of the 3 lakes which boasts over 2.5 acres, with depths between 4ft - 6ft including a target central island.

Lake 3 - Has a circular contour, which has a target islands with depths of up to 12ft.

The fishery is stocked with a wide variety of fish including: Carp, Bream; Tench, Ghosties; Rudd, Roach; Perch, Barbel and Chub.

The lake I decided on fishing was Lake 2. Almost every peg has access to a part of the island, which is around 20 meters away. The peg I picked was half way down the right hand bank which backs onto the lodge lake.


My Plan
My plan was to start on the method feeder tight up to the island, and then switch to the pellet waggler if the fish backed off from the method feeder. I also planned to fish a line down the margin to my left as it looked extremely fishy.

Bait
For the method feeder I had some 6 mm hard pellets for the hair rigged band and for feed I had some dampened micro pellets.
For the pellet waggler I had some 6 mm hard pellets for both the hair rigged band and for feed. For the margin line I planned to feed ground bait and alternate between corn and paste on the hook.

Rigs
Method Feeder Rig

  • Rod - Browning 10 ft Force Bomb 
  • Reel - Browning Xitan MF 630 
  • Reel line -  0.18 Browning Cenex Feeda Line 
  • Method Feeder - 30 gram method feeder ( inline) 
  • Hook length - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 X strong eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 

Pellet Waggler Rig

  • Rod - Browning 11 ft  Commercial King Medium Pellet Waggler 
  • Reel - Browning Black Magic Burner 
  • Reel line - 0.18 Browning Cenex Line 
  • Pellet Waggler - 3.5 gram Drennan Loaded crystal Waggler 
  • Hook length  - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band 

Margin Rig

  • Pole - Browning Xtreme Margin 
  • Elastic - Green Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Main line - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 14 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Shep Special Margin Diamond 0.2 gram http://www.carlshepherdsonstittletackle.com/
  • Shotting - Bulk set just above the hook length

The session 
I started the session on the method feeder; I baited up with a 6 mm hard pellet, then used the mold to form the softened micro pellet feed around the feeder. Before casting I always give the pellets an extra squeeze by hand to further compact them, so the feeder reaches the bottom with the pellets intact. I casted the feeder tight to a small section of earth that had fallen from the island. I managed to catapult 2 small pouches of 6 mm pellets over the top before the tip was dragged round. After a short battle I soon landed an immaculate Ghost Carp.


Observation is key!
The next 6 casts to the island produced a constant run of fish. I had started to notice that when I was feeding the pellets over the top, fish were starting to swirl. I immediately switched to the pellet waggler, which resulted in 2 hours of none stop action. I was catching mainly Chub and Carp along with the odd small Skimmer.




The wind then changed and turned completely the opposite way, This had a dramatic effect on my catch rate as the Carp and Chub disappeared and more and more Skimmers moved in.
This prompted me to try the edge line that I had fed with 3 pots of ground bait 15 minutes earlier. I started with corn on the hook, but all I could catch was Rudd and Roach. I could tell there was bigger fish there as the float was moving about all over. A switch to paste resulted in a much more positive bite. I lifted into the fish and this was followed by a steady stream of elastic heading towards the centre of the lake. After a 10 minute battle, I managed to net my biggest fish of the day, a Carp around 8lb. I re baited the hook with some more paste and had another look down the edge but the result was more Rudd and Roach.
A change back to the pellet waggler resulted in a really forceful bite, I was getting dragged about all over the place. I had a feeling that I may have foul hooked a Carp. But when the fish surfaced close to me it wasn't foul hooked or a Carp, It was a pristine Barbel and a decent one at that!

During the day I had seen a few Carp topping further down the island, so I swapped the method feeder over to a bomb, and took some 8 mm pellets from my bait bucket. I catapulted 3 or 4 pellets toward the area I had seen the fish, then cast the bomb over the top, The last hour was mental, the bomb was hardly hitting the bottom and the rod tip was ripping round. I was again catching plenty of carp.
At the end of the session I must of had around 100 lb; what a lovely days fishing at a cracking venue!

*For further detail about this venue visit http://www.westfieldcountrypark.co.uk/#!fishing/c1l7g

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Messingham Sands - Tripp Pond

http://www.messinghamsands.co.uk/match%20lakes.htm
I woke early this morning, eager to get on my way to Tripp Pond at Messingham Sands near Scunthorpe. This is without doubt my favourite lake at the complex as it offers great fishing with such a wide variety of different species. The emphasis is not just on Carp, the lake has a massive stocking of silver fish including Crucians, Skimmers, Tench, Goldfish, Chub plus F1's. This pond is also a float only venue, which I think is a great idea as it makes it fair for everybody.


The Plan
Peg 10 graced my hand today and so my plan was to be a three pronged attack, as this has served me really well in previous visits. My main line of attack was at a top 2 plus 3 distance, as this is one of the shallower areas of the lake I had around 6 feet of water at this length.
My second line was a shallow line at 13 meters. I planned to fish this as their are plenty of fish showing shallow.
For my third line I used a margin line to my left hand side, as the margins are reed lined this is usually a great place for big fish late on in the match.

Bait
This was as simple as it gets -
For the top 2 plus 3 line I fed fishery 4 mm expanders and fishery micro's as well as applying the same expanders for the hook; this is an approach I have utilised for many years at this venue!
On the shallow line I fed 6mm fishery feed pellets and used the same pellets on the hair rigged band.
For the margin line I fed loose groundbait and fish sweetcorn over the top.

Rigs: 
Top 2 Plus 3 Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Main line - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Middy Styrex 4 (4x14) 
  • Shotting - A bulk plus 2 droppers 

Shallow Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex  
  • Main line - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 Eyed, tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band. 
  • Float - Shep Special 0.2 gram Chianti Style 
  • Shotting - Bulk, set just above the hook length. 

Edge Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Xtreme Margin 
  • Elastic - Solid 22 
  • Main line - 0.18 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.16 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 14 Kamasan B911 Extra Strong 
  • Float - Shep Special Diamond 0.3 gram 
  • Shotting - Bulk, set just above the hook length 


The Session
I started by potting in half a large pot of micros & expanders, mixed together on the top 2 plus 3 line. I baited the hook with a 4mm expander and shipped the rig to the desired spot. I lowered the rig in slowly (this is something that I do at most venues, as I think it presents the bait with a natural look). The float hardly had a second to settle before a tiny tap on the float was then followed by the float disappearing. The fight was instantly recognisable, the initial dogged fight followed by the fish swimming in circles. Yes you've guessed... a Crucian and a decent one at that, round about the pound mark.

For the next drop in I loaded a pole mounted kinder pot with expander pellets, this is what I planned to do after every fish. I shipped out, tipped the expanders in and lowered the rig in slowly over the top. The response is again was instant, this time a Skimmer was soon safely in the net. The following 2 hours were pretty hectic with small Crucians and Skimmers coming a rate of knots.

I had a quick look on the shallow line as I had been regularly feeding this from the off by feeding 6 pellets via a catapult every 40 seconds or so. Unfortunately this line only produces 2 small Roach in 10 minutes, so I abandon the line to concentrate on the 2 plus 3 line.
I put a third of a pot of micros and expanders in again to keep the fish grubbing about. The proceeding hours are quite steady; I am still catching every drop in, but not at the same rate as the first 2 hours. Crucians and Skimmers were still the main stay of the catch.

I then coasted an eye over the margin line, as I fed 3 full pots of loose ground bait plus a few grains of corn probably 20 minutes beforehand. 3 big Crucians in 3 drops was a welcome bonus before I latched into a "Big Zoo Creature" that dragged me straight through the reeds and left me with my hook stuck into the root of a reed.... Bugger!!!
I re baited the margins with a couple of pots of ground bait and switched back to the 2 plus 3 line. I caught a few more Crucians before the urge to have another look down the edge got the better of me!


After a couple more Crucians and Roach, I again ended up getting dragged through the reeds; this time the fish snapped my hook length off, therefore I opted to see out the rest of the match on the top 2 plus 3 line. At the end of the match I enjoyed a cracking days fishing and weighed in 57lb, which was enough for 4th in the match....Happy Days! :-)