A huge re-stocking of over 8000 carp and extensive renovation work a few years ago means that anglers are now reaping the rewards at The Willows Fishery with some huge nets over 100lb being taken regularly on its two scenic lakes.
Anglers are also visiting here to enjoy the ide fishing at the moment on the venue’s Gold Rush Lake (36 pegs). These fish go to 5lb in here, filling nets to over 100lb. At this time of year and with temperatures high, the fish are feeding shallow. To catch them feed a cloud of over-whetted groundbait or use a 50/50 mix of swimstim and garden peat and fish into it with caster on the hook about 1ft under the surface at around 11m on the pole or waggler. You can then feed a few casters every minute to keep the fish coming, so take a few pints with you. It’s not just ide in this lake however, as there are plenty of carp to 18lb, bream and chub to 4lb, crucians, barbel and even golden tench to 5lb. For the carp, which average around 8lb, dead maggot fished over a little groundbait is currently working well but pellets and meat fished on the deck in the margins or up to one of the lakes 8 islands will see you catch a nice mixed net of fish.
On the smaller Ridge Lake, fishing into the margins is one of the best ways to amass a pleasing net of fish. The water responds extremely well to pole and chopped worm for 50lb-plus nets of carp, ide, orfe and chub. Cup in that feed regularly to keep the bites coming. In recent years pellet paste has also gone down a treat especially feeding micros and fishing a 4 or 6mm version over the top but there is no need to use hard pellets as there are few small pestering fish in here.
Peg 53, on Ridge, is a gem of a peg and the bushes on the far bank are a real magnet for carp. It’s an excellent swim for fishing shallow, with corn, pellet or maggot. For bigger fish try a bigger pellet fished tight to the island.
Top tip: For bigger carp try dog biscuits on the surface for fish to 18lb
Prices: £6 a day or £5 concessions
Contact: 01904 738206, willowsfishery.co.uk
Location: Off the A59, Hessay, York, North Yorks, YO26 8JU.
Rules: Barbless only, Maximum 12 hooks, no keepnets, un-hooking mats for carp over 6lb
Facilities: Toilets, drinking water tap, BnB accommodation