Fisheries competing to snatch customers off commercials often turn to stocking F1s to boost their popularity – but some won’t budge from their roots.
Before carp waters dominated the coarse fishing scene, lakes and ponds would be full of anglers more than happy to target roach, bream and perch.
While most waters have transformed themselves to compete, East Yorkshire’s Staddlethorpe Pond has proved that you can still draw the crowds in when silverfish are the main attraction.
The 43-peg lake has all the hallmarks of a natural water, with snags down the edge of most swims and a grassy path running behind them.
Proper pegs have been installed to provide comfort for anglers, and the vegetation is managed to make sure the whole lake is fishable – but this is not a place where you’ll find mod cons such as a tackle shop or café.
The fishing is extremely varied and at the end of a session you’ll almost certainly have banked several species. Roach to 1lb, specimen perch over 3lb, quality skimmers and hybrids, big ide and the odd tench could show up at any point during the day.
Carp are also present, but this is no runs water. Stunningly marked and coloured mirrors and commons that have called Staddlethorpe home for decades are now approaching 20lb, and don’t give themselves up easily!
Change of scene
Fosters Team Army-backed Scott Rispin has many fond memories of pleasure sessions and match wins at Staddlethorpe. “The silverfish sport is absolutely brilliant and I’ve had plenty of nets to over 30lb in the past,” he explained.
“No matter how you like to fish, there is every chance you are going to have a great day as the pole, waggler and feeder will all score well here.”
The open water is a uniform 7ft deep across the lake, and you’ll find a decent depth down the margins too, with 3ft or more in places.
“Chucking a groundbait feeder to the middle will help you find the bream and skimmers, while the pole is the better option if you want to get the roach going.
“If you are trying to up your perch personal best then pick a peg with plenty of overhanging snags and fish tight down the edge,” Scott advised.
Pull up at the venue and it doesn’t take long to realise that Staddlethorpe is determined to maintain its natural feel. There’s plenty of parking for cars in a grassed car park, and as you walk down the banks you can sense it is as far away from a typical commercial as you can possibly get.
When Angling Times visited to see whether it was worthy of the praise heaped upon it, Scott picked a peg in the middle of the lake and started on the feeder. A few small skimmers obliged, but it was a switch to the pole that did the damage, with some quality roach, hybrids, ide and a chunky bream all contributing to a 20lb-plus netful.
“People are looking for something different to commercials and Staddlethorpe is the perfect place to recharge the batteries and get back to the type of fishing you loved as a child,” concluded Scott.
Tackle: “When fishing the pole, fairly heavy floats are important due to the depth. Use a rugby ball-shaped pattern of between 1g and 1.5g when you want to get the bait to the bottom quickly, using an olivette and a couple of dropper shot below it. A lighter, slim-bodied float is best when you are catching shallow or on the drop.
“When it comes to terminal tackle, 0.12mm mainline to a 0.10mm hooklength and a fine-wire size 18 hook will do the job.”
Bait: “Use a fishmeal groundbait in the feeder that is laced with maggots, casters and corn when trying to lure in the skimmers. A regular trickle of maggots or casters will soon get the roach or ide competing, with a little and often approach often convincing the shoals to feed at half-depth.”
Tactics: “A few early chucks on the feeder will put down a bed of groundbait that could produce a big skimmer early on. If this doesn’t work straight away, switch to the pole and try this line later.
“Rotate a couple of pole lines – one at 7m and the other at 13m – to catch a mixture of silver fish species. Worms and casters in the margins could produce a big perch, especially later on in the day.”
Prices: Adults £6, £8 for two rods. Tickets must be bought in advance from the local BP petrol station or Fishing Tackle Direct in Goole, which can be contacted on 01405 767614
Location: Staddlethorpe Pond, off Staddlethorpe Broad Lane, Gilberdyke, East Yorks, HU15 2TS. Coming from the M62, turn right immediately after going over the railway station bridge in Gilberdyke
Contact: Call 01405 767614 or visit www.apache-fishing.co.uk