Get stuck into Derwent Reservoir's big redfins

With fishing now resumed after the winter break, the door to Derwent Reservoir’s huge head of roach is once again open for anglers to enjoy with a net over 30lb a distinct possibility. The huge 1000 acre, day-ticket venue is known more for its fly sport, making it one of the north-easts best kept secrets for coarse fishermen as few anglers who do already fish it for the roach.

Specimen redfins to 1lb 6oz along with odd perch to over 3lb are coming out from every peg on the dam wall, with the groundbait feeder the top tactic. A 30-yard chuck is all you need to put yourself on the roach so the best approach is to start with a medium-large feeder filled with a slightly darkened sweet roach mix and once the fish start feeding switch to the bomb for ease of catching. When bites dry up switch back to the feeder once more to attract more fish in to the swim and this should see you start catching again. If trout move into your peg, the trick is to cast a further 5 yards beyond your feed and there you will find the roach again. Some anglers like to use the pole or long whip but as catapults are banned and balling in is not permitted it is far easier to catch on the quiver or swingtip. On the hook, most anglers prefer double or triple maggot but other baits can work too including caster or corn.

The venue fishes at its best on cloudier days especially when there is a ripple on the water but even in the worst conditions you can still expect bags of 20lb most of the year.

Prices: £10 a day from the lodge
Contact: 01207 255250
Location: Derwent Reservoir, Castleside, Northumberland, DH8 9TT
Facilities: Shop (no coarse tackle or bait) parking, disabled access
Rules: No catapults, No groundbait balling in, fish from the south shore and the dam wall only

5 top reservoirs to try:

Anglezarke Reservoir, Chorley, Lancs
If you can find the bream shoals then a huge catch could be on the cards and fish to 10lb could slide over the landing net. Groundbait is banned so lots of dead maggots, corn and small pellets will stop the slabs in their tracks.
01257 272392, Sat Nav: PR6 9DQ

Carr Mill Dam, Wigan, Lancs
For just £25 a year anglers can fish this St Helens Angling Association Lake which is stuffed with bream and roach.  Most anglers fish the groundbait feeder here casting around 30-40 yards out.
01942 728532, Sat Nav: WN5 7TZ

Chellow Dene Reservoir, Bradford, W Yorks
This day-ticket, Bradford No.1 Angling Association run water, contains roach, bream, carp, perch, tench, chub, orfe and pike. With plenty of open water it is suited to feeder tactics but anglers catch well on the pole or waggler too.
01706 526356, Sat Nav: BD9 6AX

Damflask Reservoir, Sheffield, S Yorkshire
A deep, large reservoir, Damflask is an ideal feeder fishing venue for bream averaging 2-3lb. There are also plenty of roach to be had on the waggler and specimen pike too.
07952 485798, Sat Nav: S6 6SQ

Southfield Reservoir, Cowick, East Yorkshire
Groundbait feeder tactics rule supreme at this time of year but a long range chuck doesn’t come into the equation, with a cast of around 40 to 50 yards more than ample to find feeding bream with a net of 50lb possible.
Contact: 07946 382882, Sat Nav: DN14 9AD

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