Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service

Willow Lake 28th Feb -2nd March

This was going to be my first visit from my holiday in Cape verde so I was really looking forward to fishing for the roach again. The forecast was for the warm weather to disappear and cold cloudy days to prevail, with a chilly N/E wind.

Setting of from home at 5.30am I was soon parking up in the car park at 6.40am on the Linch Hill lake complex. I was pleased to see that few other cars were present. I loaded up the barrow with my supplies and headed off to Willow lake.

The walk is about 300m and soon passed through the entrance to Willow lake and was pleased to see that the swim was empty but boy was it churned up and ankle deep in mud.

Lots of mud

First thing was to set the distance by clipping up on the line on the reel. I knew how far I was fishing from previous trips. I also knew of the target area on the far bank to aim for and it could be as easy as this. The rods were two 1.75 fox barbel rods with quivertip fitted to act as buffers when the roach shake their heads. Reel line was 5lbs breaking strain with a simple helicopter rig as end tackle. The hooks were size 18 tied to 3.5lb line and were fished at 3inches long.

Bait was quite simple 2 pineapple flavoured red maggots. Once it was cast out then the swingers bobins were weighted to have a tight line from rod to swimfeeder.

After the rods were cast out the drizzle fell whilst I was putting up the bivvi and all the other equipment.

A quick brew saw that it was about 9am and I was ready for anything! I knew that these roach feed during the day and anytime was a good time. At 11am I walked just a few metres away from the swim only for the swinger to fall and I missed one bite. Not very pleased with this and cursing my wandering feet I recast again to the spot. Within 15 minutes there was a repeat performance but this time I was behind the rods and pulled into a fish which had possibly already hooked itself. I played the fish gingerly for about 40 seconds and it kited to my right where there was some weed. Then for no reason the hook hold gave and I was playing just the swimfeeder and two red maggots. Now I was not best pleased with this. I was the only angler on the lake so gave it a bit of verbals. Two chances in 15 minutes and both gone.

The evening passed and the night with not so much as a bleep. I reeled in at 6am in the morning and measured and clipped the line again ready for the first cast which is at 6.30am when it’s light enough to see where the feeder lands. It was colder but still cloudy. Perfect conditions.

With the rods out I again had a brew and sat there listening to the news. One other roach fisherman turned up and fished opposite me. He was casting well short of where I was fishing.

At 8am the right hand rod swinger dropped to the ground and I lifted into a fish which tugged back and kited again to the right. I slowly pulled the fish away from the weed that was there and got it just in front of me. There in the crystal clear water shaking it’s head and fighting for freedom was this large roach, how large I couldn’t guess. Slowly she came to the surface took a couple of gulps of air and was mine. As soon as I lifted out from the water I knew I had something special. I quickly unhooked her and left her in the landing net. I was desperate to recast as there could be more action if there was a shoal. So I cast out ready for another. I weighed the roach and it came in at 3lbs 10oz which was a pb.

I phoned Dan Williams who lives just a few minutes from the lake, and he agreed to come and do the camera work. Whilst he was on his way I prepared all of the photo equipment in an effort to keep the fish out of the water for the minimal time.

New pb of 3lbs 10oz

I was really pleased with what I had done and even run a video of the roach.

Dan did a great job of the photo’s and the video work. He was shaking at first but soon sorted himself out. I even had time to video the retuning of the fish and was very pleased to see it swim off in a powerful way.

So to celebrate we had a brew and talked about the fish I lost yesterday and what might just happen in the next couple of days. The memory of the lost fish of yesterday didn’t seem too bad. But it makes you think what it could have been.

Dan had to leave for a hospital appointment so we said our goodbyes. I’m not casting very often, about every 4 hrs as I don’t want to over feed the roach. I cast out again at noon right on the button, however the wind was changing direction and it started to blow into my face. The rods were now at their maximum casting range.

At 13.30 I missed another drop back bite, then at 13.45 I hooked another roach and played it for about the same amount of time and then it went right again and the hook fell out without too much pressure being applied. I was really angry now. I was pondering what to do, I had two problems.

1. The wind was so strong I couldn’t reach the hot zone.

2. I needed to change the hook size and shape to get a better hold.

So I did a couple of things I returned to the car and changed the rod tips to the solid ones. This was probably over gunning but unless you can hit the zone then you may as well stop fishing. I also put a couple of swan shot in the feeders to give a little more weight and aid casting and holding a tight line to the feeder.

I also changed the hook pattern to a wide gap size 16 hook still with 3.5lb hooklink.

So this took me about 30 mins to change everything and get cast out. Soon I was rewarded by another take within minutes of casting. This time the fish on the end was much larger and I was soon playing a carp. I got it close quite quickly but from then on it was a cat and mouse affair and I’m unsure who was playing who at times but eventually it just fitted into my small roach net. It turned out to be a common carp of 21lbs 4oz.

So this was about the end of the action for the day. The other roach angler blanked and we had a quick chat before he left for home. I reflected on the events during the evening and thought I would continue for the remainder of the season using the size 16 hooks. I was now looking at 3 fish hooked and only one landed so I needed to make this change.
I was up and at it by 6am in the morning casting out against the strong wind. 7.30am 2 other roach anglers arrived and sat in the swim opposite again. They were casting about 20m away from my feeders so I didn’t mind too much. Things were very quite for the morning. Dan asked if he could get into the swim later in the evening when I’d finished. This was no problem for me. The sun came out during the day and this warmed the chilled air.
Dan arrived at about 3.30pm and whilst we had a brew and chatted one of the rods swinger dropped to the ground, I lifted into the fish and felt that thumping and bumping of a hooked roach. Now I was playing this fish gingerly as I had the 1.75 t/c tops on and I didn’t want anything to go wrong. Dan bless him said he felt sick and almost couldn’t look. How strange is that! Anyway as the fish approached in the gin clear water I could see it was indeed a good rudd. Dan expertly netted for me. I unhooked it and kept it in the landing net whilst I recast. Would there be more. We weighed the rudd and settled on 2lbs 9oz.

2lbs 9oz

I continued fishing and had one more rudd of 2lbs 8oz followed by a small tench of about 3lbs. Then it was 6.15pm and time for home.

Rudd 2lbs 8oz


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