The bit you should read.

I’ve always been an angler and after around the country moving I wanted to discover and document the best places to fish (where ever I might be) in the way of rivers, lakes, canals and ponds. When previously fishing in South Wales I often fished in club and winter league matches, however living up north presented me with new challenges, venues and angling clubs that I acquainted myself with. Now down in the South West I plan to do the same.

This fishing blog details my angling adventures around the UK (although depending where I am in the country I also sea fish from both Boat and Shore, Carp, Pike and Fly fish). I will be giving a summary of 3 values considered by most anglers as well as the additional Disabled Access rating. Since being diagnosed with CIDP and regaining my motor function Disabled angling and Disabled access is now something I always consider when visiting venues. They will all be rated on a scale of 1* to 5*;

1. Fishability *****

2. Accessability *****

3. Value for Money *****

4. Disabled Access *****

I think these 4 points are the key issues which are readily identifiable with all anglers. Feel free to take a look and add your own comments along the way!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Trip #20 – Highbury Pond

This session was going to be my first experience of fishing on a Leeds ASA water. I have walked around the pond previously, hoping to see some features, some fish moving or even some fish being caught. Given the time of year there were no real features to speak of, no fish (that I could see) moving and only one angler sitting very quietly looking down on to one of his quivertips. On my return visit I decided I would give the maggot feeder a try. The cold weather also gave me an excellent opportunity to fully test my recent winter purchase of an Avanti Cyclotherm Suit.


Getting to the lake for mid morning, I was slightly concerned about the amount of ice on the lake, and knew from the first instant that fishing this lake was going to be a difficult affair. Setting up my equipment I decided to fish the maggot feeder a short distance out (around 10 meters) and set a second rod up on a variation of the method feeder, fishing at around 20 – 25 meters. On this second rod I would be alternating baits in the hope of extracting one of the carp that I’ve been told the lake holds.

Quite a lot of ice remained until late on in the day!
With both lines in the water and sitting down to begin the waiting game I became aware of how comfortable I was in my suit. Although more bulky than some of the higher costing brands, given that the air temperature was around 1 degree I was positively toasty and once comfortably positioned my previous worries of my movement being restricted were gone. Moving around to re fill my feeder, tie lighter hook lengths and root around in a carryall behind me with ease. I also found that the pockets were spacious, useful and waterproof (a fact that I would be glad of later that day).


Setting the timer on my watch for 12 minutes I reeled in and cast out for the best part of 2 hours with only 1 bite to show for my troubles. On several occasions I found that either silt, leaves or dead water foliage would be caught around my hook. Having no buoyant maggots or fake bait to elevate my offering from the lake bed, I made the decision to switch from Maggot feeder to waggler, and with nearly half the day gone the change would have to be quick to give me a chance of catching some fish and making up for my poor performance of the morning. The constant casting of my waggler rod would also test the restrictive concerns I had about my suit and provide it with another challenge.

Plumbing a depth of around 5 feet, I choose to fish slightly off bottom (4ft), in the hope that I would be fishing just above any dead or rotten vegetation below. 10 minutes past and the float finally dipped under. It was a very timid bite and winding in I saw the maggot had been sucked to transparency, a tell tale sign that red fins were around. Changing hook links, reducing hook size to a size 20 and baiting double fluorescent pinkie resulted in my first fish of the day. A small roach which dropped off the hook as I swung it in! Baiting now with a red maggot and fluoro pinkie (the best combination of the day), I managed to connect with a string of small Roach which meant that the next few hours past quite quickly.

Plenty of fish this size were still on the feed in
Highbury despite the freezing conditions.
Again I found myself thinking of how warm I was, despite the ice still remaining on the waters’ surface. With an hour to go the fine rain which was trying to soak me through turned into more heavy rain, and before long the ice on the lake had vanished and puddles around the lake were beginning to appear. After 15 minutes of this all my equipment was thoroughly wet but my new Shimano holdall (also on its first proper outing) and my suit were up to the challenge. After packing everything into my carryall that wasn’t essential I continued to fish picking up a small roach, whilst remaining both warm and dry!

The bites became less and less as the day wore on, and speaking to a local angler he informed me that there are good Carp, Tench, Roach and the occasional Trout to be caught from the lake. With that in mind and knowing that the temperature wasn’t doing me any favours, I decided to call it a day packing up around 4. Had I been using a keepnet I would have had a few pounds of silver fish to show for my tricky afternoon on the waggler. It is a venue that I don’t think I can fully review until I am able to fish in a few locations, rather than the only location where the water wasn’t frozen! Being only a short distance away from here means its falls into that category of venues where a few hours of pleasure fishing could be had with an afternoon spare or even in an evening after work (in the summer). 

My suit however exceeded all expectations and I was both warm and dry for the entire session. I was also very impressed with how comfortable and easy it was to move around in once in a settled on by seatbox. I don’t think it is a suit that could be used for long walks along the river bank, as the jacket and trouser combination do leave to wearer looking and feeling slightly cumbersome. However I have used the trousers and a lighter jacket previously and found it both comfortable and lightweight. With that said, and for the reasonable price of £49.99, it allows the user to remain on the bank chasing their quarry for a few extra hours in comfort and warmth, when previously the onset of the cold may have discouraged them!

Avanti Cyclotherm suit;

Value for Money £*** ½

Highbury Pond – Reserving my review for a session with less icy and more fish!

4 comments:

stefanch said...

Well done, beats a blank. I actually saw you down there, I was chatting to my friend who was fishing further round the pond. He only managed small roach too. Its a good pond though stick at it and the rewards will come.

Coarse Fishing Paul said...

Ah right. Ye, it beats blanking. The feeder was my main hope to bring in the slightly bigger fish, but it only managed 1 bite. In the end I had to plumb up twice, to find the ledge which was about 20 feet out, that's where I got most of my bites and fish, but the guy fishing next to me told me that the lake fishes a lot better in the warmer months. I'm definitely going to go back when it gets warmer, try and get some of the tench out.

Thanks for commenting, might see you up there again some time soon.

Simon Hall said...

Another great write up, just about summed up my last session too, working hard for red fins!

lee robinson said...

In summer you should try fishing the Beck that runs into here through Meanwood park, i went back to basics on this one and armed with just a Hook and line wrapped around a bottle with a bag of bread in the other hand. You have to go covert and try and be as quiet as you can while stalking the fish at hand. You will see plenty of fish upto about 1.5lb through the shallower waters at the bottom end of the park. Use a flake of bread and just let it float down stream. I was pulling out Trout like no tomorrow and its alot more fun watching them take your bait. The fights are more intense because you are just using a line and hook. Also there is a weir Half way up the park roughly, ive seen some pike up in the Bowl section at the top and not a shabby size too 7-10lb. If you decide to give it a go let me know how you get on :D

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