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!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Trip #26 - Kippax Park, Rainbow Lake.

Kippax Park Lakes have featured quite heavily in the press over the last 6 months, and I have read accounts of good weights coming from both Lapwing and Skylark lakes. So with that in mind, I thought it about time that I get round to trying all the lakes on the complex for myself. As they are also partly owned by Leeds DASA it would also mean a cheaper session than on some other commercials in the area. Setting off, rigs tied and car packed I was expecting a carp filled day out on a busy and promising fishery.

The 3 open Kippax Park Lakes

I had found out quite late the night before I was due to go fishing that the larger of the 2 commercial lakes had been booked for a match. Although this was slightly frustrating it still meant I had the choice of fishing the smaller Skylark or the older more established trout lake (which is now a mixed coarse fishery) Rainbow lake. Arriving at the fishery I quickly unpacked my gear and had a brief conversation with an angler fishing the Rainbow Lake.  He informed me that the Skylark lake was also booked for a match and it depended on the number of entrants whether it was going to proceed. This was frustrating, especially as I had tweaked most of my equipment and rigs so they would stand up to the strains of commercial fisheries. I asked the angler how Rainbow lake was fishing and he informed me he’d just caught a skimmer and had a few bites so I decided to save myself the walk to Skylark and set up on Rainbow targeting the silver fish that I had read the lake now contained.

I was pleased to see that access to the pegs was quite easy and they were all very sturdy. Choosing a peg which offered open water to fish the pole and an island to feeder/ledger fish to, I set up both methods and began to plumb the pole line. Fishing dead depth at around 4 feet meant that even the plummet came in covered in weed. Watching some fry moving around on the surface I choose to fish about 3 feet deep hoping that this would keep me off the weeds and on the fish. Shipping out to 11.5 meters with the faithful double red maggot I waited for the float to zip away. 50 minutes, 5 types of bait and some loose feed later and still not a bite! This was starting to look like a difficult day. After a further 20 minutes I changed my rig down to 2.6lb line and an 18 hook hoping that the change would pay dividends. With double caster on the hook I shipped out and began to wait. 5 minutes past until the float started to move around. The float hadn’t fully submerged when I struck into the fish. The 8 elastic I was using tore from the end of my pole as the fish went on its first ripsnorter of a run. Then the fish jumped clear out of the air. A trout! There was a reason this lake was called Rainbow. The 5 minutes fight was definitely a challenge and when I got the fish to my net I was relieved that all my knots had held as this fish of 5lbs could have easily snapped me.  

After the fish had torn through my swim I knew it was going to be quite a while before any fish would be caught on the pole again so I switched to the feeder and cast out aiming to get close to the island. After a 5 minutes wait I decided to reel back in so I could establish a bed of bait quickly. It was now that I realised the weed problem in my pole swim extended to most areas of the lake. Every time I wound in, my feeder and hook bait would be pulled through clumps of weed. When I finally hauled in “the business end” and was set to re-cast I saw that the coots and moorhens of the lake were diving down into my swim clearly helping themselves to the bait I had just cast out. I cast to 6 different positions along the island’s bank for the best part of 2 hours and every time I brought in a new clump of weed. Leaving the birds to it I went back to the pole and began to frequently feed maggot and caster. 35 minutes past before the float took off charging towards me. My 8 elastic was being tested today. Another trout but this time it was around 2lbs.

This was one of the better returns
With an hour of fishing left I switched back to the feeder, swapping the feeder for a ¾ ounce bomb and 2 foot hooklength. The bites were few a far between but the quiver did eventually register a bite. Striking I felt the fish kicking away, beginning to wind I then a felt the weed and thought the fish must have come off. This time it was the largest clump yet and only after pulling it away from my hook length did I see a long fat gudgeon attached to hook. 

The only coarse fish of the day
It was at this point I decided to call an end to my Rainbow lake session. I know that this lake has only recently been made a mixed fishery but there is something about not catching roach or rudd in a mixed fishery that I find unsettling. Visually, the lake is excellent with almost every swim within casting range of the 2 islands, the access is good and the pegs are evenly spaced. The potential for it to be a good match fishery in the future goes without saying, but for now as a coarse fishing lake, that is where the positives end.

There is lots of potential from all the pegs, if only there were more fish.
There is a huge weed issue making any type of ledger fishing unpleasant. It even makes pole and float fishing difficult and as the weeds rise up in most places around the lake it makes it a potential rig burial ground. But the main issue is the lack of coarse fish in the lake. Fishing solidly for over 5 hours using fine match tactics and very light lines should have yielded at least a few Roach, Rudd or Ide. But sadly the closest I came to any of these was having one of my maggots half chewed, (a tell tale Roach indicator). The lake seems to be incomplete. Indeed with the majority of the focus on the 2 other commercial lakes in the complex and with the near completion of the 3rd which is due to open shortly it seems slightly forgotten. This is a huge shame because as a lake it offers more variety than some of the other commercial style lakes in the area. With some hard work (rooting out the majority of the weed) and a lot more fish this lake could be an excellent natural match fishing venue. However until then, sadly I will be staying away (from this particular lake anyway).

As a rating I would say;

Fishability ** (The potential for options is huge, but at the moment it's really tough)
Accessability **** ½
Value for Money *** (£4 if you’re a Leeds ASA member £6 if you’re not)


Martin said...

Going to Kippax Ponds tomorrow for my first fishing outing in more years than I can remember, hope at least one of the commercial lakes is open.

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