this weekend i was to be fishing a venue about 20 miles from home called Smeatons Lakes, the complex itself is a caravan site with excellent facilities, a small shop for all your basic needs and some brilliant walks and bike rides.
Normally, Me, Mum and Dad would go on a friday night and have all weekend to chill out, this weekend we couldnt be at the campsite until 3pm on Saturday as i was at work in the morning. Upon arrival we were happy to see the sun shining and weather nice.
The Venue itself consists of 3 ponds,
The Reed Pond- firstly i will tell you that all of the ponds are Gravel pits, Reed Pond is up to 25 foot deep in places and is a big featureless lake home to some collossal fish, noted catched include plenty of bream over 10lb, some Big Tench, Pike, Perch, Roach and pretty all fish to specimen sizes.
The Burrows Pond- So called because of the amount of Rabbits which burrow here, at one point the burrowing became so bad that the bank nearly collapsed on the far side of the pond. This pond is much smaller than Reed Pond but again is home to some big fish. Most notably, Carp, Tench, Bream and Perch. Fishing on the whip or pole will get you bites from silvers all day while Fishing on the feeder has provided both me and other Fisherman with some cracking bream and Tench!
There is also a specimen pond on site, and whilst both the other ponds are still home to big carp up to 30lb the carp in the specimen pond are rumoured to go even bigger! Smeatons also own a Stretch of the Trent ( about 7 pegs) and this is notorious for Barbel, not to mention the " finger ponds" which are also owned by smeatons, cant say ive fished these much but boy do they look brilliant!
Anyway, enough of my Ramblings, lets talk about my day.
Saturday Evening ( Reed Pond)
come half Past 3 the caravan was all set up and i was given the go ahead to start fishing, this weekend i had only travelled light, id took with me my 1.75 TC Barbel Rod, my Seatbox and a Daiwa Carryall full of odds and ends and my bait.
View From the Caravan, Overlooking the lake.
As you can see the pond was very Choppy today, the pictures dont really show just how bad it was.
Heres the View of my peg.
After setting up my rod i proceeded to set up my rig for the day, this consisted of 4lb Ultima mainline, with a Drennan Loaded Insert Waggler ( 1.5g + 1bb) and 2lb Daiwa TDR Rig line.
Chose this line for my Hoolink as the Breaking Strain is very good for the diamater and ive found it to be very good. if im going to picky i will say that the knots on it arent too good, i find the line kinks when tying the smallest of knots!
The Business end was a size 20 Drennan specialist Hook With a single maggot.
I plumbed up and found that the depth went from about 1 and a half foot in front of me, straight down to about 8-10 foot, the wind was so bad i was forced to fish just over a rod length out ( still a good 8 foot deep!!). I fed little and often with maggots but found that they just werent having it tonight and after a few hours i packed up after having only one bite which was missed! :(
Sunday Morning- Burrows Pond
Ahh, After a blissful night sleep i was up at 5:45 ready for my Session on Burrows, today i was planning on bagging up on Roach and maybe going after a few decent sized ones as well, having gathered my gear i made my way to peg on the other pond. The Peg in question is pictured below, in summer lilly pads bloom to your left And to your right and it makes it a brilliant place to fish, not only in terms of scenery but also you can really bag up!
Baitwise today i had ,
A bag of Dynamite Baits 3mm Swim Stim Pellets
my Setup Today consisted of 4lb Ultima Power mainline straight through, normally i wouldnt use such a beefy setup for small fish but there is a big chance of hooking a Tench or a Bream.
Fished this with a smaller Insert Waggler ( 1g +1bb) as Burrows tends to be quite sheltered against the wind, to a size 20 hook which would hold either single caster or maggot.
Plumbed up around 6 foot at 2 rod lengths out, not too bad i suppose seeing as some pegs can be 10 foot deep. First put in i fed a dozen micros , a few Casters and a pinch of maggots just so i could alternate hookbaits throughout the day. within minutes i was rewarded with a swift bite which was missed. this was followed by another 3 before i eventually hooked one and lost it at my feet ( Small perch ).
Having kept feeding a dozen micros or casters my Swim completely died, i had the same problem last week on a commercial water where i either overfed them or they just switched off. i kept getting little nudges of the float but it was no good.
Come 9 o clock i was getting a bit frustrated, id had a go on the feeder but not even managed a nudge after fishing with it an hour, so it called for extreme measures.
Out came the spare spool with 2.5lb line, straight through again to a size 20 hook.. Again. my plan was to fish caster Shallow for the Roach. and it worked, i didnt go home empty handed and i was rewarded with 2 5-8oz Roach and a very small Rudd. must have missed about 30 bites, it wasnt until i changed to a size 16 hook that i managed to hit a few!
Was happy with today, its been a long time since ive been able to relax and fish, i find you cant do this while fishing the pole, i always managed to spot some local wildlife in the form of a Mink, theres a few of these abotu at smeatons, and whilse some people think they are a nuisance i quite like the little things.
Heres a few pics i managed to get.
Just near the Tree on this one.
And this is my Favourite, i managed to get right up close and got a stunning shot of him( or her) i reckon.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the read, i will be returning sometime later in spring to have a go at the Tench.
more info on the venue.