Occasionally I manage to find the time to do what I love, coarse fishing. Often I prefer hard waters which can give good rewards if your patient, however with the rise of the Commercial fisheries its hard not to see the appeal of going womewhere you are pretty much guarenteed to catch. Off to Wrightington fisheries in Wigan it was then, surely there is no better water to catch than the 3 lake complex nestled on the hilltop overlooking the surrounding countryside?
Upon arrival there are 3 lakes to choose from and all look perfect for a days fishing, all are stuffed full of fish which run to specimen sizes and all can be fished with the whole range of methods which will produce good hauls, pleasure sessions often yeild double figure weights with 100lb easily acheivable on the right day.
As I said I like to make life difficult for myself so my choice is the pole fishing Hemp & Tares with the target species being the nice stock of roach which the lakes hold yet are seldom fished for. Opting for a hot peg on Wrightington’s Horse Shoe Lake with a lovely large lilly bed, and overhanging tree’s seemed a good choice. I begin to set up, plumbing the depth reveals around 3-4ft of water pretty consistently across the swim, I opt for a simple float rig with strung out Olivette weights to allow a slow sinking hook bait, presented on a size 16 barbless hook to any fish lurking in the chocolate coloured water.
When ever fishing a new peg for the first time I always like to try a few different swims and methods to improve my chances of catching, especially during a pleasure session, as if nothing else it gives you the chance to try something new if things go quiet or get too repetative, believe it or not catching fish sometimes gets boring for me, I like to catch a variety and to see if I can tempt a particular type by varying my method, bait or fedding pattern, just to stop myself falling alseep and into the water!
Three lines, two really close to the bank either side of the swim and one further out at about 8 metres next to the lilly bed. I like to feed one close swim with a few loose offerings throughout the day which I will fish for the last hour or so, leaving an area undisturbed can bring some nice bonus fish later on, which can be really useful in a match situtation.
Hemp & Tares the bait and Roach the target species, I pot in a couple of pots of hemp into the 8 metre line and throw and few grains into the righthand margin swim, lightly piercing a plump cooked Tare on the hook I flick the rig into the margin swim, immediatley the float slides away, unfortunately my reactions are far too slow as I underestimate the speed of the bites when Hemp & Tare fishing on the drop. Back in I go to be reward with another quick bite and a small roach of about 3-4 ounces comes to the net. repeating the drip feed produces a bite a chuck and plenty more small Roach whilst building the swim for the chance of a bigger fish. Introduction of a few tares into the loosefeed and a pot of mixed Hemp & Tares on the lilly swim gives me the chance to try this area whilst resting the inside line. Bites are a lot slower on the 8m line and patience pays off with more small Roach, a switch back to the inside line produces some better Roach and a steadier catch rate over the next couple of hours and a nice weight of fish building up.
With the inside line producing consistently well I step up the feed rate and start to notice the fish boiling in the swim as they seek out the free offerings, a few large swirls indicate the presence of bigger fish probably Carp and then a snatched Tare on the drop and a lighting fast run into the lillies result in a lost fish and broken hook, snapped clean in half which shows how hard they hit the bait on this method, a quick change to a stronger hook gets me back amongst the fish and dropping the feed rate bring the Roach back. TThe fishing is good at Wrightington and the bonus with so many fish is you can experiment, so on goes double red maggot, instantly Rudd to about half a pound start to grab the hookbait, I assume the slower descent allowing the surface feeders to intercept them before the Roach, stepping up the feed rate brings back the Carp and a hrd fighting fish gives me the run around before gracing the net, several bigger fish from the 8m line run me into the lilly bed and escape capture, making me wish I’d set up the float rod!
Sticking with the general plan of feeding hemp & tares but wanting to see what else can be caught from this heavily stocked water I start to try and experiment with larger baits, 8-10 white maggots – the maggot ball, proves too irresistable for the Carp and another 3 to around 5lb come in quick succession, dropping to double red maggot produces a succession of Skimmer Bream to around the pound mark which makes for a nice change from the hard fighting fish I was becoming accustomed too.
After a while the Fishery Owner Paul shows up, he’s never far from the fishery and is constantly improving the waters for the benefit fo the Anglers who spend their time and money at the fishery, added to the fact the he’s one of the nicest guys you are likely to meet, the chat we have is a nice break from the fishing which has been frantic since the off.
During the day so far remember the left inside line which has been drip fed with corn & hemp throughout the session, the end of my session is approaching and I’m keen to try the area i’ve eagerly been waiting for, sticking with the theme I try a single Tare, first cast results in another good sized roach, second cast a Bream of a pound, a change of bait to sweetcorm produces another Carp and another skimmer, double red or white maggot produces more roach and rudd, resting the swim revert back to the inside right line which has produced consistently throughout my session, back on the Tare an Orfe decides to get in on the action, pretty fish but you need sun glasses just to look at the thing without blinding yourself, still its a nice treat to have the variety of fish in a session and its keeps things interesting, several more Carp fall to sweetcorm on the lilly line and as the light fades I decide to call it a day, all in all the total weight of my catch was around the 40lb mark which is not bad for a 5 hour evening session, although much more could have been caught if I was quicker at striking or stopping the Carp from running into the lillies, I said early it seemed a good idea to fish near the lilly bed however I wasn’t geared up strong enough to handle the runs, a lesson learnt and next time I will take a rod and line, but thats why fishing is so good, each time is different and each session is a lesson. Tight lines if you try any of the waters at Wrightington, i’m sure you will have a good session and see the hard work & TLC that the owner Paul has put into this first class fishery with very reasonable ticket prices.