The Angling Trust are always at the forefront of events to promote angling ensuring its future for generations to come. Anglers Paradise was founded by Zyg Gregorek over forty years ago and has undoubtedly sowed the seeds for many anglers who have visited the venue with their families. On Easter Sunday 2022 I attended a family fun fishing day at the day ticket Eldorado complex that was supported by Anglers Paradise, The Angling Trust, Shakespeare, Angling Direct, The Environment Agency, Dynamite Baits and Nash Tackle.
Zenia Drury Gregorek was undoubtedly the driving force behind the event that attracted over seventy eager participants. Coaches from the Angling Trust were joined by keen local anglers to introduce families to the joys of angling. All tackle and bait was provided at this free event with a wealth of expert advice on tap for both total beginners and the more experienced angler. All juniors who took part earned a Get Fishing Certificate Award and badge from the Angling Trust presented by Dean Asplin who is Angling Development Manager for the South of England and South West Angling Development Officer.
I arrived at the venue shortly before the start and enjoyed chatting with the coaches who had travelled from far and wide to assist and support on the day. Amongst the coaches were Roly, Tony King, John Thompson, Andy Payne, Joe Drury, Hassan Khan, Steve Manley, Dan Murrell, Joe Dietrich, Callum Regan and Mark Thorneycroft.
It was to prove a busy day for the coaches with families descending on the venue from far and wide. The event was blessed with warm sunshine during the morning session with the sounds of children’s laughter and adults banter filling the spring air. A few swallows swooped over the water as the coaches explained the finer details of fishing. The majority of families gathered around a lake stocked with a wide variety of smaller fish with whips used in conjunction with float tactics. The young anglers were fascinated by the brightly coloured wriggly maggots and soon focussed upon the brightly coloured floats that bobbed optimistically upon the water to disappear delightfully from time to time as a bejewelled fish from another dimension was lifted from the cloudy waters.
Many caught their first fish and it was great to see the joy and fascination upon so many faces. The coaches gave guidance on how to unhook the fish carefully and return them to the water with minimal harm.
On the lower Lake Hassan Khan of Nash Tackle was joined by Steve Manley and Dan Murrell of Catch to explain the complexities and technicalities of carp fishing. During the morning session the carp showed on the surface in abundance allowing Hassan and his friends to demonstrate the frustration of carp fishing as the carp ignored the carefully presented hook baits. They made up for this in the afternoon session helping a young angler to bank two fine double figure carp.
The event proved a huge success with many families being introduced to angling for the first time. For some this could prove the gateway to a lifetime spent in the great outdoors gaining an in depth appreciation of nature. Angling is recognised as providing a great deal of well-being with significant benefits for mental health.
During the day I attempted to capture a few images of the fishing that will hopefully do more justice than words alone.
Hope to see you there!
Catching those first fish is not always easy so that first venue needs to have a good head of fish. At Blakewell Fishery the Fun Fishing Lake gives young anglers the chance to catch that first fish and of course a tasty treat to take home as well. The Fishery also boasts a waterside cafe overlooking the fish farm where children can also feed the fish. An ideal venue for a family visit.
Thornbury Fishing Lakes near Holsworthy offer some superb fishing ideally suited to families with a good head of carp up to mid doubles. No need for bivvies and all the high tech equipment at these lakes where carp offer great sport using traditional tactics.
Below are a few glimpses of fishing at this peaceful venue that I intend to visit in the not too distant future. Amongst the carp are some lovely lean looking commons that could well have wild carp ancestry.
Agapi Fruit & Fishing is a small lake that nestles in a secluded valley a few miles from Torrington and is reached via quiet country lanes that make its discovery all the more rewarding. I had not visited since last September when I had visited with my wife Pauline and son James and wrote a review on the fishery. http://www.northdevonanglingnews.co.uk/2017/08/24/unique-fishery-agapi-fruit-fishing/
This is a fun fishing venue teaming with rudd and a few carp that have probably grown to a little over 5lb maybe more. I had persuaded Snowbee ambassador Jeff Pearce to join James and I on a fun trip to try and catch a carp using fly fishing tactics. James would act as back up using free lined stalking tactics to get a carp for the camera if Jeff and I failed. Jeff is a dedicated Fly Fisher and loves to catch his fish on Fly Tactics whilst I tend to be a little more flexible in my approach generally using whatever tactics are within the rules to catch. On this occasion however I was going to remain strictly Fly Only!
Jeff was first to tempt a fish a small golden scaled rudd.
This was closely followed by a couple more tiny rudd on Jeff’s small nymph patterns. The fascinating aspect of this being that once a couple had been caught it seemed that the lakes population had been briefed for catching consistently became frustratingly difficult.
James was persisting with the traditional bread tactics and caught a pleasing rudd early in the evening and glimpsed a couple of carp cruising the margins.
After a couple of hours we retired to the lakeside Summerhouse for a well earned cuppa with delicious ham and chutney sandwiches, salad, crisps and Kit Kat’s. Special thanks must go to Sandra for making us welcome and ensuring we didn’t go hungry.
Fortified we returned to the fishing I dabbled my chum mixer fly in the margins and watched the rudd nudge and nibble at it whilst I hoped to see a carp materialize from the green tinged water and devour my offering. Jeff and James had crept up to the shallows where James had spotted a few carp. I strolled up to see how things were going and Jeff said a good carp had slurped up a bit of floating crust from amongst the reeds. James had modified his tactics and was using a chum mixer on the hook that slowly sank with the weight of the hook. This tactic proved successful as the line suddenly zipped tight and the rod hooped over as a carp surged to and fro stirring up clouds of silt as it fought gamely before eventually slipping over the rim of the net. Sandra appeared at this moment to congratulate James on catching the first carp of the season a handsome mirror carp of around 4lb.
Agapi is the perfect venue for a family fishing excursion with hordes of small rudd to ensure plenty of action and the chance of a carp to set the pulse of the young angler racing. This is thie sort of water all young anglers should start off on for many anglers today set their sights so high that they reach the summit too early without enjoying the journey. Of course old timers like me still get immersed in the fascination of the chase and the challenge of catching whatever the lake holds.
If you are going to Agapi I suggest you give Sandra a ring for directions and to book the lake and secure a few hours of tranquil seclusion deep in the countryside.
Easter is an ideal time to take the family to the waters edge and Agapi Fruit and Fishing Lake is an ideal location to catch a few fish in tranquil surroundings. Situated close to Torrington the lake has a healthy population of crimson finned golden rudd and numerous carp that are growing well. As the waters warms the venues carp should be tempted with that traditional of carp baits the floating crust.
WEEKEND FULL OF FISH AND FUN AT ELDORADO
Paul Painter from Exeter, brought his Sons (Jack 7 and Harry 14) to fish the Middle Cat and Carp Lake at Eldorado for 48hrs and managed to catch quite a few fish! They ended up with 45 Carp, 1 Cat and some lovely Koi from the Koi Lake!
Paul said – “It was good to see my boys enjoying the outdoors and catching lots of fish, Jack loved stalking out the beautiful Koi from the Koi Lake and Harry loved stalking out the Carp. Good to spend some quality time with my boys, top rods! Harry and Jack love your Lakes and look forward to their next trip after a nice big Cat for Harry and some Koi for Jack!”
WELL DONE TO THE PAINTER FAMILY – GREAT CATCHES AND TIME SPENT TOGETHER – WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT!