South West Lakes Trust Trout Fisheries Report
Boat and bank fishing is available to anglers, with day tickets on sale through the SW Lakes Fishing website or via telephone (01566 771930). Due to Covid19 precautions, self-service permit huts still remain closed at the time of writing. Certain restrictions continue to operate and anglers are asked to read the latest Angling Trust advice with regard to health and social distancing – this information is also available on the SW Lakes Fishing website – https://trout.swlakesfishing.co.uk. Where boats are available, these must be pre-booked and strict guidelines must be followed regarding their use (see website for details). Catch returns also need to be completed online, where the latest weekly catch reports will be available to view.
Kennick – The Rhododendrons are now in full bloom and the fishery is looking stunning. Boat fishing over deeper water has generally proved to be the most successful throughout July and, although some fish have been tempted up to look at dries and Hoppers, most fish have preferred to stay in the deeper water where Blobs and Boobies have produced good results. Plenty of fish over 3lb have been caught, with some large bags caught on catch-and-release tickets; rods averaged 2.7 fish per angler. In addition to deep-fished lures, weighted nymphs (Damsels, Montanas and Diawl Bachs) have also caught fish. Michael Herring (from Thurlstone) caught the best fish of the month – a 3lb 14oz rainbow, fishing deep from a boat. Mr. M. Ure had some excellent sessions from a boat, catching bags of 19 fish, 16 fish and 15 fish on separate occasions. Mr P.Brown caught a bag of 17 rainbows, fishing from a boat over the deeper water.
Siblyback – The changeable weather produced mixed fishing at Siblyback, with some weeks producing excellent sport (averaging 3.5 fish per angler) and superb fish, while others proving to be more challenging. Stocky Bay produced consistently good sport, while Crylla Bay, Marshes and the North Bank all fished well. Fish were still looking up to feed, and dry patterns (Black Beetles, Sedgehogs and Hoppers) all tempted fish. Sub-surface nymphs and wets (Damsels, Montanas and Black Buzzers) caught well throughout the month, with anglers also catching on fry patterns and lures (Kennick Killer and Orange Fritz in particular). Jamie Gilman caught the best fish of the month – a 5lb 8oz rainbow, as part of a bag of seven fish. A late return from George Hext reported that he had caught a rainbow of 8lb 4oz back in May – the best fish of the season (so far).
Stithians – Weekly rod averages have been up to 2.3 fish per angler, with plenty of fish over 2lb, the best being rainbows of 2lb 12oz caught by Steve Glanville and Mike Freeman. The best locations included Goonlaze, Pub Bay, Mossops and Carnmenellis, with fish being caught on a selection of dries (Sedges, Klinkhammers, Black Gnats and Beetles) or sub-surface nymphs and wets (Pheasant Tail Nymph, Mallard and Claret, Black Buzzers and Black Pennel).
Burrator – With weekly rod averages up to 3.5 fish per angler, Burrator continues to fish well and produced some outstanding days’ sport – Paul Lee caught 28 fish from a boat using a selection of Boobies, Blobs and Dry patterns on sinking and midge-tip lines. Generally wet patterns and lures have produced the best results (Damsels, Montanas and teams of Buzzers, or Orange Blobs, Boobies and Kennick Killers), while Klinkhammers and Black Gnats attracted some fish to the surface. Longstone Point and Sheepstor bank produced consistent sport from the shore, while boat anglers enjoyed success off Lowery Point and in the deeper central water. Simon Jeffries caught a 3lb 8oz rainbow (as part of a full bag) from Longstone Bank using a Kennick Killer, and M. Baines also caught a 3lb 8oz rainbow from Sheepstor Bank, using an Orange Cruncher.
Colliford – Some nice grown-on brownies were caught over the month, with Dean Boucher catching fish of 2lb 4oz on two occasions and Chris Clarke catching a 2lb brownie on a Brown Nymph. In addition to keeping on the move to cover as much bank as possible (with Redhill Flats, Lords Waste, Browngelly Bay and Gillhouse Bay all proving popular), it pays to vary the fly pattern and type according to conditions – with Soldier Palmers, Zulus, Black Hoppers, Beetles, Hares Ear Nymphs, Diawl Bachs, Sedge Pupae and weighted Damsels all catching well.
Fernworthy continued to produce some great sport, with anglers averaging 2.5 fish per visit – amongst these were plenty of full bags. George Hext caught a bag of 11 fish using a Black dry Sedge and Black Beaded Nymphs, while Nigel Easton caught a grown-on brown of 2lb using a Bibio pattern. Fish have been free rising, taking emerging midges and sedges, with a selection of traditional dry and wet patterns all catching well (Kate McClaren, Silver Invicta, Bibio, Coch-y-Bondhu, Diawl Bach, Soldier Palmer, Sedgehog, Zulu and Klinkhammer). Most banks have produced sport, with Thornworthy Bank, North Shore, Fishery Hut Bay, Farmhouse bank and Lowton Bay all mentioned in catch returns, with fish often tight into the bank in less than 12” of water.
Roadford – At last the fishing has begun to pick up at Roadford! Jeff Ferguson caught 7 brownies to 1lb 4oz using small nymph patterns (Pheasant Tail nymph and Black Buzzer), while Duncan Kier (from Belstone) had a superb morning fishing from a boat over the boils – the fish were high in the water and took a fast pulled fly (Squinky) almost as soon as it hit the water. Duncan netted five fish – the best a cracking 3lb 8oz grown-on brown in superb condition. The fishing is at its best at Roadford when there is some good cloud cover – currently this seems to be a far more important consideration than the time of day.
Perch fishing (from the boat only) is currently available – this must be pre-booked (see website for more details), and some great fish as well as large bags have been caught. Bruce Elston caught over 60 fish up to 2lb 8oz on one visit and over 30 fish, with five over 2lb, on another while Mike Stone (from Starcross) caught a beautiful 2lb perch.
South West Lakes Trust have been running a month long trial at the 700 acre Roadford Reservoir to ascertain its perch fishing potential. During August boats have been available for anglers to target the venues perch using lure fishing tactics. The venue is normally fly only with brown trout the target.
Previous trials have enabled anglers to catch perch to over three pounds with good numbers of fish over 2lb. Fly anglers targeting the lakes brown trout sometimes get frustrated with the huge numbers of small perch present. These small perch undoubtedly provide food for the larger perch and big trout.
The opportunity to explore this potential was too good an opportunity to miss. So when my long time angling friend Bruce Elstone invited me to share a boat with him I jumped at the chance.
Bank Holiday Monday saw us arrive at the Lake as the early morning mist began to clear. The forecast was for a hot sunny day, far from ideal conditions to target the venues perch. But with only a limited time at hand we could not choose our day.
We set off to explore targeting fish in the bays. The low level of the lake revealed the skeletal remains of the many trees that had been drowned in the flooding of the valley years before.
I started off using a jig headed soft plastic lure on the point and a small drop shot pattern a couple of feet above. Within minutes I was catching small perch almost every cast. Bruce searched the bay with a spinner but to our surprise failed to tempt the small perch.
Bruce changed tactics using a slow jig pattern that flickered tantalizingly as it was worked beneath the boat. This worked well and Bruce was soon catching the small perch in good numbers. Having caught plenty of small perch we now hoped for that bigger fish and eventually Bruce’s rod took on a more pleasing curve. After a short tussle the pleasing sight of a big perch materialised beside the boat where it was safely netted. At 2lb 4oz it was a good start to the day. Minutes later it was my turn as a fish of 1lb 14oz seized my dropshot lure.
The hot sun beat down on the calm lake as sailing yachts attempted to find the breeze. Bruce successfully tempted several more decent perch using the slow jig patterns while I struggled to catch further bigger perch. Frequent changes of lure pattern brought frustratingly little success to my rod.
As the day progressed we listened intently as the Ashes Test Match progressed with victory for England seeming increasingly unlikely.
Mid-afternoon and we decided to head to the café for refreshment. The Test Match continued with England down to just one wicket. Half an hour later as we headed to the lake the cricket continued and our focus turned increasingly to the drama of the Test match.
We fished in the bay dropping our lures in search of perch whilst listening intently to the unfolding drama of the Test Match. When Ben Stokes hit the winning runs we both shouted out across the lake in unison to celebrate an unlikely victory for England. Moments later Bruce’s rod bent as a large weight tugged at the end of the line. Instead of a monster perch up came a brace of two pounders, one on the slow jig and one to the drop shot lure!
Does life get much better ?
We searched the lake for more perch as the evening approached. With little success we returned to the bay where we had enjoyed success earlier in the day. As the light faded Bruce hooked a very large fish on a small plug that came off after a few moments. We were convinced that this would have been the biggest fish of the day. The next half hour proved frustrating as perch hit the lures without getting hooked. Judging by the swirls and heavy thumps on the rod these were big fish.
Hopefully there will be further trials and if there are we will be back in search of the big specimen perch that undoubtedly lurk within this vast water. Strangely we caught no trout on lures reinforcing my believe that the fly is often a far more productive method for tempting trout.
Dan Spearman had a cracking day at Upper Tamar yesterday targeting the big perch. Dan had two over 3lbs with the largest at 3.10 caught on bait. Dan had lots of smaller fish in challenging conditions – it was blowing a gale!
The renowned venue on the Devon Cornwall border features in the forthcoming episode of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing.
PERCH FISHING OPPORTUNITY!
Roadford Lake will be open for PERCH fishing during August. The 730 acre water has a large head of Perch, and some real specimens, with fish well over 3lbs having been caught in the past. It’s the ‘unknown mystery’ that makes this opportunity so appealing – the potential of a real monster uncaught stripey! Half a days test fishing has produced lots of fish to just over 3lbs so there will be plenty of action! They have never been targeted before!
The Perch fishing is by boat ONLY and boats can be booked on 01409 211507 at a cost of £15 for the day. Day tickets are £10 per person per day and available from the self service permit room at the Activity and Angling Centre. We have a petrol engine which is available at £9 per day or you can bring an electric engine. Oars are provided. Don’t miss out on this opportunity – it’s only for one month!
To view the Perch Fishing Regulations visit http://bit.ly/roadfordperch
There is far more to Upper and Lower Tamar Lake than carp with a vast range of other coarse fish swimming within these waters. A concerted effort could I am sure bring some huge rewards with potential record breakers. Both lakes contain huge perch and eels. There are also specimen roach, bream and some large wild brown trout. The lower lake once held populations of specimen rudd and tench.
A superb multi species capture from Lower Tamar:
Between Aaron Bunning and his friend Dan they had 5 bream ranging from 6lb 8oz and 9lb, a huge hybrid of around 5lb, two carp of mid doubles and 23lb 12oz, a single perch of around 1lb 8oz, three eels to 2lb and a single trout. All fish fell to a large bed of pellets and particles, hookbaits consisted of maggots, fake corn and 12mm nashbait pop-ups. Aaron commented ‘Made a pleasant change to put the carp rods away and have a fun session with the lighter gear’.
Stafford Moor is renowned for its Specimen Carp and bumper Match fishing nets but is also holds a good head of other specimen fish including perch and huge eels. Neilsen Jeffery is a well known Match angler but enjoyed a great pleasure session on Beatties Lake landing several bream and this stunning perch of 3lb.
Alan Blair has had an amazing perch haul from Upper Tamar lake, on the Cornwall and Devon border. He caught nine perch, five of which were over 3lb in weight with the largest being 3lb 9oz. The smallest was 2lb 2oz! Alan used Nashbait Spod Cloud groundbait to get the small silver fish in the swim before the Perch moved in and seized his prawn hook-baits. Upper Tamar is renowned for its stock of large perch and its only a matter of time before a 5lb+ fish is caught.