South West Lakes Trust Trout Fisheries Report

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South West Lakes Trust Trout Fisheries Report

December 2020

General:

All of South West Lakes’ rainbow trout fisheries will stay open until 24 December. Please see website for details on tickets and prices as well as the latest Covid19 advice and restrictions – www.swlakesfishing.co.uk. Note that tickets may only be purchased online or over the telephone on 01566 771930. Water temperatures have been falling over all of the sites and, with stocking continuing through the month, the fishing has continued to be good with the fish lying in deeper water as the month progressed.

At Kennick the boat anglers enjoyed the best sport. Mr. M.Ure netted 14 fish, while Andy Birkett from Plymouth caught a bag of 13 fish up to 2lb 12oz in one session while drifting off the East Wall, pulling small white fry patterns about six feet down, and 12 fish on another visit. Matt Baines caught the best fish of the month – a rainbow of 3lb 5oz. Kevin Primmer caught rainbows of 3lb 4oz and 3lb in a bag of four fish.

Burrator continued to produce consistent sport using deeper fished gold-head patterns (Blue-flash Damsels and Montanas) and sunk lures, with plenty of fish up to 2lb caught, as well as a good number of blue trout.

The fishing at Stithians showed a marked improvement, with a number of reasonable bags (John Henderson caught nine fish up to 2lbs+ using orange patterns) and plenty of fish around 2lb being caught, the best being 2lb 8oz, mainly on sunk nymphs and lures, although George Eustace did manage to pick up a rainbow on an Olive and Black Hopper.

Season Summary:

In spite of the Covid restrictions, and the ‘stop-start’ availability of fishing, the 2020 season produced some good fishing across the region, especially at Burrator, Kennick and Siblyback, while the fishing improved toward the end of the season at Stithians and Roadford produced some outstanding sport in the last few months.

The season started with the hugely successful Fly Fair at Roadford at the end of February, with many anglers in attendance, exhibits, trade stands and demonstrations. The Peninsula Classic Bank Competition at Kennick in October was won (for the fourth time) by Andy Gooding (from Liverton), catching five rainbows weighing in at 10lb 5oz, using Damsel Nymphs and a Black and Green Lure.

The new fishing club at Siblyback continued to build up numbers and hosted a number of events this season, including competitions, fly tying evenings and other social gatherings and are continuing to welcome new members (contact: derek.aungerbtinternet.com).

Dave Matthews – Siblyback Fly Fishers Association Competition

Fisheries Summary:

Siblyback: Best fish – 8lb 4oz rainbow, caught  by George Hext; the best brown was a 4lb fish caught by Stephen Pearce. Fishery rod average 2.7 fish

Kennick:  Best fish – 5lb 10z rainbow caught by Kevin Primmer. Fishery rod average 2.7 fish

Stithians: Best fish – 4lb 8oz rainbow caught by Roger Marks. Fishery rod average 1.4 fish

Burrator: Best fish – 5lb 8oz rainbow caught by Paul Lee; the best brown was a 4lb fish caught by Kevin Sellar.  Fishery rod average 3.5 fish

Colliford: Best fish – 3lb brown trout caught by Dean Boucher. Fishery rod average 2.6 fish

Fernworthy: Rod average 2.7 fish, up to 2lb 4oz

Roadford: Best fish – 3lb 8oz brown trout caught by Duncan Kier; fishery rod average 4.4 fish

The season opening dates and prices for 2020 will be posted (along with other information) on the website and on the ‘Trout Fishing South West Lakes Trust’ Facebook page.

SOUTH WEST LAKES TRUST – OPENING STATEMENT

See below statement regarding the opening of South West Lakes Trust Waters. At present there is no night fishing in line with the government guidance that states no staying away from home. It is to be hoped that this will be reviewed at some point to allow 24 hours angling.

Please find below the link to our website which has the amended rules for the re-opening of fisheries and guidance around social distancing and measures to protect everyone. Its ESSENTIAL you read this information as it also includes a new update on night fishing which will not be permitted at this stage.

Fishing will be dawn to dusk with the exception of tomorrow 13 May when the fisheries re-open at 10am.

https://coarse.swlakesfishing.co.uk/coarse-angling-coronavirus-information/

This statement applies to both coarse and trout fishing.

Thankyou for your patience and understanding at this time.

Ben Smeeth

Coarse Angling: Coronavirus Information – SW Lakes Coarse Fishing
Issue date: 12 May 2020 15:45 Prior to every fishing trip, it is essential that you check the information on this page to ensure that you are up to date with relevant site information, rules and regulations. In line with government guidance to continue to stay home but enjoy more time outdoors we ar…
coarse.swlakesfishing.co.uk

Big South West Lakes Carp!

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Its not a North Devon carp but thought it worth sharing as its a superb West Country Specimen!

Massive well done to Wayne Bateman for catching ‘the secret’ from Argal reservoir at 40lb 2oz! Argal, part of the South West Lakes portfolio, has been in really good form recently.
Wayne caught it on a very big bed of mainline fibre boilies fished snowman rig style along with a 3.5oz Westcountryleads flat pear. Congratulations Wayne!

SOUTH WEST FLY FAIR 2020

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Ben Smeeth – Head of Fishing at South West Lakes Trust

The South West Fly Fair at Roadford Lake has become a popular fixture on the West Country angling calendar and always attracts a healthy number of the regions fly fishing enthusiasts. Falling on the eve of a new season the event is always good for stocking up with tackle and catching up with fellow anglers rekindling old friendships and forming new ones.

The Casterbridge Fishery Team

There is always a strong focus on the environment that is vital to the health of ourselves and the fish we seek. After a stormy winter with exceptional rainfall anglers are looking forward to warmer months rising trout and perhaps silver sea trout and salmon.

Gary Champion give a casting demonstration during a lull in the blustery weather.

This year’s event was sponsored by Chevron Hackles. Chevron are a local company who produce top quality fly tying hackles for the discerning Fly tyer.

The following stall holders were present :- Alan Riddell Rods, Arundell Arms, Turral, Homeleigh Angling Centre, Chevron Hackles ( Show Sponsor) Snowbee UK, Casterbridge Fisheries, Luke Bannister Split Cane Rods, British Float Tube Association, Second Hand Tackle Sale, Wild Trout Trust, Author Wayne Thomas, West Country River Trust, South West Lakes, South West Lakes Invasive Species, Virtual Nymph, Grayling society and Launceston Anglers, Milemead Fish Farm, Torre Trout Farms.

The following stall holders were present :- Alan Riddell Rods, Arundell Arms, Turral, Homeleigh Angling Centre, Chevron Hackles ( Show Sponsor) Snowbee UK, Casterbridge Fisheries, Luke Bannister Split Cane Rods, British Float Tube Association, Second Hand Tackle Sale, Wild Trout Trust, Author Wayne Thomas, West Country River Trust, South West Lakes, South West Lakes Invasive Species, Virtual Nymph, Grayling society and Launceston Anglers, Milemead Fish Farm, Torre Trout Farms.

Plenty of flies to tempt both anglers and trout!

TRUSTY WATERS YIELD CARP A PLENTY

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Ben Smeeth Updates from trusty waters.

Update from Sam Gilhespy on his Upper Tamar campaign… cracking stuff thanks Sam…

Well at the beginning of August Jordan John Marsh & I decided to do a year campaign on Upper Tamar lake….
So far the campaign has got off to an absolute flyer, resulting in 43 fish 14 of which were 20s and one very special Upper Tamar gem!!

We never imagined 2 sessions would have kicked off and produced the amount of fish we have had so far. After putting a lot of time and effort into the lake, Me & Jordan have located some very frequently visited feeding spots which have produced fish that I have been waiting for, for over 10 years.
The variety and quality of the fish we have caught over these recent sessions are , in our opinion, second to none . Let’s hope there are plenty more surprises to come in the months ahead. Majority of fish have been caught on Nash scopex squid boilies.

Winter opening hours Tamar tackle shop.

From now till mid March our well stocked on site shop will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8 AM- 4:30 PM

(Above) Aaron Jones had an Epic 12 hour session after work on Melbury Friday night in the storm packing up at 6am before getting blown away!
Aaron caught single scale at 24.8lb and a mint common at 22lb and also lost 2.
All fish taken off a pre baited area on Nash 20mm scopex squid.

Woods and Ford win £2000 at Upper Tamar’s Mainline carp open

Woods and Ford win £2000 at Upper Tamar’s Mainline carp open

John Kneebone (Mainline Baits), Nigel Woods, Rich Ford, Ben Smeeth (SW lakes)
(Above)Rich-Ford-and-Nigel-Woods-17lb-14oz-mirror-carp

The third and final Mainline Baits carp open pairs at Upper Tamar took place from 4-6 October. 33 pairs turned out for the final event of the year with £3500 up for grabs. Anglers chose their swims, collected a mainline goody bag and were transported to their pegs. Fishing began at 4pm on the Friday and ended after 45 hours at 1pm on the Sunday.

The weather was rough to say the least, very strong winds hammered the anglers through Friday evening giving way to a much calmer Saturday and Sunday. The fishing was hard, but this made for a really great competition which went right down to the wire.

Nigel Woods and Rich Ford (Launceston) scooped the top prize of £2000 with 4 carp for a weight of 49lb 1oz from peg 20 on the Cornwall bank. Nigel and Rich’s win followed on from winning the July competition and finishing third in the March event to cap a fine year at the prolific venue.

They held off a fantastic late flurry from Dave Bellew and Steve Lovell (Somerset) who caught three fish on the Sunday morning to finish on 47lbs 12oz and less than 2lb behind the winners. Dave and Steve collected £1000 for the runners up spot.

Jeff Watts and Simon Sweet (St Austell) were third and won £500 for their 3 carp with a total weight of 30lbs 13oz.

Largest fish winning 2kg of Mainline spod and PVA mix was Daniel Comaneci (London) who had a cracking 21lb 14oz mirror carp. Smallest fish, winning 2kg of Mainline spod and PVA mix was Karl Yates (Bude) who had a 9lb 13oz common carp.

Section winners winning 5kg of Mainline freezer baits boilies were:

Mervyn Beal and Danny Peters

Jamie Rusling and Nick White

Ben and Matt Cooper

Daniel and Tiberiu Comaneci

Massive thank you to Mainline Baits for their sponsorship.

The next Mainline pairs competition is 27-29 March 2020 and bookings can be made on 01566 771930.

(Above)Daniel-and-Tiberiu-Comaneci-21lb-14oz-Mirror-carp.

UNLOCKING ROADFORD’S SECRETS

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.