Willow Lake

Written By
Dave Williams.

The team like to vist old and new venues alike, todays session was about visiting one of the oldest Fisheries around the cheshire area, most of the team have not fished Willow lake for many years so a trip was planned with hearing of the new owner working hard on the complex to get it back to its former glory. After visiting the venue a couple of weeks earlier and having a great day on Kinfisher lake, the team thought it would be good to try another of the lakes out. Myself and Carl where free on the day but we also had a special company on the day also as we were joined by the new owner Mark Nicholl. Mark had been busy with the fishery over the last couple of months and needed a day off, so when I asked, could we fish Willow, he asked could he fish too (asking to fish your own fishery...strange). Having chatted with Mark the prevous day about bait and tactics we decided to fish the left hand bank with pegs 5, 9 and 10 picked out, bait wise, Mark had told myself and Carl the match was won on the Sunday on Willow and most fish caught on maggots on the deck short so the local tackle shop  Warrington angling Centre was visited and drained of all its maggot stocks the previous day.

The weather conditions on the day where poor to say the least, raining from the off and also a strong breeze to contend with so deciding to keep things simple, the plan of attack for me was a close in Maggot line with top 2 plus 3, a 11.5m line with hard 6mm Pellet and also a chopped worm and castor line to use as a back up for silvers as Mark had told myself and carl the lake was full of them, again close in with top 2 plus 2 for this line. Plumbing up my lines I noticed the lake bed was the same depth from close in to 11,5m out at around 4ft deep max, and I was also thinking if the day did warm up any I would use a Shalla rig over my 11.5m Line with 6mm hard pellets again.

Carl had a similar set up with his rigs, short maggot line feeding heavy by hand on the deck but also had a shalla maggot line over the top for up in the water, a 13m line towards the island again on maggots, and also a couple of margin lines feeding corn and meat to try a bit later on during the day.

Mark set three lines up, top 2 plus 3 Maggots on the deck feeding heavy, a 16m Pellet line and then a swim to the right hand side free pallet on the maggots again big pot feeding.

Starting off on the short maggot line I was feeding around 20 or 30 maggots every couple of minutes to try and get the fish on the feed straight away, I was a bit concerned that after an hour I didnt have a fish to show for my effort so I tweaked the shotting on my rig to give it a bit more of a slow fall throught the water and straight away I had a fish a pristine looking Roach, I continued with this line for a couple of hours and I had a good run of silvers with a couple of nice bream of around 3lb, but I could not get the carp to feed at all. With a few fish in the net now I had a quick try on the worm line dropping it in over the maggot line and was in straight away with another 3lb Bream, (great fun on light elastic), I was having lots of silvers again on the chopped worm with Roach, Skimmers and Perch but still no signs of the Carp. While fishing the close in line I was feeding my longer pellet line via a catapult firing in around 6 6mm pellets every 5 minutes hoping it would draw some carp into my swim with the constant noise.

The weather had broken by midday and th temp was picking up so I swapped over to the long line with 6mm hard pellet on the deck and with my first put in I was greated with a nice looking F1, seeing this gave me a good feeling and to be honest for the next three hours I was right to make the move to the pellet line as I was hitting into a carp every put in, some small F1s, Commons and some tidy looking Mirror carp upto 6lb all coming to the pellet on the deck, but I was noticing the carp where up in the water now so I swapped to the shalla rig still with 6mm pellet over the 11.5m line and continued to pick of some tidy looking carp and loosing some along the way too.

Carl had a similar day with plenty of fish falling to the short maggot line but also hitting into some lovely silvers on the shalla maggot line also, Carl also managed a few good carp on the longer line again feeding maggots on the deck a couple of metres off the island, and for the last hour of the session he picked off some nice carp in the margins to his left on 8mm cubed meat.

Mark continued with the maggots close in and started picking off some nice F1,s together with lots of Commons and Mirrors, switching over to the 16m long pellet line it was not long before the elastic was out and a carp was on, with some nice fish to 8lb coming out, mark found a few nice carp down to the right hand pallet where he had been feeding maggots heavy later on in the day.

Set ups for the day.
Maggot line. Dino Gino 0.4g float, 0.13 main line to 0.11 hooklength and a 18s hook.
Chopped worm Line, Dino Chi Chi 0.4g to 0.13 main line to 0.11 hooklength and a 18s hook.
Pellet line, Dino Duke 0.4g float, 0.15mainline to 0.13 hooklength and a 16s hook with a bait band

Chopped worm Castor I used a glug of The Juice from Bait-Tech to give it a bit more sweetness.
Pellets, I always use Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse Pellets depending on fishery rules.

Marks set up for the day,
Maggot line, Preston Des Ship 4x12 0.13 mainline to 0.11 hooklength to a size 20s hook.
Pallet line, Des Ship Margin 0.15 mainline to 0.13 hooklength to a 16s hook.

Carls set up for the day,
Maggot line 1, Maver 0.3g Invincible Float, again 0.13 mainline to 0.11 hooklength and a 18s hook.
Long pole line, Maver 0.4 Invincible Flaot, 0.15 mainline to 0.13 hooklength and a 18s hook again.

Carl got through three pints on maggots during the day and also fed two big tins of corn down his edges and got through a big tin of meat for the hook.

It was nice to revisit and fish Willow lake after so long, again Mark has the vision to make a lot of things happen at the fishery and his vision is already taking shape, if you are looking for somewhere to fish and never been before, give this place a visit.

Tight Lines
Dave Williams.