Winter on Willow

As we move forward deeper into Winter, we are looking for more fishing venues to help people to catch more as the cold really starts to set in. We have found over the years when it comes to good Winter fishing besides, the right choice of tactic the choice of water is crucial. We can not all fish the rivers this time of year, so its ideal to target venues which are going to produce bites and hopefully more full nets of fish. On this trip to Willow I followed Dave Williams from the team after being tipped of that Willow is a sure thing in the Winter, with a great mix of fish and Willow did not let us down. The team have not featured Hampton Springs much on the site, but after today its somewhere we are going to be looking into more next year for definite.

We arrived at first light, to a barely 0.5 degrees and a very cold and icy looking water, mist rising and ice on our boots we set about setting up for the day, with limited daylight this time of year we made the most of what we had, we always start early this time of year it is key to take advantage of every second you can to ensure a better day on the bank, we do not have luxury of later afternoon early evening bagging sessions and that all loved golden hour at the end of the session comes all to soon, so in our experience taking advantage of the little time you have is important in conjunction with the right tactic and venue.

We settled on Willow, on the far bank across the bridge and we all agreed this was a magnificent water, well maintained, evenly spaced pegs great features and plenty of space. The water itself was in great colour, plenty of fish topping and one of those waters that looks in great condition for this time of year, with fresh water from the inlet keeping good oxygen levels we had high hopes as we set up and got ourselves ready to catch a few fish. Dave plumbed up his pole lines, sorted his clips and got his plan together, he decided to take a all round approach to his peg, with short and long pole line with feeder work between two small islands, he set his stall out and stuck to it, feeding accurately and consistant during the day, which was one of his keys to his success. 

Straight from the off the fishing was excellent and the sport of the day fantastic, building his swims up, starting with small sliver fish which only grew is size and as the day continued, with the better fish coming in the afternoon towards last light. Dave managed to land nearly 60lb of fish, 40lb of Carp mirror and common, and 20lb of mixed silvers including Barbel, Crucian Carp, Bream, Skimmers, Roach and an abundance of Gudgeon, meaning that the float never stopped going under and the tip rattling or going round.

Willows is the perfect winter venue and even better in the summer, big thanks to Will from Hampton Springs for his support and hospitality, and look forward to going back again in the future. Remember to be accurate and consistent with you feeding and use balanced light tackle and you will be in for a great days on Willow.

Water: Wollow

Peg: 26

Tactics: Pole shallow double red maggot dino F1 float top 2+2. Pole deep 12m double red maggot. Pole deep 6m chopped worm caster..dino silvers float.Potting in chopped worm caster and micros. Maggot feeder fished in between the islands.