Cats Rough

Written By
Dave Williams.

July 2017

Hard fighters at the Rough. Cats Rough Fishery Cheshire.

I visited Cats Rough during the winter and had 1 Carp to show for my efforts of around 16lb, and I decided then I would return during the spring or summer, last week I revisited the venue in the hope I would be able to catch a few more than my last visit. For those of you who dont know Cats Rough, it is located in the small village of Mouldsworth in Cheshire, it is a 2.5 acre sheltered  coarse fishing lake and it is stocked with Carp, Tench, Rudd, Roach and Bream.The lake itself is a stunning looking lake with a central island with lots of well established lilly pads for all manner of fish life to take cover and to thrive within.

I planned my visit and decided to have a session fishing for the large amount of carp that they have stocked in the lake, and I believe they go upto 28lb, I had a chat with Billy the bailiff and he told me to fish in front of the island but not close up tight to it as the carp have a reputable reputation of running you straight into the lillys surrounding it, so with the advice Billy gave me I fancied an open water peg but still insite of the island if I fancied chucking a feeder to it during the session, but my main plan of attack would be fishing 13m out on the pole shallow with Bait-Tech 8mm Fishmeal Carp Pellets soaked in Bait-Tech Hemp Oil, and also I would have a close in line of 6mm Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse pellets and another line with red maggots and Natural corn to see if I could get the Silvers going too, I also set a small method feeder up with 2mm Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse pellets, and for the hook it would be Bait-Tech The juice Dumbells 8mm and 10mm Wafters.

Prepping my 8mm pellets with a couple of cap fulls of Hemp oil I gave them a good shake around and then left them to one side for a good 30 minutes while I set up my gear for the session, Feeder rod was set up with 8lb line to a small Maver method feeder and the hooklink was a  Maver CS24 hook with a band to 6lb line just incase I happened to hit into one of the big girls in the lake, Waggler rod was set with 8lb main line with a 4g UFO Waggler float down to a short hook link with a Maver CS 26 size 16 hook with a band, and the Pole was set up with 3 kits, a on the deck Pellet rig with a Dino Gino 0.5g Float and the same float for the maggot set up too., and my 13m Shalla rig was a 0.2g Dino Bob Float.

Starting off on the pole with pellet close in I was confident in catching straight away,  I fed a small pot of  micros in then lowered the pellet in over the top and I could tell my bait had settled as the last dropper shot brought the bristle of the float to a mere dot on the surface film and then vanished from sight, my first fish was on and not rearly knowing if it was going to be a monster or a smaller fish the elastic was stretched and a lovely looking 4lb Mirror Carp was in the net, shipping in again I repeated the process of potting in some micros and lowered the pellet over the free offerings all the time watching the float for any movements or dips, agin the float was away with a confident take and another smaller mirror was in the net. It was a busy line for the next hour with plenty of Mirrors and Commons falling to the pellet, while I was fishing this line I was firing out around 6 8mm pellets every few minutes to the 13m Shalla line trying to build the swim up ready to give it a go if I seen any movement from any intrested carp. I found that fishing the close in pellet rig was better if I lifted and dropped the rig after feeding a few pellets in by hand around the float just so the hooked pellet would fall slowly back down and entice one of the carp, I was hitting Carp one after the other now and thinking to myself now, if I would have stayed on that line all day I would have had a massive net of fish to show. A couple of hours had passed now and i had been feeding some maggots close in by hand also along with the 8mm pellets going in long on the 13m line. Feeding some corn in via a pot  I shipped out the maggot rig and laid it in as I had set the shot shirt button stye to entice any silvers following the bait down again the bites were instant, Roach and Skimmers showing an interest staight away. It was easy fishing, with fishing so close in I was able to throw my loose feed by hand which I wanted to try and put a bit more offerings round but not in a confined area as with using a pot as I felt I could draw more fish into the swim doing this and having a decent depth of water around 5 foot was always going to help the situation too, again like the carp I was cathing Silvers for fun, nothing massive with palm size Roach being the biggest, and still while fishing the maggot line I was still firing out the 8mm pellets trying to prep the Shalla swim.

It was around 11 o'clock in the morning now and I felt the time was right to give the 13m pole line a blast, by the way I decided on 13m as when I arrived at the lake I could see lots of carp cruising just around 13m out and thinking this might be a patrol route, I decided I would use that as my starting point but  was thinking I could bring the Carp closer as they gained alot more confidence. Catapult at the ready, 5 or 6 8mm pellets fired out and I slapped the rig over only to see my elastic free flowing out my pole with a Mirror Carp on, it took a little while to tame but it ended up around 7lb and was a strong hard fight for its size, while playing the carp I continued to fire more pellets out which helps to keep any other fish in your swim and not sare them off, next ship out it was the same, nice Common of around the same size, brilliant action. The key to keeping the bites coming was a constant stream of pellets going in around the float every couple of minutes together with the constant slapping of the pole floatthe carp where swirling at everything hitting the surface, like I said earlier, if I stayed on the shalla rig I could of bagged up, but with the session planned as a review day I wanted to try as many methods as I could. One thing I noticed after a while, the Carp moved away from the open water and closer to the island which then led me to hitting Carp and loosing them as they powered off around the island, thinking I would have more control with the rod and reel I gave the Pellet waggler a blast, still fishing around 13m out but closer to the island I was in first cast but again the carp managed to root me in the giant lillys around the island, hook link gone I gave it another go, I fired a few pellets in and cast out directly on them and the float was away, rod bent double I managed to turn it away from the island into open water, similar in size around 8lb, the Carp in the lake where like steam trains as soon as you hit them they are off.

I wanted to try all my tactics out in the day and I still had a couple to try out, the first one being the Method feeder using Micros around the feeder and a Bait-Tech 8mm The Juice Dumbell for the hook. With what I had learnt already about not casting too close to the island I cast out the feeder into open water just a bit further out from where I had been firing the 8mm pellets out for the shalla pellet swim, the rod was set down in the rest and before I could reach for the catapult the tip was around, not a carp but a skimmer of around 1lb in weight, a few more casts and a few more skimmers fell to the yellow wafter Dumbell. My last tactic I had to try was up in the water fishing shallow on Red maggot but using some sloppy groundbait with some red maggots in as feed, I set my Dino Bob float at around 18" with single red maggot and I fished top 2 plus 3 on the pole, slapping the float over I was into fish straight away and the fish where a nice size, all roach around 8oz, I slapped the rig in and fed a small ball of sloppy mix and the swim went mental silver fish everywhere needles to say I caught a few more before deciding to pack in and have a rest.

I ended the session with 27 Carp ranging from 2lb upto 8lb and I had a endless amount of Silvers too, it was nice to try some tactics out on a new lake and to catch on all of them was pretty special, needles to say I will be returning very soon before the end of the summer but will be heading back in the winter as I think with the depth of the venue and the amount of silvers that are in there it could well be a jewel in the crown for some winter fishing. For any further information on Cats Rough please take a look at the website, If you are thinking of giving it a try best of luck, dont forget them carp fight like hell.

Tight Lines and see you on the bank soon.

Dave Williams

Fishing in The Northwest
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Cat Rough, Cheshire, 02.02.17. New Venue Challenge

Weather conditions-: On the day the temperature was +6, overcast with a strong wind up to 25 mph gusts.

Initial Plan-: My thoughts for fishing this new venue was to target the Silver Fish as I had a chat to Billy the bailiff who told me about the Skimmer, Bream and Roach present in the lake, so a pole attack would be on the cards, 2 top kits, 11 meters and 8 meters with Chopped worm, Caster and Maggots my natural baits for the day and feeding Hemp and Bait-Tech Pro Natural Groundbait over the top, I also had a backup plan for the Carp of aMaver UFO Method feeder loaded with Bait-Tech 2mm Carp and Coarse Pellet and fished with a 6mm Bait-Tech Carp and coarse Pellet on the hook.

Fishing a new venue might be a bit daunting for some but if you do some research and get some info from maybe the owner, bailiff, or social media you are in with a good chance of having a better day instead of just going blind to the venue of choice, contacting Billy he was awash with information from peg selection to what baits I should bring along for the day. Walking over to the lake from the car park, I could see from my last walk around visit there had been a great deal of work carried out on the bank and the introduction of wooden pegs made the lake look superb. Deciding to fish the right side of the lake from the bottom carpark I was surprised to see how flat calm the lake was as the forecast had given strong winds. I headed to my peg picking open water in front of me and with an island to my right side.

Setting up the pole I decided on two top kits for the day, an 8-meter line and an 11-meter line, the closer line on maggots and the longer line on a mix of chopped worm and also caster. Plumbing up on the short line I found 8 foot of water with a slight slope going out and on the long line I found 10 foot. Rigging up I chose for the day on the 8m line a 0.8 Dino-Chi Chi with it having a nice round body and a wire stem if the wind did get up I was confident of it holding in the conditions, and on the 11m line I opted for a Dino Long bream 1.0g Float perfect for fishing over depth and holding bottom, again if the conditions got worse in the day.

Starting off on the long line of 11m out, I had already cupped 3 small balls of Bait-Tech Pro Natural in and giving it 30 minutes to rest. I was shipping long with worm on the hook hoping the worm would get an instant reaction, not a bite, lifted the rig 6 inches dropped and nothing, 45 minutes later and still nothing. I had been feeding my closer line with Bait-Tech Super Seed Hemp from the start hoping to draw the fish in and hold them, so I changed to closer line with single maggot and again not a bite, nothing, a further 30 minutes had passed and still not any kind of indication and by this time the wind had kicked in too with me struggling to hold the pole at any kind of length (Bad peg selection). I decided to come off the pole with the wind blowing and try the feeder to see if I could get off the mark by hitting one of the carp instead. First cast I had out for 10 minute, no indication recast to the same area and the tip was round as soon as the feeder hit the bottom, into the net was a lovely looking Common, next cast out and again the feeder hit the bottom and was around, this time a small Mirror Carp had taken the 6mm Pellet, after landing the fish I had to make the choice of staying on the feeder or move a couple of pegs down as the wind was bad by now and I really wanted to try for the silvers too.

Okay new peg, flat calm and to my surprise the same depths on both pole lines, so same attack plan with the ground bait, loose feed and round two was on. Restarting on the chopped worm line my first ship out resulted in my first bite on the pole and a nice Skimmer of around 2lb came to the net, shipped out again on the worm and the same again another decent skimmer of similar size, fired some more hemp with a few caster in, and next put in a nice hand size roach was in the net, with a few more falling to the worm over the next 2o minutes, things looked like they were going to plan after a poor start, then the float went and my elastic was out for all the world to see, Carp on… took me a little while to land but never the less another nice common of around 4lb was in my net. Resting the longer line now I was 8m out on the maggot and I was hitting roach one a put in, some nice sized ones too, smaller Roach and Perch followed with a couple of smaller skimmers, feeding little and often on this line I was taking quite a few silvers. Looking around the lake at the far end to my right it was reed-fringed and every 10 minutes or so you could see some big carp jumping clear of the water, sitting there for a while it was nice just to take in the venue and the nature that I was surrounded by, Kingfishers buzzing about, Woodpeckers Pecking away, fantastic.

The fishing had slowed down on the pole line after midday but I had managed to land some decent Skimmers along with some decent Roach too, with seeing so many Carp crashing about I was tempted to cast the feeder out to see if I could hit into anymore just so I could gauge the size for a next visit and ready up for them too. Pouring a nice big glug of Bait-Tech The Juice onto my already prepared 2mm pellets, I wanted them to bind together a tad more with casting into deeper water and hold the shape until the feeder was on the bottom. I set myself an hour on the tip as I wanted to carry on with the pole but wanted to rest the two swims also after re-baiting with more ground bait, first cast out nothing so recast and a further 10 minutes passed before the tip was round and another of the bronze colour Common was resting in my net, a further 5 casts resulted in a Carp each cast all on 6mm pellet hook bait.

Billy the bailiff had popped down to see me and it was nice of him to let me use a net for a few hours just to give me and you an idea of the stamp you will expect to catch at cat Rough, we managed to take a few pictures and then billy went but I carried on fishing with the two pole lines for another couple of hours from 14.00 until 16.00 and managed to catch a load more silvers mainly roach on the maggot with a few perch and a couple of small skimmers and on both lines the Carp had moved in also freely taking the worm long or the maggot short, all of a similar size of around 3lb. I worked it out that the silvers would feed not long after introducing a couple of small balls of ground bait and I kept both lines topped up during the second half of the day after the move of pegs every half hour or so, keeping fish coming from both lines.

Its nice fishing a new venue and learning about it, the Silver fish where in perfect condition and the Carp where also of the same stamp. Big thank you to the owner and Billy for the hospitality and letting me use a net for my Blog, I will be back on again very soon and will be looking at doing a Ground bait feeder day for more silvers.

Tight Lines

Dave Williams