Archive for January 16th, 2015

It’s not often we are forced onto a stillwater during the traditional coarse fishing season as you know but sometimes needs must.  Despite that, I do quite enjoy a change now and again and it can make for a pleasant distraction from the rivers if conditions aren’t good.

Geoff and I decided to give Hartley Lands a go.  Their website and reviews about the fishery indicated that it can produce good bags of roach, which would be our target species.  We opted to fish the reservoir, as it appeared it contained the better specimens.  The reservoir was a decent size.  It’s a farm reservoir and so only a few acres or so, not the Bewl type of inland sea proportions.  We spotted a couple of good looking swims not far from the car park, which makes a pleasant change for me, I’m normally yomping off to the furthest point on a river somewhere.

I opted for a 15ft float rod, 3lb mainline and a 2.4lb hooklink with a 16 barbless hook.  Baits were red maggots with a squirt of Ocean Pride, casters and sweetcorn if needed and I fed hemp, maggots and casters.  Plumbing  found 2 shelves and I decided to fish off the first one at around 4′-4’6″ deep.  Setup was a simple waggler bulked at the top with one very small dropper shot about halfway down.  I had found myself in the near corner, sheltered from the ever growing wind.  On the way here it had been teaming down with rain and the roads were littered with debris from the heavy storm overnight.  Throughout the day we had a mixture of sunshine and heavy, squally showers but all in all not too bad to be fair.  Luckily the worst of the wind was deflected by the amount of tree cover here, which is nice.  Some of these commercials look a bit barren but not so with Hartley Lands.

A nice double

A nice double

A constant trickle of hemp and maggots soon had the roach queuing up and I lost something much bigger early on.  The roach were only between 2-6oz and probably averaged 3oz.  I did get the odd bigger one up to maybe 8oz but none of the 1lb+ specimens put in an appearance.  Interspersed amongst the roach were a few perch and 4 carp.  The carp certainly put a bend in the rod and with a 2lb 4oz hook link made playing them very rewarding.  The good thing about winter carp is that they don’t go mad.  They do the odd longish run but generally plod around the margins for a while, so it’s rare to loose them.  The carp were 6lb 2 x 8lb and the biggest a smidge under 11lbs.  It was a great, fun day and I ended up with around 115-120 fish chalked up on the fish counter.  I’m guessing at somewhere between 55lb-60lb of fish.  Not bad for around 5 hours or so of fishing.

Geoff also had a pretty good day, catching a carp or around 6-7lbs and loads of roach.  At last knockings he found some better fish close in but even then they were only around 8oz.  All in all we had a pretty good day in fairly difficult conditions.  Luckily we packed up in the dry but oh boy was it muddy.  Hartley Lands is certainly worth another visit at some point.


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