So another holiday season starts with Feb Half Term. I have been lucky this year, a brand new coarse fishery has opened right on my doorstep at Killock Farm, Kilkhampton nr Bude. I had a meeting with the owner a few weeks ago and I will be providing tuition there for both local youngsters and holiday makers.
I was shown round no less than six lakes and ponds as we drove down the track, not all are open for fishing yet but four of them will be open for this summer. The first lake is probably a couple of acres with varying depth and has recently been stocked with over 600lb of carp from Priory Fishery in Cullompton. From what I understand the fish were a mix of yearlings and three year old fish so various sizes and all mirror carp. These fish have been complimented by some of the owners stock of common carp as well as a few Tench and Bream but no silver fish.
Next was a small pond that I was told contains lots of Rudd ideal for taking juniors on their first fishing lesson. Then another large lake that is yet to be stocked. down the bottom of the hill is the 30 year old original lake, and two other small ponds, all are stocked, the original old lake as mixed fishing lake with few big original carp in there, one of the ponds has some Crucian carp and the final pond in the woods is stocked with some reasonable size carp. All in all plenty for everyone to go for and a very exciting prospect.
I had a quick session on the first lake last Sunday 16th Feb. Starting off with a feeder rod, a 25g Drennan Method Feeder set up complete with a Drennan Method feeder Hair rig in a size 12. An 11mm Robin Red pellet tipped with a little bit of plastic corn was a big mouthful of a hook bait and 4mm pellets from the Fishery Farm Shop were dampened off and used on the feeder. I decided to fish at the first swim I came to with the intention of moving round the lake until I found the fish, with it being February I was expecting the fish to be huddled up together in the same place.
At this time of year I’m looking for slightly deeper water so rather than cast tight to the island I placed the feeder about 5 meters to the left of it which I hoped would be near the bottom of the island marginal slope. It wasn’t long, maybe five minutes, before I had my first pull round after a few knocks and bangs on the tip as the fish had obviously found the feeder and started knocking it about. The result was a small common carp about 1lb. It appeared I had found the fish by luck more then judgement and interestingly on the back of the wind and not on the end of it.
I continued with the feeder for about an hour and caught a fish every cast, as more feed went in the bites got quicker and the fish got a little bigger with a few mirror carp getting on for 4lb. By then I was more than happy that this lake was going to be very productive in the warmer weather when I will be providing tuition. I decided to give the float rod an outing and see what stamp of fish I would catch with a much smaller and softer bait, dead red maggot. Plumbing up in front of me was about 4 foot deep but at about three rod lengths out there was a drop off into about six feet. I set the float to fish just in the deeper water, sprayed a couple of pouches of maggots and one small sprinkle of pellets and cast out.
Within a minute the float slowly pulled under and disappeared, my strike met firm resistance and I was into yet another small carp of around 2lb. I was pleasantly surprised to find the fish so willing to feed at this time of year. Both the water and fish themselves were very cold and few of the fish had leaches on them which shows they have been laid up somewhere for long periods. Anyway another hour was spend pastie bashing as I call it and by the end of a couple of hours I was confident that this Lake would be more than suitable for tuition in the summer, more so I could happily have had a tuition session today.
The fish taken on the float were all of a similar stap to those I had on the feeder so changing to maggots didn’t result in smaller fish as I thought it may do. The absence of any silver fish makes this a very good venue for tuition as I find that things happen so fast when Rudd and Roach bashing that sometimes students don’t know what just happened. In the blink of an eye the float shot under and a fish is on the bank. With small carp however the bites are often slower to develop and therefore timing of the strike becomes a skill to learn and also playing the fish is a little more of an experience.
So all in all I was very happy, at some point soon I will test out the other lakes and ponds on site.
The fishery in on the A39 just outside Kilkhampton as you head towards Bude, it is well signed and situated at Killock Farm Shop.
I will post a link to the new web site as soon as it’s published. Pellets are for sale in the farm shop at just £2.00 per Kilo and are what is fed to the fish so they have no problems recognizing it as food and they worked very well for me today. Tickets are dawn till Dusk only £5.00 self service from the fishing shed on the way in.