This is Leasowe Lighthouse, pretty much at the entrance to Lingmere Fishery at Moreton, The Wirral, Merseyside. Yes, we were going Coarse Fishing By The Sea. Lingmere Fishery is only 300 yards from the beaches and mudflats of the Wirral. I was actually afraid that this part of the U.K. had been the victim of some giant radiation accident because the Google Earth imagery looks sort of burnt out, to say the least. The original Google Earth image looks scorched earth weird, the right image, after processing, looks a little more life-on-earth-friendly. The fact is, when you get to Lingmere Fishery you are greeted by two picturesque lakes where life is abundant and the air is radiation-free. One lake is set aside for matches and the other is Pleasure Only. There was an actual Fishing Match in progress on the Match Lake and 20 or so anglers were locked in mortal combat, each trying to out fish the other by way of staring intently at any opponents who were catching fish to see if they could figure out the size, weight, species and sex of the fish being caught and thereby missing Critical Bites of their own. I honestly think if anglers didn’t spy on fellow anglers and just paid attention to their own floats or bite indicators they’d catch a lot more fish. I know I would.
I chose the Pleasure Lake where I found Paul Newell already fishing. Paul is clearly a pretty good angler and he’d already caught a few small carp on his feeder rig. Next to him was Karl Nicholls who is a Bloody Excellent Angler in that he does it for a living. Even though I was on the Pleasure Lake I had mentally decided to fish a match versus Paul and Karl without telling them. After about 1 hour of fishing I’d already awarded myself the 3rd place prize of a One Way Drive to my house at the end of the day.
I did catch my usual assortment of little-uns, a mixture of ide, roach, some pretty little winter rudd and a few small skimmers. I wasn’t unhappy with my little catch but I would have been a lot happier had I been Paul who caught loads of small carp and some ide on various feeder rigs, or Karl who used a 13m pole, worth so much money that it will make a lucky collector a million quid in 100 years on Antiques Road Show, to catch one nice ide after another with the odd small bonus carp. Had he been able to use a keep net he probably would have had about 200 fish at the end of the session.
Paul Newell shows off one of his Mini-Carp. He caught many of these little beauties and he also caught a bigger carp of between 3lbs and 40lbs but because it was so strong and muscular and threatening Paul let it slip out of his hands where it fell safely back into the water before I could photograph it. Now, those of you who regularly read this column know I’m not particularly fond of leger fishing but watching Paul knock ’em out one after the other will make me pay more attention to the tactic in the future. Maybe.
This is Karl at the end of the day. Note that I used the flash on my camera for this photo. I could barely see his pole float 35 feet from the bank and yet he was still knocking the ide out, one after the other. I asked what his secret was and he said “20-20 vision plus I’m still quite young and have actual reflexes and my peg is perfectly organized plus I get paid to fish” all of which was very painful for me to hear although he is too young to know why. Now, Karl actually does teach angling for a living so if you want to improve your angling skills look him up. Karl actually prefers natural waters over commercial fisheries but the recent wet weather has kept him away from the rivers, much to the relief of river fish all over the North West. The same wet weather has also kept me away from the rivers but the fish there are not as nervous about my absence.
In case you’re interested in my failed fishing tactics for the day, I used a 3bb insert waggler with 4lb main line, 2.5lb hook length and hook sizes between 16 to 20. Bait was red or white maggot with some dead Krill maggots scrounged from Paul later in the afternoon. I fished all depths. I fed a little groundbait and loose fed maggots. I tried bread punch too, got a couple of bites but no fish. As usual, do the opposite of what I did and you’ll no doubt Bag Up at Lingmere. It’s a great fishery, especially if you do like to be beside the sea.
Tomorrow I’m going to try Parkfield Farm Fishery which is just up the road from Lingmere. I’ll only be there for the morning. Looking forward to it. So are the fish as they clearly have nothing to worry about.