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Differing fishing tactics both bring results at Ancaster's Woodland Waters

Journal angling correspondent Dave Coster has been writing features for weekly magazine Angler’s Mail for several decades.

During all that time he has learnt you need to be streetwise to keep catching lots of fish during the depths of winter.

Knowing the magazine's ace photographer Ian Chapman was coming to Grantham for a photo shoot, Dave decided on the small Carp Lake at Woodland Waters, where he and his mate Chris Toon had caught loads of fish over the Christmas holiday.

Chris Toon and his carp haul are captured for posterity by Angler's Mail photographer Ian Chapman. (31228341)
Chris Toon and his carp haul are captured for posterity by Angler's Mail photographer Ian Chapman. (31228341)

On the day, Chris decided to use an unusual method, normally associated with river fishing, casting a small Black Cap blockend feeder to a semi-sunken island feature.

He filled the feeder with mainly hemp and just a few maggots, which is a favourite way of catching roach, dace and chub on flowing water, but the resident carp in this stillwater loved this bait combination.

Using a short quivertip rod, Chris caught decent sized fish all day, for a bumper haul in the icy cold, windy conditions.

To provide plenty of variation, Dave fished shallow waggler tackle in open water, on the other side of the lake, once again proving it holds a lot more fish than just carp.

After a couple of hours, regular loose-fed casters had a big shoal of quality roach and rudd swirling on the surface. It was a bite nearly every cast from these fish and, on the rare occasion when Dave did manage to get through the hungry surface feeders, he also caught skimmer bream, perch, gudgeon and hybrids.

There were very few other anglers about on the various lakes at Woody's in the wintry, blustery conditions. However, those brave enough to endure the Arctic conditions all caught fish.

Dave said: "Carp to double figures were showing on the Specimen Lake, while feeder tactics were still finding odd big bream and plenty of skimmers on the Match Lake.

"The small day ticket Carp Lake on the left, as you come in the main entrance, is fairly sheltered, providing fantastic fishing for the time of the year."

+ Check out Dave Coster’s Fishing Diary: www.anglingdirect.co.uk/community

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