ANGLER'S MAIL is the No.1 magazine for all sorts of things - and has a Where To Fish section that is unrivalled. It's produced by regional experts.
Here our Where To Fish team have selected six of the best float fishing lakes for you to try.
They cover loads of venues every week in the magazine itself.
The waters our experts have outlined here are noted for form during the cooler months. But they also produce plenty of action all year round…
1 Alderwood Ponds, Sussex.
This popular, family-run fishery offers good carp, perch and roach fishing year-round, especially when using a float.
Established for 30 years, there are three pools on this West Sussex site. Island Pond has around 26 swims, and Corsican 15, both with depths to 5 ft. Dave’s has special pegs for disabled and junior anglers.
Across the site there are a lot of carp in the 12-20 lb range, with some to over 30 lb, a large head of perch to over 4 lb, lots of roach to over 1 lb, rudd and tench.
The larger fish are in Island Pond, but Corsican has produced carp to 29 lb and perch to 3 lb.
A lot of the big fish can be caught right under your feet, including big carp, perch and roach, so it pays to be stealthy. There are plenty of rushes to hide behind, and some of the banks are undercut.
A waggler or a pole float with light, balanced tackle will score. Present two red maggots or a prawn under the rod tip for perch or roach, but don’t be surprised if you hook a carp.
Corn over loosefeed is a good method for targeting the carp. Try a PVA bag rig for the bigger carp, Mainline Cell and Dynamite Robin Red boilies being popular bait choices.
The perch feed well in low-light conditions, a time when multiple fish catches are possible. They can be seen chasing the roach on overcast days.
There are now two cabins available to hire, along with on-site toilets and a shower.
Tickets: £10 one rod; various concesss and options. You must use the net dip and have a carp cradle to be able to fish the Island Pond. Tel: 01903 816377. alderwoodponds.wordpress.com
Location: Horsham Road, Steyning, West Sussex, BN44 3AA.
2 Chester Lakes, Cheshire.
There are plenty of roach to 1 lb to target in the colder months here. Once you’ve got them feeding, it’s possible to catch a fish every cast when float fishing, resulting in an outstanding session.
Feed three small balls of groundbait and a few red maggots and casters in two swims, one close in and one at 8-10 m, before trickling in loosefeed over the top. Have two rigs set up, one with small shot spread out on the line and the other with an olivette or shot bulked together.
Start by fishing the rig with the shot spread out, as it should produce small roach at first, then hopefully larger specimens later. Try casters and corn for the bigger fish.
Carp feature more later in the year, with fish to doubles on a pole float or pellet waggler.
Tickets: £7 a day. Tel: 07860 133133. www.chesterlakes.co.uk
Location: Church Road, Chester, CH4 9LQ.
3 Emerald Pools, Somerset.
All of the lakes here are packed with features, many of them close to the near bank. The proximity of the features creates a lot of fish-holding areas within easy float fishing range.
A pole with expander pellets or corn will catch plenty of carp, but in really cold weather it is best to fish maggots over a bit of loosefeed.
Waggler with corn, especially beyond pole range in tight swims, also works well.
Expect a lot of silver fish, too, including big roach, skimmers, bream and perch.
Tickets: £7 one rod; £2 for an additional rod. Tel: 01278 794707. www.emeraldpool.co.uk
Location: Puriton Road, West Huntspill, Highbridge, TA9 3NL.
4 Larford Lakes, Worcestershire.
Despite its name, Specimen Lake is a red-hot float fishing form for skimmers, with nets to over 50 lb.
With 90 pegs to choose from, there are plenty of areas where you can fish out of the wind, for a comfortable day’s sport.
Long pole at 13 m with a dark groundbait is the best approach. Add chopped worm, casters and a few dead maggots to the mix and
cup-in six balls at the start.
Fish a bulk-down rig, with double dead maggot or half a worm on the hook. Top-up the swim with a fist-sized helping of crumb if the bites tail off.
Tickets: £8; concessions £6. Tel: 07774 703067. www.larfordlakes.co.uk
Location: Larford, near Stourport, DY13 0SQ.
5 Lawn Farm Fishery, Cambridgeshire.
Pellet waggler, long pole, margin pole or laying-on overdepth at the rod end can all score at this four-lake complex.
Target species include carp to over 15 lb, bream and chub to 3 lb, quality roach, rudd and perch with occasional barbel, tench and orfe.
Pleasure anglers catch well by presenting meat, bread, corn, maggots or worms at close range. Pellet waggler is best in the warmer months, for carp and chub on Willow and Crabtree.
Long pole with maggots or worms over groundbait tempts skimmers and roach on Willow.
Tickets: £7 one rod; £9.50 two rods. Tel: 01954 718269. lawnfishery.co.uk
Location: by the A428 at Elsworth, CB23 4JX.
6 Stonebridge Fishing Lakes, Yorkshire.
Chub, ide and carp are the main target species on this prolific North Yorkshire venue.
Carp sport is spectacular in summer, but it is the chub and ide fishing that is the big draw in the colder months, with fish to 5 lb-plus of each species caught regularly, bags of up to a dozen fish not uncommon.
Waggler and long pole with loosefed casters or maggots produces the best silver fish catches. Start at full depth, but shallow up when the fish rise in the water to intercept the loosefeed.
Pole and pellets up in the water produces the best carp bags in warm conditions.
Tickets: £6. Tel: 01609 748818 or 07850 367713. stonebridgefishinglakes.co.uk
Location: Fleetham Lane, Scruton, Northallerton, DL7 0RR.
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