A visit to Woodlands Farm

I managed a short afternoon session recently at Woodlands Farm Fishery, Ward Lane, Barlborough.

It takes about 25 minutes easy driving from Chesterfield town centre. Look for the long track down to the fishery off Ruthyn Avenue, which is close to the village school. Key in S43 4JD and the sat nav will get you close.

Chatting to owner Pete Glossop, a really helpful guy and a successful angler in his own right, he explained there are four waters, Ice House, Kingfisher, Island and Bluebell lakes.

All are well stocked with roach, bream, tench, perch (a 5lber was caught recently by a local schoolboy), crucians, carp (to 30lb-plus), rudd, barbel, ide and F1s.

There’s even the odd specimen pike in the Ice House – so something for everyone.

Fishing is from dawn to dusk with day tickets on the bank at £5, concessions priced at just £4. There are no bait bans – but anglers are asked to act responsibly. Barbless hooks are a must.

The fishery holds open matches on Wednesdays and Saturdays with last week’s winning weight pulling the scales down to 70lb with back-up weights of 50lb and 40lb. Give John the bailiff a call on 0778 702 6509 for further information.

On the bank, I decided to try my luck on Kingfisher, a circular lake holding a good mix of fish and some very good-sized carp. The kit for the day was a margin pole, 7lb main line to 4lb hooklength with pellet on a size 14 hook.

First put-in resulted in a roach around the half-pound mark gracing the net – a lovely fish with orange smudges on the gill covers and under the chin – what a start!

Taking Pete’s advice, I fished tight to the bankside reeds, happily catching roach all afternoon until something a lot larger disappeared with my hook, leaving me with a ‘pigs-tail’ curl at the end of the hooklength. The whipping had obviously given way.

It’s disappointing when a leading tackle manufacturer has such poor quality control, time to start tying my own again, I think.

With no more biggies and the light quickly fading, I packed the kit away and took a few photographs of the spectacular sunset. I’m determined to visit again, in hope of landing one of those carp that have beaten me.

PS: I squeezed in an after-work session during the week and managed to bank a pristine mirror well into double figures!