Ian seizes the moment

Having not got an over stamp this year I have spent most of my fishing time on the canals with mixed results, some decent bream and eels also a nice carp fell to my rods in between many blank sessions.

Ian with a canal Tench

Canal Common Carp

Ian wrestles a decent canal Eel

However this was just a stop gap until I could get back on Lymmvale once again. Today was my first chance to do so having knocked off work early and I was there by 7pm, with the weather a bit warmer I knew my favoured stalking tactics would give me a chance of a carp in the couple of hours I had.

I headed straight for the far end of the west bank where you can usually find a carp or two and it was opposite the steps and boathouse pegs I stumbled upon a group of 6 of 7 carp ripping up the bottom about 5 feet out. Of the visible fish most were low doubles but one however was noticeably larger, a scaly mirror which looked like a twenty, so this was to be the target.

My rod was already set to go with just a size 8 hook on the line to which I tightly squeezed a small piece of bread to so it would slowly sink causing minimal disturbance to the fish. As the bait fell through the water I watched as one of the smaller fish moved in, I had to quickly lift the bread out so as not to catch the fish which on most days I would of loved to catch, but the twenty a few feet away was worth the gamble.

I re-baited and once again watched the bread slowly flutter down through the clear water, as it came to rest on the bottom inches from the fishes mouth it was only a matter of time. The bait disappeared and before the fish had chance to move I struck and was in, a ten minute battle ensued before I managed to coax the carp into the waiting net. At 22lb it’s by no means the biggest the Vale has to offer but for a quick evening session it’s certainly a result.

Ian’s 22lb Mirror Carp fell to bread flake

Buoyed by the recent success and with a day off work another visit to Lymmvale was inevitable. I arrived early afternoon to find only 4 other people on, a quick walk round located a group of fish mooching around on the surface. A hand full of dog biscuits was all it took to get the fish feeding, followed swiftly by my freelined banded biscuit. A few moments passed before a fish engulfed the bait and was hooked.

Ian’s second session in a row proved successful once again

How to submit a catch report

Submitting a catch report couldn’t be simpler and once approved will be displayed in this category for all to see!! It can be as detailed or as brief as you like and along with the catch returns information assist the club with fishery management as well as informing fellow members of your achievements.

To submit your catch report just click on the link below and complete the catch report form and click submit, if you have photo’s please include them in the catch report which, if it’s detailed enough, will be published shortly after on our websites (Facebook etc).

To submit your catch report now click here.

Good luck,

Lymm Admin

Tabley big un! New club record at 36lb

We decided this year to step up our fishing and start putting our efforts in to one water and chose ‘The Moat’ due to the rumors regarding big old fish and not being able to find any info regarding the place, so we decided to find out for ourselves. and what a start!

We arrived at 12.01 on June 16th and were amazed to find people already on. Not to worry turned out a blessing in disguise.

Well after a very quiet night and morning and seeing very few sighting of fish or people the all important moment arrived at 6:45pm. The rod screamed away to what at first felt like a big bream the way it was flopping side to side but it eventually it woke up under the tip and tried to get me in the snags on the left hand side, and shortly after my trusty gillie netted it for me.

We both realized this was a decent fish as soon as we seen the gut on it!! We checked the scales were all in order with the sling the dial was clocking the the pounds off like no tomorrow but eventually the needled settled at 36lb and we couldn’t believe it after hearing rumors of biggest being 29lb, we then weighed it on Mikes scales and 36lb again.

Mike was sure it was a new club record and spoke to Jez to let him know who confirmed this as a new club record …..I can’t describe how happy I am, sorry if i woke anyone up with my little scream but I was ecstatic and I still am.

What a start to the season, but is the fun over before it began? I plan to stay on Tabley Moat this year to see if i can have any of the other residents……watch this space!!

Jay

Catch of the Month Competition June 2012

Welcome to Lymm Angling Clubs Catch of the Month Competition for June 2012

Entries for this, the first ‘catch of the month’ competition are all in and as we move into the July competition we couldnt have hoped for a better list of specimines with no fewer than 3 club records falling since the launch!

We have had tremendous entries including Tench, Wells, Carp, Barbel (a 10lb 2oz specimen from the River Dane), Roach, Crucians and Grass Carp.

Thanks all who have entered into the spirit of the competition and in doing so have made it such a success including a spate of junior entries from up and coming hot shots of the future. Well done all  :goodjob:

It only leaves us to tell you that, after deliberation from our external verifiers at Nash Peg One & Fish Frenzy the winner of the first competition is James Leach with this 36lb lump taken from Tabley Moat on the opening day of the season.

Well done James, what a great result and we hope you enjoy your goodies! Please contact Bernard Anderson at Bailey’s Bait & Tackle to arrange to collect your your well deserved prize. To read how James managed to capture one of Tabley Moats hidden gems click here.

James Leach 36lb Mirror New Club Record Tabley Moat & June Winner

In no particular order the following members submitted entries for the month of June;

Darren Grubb 15lb 10oz Ghost Carp Serpentine Pool

Jamie Coad Catfish

Conor Higham 2lb 2oz Roach New Club Record Woodside Pool

Ben Whewell 18lb Common Carp Serpentine Pool

Mike Quinn 7lb Tench Lymmvale

Ashley Davidson 2lb 9oz Crucian Woodside Pool

James Leach 36lb Mirror New Club Record Tabley Moat

Gary Jones Barbel New PB 10lb 2oz River Dane

Catch of the Month Competition

 

 

Welcome to Lymm Angling Clubs Catch of the Month Competition

We are delighted to announce the launch of our Catch of the Month Competition which is open to all members of the club and covers all forms of angling on club waters.

Please note that this is ‘catch’ of the month and not specifically fish of the month so matchmen can submit net weights.

To enter the competition anglers must send an email describing their capture and photo to the following address;

pr@lymmanglersclub.com

Remember to include the date, venue, species and weight of your capture along with any other information you feel may be useful for the judges to know.

The competition is aimed at encouraging anglers to have fun and as such there are no hard and fast rules in place at the moment but the following guidelines should be noted.

  1. Members can submit more than one species per month, this can be a single catch or a mixed bag if fishing a club match.
  2. Subject to a minimum of 1 member submitting an entry in any one month otherwise they will be carried over to the following month and no prizes awarded for that month
  3. Only fish caught during that month on a Lymm AC water will count
  4. Only emails or forum posts received during that month will count
  5. You must have caught the fish entirely yourself although assistance with netting the fish is acceptable
  6. You must provide at least one photo of the capture, ideally a mat shot or close up shot to show the quality of the fish your submitting
  7. Club rules must be followed at all times
  8. The judges decision is final, remember this is a bit of fun amongst fellow anglers and not the world championships!!

The winner of each month will be announced on this section along with a photo of the capture and each months entrants will be displayed on a separate monthly post (as we receive them) to give members an idea of the competition they are up against.

The entries for each month can be found here, good luck!!

The fish of a lifetime by Steve Addison

The fish of a lifetime

Preparations for my fishing trip on the 27th July, 2006, were unlike most of my usual fishing trips. There were a couple of reasons for this difference. The first was that my usual fishing companion and most excellent mate, the Legendary Pete ‘Sid’ Sawer, was unable to fish. This was down to an unfortunate accident he suffered when he fell from the second step of his stepladders, at home, and severely dislocated his right shoulder – unbelievable! However, Sid was getting bored sitting at home and asked if he could join me on my next fishing trip. I, of course, agreed on the condition that he made himself useful as a cameraman, just in case we should catch anything worth filming (which is most of the fish in Lymmvale anyway). The second reason, for the day being unusual, was that, for the first time, we were taking along a guest angler. This was another friend of mine, John Byers, from my Pub Quiz nights. John hails from the Midlands and had mostly fished big rivers like the Trent for Barbel and Chub, but I had whetted his appetite for Lymmvale with tales of monster Catfish and superbly conditioned Tench! Hence, frothing at the mouth, I picked him up from his home at about 3:15am that morning, and along with Sid, headed off for the ‘Vale.

Sid, the one-armed cameraman!

We arrived at the ‘Vale between 4:00am and 4:15am, unloaded, filled in our arrival slips and made our way, in the dark, around the right-hand side of the lake towards the Sandbank Peg, by far our most favourite peg. Bugger! Someone had beaten us to it! I didn’t know it then, but later on I would be eternally grateful to the angler fishing in that peg however, there and then, I ‘wasn’t best pleased’!

The Sandbank Peg was special to both Sid and I as we had both had numerous Tench from there including both our P.B’s, Sid’s being one ounce bigger than mine at exactly 9lb. I had also caught my largest Catfish, out of the ‘Vale, from that peg in 2004 at 29lb 4oz (sadly I have no pictures of this particular fish as I was fishing alone and my camera, at the time, had packed up on me that day – bummer!)

The legendary Sandbank peg

We continued around the right-hand side until we came to the Steps Peg with the Boathouse Peg next to it, luckily both empty. I asked John which he preferred, I felt it only right to ask, as he was the guest. It was still dark and John had never fished the ‘Vale before but he said he fancied the Boathouse Peg so that was that. Sid and I plied him with more tales of the Catfish we had both caught from his peg, including: a 17lber and a 27lb 2oz fish caught by myself, a 19lb 8oz fish caught by my daughter and another of the same size caught by Sid. I had to be content with Sid’s captures of a 23lb+ Cat and a Mirror Carp in excess of 20lb, from the Steps Peg. Altogether, quite an array of fish from those two pegs!

The ‘Boathouse Peg’ and the ‘Steps Peg’

It was now 4:45am and the weather was very mild with no wind and the promise of a fine day as John and I set up our rods and Sid familiarised himself with my camcorder. He was soon in Steven Spielberg mode – filming anything that moved! It was so mild in fact that I soon removed my sweatshirt. This had a most surprising effect as it was about this time that we were visited by the Swamp Thing! You may have seen the pictures on the website. Anyway, luckily Sid managed to get a photograph of it before it disappeared again into the undergrowth!

The swamp thing pays us a visit!!

As usual the expectation level began at a record high but soon descended to a ‘dull ache’. At least Sid, the one-armed cameraman, was enjoying himself filming the wildlife, which included: a pair of Great Crested Grebe, swooping Black-headed Gulls, some squabbling Coots, a family of Canada Geese and a Little Grebe (or Dabchick), which he got some excellent shots of. A Wren also visited us, but it was too fast for Sid to get a picture of. On the film someone’s car alarm goes off in the car park to the comment of “That’s an impressive bite alarm!” Yes, we needed some humour to keep our spirits up.John only brought one rod with him whilst I set up my usual two rods. They were both 11fters as I have had problems casting 12fters from beneath overhanging trees at the ‘Vale so now bring both and use the ones I feel most comfortable with depending on which peg I get in. Both rods have a soft through action (the Cormoran is a 1.75lb test and the Abu 2.25lb but both feel the same), this is because my primary target at the ‘Vale is always Tench, not Carp or Catfish. However, I have, in recent years upped the ante as far as the B.S. of my line is concerned. Due to the capture and rapidly increasing size of the Catfish in the ‘Vale, I have increased the line strength from 5lb to 6lb and latterly to 8lb, just in case. At the business end I have a simple, sliding leger (Stonze) rig on a short piece of monofilament with a leger stop about 18” to 20” from a sturdy size 7 or 8 Carp hook. The bait, of course, 15mm to 20mm cubes of Spam. To begin with I cast the left-hand rod out slightly to the left and the right-hand rod straight out in front of me, both at a distance of about 60 yards. Intermittently, I will catapult out some free offerings of the hook bait to tempt the fish to feed.

John, in the Boathouse Peg, began to fall asleep! Sid commented, “Such is the life of an angler on Lymmvale!”

It was about 6:30am when I noticed quite a lot of bubbling, coming from the depths, to the right of my right-hand rod. To break the torpor I changed the position of both rods and started fishing to the right of where I had originally been fishing. Now, the bait on my right-hand rod was positioned in the middle of where all that bubbling was coming from. Almost immediately I began to get little knocks and line bites on both rods. These ‘bites’ would lift the indicator slightly and cause the bite alarm to beep once or twice and then drop back, however, there was still no sign of a ‘proper’ bite.

It was now approaching 7:50am when we were startled by a large Carp jumping clear of the water, two or three times, about 100yards to our right. It might have been due to the lack of action that I had begun to feel colder and had eventually put my sweatshirt back on. At this point there was still no wind stirring the surface of the lake.

Then, at last, the left-hand indicator shot up hitting rod and the alarm screamed into action! I struck and immediately knew that this was only a smallish fish, but still, a fish is a fish, and this one was very welcome in the circumstances. It came in very easily and I soon slipped the landing net under a small Tench of 1lb 12oz. We woke up ‘Rip-Van-Winkle’ to prove to him that there were some fish in the lake. He grunted something about it not being very big and then tried to go back to sleep. Sid observed, “At least you’re not going to end up fishless.” To which I replied, “Maybe that’s the start ”

There followed another 2 hours of torpor punctuated occasionally by some half-hearted beeps on the alarms, mainly on the left-hand rod, but again, nothing decisive.
It was now approaching 10:00am and Sid was on his mobile phone to one of his customers (he does work occasionally as an Electrical Engineer and is very often ‘on call’ at weekends). I listened to the conversion with interest, especially at how professionally Sid dealt with his client. However, that was all about to change!

At almost exactly 10:00am the right-hand rod screamed into action, startling the living daylights out of both of us, despite Sid still being on the phone. I quickly strike and immediately feel the power of a very large fish. Unlike most anglers, when legering, I do not use bait-runners. I prefer to leave the anti-reverse on the reel, tighten the drag up solid and hit into the fish as soon as possible. This, of course, can be a risky business if you are not quick enough at getting the anti-reverse switched off. Having used this method for many years I believe I have near-perfected the art of ‘beating the fish to the draw’, and I was successful again this time. However, nothing in my angling career has ever prepared me for what was about to happen. This was no ordinary fish. Even the 29lber caught on the Sandbank Peg was stopped in its tracks eventually, on its first run, and that was on 6lb B.S. line! This monster just steamed off down the lake heading for the car park and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it!

With me back-winding like mad but trying to keep some sort of pressure on the fish it took another 70 or 80 yards of line off the reel before it began to slow down and eventually stop because it wanted to! I was very worried about how much line I had left on the reel. I had put 200m of new line on at the start of the year, plus there was a bit of old backing line, which I did not want to get down to. As I was wondering what was happening far down the lake, in its depths, another thought struck me. This was the same rod and line that I had landed a 30lb 14oz Catfish on at Founders Pool a couple of months earlier. That fish had tried everything to snag me in the undergrowth in the far right-hand side of the pool, and several times I thought that I had lost it. Although I have great faith in Maxima Chameleon line, surely this was asking too much!

Trying to stop the Leviathan!

The mighty leviathan had come to a standstill so I pulled the rod back as much as I dared before the line must surely snap. There was the slightest of movement far down the lake and the beast began to move slowly to the right, as if going to the far bank. At least it hadn’t continued its surge to the car park! It was now arcing, very slowly, to the right. I began to gain back a little line. This was not because I was forcing the fish in anyway, but because this is what the fish wanted to do itself! For the present all I could do was hang on.
By this time, the previously mentioned professional Sid had cut his caller off in mid sentence to concentrate fully on filming. We both new that this was a very special fish – either a very large Carp or, more likely, a large Catfish.

Sid, “It must be a Cat. It’s staying down too long!”

Me, “If I lose this I’m going to kill myself!”

Sid, “If you lose this, I’ll kill you!”

I think he would have too!

Ten or fifteen minutes of the battle passed and Sid was already getting worried about the length of tape left in the camera and the life of the battery. I told him not to worry, as there was a spare tape and battery in the camera bag. Also, at this time, John gave up with his own fishing and came round to watch the battle. He, like Sid and I, had never experienced anything like this in his angling life before.

Me, “This must be what Big Game Fishing feels like. All I can do is hang on and hope it tires before I do!”

John, “I think you’ve lost that battle already!”

Eventually, at about 10:25am, I manage to pull the monster to within about 50 yards, only for it to power away again as if nothing is attached to it! This same event occurs several times before Sid comments, “You know you’re going to be in the (Warrington) Guardian again, don’t you?” I reply, “Don’t count your chickens!”

Sid observes, after yet another surge away by the leviathan, a-la-Jaws, “You’re definitely going to need a bigger boat!”

As we approach 10:30am my arms are already beginning to ache and I am getting very hot. How I wished that I had not put my sweatshirt back on! I asked John for a drink and he readily pours me a cup of orange and feeds it to me! That’s what mates are for! I think it was around this time that the angler from the Sandbank Peg came round to see what all the commotion was about. It was Ben Hogg. He stayed for a few minutes, watching, but soon realised that this was going to be a long job, so he returned to his own fishing.

John provides welcome refreshments!!

As we approached 10:45am there was still no sign of the fish tiring. It was still powering away to the middle of the lake, turning, one minute to the right and then surging back to the left. All this tooing and froing meant that I was constantly shifting position in the Steps Peg in an attempt to get some sort of control of the beast. The power of the fish was incredible!
Sid comments, “Still no sign of giving on either side! I don’t know who’s more knackered, Ste or the fish.”

I tell him the answer, “I know!”

At about 10:55am, Sid observes that the fish is progressively getting closer, despite its surges. “I think it’s weakening.” He says. “It doesn’t feel like that to me.” Says I.

By now, there is a slight breeze blowing from right to left of the lake, rippling the surface and making it more difficult to see where the line is cutting the water.
Just as it appears that Sid is right and the fish is weakening, it surges away again to the middle of the lake. However, this was to be its last major bid for freedom.
It’s after 11:05am now and I stop the monster 70 yards out and begin to pump the fish back towards us. As it gets to within 30 yards it begins to kite to the right, the Boathouse Peg. Sid remembers that there is a large, metal drum submerged there, which he believes the leviathan, is heading for. He dashes round and splashes in the water causing the monster to change course and come back towards my peg.

Sid, still in Jaws mode, jokes, “Talking about barrels, I think we need to fasten another four to it!”

Five minutes later and the fish is now just 20 yards out, still at a fair depth and still fighting, albeit without the powerful surges of the earlier stages of battle. To say that I am tired, aching and hot is the understatement of the year, and my hat finally has to come off!

As the fight nears its climax, fellow member Ben Hogg returns from the Sandbank Peg to watch the landing, however, he still has a long wait as the fish simply refuses to give up and be bullied to the bank. And I am not going risk losing it now when it is so close to capture. The general feeling amongst us is that the fish could be foul-hooked (something we never did find out for sure).

At last, nearly 90 minutes after hooking it, the monster slowly rises from the depths. Remember, fish always look smaller in the water than when out of it due to refraction, however, I can barely believe my own words when I first set eyes on the beast, “It’s only a small one!”
John says, “You’re kidding aren’t you, it’s an absolute monster!”

The netting was performed by Ben, as he was wearing waders, however, he had trouble lifting the leviathan out of the water and if I recall correctly, needed help to get it on my unhooking mat. It was at this point that I discovered that my unhooking mat, although easily able to cope with a Carp of up to 20lb, was wholly inadequate for this monster. Ben ran back round to his peg and brought back his vastly superior mat (I now have a similar type). Unfortunately, all the landing of the fish was missed on film because Sid had been very worried about the amount of life left in the second battery. However, he did get some superb footage of the beast on the mat and being lowered back into the water and swimming away.

My unhooking mat was totally inadequatel.

Once on the mat, it was discovered that the hook had come out of the fish so we were unable to tell whether or not it had been foul hooked. I attempted to lift the fish for a photo but I simply did not have any strength left and it probably wasn’t a wise thing to do anyway considering the bulk of the fish. The fish itself was incredible. It must have been 5 feet long (as Ben’s unhooking mat was 4 feet long and the fishes tail stuck well out over one end.) However, the most amazing feature of the fish was the size of its stomach. Its belly must have weighed about 20lb by itself. It had certainly been feasting over the previous few days.

Five feet of Monster Moggie

After taking a few photographs on the mat, we came to the weighing. Sid was convinced that it was a 50lber. I was less convinced and not really bothered. It was certainly in excess of 40lb and that was a dream in itself. Ever since I was a small boy and read about Richard Walker catching his 44lber from Redmire Pool, I had always held that figure as a magical, but never-to-be-achieved target, and here I was with a fish that was, in all probability, bigger than Clarissa. The occasion was just overwhelming.

Do I look pleased or what?

I then discovered another set back. The battery in my digital scales, which weigh up to 60lb, was flat! Bugger! However, once again, it was Ben Hogg who came to the rescue. He quickly ran round and fetched his heavy-duty scales and soon we had the monster in my weigh sling and between us were lifting him. I looked from face to face as the needle on the scales whizzed twice around the dial and finally settled on 52lb 8oz! How glad I was that I had so many witnesses to share this momentous occasion. There was Ben Hogg, without whose help and equipment we would have struggled so very much. There was John, who must have been a little wary, and weary, of my telling and retelling of the captures of previous Catfish. He had his own tale to tell now! And there was Sid, for the first time, present at my capture of a Catfish, and what a fish! I wasn’t worried now whether or not anyone would believe such a story. Here was Sid, not just one of the most honest people I know, but the most honest person I know! That was good enough for me.

As the sling was a heavy-duty sling I knew that it would weigh quite a bit. It weighed exactly 2lb, which of course, meant the monster was indeed, a 50lber. Everyone present was satisfied with the weighing of the fish and the sling and that meant the official weight was 50lb 8oz. I could barely believe my own eyes.

Gently lowering the monster moggie back to its lair

Finally, enough photographs were taken and Ben and I gently loaded the leviathan back onto Bens unhooking mat. The two of us carried it to the water and whilst the camera was still rolling, we removed the unhooking mat from underneath the great fish. I held it for a few seconds whilst it got its breath back, moved it a little further out into the lake, and watched this magnificent creature swim out to the depths like some giant sea-serpent. Ben had the last word, “That’s some Cat, that!”

Safely returned

I do not class myself as a big fish fisherman, or a Carp man or, indeed, give myself any such label. I simply go fishing to enjoy myself. I have always felt at home in the countryside and there is no finer way to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the country than angling. As for catching such a fish as described above, it was sheer fluke! I predict that if we have a warm or hot spring, a fish in excess of the one above will be caught this year at either Lymmvale or Crabmill Flash, and I have proved that you do not need to be a specialist to catch it – the next time it could be YOU!

One tired but very happy angler – Steve Addison

Lymm AC Specimen Cup Competition

This season will see the launch of a brand new Specimen Cup Competition open to all members.

It will run from June 16th 2012 to March 15th 2013. There will be three prizes on offer.

1st Prize a year’s free membership.

2nd Prize £60 of tackle vouchers.

3rd Prize £40 of tackle vouchers.

In addition there will be a cup for the winner to hold for 12 months and an engraved tankard to keep.

The objective will be to catch specimens of as many different species as possible. Points will be awarded for two categories,

1)      Species; 100 points for each one recorded; (each species can only be counted once).

2)      Percentage of the current Club record. A maximum of three entries per species.

For example a 1lb 8oz Roach would earn the captor 175 points; 100 for the species and 75 for the percentage of the current club record. A further roach entered by the same angler of 1lb would only pick up 50 points for the percentage.

Only species on the clubs record list will be eligible with the exception of Brown Goldfish/Crucian Carp. Due to the problems with accurate identification it would not be practical to differentiate between the two. In this case entries will be accepted for Brown Goldfish only and points calculated against the current Crucian Carp club record.

Only fish caught on Lymm AC waters will be accepted.

Each entry must be accompanied by two photographs, preferably one of which will be a mat shot as above with an item of tackle to give scale, (rod butt, scales, reel etc). Only fish caught between the dates above will be eligible, (catch returns and arrival slips may be cross checked).

Registration for the competition must be completed before submitting an entry form, to register complete the form below and click the submit button.

Competition catch return forms are available by clicking here and must be completed for each catch submitted.

To submit a catch return form please either send an email to the following address ;

You must attach the two photo’s of your specimen and the completed catch return form for each species alternatively you can post your entries and photos to the clubs PO box.

A monthly league table will be posted on here along with some of the photo’s to keep members informed of the competitions progress.

Any contestant who receives an endorsement during the season will be disqualified

Entry to the competition can be made at any time by completing the form below.

All entries to be submitted by e-mail or by posting to the Club PO box within 28 days of capture.

Phil Hatton (Competition Organiser)

Registration Form (Must be submitted before sending a catch return and photo’s)

History of Lymmvale by Mike Wilkinson

In the early 1970’s Lymm Angling Club purchased an ex-quarry in Whitegate, Cheshire that was run by Lymm stalwart John Stubb’s uncle; Stan Lewis.  The purchase was granted aided by the Sports Council whom met half the costs, at the time it was thought to be something of risk as the water was very acidic, too much in fact to support healthy populations of fish, although at the time some perch were present in the water.

Mike Wilkinson and John Stubbs at the Vale in 2006

The water was apparently drained down, the perch removed and then treated with hundreds of tonnes of limestone to adjust the pH, the exercise was successful and the pH was raised to a neutral level of around 7.0 to 7.5, this is where it has remained ever since.

Lymmvale in the early – mid 80’s from Point Swim

An original depth Map from 1976

By the time the water received its first fish around 1973/74, which were Trout; as it was used initially as a fly only trout water, it was named Lymmvale.   The first coarse fish were stocked around 1974, these were golden orfe, they were stocked as ‘test’ fish as much as anything as they are very susceptible to any change in pH levels and need a neutral pH to survive healthily; which is what they did and went on to make Lymmvale famous throughout the Country for its huge shoals of specimen orfe.  You see not only did they survive they soon started to breed successfully and grew at astonishing rates, to the point where the British Record was achieved by the early eighties with several fish reaching the 4lb barrier.

Mike with a 5lb 12oz Orfe in 2003

Before that ‘The Vale’ received its first stocks of tench, these fish came from a water on the Woburn Abbey Estate around 1976-78 and the water was fished as a coarse water from then on, except in the ‘old closed season’, which is when the water was still fished for trout.  In the early eighties ‘The Vale’ received further stockings of tench as well as its first stockings of barbel , chub and a few eels from salmon stretches of rivers like the Teme and Severn; a practice that was allowed in those days by the authorities.  Throughout the eighties several more stockings of tench from various sources took place and further smaller stockings of chub and barbel followed too.

A 10lb 5oz Tench caught in 2003

Such was the success of the orfe by this time the water appeared orange at times as there were simply thousands of them, by the end of the eighties some orfe were easily exceeding the 5lb mark; the Record around 1990 was just shy of 6lb’s.

Golden Orfe 7lb 4oz caught in 1999

Going back to 1982, this was the year when ‘The Vale’ received its first carp via illegal means.  During this year another Lymm water; Whitley Pool was polluted and 11 carp between 15lb & 18lb were rescued and placed in the trout holding nets at Lymmvale.  Not long after this a member got the boat out of the boathouse and took it upon himself to free these fish from the nets; he was caught and expelled from the Club receiving a lifetime ban.  ‘The Vale’ now had its first carp; these fish received no further companions until 1996 when 24 doubles were stocked from Founders Pool, these fish were between 11lb and 14lb and all in pristine condition;  three wels catfish of 9lb, 10lb 14oz and 12lb 6oz were stocked at the same time along with four 3lb bream from the same water.  Following these stockings around a dozen ghost carp between 2lb and 14lb 10oz were stocked from Horseshoe Pool on the Antrobus Golf Course during the same year.  In 1997 approximately 150 small heavily scaled mirror carp were stocked, the survivors of this stocking are now being caught at between 18lb and 26lb+, but this stocking was thought by many to be one stocking too many as far as carp numbers were concerned.

24lb 7oz fully scaled – 2009

A 21lb 11oz Ghostie – 2006

‘Nessie’ at 22lb 4oz in 2007 sadly no longer with us.

Other significant stockings included;

94 1lb to 3lb chub again from Horseshoe Pool in 1994; these fish went on to achieve massive weights of over 7lb and some touching the 8lb mark.  500 further small chub up to 1lb+ were then stocked over a three year period between 2004 and 2007.

A 7lb Chub – 2003

A 7lb 4oz Chub – 2005

Small numbers of golden tench were stocked sporadically from around 1994 and some of these have grown on impressively, with several specimens exceeding 6lb’s and the largest caught being 8lb 15oz.

A 7lb 12oz Golden Tench – 2003

In 1996 approximately 2000-2500 juvenile tench and 100+ rudd were stocked from the Stockpond after a fish rescue operation after low oxygen levels during a very hot summer.

In May 2001 14 large orfe were stocked between weights of 3lb 1oz and 8lb 15oz along with 24 rudd between 1lb 6oz and 2lb 10oz; these fish were from a private water that had never been fished.

In December 2006 2 further catfish of 12lb 6oz and 27lb 5oz were stocked from New Pool; a water we have just regained fishing rights for.

A 31lb 8oz Catfish – 2007

A 40lb Catfish – 2009

A 55lb 4oz Catfish – 2008

Even though ‘The Vale’ has long been the Club’s ‘jewel’ it hasn’t been without its problems; in the early nineties the water was decimated by a huge influx of cormorants, hundreds of small orfe and tench to 3lb’s were wiped out, annual catch return totals of 8-10,000 fish a season fell to around 1500-2000 within just a few years.  Although this was extremely traumatic at the time, it was the catalyst that turned Lymmvale in to the specimen water it is now, before that it was simply a fantastic pleasure water with the only “specimen” sized fish being the orfe.

The annual stockings of trout also held back the growth rates of the fish in Lymmvale, right up to 1998, the large numbers of trout used gorge on the natural food leaving little else for the coarse fish. When those stockings ceased the natural food larder recovered and the growth rates of the fish, in particular the tench and chub improved almost over night so to speak.

2000-2005 were ‘The Vale’s’ glory years, in this time, numbers of huge tench were caught, at its peak there were around 5 or 6 different double figure tench in ‘The Vale’, the biggest caught being 11lb 8oz.  Around 2002-2003 there were huge numbers of massive chub getting caught, one three month spell in 2003 produced no fewer than at least 15 different 7lb+ chub to various regulars targeting them, the biggest caught being the following year at 8lb 1oz.

Another Lymmvale Tench at 11lb 2oz – 2004

Due to the increase of carp numbers the size of the tench getting caught started to suffer and from 2006 the water began a slow but steady decline; compared to the glory years just experienced.

In 2008 the water was dealt a major blow in the way of an outbreak of gill maggot, around 100 quality fish of most species were lost; since then the water had been moody; however in 2010-2011 the water began to fish more like its old self.  In a bid to address the balance of species and improve the health and growth of the tench approximately 50 double figure carp were removed in 2010 following on from around 10 that were removed before the gill maggot problems.

Since these removals the remaining carp have grown on impressively and there have been encouraging numbers of 7-9lb tench caught again, although large catches of tench have been few and far between it looks promising for ‘The Vale’ to once again produce double figure tench.

Help for Heroes Tench Fish-In Tench 8lb 7oz – 2012

Through all these problems one species that has kept growing regardless has been the catfish, all were at new top weights in 20011; the largest being 62lb 0oz and other two ‘originals’ being caught at 40lb+, 39lb+.

Although on the whole 2011 was a productive year for anglers targeting the Vale it did suffer from a couple of significant losses, two of its famous resident ghost carp; Rocky (top weight 28lb) and Nessie (top weight 27lb) passed away along with a mirror of 26lb+.  The water is also currently experiencing low water levels as are many other waters across the county; this has been a contributing factor to the amount of weed growth last year; its something that has occurred before in the Vale’s past and its always returned to normal eventually, fingers crossed that it will again.

Nessie one of the Vales most popular Ghosties

I am still quite confident that with just a little help from us Lymmvale will once again rediscover those glory years experienced at the beginning of the new millennium, it’s evolved and done it before so I’m certain it can do it again.

Mike Wilkinson.

Frank Warwick to attend Juniors spring series final

We are delighted to announce that fishing legend and Lymm AC vice president FRANK WARWICK will be attending the final of the spring series on the 24th of June. Please come down and show your support to the junior section. Big thanks to Frank for breaking from filming to attend.

Andy

Woodside Pool sets new record

A JUNIOR match at Woodside Pool revealed a new club roach record at 2lbs 2ozs 0drs, with the specimen fish caught by Spring Series Junior Academy participant Conor Higham.

Witnessed and weighed by Junior Section organiser Chris Finneran, Conor may need a lesson in holding fish for a photo, but he did extremely well to bring it in on light tackle.

Conor Higham with a new club record Roach at 2-2-0

Woodside Pool provides a base for the Junior Section and the Academy Series is proving very popular with beginners, allowing them to ‘give it a go’ without buying all the tackle first.

Chris Finneran has worked hard to secure grants and funding to support the academy and recently announced a sponsorship deal with Miracle Baits started by Steve Gregory, a three-time UK record holder.

Chris, a keen match man himself, said we will be involved in developing the range of pellets and pastes for use in matches.

Ian Futcher has been fishing the same stretches of Lymm canals for a number of years, but a recent tip off by another member led him to a new stretch and he was duly rewarded in a single session with a string of specimens including a double figure common carp, an eel, a tench and a decent bream.

Ian and a double figure common carp.

Ian grapples with a decent Eel

A good Tench was also caught on the same length of canal

In preparation for the forthcoming river season a work party tackled the river Severn and the club’s stretch at Atcham.

Despite torrential rain 12 members turned out to cut pegs and steps into the famous banks of this great fishery.

With the river season kicking in from June 16 many members will head for Atcham and will no doubt benefit from the hard work and effort put in by fellow members.

The first club event at the venue is the barbel fish-ins, which run twice a year and are aimed at giving river novices the chance to hook into their first barbel and experience the tremendous fight you get in the flow of a river like the Severn.

Each novice is allocated a mentor for the day and the pegs at Atcham are allocated to give them the best chance of a barbel.

The 2012 events will follow a similar format to previous years but will start at noon to encourage anglers to fish on into the late evening, when barbel are known to be more active.

Both sessions will start with the BBQ which is expertly run by Bill Last followed by a quick induction session before members make their way to the pegs.

The July event will take place on Saturday 21st July 2012 followed by the September event on Saturday 8th September 2012, some members have previously made a weekend of it and stayed over till the Sunday, myself included, but if you just want to have a taste of river fishing for the mighty Barbus Barbus then the Saturday’s will provide you with that opportunity and you may even win a prize, donated by the club, on the day!