Angling: Restocked fishery is more than par for the course

Fishery owner Mandy Parr watches Farnley's Dave Pollitt at Weeton Lake.
Fishery owner Mandy Parr watches Farnley's Dave Pollitt at Weeton Lake.
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Angling should always raise a smile and my recent visit to local fishery Weeton Lake at Huby did just that for me and everyone else at the venue.

Chatting over old times and faces from the past with owner Mandy Parr, it was easy to see that she is back on track and a woman with a plan.

The lake dreamed of, planned and built by her late husband, well-known Leeds angler Gary Parr, had, over the past few years, taken a back seat owing to his frequent visits to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and his fight against cardio myopathy.

They reluctantly had to close the fishery, though through these hard times Gary still laughed while planning the next project or job, even helping with the installation of the new otter fence – typical of the man. Gary sadly died in November aged just 51.

Mandy, in his memory, reopened the lake on Good Friday and I know he would be pleased with the results. Lost fish due to predation and a couple of harsh winters have, this year, been replaced with thousands of F1 hybrid carp averaging 10oz and some larger English-bred common and mirror carp to 3lb, these will now complement existing fish that run into double figures.

The lake, with a width of about 16 metres to the island and an average of around 4ft in depth, is not your run-of-the-mill commercial.

Aerators and good use of rushy beds are obviously to the liking of the species stocked and all the fish caught were in pristine condition.

Some massive catches have been reported over the past few weeks, with the best method being short pole, feeding softened micros and a 4m expander on the hook, basic 4x12 rigs to 012 or 014 line. Keepnets are allowed but fish must be returned after four hours except in matches.

The fish are relatively easy to catch which makes the fishery ideal for beginners, or parents wanting to spark their kids’ interests.

Open dawn till dusk with price concessions for OAPs and half price for evenings after 5pm, the fishery with the Leeds postcode has to be a must visit this summer.

For those of us old enough to remember the barge yard at Kirkstall Power Station, struggling for an odd perch or throwing a rusty spinner for a Leeds and Liverpool pike, the changes and recent results make good reading.

Leeds Angling Centre is now controlling and running organised competitions on the now Aire Valley Marina – proving that stillwater fishing is not just about commercials and carp.

Proper ‘cut’ fishing is proving popular on the Kirkstall/Armley sections of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal with the latest match being won by canal expert Richard Thorne. Richard turned back the clock using two bobs worth of bait and doubling the weight of the second-placed angler, a few slices of liquidised ‘mothers pride’ and another slice for the punch saw him put together 46 roach and small skimmers for a winning weight of 5lb 8oz.

A full summer of matches have been arranged, see match diary for details.

Junior angler, Liam Matley, aged 10. PIC: Steve Fearnley

Angling: Leeds and District initiative puts junior anglers at forefront and challenges other societies to follow its lead