Angling: Silver fish make way for ‘golden generation’ of mixed carp at Moor Monkton Pools

The grin confirms it was a successful cropping day for fish farmers Paul Clark and Dave Pollitt at Moor Monkton Pools. PIC: Steve Fearnley
The grin confirms it was a successful cropping day for fish farmers Paul Clark and Dave Pollitt at Moor Monkton Pools. PIC: Steve Fearnley
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Moor Monkton Pools’ seasonal stocking programme started last week, with fish farmers and volunteers getting wet, muddy and smelly preparing the Leeds-owned lakes for its next batch of carp.

Convincing anglers that removing huge amounts of small silver fish can actually increase future match and pleasure catches can often fall on deaf ears, but Environment Agency experts and fishery managers promote the act known as ‘cropping’ as a priority for healthy fish stocks.

Paul Clark and Dave Pollitt, of Lindley Fish Farm, oversee a successful cropping day with thousands of fish at Moor Monkton Pools. PIC: Steve Fearnley

Paul Clark and Dave Pollitt, of Lindley Fish Farm, oversee a successful cropping day with thousands of fish at Moor Monkton Pools. PIC: Steve Fearnley

Using 80-metre purse nets held to the lake bed with lead lines, it didn’t take long to see the lake’s roach and bream had exploded to levels that would soon see them become a problem to water quality.

Over 150 kilos of small fish, ranging between one and six ounces, were removed and saved for adoption before releasing a mixture of common, mirror and F1 carp into their new home with time to over winter and acclimatise. All other fish netted, including large bream, tench and carp to double figures, were returned.

The season’s first major frosts, low cold clear water levels and strong winds seemed to kick-start the autumn roach-fest with the species going on an unexpected frenzy. An above-exceptional roach catch was needed to win the second round of the Yorkshire Winter League, held on the lower Aire around Chapel Haddlesey, with Tadcaster’s Paul Burton taking over 29lb of red fins to the scales to take the day’s top prize.

His catch would be regarded as a class weight on any venue and was taken on the now in-vogue 9m long whip to hand which, with no reel or rod rings to contend with, enabled him to present a perfect bait in awful conditions to amass over 200 fish in the five-hour competition. Second-place Phil Austin led a string of above-average roach catches with over 26lb and 20lb needed to make the bottom end of the prize list.

The Ouse Championship – normally associated with massive bream catches or single-specimen sized chub and barbel – also succumbed to the dominant roach shoals. Bradford’s Craig Turbitt topped the prestigious 100-peg event from an unfancied Sellars Section with over 15lb of mainly roach and the odd chublet.

All his fish fell to a traditional stick float and caster set-up in an unusually shallow peg for this stretch of river upstream of York.

The last of the week’s big competitions offered the chance of the heftiest pay day, with the closing fixture of this year’s Riverfest qualifiers held on the Ouse and Ure around Linton – also dominated by roach.

With only two anglers able to qualify from the day’s 40 competitors, only a few ounces separated success from failure and a chance at the £14,000 top prize.

Team Don’s Ian Exley took top spot, again with a good roach net of 12-15, all caught on the pole over a heavy bombardment of groundbait. Wakefield’s Bob Brown was second on the day with 12-12 but was in the same section as the winner so was unfortunate not to qualify.

This left the gate open for Manchester’s Dave Pollitt – pegged in the top section at Hunters – to claim his place in the final with 12-04, again all roach.

Results

Listerhilla AA Canal Kirkstall Marina: 1, R Movley 1-08; 2, E Harrison and B Paton 1-05.

Moor Monkton Pools, Cyprio: 1, Alex Warren 105-14; 2, Ben Fisk 95-07; 3, Lee Myers 78-08; 4, Roy Worsnop 74-05.

Moor Monkton Pools, Wednesday Rover, All Pools: 1, Adrian Bolton 57-08; 2, Garry Watson 50-04; 3, Geoff Rhodes 45-12; 4, Stan Jeffreys 43-05.

Moor Monkton Pools, Wednesday Rover, All Pools: 1, Chris Baldwin 86-08; 2, Tom Bainbridge 83-03; 3, Steve Mazza 80-07; 4, Adrian Bolton 75-09.

Moor Monkton Pools, Sunday Open, All Pools: 1, Ben Fisk 106-13; 2, Andy Middleton 76-14; 3, Gordon Wright 68-08; 4, Tom Bainbridge 59-08.

Moor Monkton Pools, Wednesday Rover, All Pools: 1, Stan Jeffreys 33-13; 2, Steve Mazza 26-03; 3, Steve Bolton 22-11; 4, Andy Gallant 16-08.

Kippax Park Fishery, Saturday Open, Osprey: 1, Andy Rymer 92-13; 2, Tony Evans 84-14; 3, Bob Rymer 76-07; 4, Luca Willshaw 62-07.

Kippax Park Fishery, Tuesday Open, Osprey: 1, Andy Rymer 117-11; 2, Steve Holmes 92-09; 3, Richard Thomas 74-07; 4, Bob Rymer 69-01.

White Horse AC, Raker Lakes, Acorn: 1, T Wainwright 34-00; 2, P Smolka 31-00; 3, P Robinson 27-08; 4, B Murgatroyd (visitor) 24-08.

Bobco Tackle, Yorkshire Winter League, Round 2, Aire at Beale/Chapel Haddlesey: 1, Paul Burton, Anglers World 29-04; 2, Phil Austin, Barlby Village Stores 26-03; 3, Tony Earnshaw, The Glen 24-08; 4, Andy Miller, Tackle 2U 24-05; 5, Daryl Taylor, Aireborough 21-01; 6, Dave Bramley, The Glen 20-09. Teams on the day: 1, The Glen 52pts; 2, Barlby Village Stores 42pts; 3, Tackle 2U 41pts. Teams Overall: 1, The Glen 4pts; 2, Tackle 2U 5pts; 3, Mirfield 6pts.

Riverfest Qualifier, Yorkshire Ouse: 1, Ian Exley, Team Dons 12-15; 2, Bob Brown, Wakefield 12-12; 3, Dave Pollitt, Mirfield 12-04; 4, Paul Kozyra, Cadence Tackle 11-14; 5, Dave Miles, Aireborough 11-12; 6, Phil Austin, Barlby 9-12. Qualifiers: I Exley; D Pollitt.

JT Rodgers Winter Series Lindholme Strip Lake: 1, A Jackson 56-04; 2, D Jackson 55-04; 3, R Richardson 45-15.

JT Rodgers Winter Series Brafferton FI Lake: 1, D Jackson 99-15; 2, A Jackson 95-12; 3, D Watson 84-03.

Viking Saturday Open (Deer): 1, M Brooks 72-05; 2, M Smith 58-09; 3, D Leavey 46-14; 4, N Rymer 46-11.

Rodley Nomads (Viking Deer): 1, D Lawson 40-10; 2, T Fisher 40-06; 3, B Lockwood 33-08.

Fryston AC Winter League (Viking Fox): 1, S Lupton 98-08; 2, G Gill 59-13; 3, P Moran 38-13.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout Sunday: 1, John Dryden 149-05; 2, Ethan Bradley 77-13; 3, Rob Rundle 68-02.

Match Diary

Saturday

Kippax Park: Saturday Open, Lapwing or Osprey, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton: Saturday Open, pools £15, draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks: at Sessay, 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Moorfields Farm: 54 pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Viking: Saturday Open, Hawk Pond, 30 pegs, £16, contact 01405 785206.

Tollerton Ponds: Open Match, all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs), contact 01347 838115.

Kippax Park: winter series, Osprey Lake only, contact Stan on 0796700046.

Sunday

Leeds & Liverpool: Kirkstall, contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills: Leeds & Liverpool Canal, contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Poppleton: Sunday Open, 50 pegs, draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Woodlands: over-50s, 30 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes: over-60s, 30 pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds: over-50s, tickets £16, contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park: over-50s, draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds & District: Moor Monkton Pools, draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Thursday

Poppleton Lakes: draw car park 5pm, pools £11, contact Roger 01904 737279.