As part of my season ticket for Salisbury & District Angling Club I have access to two stocked trout lakes which I have been hoping will give me some good sport over the winter. After some heavy rain and colder temperatures through October I decided to try one of them out.
Hamer Lake is on a working quarry which makes it sound worse than it is. Its about 4 acres wide and set in the middle of a field. Its generally quite shallow but has some deeper channels towards an island in the middle and a few interesting little bays. On first sight there seemed enough interesting features.
Given the size and depth, I quickly decided a floater would be enough. As I approached the water, there were signs of fish rising and some black buzzers floating around, so I started with a black diawl bach to match the hatch and fish relatively high in the water. Fish continue to rise sporadically but after ten minutes I’d had no interest so tried a black CDC and then a popper hopper. Fish were still rising but didn’t seem interested.
I wanted to explore the whole lake and I could see fish moving on the far side, so I worked my way around, casting a line in fishy looking spots. On the far bank there were significant weed beds in a band from around five yards out for another fifteen yards, after which there was a deeper channel. This looked very fishy and there were signs of fish feeding through the weed beds. I stuck a hares ear on to try and match a variety of bugs that they might be feeding on and worked my way along the bank, casting along the weed as well as across it, into the deeper channels. After ten minutes, just as I was thinking of making a change, the rod was nearly ripped from my arm from a savage take. As I lifted and put some pressure on the fish, it really took flight and took off like a torpedo into the middle of the lake. It took me down to the backing twice before I managed to get it to the net! It was nothing massive, probably 3lb, but it fought well.
I had another three fish in quick succession on this method, working my way down the bank. Further down I noticed that the fish seemed a bit more active – I could see the water moving as they swam quickly just under the surface. This seemed a little like fry chasing so I tried a popper minkie and cats whisker with absolutely no interest. For fun, I tried a little hares ear booby I’ve tied a few weeks before and that really hit the spot. I was casting out over the weed beds and then stripping the booby through the surface and just watching the fish zone in on it. I had a follow on almost every cast but not many good takes and hook-ups; still, I managed another three fish.
After a quick lunch, I tried a few deeper areas trying to interest the fish on the buzzers which were still hatching off. I had a couple of takes on a black buzzer and one fish that I lost in the weeds before calling it a day.
So, a good first trip to one of the lakes. If the other one is as good as this, its going to be a fun winters fishing!