Capable of holding 75 anglers but never allowed to be fished by more than 30 at any one time, Lookout Lake is the water nearest the entrance to Angel of the North and is the fishery's main mixed pleasure water.
Lookout is known to hold a good mix of decent sized fish including crucian carp to an impressive 4lbs 1oz and averaging about 2lbs; green tench to 10lbs 5oz with the average between 5lbs and 7lbs; golden and blue tench to 3lbs; blue and golden orfe to 1lb 10ozs; ide to a similar size; roach and rudd to 1lb 12oz; dustbin lid bream to 10lbs 4oz and perch to over 3lbs.
And that's not to mention the carp, the best commons, mirrors and ghosties of which go to about 15lbs with 3lbs being the average size. There are also some koi carp which run to about 10lbs.
Those going after the carp do well fishing 10 or 12mm pellets, quarter to half inch cubes of luncheon meat, maggots or even mussels, although anglers should note that floating baits and boilies are not allowed and that they should not feed meat or corn.
The best pegs for the carp are said to be Pegs 1-3, 16A, 24-25, 33 and 42.
Whatever species you are targeting, the waggler works well in warm weather while the pole is also popular. If the weather is windy - as it often can be in the North East - go onto the swingtip with free-running ledger tackle. Balanced tackle takes plenty of fish and the keynote is to keep things simple.
Whichever peg you fish, it pays to feed a swim to your left and one to your right at most two metres out from the bank. Fish on the bottom in cold weather and anything up top a foot deep in summer.
Feeding the swim is critical to attract fish into your baited area and then keep them there, feeding more hooksamples and pellets in summer and little but fairly frequently in winter... as little as three or four small pellets every few minutes. When loosefeeding it is always a good idea to throw it high so it makes splash as it hits the water and attracts the fish.
Good pegs for the tench are those giving access to the channels at each end of the island and Peg 21. On these pegs you need to plumb the depth accurately and fish dead on depth using chopped worm, maggots or casters. When going for the tench anglers are recommended to use 8lb line to a 5lb hooklength and size 12 hook.
Although difficult to catch in cold weather, good bags of crucians, skimmers, ide and perch can be taken throughout much of the year on sweetcorn, casters, maggots and pellets - a good all-round bait at Angel of the North. These fish love hanging about near the island with the big fish being found at the bottom of the shelf in about six feet of water.
When going for the crucians 8lb line to a 5lb bottom is again recommended but drop down to a Size 16 hook and fish dead on the bottom.
For general year-round fishing, the rudd can be taken on the drop after getting them to feed up in the water by throwing in samples of hookbait and using either single or double maggot, pellets or casters on the hook.
The roach also fall readily to maggots, casters and pellet with the fishery's own pellets being particularly successful, especially when soaked in warm water and left to chill down in a fridge overnight.
Classified as the Angel of the North's mixed carp water with good heads of commons, mirrors and leathers, Bowes Lake at three-and-a-half acres is similar in size to Lookout Lake and has two small central islands.
Aimed at the pleasure and match carp angler rather than the out-and-out specimen hunter, Bowes holds a lot of fish in the 5lbs to 8lbs range, about 100 around the 10lb mark, a smiliar number between 15lbs and 20lbs and quite a lot of fish running into the low 20s.
The biggest fish to come out so far was a 31lb 7oz female common which was taken on three maggots waggler fished on a Size 12 hook.
Indeed, with the pole and swimfeeder, the waggler is again one of the three main methods for fishing this water, although ledgering to about a foot from the island can prove deadly.
Like Lookout and Bassetts the banks drop to about three feet in depth before hitting a three feet wide planting shelf and falling away again by another three feet to a maximum depth of six feet, although on both Lookout and Bowes there are no shelves around the islands.
Fishing the margins can be stunning in warmer weather and anglers using the pole are recommended either to fish in the sides or between six and seven metres out at the bottom of the marginal shelf.
Although all pegs usually fish well, the recognised 'hot spots' tend to be Pegs 1, 3, 5, 13, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25 and 37 to 40 - but don't worry if you can't get any of these as all parts of the lake can produce well in the right conditions.
In winter or on colder days it can pay to fish between the islands from Peg 3 or Peg 23. Fishing from Peg 19 by the inlet can also be very productive.
If fishing Pegs 1 or 40, fish in the margins for a bite a chuck, but be warned, some big fish have come from these pegs so you may need to scale up your tackle and be prepared for a fight. Remember, on this lake there is a minimum recommended line strength of 14 elastic, 8lb line and a maximum of Size 12 hook - although you don't need to go large as earlier in 2007 a 29lb carp was taken on the pole using just a Size 16.
About a third of an acre in size, Bassett's Pond is a delightful pool stuffed full of fish which is ideal for younger anglers, beginners and those who want to be sure of catching a good bag of fish. It offers a total of 14 pegs, two of which are purpose-built for disabled anglers.
Especially appealing in bad weather because it is so sheltered, Bassett's holds a good head of original stock carp to 10lbs which came from the famous Horseshoe Lake. Although the average size of these fish is only 12oz, this is expected to increase to around 1lb by 2008.
Other species include handsome crucian carp averaging 1lb with some bigger than this; roach and rudd to 1lb 8oz and averaging a healthy 1lb; golden tench averaging 1lb 4oz; green tench to about 1lb; ide to a similar size; blue and golden orfe to 1lb 4oz; some ghosties to 2lbs 8oz and koi carp to 9lbs.
Whatever time of year you fish Bassett's Pond it pays to tuck in as tight to the side as you can get, fishing the top of the shelf at about two-feet-six-inches deep. Whilst you may need to drop down to the bottom where six feet of water can be found in extremely cold weather, this is best done only after you have first tried the margins and again you need to stay as close to the sides of the shelf as you can.
Best bait on Bassetts is either single or double maggot fished on fairly light tackle and once again it pays to feed little and often with a few freebies to keep the fish going.
In summer 6mm soft hooker pellets or yellow sweetcorn fished over a bed of Angel of the North's own feeder pellets can also be very successful, although you obviously need to feed heavier and more often than in cold weather. For some reason worm and caster do not produce well on this water so they are best left at home.
All float fishing techniques work well on Bassett's but whether you opt to fish the whip, pole or waggler you need to rig up with 4lb line to a 3lb hook length and a Size 14 or 16 hook.
All-in-all it is easy to see why Bassett's is used as the training pool for youngsters as it is very attractive with easy access from the car park and plenty of bankside vegetation. Being easy to fish with a good selection of species, it should appeal equally to experienced anglers as to beginners and is well worth a visit if you want to be fairly sure of catching plenty of fish.
|Visit Angel Fishing Lakes on the Net
Angel of the North Fishing Lakes has one of the most comprehensive fishery websites on the Internet with a wealth of information and photographs on all aspects of the venue from the history of the site through the fishing available to pages on biodiversity and angling education. Well worth a visit, the site can be found at www.angelfishing.com.
How to get there...
Angel of the North is just a short drive from the Washington Service Area on the A1.
From the South on the A1: Pass Washington Services and take the next slip road signposted Birtley and the A167. Do a U-turn at the roundabout to bring you back onto the A1, heading South. Keep to the inside lane and take the next slip road off signposted A1231 and Sunderland, known locally as the Bowes Incline. Turn left at the roundabout toward Wrekenton (Rockcliff Way) then turn left after approximately 50 metres into the entrance for Angel of the North Fishing Lakes.
From the North on the A1: Pass the Angel of the North signposted Birtley and the A167 and then take the next slip road signposted A1231 and Sunderland, known locally as the Bowes Incline. Turn left at the roundabout toward Wrekenton (Rockcliff Way) then turn left after approximately 50 metres into the entrance for Angel of the North Fishing Lakes.
From the East on the A1231: Pass Junction 64 (Fatfield) and continue to follow signs for Gateshead and A1 North. As you approach Junction 65 keep to the outside lane as the inside lane is for A1 North. Go straight ahead at the roundabout towards Wrekenton (Rockcliff Way) and then turn left after approximately 50 metres into the entrance for Angel of the North Fishing Lakes.
From the North or South on the A19: Turn off the A19 at the junction with the A1231, signposted Washington and Sunderland North. Take the A1231 towards Washington and Gateshead (not Sunderland) and follow the directions above (From the East on the A1231).
Click on the map above for more detail.
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