Maps & Directions

Elvington Lake, 13th May 2001


Wheldrake Lane, Elvington, Nr York, N.Yorkshire
Telephone: 01904 608255


Some pegs are easily accessed but pegs along the field sides have restricted access. 
No fishing between 9pm - 8am.
Species  :   Carp, Bream, Tench, Golden Tench, Chub, Rudd, Orfe, Roach, Eel, Catfish, Perch, Crucian Carp
Permits  :  Day Ticket- 2 Rods 4.00, 3 or more Rods 5.00
Purchased from the cottage.

Here I was lined up to draw my peg number for what was my first match on Elvington Lake. There were various discussions going on around me but the one thing that was common was talk of big fish and big weights. Here was some serious competition and I had a reputation to uphold. My number came out - peg 13. This sounds ominous, peg 13 on May the 13th. It's a good job that I'm not superstitious.

The whistle blew and we were off. My peg was on the right side as you enter the fishery, a 200 year old Clay pit some 3 acres in size and depths reaching up to 35 feet. There was an overhanging tree to my right, a partly submerged bush to my left and a submerged platform in front of me, the depth in the margin was 10 foot. 
Not knowing what to expect I decided to use a pole, number 12 elastic, 6.6lb line, size 18 hook and two red maggots fished on the bottom under the overhanging tree some 7metres out. The lake is known to hold some big fish and a fair head of Roach and Skimmers so I wanted to be able to stand a chance with the bigger fish even if it meant forsaking a few bites with the heavier line. 
A small roach came to hand followed by another and another. A quick shuffle of my shot arrangement soon got the maggots down beneath the small stuff and then it went quiet. Had I made a mistake, was I condemned to a day's tiddler bashing? Just at that thought my float slid from view and I pulled into a monster. The rig and the elastic heading off towards the Caravans in the distance, hastily I coupled the rest of the pole together and lay it down sideways to try to turn the steam train that my maggots had grabbed hold of. It worked, the fish had now slowed down and was changing direction. Fifteen minutes later a Tench of 51/2lb was in my landing net.

Full of confidence I lowered my float once more. Maggots were tossed to their fate on a regular basis, a few at a time, just enough to hopefully get through the tiddlers. The float slid away again, this time it was a skimmer followed shortly by another and then another Tench, smaller than my first. Then it seemed to go still as though everything had moved on or had it?

In the distance you could see a few fish topping and an occasional Tench rolling on the sun baked surface, a change of tactic was required. I shortened my rig in order to bring the hook into mid-water guessing that the Tench may well have come off the bottom. It worked, no sooner had my float settled, it slid away resulting in yet another Tench. A few more skimmers and tiddlers were grabbed by my maggots, I had trained them well.
From the next peg came the anguished cry that is familiar to us all, he had lost a big Carp that he had been playing for the last half hour. 

The sun was now on the water in front of the tree so I shortened my rig further still, this time to a depth of two foot. Lets see if the fish have moved up into the warmer surface water. Again I fed a steady stream of maggots, the tiddlers were still there and the float wobbled and disappeared from the surface one more time. I lifted into it thinking that it was another small Roach, geesh my rig was once again heading for the horizon, this was no Tench, my pole was hastily shipped together to it's full 11metre length, my arms reaching out, I didn't know that elastic could stretch that far. It's times like this that I'm glad of strong line. A battle of whit and strength followed for the next 20 minutes resulting in a Common Carp of 7lb 15oz coming to my net. These were no stock fish, they are pure fighting machines on steroids!

The remainder of the match was the same with a few more smaller Carp, Tench and smaller Roach and Skimmers with the occasional Perch all from two foot under the surface. Then fifteen minutes to go my float once again slipped from view, another large Carp was on but this was different. It headed straight for the far bank with the velocity of a bullet, my faithful maggots holding on for dear life. I wasn't going to be able to stop this one unless I could turn it. I threw my pole tip into the water and started to drag it sideways hoping that I could get the Carp to turn, it worked but this fish had no intention of succumbing to my net. It took every opportunity  to head for the snags. The whistle blew, my arms were aching and still there was no sign of this Carp easing. Another fifteen minutes went by, I was winning, the fish was tiring and I could see it now, a large Mirror about 10lbs. A small audience was now watching my every move, the landing net was poised and it was there. I spoke too soon, it headed straight for my keep-net and managed to get underneath it. What the, how do I get out of this, I tried to lift my net out of the way whilst holding the tip section of my pole performing contortions resembling something out of a Yoga manual. And it happened, my line gave way, it was gone and that familiar cry was once again heard across the lake.

It was to cost me dearly. I finished second with 34lb 4oz, a mixed bag with some very nice Tench, the winner weighed in with 34lb 7oz. But then again I could go back to the rest of the team, my head held high and my reputation still intact. 

Elvington Lake is no ordinary fishery, it is a mature lake containing large Tench, larger Carp and monster Catfish, definitely not for the fainthearted or light tackle.




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