Steve Lockett talks…

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Published April 2016
We had a chat with the Angler’s Mail Fisheries correspondent

Steve Lockett
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Steve Lockett

What’s your favourite White Acres lake and why?
I really like Jennys Lake for the silver fish sport. Fishing at 6m with loose fed casters, or over a bit of chopped worm, you can have a cracking days fishing with all sorts of species, not just carp. It can be hard work, but the reward is bites all day long and you never know what fish is coming next. It could be a 1lb skimmer, an F1, a double-figure carp, or a quality roach or perch.
For simplicity, casting a method feeder to one of the islands can bring some very big carp. You can drop the rig out and sit back and wait while taking in the surroundings. Or try casting every couple of minutes for a better days sport.

Most memorable fishing experience at White Acres?
Probably my first ever visit, which must be 20 years ago. I fished on Sycamore, casting a waggler between the islands for carp after carp. At the time it was quite rare to be able to catch so many of them in one session. This was in the days before pellets were widely used, so I was catapulting maggots out and most times the rod was wrenched round before I had time to strike at a bite.

What do you look for in a great angling holiday?
It’s important for me that there are other things to do close to the angling destination. Although I go for the fishing, I don’t want to just fish all day, every day. Places nearby for walks in the countryside, visits to local attractions, and great places to eat and drink are all part of an angling holiday for me.
When I am fishing, I like to be able to get away from crowds, so large complexes with plenty of lakes tick my box. As do lakes with lots of features like bays, islands, points and trees. They all help to give me some seclusion and the feeling that I could be the only person fishing that lake, that day.

What keeps you coming back to White Acres?

Well, I only live just over an hour and a half away. As an angling journalist, I need venues close to hand where I can almost guarantee a good net of fish for either me, or the angler featuring in an article. White Acres not only has great sport on tap, it also has a range of lakes so I can pick out a peg to suit a method or conditions.

What would you say to someone thinking about fishing their first match?
Don’t get too wrapped-up in the competition. Having a good day is a big part of fishing. Have a simple plan and execute it well rather than trying to do too much. Finally, take every fish that comes as a bonus; they’re what you’re there for and every bite is part of the experience.
If you find yourself drawn next to a ‘star’ angler, don’t be afraid to ask them questions. They will give you advice, as long as you don’t disturb their match preparations. In the many walks of life I’ve followed, I’ve always found that the most talented people, the genuine ‘stars’, are usually the most honest, open people as well.

What piece of equipment or product would you not be without on an angling holiday?
It doesn’t matter, because you can simply drop into the The Tackle Shop and buy anything you need!
Seriously, I have to know that my gear won’t let me down, and the part that seems to suffer the most in anyone’s set-up is the reel. Give me a high-quality reel and I’m happy I can deal with any other breakage or let-down.

Mine are getting on a bit now; Daiwa Exceller-X in 2500 or 4000 size. Despite getting a fearful battering in matches for huge nets of carp, lure fishing for big pike, being thrown into airplane holds before fighting some of the hardest-battling fish on the planet, they are still running smooth. I’ve heard some highly rated reels sounding like coffee grinders after a couple of seasons on the bank, but my Daiwas are still going strong nearly 10 years on.

Your top tip for fishing at White Acres?
Don’t get confused with rigs and tackle, feeding is the most important part of any anglers’ day. If you feed to make the fish compete against each other, then bites come easily. Fish are simple creatures, attuned to the sound of potential food hitting the water. If you keep a little bit of bait trickling in, the fish will respond. Don’t expect them to drop down to the bottom for food; once they know it’s landing on a regular basis, they’ll come up through the water to the depth they’re most comfortable at. If you can work out this depth, by shallowing-up when you miss bites, then you’ll begin to really bag-up and a fantastic day is on the cards.

Pick up your copy of Angler’s Mail every Tuesday for more from Steve Lockett