Birkwood Farm Fisheries
Birkwood Farm Fisheries, Birkwood Road, Altofts, Normanton. WF6 2JE
Day Tickets £7.
Birkwood Farm Fisheries is a four lake fishery based in Altofts, not far from Wakefield and Normanton. The Main Lake is around three acres in size with depths around three to four meters, stocked with the usual mix of coarse fish. My personal favourite is Froghall, an old cow watering pond that has been converted into a small carp lake. The lake goes quite deep and stocks carp with a handful over 20lb, going up to 27lb. You will find other coarse fish in Froghall Lake. Emily's and Oscar's Lakes although dug to different shapes offer similar fishing experiences and are predominantly aimed at the match angler with open matches regularly held over the winter weekends.
Earnies reviews of Birkwood Farm Fisheries;Birkwood Farm Fisheries - Froghall Lake
I love a spot of mid-week fishing and 13th August saw a return to local venue Birkwood Farm Fisheries in Altofts. I usually work Monday to Friday and only get the rods out on a weekend, however with some holiday allowance to use up I booked a day off and went fishing with my mate Richard. Glad he invited me now because he paid which always makes for a happy start to the day. Gates opened at 6am, about the same time my alarm clock went off at home. Not a chance I'm getting up at half five for a day session.
We arrived at the venue for 7am and several pegs on the top lake and Emily's were taken, however I wanted another try at the corner peg on Froghall Lake and luckily for us, the lake was empty. I set up in the corner peg which was nice and dry compared to my visit a few months ago. My plan for today was risk blanking in an attempt to explore half depth. I'm guilty of laziness in my approach to fishing and tend to fish on the surface, or fish on the bottom, maybe popped up 10 inch. Half depth was new territory for me and to improve my catch rates I need to add to my skills and watercraft. To get me going I zigged both carp rods to around half depth which on this lake is around 4-5ft depending where you fish. The size of the hook stayed at 12, and the hair length on each rig stayed equal, however I used double 11mm oily pellet on one rod and a single on the other.
Minutes into the session I had a run. Seemed small but gave some sharp tugs on the rod. Within ten seconds it broke free and off it went. Never saw the fish but I assume 1-2lb. Shortly afterwards I landed a juvenile carp, weighing in around 0.5lb at a guess. Both runs happening on the single pellet. A couple of hours later I had a double take which Richard had to help me with. I battled a 7lb carp from the margin on single pellet whilst Richard pulled in a carp to around 4lb on the double. After this I changed tactics and the double pellet zig changed to a control float fishing at depths between 2-5ft over the course of the afternoon. Hookbait was a single worm hooked once then looped back over and hooked again to create a ball shape. The float went under a few times but I reeled in as a strike rather than lifting upwards. I changed to a sharp upwards tug and a small burst on the reel and it started returning results, however it wasn't the fish I expected. I started getting Rudd or Roach, not 100% sure which. I also found that having missed a bite once, half the worm had come off, and fishing the remaining half, and subsequently fishing each new cast deliberately with a chopped worm was getting results whereas the presentation of a full worm was probably a bit too large. I landed four silvers and two small carp. Not the 27lb from the website or any double figure fish that we'd been going for but it was a decent return. Richard from a single rod landed some decent carp, looking like they'd be 10lb+ but actually weighing smaller at 7lb. He had three of these using a mixture of the oily pellets I was using and a cork impregnated boilie. I nipped off to the loo and gave him my floating set-up, and whilst away he'd landed a silver. I came back and had a brew and by the time I'd drunk it he'd landed a further two.
Weather today was blustery, rained at times and mainly cloudy. It had followed two days of hard rain. Lake must have seen some action the day before because my peg was full of scum that the wind had blown in. Not an issue as surely that indicates extra food and smells must have drifted into my swim, hopefully feeding it up. Also what looked like Korda's new Goo as there was a lime green oil slick across my peg which seemed to disperse as the day went on.
Great days fishing, owners and their dogs really nice as always. Well worth a visit!