Raker Lakes - York
Greengales Lane, Wheldrake, York, YO19 6BW, 01904 448793
Course fishing £7 for one rod, £9 for two. Specimen fishing £10 for a day ticket or £20 for 24hr session.
Raker Lakes has to be one of the most picturesque fishing complexes I've visited. It has well maintained and manicured landscaping all around the venue and great care looks to have taken place when planning out the design of these lakes. Raker Lakes has 4 coarse lakes and a specimen lake, providing a great days fishing for match, pleasure or specimen anglers. I've personally fished Horseshoe Lake and Heron Pond and found there to be decent stock of smaller course fish. I know of anglers who regularly book onto the specimen lake too to catch decent size carp. The Kingfisher Report on their website suggests many mid to high teens with plenty of twenties, creaping into the thirties. It's not a venue I attend regularly however I know it's popular amongst other anglers. Definitely work a visit and I'm sure you'll become a returning customer.
Earnies reviews of Raker Lakes;Raker Lakes - Heron Pond
Back at Raker Lakes in York on a rather windy Saturday April afternoon. The Mrs and friends are on a hen party in York so I've chauffeured them from Leeds and gone off to do a spot of fishing until it's time to pick them up again. A car full of drunken women gossiping for 40 minutes on the way home. Looking forward to that like I look forward to blanking on a fishing trip.
I arrived at Raker Lakes around 2pm and the car park looked full. Not what I'd hoped for. To my surprise there was a match on Highbank Lake, and on Horseshoe there were a lot anglers pole fishing. I did a walk round before grabbing my gear to see which pegs were free and settled on the last peg on Horseshoe Lake as it bent round and met the back of Heron Pond. There were tens of carp in the shallows under the trees. I wouldn't describe them as basking, but they were clearly visible and moving around. I cast in using a controller float and a chunk of bread and left it to see if a carp would take it. Immediately the carp seem spooked and although they didn't dart off, they gradually sunk down into the water and disappeared from sight. Five minutes later I cast in again with fresh bread and threw some micro pellets and loose bread to try get the fish feeding. Carp did slowly come up and take some loose offerings but this was happening right in the edges, a place I couldn't cast to. I was struggling to hold my float against the wind too with the breeze pushing the float into snags within a couple of minutes of being cast. After a hour I upped sticks and set back up round the corner on Heron Pond, a peg myself and friend fished the month previous. Same tactics, and within 20 minutes I'd lost two due to the choppy water disguising slow takes. Shortly afterwards I was on and had a carp on the bank. Relieved! It's always good to get a fish in early leaving you to relax and just take what comes to you for the remainder of the day.
I mentioned that it was windy. Despite being sheltered by a fence I was being battered by strong gusts of wind and my hands were freezing. I went back to the car for my dwarf rod. I cast it in with a Sonubait white chocolate pop up, and four or five identical looking but different tasting Nash Coconut Creme boilies dotted around it having ran out of pva mesh. I also scattered a fist full of micro pellets over the area, slow sinking trying to pull the fish in. I put the rod on the bank stick and as I went to sit down, witnessed the rod tip shake violently. Was it the wind? I left it a minute, a small beep on the alarm, some more shakes. I got up reeling in expecting to be snagged. The rod knocked a couple of times. I'm on I thought. And how quickly did I get that bite. The fish looked really odd as I netted it. Smooth white under belly and tail section with triangular fins. Reminded me of juvenile sharks you see on River Monsters. Really odd colour and texture. Turned out to be a young Bream but looked of a god quality. Probably never caught before.
I cast back in, didn't even swap the hook bait. Three or four loose boilies and another fist of micro pellets. Within minutes another run and a small carp landed, in the 3-4lb range. Back in again with loose boilies and pellets. I sat on my chair pouring a cuppa from my flask. The most violent take I've ever seen. Anyone would have thought I'd hooked into a Marlin. I think the fish had stopped running but it took off wit such ferocity that the reel was still spinning and throwing line out. Cup down and I began to reel in. I was on and started to pull it in, feeling some steady knocks on the line as the fish waved its head ad tried for a new direction. Bugger! It had shook loose.
I went through the cycle over and over re-casting on the same spot, same three or four loose pellets and the micro pellets on top. Every twenty minutes I was into a fish. Another particularly violent one was a small Ghost Carp. Again it tore line off the reel and this time it knotted around the bail arm as the line came off without being under tension. I couldn't sort the line out quickly so had to pull the line in by hand. Landed my first ever Ghostie which made my day because I'd been chasing them the week before. Only 4lb but looked nice. Landed several more mirrors and commons up to 7lb. Ended the day with eight on the bank and three lost, one half in the et as it went for another run and broke free.
Packed up at half six and went off for food before picking the ladies up. Drunk women talking about babies all the way back down the A64. Why can't they do what Richard does and fall asleep within five minutes of setting off home? Great days fishing at Raker Lakes today and out again in a couple of days to a new venue for myself. Hopefully a lot of new venues for the blog this summer.