The Oaks Lakes - Sessay
The Oaks Lakes, Sessay, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 3BG, 01845 501321
Course fishing £8. Specimen/Night fishing on Willows, call to confirm.
The Oaks Lakes is a large complex in Thirsk, tucked away just off of the A1. The venue offers 10 fifferent lakes, some dedicated to match fishing and some strictly for pleasure anglers. The lake that most catches my eye is Willows on the right as you enter the main car park. Home to specimen carp, the lake also houses a mix of coarse fish. Dug like a carp lake as opposed to a more uniformed match style water, it offers several marginal and island features to go at. The ground is flat although might be hard stone under the top layer so getting a bivvy pegged in might be a challenge. Most of the other lakes I saw were dug to offer match style fishing offering no obvious advantages between different pegs. There is a large on site cafe that opens around 8-8:30am, and a very reasonably pried and well stocked tackle shop next door that opens roughly the same time. There is a toilet block in the central car park.
Earnies reviews of The Oaks Lakes;The Oaks - Firs Lake
Should I take the car or the boat today? An hours drive up the A1 to The Oaks Lakes at Sessay in Thirsk, not fun considering the ground was saturated with water and the motorways had turned to rivers.
We arrived around half seven and went on a scouting mission. I immediately spotted Willows Lake but upon walking around, saw a sign suggesting it was only fishable with a night ticket. Not sure whether we'd misunderstood and as the cafe wasn't open for us to ask, we carried on walking around. Settling upon Firs Lake in the far corner, we set up under a heavy rain storm. I fished one rod on the bottom just out to my right by the long grass using a maggot clip, and another rod 15 yards out on a pop up boilie. An hour in I had a run and pulled in a 4lb carp. It didn't struggle much and spat out the hook in the net which made returning him to the water a short task. My maggot clip had been receiving a lot of attention too but I think that had a lot to do with the small fish being drawn in by the free offerings around it. After an hour I pulled the rod in and using a float, copied Richards tactics and fished balled up bread a foot under the surface. After enduring the relentless monsoon for half an hour the float went under. Whoops... Should have paid more attention. Lucky for me it went under a couple more times in the next five minutes and I hooked into a nice tench. Not the biggest, and not as green as I'm used to either but nether the less, a nice fish. I had a couple more silvers but called it a day very early indeed. Richard had been very successful on the pole too, bread pulling in several tench and silvers, all of decent size. He had a carp in the cradle to around 5lb. It was the moment a carp started taking elastic, a moment I live for, gets me really excited seeing the bright band pull from the end of the pole, and then subsequently went on to snap him off, that we'd decided we'd had enough and packed up, still under monsoon conditions.
I don't know what to make of The Oaks Lakes at Sessay. The fish were feeding and as we all go fishing to catch, that's a very important box ticked. In dry conditions it would have been a lot better, but in the rain, whenever you put something on the ground, you picked it back up covered in mud and grit. It's going to take a while for me to clean my reels. I also struggled getting any bank sticks into the hard ground. For me the lakes didn't get me excited. Although a good complex, I found the pegs too close together although they were plentiful so there's no need for someone to come sit right next to you. I also found the lakes with the exception of Willows, very plain. It's clearly focused on match angling and although I like a bit of coarse fishing for smaller species, I like features to fish to. It just wasn't my cup of tea. That said, as we left the car park was packed and possibly a hundred anglers on site. I'm sure these guys are regulars so for a keen match angler I'm sure it's a totally different proposition.
- The Oaks - Firs Lake