South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Report (February 2019)

The unseasonal fine weather, with sunshine and near record breaking temperatures for the time of year, provided the perfect backdrop for the new, early season opening date at Kennick (15 February, season ticket holders’ preview day). As midges danced in the sunlight and anglers fished in short sleeves, one could be forgiven for thinking spring had arrived, and the fishing did not disappoint, although water temperatures were still low (around 7ºc) and very few surface feeding fish were evident.

The opening weekend saw anglers catching well, with plenty of full bags and rods averaging just under 4.8 fish per visit. Mr. M. Malpas from Chudleigh caught the best fish – a Rainbow of 3lb 2oz – as part of a full bag, using a Damsel Nymph fished from the bank at Laployds, while local Dawlish angler, Eddy Carter, caught the best bag (of twelve Rainbows) on opening day. Most of the fish have congregated at the shallower north end of the lake, with bank anglers doing well from the Causeway, Smithacott and Laployd banks, while boat anglers have found the Narrows productive.

While fish have not yet started to feed from the surface, they are definitely looking up, and floating or intermediate lines proved to be the favourite tactic, fishing with either single large weighted nymphs (Gold-head Damsels and Montanas) or lures (Cats Whiskers and Kennick Killers).

Siblyback opened on 1 March, again with some stunning results, with most anglers bagging up and an overall average of 8.2 fish per rod. The north bank and the area around the bird-hide and Digger’s Bench fished particularly well, with a slow retrieved Damsel Nymph or lure (Tadpoles, Blobs, Baby Dolls and Vivas) fished on a slow Sink-tip or intermediate line proving to be the most successful tactic.

Chris Hall (March 2019)