Longreach Lake, St Ives Fishery

Longreach lake on the incredible St Ives fishery is one of the hardest and at the same time rewarding venues in the UK.

Longreach Lake, St Ives Fishery

Day ticket or syndicate: Syndicate
Realistic catch rate: 1 run is a great session
How much: £450. £550 for access to all lakes.
How do I get a ticket: Ring fishery manager - 07803 065993
Skill level to catch: Experienced.
How busy is it: Usually a few spots to choose from even on busy days.
Location: St Ives, Cambridgshire.
Can you drive to the swims: No
On site facilities: No Onsite facilities, Tackle shop is down the road. Public toilets are a short wall away.
Best bait: Boilies and tigers.
Average size: 30+
Max realistic size: 40+

Longreach Lake, St Ives Fishery

With 7 Lakes, 350 acres of water across a nearly 700 acre complex the St Ives Fishery is one of the UK’s most recognised carp locations in the country.

At 30 acres, the Longreach Lake is by far my favourite, offering the angler an incredibly challenging experience, in exceptional surroundings with some immense rewards to those who put in the effort.

Longreach lake is not for beginners and you must be prepared to blank.

Ian James Dakin

Longreach, like several other lakes on the complex is not for beginners and you must be prepared to blank.

You will not catch every trip, you need to be able to learn and adapt to be in a position to give yourself the best chance of catching some very sought after English carp.

With large lakes, as always location is key, baiting can only be done once the fish have been found.

They fall to all sorts of approaches; from bait and wait, through to singles cast to showing fish. There is no black and white at Longreach, constantly adjusting your approach to find an opportunity is the way.

All rigs have and do work at Longreach and I have caught on choddys, bottom baits and wafters.

With one thing in common, they were all fished to areas I knew the fish patrolled.

Location, location, location, the rigs just need to be presented correctly and adapted depending on the situation and the lake topography – you’re always in with a chance if you have got the location right.

Most rigs work if presented right, in an area the fish are happy to feed.

Boilie of course works well but these are big fish for a reason, they like to eat, so large beds of particle and tiger nuts have caught me and others fish too.

All areas produce fish at different times and weather conditions, all pegs do fish at some point, even no carp bay!

St Ives is predominantly a boilie water and Longreach is no different, but don’t neglect particles, my best capture of Starburst, from Longreach at just under 40lb fell to a few tiger nuts in the margin.

Beware that the surface fishing is not great, many try but as the fish do not like knowing they are being fished for, it is often in vain.

I am no expert on these lakes, but I have managed to bank a few along the way, but one thing I do see a lot of new anglers doing is over baiting, but people soon learn or move on.

These St Ives lakes are not for everyone, that includes Longreach, they are tough, but the rewards are there in spades.

As a new angler just getting to spend time around the lake will help.

Seeing them is the best bit of an edge you can get.

With the size and stock of Longreach, it’s so easy to be in an area with no fish, finding them is the most important part, next is learning their routes and habits.

Keep up with the Facebook groups to see what is being caught, maybe drop on the better stocked lakes to get a fish under your belt to give you some confidence before moving to one of the more challenging lakes like Longreach.

Sumner is the hardest time to catch on Longreach.

It’s very weedy, so spot finding is hard graft.

Usually for me, I’m gearing all my fishing towards bites at first light, as once the sun is up, they are in the surface layers.

They are hard to catch when they are like this, especially when coupled with the weed and they do not like being casted at.

In the winter I would fish the deeper spots and fish for a bite at a time. No filling it in, unless the catch feedback led me to.

Longreach also has large pike, which can keep you going if the carp fishing is slow, which lets be honest usually is on large low stock pits, so I’ve always got my pike gear.

Proven methods at this venue are the PVA bag approach cast to a fishable spot or baiting an area rather than a spot. Try and hold the fish in an area longer to hopefully get one on the hook bait.

The runs are savage on Longreach, quality bank wear helps, the rods need to be secure.

Binoculars are essential – if you can’t see them, you’re probably not going to catch them.

Finally a notebook, note everything no matter how small, spots, conditions, shows, times, runs. You can build a picture with your notes alone.

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