Willow Lake, Dog Lane Fishery, Warwickshire

A small 38-peg well kept match lake set within a popular fishing and camping complex in Warwickshire

Willow Lake, Dog Lane Fishery

Day ticket, syndicate or holiday booking: Day ticket
Realistic catch rate: 100lb bags easily possible
How much: £8
Best swim(s): Any that give access to island
How do I get a ticket: On the bank
Skill level to catch: Beginner
How busy is it: Very, get there early to avoid dissapointment
Location: Napton, Warickshire
Can you drive to the swims: Yes, most of them
Best method: Feeder
On site facilities: Toilets and cafe
Best bait: Pellet, corn and maggot
Ideal fishing range: 0-30 yards
Average size: Depends on species - Carp 2-5lb.
Max realistic size: 15lb carp

Willow Lake, Dog Lane Fishery

Dog Lane Fishery is a well kept complex offering 2 specimen carp lakes and one match lake, the Willow.

Willow lake is the busiest on the complex and if you want a choice of peg when you arrive, even on weekdays, get there for gate opening at 7am.

Naturally the lake is stocked heavily, carp are in abundance and go in to double figures. Bream go well over 5lb. and crucians, roach and perch all topping the 2lb mark, perch apparently go as big as 4lb, though I’m yet to see one.

The margin action was great fun, fishing under my feet and not knowing whether I was going to pull up a gudgeon or a 2lb perch when that float dipped.

Danny Chapman

What is it like?

Willow lake is like many other small match lakes, it’s well pruned, has plenty of features and lots of fish.

It can be very busy so you need to get there early, some of the pegs do overlap so at over 20 anglers it can be difficult to get a good spot.

The island is the natural hotspot and the fish, especially the carp are cruising round it all day but don’t neglect the margins as they will come to the sound and smell of bait, especially later in the day.

Nothing. fancy is required to catch plenty of fish on the Willow lake and It’s a great place for a few hours pleasure fishing, teaching a beginner or the misses.

For a few quid down the tackle shop you will have everything you need for a good days angling, which for us carp anglers can be a welcome change of pace when the sun is out.

willow lake dog lane fishery

How do you fish it?

I’m by no means a match angler so my tactics are pretty straight forward when it comes to this type of fishing.

A small method feeder with either a frenzied ground bait mix or some almond Goo soaked pellets would be the main attack with options of banded white pellet, maggot or corn on the business end of a 4 inch hooklength.

I tend to oversize my hooks when method fishing, when the fish are in that ball of bait I’m not convinced it makes a difference, so I was switching between a size 12 and 14 guru pattern depending on the hook bait.

willow lake dog lane fishery

I used 6lb line straight through to the feeder with a 4lb bottom to the hook.

Simple but effective fishing.

Initially I started fishing clipped up to the island, which did produce some fish early doors but soon calmed down and after a few dodgy casts falling short ending in bites I started to come away from the island and the fish kept coming for several hours.

Casting every minute or two really helped me build a spot and although I kept checking the island peg with a check there every 5/6 casts, falling a meter off the island was definitely more productive on the day.

My suspicion is that the island is on a slope rather than a sharp decline and the bait I was putting in was falling to the bottom of the shelf, a meter or two off the island itself.

After catching a good bag of carp from half a pound (below) to 7/8lb I opted for a change in the afternoon and started fishing the margins on the float.

Willow Lake, Dog Lane Fishery


Perch fishing

I had been throwing a few pellets and maggots under my rod tip most of the morning and bought a few worms along for the perch that the venue claim go up to 4lb, rude not to have a dabble.

So, a very basic float set up was to be the afternoons method.

I must say I caught about 20 very small fish of all kinds, roach, perch, gudgeon, in quick succession and was starting to get annoyed but fish number 21 was a perch of about a pound and put up a good tussle.

From that point on it was just perch after perch and the majority over 4/5oz’s – the biggest was around the 2lb mark and I lost a couple that felt food too – a very pleasurable afternoon after the stripeys and with a little more thought on bait and presentation I’m sure it’s possible to really bag up on decent perch at Willow lake.

Willow Lake Rules

Catch & release only?: Yes
Are there swim boundaries: No
Are mats provided?: No
Bait rules: No artificials or nuts of any kind, no cat or dog food.
Hook pattern rules: Micro barb preferred
Fish care rules: No keepnets unless in a match, all nets to be dipped.
Parking rules: In car park
Rig rules: No surface fishing with bread
Can I use spods/spombs?: No.
How many rods?: 1
Are dogs allowed?: Yes.
Is there an age limit?: All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult

Reader Approved

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