24-hour tickets are available by prior arrangement at a cost of £20.00
The furthest pool from the entrance at Willow Farm Fishery, Island Pool is reached by following the track past Silver Pool and Island Pool to the very end where there is parking round parts of the pool and in a small car park near its entrance.
At about an acre-and-a-quarter in size, Island is a delightful water with 25 pegs which offers fishing in open water, to the tree-clad island towards one corner, to three banks of lily pads or to a lush bed of reeds.
The deepest water is to be found out from the left hand bank as you enter the lake where there is between seven and eight feet. From here the bottom shelves gradually towards and around the island, where there is between five and six feet, and towards the reeds where the water is about four feet deep.
Only rarely used for matches, Island Pool is stocked with common and mirror carp which are known to run to 24lbs - a large number of which are caught well into double figures; tench which average between 3lbs and 4lbs but which run to 7lbs; a large head of bream to over 6lbs; roach and rudd to 1lb 8oz; and some lovely crucian carp which average 1lb 8oz but run to over 2lbs.
However, perhaps Island Pool's biggest claim to fame are its stock of big perch, the largest verified specimen of which was caught in winter 2003 and weighed in at an impressive 5lb 1oz. This fish has only been rivalled by one other Willow Farm perch - an even larger specimen which was caught the same year on Willow Pool and tipped the scales at 5lbs 3oz.
The Island Pool perch was taken by an angler fishing along the fringes of the reeds using float-fished maggots. This is a popular spot and technique for perch fishing in ther winter months.
Because of the variety of swims on Island Pool there are no particular favourites or hot spots and virtually all pegs are popular with pole, waggler and feeder anglers.
Pole fishing is particularly effective from the pegs at the far corner of the lake where anglers can reach under the branches of the trees on the island - a spot virtually impossible to reach with a waggler. The pole also enables anglers to get very close to the edge of the reeds, which is again difficult to achieve with the waggler without the risk of casting into the stems.
Most popular baits on Island Pool tend to be luncheon meat and sweetcorn for the carp, tench and bigger bream with pellets, maggots and casters being good for general fishing. In winter, worm is a great bait for the perch whilst in summer floating bread and dog biscuits are popular with anglers surface fishing for the carp, particularly near the island, reeds and lily pads.
Virtually surrounded by trees and shrubs, the pear-shaped Willow Pool is the most popular water at Willow Farm Fishery with a large head of carp, the biggest of which was taken in September 2004 and weighed at 33lbs, together with plenty of crucians, tench and silver fish.
It is also from Willow Pool that the fishery's biggest perch are caught, the most recent being a fish which weighed in at 6lbs 1oz plus other specimens including one which was caught by a young angler fishing maggot close in to the side. He first landed a fished which weighed a creditable 3lb 8oz but followed this on his next cast with a stunner which came in at 5lbs 3oz.
The 33lb common carp was caught in September 2004 by local angler and Willow Farm Fishery season ticket holder Frank Johnson. Frank was float fishing a piece of luncheon meat on a size 14 hook from Peg 29, again fishing close to the bank.
Without doubt Willow Pool holds more fish and bigger fish than either of the other two Willow Farm waters, although it is not the easiest of the three waters to fish. Popular for small club matches, it ranges from seven to eight feet deep at the entrance end rising gradually to just a couple of feet deep at the far end. Like Island Pool, the banks are steep and drop off quickly to a flat and even bottom.
Another feature of Willow Pool is that you never know what you are going to catch next. You may land a carp one minute, follow it with a tench or bream, pick up a couple of perch and then land a roach before the carp move back in.
Because it is an open water with few features to fish to, Willow Pool is again popular with pole, waggler and ledger anglers with luncheon and other flavoured meats, sweetcorn, maggots and worm all being favoured baits when fished over a bed of pellets or with small amounts of groundbait.
However, unlike on many waters, fishing floating baits close into the side in summer does not seem to work particularly well with casting into open water being far more productive. However, to prevent free offerings drifting into other people's swims, anglers are requested to keep the feeding of floating samples to a minimum.
Because of the diversity of fish types in the water and the fact that it is virtually surrounded by trees and shrubs, Willow Pool is a good year-round venue which is well worth a try, particularly if you are after some of the bigger fish at Willow Farm Fishery.
Whatever Silver Pool lack in features, good looks and landscaping it makes up for in its stock level of fish and the ease with which they can be caught.
Without doublt the easiest of the Willow Farm Fishery waters to fish, Silver Pool is about half an acre in size and offers some 20 pegs.
Silver Pool was originally Willow Farm Fishery's carp water and was prolific until about four years ago when catch rates suddenly and inexplicable dropped off. When the problem persisted it was decided to drain the pool and once this was completed only about 20 fish were found to be present.
Because there had been no signs of a fish kill, it was suspected that the water had been netted and the fish stolen. It was decided to take the opportunity to move the carp to Willow and Island pools and to stock the water predominantly with silver fish. As a result it now holds a large head of tench to 4lbs; roach, rudd, skimmer bream, perch, goldfish and crucians to about 1lb 8oz.
The end result is that Silver Pool is now the most prolific of the Willow Farm waters and the place to head for if you want to catch a large number of fish fairly quickly and easily.
With a bowl-shaped bottom, Silver Pool is deepest in the centre where about seven feet of water can be found and because it is only small, Silver Pool is popular with both pole and waggler anglers, although pole lengths should be restricted to a maximum of five metres because of overhead powerlines nearby.
Maggot is the best bait on this water, giving anglers an opportunity to catch all day long in the right conditions, although to catch the better fish it pays to use either meat baits or sweetcorn. Whilst meat baits do well all year round, sweetcorn is a lot more effective in summer than winter when worms should also be used.
How to get to Willow Farm Fishery
Willow Farm Fisheryis set in the heart of Worcestershire countryside outside Evesham. Travelling from Evesham, take the A44 road to Worcester and just before reaching the village of Chadbury look out for Chadbury Road on the right. Take this road and you will see Willow Farm signed on the left.
Travelling south on the A435, continue on the main road towards Evesham. At island at the Norton Grange pub take the left towards Evesham and after you pass the church and houses you will come to Kings Lane on the right signed for Lenchwick. Turn into Kings Lane and when you reach the T-junction at the end turn left again. A short way down here turn right into Chadbury Road just before a row of stone cottages on the right and you will find Willow Farm Fishery long here on the right.
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