Willows is a lovely 53-peg reed-fringed lake on the left hand-side of the complex. There are car parks at both ends of the lake and down the left road side. It is around 3ft 6ins to 5ft deep in most places and is an open water lake, although there are some corners with dense vegetation.
There are some very large ghost and mirror carp over 20lb in Willows lake which occasionally get caught in the edges or close in. However the main targets are F1 carp averaging 1lb 8oz. The lake has plenty of barbel, tench and assorted silverfish too.
A very fair lake, only the wind direction can usually dictate the fliers in the warmer months. Peg 2 is a very good edge fishing peg, pegs 7 and 50 in this first bay are decent too, although this is a shallow bay and isn’t the best in winter. The top bay is the biggest bay and is one of the most prolific areas all year round. Here pegs 22 and 23 on the last point on the left are good. Another popular swim is the point peg 48.
Fishing up-in-the-water is the dominant tactic. You can catch a variety of ways, especially with 4mm hard pellets or casters, or by feeding a slop mix of groundbait or chopped worms and casters mushed up. Another very effective way to catch is the short pole around 6m out, using either pellets, corn or small pieces of paste. The margins can be good late in the day when those proper carp come in, try and find the shallowest water you can. You can also catch on feeders, bombs, wagglers and pretty much whatever you want to do on Willows!
Both soft and hard pellets have their day, try starting on the short pole on the bottom before moving out longer onto lines up to 14m away. Feed micro pellets or also try feeding 4mm hard pellets if small fish pester you. Remember to get that float dotted right down!
Also the bomb is a good method in winter, with hard pellet or corn. You might also catch on a tiny pellet or banjo type feeder.
Pellets shallow work brilliantly on Willows, as they do on most lakes at Lindholme, but don’t make the mistake of starting on this method. Always build this line up first for a period of time – start elsewhere, such as on a short pole or a quivertip, so you can catapult pellets in virtually constantly on a long pole line. It usually takes between 30 minutes and 90 minutes to start working properly!
Ben Fisk, 3 x Lindholme Festival Winner, 2 x Maver Match This finalist