I have managed to gain access to the Angel of The North fishing lakes and to interview the owners exclusively for ne-fishing.co.uk. As you most of you will know the development of the lakes has been going on for over a year but not many of you know what has been going on behind the closed doors, therefore I was very excited to meet the people behind this brilliant new venture and to ask some important questions.
I arrived at the development, which is based just off A1231, set in beautiful countryside views from all around. The morning was cold with signs of the snow from the night before. The scenery was picturesque with sun shining brightly over the frozen lakes and wild life all around. As I got out of the car I was met by Ann Adlington who is the brains behind the development. Ann soon showed that she was a friendly person with excellent communication and people skills. I was invited into the house and offered a coffee which I was more than happy to accept to help me warm up.
Ann was full of enthusiasm about the development and was more than happy to answer any questions I had. The conversation between us was easy and it was obvious that she would do her best to make this a success. With the coffee in one hand and my notepad in the other I was invited into the office to have a look at the advanced CCTV technology they have installed in order to monitor the site. The lakes were already filled but not stocked.
The first and the largest lake takes up four and half acres of land and is called the ‘Lookout Lake’ with a small bridge providing easy access to the island in the middle.
I was told the lake is between 6 – 10 feet deep and provides certain surprises for anglers! The island will be used for match fishing and can be hired for £80 either by clubs or individuals. This will be a mixed venue with roach, carp, tench and other non-predatory species. The lake will provide space for 25 pegs, and 10 disabled pegs with easy access.
The ‘Bowes Lake’ is slightly smaller taking up three acres of land and has two islands in the middle. The islands will have no public access and will be used as a wild life sanctuary.
The lakes depth varies from 6ft to 8ft with specimen size carp up to 25lb. The venue will hold 25 pegs and 8 disabled pegs with easy access.
The ‘Bassett’s Pond’ has a depth up to 6 feet and takes up one quarter of an acre. I was told by Ann that this lake will be mainly used by junior anglers and will hold a good number of mixed fish similar to Lookout Lake. The pond will provide 10 pegs and 4 disabled pegs with easy access. This venue will need be pre-booked and children under 16 will need to be with an adult.
The site has easy access to male and female toilets and with CCTV in place you should be able to leave your rods on the banks without any problems. I was also told that free tea and coffee will be available to all permit holders. There will be 100 car parking spaces therefore ensuring everyone can park near to the lake they will be fishing. Each lake will provide easy access for disabled anglers and I was very impressed to see that Ann has done a lot of research into need of disabled anglers. Two wardens will be used to control the lake and they will be more then happy to answer any fishing related questions as well as reinforce rules and regulations.
This project was a big investment for Ann and her husband with an approximate cost of one million pounds going into development and research. I asked why they wanted to do this? Ann answered: To leave something behind that will be remembered by anglers for years to come as well as to encourage more female anglers into the sport.
For the first two years the fishery will only allow pellets to be used on all three waters and they can only be purchased on site, as it is important to protect the fish from pollution and diseases. The pellets are imported from Germany and will also be used to feed the fish.
The permits will be available for purchase online via a credit or debit card. Anglers will be provided with a unique number that will allow you access to the site via the security gates. However, all the anglers will still need to report to the reception and purchase the pellets for bait before fishing on your chosen lake.
The opening day for the lakes will be on the 30th April however this will be a small and quite opening with no special events taking place. However, between the 20-27 August 2005 during the national fishing week Ann is planning to have the lakes main opening. This will be a whole weeks event with barbecues every day and will include some of the big names from the fishing world as well as tuition.
On whole this is a very well planned project with an enthusiastic approach by both Ann and her husband. A lot of thought has gone into the design and development of the lakes to ensure a good time will be had by all. I for one can’t wait to start fishing there!
Featured image was borrowed from gofishing.co.uk