It was a cold half-term that was running into November and it had turned very cold with some exceptionally hard frosts. The fishing had become very hard and I was struggling to catch fish, when Ron turned up. He soon was catching fish and came round to me and gave me some excellent advice that enabled me to catch some splendid golden orfe and koi that, despite the cold, were feeding high up in the water.

Since that meeting, Ron and I have become good friends and we always go out for a few meals and fishing sessions when we are up in the area.

Tim Slight's, owner of Willow Waters father, Ted, lives nearby and owns Willitoft Fish Farm. Unlike Willow Waters, Ted Slights runs Willitoft as a day ticket water and runs regular matches on the venue. In complete contrast, Willow Waters is a residential site with fishing for residents only.

When Ron Fearnley suggested that we visited Willitoft fishery where he would give me a few lessons in pole fishing, I would have been a fool to refuse. What better tutor could I have than this top Leeds match angler. Obviously I was delighted to accept Ron's kind offer.

When we arrived we were greeted by Ted Slights and went into his house for a cup of tea before setting off for the match lake. There are three lakes on the site. One in Ted's back garden that has a mixture of fish including various exotics and ornamentals. This however is not part of the day ticket fishery as it is really Ted's rather large garden pond. There is a slightly larger lake opposite this which has a good stock of mixed species and then there is the horseshoe-shaped match lake situated the other side of the house.

Ron likes the match lake as it has a good head of mixed fish including carp, roach, bream, orfe, crucians and some good koi. The lake fishes consistently well and normally produces plenty of fish even under the pressure of a match.

Ron selected a swim at the bottom end of the match lake and proceeded to explain how he was going to fish the swim. He started off with chopped worm using a cup on his spare pole top to accurately feed his swim. He used a small, very sensitive pole float to present a small section of worm on a size 16 hook. Within minutes he was into a carp of about a pound. I barely had time to blink before he had landed that first carp and was into his second carp. Fish followed fish as he quickly built up a bag of about 15lb. He then handed me his pole and, following his instructions, I too was catching plenty of carp with the odd crucian, roach and tench. I certainly felt very clumsy with that 11 meter pole but quickly got used to it.

Ron then decided to give me a lesson in fishing the pellet up in the water with the pole. He came up to half depth and continually fed in a steady supply of small pellets. Even holding or playing a fish Ron managed to keep his regular supply of bait going in.

When it was my turn, I found it much easier and under Rons direction started to catch at a much faster rate. I was getting a bite every cast to catch a wide variety of fish including crucians, tench, roach, rudd, orfe, bream and ordinary carp. We started to build up a good weight and finished the 3 hour session with a bag of over 451b.

This match lake regularly produces good weights under match conditions. You would, in the Summer, be looking at a weight of over 301b to be in with a chance of a place.

Directions; From York take the A1079 to Market Weighton. Turn off on the A163 towards Howden. At Holme on Spalding Moor follow the road to Foggathorpe and on to Wilitoft. The fishery is clearly marked on your lefthand side.

Day tickets are 5 from the house. In the event of a match on the main match lake, fishing is available on the second lake which holds a similar stock.