Kayleigh Smith: Lemonroyd lock
My favourite section of canal is without doubt on the Aire & Calder at Lemonroyd lock, opposite the Lemonroyd Marina. Like most of the Aire & Calder, it's wide, deep and full of fish.
Angler's name: Kayleigh Smith
Current club, team or sponsor: Matrix/Bagem Matchbaits
Age started fishing: ten
Favourite fish species: tench
Favourite fishing bait: hemp
Greatest angling achievement: representing England at full international level and becoming ladies individual national winner.
Angling ambition: to win a team or individual medal at the world championships.
Angling hero: Tommy Pickering; he was the main person who helped develop my angling in the early years
"Many of the European canals we travel to in the world championships are similar in depth and width."
The reason I like this section of canal is because it provides me with a great place to practice for international events whether it be on the pole or slider. Many of the European canals we travel to in the world championships are similar in depth and width, which is often hard to re-create on other venues. This is why anglers such as myself and Lee Kerry are often down on this section after work on an evening in summer, practicing different styles of fishing.
The other reason I like this section of canal is it's absolutely full of fish. It has easy access as you can park behind your peg and the banks are flat behind you making it comfortable fishing, especially with the pole. The section holds good heads of bream averaging around the 3lb to 5lb range and I’ve even heard rumours of anglers catching 70lb+ nets of bream and loads of roach and perch.
Generally anglers tend to fish the pole and feeder on this section for the bream; but I particularly like fishing hemp on delicate light strung out rigs fishing through the water. I have had individual roach pushing 2lb and numerous 10lb – 20lb nets of redfins all on the hemp. But the venue also sees a lot of bread introduced whether it's from anglers or people feeding the ducks and swans. Consequently, you are pretty much guaranteed bites on bread most puts in. However, the roach you catch on bread tend to be a bit smaller stamp than you get on the hemp.
The section of is run by Allerton Bywater, and I believe you can buy a year book from local tackle shops in Leeds such as JT Rodgers and Eric’s Angling Centre for around £20.
This section of canal seems to be also rich in wildlife too, with kingfishers being seen most mornings and evenings, which is an added bonus. I can’t wait for my next session there