Observations from an angler : written October 2021
Recently I have been visiting Andy’s lake again after a period of several years for one reason or another. Originally, I fished this lake when it was first opened. I used to fish on the causeway between the two lakes and literally it was a fish a chuck as they say in fishing terms, quite astonishing.
If my recent experience fishing the lake near the top end by the causeway is anything to go by the fish have got rather large. I have been broken at least four times. I am almost frightened to fish near the reeds because the carp have become wise and head straight for the reeds. Even though I am fishing with quite heavy tackle these fish are very strong and one needs to fish in open water to enable you to land them safely. You need to play them very carefully in open water to tire them to enable you to execute netting carefully. These fish are in absolute pristine condition. I hate to see fish that have been abused.
There is a good head of roach and many other species, the roach are in good condition. However, if you are fishing light to catch the roach be prepared for the vicious take from the resident carp they will undoubtedly break you if you are fishing near the reeds. If you are in open water it all becomes much easier but of course fish like features, reeds and overhanging willows. As far as I can tell the water is clean and doesn’t contain any of these nasty things which we hear about these days. The lake is approachable from all sides and in the drier months can be driven all the way round.
Over the years I’ve met most of the family, they are a joy to be around, down-to-earth folks. Being an elderly gentleman 83 years young and recovering from an aneurysm makes life all the more valuable.
Observations from an angler : written November 2020
A great place to fish for carp! I have fished here consistently from late summer through November 2020 and have caught in excess of 30 double figure carp up to 22lb as well as many slightly below double figures, sometimes taking 6 or 7 fish in the couple of hours before sunset for a combined bag weight of over 100lbs.
I have had success using a variety of methods; floating crust in the margins around the reeds in the warmer months is a guaranteed way to catch a number of fish if you stay mobile and are quiet. On cooler days and into the winter months I primarily caught on bottom baits with little success using pop ups. Most of my fish came from the north eastern bay area and along the northern bank. It is deeper along this bank has a steep and consistent marginal shelf a rod length or two out that I feel is a patrol route for the carp. The predominant south / south westerly winds push against this bank and into the bay and I feel the carp really collect here. The car park end of the lake is much shallower with a gentle increase in depth and no real marginal shelf to speak of. I have caught comparatively very few carp from this end of the lake except in warmer weather from the surface.
Fishing with bottom baits and a small amount of accurately placed free offerings has been by far my most successful method. The best baits have been fish based boilies and luncheon meat fished as a large chunk on a hair rig. Rigs are generally inline bolt rigs with a combination stiff and braid hook link fished with a solid pva bag to distribute the free offerings accurately or, in the case of the luncheon meat, fished close in so I can bait accurately. I will leave the baits out for an hour or two and if there is no success I will move them around the various features in the lake such as the reed beds, marginal shelf, bay areas and their entrances and so on or I will move swim altogether if I see carp moving in other areas of the lake. I cannot stress this last aspect of moving if you notice fish elsewhere enough, as on many occasions I have sat for hours fishing to features that I may normally pick fish up from with no success while the fish jump in some other areas and a within minutes of moving I have caught a couple of fish, sometimes before I can even get the rod into the rest. Many times I have seen anglers blank by sitting resolutely in one area of the lake while the fish show elsewhere.
Another point to stress is the pre-sunset feeding time which has seemed to persist no matter the time of year. During the couple of hours before sunset it can be hard to keep two baits in the water as the takes can be so hard, fast and repetitive. Again – don’t be tempted to over bait as the carp are active and hungry at this time and a little competition over the bait seems to create take after take.
The fish seem to be primarily commons with some lovely bright golden specimens and also a good number of fully scaled mirrors although these seem on the smaller end of the scale. Overall the fish seem to average around 10lbs, are very variable in look and are in great condition. They provide some ferocious runs and a really good fight.
In my opinion, this is not an ‘easy’ lake in the sense of shooting fish in a barrel like so many commercial fisheries these days. This is indicated by the good average size and condition of the carp. It represents enough of a challenge that you can be proud and confident in your angling basics if you catch well here as it is easy to blank if you ignore the fundamentals.
A selection from Autumn 2020:
Observations from an angler : early June 2020
I have fished Andy’s pool for the last month or so and have found the carp to be very picky, too much bait and I think you attract the roach and Rudd, and not enough they aren’t very interested, I think finding that happy-medium, does switch the fish on! In my last session I found this as I caught 3 fish in very quick succession with the last fish of the 3 being 11lb. I used a single boilie over a small bed of boilies, “matching the hatch” works well! Or fishing a bed of boilies with a bright pop up or wafter. I haven’t targeted any other species but have heard of big silvers coming out, also the carp have still not yet spawned, so I think the fishing should pick up once that moment has been and gone! But a wonderful lake to fish, great for a beginner or a novice, every time you go it’s always a challenge!
Observations from an angler : end of April 2020
The last two sessions I’ve had I’ve been catching off the top on crust and I’ve done well by usual standards, I had 5 tonight in 3 hours, the biggest was bang on 15lb. At the same time it would appear those fishing bottom baits have been struggling. Generally the fish respond well to most standard baits; corn, chick peas, pellet, boilies, meat, bread etc. I’ve noticed more takes on snowman presentations than single bottom baits or pop ups over the last 12 months.
The fish fight well and the average stamp is approaching double figures I would say. If fishing near reed beds the fish run straight for them as soon as they are hooked. I’ve never fished with a pole but I would guess a strong set up would be required here? Most pegs have loads of room behind which I know is great if using a pole.
If you’re after other species there are some big bream by all accounts, I’ve found them to be elusive but I’ve seen some cracking carpets of bream looking bubbles at first light. Lovely big roach and some lovely big perch too. A really good head of roach and perch to be fair.
A selection from April 2020
11lbs common caught on DNA baits yellow flouro wafter
8.3lb carp caught on tangerine dream boilies
23lb 2oz caught in the middle of September on red and yellow sweetcorn. Lots of carp between 8 and 15lb being caught.
A 10lb Bream caught towards the end of the month. 15lb carp and 10lb carp are common to catch. A good amount of silver fish. All still very healthy, strong fish.
A camera in clear water caught some fantastic footage of the numbers and size of fish in the lake. It was a few feet down in the middle part of the lake and was a treat to watch.