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nigewoodcock

Churn Pool, August 2014

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After meeting Andy, Guy and Malc at the services for coffee, we eventually got to the lake at around 7.15am on Friday morning. On opening the gates and seeing the lake for the first time, I knew I was going to love it there. A lovely intimate lake of 4.5 acres shaped a bit like a dog bone.

We had a good walk round, seeing a few fish cruising about in a few different areas. The draw was then made in the hut and I came out 3rd. Malc was first and picked the middle of the central channel. Andy was next and picked the opening to the ‘bowl’ on the east side. I chose the opposite end to Andy with Guy settling on a bit of a point that went out into the east side of the lake.

True to form, I put the zigs out straight away, after a quick plumb of the area to get the depths in my head. After around 25 minutes I had a take but as I was winding into the fish, it spat the hook. Things were looking good though and I hoped it would be the start of a hectic zig session again.

The day was very hot and the fish were just cruising around and didn’t take any more interest in the zigs or the floaters I was putting out for them. I baited up the opposite margin with 5kg of boilie as all the reports and information I could find led me to believe they liked a bit of bait in here. The spot was tight to some overhanging trees on a little clear patch that had a big weedbed between it and my swim. It was a tight cast to get two rods on it made even more difficult with it being 104 yards away. It was easy to bait though as you can just walk round and turf it in! I baited against all theory by having my hook bait just off the bed of bait but with the free offerings between me and the hook. This was something that Guy and Andy picked up on the next day as they were sat on the decking to the cabin whilst I was redoing the rods. As I explained to them, the reason I was doing it was because I wanted to fish off the bait as a bit of a way to avoid any crays that fancied a bit of B5 and Black Snail. I couldn’t fish my side of it though because of the thick weed.

I managed to get a few fish interested on the floaters later on but the gulls soon put a stop to that tactic. On my last walk round before settling down for the night, I saw my first sign of any fish feeding with the water clouding up and two tails wafting about in the dirty water. A bottom bait was put out to this spot and I changed one of the zigs to a pink popup on a stiff hinged rig to go on the baited area.

I then sat up watching the sun go down with a cold beer straight out of the fridge in the two bedroom cabin we had the full use of.

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At 3am I had a screamer off the bait rod and the fish took me into the tree line. I could feel the grating on the line and knew it was only a matter of time before the line gave and I got cut off.

I retied a rig and clipped up the rod on the distance sticks to the 26 wraps and got the rod back out, deflated that I could have missed my only chance with all the hot weather we were experiencing.

Andy came round in the morning for a brew and to tell me that he too had lost one in the night to a hook pull. As we were chatting at around 7am, I had another take off the baited spot and landed a mirror of 20lb on the nose.

 

 

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I wound the bottom bait rig in to change to a pink pop up because of the two runs I had and on whipping up the lead, I spooked two fish off of the shallow shelf I was fishing on! Typical!! I put a pop up on another hinged stiff rig and put it back out on the same shelf just incase they returned.

Just after 9am, Andy returned from the shop and I asked him to stay in my swim and watch my rods whilst I went round to top up the bait. I only got around 70 yards away and the alarm started twitching. I thought it was Andy and Malc having me on. I legged it back to the swim and got the rod off Andy just as he was lifting into the fish. A good battle with the fish staying low ended up with another mirror of 18lb 8oz in the photo album.

 

 

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I wound in the other two rods and went round to bait up putting in another 3kg of boilie.

At 1pm and as I was catching up on some much needed sleep (had a wedding on Thursday night then a 3am start Friday) I had another twitchy take that turned into a belter. The fish did its best to reach the branches but with a lot of pressure and some good luck on my part, I got it away and it started tail walking down the far margin!! I had some issues doing a bit of knit one pearl one with my other rods and eventually the fish was persuaded into open water where it went on run after run. The first attempt at getting him into the net was going well but as he came over the cord and I started to lift the net, he jumped straight out over the spreader block. I have never seen that before!! He then went back into taking long deep runs of line as if he had just been hooked. All this after being played in from over 100yards away to the net already. Another few minutes and this time he was more obliging and I was elated to finally get him in and thank him for an epic battle. A lovely, heavily scaled old Cotswold carp was ready for a photograph with Andy doing the honours yet again after the fish had taken the dial round to 26lb.

 

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I wasn’t expecting one in the heat of the day and was very happy that my baiting approach was paying off and getting them feeding in what we perceive as such awful conditions for carp angling.

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 Then, at 2.30pm, the rod that is over the heavily baited area gave that same twitch that once more turned into a screaming run seconds after. I am sure that it is the fish picking up the bait, giving his head a shake and on realising it can’t eject the hinged stiff rig, runs like the wind for the sanctuary of the sunken branches.

Another hard fought encounter and again, surging runs once close in at the deep margins ensued. This one came in at 18lb on the scales after my estimate of 15-16lb. I had underestimated every fish so far, apart from the one Guy landed just a minute after mine went back. I got that one spot on at 19lb. They are very broad fish across the back and absolutely solid.

 

 

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After bringing the rods in at 4pm to go round and bait up again, the same rod went off an hour later. This one cut me off again, just like the first one in the early hours of the morning. I hurried to tie another rig up and get the rod out as the others were in the lodge behind my swim with the beers ready and the BBQ lit waiting for a load of meat from the local farm shop to get a good burn. We sat out on the decking having a few drinks, some fantastic food and watching the trout that are still in the lake clearing the water taking the evening hatch.

A very quiet night followed and as I woke, I suddenly remembered that I didn’t ‘mesh up’ my pop up on the rig that I had tied in a rush before tea. My intention was to do that before I went to bed but as soon as I got under the brolly, I fell straight asleep with a full stomach! I wound in the rod to check the baits only for my worse fear to be proved true – a cray had taken my bait. This was on the rod that baring the first run on the zig, had done all the bites. It had probably been out all night with no bait on! The rod that was just to the left of the spot that was doing the fish was still in one piece; the mesh doing its job perfectly. They were both put back out and the rain started coming down really heavy and the wind picking up.

Guy moved his rods so he could fish nearer to me and use the lodge at around 10am. I used this opportunity to go round and give them some more B5/Black Snail and also put a couple of handfuls over Guy’s rod. An hour later, Guy had a take that had his clutch ticking away at a rate of knots. He proceeded to slip on the decking whilst running to hit it, narrowly missing a concrete planter with his head. It was worth it though as a 27lb mirror, the biggest of the trip, was the result.

 

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Malc then had to leave and Guy followed soon a little while after, both taking a break in the weather to pack the car up.

Andy and I stayed on until late afternoon. This looked like being a good plan as Andy’s alarm started singing to him and he was into a fish at long last but also a weed bed! Andy kept a steady pressure on the fish and did well to get it out and free of the weed. Again, the fish fought like it was on steroids and gave Andy a good beating. He had some rocks in front of his margin and the fish was doing its best to use them to its advantage. Just as it looked like tiring, and with me on net duty with it primed ready for action, the fish decided that it wanted to be back with his mates and turned, went down deep and tore off to the middle of the lake again where it bumped the hook. I really felt for Andy and didn’t know what to say other than ‘bait it up and get it back out there fast’.

As we were sat down talking the loss through, I had another run that then just went slack after a couple of seconds. Cut off again for the third time. I only wish we were allowed to use leaders as I would have had one on after the first one. Those two losses had us down in the dumps and we decided to call an end to the session after another hour or so.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Churn Pool for anyone wanting a quiet few days away, with a couple of mates, or on your own. It has some wonderful fish in there, the facilities are top notch and the lake a very pleasant place to be. Tom the owner is not intrusive in any way and is a real gentleman. He dropped in on us a couple of times to see if we needed anything. I had a good chat with him about the lakes I used to fish whilst I was on the water park for my angling and was pleased to find out that a few of my suspicions were correct about them.

I honestly can’t wait to get back on Churn and try for one of the thirties. Great mates, great lake and a great time. Cheers Malc, Guy and Andy, all three of you are stars and gave me a good laugh over the last three days.

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Fab write up mate enjoyed reading it.

 

I love Churn too, beautiful place and once the gates are shut its like your own little world. Food delivered from the takeaway to the gate, with a discount as well, job done!

Tom is a real nice guy and a very good rod builder to boot.

 

Last time I was there the crays were a serious problem, and made us decide not to re-book for the following year (We've been 3 times) to see how the future goes. There was also a very active Otter that took a fish on our first night there, which killed the fishing and the mood for us.

I hope that is all sorted now, as the place is a lovely venue for a chill out long weekends fishing with a couple of mates.

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Just like to say what a great weekend I had with fantastic company, really enjoyed it.

 

Pleased that Nige and Guy caught, especially Guy after his tumble, I didn't laugh, honest....lol. Unlucky Andy for loosing 2 fish, it happens. Me, well I blanked but did have 3 Bream, these things happen....lol.

 

Look forward to the next time lads.

Edited by mach3
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