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Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Wood Lane Fishery, Buckinghamshire

Wood Lane Farm Fishery, Iver, Buckinghamshire

Its always a pleasure to try out a brand new fishery. That sense of the unknown just adds to the excitement you already feel when going fishing. Well that was definitely the case today. Jenny had spied a sign to Wood Lane Farm Fishery on her way back from work one day and had been suggesting we try it for some weeks now. Then funnily enough, Nigel Laughton [check his pics out in the gallery] sent Fish South East an email explaining about Wood Lane Farm and the fishing on offer there.

When we arrived, it was, as luck would have it, pouring with rain. After a brief stint sheltering in the car, the skies started to brighten and we were on !! Wood Lane farm consists of two coarse fishing lakes. The larger lake is the match lake and is probably around 3-4 acres with I'd say room for about 20-30 swims. It is pretty featureless and exposed. The smaller lake is more sheltered with swims seperated from each other by tress and bushes, giving it more of a secluded feel. I guess its around half the size of the match lake. I was "reliably" informed that 4 hour matches on the match lake have already been won with weights approaching 200lb and that the second lake holds carp to 30lb. One word of warning - because the fishery is fairly new, the owner hasn't built proper swims/pegs yet, and as some of the banks are fairly steep, care needs to be taken, especially in the wet.

Wood Lane match lake is stuffed full of carp to around 2lbSo enough of this waffle - was the fishing any good you want to know, right? Well in a nutshell, yes it was good. We made a start on the match lake fishing the far bank near the three big trees and it soon became apparent that the lake was absolutely stuffed full of fish. We caught an endless stream of roach, skimmers, chublets, tench and hard fighting carp up to about 2lb. Everthing was on the small side but we had great fun on light tackle and the action was non stop. Sweetcorn, pellets and meat all seemed to gobbled up with equal relish by the hungry fish. They won't stay small for long!

Having sent a few hectic hours on the match lake, we decided to try our luck on the second lake. We chose a swim in the left hand corner of the lake where it looked like there would be some likely fish holding spots. It was pretty evident right from the off that the second lake was very well stocked too and straight away we were catching ths same fish as in the match lake although on the slightly larger size. The weather gods decided to ruin our fun shortly after that so we decided to call it day.

Superb condition fish at Wood LaneWood lane Farm is located about 500 metres down Wood Lane on the left hand side as you approach form Iver. Prices are £10 per day and you must use barbless hooks, dip nets and you cannot use groundbait, boilies and nuts. Despite these restrictions, I would suggest that once the owner has made the venue a bit more access friendly [forget it at present if you are disabled], this will be a cracking venue and will become very popular. So give it a go while you can still get a swim.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

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Published in Diary
Sunday, 21 September 2008 20:16

Pondwood Fisheries, Berkshire

Pondwood Fisheries, Berkshire

Located in Berkshire, Pondwood Fisheries is the premier fishing facility for anglers of all categories with three coarse fishing waters, one of which dates back to medieval times and one which is in excess of 30 years old. In addition there is the Snake, a still water course dating back to medieval times which was opened for day tickets in 2002 after widening and extension.

Pondwood fisheries offer carp, roach, chub, perch, rudd and tench fishing as well as some of the best catfish fishing in the South of England.

Reader Review - Jason Barnes, Berkshire - July 2007

Just thought I would let you all know about a lake I go to called Pondwood Fishery. It is the only place I know about where you can guarantee to have an amazing day's fishing.

It has 2 lakes and a snake river. The first lake has an amazing amount of catfish and some big carp in it - it is the only catfish lake I know where you can guarantee to catch a cat in the day time. Some of the catfish I have caught (pictured below) are a 32lb 5oz fish and the other was 38lb 7oz. I have caught so many cats here it would take the whole site up to show you them all - like I said before, AMAZING !!

The second lake is great for the whole family. It has a lot of carp and anyone can catch in this one. I took my little boy fishing for the first time the other week and below is a picture of him with his first carp ... now I can’t keep him away from the place. So much for my peaceful weekend away from the kids ha ha !! But thats what kind of place Pondwood is - great family run lakes.

The last water at Pondwood is called the snake river which has carp, tench, roach, perch and pike. This is where I caught my personal best carp of 32lb floating bread of the top ... amazing !! I know it seems like I’m going on a bit but if you’ve been there you will feel the same way as I do. All this for a tenner a day ... can’t be beaten.


Uk Fisherman would love to hear from any other anglers who have good or bad experiences of Pondwood Fishery. We would especially like to hear from anyone connected with Pondwood Fishery who would like to comment on this review.
Paul @ UK Fisherman

Please note the views expressed on these review pages are not necessarily endorsed by UK Fisherman.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 19:53

Frant Lakes, Kent

Frant Lakes, Kent

Located just outside the village of Bells Yew Green near Tunbridge Wells, around 40 minutes drive from the South London area, Frant Lakes offers mixed and specimen fishing on eight lakes set in 200 acres of parkland as well as a fifty swim section of the River Teise. They offer disabled anglers more than 20 dedicated swims with adjacent car spaces.

Reader Review - Jel Holyoake, Kent - May 2007

This may sound silly but what planet do some fishery owners live on??

I recently went to Frant Lakes off the A21 in Kent. I arrived at 2.45pm and wanted to single rod surface fish the 'snags' (speciman lake) until the complex closed, 7pm. I was told by the bailiff that I would have to pay for an entire day, £15. I told the bailiff it was only for a few hours but he insisted that the owners would not let me fish unless I paid the full price. As there were only 3 cars in the car park I could quite clearly see that the complex was empty, but my £7.50 wasn't enough.

Are they so detatched from reality that they can't understand that some people only wish to fish for half a day and that on most waters there is a half day ticket policy.

I went down the road to Elphicks where I was sold a ticket for £6 and had 20 fish. I like Frant Lakes, but I think I'm going to struggle to go back there, a place I have intermittantly fished over the last-at least 15 years when Les Bowman (the present owners father) ran it.

How times change. When Les knew I was coming down by train he used to pick me up from the station and chuck my bike in the back of his little white van with his alsation. They were the times when the complex was struggling for anglers and he was consistantly fighting the council for planning permission. I was also the person whom he asked to tell all my friends that Frant was back on it's feet years ago when they had a big fish kill after witnessing the first 20 out, they thought all the big fish were dead.

Sometimes the little £7.50's are better than the no pounds-no pence at all, and us people who get the odd half day off can fish at a fair price.

Score:


Editor: Definitley a lesson for fishery owners to learn there then ! Don't alienate your regular customers as they will vote with their feet. With so many "rival" fisheries in Kent, perhaps Frant Lakes need to re-consider their pricing policy.


Reader Review - Anne - November 2007

Half day tickets are available at Frant Lakes as my sons and I have used them since we first came to the lakes around June this year.

As we have football in the mornings at the weekends we have only ever used the half day ticket and have paid monies to many people in the ticket office. We have found both Mr Bowman and his wife to be most helpful and polite on this our first season of fishing. Bailifs have also taken the time to offer us advice and tips to make the most of our time at the lakes.

We would highly recommend these beautiful well stocked lakes and hope that the previous review has not put people off.

Score:

Editor: Just goes to show there are always two sides to every coin.


Uk Fisherman would love to hear from any other anglers who have good or bad experiences of Frant Lakes. We would especially like to hear from anyone connected with Frant Lakes who would like to comment on this review.
Paul @ Uk Fisherman

Please note the views expressed on these review pages are not necessarily endorsed by UK Fisherman.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 19:43

DreamLakes, France

DreamLakes, France

The DreamLake Complex, consisting of six mature, tree-lined lakes offers excellent carp and catfish angling on either an Inclusive Package or Voyage Self-Drive basis. Currently five of the lakes are open, the sixth housing a huge number of stock fish, ensuring future growth and development.

DreamLakes aim to provide anglers with the highest quality French carp fishing holiday. Offering the size and numbers of carp you would never hope to find in any English water, the peace and tranquillity of the beautiful Champagne countryside only serve to enhance the DreamLake Experience. DreamLakes 3, 4 and 5 are able to offer a great experience for anglers who want to do their own pioneering in France. Only four hours drive from Calais, and with the advantage of knowing that there is always someone on hand to give expert help and advice, you have the freedom to enjoy some really impressive ‘all action style’ carp angling.


Reader Review - Luke "crazy carper" Thomas - August 2007

DreamLakes !!! - Lake 3

We arrived in Relyon Car park, Dover, at 9.45pm ready and set to make our long voyage over to Dreamlakes. We were absolutly buzzing by now and couldn't wait to get over there and wet a line. The two 36 seater coaches arrived, briskly picked us up, along with all our gear, and bombed off for the ferry port. The ferry journey over was about an hour and a half and we got ourselves aquainted with everyone we would be spending the week wit ... what a class bunch of guys !

After 5 hours following the ferry journey we arrived at Dreamlakes, met by a bacon roll and tea, coffee etc. How welcome it was ! The sun was just starting to come up and it looked like it was shaping up to be a lovely day. We managed to settle into our swims and get set up, wandered around for a chat and then cast in. Our Bailiff for the week, Garry, informed us that the lake wasn't fishing as well as it should and that the previous week, the swim I was in had blanked. I was a little apprehensive but took the approach "it's about time they were here" and got on with it. I knew alot of bait would be the kiss of death so stuck with tiny bags of pellets with plastic corn as hookbait and within 2 hours I was in to the first fish. It went like stink, taking out 1 of my other lines and nearly snagging me up, until I managed to get its head up and land it. The scales flew round to 23lb 10oz Mirror Carp and a lovely first fish it was.

I then went the next day without so much of a sniff. I was starting to worry a little now and decided that a change of bait was in order, something a little more attractive and smelly than my tutti-fruitti pop-up corn ! This new bait was to be Mainline's Pulse boilies which we had pre-ordered. That night I was to reap the rewards as a 34lb 8oz Mirror Carp and a 31lb 4oz Mirror Carp graced my net. I was over the moon with these as my change of tactics had paid off and what fish to catch !

The following night using these tactics I managed a 34lb 12oz Mirror Carp, the biggest yet, and was happy that what I was doing was right. It was clear now that the majority of the fish were coming out at night and that my efforts should be doubled for the hours of darkness so I could catch consistently.

The next day Bruce, Dean and I were talking about how it would be nice to catch a lovely common as all the fish we had caught were Mirrors. Unfortunatly that night Ii failed to catch at all and morale was lowering a little.

The following night it became clockwork and I recieved a screaming run which resulted in a gorgeous looking 29lb common carp. I was over the moon and breath taken by the fish but had no idea what was to come. An hour later I had another run which I managed to loose, and then at about half past 3 I recieved a slow powerful run. I hooked into it and was adamant it was a small carp or tench. How wrong I was. I got it to about 15 yards out and this thing went nuts. After a series of powerful lunges and runs, along with 20 minutes of struggle I got it in the net... it was big. I secured the net and ran to wake Dean and Bruce up. "I've got a big common mate, bring your weigh sling and scales !"

They finally dragged themselves out of bed and they're reaction when they first saw it was un-printable. We made sure the scales were zeroed first ... weighed it several times ... and then photographed it ... all 47lb 10oz of it !!!!!

I was absolutely smashed, never did Idream I was to catch a fish of that callibur. Phil and Andy (Andy incidently is in the final of the Welsh Carp Masters and is a top bloke !) came round to congradulate and lend a hand. Thanks alot lads !

That was the last fish I caught, Bruce managed 5 fish to 42.08lbs (Common) and Dean managed 3 fish to 34lb 12oz (Cracking Mirror). So overall it was great !

Would like to give a special mention to all the other guys on lakes 3, 4 and 5 it was a great laugh and must do it again next year !

Get yourselves to Dreamlakes, its the place to be !

Luke Thomas
Crazy_carper




Score

Uk Fisherman would love to hear from any other anglers who have Dream Lakes in France. We would especially like to hear from anyone connected with Dream Lakes who would like to comment on this review.
Paul @ UK Fisherman

Please note the views expressed on these review pages are not necessarily endorsed by UK Fisherman.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 19:16

Cottington Lakes, Kent

Based in Deal, Kent, 6 coarse fishing lakes make up the Cottington Lakes complex, offering a variety of angling to all levels - two mixed coarse lakes, two specimen carp lakes and a two match lakes, the latest of which was opened in 2005. Main species include carp, bream, tench, roach, rudd, perch and chub.

UK Fisherman was recently contacted by three anglers, all being familiar with the fishing at Cottington Lakes, but with very differing opinions of the place and the fishing on offer there. Just shows you that no two people ever have the same views on matters - well hey, wouldn't life be dull if we all agreed !!

Camo - Read Review

Carl - Read Review

John - Read Review

Carl - Read Comments and view pictures

Clive - Read Comments ** New Feb 08


Reader Review - Paul (April 2007)

Comments removed at the request of the author


Reader Review - Camo (April 2007)

"I cannot agree with the comments made about this fishery as the review sounds nothing like the place I have fished, the welcome one gets from Laurie who has worked in the Tackle shop for three years is excellent, he is extremely polite and a true gentleman."

"I went to the lakes today unannounced to see for myself first hand and the Lakes looked fantastic and as for the maintenance their has been trouble with blocked sluice gates in the dykes but that has now been rectified."

"I spoke to many anglers who love the place and fish were being caught left right and centre - I saw some beautiful fish and in pristine condition too. Aubrey was cutting the grass which he does on a weekly basis, Duane one of the Honary Bailiffs was removing old wooden platforms and replacing with new Galvanised Metal ones, paths were being laid around the match lakes, reeds were being cut back by Tim and weeds were being sprayed."

"The Lakes in my view have never looked better. There are now eight Lakes on the Complex including a silver fish lake, Pepper lake one of the Carp Lakes is being dug out to approximately seven acres and this all in a day."

Cottington lakes - match lake Cottington lakes - Black Lake
Two views of Cottington Lakes - Pictures courtesy of Camo

"The facilities include toilets and showers which are cleaned on a daily basis, Cafe and Bar where the food is well presented and spotless and the tackle shop which is under new management and is very well stocked and caters for all Match, Pleasure and Carp anglers. Security Cameras safeguard your property and well being, each lake has its own car park so its never too far to your favourite swim. I took countless photos of the Lakes and fish etc, hoping to put pictures to my words so all could see first hand how beautiful this place is and its going to get better. There is a huge Caravan and Camping site which is open all year, with electric hook-ups and water etc."
Camo

Score:


Reader Review - Carl Harris (May 2007)

Last week myself and 7 work colleagues hired the exclusive use of Lake Pepper. We spent 48 hours, in glorious May weather, at the lake. We found the local bailiffs and staff very helpful, and although the fishing was not prolific, everyone caught fish.

Five of us had British PB's, myself having 3 fish over 20lb, biggest 25 1/2lb mirror. All the fish were in pristine condition, and put up very good fights!!!

I would definitely return to Cottington and will recommend it to others.

Score:


Reader Review - John (Sept 2007)

Your reviewer Paul gives a low assessment of his visit to Cottington Lakes. Whilst I do not doubt that he reflects his own experience mine is somewhat different.

I have visited Cottington on three occasions this year with my young son and friends to camp and fish. We have been treated courteously and in a friendly and helpful matter. There was no problem with distractions from other anglers, indeed we engaged in several pleasant conversations with others using the lakes, most of whom were more than happy to volunteer information gained from their experiences. We caught a variety of species as well as larger Tench and Carp.

Score:


Reader Review - Carl (Oct 2007)

On a recent trip to Cottington Lakes which is in Deal, kent, I beat my PB twice in one day on Lake Christine. My PB stood at 16lb but when I struck into a 23.8lb mirror carp I was over the moon and made the trip well worth it.

But then shortly after, I stuck into a 26.8lb mirror carp on my other rod.

Cottington's is a nice and friendly place which has all the amenities that you could need for a short or long stay. The lakes are peaceful and are kept in good condition and the surrounding areas.

As the fish go they all put up a nice fight as I have fished all lakes apart from the match lakes and caught a range of nice fish which are in an all round good condition. I know some people disagree with paying the cost for the specimen lakes but with all fisheries that have specimen lakes they charge more so if you don't like it then go some where else and that's my opinion.

Score:


Reader Review - Clive Cook (Feb. 08)

Re Paul's review. I've fished Cottington Lakes over the past 4 years for carp. I cannot agree with him on the quality of the fishing (my specific is carp): over a 3 day @ night period I bagged 17 carp with my pb 29 3/4lb mirror.

However I can fully substantiate his views on the staff, especially the moron on his quad bike who thinks he's the new Richard Walker of carp tactics and specimens caught. When you question monsieur le moron closer, all his specimen fish have been caught in .......yes you've got it France!!! The first time I fished Christine Lake, mons. le m. LEFT HIS BIVVY UP, barring us from that swim.

One funny instance though: he told to leave us alone in his best estuary vocabulary, promptly revved his quad up, went up the bank at the wrong angle and turned the lot over. Please get a life whoever or whatever he is AND KEEP OUT OF OUR FACES!!

Well all the best to Paul in future. Oh yes by the way, Camo is also biased to Cottington, he's a Kentish fisherman through and through

Score:


Very differing views then of Cottington Lakes although the thumbs up seem to be definitely outweighing the thumbs down - guess you'll just have to make your own mind up and check the place out for yourself. If you do and you would like to send us your views, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Paul @ UK Fisherman

* Please note, the opinions shown on our review pages are not necessarily shared or endorsed by UK Fisherman.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 15:59

River Bourne - Chertesy

The River Bourne is in places little more than a stream but can offer some excellent coarse fishing, particularly during the autumn and winter months when the river is in full flow. The River Bourne rises in the west in the grounds of Windsor Royal Park and flows through Surrey where it meets the Thames at Hamm Court, Weybridge. For most of its length it flows through private land and is therefore unfishable, although easy access is assured around the Chertsey area.

Two readers have recently contacted us to share their view on the River Bourne in Chertsey, particularly the stretch known as The Meads. They certainly cast doubt on the statement that the River Bourne can offer some excellent coarse fishing.

Reader One - Thomas Denny (June 2006)

Having been very interested in fishing The River Bourne near Chertsey Meads, I decided to make a visit and get an up to date view of The Bourne at Chertsey. What a shame. After moving up from the start of the river, I'm met by overgrown stinging nettles - not possible to even get near to the river.

A little further greets me with what appears to be a stangnant pond area. For those thinking of fishing near The Meads its a no no. Great shame. The area needs urgent attention. Ministry of enviroment perhaps spend some of our licence money please in a clean up.


Reader Two - Michael Allen (October 2006)

I spent the day at chertsey today interseted in fishing the meads. It was as read on your site meaning the stingers being a nightmare. However I did manage to get to the bankside but I honestly cant see how anyone has ever caught barbel there. The only way I could envisage that is in winter maybe they might swim from the thames into there for respite.

I've looked at various parts of that river before and can honestly say that I have never seen any signs of  aquatic life anywhere, no swirls no surface movement only water boatmen. I'd be interested to speak to anyone who knows of anyone who has caught there.

Still not all gloom. I parked in car park and after extensive roving of the bourne I decided to hit the thames walking the opposite way from  the bourne. Did quite well picking up a few nice chub and a few nice perch til the weather got the better of me. I would recommend thames at the meads on feeder tactics.

Score:


Obviously our two readers were not overly impressed with The Meads. However, as Michael mentions, this is probably a better winter venue when the bankside vegetation has died away making access easier and the river is in full flow.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

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