SILVER SIDE TO A CARP RESERVOIR
Hidden bounty from Clattercote
IN THE late 1990s the Canal & River Trust – then known as British Waterways – came up with a clever idea to transform three giant reservoirs into carp bagging waters.
Drayton, in Northamptonshire, and Oxfordshire’s Boddington and Clattercote Reservoirs received huge stockings of mirrors and commons, and the move got a huge thumbs-up from anglers all over the country.
While most were obsessed with the big weights on offer, a few who sampled Clattercote saw a very different side to the water.
Huge shoals of roach and bream had been transferred from the Caen Hill flight on the Kennet & Avon Canal, and hundreds of silverfish were moved from Boddington to Clattercote.
The carp now run well into double figures, and those impressive growth rates have been mirrored by the silvers, with roach topping 1lb 8oz and bream and tench to 5lb regularly visiting the bank. To Mark Pollard, they are a highly enjoyable target.
The Matrix-backed star is always game for a new challenge and when Angling Times asked whether he’d fancy a debut silvers session at Clattercote, he jumped at the opportunity.
“It amazes me how many commercials stuffed with silvers are neglected by almost all visiting anglers,” said Mark.
SPOILT FOR CHOICE
When the reservoir was turned into a fishery all those years ago, a boardwalk was installed around the perimeter to provide access, and more than 120 wooden platforms provided a comfortable base.
Levels vary throughout the year, but at the moment the water is a foot or two up the platform legs and you can easily net fish while sitting on them.
Other than that, the venue has an old-school feel – a beautiful backdrop with no other amenities bar a small car park.
“The pegs closest to the car park are, without doubt, the most popular due to the short walk required. Fish of all species sit in large numbers down that end because they know they’ll never be far away from feed,” said Mark. “Today I’m going to get away from the commotion a little and sit halfway up the bank on peg 32.”
Clear water had pushed the fish away from the bank and with that in mind Mark based his attack around the groundbait feeder for skimmers and the waggler for roach.
A long pole line was also plumbed up, just in case the shoals hadn’t read the script and decided to venture closer in.
The stamp of the fish was impressive, with skimmers averaging around 2lb, and although the roach played hard to get on the day, he did manage the odd sample around 12oz.
“The prolific carp fishing at Clattercote is sure to quieten down as the temperatures continue to drop, but the silverfish that have been kept under wraps for so many years will all but guarantee a few bites in the coming months,” said Mark.
Mark with one of the skimmers averaging 2lb.
Permanent platforms are very convenient.