Hid­den bounty from Clat­ter­cote

Angling Times (UK) - - WHERE TO FISH -

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.


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.

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