Last week saw me arrive at Churnpool in the Cotswolds for a three-day stint to combine a catalogue shoot with hopefully, a spot of fishing. Trakker had booked the whole fishery for the event. I arrived through the secure gates on Tuesday morning, to find that Mark Bryant already had his rods out (he wasn’t wasting anytime!) and, who was being kept company by Mark ‘Kodak’ Dean. I hadn’t met either of these good guys before, so it was pleasant to chit-chat whilst we waited for the others to turn up.
Churnpool itself is situated outside the village of Cerney Wick. It is a trout fishery by nature, but is also available for carp fishing at set periods of the year, and it can be booked in advance. All the details for this beautiful lake can be found at www.churnpool.co.uk
As I said in my last post, the lake holds some truly stunning specimens, which are partly made up of the original stock, of which there are about thirty left. This stock is further backed up by two fairly recent introductions of prime carp sourced from Simon Scott’s fishery. You can therefore imagine what these fish look like. The first crew of stockies are now approaching the upper double barrier, and the more recent posse are fast-growing singles. As for the originals – “wow” is all I can say. Here we have a collection of some of the finest looking carp in the Cotswolds. The pictures on the clubhouse wall literally jump out at you, and the lake’s two largest inhabitants are 30+ commons that any self-respecting angler would dearly love to catch.
I also mentioned I didn’t have any tackle with me as I wasn’t expecting to do any dangling whilst back in blighty. Cash Farnham kindly bought a spare pair of rods, reels, alarms, and buzz bars with him, and as Matt Quibble was set up next to me, his tackle box was raided and pillaged at every available opportunity. Bait was also missing from my list, so once again, I nabbed what I could!
Everything went smoothly with regards to the photo shoot. Rain did hamper the beginning, but by the time the camera had made it round to my pretty face, the photographer had his eye in, and the sun was even shining. The Colossus caused a stir sitting proudly in my swim, and we all agreed that it truly is a humongous and stylish shelter, which not only gives plenty of room, it also sports some unique and well-thought out features. The group shots were done in the huge porch area where a dozen people could easily sit!
Wednesday evening was spent very wisely. I took on the duty of head-chef and manned the gas-fired bbq. Once everyone was fed sufficiently it was time to get the rods out to see if I could make up for the lack of carp in the first twenty-four hours.
I didn’t have to wait long and a minute after casting out I got off the mark with one of the lakes rare treaures. A 17lb 4oz koi was the netted result, and this is one of three koi that reside in the lake. My capture is apparently the most elusive, so it was a lucky capture indeed.
My tactics were nothing more than a scaled down version of what I use abroad. A 360 rig combining a seven-inch stiff fluro-carbon hooklink with a size six barbless Kurv and a 15mm pop-up.
The following morning I added one of the young stockies to my tally, and a beautiful linear of five or six pounds was gently cradled in my hand, before I slipped it back into the edge. These stockies are incredibly special and four or five of them were caught during the session. This lake has a very positive future with these fantastic looking carp lurking in its depths.
I now have a few days out on the road. I am off ‘up north’ to see some sponsors and a few contacts, and in no time I will be back in France.
Jake and the dogs.