Bentley Fishery Review
Bentley fishery is a stunning intimate venue which is nestled in the beautiful Essex countryside. The lake is around 3 and half acres and has 70 handpicked gorgeous carp swimming in its murky depths. The fish range from double figures to 29lb which is the lake record although I am sure that that they would reach to over 30lb as this record was set a couple of years ago and these fish don’t give themselves up easily so it could be definitely possible. You have the choice to fish from 8 comfortable swims each giving you plenty of options to fish to such as islands, snags, overhangs and open water. Although there are 8 swims there is only 5 anglers allowed on at one time leaving plenty of room. Access around the venue is excellent with a good path running around the lake making life easy when pushing a fully loaded barrow to and from the swims. As well as the path all swims are gravel covered keeping you from getting muddy and keeping everything nice and tidy. Upon arrival to the lake you will be greeted by John the lake owner who lives on site and is on hand if any help is needed. He also sells bait on site and it’s the same which he feeds the carp on so is worth considering when visiting.
I had booked a 48hour session for my mate Andy and I and as soon as we arrived we wasted no time by heading straight off for a lap of the lake. As we walked around the lake we made sure to stop and check all the nooks and crannies around the margin in hope of catching a glimpse of a carp.
By the second lap we still had no clue as to where the carp was hiding until one launched its self clean from the water closely followed by another.
We were hoping see any subtle signs but we didn’t need to worry as the carp just switched on a neon sign saying we’re over here! The fish had shown in front of a swim called the boat swim, which gives you access to an out of bounds bank that is littered with other hanging trees and bushes as well as a quiet little bay to your left.
With location sort I soon had the rods ready in the boat swim. Andy opted for a swim called the bunker which was fairly close to where the fish had shown and gives you access to both of the island as well as some nice snaggy margins.
John encourages the use of bait boats on the lake to make it easier to present bait close to the overhangs so with this in mind
I had my boat with me and loaded it up with maggots before it was sent on its first voyage to deposit my rig into the carp’s house.
It wasn’t long before the darkness set in and with it a drop in temperature which soon had me retreating back into the warmth of the bivvy. I wasn’t in there to long though as the alarm let out a few bleeps which had me hovering above the rod in anticipation. A couple more bleeps and the bobbing rising had me lifting into a fish. After a quick and slightly unenthusiastic fight a rather large scaly mirror rose from the inky black water and just as its head went over the net cord disaster struck and the hook pulled from its mouth sending the lead flying back which actually hit me in the head and the hook stuck in my hat. Which was luck really as in inch or two lower and I could have been my eye. Realising what had happened I tried to scoop the rest of the fish up but being a bit of a lump I just couldn’t manage to get the tail in and it slowly disappeared from view. I was gutted at losing that fish but on the positive side of things location was spot on and they and now I knew they were feeding on my bait so hopefully another one would slip up. The rod was soon back on the spot and my thoughts were now turning to food.
Another plus for Bentley is that pizza, Chinese and Indian takeaways all deliver to the fishery and on a cold January night a hot pizza was a god send. With my stomach lined it was time to turn in for the night but once I was warm and cosy in the sleeping bag the same rod was away once again and I was doing battle with another Bentley stunner. The spirited fight didn’t last too long and I soon had a pretty little mirror sulking in the bottom of the night. On the scales she went 13lb not huge but a very welcome visitor and I was over the moon to have landed my very first carp from Bentley as it is known to be a very tricky little water and bite can be hard to come by.
My kind of venue, intimate water that holds stunning English carp which requires a bit of thought and effort to unlock its secrets and have a chance to hold one of its elusive residents up for the camera!
The rest of the night passed to quickly and before I knew it I was dragging myself out of bed at first light to scan the water for any fishy signs but the day turned out to be uneventful not a lot happened apart from Andy moving swims as he saw a fish and moved on it. It’s good to be mobile especially in the winter as the carp can hold up in big groups and normally if one shows there will be other with it. Although I scanned the water all day I didn’t see another fish show and the darkness descended on the lake once again and I hoped for a repeat of the night before. I was shocked when I awoke the next morning not having had a bite during the night but I didn’t need to worry as once again the same righthand rod was calling for my attention which resulted in carp number two in the net. Knowing feeding spells can be very short in the winter I quickly got the fish into the retainer sling to recover so that I could get the rod back on the spot to try and get another quick bite if any more carp were in residence. It was well worth the effort and only moment later I was once again doing battle with an angry carp. With one carp in the sling and another in the net I chose to leave the rod out of the water and deal with those to stunners instead. Remarkably both fish weighed exactly the same at 15lb 8oz and both looked incredible in their winter colours as I’m sure you will agree.
What a way to end a session with a beautiful brace of winter stunners. In total I managed 4 runs resulting in 3 fish landed, Andy unfortunately couldn’t get amongst the carp on this trip but its left us both gagging to get back and try for some more of those cracking fish.
Over all I found Bentley to be a fantastic water and think that it is a refreshing change to most commercial waters as its not over stocked with fat ugly fish. John has taken care to stock only the finest looking carp and has done so at low weights so they can grow to their potential and build up some history along the way and will be making anglers dreams come true for a very long time indeed. The lake is set in beautiful and safe surroundings with secure parking for your vehicles so that you can fish with peace of mind and lose yourself in the hunt for those Bentley stunners. This venue comes highly recommended by myself and it won’t be long before im back on its banks trying to outwit those crafty specimens.
VENUE: Bentley fisheries
Contact: John 07939074089
Price: Summer fishing 1st of march to October 31st
- Day ticket 6am – 6pm ……..£15
- 12 hour night ticket 6pm – 6am……..£15
- 24hour ticket 6am or 6pm start………£25
Winter ticket 1st November to 28th of Febuary
- Day ticket 6am – 6pm………£10
- 24 hour ticket……….£20
- All fishing must be booked in advance
- Bait can be bought on site at reasonable prices
- Bait boat can be used and are recommended by the owner
- Before fishing please take care to read the rules
- And most importantly ENJOY YOURSELF!!!
Article by: Tommy Flower for The Totally Awesome Fishing Show