All the swims are pegged and built to a high standard

Situated on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire, this single lake is easily accessed by the M3, M4 or A30.It has been open for fishing for some 10 years, but recently it has opened up the entire North Bank with the construction of 17 new swims, making a total of 45 fishing spots to fish. Set in the rural village of Eversley Cross the water is well stocked with Mirror and Common Carp, Rudd, Tench, Skimmers and Roach. The unusual part of this lake is the depth which drops from two feet, right down to eighteen feet. This volume of water means it has a stable water temperature enabling constant feeding with the fish, in contrast to the fluctuating changes of shallow lakes during cold snaps when the fish go straight off the feed.

There is ample car parking, plus toilet facilities on site. It’s a year-round fishery and I was first told about it by Nigel Newport of Tackle Up in nearby Fleet. During the winter the lake is open from 7am to dusk, and in January and February you can get a half day ticket from 12pm.There is a long list of rules, but the most important in my mind are the following- Barbless hooks only, so make sure you keep tight on the fish and you shouldn’t lose many. No braid lines. Use unhooking mat and landing net. Method feeders must not be fixed. No keepnet, except in matches. Banned baits are nuts, plus cat and dog food. No more than 2kg of groundbait/carp pellet to be used per visit. For day tickets pay the bailiff in attendance. It’s a popular place to get some father and son fishing done, as the water is prolific with the Roach to give youngsters some float-dipping action. A popular venue for family fishing. It’s water where you stand a good chance right through the colder weather.

Expect big weight in the matches at Watmore,many run over 50lbs,but double figures is always on the cards

Now here’s my take on it. I don’t remember hearing of the fishery, yet it’s only about 5 miles from where I live! That’s sad really, and my fault for not researching more.Anyway,Nigel at Tackle Up pointed me in the direction of the roach which the water is famous for, having recently had specimens of 2lbs.Armed with a 13 foot match rod, a couple of pints of red maggots and a spare afternoon ,I was off. I must say the water is angler friendly, with all the swims purpose-made and numbered for matches. I was assured the North Bank would be the place to go, as any angler had previously pushed the fish over there. So now you can catch fish right around the lake. I was supposed to be doing a TOTALLY AWESOME roach film, and after filming the tackle and bait intro with owner Martin Hicks, I eventually got round to putting a float in the water. Double red maggot under a small stick float (I had no wagglers) size 16 barbless hook, triple red maggots soon saw me picking off the roach a rod length out. I was in about four feet of water, and with the loose feed of maggots and hemp going in, you could see how it was possible to get a good bag.However, a chill wind and cold rain had taken the edge off the bite, and other anglers I noted had been casting well out to the deeper water using boilies and feeder tactics. I decided to mash up half a loaf and having pulped it, fed it into the swim for a couple of hours, a rod length out.

As the float action slowed I was told by Martin it could be a sign that a carp had moved in and was mopping up the bait. Not wishing to hook a decent carp on 3lb hooklink and a light match rod, I set up a second rod, an Avon, which still had the quivertip on as I had been on a Barbel session on the River Kennet the previous evening. First I freelined small pellets of bread, with just a bb shot to sink it. Sharp twitchy and missed bites indicated the roach were pulling at it. So I wound in, upped the hook to a size two, straight through on 4lb line and a link leger with a single swan shot to pin it down. The piece of breadflake bait was bigger than a 50p coin. For an hour nothing happened, so I picked away at the odd Roach. To cut a long story short, it all kicked off in the last hour, and I even had a 6lb carp on one rod, and a 1lb plus Roach on the other. Unfortunately the roach came off. I finished by hooking into five carp in the last hour, landing three ,all filmed from the tripod, the largest going 16lbs.So I have been suitably impressed with this “new” water.

Needless to say a return visit will be planned, and I am told in the summer you can get the carp by using a pellet waggler float, casting well out, then catapulting pellet feed in small quantities around the float. I would still fancy baiting and fishing closer in, and even if it gets really cold and the carp shut down, the roach are sure to keep feeding. Martin will always do his best to give you the tips of the day so you catch, and if anyone wants to travel and stay over, they are members of the Caravan Club, so you could tow the caravan there as well. The carp I caught were in good condition, and I have to say they fought harder than any carp I’ve caught for years. I imagine this must be due to the water quality, but you can spend quite some time on even a 5 pounder. Looking on their comments page on their website I noted other anglers had mentioned about the carp’s turbo-charged qualities, so it’s not just me trying to impress you. They really do”stretch your string”. Why not give it a go. Float action on the roach, or the chance of some cracking carp. The choice is yours.

Even on a windy day you can find a swim with the wind on your back

 

 

 

Day tickets are £12 for two rods, Phone Martin on 01252-876323 or 07831-561155. Watmore is a lake to keep any eye on. And keep a lookout for a film of the session, currently in the edit room!!!