One of my favourite lake over the past few years has to be Sandhurst, one of the cemex angling waters. The lake itself is 14 acres and is relatively shallow averaging 5ft, possibly a reason for its reputation as a great winter venue. The lake has a great head of carp with the largest just exceeding the 40lb barrier. On top of this the lake is home to no fewer than twenty 30’s at the right time of year, which for a day ticket open for everyone is an incredible statistic.
Despite its good track record in the winter my success has come in the warmer months with one particular session standing out, the UK Carp Cup. During this match I managed to catch four fish with the other 9 anglers failing to catch. It was on this trip where my confidence in zig rigs was truly cemented as all the fish had fallen to the tactic. I landed fish up to 29lb which is still my biggest is caught carp to date so is not something I am going to forget for a long time.
One of my most memorable sessions ever
I have only fished here once before but that 48 hour session was enough to secure Chilham a place on my top 3 favourite venues list. To me it offers the ultimate carp fishing challenge with everything you could wish for in a fishery. The lake is now a syndicate and unfortunately for me is about 100 miles too far away too justify joining, however I would not hesitate should the opportunity present itself in the future. The lake boasts 5 fish over 40lb with a staggering 80 further fish over the 30lb mark an almost unrivalled figure.
I fished the lake during the British Carp Angling Championships a few years ago and was lucky enough to capture two of its residents. Both 20lb+ carp but very different all the same. One was a typical mirror carp but the other was a very old looking common, that as they say was a real wood carving. It is this that drew me to the lake as the fish are simply stunning in absolute pristine condition. As well as the fish being in good condition the lake is equally as impressive with densely vegetated banks and lots of features both above and below the surface.
If I could fish one place for the rest of my life this would be it as I simply don’t think you would ever tire of being there.
A stunning Chilham Mill common carp
Oxford Linear Fisheries
Known as the best day ticket complex in the country and I would not disagree. With 7 lakes open to the public and an additional 3 lake-syndicate it has something for everyone. All 7 day ticket lakes offer carp well above 30lb with 40lb carp in 4 of them. The complex is where I first started to try and target larger carp as opposed to simply catching. I have gone on to catch 30lb carp although the real bigguns have evaded me. As you can imagine the lakes are very popular and other anglers present the biggest challenge. There is often very little room for manoeuvre so moving onto the fish is made difficult. This forces you to maximise the potential of the swim you are in, which I feel has really helped me in my match fishing where once again you are stuck in one particular location. I cannot recommend the place enough and the bailiffs are all very friendly ensuring that the anglers come back time and time again. I for one will keep going back in pursuit of some of the most famous carp in the country.
A nice upper 20 caught from St.Johns