We used to fish at the Clay Pit fishery over forty-five years ago when my wife lived just a few hundred yards  away. It was one of the first places we took our two boys fishing who have fond memories from their time spent catching Rudd and the odd tench. After seeing a few posts on Facebook with some catch reports we decided to revisit.

view from the high point at claypit
view from the high point at claypit

Clay pit fishery as it’s now known attracted my attention, The lake has had a few different owners over the years since the brickyard stopped producing local bricks and was demolished. The new owners have done a great job producing a great fishery which in-turn has created a fantastic wildlife haven with a pair of  grebes and a family of coots residing on the lake with many species of birds making the most of the trees and hedge rows that surround the lake.

It couldn’t be easier to book either from the gocatchfish.com Web site where I booked my 24hr trip from. A gate code and directions and other information is sent to you once you have paid your £23 for twenty four hours.

lovely sun set on claypit

I had booked a Monday into Tuesday and was very exited to see the lake again after all those years had passed. When we fished before, the brickyard was still producing bricks and digging the lake for the clay. As I drove into the new car park, I could immediately see how much it had matured into a lovely, peaceful fishery and was surprised at how much bigger it looked than my memory of the place. Back then if it rained, you got covered in wet clay and could hardly keep your footing when walking around. Well, all that has changed with grassy areas, gravel and bark covering some well made swims around the lake. I was keen to explore and, as I was the only one on the fishery, I did several laps around the perimeter on a well maintained footpath that runs around the entire lake in my trainers without getting them dirty.

I’d seen a few carp show by this time in the area we use to fish which is probably the oldest part of the lake. After watching a couple of birds of prey hovering over head and listening to cuckoo’s it was time to get some fishing done. The wind was blowing hard into the corner left of the car park and several carp had shown outside of the bay area, looking like they may well end up in the rushes in the bay. Many other fisheries had closed due to fish spawning and I was a bit surprised there were no signs of spawning here as I had prepared myself to move to a large reservoir had that been the case,

Reedy corner near the car park
Reedy corner near the car park

Not wanting to disturb the water too much, I cast to the area the fish were showing with a stick attached to the hook bait consisting of my go-to bait anywhere in recent years: Atlantic shrimp hard hooker with a small wafter all wrapped in the matching paste along with a stick mix just nicked on the hook then dipped again in the matching dip all from Mistral baits. It went down and  I felt a drop, that was good enough for me. Topped up with 20 or so 15mm boilies with the throwing stick all around the general area, it was now mid-afternoon and it certainly looked good for a bite.

What I have found with some of the day ticket waters I’ve fished recently is that a re-cast and bait change with a little booster of some sort brings a quick bite. So I needed to go back to the car to fetch the bed chair and sleeping bag ready for the night ahead. So winding in gave an opportunity to have a little change, although getting a drop I had been fishing into some light weed. So, on return from the car, I went further out to where I’d seen a few better fish poke their heads out. Within ten minutes that rod was flickering, and straight away I could feel the fish ploughing into the weed. So a steady walk backwards on a tight line with barbless hooks, the fish steadily moved towards me and after a good fight under the rod tip, my first claypit carp was in the net. Looking down into the net, I was pleased with a lovely chunky mid twenty common. After a very noisy night due to the frog right outside my bivvy, I was up at first light and decided to re cast with fresh baits, quickly had a couple of small commons to show for my effort.

claypit common

The wind got up again and started blowing into the opposite rushes. So an area cutting back into the rushes looked good for a bite later in the day. So a move with that rod with some fresh bait cast first time to the spot with some freebies just for good measure. The weather started to warm up and the pressure starting to rise weren’t the conditions of the day before, so a slow pack up with the rods left for that just one more bite scenario. I was staring at the rod to the rushes, thinking it should have gone by now when the rod tip lurched round and I was on it before the alarm sounded. It still got in the rushes but I managed to extract a low double after a bit of a tussle and slipped it back straight away as everything was packed away by then. Note to self: don’t fish to close to those rushes, as next time I might not be so lucky. A very enjoyable session on a venue that felt more like a syndicate than a day ticket water. I’m keen to get back on there in the near future to land one of the thirties that reside and enjoy the peace (apart from the frogs!).

Tight lines, Trev.