Our Local club water – Marlborough pool

Our Local club water – Marlborough pool 

Marlborough pool is our local club water a lake that is steeped in history, The pool was rented by the Oxford Angling and Preservation society in 1948, the negotiation was typical of the aristocracy as our representative was in one room with the Blenheim palace man in another (maybe the duke himself), with a runner going between until an agreement could be made and both parties agreed. Everything now is dealt with by the Blenheim estates agent.  O.A.P.S was formed in 1882 and was one of 3 clubs which clubbed together in 1964 to form the Alliance we all know now. they were brought together to try and be a more powerful force to keep local waters in the local area as clubs from London Birmingham and Coventry were grabbing anything they could at the time.
We talked about history of stocking at the pool, first stocking was in the late 40’s these fish were sourced and were then sent by train to Oxford station duly collected and put into the lake.

Here is a great article by Mark Anderson about a fish we all wanted to catch called Nelson

Nelson , the obsession

If your going to have a fish get under your skin , it would be better if it was a really big fish . Mine was , but only for the lake , but in the bigger picture it was very average . It started in the late 70’s , and my love for the lake , Marlborough Pool , and somewhere I fished on and off for many years . I had found the lake as I passed it on many occasions fishing around the Oxford area . It had a track record for fishing in the winter , even in the early days of carp fishing . I first joined the club late one season , doing the last 3 weekends of the winter . The first weekend I fished the beach swim ( very badly as it happened ) , the next I fished the shelter swim ( the lake froze over during my first night ) , and the third I caught a double from the Rock swim . During this time the lake was being fished by some well known carp anglers , and in fact featured in Kevin Maddox book Carp Fever !. I was gutted as it would increase the amount fishing it , but I rejoined . Also although the hair rig was being used on the lake , side hooking was also the going method , and I often fished one alongside each other before realising what I should be doing ! , it really was at the start of the modern era of carp fishing .  For a few seasons I had a fair few fish , really enjoying my fishing there , fishing through the winters also catching lots of fish , and making some good mates ( they will crop up again in my Lynch Hill story ) . One fish I see a couple of times was called Nelson , a fantastic looking fish , and one I was desperate to catch every time the rod blasted off !. I thought it was a matter of time , just catching a few fish it would crop up !.
It was during a winters session I was to bump into one of the anglers in the video that made me start these blog story’s !, Alan Taylor . I was fishing with a mate , I was in my fav swim the Point , and had caught a couple of doubles . Late in the afternoon someone turned up at set up oppersite me in ” Middletons” , he sat there for ages so I thought he must have been fishing the hot area alongside the reed bed . I re cast for the long night ahead , and after the second cast noticed what I thought was a fish show over my baits . The next morning I had a fish , but also noticed that every time I cast matey opposite also cast very close to where my bait landed . Although it was the middle ish of the lake I thought it was not really the right thing to do , and told him so across the lake . When it happens again later with more instructions shouted across the lake the bloke wound in , and started round for my swim . I was fuming , and started off round to meet him !. My mate stopped me , calming me down , saying lets hear his side of the facts . With that Alan walked into my swim smiling !, explaining that he had herd I was catching a few fish , and was casting next to me to see what I was doing !, we all ended up laughing . That’s what makes him , and others anglers like him top anglers , looking at all the things that are going on , making the most with info , and Alan is at the top of the
tree , a quality angler .

I had been doing a few winter sessions on Marlborough , pulling off some very good carp waters with some big old carp in them  , it was Marlborough , just Nelson on my mind . Me and a mate Stu had been putting in some effort to catch . Due to Sue finishing work at Sainsburys late on a Saturday night we were arriving at the lake at midnight , in the middle of winter with frost everywhere , often the lake was empty , we were mad , and we’re told so by those turning up at first light ! . Setting up the bivvi and getting the rods out in the pitch black , but experience had the baits in position . This was a pattern for quiet a few weeks . That fateful session see me catch a few doubles from my normal spot , stu caught next door , and as I lay on my bedchair looking at the rods I knew when the left hand rod lowered off the tip by the reeds blasted off  it was that fish . Stu laughed at me , but I said so as I played the fish to the net and punched the air !. Nelson , a history fish , see it all from the side hooking through the early development of the hair rig , weight does not matter , I’d caught it !.

Rob Maylin said to me in the pub one night that all the time i spent after that fish I could have caught a lot more and bigger at the other lakes I was on . True , no doubt , but it was an itch that I got to scratch . Marlborough is a historic water , I glad I got to fish it when I did.

Big thanks to Mark Anderson for writing this article

Here is a bit more about the stocking of Marlborough pool by Geoff Waddle head Bailiff at Marlborough pool, I would like to take a moment to thank Geoff for all his hard work and time he spends down the lake he really does keep the place going, Like all club waters you need people like Geoff and his team of bailiffs who don’t get paid but do it because they love the lake cheers lads.

Since I have been involved which was in the early late 70’s early 80’s my first recollection was netting and electrode fishing at farmoor in 3 gravel pits which are now the massive farmoor 2 reservoir some of these fish ended up in M.P. big bream roach and tench but no carp at this time, we had so many fish one night we were throwing them off the a40 Evenlode bridge at 11pm as the oxygen in the tank was running out. All our fish transfer efforts came to an end when the NRA took it all over and we sold all our gear nets landrover fish trailer etc.
my next memory is when Cotswold aquaculture based just outside Stratford were invited in to net the lake and take away bream which had spawned very successfully and the deal was a straight swap for carp we had 39 carp of 3-5lb delivered 20 went into the pool and 19 were sent over to our other lake at Dorchester on Thames. the netting went well apart from getting it stuck on the ledges and then the Oxford sub aqua club were called in to help get the net back without too much damage.

Winter snow shot with logo
We have now got into E A health checks  for all fish transfers so we tend to buy from selected fish farms with good health history trying to ensure we do not bring in any disease as one fish can wipe out a whole lake!!
So 1994 250 small 4-6 inch fish stocked these were a mixture of ghost mirror and common crosses some were put in the main lake and some were put into the small stock pond most of these we believe were predated.
We then decided to go for cormorant proof fish at an average size of 3-4 lb and we bought 45 fish from fishers pond in Hampshire which were stocked in 2009, then following that we bought 32 fish from Claybrooke fisheries which were shared equally between our 2 lakes so 16 in mp.

sunrise marlborough

The stunning Marlborough pool

Then we were offered the deal of the century due to the 2012 Olympics some carp became available from the Serpentine in London which was being stirred up by the carp, the triathlon swimmers wanted clear water, 30 went into MP between 7lb and 17lb delivered in the dark, but all went well and we did not lose any and a week later 24 went into Dorchester. We paid £1750 for 500 lb of fish!!

18lb common 3
We have now discovered the local Berryfield fisheries at Shillingford and have bought fish for stocking in February 2014 and February 2015 the best part is we can save on any delivery charge as we collect in the car, 12 were stocked at 3-4 lb in 2014 and 16 fish 3-4lb and 2 bigger ones at 5lb 8oz and 6lb 4oz in 2015, these all have stunning scale patterns and I look forward to catching these in the future as they have already started banging on weight and will soon be over 10lb

Big thanks to Geoff Waddle for writing this article.

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Categories: Articles

1 reply »

  1. Fantastic to see the stocking and story of the fish in the lake . We all take the fish for granted , but if people did not put themselves out in the first place , then the stocks would not be there , good work to all involved .


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