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One Last Season On The Church Lake
n the winter of 2009, I decided
that the coming season
would be my fourth and final
on Horton due to the sad but
not surprising death of Shoulders and the end of the ATeam. I had really enjoyed my time on
there; in fact the longer I was there
the more I liked it, and there were still
several fish I wanted to catch and
things I wanted to try, hoping they
would help me catch them. After
Shoulders died Horton had in my
opinion become a thirties water,
despite the fact that there can be lots
of 40lb fish in there before spawning
(14 that had done it at least once), it
was the originals that I was interested
in, and the majority of these were
twenties and thirties. Tetley’s and the
Thorpe Park common had both been
caught in excess of 40lb but only once
each I think, so my target fish were
likely to be thirties if I was lucky
enough to bag them.
Though they are far from being the
largest in the country, I think they are
certainly still some of the best. Coming from the Road lake, Longfield and
Thorpe Park (possible Leney’s?), the
fact that they were unlikely to spin
the needle as far as some of the stockies would was irrelevant to me, and I
would have happily paid the ticket
price if the stockies were not there.
The plan for my 2010/11 season was
to concentrate (pretty much live) on
Previously I’d only been to one
draw at Horton, two years before, and
failed to get a swim. I was fishing at
Wraysbury 1 and had to pack up after
seeing a fish show in front of me, so to
go to the draw and not get a swim
didn’t impress me. However this year
I had fared better, though I still came
out in the twenties. Nevertheless I
was happy to have a swim, any swim,
as I wanted to experience the start
there at least once and hoped to move
up the list a bit if some people didn’t
turn up on the opening day. I’d
booked two weeks off work as holiday
and decided to do two nights at Horton, two at the Car Park then back to
Horton for two and continue this until
I had to be back at work, hoping to
join in the early season seal clubbing
(Above) Horton’s famous gates.
(Below) The lodge, front…
…and back.
action on both pits. I turned up to find
the majority of others had also turned
up, and that I was still unlikely to get
a fancied swim. I ended up in the Slot
swim in Church Bay, a swim that I like
and had caught a few from in previous seasons but since I had been on
there it had seemed to be the case
that Church Bay didn’t start to fish
until later in the season. Thinking that
the sudden chaos may spook them
into the middle, being tucked away in
a corner for the start didn’t appeal,
but it was in my opinion the best of a
bad bunch.
I did my two nights in there, and as


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