freeline-21 - Page 190



A Season Home And Away
dle rod. After a good little battle, a
nice looking common found its way in
the bottom of the net – happy days.
This pristine fish weighed in at 21lb
exactly, and although not the 40lb
common that resides in this lovely
place, I was very pleased to catch on
my last trip.
Due South, The
Garden Of England
And Steeped With
History!
After having my name down on a
waiting list for some time a phone call
I received left me a very happy man.
Medway Valley Fisheries’ Big Lake
was my destination, a company run
by discerning, experienced anglers
with great insight including a sustainable fish policy to look after our
beloved sport’s future! The Big Lake
is one historic place and one of the
oldest lakes in the valley with the
exception being Townsend Hook’s
Paper Mill. After the Second World
First blood hidden in the ball of weed,
a long Leney of 34lb.
190 FREE LINE
Wa r m i n e r a l s b e c a m e h i g h i n
demand, in particular for housing and
construction of the A228 and later
M20, so the excavation of the lake
began. Tracing back on old Ordinance
Survey Maps the lakes (Big and Small)
first became visible in 1963, when it
was known as Malling Road Lakes.
The extractions in the vicinity led to a
series of lakes all joined by the millstream from Townsend Hook’s lake
down through to Malling Road Lakes.
In 1968 a man named Michael Harris
took up the running of the lakes that
were still working pits. In 1972 Roy
Johnson had approached Donald
Leney with an interest in stocking
fish into Malling Lakes’ Small Lake. So
it was here in early 1972 that a selection of carp aged between three and
five years were stocked along with
some trout in the Small Lake now
known as The Trout Lake. The purpose of the trout being introduced
alongside the carp was a chance for
people to get a bite throughout the
year. The subsequent construction of
Leybourne Way and the M20 saw the
need to lose some gravel/earth and
silt deposits into the Big Lake. Some
of this remains to this day, the large
plateau being one of them! At some
stage the carp found their way from
the Trout Lake to the Big Lake and
these carp remain present today! Well
I am sure you don’t need to be a
mathematician to work out that some
of these carp are now around 45 years
old.
After picking up my ticket I could
not wait to wet a line in this 14-acre
lake where depths range from 2ft to
17ft with lots of features including an
island, snags, and plateaus, and
which is very weedy too. A scheduled
week off work to do some decorating
indoors for the last week in June was
the answer. After working flat out
with the prep well started I was at the
lake late evening. To be honest when
I first set my eyes on the place I fell in
love with it! I had a look around and
did not take too long to find some
carp nutting out. So swim choice was
sorted and bottle firmly placed whilst
I went back to the car park to get my
kit. The name of the swim was “Plato”
due to the large plateau that was the

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