freeline-29 - Page 167

Road Lake Remembered
“This came for you this morning,” my
dad said, as he handed me a brown
envelope with the Cemex Angling
logo on the front. I ripped it open and
there inside was an application to join
the Road Lake syndicate – I had
totally forgotten I had my name down
on the waiting list! It was already
mid-May, and by the time I had
received my ticket the season was
well underway, but I was just happy
to have a ticket to fish a lake on a
complex with so much history.
For those of you who aren’t familiar
with the Road Lake and its stock, it’s
situated on the Longfield complex,
which consists of the Road Lake,
Long Lake and Fox Pool, the latter of
which was somewhat of a carp fishing Mecca in 70s and 80s and was
fished by many of the country’s top
anglers. That was until the lakes on
site were netted and the fish relocated to Horton Church Lake just up
the road due the lake being earmarked for development. The back
filling never happened and the lakes
were eventually restocked. The Road
Lake was restocked in 1990s and run
as a private syndicate for many years.
However with the fish steadily growing the lake was bought back into the
Cemex portfolio around 2003. The
Road Lake itself is a small and intimate venue of around three acres in
size and surrounded by heavily
wooded banks. It contains everything
you could want from a lake: gravel
bars, silt pockets, snag trees, lily pads
and its crystal clear waters are often
choked with weed during the summer months. The stock of carp it contains is as impressive as the lake
itself, with around 10-12 thirties and
two or three forties at the right time of
the year. As well as these the lake still
contains a handful of the original
commons and some of the stunning
Sutton stock fish.
It was a roasting hot Sunday in July
2006 when I first unlocked the gates
to the Longfield complex and
bumped down the track, eager to get
my first glimpse of the lake and hope-
fully a few carp as well. As I pulled
into the car park I was greeted by
only one other car, and as it turned
out the angler was just packing up.
We exchanged a few pleasantries and
it became apparent that we were
both new members. Just before I set
off for a lap of the lake he casually said
be sure to have a look in the snags of
No. 1. I wasn’t sure where No. 1 was,
so I just set off to the left from the car
park. The first swim I came to was in
fact No. 1; it looked very carpy with a
line of overhanging trees on the left
hand side leading to a snag tree. I
walked up the bank to the snag tree
and peered around the undergrowth
to be greeted by what could only be
described as fish soup! There must
have been upwards of 15 fish milling
around the fallen tree, with some of
lake’s real prizes among them. I put
my water bottle in the swim and had
a quick scout about the rest of the
lake, but it wasn’t long before I had
my gear in No.1. I then went about
getting the rods sorted. I had a few
First blood, Bare Patch – one of the original commons at 20lb 14oz.

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