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Venues
14 Oct 2015
by Dan Wildbore
Linch Hill Fishery - Christchurch Lake
Dan Wildbore gives you the low down on one of his favourite gravel pit venues where the prospect of big fish is always on the cards

The Linch Hill complex remained tucked away in the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside for years. This was until the breath-taking mirror known as ‘Petals’ drew attention from some of the biggest names in the game. Once she sadly passed away, the lake turned in to a syndicate water for a number of years. In this time, some of the high-twenties that were once dwarfed by the 48lb plus Petals began to hit staggering weights. Still, the weights were immaterial to most, with these fish being some of the finest examples of gorgeous looking carp around. After many years of the complex being syndicate, Linch Hill decided to once again make Willow Pool and Christchurch Lake day ticket waters from April 1st 2013. This turned plenty of heads and instantly drew many anglers to fish the lakes.

Since then, droves of anglers have set foot on this atmospheric complex; some leaving with personal bests, others suffering the punishment that these wise old carp can put you through. I’ve managed several sessions there and I have really enjoyed myself. These fish are absolutely incredible and should you get it right, you could be in for a fantastic session.

Although Christchurch is a little over eight-acres in size and holding around 170 carp, they certainly don’t give themselves up easily. In fact, sometimes it feels as though there are only 17 carp in the lake! However, should the weather conditions be right, it could be mistaken for somewhere like Drayton Reservoir. When these fish are on it, you could easily see over 400 shows in one morning.

The lake now has 19 swims and one double, with most of them commanding a good chunk of water. I would certainly take a look at the angle the swim points at and take into consideration whether you could impede on someone else’s fishing. I have fished a weekend on the lake and although it has been relatively busy, there is still plenty of room to move swims and get on the fish. The fish get around a lot and even though you may feel nothing is in front of you, if you keep it quiet, the fish could happily turn up in numbers. My advice would be to find a clear area and put maybe 15 spods of bait over the top of it. These fish will spook over big beds of bait and it normally takes them a few days to ‘get on it’. Make sure your hook point is as sharp as you can get it too, as these fish can get away with murder at times.

It is worth mentioning that there is a superb café on-site that serves brilliant food and are very welcoming. For those of you that don’t like a barrow, Nick the bailiff does van runs to the lakes for a £2 charge. If you are going to have a go on this fantastic venue, the guys there insist on a decent sized unhooking mat and appropriate carp care equipment to ensure these superb fish remain in great condition.

The vital information you need...


Biggest resident:The lake holds an impressive list of twelve fish that regularly record weights well in excess of forty-pounds!
Average fish size: High-twenties
Rough fish stock: 170 fish
Going bait: Boilies
Local tackle shop: State Tackle, Witney, 01993 702587
Takeaways: Peppers Tandoori, 01993 709322
Rod limit: Three rods.
Location: Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, OX29 5BB
Contact: Julie Todd, 01865 882215; Nick (Bailiff), 07833130041
Website: linchhillfishery.co.uk
Prices: Three-rod tickets are £20 for 12hrs; £30 for 24hrs
Facilities: Toilets, shower, tackle transport service, tackle and bait shop, and on-site café
Known autumn areas/swims: The fish like a sun trap on the back of the wind as much as following the breeze and travel the whole lake regularly. Meaning all swims can fish well.
Dan's top tip: “Snowman Rigs work well and washed-out boilies can give you an edge.”

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