And by “dangerous” Karl, we take it you mean murders, chavs, thefts and those weirdoes who hang around on park benches? Well, after much research, these are the places you want to try and avoid should you fish on your own or simply don’t fancy finding someone tied up with their hands and feet behind their back and a gag in their mouth...
Although the fishing can be exceptional on the Walthamstow reservoirs, it’s also thrown up the odd murder too – like the one in 2010 when someone was shot dead just around the corner from the British Carp Angling Championships control tent…
Murders: Thamesmead Mere
Thefts, noise – choose your affliction, Leon Bartropp claims Thamesmead Mere in South East London is the place to avoid as it’s “the murder capital of London”. In fact, just Google ‘Thamesmead Mere murders’; it doesn’t make pretty reading.
Not so much a murder but a gruesome suicide. “Back in the early days, a dead body popped up in a flooded dredger that I used to use as a platform when casting to an island,” reveals Dave Lane. “Apparently he had tied his hands and feet together and then committed suicide.”
Chavs: Hemsworth Water Park
“It has to be Hemsworth Water Park,” laughs travelling carp pro, Simon Crow. “My favourite story being when myself and my mate Daz were there doing some plumbing one day. We heard this couple shouting at one another and as they got closer we could hear every word. Lass: “You’ve never bought me flowers you bastard!” Bloke: “How the f*** could I you f****** slag, I’ve just done 15 years for f***** murder!” I looked at Daz as we plumbed away, he looked at me and we just watched the couple walk past as they carried on shouting at one another until they got out of range.”
Although Coate Water Park does contain some of the country’s finest looking carp, angling for them does come at a price. “It’s not only the weirdoes at night you have to put up with, it’s a chav city too!” jokes Leon Bartropp.”
Weirdoes: Hemsworth Water Park
Hemsworth Water Park in West Yorkshire isn’t without its crazy stories. During his two-day trip, Simon Crow had shaggers and druggies right next to his set up.
Looking for the ultimate collection of nutcases? Then Wraysbury in the late 90s was the pinnacle. There was ‘Dutch Bloke, the fire-starter’; ‘I dug the pit’ bloke who claimed to have excavated the whole place with a shovel; or Dave Lane’s personal favourite, “‘Anyone seen the Orchid bloke’ which is quite self-explanatory but still hilarious when he pounced out from the bushes and squealed it out.”
Any lake that’s situated alongside a busy road is going to be a nightmare, but one that’s right next to the hard shoulder of the M4? Hellish. “The noise was so bad I had to sleep with rig foam in my ears to drown out the noise, placing my sounder box right next to my pillow turned up full blast,” revealed Nigel Sharp. “I ended up with a four fish catch, absolutely jumping out of my skin every time my sounder sounded!”
According to Leon Bartropp, his most noisy swim has to be on Kingfisher Lake over at Abbey in France. “The Euro Train runs 20yrds behind the end swim!”
Love the sound of Boeing 747’s going over your head every 60 seconds? You need a ticket for Horton Church Lake then, as sits right below one of Heathrow’s main landing strips.
Unfortunately anglers’ getting their kit nicked is an all too common accordance these days. One chap was recently held at knifepoint in the Cotswold, whilst during his two years at Wraysbury, Dave Lane suffered, “six major thefts: my boat, all my tackle from the car, my alarms off the rests, spare rods left against trees and I had all four tyres slashed on my old Capri. Yup, there were thieves there all right.”
Thefts: 'Near Dartford Tunnel'
“Back in the day I used to fish a large lake next to the Dartford Tunnel,” tells Danny Smith. “Just to be “fairly safe” you needed a group of at least five of you!”
Local anglers: Northern Stillwater
Heard of the Northern Stillwater in north Yorkshire? According to Simon Crow it’s one of the most political lakes he’s ever fished. “Headed by a clique of bailiffs who want the lake to themselves, they tell porkies about catches and make up daft rules in an attempt to stop others from catching. There are over fifty rules in their club book alone which is just crazy!”