This one-acre pool, which is up to 12ft deep by the overflow near the entrance, holds mirror and common carp to 20lbs; ghost carp into the teens; roach, rudd and crucians to over 1lb; and bream and tench to 3lbs.
Like all the pools at Butlers Hill, it fishes well on both rod and pole whilst float and ledger techniques are equally effective. In summer, floating baits are particularly successful for anglers after the carp, which can usually be seen cruising just under the surface on warm evenings, and the chub which take bait readily off the surface.
Although the banks drop sharply to about five or six feet deep around the edges and for much of its depth, the two islands have ledges around them before shelving to the bottom.
Whilst many anglers fish successfully in the open water in the centre of the pool, it is often more effective to fish either just under your feet or to use a ledger or two or three swan shot on a running ledger to reach the island ledges where the fish patrol. Trying to reach the ledges with a waggler can be tricky because of the overhanging branches.
Although the biggest Butlers Hill carp are to be found in Far Pool, Island is still popular with many carp anglers who use both modern and traditional techniques and baits. Because of its depth it also fishes well in winter. Indeed, one February an angler fishing the pole took over 45 fish weighing between 3lbs and 8lbs in one sitting baiting with small pieces of luncheon meat and loose feeding pellets.
Best baits for the silver fish are maggots, worm, sweetcorn, luncheon meat, cat food and pellets whilst anglers after the bigger carp rely on all of the above plus boilies of various flavours.
Much shallower on the whole than Island Pool, this is another one-acre water which averages about four feet throughout most of its length and is stocked with roach to 2lbs; rudd to 1lb; bream to 5lbs; and mirror and common carp which run well into double figures.
In addition, the water is home to a good head of smaller ghost carp which provide lively sport well into the colder months.
Whilst the water fishes much the same as Island, because it is shallow and has a silty bottom it is usually more coloured. Because of this anglers can often tell when the fish are on the feed because they stir up so much mud that parts of the lake become noticeably more cloudy. This means it is always worth having a walk round the pool before tackling up to pick a swim where the fish already have their heads down.
Like Island Pool, Middle Pool is also popular with serious carp anglers and can be a very rewarding water to fish with the lake record being a 23lb mirror.
Like Island Pool, Middle Pool has banks which shelve steeply to the bottom and with rushes along the sides and far end there is always plenty of cover for anglers fishing either close in or stalking the carp. A few years ago new platform pegs were installed along the far bank of the lake to make angling easier from this side of the water.
Being a shallow pool, most anglers tend to float fish Middle Pool and it is very popular with pole anglers using casters, maggots, sweetcorn, luncheon meat and pellets. Boilies, dog food and larger pellets are all good for the carp, as are floating baits fished both close in by the side and in open water during warmer weather for the carp.
As its name implies, Far Pool is the furthest from the car park and although only about half an acre in size is ideal for anglers who want to get away from it all. To add to its attraction, it is stocked with more than 50 double figure fish ranging between 10lbs and 16lbs which were introduced over recent winters, together with some quality specimen roach which now weigh over 1lb.
In addition to the common, mirror and ghost carp, Far Pool also holds crucians, roach, rudd, tench and bream. Because the water is only about three-and-a-half feet deep at maximum it is a great spot for waggler fishing and testing out new techniques or baits.
Regarded as an easy water to fish, it pays to use modern as well as traditional carp fishing techniques when going after the bigger fish with the most popular baits being boilies, luncheon meat, paste and sweetcorn for the carp and maggots, casters, sweetcorn, pellets and luncheon meat for the crucians, tench and silver fish.
|Accommodation near Butlers Hill
Anglers from further afield who would like to fish Butlers Hill can now stay in two self-catering holiday cottages at Butlers Hill Farm which has its own outdoor swimming pool. Available for weekends or stays of a weel or more, further details can be obtained by telephoning Jane or Alan Taplin on 01608 684430.
How to get there...
Butlers Hill Fishery is three-quarters of the way along the A3400 between Shipston-on-Stour and Chipping Norton. Travelling south, continue through Long Compton and start up the hill as you leave the village. Over half way up is a road to the left signed to Great Rollright. Take this and the first left again which has Butlers Hill Farm on the corner. Continue down this lane for about 200 yards and the entrance to the fishery car park is on the right. Click on the map for a larger image. Please note that the reference takes you to the farm at the top of the lane, the fishery is the three lakes down this lane.
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