Wotton Underwood Lake

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Trainset
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Re: Wotton Underwood Lake

Post by Trainset » Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:19 pm

These lakes are on my doorstep (less than 5 miles away) and I contacted John Mason three years ago to enquire about joining. He was very helpful and offered to show me around. For me the cost of was to much as my family commitments meant I would have been unable to make use of the lakes more than a few times per year and being a full time wheelchair user he told me the lakes were not that accessible and it was a fair way from the allocated parking to the lakes. However, next year my twins will start school and I shall have more time for a cheeky half day during the week! I will contact him again in the new year and see if I can have a look around to see if there is any way I can fish it safely and if there is any room on the syndicate then take it from there.
Good luck to anyone on the waiting list from the pictures it looks fantastic, don't think I can add any information regarding the lake history that hasn't been put up already although I was told the lake had silted up in parts and wasn't so deep now. I was also told that the members used punts to get out to deeper water and fished from these. I'm not sure if that's fact or fishermans fiction handed down from anglers getting confused over the punts that have been previously mentioned in this post.
Would be nice to know what the lakes currently hold regarding the tench carp and pike so if anyone here does fish it please let me know!
I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself.

Sandgroper
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Re: Wotton Underwood Lake

Post by Sandgroper » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:29 am

Hi TS, I am afraid that your reliance on a wheelchair is likely to be an insurmountable problem at Wotton. When I was running the fishery in the 1970s Don Wray asked me to take him to the lakes for a day and we found it to be impossible. I suppose with a lot of help from someone else you might be able to get to the Boards Swim.

Punts were and are used on the Sawmills Lake and if you look at page three on this thread, you will see some pictures of the punts the Taylor brothers were using when they were fishing there in the '50s and '60s.

The fishing there is good but in my experience it was a water that responded to planned fishing. The boards swim can be productive and I took pike to 23lbs from it. The pike pictured was one I caught from the boat I had there and weighed twenty-five and a half pounds. I don't know if there are still 20s being caught there though.

I would suggest that you contact John again and possibly meet up with him so that you can view the situation for yourself. I am just about certain that the Worrals Lake would be beyond your reach. It's a difficult treck for relatively fit people and I felt exhausted the last time I did the walk some ten years ago.
Eagles may soar but I will never get sucked into a jet engine.

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Trainset
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Re: Wotton Underwood Lake

Post by Trainset » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:58 pm

Thanks for the info sandgroper, I have the means to get about on relatively level ground with my tackle (see links below, the second link is me with my twins. The modified tag along comes in handy for tackle as well as toddlers, but don't tell the wife!) :cheers:
The problem I have is requiring a swim that is flat and level to the water, even a slight downward slope or uneven ground makes it a tad tricky when trying to land a potential monster and usually ends up in a disaster!
I shall contact John again and see if I can have a look, I wouldn't fish anywhere alone if I felt I would put myself in a dangerous situation or couldn't cope with the tackle haulage distance!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW6cSL-qZl4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a2GXcD ... e=youtu.be
I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself.

Sandgroper
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Location: Wanneroo, Western Australia

Re: Wotton Underwood Lake

Post by Sandgroper » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:58 am

Hi TS, from what I remember about the Boards Swim and this picture, I think it is probably ideally suited to your requirements.

Image

However, despite the excellent performance on snow that your wheelchair demonstrates on snow, I am afraid that the approach to the Sawmills Lake might be a bit more difficult. If the approach is the same as it was when I was running the fishery, it is slightly up-hill on softish mud. The wheels on the wheel chair are fine when there is a solid surface underneath the slippery stuff, but they might cut into mud and become bogged. Unfortunately there is often no solid base for purchase just below the surface as there is in snow.

However, it is still worth talking to John, I left the UK in 1977 and although I visited the lakes with John in 2004 I really cannot remember if the parking area and the approach were the same as when I was there. I sincerely hope that it is possible for you to get into the syndicate and fish the lake, but a problem I foresee is that if you get to the lake and there is already someone in the Boards Swim, there will be no where else for you to go.

I am especially sympathetic over your plight because I am constantly looking at the possibility of life in a wheelchair, I have only two chances left, one of them being the last chance operation on my spine. I will know in the next couple of weeks if the operation is going to be my last chance, but there is not a lot more can be done to my spine so I guess that there will be no guarantees as to its success.

I am sure that John will be of the utmost help and that if you meet him, you will enjoy talking to him.
Eagles may soar but I will never get sucked into a jet engine.

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Trainset
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Re: Wotton Underwood Lake

Post by Trainset » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:00 am

Hi Sandgroper,
The adaption works well on ground that is firm but does struggle in boggy conditions especially up hills on lose ground- that's the problem wit all the weight at the back and power at the front. It does cope with most things I throw at it however I'm not as keen as I used to be regarding getting caked in mud every time I go fishing!
I tend to stick to the months when the ground is firm and not bother if we have prolonged spells of rain.
Thanks for the reply and as you mentioned I'm sure John will be most helpful in showing me the lake as he offered to do previously.
I have this problem at most places I fish- one or two swims are usually okay but you never know if they are being used until you arrive!
I hope the planned opp goes well for you and you keep your mobility. But if you do have to use a chair don't let it grind you down- It does place limitations but there are still many things you can achieve and enjoy, it just takes a bit more planning. Fishing is still possible! I know guys who have suffered broken necks and been left with limited hand function who with a few adaptions to rods and tackle can still go fishing.
That photo of the pike is all the incentive I need to contact John in the new year and try to have a look at the lakes for suitability for fishing over the next few years! :fishing1:
I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself.

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Chris Ball
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Re: Wotton Underwood Lake

Post by Chris Ball » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:58 pm

Sandgroper wrote:Hi TS, from what I remember about the Boards Swim and this picture, I think it is probably ideally suited to your requirements.

Image

However, despite the excellent performance on snow that your wheelchair demonstrates on snow, I am afraid that the approach to the Sawmills Lake might be a bit more difficult. If the approach is the same as it was when I was running the fishery, it is slightly up-hill on softish mud. The wheels on the wheel chair are fine when there is a solid surface underneath the slippery stuff, but they might cut into mud and become bogged. Unfortunately there is often no solid base for purchase just below the surface as there is in snow.

However, it is still worth talking to John, I left the UK in 1977 and although I visited the lakes with John in 2004 I really cannot remember if the parking area and the approach were the same as when I was there. I sincerely hope that it is possible for you to get into the syndicate and fish the lake, but a problem I foresee is that if you get to the lake and there is already someone in the Boards Swim, there will be no where else for you to go.

I am especially sympathetic over your plight because I am constantly looking at the possibility of life in a wheelchair, I have only two chances left, one of them being the last chance operation on my spine. I will know in the next couple of weeks if the operation is going to be my last chance, but there is not a lot more can be done to my spine so I guess that there will be no guarantees as to its success.

I am sure that John will be of the utmost help and that if you meet him, you will enjoy talking to him.
Ian,
Tell me about the landing net pictured, it has a look of Bill Keal’s famous ‘tulip‘ shaped carp net.

Sandgroper
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Re: Wotton Underwood Lake

Post by Sandgroper » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:37 am

Hi Chris, good to hear from you. Just been walking my dog and Ray Turner was with me.

The landing net is one that was made by Don Neish, but I don't know if Bill Keal was involved in the design. FJT gave it to me for Christmas the day before I caught the pike pictured. I can't remember if it was before or after Bill's untimely demise. It has a glass pole and a stainless steel spreader. If you like I can take some pics of the whole unit.
Eagles may soar but I will never get sucked into a jet engine.

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Chris Ball
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Re: Wotton Underwood Lake

Post by Chris Ball » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:31 am

Sandgroper wrote:Hi Chris, good to hear from you. Just been walking my dog and Ray Turner was with me.

The landing net is one that was made by Don Neish, but I don't know if Bill Keal was involved in the design. FJT gave it to me for Christmas the day before I caught the pike pictured. I can't remember if it was before or after Bill's untimely demise. It has a glass pole and a stainless steel spreader. If you like I can take some pics of the whole unit.
Ah... if it’s a Don’s of Edmonton net, it might be a ‘Springbow’. The metal spreader will be like a short length of pipe. They were (are) a highly revered landing net made out of dark honey brown Hardy Fibretube, it took me years to find a couple of examples - both of which I use.

Image

Tell Ray that my wife ran into Ray Slack the other day - he would have been in the same class or year group as me and Ray.

Regards,

Sandgroper
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Re: Wotton Underwood Lake

Post by Sandgroper » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:42 am

Hi Chris, yes that is the one. Brilliant nets. The pike in the picture I posted was a 23 pounder and it was the first fish in it. The guy who netted the pike for me was Ken Taylor's son and despite what I had told him, he just lifted the fish and net by the pole! I cringed when I saw the arms bend down, but it all stood up to the strain without problem.

Trainset: I wish you luck in your ambitions to fish Wotton, the opportunity is worth taking a bit of effort. Thanks for your advice on the wheelchair situation, I have some idea of what you mean, I had a spell a couple of years ago in one. I found it frustrating to say the least. Thankfully, the surgeon who is treating me knows a little of my Australian angling history and has vowed to get me fit enough to fish for the fish I like to catch, though he has told me to forget about any more "Granders".
Eagles may soar but I will never get sucked into a jet engine.

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Chris Ball
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Re: Wotton Underwood Lake

Post by Chris Ball » Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:56 pm

Sandgroper wrote:Hi Chris, yes that is the one. Brilliant nets. The pike in the picture I posted was a 23 pounder and it was the first fish in it. The guy who netted the pike for me was Ken Taylor's son and despite what I had told him, he just lifted the fish and net by the pole! I cringed when I saw the arms bend down, but it all stood up to the strain without problem.

Trainset: I wish you luck in your ambitions to fish Wotton, the opportunity is worth taking a bit of effort. Thanks for your advice on the wheelchair situation, I have some idea of what you mean, I had a spell a couple of years ago in one. I found it frustrating to say the least. Thankfully, the surgeon who is treating me knows a little of my Australian angling history and has vowed to get me fit enough to fish for the fish I like to catch, though he has told me to forget about any more "Granders".
Hello Ian,
Thanks for confirmation on the Springbow, as stated they are a pretty sturdy landing net - Hardy’s Fibretube was top quality fibreglass built to last.

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