For years I have been driving past Crowsheath on my daily commute and always thinking I’ll have to have a look at that fishery, but never seeming to find the time. Then one day at the begging of April 2012 I finished work early and made the effort to stop and satisfy my curiosity.
By the time I had finished walking round the main lake I was saying to myself, why hadn’t I done this years ago, I need to fish here. As I was ending my lap of the lake I met the fishery manager, Nick Kearsey and his brother Tom.
This is when I knew one hundred percent that I would be casting a baited hook into Crowsheath. To hear them answering my questions, which they had been asked a million times before, with such Enthusiasm was amazing. I remember thinking that this isn’t just another, these people care!
My first session was for 48 hours two weeks later. Although I was feeling confident, at the back of my mind was, it’s April and the temperature was still very cold. During the first 12 hours my alarms stayed silent.
At half past midnight my middle rod tore off. I sprung out of my bivvy thinking about time! I slipped my net under what looked like a 20lb plus common, when my right hand rod took off. I secured my landing net against the bank and thought, oh hell, I need another landing net. Somehow, I managed to get both fish into one net and then realised, yeah, I really do need help!
As Nick lives on site, this help was there within minutes. So my first session ended with an 18.12lb common, always looks better when you first net them, and a 15lb mirror double take. I knew there and then that I had found a great venue.
During the rest of that year I fished ever third weekend, due to family commitments, and continued to catch numerous high end doubles but never a twenty or thirty. Knowing what the stock of fish was and seeing plenty of other fishermen catch what I wasn’t, only fuelled my desire.
During that first year I had to buy a second landing net as I was having a lot of double takes. Whether that was skill or luck I’m not sure, but Nick now calls me Andy Double Take.
The start of my second year campaign was delayed due to two slipped discs. I won’t bore you with the details other than I lost six months of bank time. Whilst I was laid up with the above I kept in touch with Nick and we developed a great friendship, which isn’t hard to do with Nick.
Soon after returning to the fishery Nick mentioned that he was looking for an extra bailiff at weekends. Well, I bit his hand off. I’m proud to say that I’m now part of the Crowsheath team and I will give any help and assistance that is needed, if you need it. After all, this is what kept me coming back. That and the stock of fish!
Oh yeah, worth a mention, I’m now into the twenties, so bring on the thirties. Two of the known seven should soon, if not already, be topping at forty. As should the high end twenties be hitting thirty.
Andy “Two Takes”
For more info and useful blogs about goings on here at Crowsheath, please visit our Bailiffs diary page.