77lb Horton Church Lake brace on first trip

77lb Horton Church Lake brace on first trip

A first visit to the historic Horton Church Lake produced two of its prize residents for James Butcher.

Mirrors of 34lb 4oz and 43lb 8oz fell in quick succession shortly before James had to leave the RK Leisure venue in Berkshire.

The Dynamite Fish at 43lb 8oz

The Dynamite Fish at 43lb 8oz

He said: “I have never fished there before, as I was previously targeting Kingsmead One, and I arrived early brimming with excitement.”

Having settled on a swim known as Phil’s Dugout, James saw a number of fish show over his spots at 13 and 21 wraps (52 and 84 yards) but couldn’t get a bite for the first two nights.

“I saw a couple more shows over my spots early in the morning,” said James, “but still no joy.

“After the normal morning bite time was over, I decided to change tactics and thread on a 14mm wafter to see if that made a difference. 

“I went to bed early that night, to ensure that I was fresh to get up early and look for any signs at first light.

“I was glad I did, as I was seeing signs of fish on my spots showing and fizzing up. Still nothing was happening and I was due to leave at 5pm when out of the blue the longer rod pulled up tight and I was into my first Horton Church Lake fish. 

“The old legs were shaking a bit and after a good fight a nice mirror called Silky was in the net. With help from the guy next door, we put a weight of 34lb 4oz on her and took a couple of pictures and slipped her back.

“I got the rod back out, sat down and put the kettle on. I was just pouring out a cup of tea when the short rod at 13 wraps was away.

“After a good scrap, a fish known as the Dynamite Fish was in my net. Happy days! She went 43lb 8oz and I was over the moon.

“Two fish on my first trip – I couldn't have asked for more, so went home a very happy carp angler.”

James fished CC Moore Pacific Tuna hookbaits over matching free offerings.

The beautiful Silky

The beautiful Silky