A few years ago my great friend and fishing pal, Bob Church, introduced me to this beautiful fishery in the fenlands of Cambridgeshire, and I liked it at first sight. Bob had previously caught some enormous rainbow trout there, including one over 20 pounds, as well as specimen rudd, bream, tench and carp. He was also sure that there must be big pike in residence.
He wasn’t mistaken and we went on to catch seven lovely 20lb-plus pike between us, including one of 29.8 taken on live roach and a memorable fish of 21.6, which dramatically engulfed my fly three yards from the boat! If this were not enough, a few trips in the summer produced some quality roach, 20lb-plus carp and one horrible big eel (not my thing!). It was paradise – except for one big drawback… The place was regularly frequented by a man suffering from what I believe was manic depression, which led to him being something of a Jekyll and Hyde. At times he could be almost unnervingly friendly while, at others, he could leave you in fear of an assault! To my mind (perhaps unfairly) he was a fruitcake of the first order and, much to Bob`s disappointment, I eventually refused to go there!
Some time later Bob told me that the Mr Hyde was no longer there and that the place had been sold to new owners, who sounded extremely nice. Good news indeed! I am happy to report that the new people, Martin and Alex Dawson, are indeed completely charming and the whole atmosphere of the place is welcoming and changed beyond recognition. Also much work has been done in terms of brush clearance, swim improvement etc. In short, everything looks to be heading towards a first-class mixed fishery.
To illustrate this, just yesterday Bob and I took new friend Andy over there to try our luck in the sunny, yet frosty conditions. Unlike the lakes and gravel pits in the Nene valley, which are muddy with flood water, Earith Lakes are well-protected from flooding and are always beautifully clear. Andy and Bob opted for a crack at the trout, but I had my ‘pike head’ on and started operations with a walk around the coarse lake, taking the ever-eager Max and my jerk rod.
Despite the marginal ice, that gin-clear water looked lovely, and I was not really surprised when, fourth cast, my jerkbait was taken savagely by an obviously decent fish. The heavy, slow head shakes gave me visions of a 20 but, after a good scrap, I chinned out an immaculate pike, which turned the scales to 17lbs 8oz. I was well pleased and after a quick picture, released my prize. She recovered immediately and swam strongly away.
I had no more action between there and the car, so stopped for a very welcome mug of Sally`s home-made soup. With the inner man satisfied, I wandered down to see how the boys were doing. They were in the sun where it felt 15 degrees warmer than on my frosty walk, and they were happily catching and having pulls. Andy was delighted to have caught and released three nice brownies already.
The rest of the afternoon saw another pike of about 9lbs follow the jerkbait in and take it almost at my feet, after which I had an hour in the boat with my pike fly rod and caught a third smaller (but welcome) fish. The other boys were well pleased with themselves, having had 9 nice brownies and a big rainbow of nearly 4lbs. The latter rounded off a very successful visit, especially considering the cold weather. We’ll definitely be back.
Anyone fancying a trip to this lovely, scenic Cambridgeshire fishery can be sure of a warm welcome and, by the look of things, some fine sport! If you’re interested, you can find their website by clicking the link above.