Churchgage Top Lake, Battlesbridge
This 3 acre water has beautiful views stretching across the unspoilt Essex countryside. Over the last few years the lake has really matured. The stock of carp is large with fish to 32lb and loads of 10-20lb fish.
Not only does the lake hold carp aplenty, it is also a fantastic for float fishing where fantastic bags of tench, roach, ide and bream can be landed, with the bream going to 12lb.
The gate opens at 7am, night fishing is available but you must book in advance.
The carp fishing can be prolific at times with more than 500 in the lake; averaging mid double and plenty of 20's
What is it like?
The lake is around 3 acres in size with a great mix of fish; carp; mirrors and commons, perch, roach, bream, tench. It is the carp that I tend to fish it for, but float anglers receive a lot of bites fishing in a more traditional style. The carp fishing can be prolific at times with more than 500 in the lake; averaging mid double and plenty of 20’s.
It is shaped like an O, with a an island that the fish love to hug tight to. This isn’t far out either, enabling you to fish it accurately and also bait up easily via a Spomb or catapult.
The depths are pretty uniform of around 8ft and they shelve up gradually the closer you get to the island. Don’t be afraid of fishing tight, though, because the fish do feed in the shallow water, particularly when it’s hot.
How do you fish it?
I tend to cast light leads as tight as I can to the island margins, spraying pellets over the top at regular intervals. This is key. Rather than baiting and waiting, I keep a consistent amount of bait feeding little often. Due to the numbers of carp, it encourages them to keep on feeding and entering the area regularly, almost like a match angler would fish.
The fish aren’t huge, so I do fine down a bit, preferring small baits (10mm), light hook links and size 8/10 patterns. These are attached to standard lead clips, the bottom is made up of clay, thus you will always be presented.
Zig-rigs can score well. If you see fish showing on the surface, cruising, then it is worth trying a small sliver of foam just under the surface. Unfortunately, fishing right on top is banned due to the amount of birdlife in the lake.
Prolific winter fishing
Due to it being close to my house, it makes the perfect venue for nicking a few bites in just a few hours in the depths of winter. Flicking very high attract hook baits, tutti fruity baits in bags up tight to the island work really well, and keep your fire burning when it’s freezing.
Churchgate Top Lake Rules
A prolific 3 acre lake with a great head of 20’s.
Dave Levy is a hugely experienced carp angler. He has an untold amount of big-carp to his name across Europe and is respected by all.