Sunday 19 January 2014

The Warwick Racecourse Reservoir Blues....

What a surprise due to the all rain we have had all the rivers I usually fish, the Warwick Stour, Avon, Alne, Arrow are overflowing and the water is over the banks and in to the fields. I had planned to do some overdue fishing for Chub but sadly that wasn’t going to happen so today was another trip the Warwick Racecourse reservoir. I pre-warned the bailiff this time and without my mate Simon in tow an early start was on the cards. The reservoir has chain linked fencing around its perimeter so it does feel a little like a correctional facility especially as the proximity from fencing to peg isn’t that much.

Warwick Racecourse uses the reservoir for irrigation, to top it back up again an abstraction license allows to fresh clean water from Gog Brook which runs alongside the outside back straight of the flat track to be used to top it up again. An influx of fresh clean water especially during the summer months provides great water quality for the fish and the fish react to that from what I’ve heard from the Bailiff.

The reservoir sits within St Mary’s Lands which is a large area of land owned by the district council. It was formerly common land and many local people refer to it as such. It is subject in part to a number of leases – to a local football club that also serves as a youth/community centre for a nearby council housing estate, a rugby club, a corps of drums, a 9 hole golf course/driving range and obviously the racecourse for up to 28 days a year.

The area is in part also of some wildlife and ecological significance. Apparently there is some
evidence of archaeological remains under part of the site. Jeff when you’re here next bring your metal detector.

Talking of digging, Warwick Racecourse had its inaugural race in 1707, but another 102 years passed before the first stand was opened, at a cost of £800, parts of which remain today amongst the later developments such as the 1707 restaurant which overlooks the winning post. It’s the oldest grandstand in the country apparently, Red Rum raced at the course in 1967 and in the same jockeys complained the track was the worst they had ever seen, and called for racing to be abandoned after some horses sank into the mud by over a foot!.

Anyway to the fishing, I caught a 2lb 9lb Perch (a PB) last week and it really was in stunning condition so Perch was again my intended target. I decided to use two rods this time though, both baited with lobworms but also I’d have a sleeper rod out with the low resistance zandervan rollover indicator. For attraction, red maggots used as loose feed around the float to hopefully attract small fish for the Perch to prey on. After ‘acquiring’ some automotive seat foam I thought I’d try something new, I soaked the foam in worm extract and stuff it within a cage feeder on a running rig set-up.

I was there at 7.30am and before the sun came up I missed a couple of bites on the float and managed a Perch just under a pound on the sleeper rod. Then it all went pear shaped, not a cloud in the sky and the sun was strong. The worst conditions for Perch going and as such the bites dried up.

Tony the bailiff and another angler were present and I didn't think they were doing any good either. I suppose a couple of hours before dusk would be the best time to fish for them but doesn't really fit in with my family commitments.

It looks like the rivers will be fishable next weekend, I've enjoyed trying out a new venue and certainly in the close season I'll be back to try for the Perch, it's a lovely little water with friendly faces, you ought to try it.


  1. Hi, it must have been you I chatted to. I had some nice roach on maggot and despite some perch, nothing of note turned up. But I ended with 14 fish so it kept me busy as it was pretty chilly in the shade. Perhaps I'll see you down there some time.


  2. I thought I recognised the face. Not the best day for big Perch was it, but glad you caught.

    Hopefully catch you down there again sometime.


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