Church Lake Monsters Fall To Disappearing End Tackle

Featuring Simon Crow

Look at the width!web

Ian Russell Banks 2 Monsters, Thanks to New End Tackle

Tale of two Whopper’s

The Church Lake at Horton is somewhere I don’t usually get any time to fish and my last effort on there was about 3 years ago and to be fair I done OK last time with 5 carp in my 8 nights on there.

So, with a green light from Avid to have a few trips this spring, I was raring to have myself a little go. That may surprise some of you that line about Avid but contrary to popular belief the few guys with jobs like mine don’t always get to choose where we go fishing as most of my fishing is work related in one way or another. Anyway, back to the Church.

The Salt Circleweb

Last week I managed my first 24hr trip to the Church lake and although I lost what was one of the big gang which became caught up covered in braid with a Spomb attached to it that was then wrapped around a horrendous amount of branches! Not good!!! I did however manage to get another chance and caught Goldie, a beautiful 28lb common, so as you can probably imagine, I was clucking to get back and had a very rare 3-night trip ahead of me. I arrived pretty early on the Sunday as most anglers were packing up, I had a good look around and checked in with Horton oracle Brian Rowles. After a laugh and a chat, I chose to go into the Salt Circle and set about sorting my life out, I decided not to bait up as I imagined there was already a large amount of uneaten bait laying around after the usual weekend onslaught. So, both rods were armed with my ever-faithful Flick rig and Pink Code Red pop ups.

My Flick Rig with a pink Code Red Pop-upweb

The rigs took me a while to position in the deep water as I’m awfully fussy about the drop on the rigs. After about 30 chucks, I was happy and threw the Basecamper Bivvy up & stuck the kettle on. The wind was a freezing cold North Easterly and was very uncomfortable to say the least. At first light, I was up and watching for any signs of fish. The fish gradually moved down the lake and I had about half a dozen shows in quick succession right over the hook baits and then a real unit came out right up to the tail and seconds later the right bobbin crept slowly up to the rod and I lifted into what felt like a heavy old fish.

In such deep water, they almost feel like they’re snagged up, but it’s just the use of its body weight. This fish kept deep for about 5 minutes before coming up in front of us and then I really started to get excited!

Those who know me will know how excited I become with a double, let alone a fish that resembles a baby hippo rolling around in front of me! All held and in it went in the net first time. Much hooraying took place and we managed to weigh, film and picture a stunning 45lb 11oz mirror known as Alfie.

Everyone... Meet Aflieweb

Happy? Bloody right I was and typically of the flick rig it was hooked right back and as per usual, I needed the forceps to unhook the fish safely.

With Alfie returned and the rod just about back in play, you wouldn’t believe that the left-hand bobbin began to creep up!

In shock, I played in what felt like a smaller carp, only for my rod tip to get caught in the overhanging branches above my head and I had to shake the rod to clear it, which unfortunately resulted in the Carp coming off. That’s 2 losses now down to bloody foliage!

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Not to sulk, I rewrapped the rods, put new rigs on and reset the rods. But the disturbance had taken its toll and all was quiet. I willed away the day retelling anyone who would listen the story of Alfie.

I slept very well that night and was up again at first light. However, it was after 7am before I saw a carp push the water over the hook baits and it was again a proper one! I kid you not, less than a minute later, the right bobbin crept up and I was into a very very heavy carp. This was a good 10 minutes before a carp of similar proportions was scooped up in to the net.

Well now I was truly blown away and was a wreck! So, we weighed it and popped it into a retainer to calm down and gather a film of my prize! Oh yeah, the weight! It went 48lb 10oz. Unbelievable! A truly special capture for me!

Spotty at 48lb 11ozweb

Before long we were ready and I had my moment with the beast know as ‘Spotty’. Yet again I must mention the brilliant hook hold. The Flick rig did it again! Coupled with this new End Tackle, in my opinion there's nothing better out there. We've worked very hard to get the colour & quality absolutely right with this range, and we're now jsut about there!


I floated the day away and next morning, I was up bright and early but not a single carp had shown in my water. So, at mid-morning it was over.

What an incredible trip to a truly amazing place.

And guess what… I’ll be back!     


Ian Russell     


About The Angler


Simon Crow

Simon Crow is arguably one of the country’s top anglers and has worked in the trade for over 25 years.