Rick Townley treads the path of a lake he’s often observed from a-far, but not ventured through the gates, until now that is. Upon reading the following you’ll find yourself wanting to wet a line there in the future too, as it definitely hooked Rick!


Although I only live around 20 minutes from The Quarry it is a place I’ve often heard stories of and always kept an eye on with interest but for some reason never ventured through its gate. Quite possibly due to the fact I like to concentrate on a certain syndicate, targeting a particular fish and once that is done I set my sights on another. For many years The Quarry was a very strict syndicate itself and very much a ‘dead mans shoes’ water which is why it was always on the radar in the past but with no real chance of getting a ticket I never gave it a second thought. When James mentioned that a feature wanted doing for Carp-Talk, but it had to be on a day-ticket lake, I jumped at the chance, especially as it gave me a great excuse to actually venture over to The Quarry and have a little time on there before cracking on with my syndicate angling for the rest of the year. I’m very glad I did, but it’s also messed my head up a little, as all I want to do now is get back down there! When people say a place is magical it’s easy to just pass it off as hype, but this place is definitely special. Walking down the slightly overgrown, natural looking path, it gave me tingles, how I imagine a footballer feels coming out of the tunnel before a cup final, it then opens up to the 25-acre lake and it’s as if the floodlights are switched on and for me it made me hungry to fish hard for some proper carp. With 250 fish present there’s a decent stock to over 40lb and with well-known names from the pages of Carp-Talk such as Radish, Baby Radish, Orion, Cassius, Shoulders and Hoover, to name just a few there are some proper fish to angle for. On my first stroll around I spotted a few fish milling around in the gin clear margins taking a regular patrol route beneath overhanging trees I was on it in a flash and ran straight back to the van to grab two rods, my Baiting Pole and a bit of bait. Getting back to the swim I placed a rod under each of the two overhangs, one on the left and one on the right before applying a few chopped and whole Activ-8 boilies over both spots before taking my perch up in one of the trees. Watching the fish milling around I was in awe of the quality of the stock, and there were a number of upper twenties as well as a few thirties in the mix. One of which began to tip up and go down on my hookbait, there was a plume of silt kicked up which killed visibility momentarily and then I heard the spool spinning, get in! With the blood pumping and heart beating fast, without even thinking I picked the rod up, only for the spot to absolutely erupt with fish darting off in all directions as my lead and rig came flying back at me, the spool could still be heard spinning though and it was only the other rod which was to the left of the swim! What an absolute school-boy error and although I was gutted at spooking those fish from the margin due to a little too much adrenaline, looking on the bright side I was still in to a hard fighting Quarry carp within half an hour of stepping foot on to the venue. Although not the biggest of the residents I was very grateful to slip the net under an immaculate scaly character so early on. With a fish in the bag and the shots done I slipped it back and carried on my journey around the lake, looking for potential spots to apply a bit of bait in anticipation of my return to do an overnighter the next day. With a couple of spots found not too far out I added a bit of bait and let them be until I could return after work the day after.

Work seemed to drag the next day with my thoughts being on returning to The Quarry to give it a proper bash before getting back off to work the next morning. The spots I’d applied bait on had been cleared out and so I was hopeful of at least one bite through the night. A bit more bait went on to the spots swiftly followed by the hookbaits, and I sat back, relaxed and got the kettle on before getting my head down early for a very early pack-up to be back working the next morning. While in a deep slumber and actually dreaming of The A-Team in The Quarry my alarm went in to melt-down. I lifted the rod and it felt like a smaller fish with the way it was bolting scattily and going crazy in the depths. The result was one of the smaller stockies which may possibly scrape double figures. Upon going back to bed, a couple of hours passed and the other rod was away, the fight very similar to the previous one I knew what I was going to find in the bottom of the net upon landing it and the end product was a lovely little mirror of around 12lb. Happy with the result I got my head back down for the last hour or so before the alarm clock sounded, signalling my time to get packed up and off to work. While working I still couldn’t get the image out of my head of some of those thirties I saw while up the tree two days prior and I think I actually fell in love with the place a little. It definitely topped it off when I was able to finish work around lunch time and the first thing that entered my head was the fact that I’d got the gear in the van and I could be at The Quarry within half an hour, that’s when I knew that the place had got me well and truly hooked! Half an hour later I was back in the car park and getting two rods out of the back of the van, along with as little gear as possible to adopt a mobile approach and have a walk around to find the fish, I love stalking and to be fair I should do it more. With a few hours at my disposal I set off with plenty of hope that they would be around the two overhanging trees again, but, it wasn’t to be and in actual fact, the majority of the fish were right at the opposite end of the lake to where they were two days ago. After watching a dozen fish in an area close to some snags for around half an hour I added some chopped Activ-8 along the patrol route they seemed to be taking, and on their next lap they troughed away on every freebie before moving back off. Another couple of handfuls of chops were applied along with the hookbait and I stood and waited for their return. As they came back around there were a couple of extras tagging along with the original 12 patrollers, some of which were easily 30lb plus. They all went down on the bait as they came in and three went down at once bang over the hookbait, one of which was every bit 35lb, the other I’d have been surprised if it was over 10lb and the third was definitely upper-twenty. Which one would pick up the rig was left to the gods and I had my fingers crossed it wasn’t going to be another of the smaller stockies that actually took the hookbait. All three quickly bolted as the spool started to spin in my hand, the smaller of the three headed in the opposite direction to the other two though, so I definitely wasn’t on pest control this time! The culprit turned out to be the upper twenty, and what a proper crusty looking carp it was! The next hour was spent looking around the lake, but no real chance showed itself before I headed back to the van to get back home for tea. I thoroughly enjoyed the couple of days flitting back and forth to and from The Quarry and will definitely be back to try and put my name on of those originals!