Further improvements have been made to the fishing at Butlers Hill over the past four years with the continued development of Far Pool and the introduction of night fishing on all three waters. In addition, anglers can now purchase a selection of tinned baits including luncheon meat and sweetcorn at the site as well as feeder pellets and a terminal tackle including floats, hooks and weights.
The winter of 2015 saw the addition of some 70 common and mirror carp into Island and Middle pools with the majority of the fish going into Island Pool. The fish ranged in size from 3lbs to 5lbs and are already adding to catches at the fishery.
The latest stocking follows an earlier stocking of a total of 500lbs of common and mirror carp averaging 6lbs to 7lbs, but with some running to 11lbs, which were stocked in the three Butlers Hill waters. The majority of the bigger fish were put into Far Pool, the lake furthest from the entrance to the fishery, which is now home to most of the venue's larger fish with specimens thought to run to the low 20s.
The match record for Butlers currently stands at 209lbs which was set on Island Pool with the winner coming from one of the pegs at the back of the island (left).
Previously used as irrigation lakes for a nearby fruit farm, the Butlers Hill pools provide a friendly fishery which is not too commercial but which is ideal for pleasure anglers and small club matches.
As part of ongoing improvements, the overgrown far bank on Island Pool, the first pool you come to on entering the fishery, has been cleared and platformed pegs created, excess bankside vegetation removed, overgrown trees and shrubs pruned back and steps built up the bank to Middle Pool. Also, a new flush toilet has been provided.
The venue also now has two car parks, one at the entrance which serves Island Pool and the other at the end of the track in front of you as you drive into the fishery which serves Middle and Far Pools.
Even the names of the pools have been changed - from the rather impersonal titles of No 1, No 2 and No 3 Pool to the more descriptive Island Pool, Middle Pool and Far Pool.
In addition to improving the actual fishing, the owners hope to make the venue more accessible for disabled anglers. Although keepnets are allowed, no fish over 3lbs should be retained and plastic baits should not be used.
Ticket money is collected from anglers either on arrival or on the bank once they have started fishing and anglers wanting to night fish the pools should note that the gates are locked at last light and open again at 7.00am. Only one spectator is allowed per angler at night.
2017 Opening Times - All year - 7.00am until dusk
||OAPs and Under 16s
||£12.00 per night
||£10.00 per night
* Anglers aged Under 12 must be accompanied by an adult
** Night fishing by prior arrangement - telephone 01608 684319, 07939 512912
or 07944 163403 to book.
Matches are charged £5.00 per peg.
This one-acre pool, which is up to 12ft deep by the overflow near the entrance, holds mirror, common and ghost carp to the mid teens; chub to 4lbs; roach, rudd and crucians to over 1lb; and bream and tench to 3lbs.
Like all the pools at Butlers Hill, it fishes well on both rod and pole whilst float and ledger techniques are equally effective. In summer, floating baits are particularly successful for anglers after the carp, which can usually be seen cruising just under the surface on warm evenings, and the chub which take bait readily off the surface.
Although the banks drop sharply to about five or six feet deep around the edges and for much of its depth, the two islands have ledges around them before shelving to the bottom.
Whilst many anglers fish successfully in the open water in the centre of the pool, it is often more effective to fish either just under your feet or to use a ledger or two or three swan shot on a running ledger to reach the island ledges where the fish patrol. Trying to reach the ledges with a waggler can be tricky because of the overhanging branches.
Of the three Butlers Hill pools, Island is the most popular with carp anglers who use both modern and traditional techniques and baits. Because of its depth it also fishes well in winter. Indeed, one February an angler fishing the pole took over 45 fish weighing between 3lbs and 8lbs in one sitting baiting with small pieces of luncheon meat and loose feeding pellets.
Best baits for the silver fish are maggots, worm, sweetcorn, luncheon meat, cat food and pellets whilst anglers after the bigger carp rely on all of the above plus boilies of various flavours.
Much shallower on the whole than Island Pool, this is another one-acre water which averages about four feet throughout most of its length and is stocked with roach to 2lbs; rudd to 1lb; bream to 4lbs; chub to 4lbs and mirror and common carp which run well into double figures.
In addition, the water is home to a good head of smaller ghost carp which provide lively sport well into the colder months.
Whilst the water fishes much the same as Island, because it is shallow and has a silty bottom it is usually more coloured. Because of this anglers can often tell when the fish are on the feed because they stir up so much mud that parts of the lake become noticeably more cloudy. This means it is always worth having a walk round the pool before tackling up to pick a swim where the fish already have their heads down.
Although not as popular with serious carp anglers as Island Pool or Far Pool, it can still be a very rewarding water to fish. In September, 2003, one angler landed a 23lb mirror, whilst several other anglers have reported being broken by what they believe were even bigger fish.
Like Island Pool, Middle Pool has banks which shelve steeply to the bottom and with rushes along the sides and far end there is always plenty of cover for anglers fishing either close in or stalking the carp. In 2007 new platform pegs were installed along the far bank of the lake to make angling easier from this side of the water.
Being a shallow pool, most anglers tend to float fish Middle Pool and it is very popular with pole anglers using casters, maggots, sweetcorn, luncheon meat and pellets. Boilies, dog food and larger pellets are all good for the carp, as are floating baits fished both close in by the side and in open water during warmer weather for both carp and chub.
As its name implies, Far Pool is the furthest from the car park and although only about half an acre in size is ideal for anglers who want to get away from it all. To add to its attraction, it has now been stocked with more than 50 double figure fish ranging between 10lbs and 16lbs which introduced over recent winters, together with some quality specimen roach which weigh over 1lb. Fish are now being taken to 18lbs.
These supplemented the existing stock which include a mix of carp to over 20lbs as well as crucians, roach, rudd, tench and bream. Because the water is only about three-and-a-half feet deep at maximum it is a great spot for waggler fishing and testing out new techniques or baits.
Following the addition of the new fish it now pays to use modern as well as traditional carp fishing techniques.
Again the most popular baits tend to be maggots, casters, sweetcorn, pellets and luncheon meat, although the mix and size range of fish means that virtually anything goes.
|Accommodation near Butlers Hill
Anglers from further afield who would like to fish Butlers Hill can now stay in two self-catering holiday cottages at Butlers Hill Farm which has its own outdoor swimming pool. Available for weekends or stays of a weel or more, further details can be obtained by telephoning Jane or Alan Taplin on 01608 684430.
How to get there...
Butlers Hill Fishery is three-quarters of the way along the A3400 between Shipston-on-Stour and Chipping Norton. Travelling south, continue through Long Compton and start up the hill as you leave the village. Over half way up is a road to the left signed to Great Rollright. Take this and the first left again which has Butlers Hill Farm on the corner. Continue down this lane for about 200 yards and the entrance to the fishery car park is on the right. Please note that the Multimap Post Code reference takes you to the farm at the top of the lane, the fishery is the three lakes down this lane.
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