We have removed tonnes of dead and fallen trees from in and around the lake. We were able to get a digger in to repair the swims along the paths and various water plants have been planted to enhance the appearance of the lake for future. The lodge behind the Noddy swims has been repaired and improved and we now have a picture board displaying all the known fish and a captures book which we will use to monitor fish growth and progress.
Many famous anglers like Jack Hilton, Sir Peter Springate, Kevin Maddocks, Richie MacDonald, Chris Ball, Terry Dempsey, Rob Maylin, the “Famous 5,” “The Twins” Nigel and Robert and John Holt had all trodden the banks of Fox Pool at some point throughout the 1970’s and 80’s.
Fox Pool was home to many big fish in those days and I think I am right in saying John Holt was one of the first anglers to catch two different English 40s, both of which came from Fox Pool. For the time in the mid 80s, that was an incredible achievement.
Rob Maylin also fished Fox from the mid to late 80s, catching many of its inhabitants and wrote his book “Fox Pool” shortly after.
In 1989 under the threat of the lakes becoming part of a relief channel for the nearby River Thames the majority of the fish were netted and moved to Horton Church Lake.
They continued to thrive and some of Horton Church Lake’s most famous residents like Jack the net Ripper, Shoulders, The Parrot, The Lady, C.P’s and The Koi to name just a few, all originally came from Fox Pool.
Fox Pool itself for a short spell became a pike syndicate. The pike syndicate never really developed, probably due to the lack of food fish and so it went back to its roots and became a high quality carp lake again in 1995. Allan Stone of Stoney and Friends signed a lease agreement with what was then RMC Angling and began to introduce fish, some of which are still there today. The first stocking was in May 1997 when Allan introduced 11 fish: ten Mirrors and one Common ranging from 8-15lb.
One year later in May 1998, he obtained a further 40 fish from Broadwater Lake in Surrey, which included 20 Mirrors and 20 Commons between 3 and 13lbs. It was these two stockings which gave birth to the new “Fox Pool” era and a new syndicate headed by Allan was born.
Through Cemex Angling a further six fish were introduced in 2005, two of which are now our biggest Mirrors. Another six were added in 2007 and four more in January 2012. We also know of another stocking around 2006 but exact details are unknown.
Allan Stone stood down in 2011 and I was asked by Cemex Angling if I would become Head Bailiff, a position I was both happy and privileged to take.
In the Summer of 2012 the new Longfield owners Simon and Candy took over.
They assured both myself and Rob on the road lake that they had no plans for any radical change to the fishery and were keen to listen to what we as anglers wanted to do for the lakes and that they would support us in achieving those ambitions in any way they could.
We sought advice from VS Fisheries with regard to various plans both in and around the lakes and most importantly a long term stocking policy to ensure the future of both Fox Pool and The Road Lake for many, many, years to come.
Without the shackles of Health and Safety guidelines under Cemex we have been able to really get stuck in to getting all the banks and swims sorted.
Fox Pool itself is a small, intimate, gin clear four-acre lake that at times can get very weedy.
It has snags in four corners and the fish are happy to both sit and feed in all four corners throughout the day. Most of the big fish get caught from these corners every year.
At night time they venture out into the pond and can feed hard all night and morning. I have regularly seen these fish start to feed at 1 a.m. and continue to feed hard until 12pm the following day.
What makes Fox Pool different to many waters I have fished is the fact that the fish are catchable somewhere on the lake pretty much right around the clock.
Fox has remained under the radar so to speak for many years however as the fish have grown in weight, so have the number of anglers fishing for them and this has been noticeable in the amount of captures in the last few years.
The Fox Pool fish are wising up fast, very fast! These fish are no longer easy to catch and the angler will need both experience and watercraft to catch them. There are a number of fish in Fox that only get caught once every three or four years and in some cases even longer.
The Syndicate members are a great bunch of lads with an easy-going, friendly atmosphere throughout the fishery. Most are open and willing to share their observations and tactics to try and outsmart the Carp as most of us are in the same boat trying hard to earn a bite or two.
The future for Fox Pool looks very good indeed. We are in great hands under the new ownership of Simon and Candy and they have assured both myself and Rob that they are here for the long term and have been very supportive of all our ideas for improvements to the lakes.
We already have a good stock of fish with three currently over 40lb and around 8 over 35lb.
Some of the younger fish stocked in 2005 are the biggest in the lake and are still growing.
Fish can grow fast in Fox. For example, one of the fish introduced at 10lb in January 2012 came out in September 2012 at 19lb gaining more than 1lb per month!
The lads have named her “Hank” ( Hank Marvin – Starvin).
The water quality in Fox is ideal for big fish as it has shown for the last 30 years.
The fish that have been introduced in the last few years together with the fish that we are stocking through the winter of 2013 and 2014 into both lakes will ensure the long term future of Longfield as a top Carp venue .
I first wet a line in Fox Pool way back in 1985. I was fishing the Road Lake at the time which was my first introduction to proper carp fishing. Secret rigs, secret baits and camping out for days on end trying to catch one.
The Road Lake was more of a “boys’ water” at the time, whereas Fox Pool was the ‘big boys’ water with many large carp and many a famous name treading the banks trying to catch them.
My own personal vision for the future of Fox Pool is that it is destined to become a weedy, difficult, big fish-water. The type of water that sorts the men from the boys.
Keep it simple and present it carefully in the right place, pay attention to your line lay and they can and do get caught. When you are getting it right on Fox, they are very catchable but you do have to get everything right.
A new member in 2012 managed to catch 23 fish to 41lb. He followed it up the following season with 23 fish to 42lb by the end of September! the lads have nicknamed him “The Machine” although it’s worth mentioning he is an incredibly competent angler.
So if you like a safe and pleasant environment, like fishing for big, yet tricky carp, don’t mind other anglers and look on weed as a challenge rather than a hindrance, then I look forward to meeting and welcoming you to Fox Pool.