CWA Fisheries Ltd was founded in 2012 and is run as a family concern, headed up by myself, Alan Cooper. With 30 years carp fishing experience behind me and having fished many varied waters around the country including Dinton Pastures, Burghfield, many different club waters and having lived and grown up in the famous fishing village of Yateley, I would say that I have experienced most of what carp fishing has to offer, both good and bad. With this in mind, I wanted to be able to offer anglers all of the good things I have witnessed and avoid the bad practices I have seen. Couple this with my experiences with keeping carp and my links with some great fish farmers, I hoped I could offer the market something a little different.
I got the rights to a relatively new gravel pit in Caversham in March 2012, this was to be called Long Lake, the lake was empty of carp, it had a handful of tench and predators, but essentially it was a blank canvas. It had very few trees round the lake, no swims and no footpath. So the spring and summer of 2012 saw me busy laying out the lake ready for angling the following year.
The lake was stocked in March 2012 with 33 Leney strain carp from Lower Berryfield Fisheries, these I had selected 2 years previously, and they had been growing on in the LBF stock ponds awaiting my first lake. 25 of these fish were between 2lb and 5lb, with 8 doubles up to 18lb in weight.
I also stocked 25 fish from my own stock pond, all of my fish were between 3lb and 6lb when stocked.
To compliment these smaller fish, I also selected and purchased 20 of Simon Bartlam’s Dinton strain fish, these were between 14lb and 23lb when stocked, and these have grown on to become the big girls of the lake.
The plan was to keep the stocking at a low level, less than 80 fish in 9 acres of water, as the fish grew, I knew we would loose a few fish each year due to spawning issues etc., but Mother Nature would find a balance.
We are now 7 years into the project, the lake has transformed from a hole in a field into a magnificent fishery, with carp to nearly 50lb present. As the fish are still quite young.
There are now 6 different fish over 40lb in the lake, The Admiral being the biggest at 49.08, The Red Fish at 43.04, Big Zip at 42.08, BBQ Zip at 42.10, Lead Head at 41lb, The Sargent at 40.12 and we also have three others over 37lb along with a good number of other amazing looking thirties.
The lake itself is carrot shaped, with 7 feet of water at the shallow end and 17 feet at the wider deeper end. The water stays clear almost all year round, and the fish have taken on some fantastic dark colours due to the clarity of the water.
We operate a 30 man syndicate on Long Lake, with a maximum stay of 72 hours. All of our rules are kept sensible and have the fishes welfare at heart. As with all of my lakes, I operate a waiting list and a vetting system for potential new members. There are certain traits of some modern carp anglers that I not only don’t like, but I will not tolerate, so not everybody who puts their name on our waiting lists will automatically get offered a ticket.