Hunstrete Lake - Autumn 2013 - Photographs

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Barbulus
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Hunstrete Lake - Autumn 2013 - Photographs

Post by Barbulus » Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:25 pm

Well....its my wedding anniversary today so what better way than to celebrate another anniversary than visiting Hunstrete Lake this afternoon on my way back from visiting in Bath.....so...hopefully the following photographs....taken this afternoon on a rather delightful Autumnal day...will give TFF members who have not been to Hunstrete a better understanding of what it looks like. It might be helpful to take a brief look at the desperate post with the satellite image. As I have posted elsewhere, the last time I was at Hunstrete was around 20 years ago. It was very much akin to Redmire through the 60's and 70's....size...shape....carp...flora and fauna. So....as I parked the car in the lane near the lake earlier this afternoon...I wondered how it may have changed in all those years since last I was there as a "carp addict" in the 70's and 80's......

I hope the uploads work....otherwise a bit of a pain !

First photo...the Keeper's Cottage although I think the original inhabitant has, sadly, long joined the list of "keeper's in the Sky"....
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Second photo....the lane that runs past Hunstrete....there is a public footpath - certainly to the North side of the lake....
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Third photo....Hmmmm.....a bivvyy.......actually I have just noticed that these photographs may not be appearing in the "post" in the order in which I thought I was uploading them so...apologies if some of the post does not align with the images.....
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Fourth photo taken from South East looking toward the centre North bank of Hunstrete....if you can see the seagull on the water..that area is quite deep and is more or less where Alan Dart caught the longstanding eel record in the 60's and 70's...
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fifth photo taken from the wider Eastern end of Hunstrete looking "up" the lake toward the narrower Western end.....
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sixth photo....taken from the small bay in the South East corner looking toward the centre North bank...
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seventh photo...a "carpy" looking area in the South East bay....
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eighth photo ....taken from Southern bank looking toward the wider Eastern bank....
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ninth photo....banks and the foilage and trees looking pretty good....another bivvy.......Southern bank looking North...
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tenth photo taken from Southern bank....looking North West ?
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Actually..I think I can now see that the uploads are not all working as I had hoped so I will leave any more photographs until a time when my capabilities match the technology !

I hope TFF members can however get a better idea of this historic carp lake which has a marvellous tradition....I really had a marvellous few years fishing this place....sometimes sinister and a daunting place but always fascinating. Some final comments...a mix of fact......personal reflection...and anecdotal.....

Hunstrete had two additional lakes dug to the Western side of the old Estate Lake over the last couple of decades. These provide marvellous access and disabled swims etc and are also quite popular with the younger fishermen ...these lakes are maturing quite nicely. The main...old Hunstrete Lake when I fished it twenty and thirty years ago...was really silty and had a reasonable number of ancient trees that had fallen into the water and provided some fantastic "wilderness" fishing. Additionally, the shallower - Western - end of Hunstrete and both North and Southern banks from the Western end upto around the middle of the lake used to have densely packed lilly beds...beautiful in Summer and an absolute haven for large tench and carp. When I walked around the lake this afternoon....nearly all of these lilly beds had been removed. There are however some patches of reed that have been left. I found myself admiring the commitment and volunteer efforts of people over many years to improve Hunstrete...access....tree clearance....the new lakes giving others an ability to fish....removal of the silt build up and, overall, leaving Hunstrete with a sympathetic approach to the work undertaken. The bankside and paths through the trees and undergrowth have largely been left as they should. I was a little saddened that the extensive lilly beds have been removed and couldn't really understand why ...and also I felt that perhaps some of the trees could have been left in the water. Overall though, the lake itself has had a lot of care taken.....and even though changed....it retains the essence...if only one could get the place to oneself like for a few days....Ha Ha !

Were there any negative aspects about my visit this afternoon ?....Well....when I walked up the lane having parked near the old "keeper's cottage"...I was greeted with a substantial metal gate with electronic wizardry and pass code access systems to to car park.......next I was confronted with "warning signs" that the lake was under 24/7 CCTV operation.....and as I turned into the overgrown path found myself standing next to a large grey metal "tower" with remote CCTV camera's....not quite traditional but sadly I was told a necessary precaution.....as I walked around I counted maybe 30 or so carp anglers on the main lake...all more or less identical....camo clothing and gear...all with bivvys....all twin rod, alarms, 2-3 oz "bombs" etc etc....the latter of which seemed a little excessive to my mind given the size of Hunstrete....still that's the way it is and to be fair...they were a reasonable bunch of fishermen when I chatted to them.....but on a lovely Autumnal afternoon quite why everyone needed to erect a bivvy was beyond me....

There is no longer any Bathampton AA Hunstrete "night fishing" syndicate that I recall in the 70's...one week on two weeks off and which I used to really enjoy. Fishing is only allowed during the day...hours vary throughout the year but today it looked like 0700 to approx 2100 ? Again....why erect a bivvy for the day only ?

There are apparently still large tench and eels in Hunstrete although more precise size is difficult to gain accurate data. In carp terms...there are maybe in excess of 20 different "thirties" for those interested in such things and at least one...maybe more....."forty"....I do not know if any of the original "Leney" strain still exist in Hunstrete. They certainly were there when I regularly fished it in the 70's and part of the 80's...but that was a long time ago.....

Hopefully of some interest to members.....I enjoyed my wander around my old "haunt" this afternoon. I still could sense the magic and aura of Hunstrete that I grew up with and even though today there were quite a number of carp anglers and all dressed and fishing in the same manner....the camo. gear....bivvys.....remote CCTV and the electric security gates all took me back to a former life in Afghanistan...nevertheless...I am maybe tempted to join Bathampton AA next year for the first time in decades and try the alternative...more traditional...approach.....I am happy with my split cane carp rod and centrepin but I suspect that maybe this time "par boiled" potato might need to be replaced with something else....

Barbulus

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Dave Burr
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Re: Hunstrete Lake - Autumn 2013 - Photographs

Post by Dave Burr » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:53 pm

These pictures really take me back Barbulus, I'd forgotten just how big it looks. I have memories of wandering those banks in the early morning or evening time - before the cameras and the fencing. :shocked: With my then new wife, we'd stroll around and absorb the atmosphere of the place. We once found a horseshoe bat with a torn wing, not knowing any better I put it on a tree where it climbed hopefully to safety but, were that to happen today, I would have made sure it was looked after until the tear was healed.

On another occasion we arrived at the same time as thousands of toads which were crossing the lane. Volunteers wee helping them to safety and Nicky (bless her), still a little squeamish back then, got stuck in and carried some to safety.

Your photos have made my day :Hat:

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Barbulus
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Re: Hunstrete Lake - Autumn 2013 - Photographs

Post by Barbulus » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:37 pm

Dave

I really enjoyed going back today as well. It really was delightful to wander around those banks again after all this time...even with some of the "additions" to the car park ! I remember the toads crossing ! That lane was also the first time I ever saw the "ghost" of the night....aka....a large white owl silently "ghosting" in the moonlight...certainly made me duck quickly !

I share your thoughts on the atmosphere there and, similarly, used to just wander around without even fishing....I am glad you like the photographs. Happy days eh ?

Barbulus

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Re: Hunstrete Lake - Autumn 2013 - Photographs

Post by BeechmereLake » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:36 pm

Just enjoying some fond memories of the wonderful place called Hunstrete lake, great pictures Barbelus and pretty much as I remember the place.
I never got on the night syndicate but had several friends who were on there, traveling was a bit hard for me back then on my motorcycle so I never took up the night fishing available.
A couple of my good friends had unbelievable success there as did they on Savay Lake at the same time.
For anyone interested here is the website for the club and I have dropped you straight onto the history page. I do have one of the clubs annual catalogs here given to me by their general secretary Dave Crookes whom I was fortunate to have call round my house a couple of years ago, it gives all the history of the club and what they went through getting this place to where it is today, makes for some great reading.
You know one thing I do remember about the water was the swims, they were almost tailor made for the bivvy to fit and even had little gully's for the rainwater to run away back into the lake, there was also a few of the night syndicate who used to leave small amounts of bait in the swim to put the day ticket anglers like me off. I was fortunate to work in Crudggingtons tackle shop in Bath so knew the score :Hahaha:

http://www.foggi.co.uk/angling/bathampt ... egory=none
" It is a sinister place yet powerfully fascinating"

"BB"

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Re: Hunstrete Lake - Autumn 2013 - Photographs

Post by Barbulus » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:10 pm

Hiya Beechmere Lake.......you worked in Crudgingtons Tackle Shop....I wonder were you in Green Street originally before it moved to Broad Street ?. I used to spend hours in that shop...especially on a Wednesday as that was in the days of restricted Pub Opening hours and the Saracens Head was the only pub allowed to open on a Wednesday outside normal - in the 70's - trading hours as a legacy of the Cattle Market just up the road....a bygone era when cattle were driven to the centre of Bath for sale mid week !. It is now a car park I think ! Sadly Crudgintons long long gone.....and yes I do recall the baiting up from the Night Syndicate....sorry for a past misdemeanour but it was 30 years ago !

Barbulus

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Re: Hunstrete Lake - Autumn 2013 - Photographs

Post by Snape » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:17 pm

Barbulus wrote:Actually..I think I can now see that the uploads are not all working as I had hoped so I will leave any more photographs until a time when my capabilities match the technology !
Barbulus, some of your photos were duplicated and the last ones were bunched at the start so I have tidied it up. :Hat:
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.
~Henry David Thoreau

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Barbulus
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Re: Hunstrete Lake - Autumn 2013 - Photographs

Post by Barbulus » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:36 pm

I thankyou Sir....I thought I had messed up when originally posting them and that some kind person...that would be you...had tidied them up....I shall buy you a glass of port at the AGM this year....which reminds me...where and when is the AGM ?

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Re: Hunstrete Lake - Autumn 2013 - Photographs

Post by Mark » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:39 pm

Lovely pictures Barbulus, it's far far too early to even think about the AGM, we will post something nearer the time.
Mark (Administrator)

The most precious places in the English landscape are those secretive corners,
where you find only elder trees, nettles and dreams. (BB - Denys Watkins-Pitchford).

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Re: Hunstrete Lake - Autumn 2013 - Photographs

Post by BeechmereLake » Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:18 pm

Barbulus wrote:Hiya Beechmere Lake.......you worked in Crudgingtons Tackle Shop....I wonder were you in Green Street originally before it moved to Broad Street ?. I used to spend hours in that shop...especially on a Wednesday as that was in the days of restricted Pub Opening hours and the Saracens Head was the only pub allowed to open on a Wednesday outside normal - in the 70's - trading hours as a legacy of the Cattle Market just up the road....a bygone era when cattle were driven to the centre of Bath for sale mid week !. It is now a car park I think ! Sadly Crudgintons long long gone.....and yes I do recall the baiting up from the Night Syndicate....sorry for a past misdemeanour but it was 30 years ago !

Barbulus
Hi Barbulus, I worked in the shop at Broad street in the early 1980's, the old man was still working then and a lad Called Steve Harris, had some epic times in that shop and enjoyed some great times in the snooker hall round the corner with some of the shops top anglers, who by the way fished Hunstrete on the syndicate.
I never got on there as it was not easy transporting all the gear on a motorcycle from where I lived in Chippenham Wiltshire.
Soooooooooooo it was you who left the bait in the swims? chick peas and sweet corn but mostly maple peas :Hahaha: I actually caught a mid double from there on a couple of chick peas that were left on the ground :Happy:
You wouldn't believe how good looking in the swim for evidence has served me over the years :Thumb:
" It is a sinister place yet powerfully fascinating"

"BB"

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