A Trip to Four Oaks Farm – Darren Tracey


Darren Tracey visits a venue he has been looking forward to fishing for a long while – Four Oaks Farm and enjoys a fantastic session on Petes Pool.

That time of the week again, and it was time to choose a venue and get out on the bank. This weekend’s venue of choice was a venue that I have been wanting to visit for a while but haven’t gotten round to getting there. And after my session, I’m gutted it’s taken so long!

Venue for today was Four Oaks Farm Fishery, in Chester. As the name suggests, the 2 pools that make up the fishery image1 (1)are on the grounds of a family run farm. You almost forget you are a stone’s throw away from the motorway. Both pools are well stocked with carp, tench, skimmers and bream, chub, roach, rudd and perch. Petes Pool is the smaller is the 2, with 8 pegs. It is located by the car park, and with 2 disabled pegs, is ideal for anglers who are less mobile. Heron Pit is larger at 27 pegs and is a 100m walk through the fields  from Petes.

I chose today to fish the very pretty Petes Pool. With plenty of bank side vegetation, clear open water, and a mature island, the pool offers plenty of options with regards to approach. This being my first visit, I chose to fish 1 of the 2 disabled pegs as this give me plenty of options to maximise my session. This was fished, aware that it may be given up should a disabled angler arrive to fish. With surface activity, and the reeds knocking about, the pool looked very fishy, and I couldn’t wait to get tackled up and fishing.

Bait for today was kept minimal to allow me to concentrate on utilising what bait I was using, rather than trying a bit of everything. I selected from my bait bag, 6mm carp and coarse pellets that would be used out of the bag as feed and hook baits, N-Tice Polony that would be cubed for the hook and feed, standard tinned luncheon meat that would be cubes and soaked in Sizzling Spicy Sausage liquid. So, with baits sorted and pole rigged up, it was time to feed swims and get fishing. I had a swim straight out in open water at on top 5, in 5 ft of water. I fed this with the N-Tice Polony. 2 left hand margin lines – top 2 that I would feed with 6-8 cubes of meat soaked in Sizzling Spicy Sausage liquid every 5 minutes, and top 4 fed with 6mm pellets also every couple of minutes. And finally, a swim to the island at 14.5 m that I would ping 6mm pellets on and fish shallow with banded pellet.
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Dropping in on the top 5 meat line, with double 6mm N-Tice Polony and it wasn’t long before I had indications on the float and it sunk under. To my surprise, a skimmer came to the net. Back out with the same double meat on the hook and the same again, another skimmer. Cupping in more loose fed, I was expecting the skimmers to move off and the carp move in. This was not the case, and I had a good first hour catching skimmers and some nice stamp roach all to the double 6mm meat.

With that, I cupped in more bait and moved onto my margin meat line to see if anything had moved over. Almost instantly had the float settled, it sunk like a stone and the elastic streamed out as I struck into a carp. Quick fight and it was in the net. I stuck with the margin for a little while and I added more carp and a very welcome tench was added to the net. As the bites slowed to a stop, I moved onto the top 4 margin swim that I’d been feeding with 6mm pellets. As I had been feeding this constantly by hand, I decided to drop a pellet in shallow at around 8-10″. Before I’d even had chance to see the bite occur, the elastic come tearing out of the pole tip as an unhappy carp shot out of the margin and took me all about the pond. After a brief scrap it was soon in the net!

I didn’t have any more on the pellets so went to my 14.5m island swim with the same shallow rig. Pinging in 6-8 6mm pellets and shipping my rig straight over them, within seconds, elastic again tore out….and that set the tone for this swim for a while. I got myself into a rhythm of feed, drop in, hook a carp and feed while playing it, net the fish and repeat to keep the fish coming. By getting myself into a rhythm of constant steady feeding, and rotating between my different lines to eek what I could out of them before the fish moved out, I had a session were the bites were constant image4and the fish plentiful. With plenty of hard, fighting fit common and mirror carp along with lots of skimmers, roach and a couple of bonus tench, it made for a very enjoyable session and a great mixed bag.

So, what do I say about Four Oaks Farm Fishery, and in particular, Petes Pool. Well, it is a lovely mature pond that strangely, is passed by anglers on their way to the bigger Heron Pit. If only they knew what a gem of a pool it is and what fantastic sport they are driving and walking past. They say good things come in small packages, and this is certainly true of Petes Pool. Although I can’t speak much of Heron Pit, I will certainly be taking time to fish it in the not too distant future and sampling what this 27 pegger has to offer.

A massive thank you to Suzie for her hospitality on the day, and also for allowing the use of my keepnets for the session and report. Four Oaks is a cracking place to fish, and is testimony to the time and hard work put in. If you are in or around the North West and fancy a break away from the numerous commercials on offer in the area, get yourself down to Four Oaks….you will not be disappointed.

Tight Lines

Darren Tracey


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