The Blenheim Angling Society was formed in 1880 by a small number of business and professional men, mainly doctors, dentists and solicitors.
The name of the society was taken from the Blenheim Arms public house in Nottinghill Gate where club meetings were held every week.
The main fishery for the society was the Grand Junction Canal from Denham through to Rickmansworth, the same sections of water that we have fishing rights today.
We have held those rights since 1900. Most of the society’s matches were held at Harefield, the Fisheries Inn being the local headquarters. Some matches were held on the Thames at Pangbourne and Marlow. Some of the earlier trophies are still fished for today.
In 1902 the society moved headquarters from the Blenheim Arms to the Pelican Hotel in the Marlebone Road. George Geen was elected President in 1905 and continued in office until 1947.
Fish caught on matches in the early days had to be weighed in at London headquarters and match finishing times had to coincide with train times to enable members to weigh in their fish at headquarters.
The River Colnebrook at Wraysbury was purchased in 1923 and subscriptions raised to £1.1s.0d. (one guinea) to help pay for the river, and membership was restricted to 110 members, and The Feathers public house was declared the area headquarters.
In 1936 members were instructed to carry keep nets to matches so that the weigh in was on the bank and the fish returned to the water.
In 1945 the clubs headquarters were moved to the Fountains Abbey in Paddington and later in 1954 to the Yorkshire Stingo in the Harrow Road The 1956 the LAA shield match was held on the River Colnebrook at Wraysbury between Harlesden and Wanstead, Wanstead being the winners by 5lbs.10ozs.8drms to 3lbs.14ozs.12drms.
Membership in 1957 was restricted to 200 seniors and 25 juniors. Ladies were not allowed as members at this time. In 1958 Thomas Roberts Ltd asked the society to sell them the river with a view to divert the river and extract the gravel, this operation was aborted in 1960.
1963 saw a major pollution at Harefield from the sewage treatment works at Maple Lodge and thousands of fish were lost.
1966 was the start of the Wraysbury reservoir and for the infilling of the West Pit (Silver Wings) a temporary bridge was constructed over the Colnebrook for lorries to take their spoil to the West Pit. The infilling was completed in 1968. The river banks were breached in 1969 to allow barges to pass from the East pit up to the workings in the West pit. The Wraysbury reservoir was completed in 1970. The canal fishing improved in 1971 and day tickets were again being issued.
The society membership exceeded 400 in 1974.
1980 was the Centenary year for the Society and open matches and open days organised to celebrate this great occasion. 1981 saw the first fish stocks placed in Cargill Lake, mainly roach and rudd, later to be complemented by some 1,000 carp up to around the 3lbs mark.
Cargill Lake at Wraysbury ……TW19 5NW
This lake is eleven acres in total with an open all year season.
Two rods are normal with a third rod charge of £35.00.
Night fishing is allowed. Bait boats or any use of boats is not allowed, other than for fishery management.
Locks are fitted to both car park and lake, and combination numbers are required.
The entrance to the car park can be found on the north side of the station, and Cargill Lake can be reached by walking down stream of the river, crossing over the footbridge.
Cargill is the society’s prime specimen water, on the border of a nature reserve for wintering wildfowl, a stunning venue to fish, with many rare birds inhabiting the lake.
The lake is quite deep with one main bar being the dominant feature.
The river Colnebrook runs behind the lake, and many anglers have a session in the river if the fishing is slow on the lake. This is not an easy water, but it does hold specimen sized, Old English carp, with fish that are rarely caught.
Winter pike fishing is good, with fish coming to dead baits in the margins. There are some good size tench and bream to be had for those anglers fishing for them.
Visitor permits are available
£10 for one day £20 for 48 hours
Visitors must be accompanied by a Blenheim member
River Colnebrook…..TW19 5NW
The river section is approximately one and a half miles in length and runs from Coppermill Road down to the Staines Road at Hythe End.
There are various depths from fast shallows, to pools of five or six feet.
Most of the river is tree lined and can be fished from either bank, the width varying from fifteen to twenty feet.
Watts Pool car park can be found at the end of the small road alongside the Indian restaurant. A combination number is required for the gate.
The station car park is at the top end of the fishery
There are some excellent chub to six pound plus and barbel into double figures as well as bream into the double figures.
Roach and dace have not shown very well over the last couple of years, but good perch may be found.
The wild life in the area is second to none, with fox, deer and rabbits, not to mention the many species of water birds and many other birds including the kingfisher. The river is of course subject to the close season.
Watts Pool car park….. TW19 5BS
This is a fairly small lake about one and a half to two acres. There are three disabled swims in the car park area, and a further four or five swims on the river side bank.
During the summer months it may be necessary to rake a swim as weed growth is prolific.
Good bags of roach and perch may be had, and some very good tench. There are some bream, but not in great numbers.
This fishery is subject to the traditional close season.
Grand Union Canal Section ‘A’ Batchworth Lock 81 to Lock 83…..WD3 1NB
Parking is in the Aquadrome car park, subject to opening and closing times on the notice board. There are power lines crossing the canal and the “no fishing areas” are clearly marked.
Swims can be at times minimal due to the Permanent Mooring regulations and Visitor Moorings.
Day tickets may be purchased at Harefield Tackle and must be purchased before fishing.
Species to be found are bream, carp, roach, tench and pike. This fishery is open all year round
Grand Union Canal Section ‘B’ Springwell Lock 83 to Black Jacks Lock 85…..UB9 6HZ
Parking is in the Coy Carp public house car park, away from the pub.
There are power lines crossing the canal and “no fishing areas” are clearly signed.
Please Note: Day tickets are obtainable from Harefield Tackle and MUST be purchased before fishing.
Fishing on mooring bollards or within fifteen metres of the bridge is not allowed.
Species to be found are bream, carp, perch, chub and roach. This fishery is open all year round.
Grand Union Canal Section ‘C’ Black Jacks lock 85 to Denham Deep lock. 87…UB9 6PE
Parking is in the roadway near the Horse and Barge public house away from the bridge. There are power lines crossing the canal and” no fishing areas” are clearly marked. Day tickets may be purchased at Harefield Tackle and must be purchased before fishing.
Species to be found are bream, tench, roach, perch, carp, chub and pike. This fishery is open all year round.