Mill Road Fishery
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Andy and Janet bought the Homestead in the summer of 2007. We live in the large 18th century thatched house that sits in over 9 acres of flat Norfolk countryside and overlooks the Mill Road Fishery.
I have been a keen fisherman since I was a boy (many years ago). I was taken fishing at an early age by my father and started out catching eels from the river Chelmer in Essex. I belonged to the Billericay and District Angling Club and learnt my trade fishing junior matches. I can still remember my first match and fluking a chub of 1lb from the river Blackwater at Witham and winning my age group.
After a year or two I progressed to senior competitions. I spent several years fishing the open match circuit, fishing winter leagues and even the National a couple of times as a teenager. This was a time long before the rise of commercial fisheries when 2lb of ‘bits’ would get a section win and a 5lb was considered to be ‘bagging up’. I can even claim to have beaten Bob Nudd to a section win with 5 ‘goer’ roach from the Chelmer in an Essex Winter League match. I also sat on various committees running the junior section and then as General Secretary for B&DAC.
Eventually I tired of spending loads of money on bait, tackle, petrol etc driving for hours and then fishing for 5 hours for a single gudgeon or less. I stumbled into carp fishing. Actually my carp fishing at the time was very similar, but at least I didn’t have to pay the pools money.
I have sought out carp in many waters over the years. Deliberately steering clear of the high stock lakes and seeking out the quieter fisheries where I could hide away and pit myself against the fish. I have fished for and caught some of the well known fish from the carp ‘mecca’ that is Yateley and get a huge buzz from catching fish that have been around for decades.
Since moving permanently to Norfolk my fishing has changed a good deal. I now try and match the fish I am chasing to the seasons. Pike and chub in the winter, carp and tench in the summer, roach and perch in the autumn. I even mix in some sea angling now and again.
Prior to meeting Andy I had very little knowledge of fishing. I used to take my son to small lakes for him to pursue his interest but am afraid the maggots put me off taking more than a passing interest.
I met Andy and as they say was hooked and reeled in! I have spent many weekends at the Yateley complex as the chief cook and bottle washer, photographer (several photo’s published in the Carp press) and have netted many big fish for Andy including a 42lb cat (urrgh!!) Having read a few of the top anglers' books, regularly read most of the Carp magazines and lived and breathed Andy’s hobby, I am well informed and have a good understanding of the fishing and requirements of the lake.
I was the manager of Pensthorpe waterfowl park and nature reserve in Fakenham for 2 years, learning a great deal about waterfowl, wildlife and park management. I have a great interest in the wildlife and waterfowl at the lake and on the land we have.
I am keen birder and have been a volunteer for the RSPB spending weeks at various reserves around the country and spent many years as a volunteer in the visitors’ centre at the Cley bird reserve in North Norfolk and when not gardening can be found reading a good book!!
We would love to hear about your trips to the fishery, receive catch reports and see your photos. Feel free to email us at