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Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Location: Surrey, UK
|Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:46 am Post subject: Venue Review - Thornton Reservoir, Leicestershire
|Thornton is a scenic 70 acre reservoir set in the beautiful village of Thornton in Leicestershire. It is only 10 minutes from the M1, but when you are fishing you would think you were miles and miles from any major road.
Thornton has plenty of features to keep anglers occupied, and there is enough variety on the reservoir to try new areas out with different tactics in a days fishing. Thornton has two arms - the East pointing Markfield Arm, and the North pointing Thornton Arm. There is also a main basin running along the dam wall which is home to the cages. The cages aren’t as heavily fished on Thornton as cages on other waters such as Bewl, but it is still worth drifting past them. The cages are anchored over 11 feet of water which is a lot shallower than most people imagine. This drops down to 30 feet as you approach the dam.
Thornton attracts thousands of non fishing visitors per year walking around the reservoir and feeding the birds from the car park. The latter can be a blessing in disguise for some anglers. The bread that is thrown in for the ducks sinks below the surface and is picked off by fish. If the fishing is hard then it is well worth trying out the corner of the dam by the car park. Fish white patterns such as Boobies and Blobs but be very careful of the ducks and geese - if there are lots of birds in the area keep a safe distance - you don’t want to hook one accidentally!
The season ticket prices at Thornton are excellent value, and if you live locally you should really consider investing in one. There is a range of season ticket options available depending on how many fish you want to catch and how often you plan on fishing, ranging from a 40 fish ticket (no catch and release) to a 60 fish ticket at £177 to a 160 fish ticket at £470 which do allow catch and release. As a season ticket holder with a catch and release option on the ticket you have to kill your first fish of the day, and can then choose whether to catch and release further fish or not.
Day tickets are also very reasonably priced and there is enough choice to suit exactly what you want. 2008 prices as follows:
1 fish including C&R - £11 (OAP/Disabled - £9.50)
2 fish including C&R - £12.50 (OAP/Disabled - £11.00)
3 fish including C&R - £14.50 (OAP/Disabled - £13.50)
4 fish including C&R - £16.00 (OAP/Disabled - £14.50)
5 fish including C&R - £17.50 (OAP/Disabled - £16.00)
6 fish including C&R - £19.00 (OAP/Disabled - £19.00)
The water fishes very well to the imitative patterns such as buzzers and the biggest hatch I've ever seen on a reservoir was at Thornton a couple of years ago when the water was covered with rising fish. I managed to get myself in a mess casting to rising fish as I was lifting off every 5 seconds to cover another fish! My go to flies for Thornton are Diawl Bachs, Superglue Buzzers, Crunchers, Cormorants and Cats Whiskers.
The fish in Thornton aren’t the same size as many of the other Midlands reservoirs but they are certainly amongst the fittest.
Some of the areas can get very busy with boats when fish are holding close to the bank and the tendency is to anchor rather than drift which is a bit of a shame, but the same seems to happen at other reservoirs such as Hanningfield.
The majority of people who fish Thornton do so from a boat, and the fact that there are so few bank anglers means you can drift in close to all the banks without conflicting with others. Float tubing is another option at Thornton and if you don’t have your own float tube then the fishery has a couple that can be rented out for the day. The ramp next to the jetty provides a safe launching point for float tubes, and the shelter provided by the lodge and the jetty allows beginners to paddle around before venturing out on to the main reservoir.
The boats are all rowing boats but there are a handful of battery powered engines available for hire. It is wise to book these engines in advance. If you enjoy moving around a lot when fishing then an engine can be a wise investment. You can also take your own battery powered engine if you have it, but there is a size limit to ensure the boats aren’t travelling too fast around the reservoir. The only problem with the engine setup is when motoring long distances at the end of the day in to a wind - the batteries can drain quickly and you may find yourself rowing back!
A wheely boat is also available which allows disabled anglers a lot better boat fishing opportunities than on the standard boats. They’re not a cheap investment for a fishery but it is pleasing to see an increasing number of fisheries purchasing them.
Thornton also has a small, but fairly well stocked tackle shop in the lodge The jetty can be used as a casting platform and as such it is a good opportunity to try out a new rod before making a purchase.
All in all Thornton is an excellent choice of venue for a relaxing day fishing, and it is excellent value. Ifor Jones who runs the reservoir will look after you well and will do his best to help you catch. The forum has held several forum socials at Thornton over the last few years and we return year after year because of the quality of the fishery and the friendliness of Ifor.
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