ANGLERS found themselves locked out of Rochford’s Mark Hall reservoir at the weekend because of flooding from nearby fields.

Despite Saturday’s dry and sunny conditions the torrential rain which fell last week caused flooding at the reservoir.

Lake licence holder Nick North said: “The council padlocked the gates on Friday and they did not open until Monday.

“There was so much water that some of the paths were under water and I think that the council were concerned about people out walking.

“The anglers are a sensible lot and know where to go, but you’ve got to be careful with members of the general public.

“It was frustrating for anglers who had caught more than 80 fish the previous week.”

Last week’s rain caused a lot of water off nearby fields to flood into the lake.

“It was not as bad as back in October when we had loads of fish washed away,” said North.

“But the water was still really cloudy. It went like chocolate.

“But the fish don’t stop feeding and I know that Sean Thacker had several decent sessions and caught 11 fish one day and about eight or nine during his next session.

“I know some of the fish coming out have been around the 18lb mark, which is pretty good.

“Most of them have been either mirror carp or commons.

“There have been few float anglers around this week.

“But I’ll be really happy when this weather dries up and we can get back on with some proper fishing,” he added.

During the autumn and winter North has been restocking the lake, adding more than 150 decent-sized fish to lure new members.

And North has taken the opportunity to work on several of the swims and repair the banks, which, he says, need constant attention to keep them in tip top condition.

He is also looking forward to a drier spell so that he can repair a small leak and is planning to organise several competitions in the spring. For details of fishing at Rochford call North on 07963 112588.