When we were invited to the netting of Milton Lake (one of our favourites) at Bury Hill, we jumped at the opportunity. Armed with our cameras we arrived early one morning to enjoy a full breakfast at the cafe on site before strolling down past Bonds to a lunar-landscaped Milton Lake. The level of water had been dropped by three feet, leaving sunken islands exposed but with a comfortable depth of water for netting.

Rubbish was being removed from the swims including umbrellas, rod rests, sunglasses, line, leger weights, rod tops and the inevitable rusty can. The three man nets-team, consisting of Chris the bailiff, Dave Smithers and our old friend 'Brawling' John McCarthy, had already set up the back net. The back net is a separate net used to force the fish to one end of the lake leaving the remainder of the lake devoid of fish - this net is then left in position whilst netting is carried out using a second net. When the fish are in the process of being sorted the fish to be retained can then be returned to the 'empty' part of the lake. This avoids sorting the same fish twice.

On the first sweep there were so many fish trapped, the rear of the net had to be raised above water level with metal spikes so they didn't escape over the top. Smaller metal framed landing nets were then used to scoop out the fish to be examined and sorted. A high proportion of the fish were good sized crucian which were immediately returned behind the back net. We spotted some surprisingly good roach with some excellent tench swimming around in the net which in turn were also transferred back into the lake. A11 the zander were carefully placed in large plastic containers and carried up to the Main Lake where they were released to join the other zeds. These were mainly between three and four pounds and, as such, a welcome addition for predator anglers fishing the Main Lake. During our visit 32 zander with a larger number of carp were transferred. All the carp were removed in order to prevent them hybridising with the crucians (most important if you want to keep the strain pure).

It took several hours of hard work to complete just one sweep of the net by which time everyone was ready for a break. After a welcome cup of tea the netting was resumed. The second sweep of the net resulted in so many fish that after three hours, work was still in progress as we departed. Apparently it took another two hours to empty. Over the next couple of days it was a similar story.

Having seen first hand the quantity of quality fish stocked in this lake it is hard to believe anyone using the correct approach could fail to bag up!