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Winter day-ticket waters
by The Axeman

Craig Banks

Map of Sheepy Magna
Sheepy Magna Lake:

A very easy water summer or winter for carp to mid doubles, majority being single figure commons. Day tickets on the bank. 50 swims. No maximum stay. No nuts. Barbless hooks only.

Penns Hall Lake:
Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham.

The Location:

The lake is located in the grounds of Penns Hall Hotel, Penns Lane(B4148), Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham.

Penns Hall Lake
The Lake:

It is a long narrow estate lake of about 8 acres or so formed by the damming of a stream. It has some nice features such as an island, snags, reedbeds and overhanging trees and bushes. Depths average about 5-6ft but there are shallow areas of a foot or so. No real sharp variations in depth except an area where an old boathouse was built close to the island and the remains of a brick wall can still be seen just beneath the surface.

The Fish:

It was a very low stock lake when i first fished there in the mid-eighties. I would estimate it having had a couple dozen fish back then with the lake record standing at 28lbs by a fish known as 'Lucky'. Unfortunately this carp is now dead.
Much has changed since then.....for the better!
Under the new management the lake has been stocked with hundreds of doubles and a few low twenties.

Craig with 'Lucky' at 26lb
The Management:

The fishing is now run by the tackle shop Foster's of Birmingham, 214-216 Kingstanding Road, Kingstanding, Birmingham, B44 8JP. Tel:- 0121 344 3333
Visit their website here for more details about the shop and the lake.

The Permits:

Tickets should be purchased in advance of fishing, either by telephone or by visiting the shop.

The ticket prices are;

24 hours - 8 conc. 15 adult
12 hours - 5 conc. 8 adult.
3 month ticket (mid-week) - 35 conc. 50 adult.
3 month ticket (including weekends) - 40 conc. 60 adult.

Map of Penns Hall - In the Hotel grounds
The Rules:

Barbless hooks only.
Under 16's must be accompanied by a fishing adult.
Two rod limit.
No fixed or semi fixed leads.
No keepnets or carp sacks.
Unhooking mats must be used.
No fires.
No dogs or pets please.
Clean shoes or trainers, must be worn when using the sports bar facilities.
No fishing without a permit. Permits are available from Fosters of Birmingham.
All litter must be removed from the fishery.
Bad language and abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.
All anglers and tackle are on site at their own risk.
Tackle may be inspected to ensure the rules are complied with.

The Facilities:

There are no facilities supplied by Foster's but the Hotel welcomes anglers for drinks and meals and water can be obtained from the toilets.

Mrs Noddy aka Karen Mitchell

Hastings, East Sussex

Size - 10 acres
Stock - lots
Size of fish - 5lb-22lb

This is a club lake, but day tickets can be bought on the bank price 3.00, dawn to dust. Night fishing is for members only, but if you treat the old gentleman, that issues tickets nicely, he will give you a night ticket, this will cost an extra 5.00.
The carp in this lake will take any bait you like, from cheese to tinned peas. If you can not catch at this lake, all you can do is sell your tackle. It is a fun lake and 2 runs at the same time is not unusual.

joe de blank

Brereton Heath Park Lake:
Homles Chapel.

Take the A54 off the M6 for about 15 mins it is sign posted. Dawn till dusk about 3 a day lots of action if you get it right


RMC's Burghfield Blue Pool:

Plenty of fish in there.
Froubry Farm at Kingsclere (think thats the name) used to get up to 50 runs in a day average 6lb running up to mid doubles. Took my brother and sister to Court Farm last month on a bad day they had 19 fish between them up to 5lb.


Wishing Tree above is as the lady says a very good water to go to catch a few, I would not however suggest that any youngsters go and fish there alone at night as it is situated near to a council estate and things have been known to kick off over there.

Brittons Pond:
Near Guildford, Surrey.

This is on a day ticket and there are loads of fish in it. You have to think about what you are doing but you can catch five to ten fish a day. Last time I fished the place I tried the gravelly areas between the islands and did okay with seven fish in a morning. Most people fish to the pads or islands and the fishing can sometimes be slow doing this as the fish must have sussed this by now.

Epsom Stew ponds:
Epsom common

This water is very small but you can near enough guarantee a fish or two, not big but a couple of twenties in there to make things interesting.

Old Bury hill near Dorking:

Has a fair few carp in, you will have to use your noddle on this water though. The margins and the islands are quite often the place to try but there are also some nice clear areas which produce well if you can be bothered to find them with your marker rod. The fish go up to low thirties I believe.


Cusworth Hall Lake

In the village of Cusworth just North of Doncaster - S.Yorks.

A view of the lake from the 'dam' end to the Island
This 2 acre lake is set in the grounds of the Hall itself, with parking available a couple of hundred yards away from the lake. The fishery has an Island in the middle and is very shallow. There are rumours that this lake is to be drained and de-silted as it is typical of these types of Estate-Lakes which are by default are usualy hundreds of years old.

The fishing is paid for on the bank via a bailiff and only costs 2.50 per day from dawn 'till dusk, which is very reasonable considering the quality of fish which are stocked. there are mirror and common carp and also a good head of tench and crucians. silver fish abound in the lake too, and are caught via the usual basic methods. The carp do go into the 20lb plus bracket but I would suggest that it is a simple hit and miss affair as there are many carp under 10lb which are liable to get to the bait first. There are a few bait bans which include seeds and nuts and also a ban on erecting a bivvy because the owners dislike the look of these from the hall itself. Brollies are OK though. As there is no night-fishing then this is no real problem.

A word of warning about the parking as sadly it has been a fact that there have been many break-ins which does tend to put the locals off this very pretty well maintained water. Also it has been mentioned that the parking area will be moved closer to the lake on what now is simply an area of lawn between the lake and the car park. The owners do not appear to mind dog-walkers allowing this land to be used as a doggie-toilet though! So watch your step!


For those of you winter boys in essex here is a couple of winter waters and a few tips on them to help you catch:

Parklands aka Harwood Hall Fisheries:


Just off of Harwood Hall Lane, Upminster Essex. This is a fishery of approximately 7 acres with carp pike tench roach + crucians. Carp go to twenties and you will do well to fish the car park swims out to the snags with single pop-ups over hemp or corn. Do not ignore the margins for they have produced more fish for me this year than open water. Heathrow Bait Services Pineapple pop-ups work well very well.


Waters in the Manchester area where I have been catching a few from recently:

Bridgewater Canal:

Mostly between Boothstown and Leigh. Plently of action, mainly high single commons with the odd double mirror and twenties present. Probably free on most sections, not had to pay yet this year

Bickershaw Opencast, Bickershaw, Leigh:

Two lakes. The small one at the back is packed full of smallish carp with odd doubles. Up to ten fish a day a realistic winter target. Light groundbaiting, fishing maggotts or mini bolies over the top. The big lake is a bit slow at present, but still chance of one or two high doubles. 2 per rod, 18 a year.

Mr D

This place is ideal for begginers or anyone wanting a bend in their rod during winter.

Newton Park, near Bath:
In the grounds of the college:

Bathampton AA controlled. 20 for your membership and you can fish the lake after buying a day ticket for 2.50
Stock wise, there are hundreds of fish in the 5lb-12lb bracket as well as some decent upper doubles and the odd twenty (if you can get through the smaller fish!!) Anyone considering fishing here be warned, it does get very busy during the summer so buy your day ticket a couple of days before you go!


King Georges in Altrincham Manchester:

Next to Atrincham golf course off Atrincham/Stockport Rd. A mid doubles water, easy in summer a little harder in winter. Free to fish as many rods as you want- you can bivvy as long as you like-any bait you want-very shallow and silty- around two/three acres in size- cracking for the kids.


Mill Barn near Southend Essex:

(01702 216170) 4 lakes (+ 1 members only) all well stocked. Son started fishing this year, been an ideal place to take him as he has been able to catch freeling, using hair rigs, off the surface and conventional float set up. He ended the summer hols with a PB of 9 1/2 lb. Largest I saw on the bank was 27 lb (not me )


Docklows Pool:

Easy fishing all year round. Fish from 3lb up to 29lb so far.
Corn and good old luncheon meat doing the trick.
Got their own pub on site too, MMMmmmm !!!
I took my 6 yr old last week,weather was -2 and she had 15 fish to 11 lb. Got to be worth a try.


Stanborough lake:
Wellyn Garden City just of the A1.Got a cafe and tackle van as a bonus.

Butch Dingle

Fleets Dam, Barnsley, South Yorks:

Although a match water it contains loads of carp up to c15lb.You can fish two rods (day only) and if its not frozen over you should catch. Boilies are banned but you can use pellets or paste. I make boilie sausages and cut them into a pellet shape and have had no problems. I last fished it in November and had 12 carp in 5 hours biggest was 12lb.

Peter Sharpe

Gerard's Carp Lake at Maxey:

Would have to be on the list for the East Midlands. It is possible to blank in the winter, but you are certainly in with a faily good chance. Angling Times use it for many of their tackle reviews because it's so reliable. There are a lot of carp in there, but most of them seem to be in good condition, and they fight harder than any other still water carp I've come across. The average size is about seven or eight pounds, but doubles are common, and there are quite a few twenties in there. There is a mixture of commons and very pretty mirrors, and they fall to just about every tactic going.


Two waters - A little info.


8ish miles from Loughborough, down small lane - only lake for a few miles, carp to 10lb ish.


8 miles from Loughborough, carp to 20lbish.Two very small lakes.

singy - Paul Singleton

Iden Wood Fisheries:
Near Rye, East Sussex.
Call steve on 01797230241

5-7 ponds, he keeps digging them. The matchlake is full of carp to 30 (check for matches though)
The specimen lake has plenty of 20s to low 30s. Can be a bit trickier to some people, just put a little thought into what you are doing and you will catch and is only small. Hard to get a peg in the summer especially weekends. Pond at the bottom (Orchard, I think) has plenty of carp to high doubles. and is rarely fished. All lakes have good deep margins (don't ignore them, especially during the night.
All day ticket. no boilies, nuts or troutpellets. Barbless hooks only. Night fishing allowed. Cost 10-12 (24hours)I think (3rods). Please only use 2 on the specimen lake if it is busy. Not a rule, just to be nice. I've caught plenty of fish on particles. Don't use too many though. The reason boillies where banned was the owner got a little worried about the quantities that were being thrown in.
The Method works well and he does allow specialist carp pellets. One little trick I used was to make 'boilies' cylindrical (pellet like ) and use them. (not too many, again )

Fish on the surface in the warmer months. 1st light and dusk very good. All day if quiet.


Stavely near Boroughbridge:

That is heavily stocked but I've never fished there so can't tell you any more.
I believe the Leeds pits at Catterick produce a few fish in winter, as does Seamer pond near Stokesly, though would not be described as easy.
Good luck where ever you try.


Burleyfield Lake:

Between Gloucester and Cheltenham. Horrible little lake but stuffed full of stunted carp about 3-7lb. Alledgedly some 20's in there but I wouldn't hold your breath. 5 for one rod, although nothing stops me putting out another once I've paid.

Staunton Court:

Gloucestershire also stuffed full of little fish. Another horrible lake but if you want a bend in the rod give it a go. Can't remember the price but not expensive, and chance of a double if you're lucky. Again, don't beleive the rumours of bigger fish!

Mick 45

Ivy House Lakes:

Robert Keeping with an Ivy House carp
Near Wotton Bassett in sunny Wiltshire. This mature complex has been going since 1986, and within a few months will boast good toilets (disabled also) a new cafe and a new tackle shop. From the M4 junction 16 take the A3102 Wotton Bassett exit for about 2 miles turn left on second roundabout go through town centre and down the hill and take the right hand turning at the bottom of hill into Whitehill Way, stay on this road for about another 2 miles go under a railway bridge, then just past the farm on your left are some white railings, then first left after these you can't miss it!!

All the swims have platforms. The site has a large lake with 50 pegs, a small lake with 22 pegs and 2 canal sections each holding 20 pegs. With bags of fish well over 100lb in the summer! With carp well into double figures, crucian to 4lb, roach to 2lb 8oz, tench to 5lb, bream to 5lb 8oz, perch to 4lb 10oz, plus rudd, gudgeon and even eels!!.
The record match weight is 98lb and was taken by Robert Keeping shown here with one of his fish.

Day tickets are 5 for one rod 6 for two and 3 for juniors.

For more information phone Jo on 01666-510368.
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