Carp Venues in the UK & France
Poppy Hill - Letchworth - Herts
The 1st Lake (approximately 4 acres ) was completely drained in the winter of 1997 and reconstructed to reduce the islands and increase the fishing areas. Fish were put into the other lakes on the complex and most were put back, though overall the other lakes got more than they gave back. The spring of 1999 saw an extra 20 thousand 'silver' fish added plus Bream to 9 pounds, 2000 Skimmers, 1000 crucians, 1000 Tench from 6 inches to 1 1/2 pounds together with 500 small carp and 500 Roach from 6ozs to a pound . In November we introduced 1200 Ide into the lake to give some winter sport. The result of all this stocking has been some great fishing but the future is what we are doing it for and we hope to make this lake into a first class mixed fishery for all types of anglers.
The 2nd Lake is probably 8 acres overall and has plenty of islands and hideaway swims that make you blissfully unaware of any other angler on the lake. Famous for the Tench, the lake was a favourite haunt of Dick Walker and his friends during the fifties and sixties. Many words have been written by those on the wonderful fishing to be had. In his book 'IN SEARCH OF BIG FISH' Frank Guttfield writes in his diary of the days spent at 'Black Squirrels' as he called the lake. His first 6 lb Tench came on July 8th 1964 and was witnessed by Mick Day who is still a member. The tench are still caught regularly, best this season is 7lb 10ozs. and in the right conditions, bags of over 100lbs are possible. Latter years have seen Carp captures increase. The Carp have always been in the lake but it is only in recent years that they have been seriously fished for. Biggest so far is a common of 29lb 14ozs with possibly 25 others in the twenties. Pike were plenty, the best at 30 lb 4ozs but a disease hit them in the late eighties and they are only just recovering, the biggest so far 23lb 6ozs. Like the other lakes on the complex, the second lake is a mixed fishery and we are determined not to make any of the lakes into a one species water. If you like peace and tranquillity, to fish as ' Mr Crabtree ' then this lake is for you.
The 3rd Lake is approximately 7 acres and square. A relatively young lake in that it was still a field in 1963, the lake became famous in 1984 by yielding a Mirror Carp of 44 lb 6 ozs which at the time of capture was the second biggest carp caught in the country. Most club records have come from this lake, including a common of 33lb 4ozs, Bream of 10lb 4ozs, Tench 7lb 14ozs although unofficial reports of fish to 10 1/2 pounds caught by dismissive carp anglers are many. Records also include a Perch of 4lbs 1oz and a 5lb 1oz Eel caught in 1999 . All this gives an insight into the potential of this lake to produce something special no matter what the species. For those with just a few hours to spare in the evening, the Rudd fishing can be superb and along with the Roach and skimmers you can have a memorable session. Leave the distance fishing to the Carp men, the fish are right under your rod top.
The canal as we call it was constructed in 1991 using the canal principal, i.e. far side shelf. the canal is between 13 and 16 metres wide and 2 metres deep at normal levels with a far shelf about 1 metre wide. It is 200 metres long with 26 permanent swims on 1 bank only , the 1st swim is concreted for wheelchair use. Fish are mainly small mirrors and common carp to 4 pounds but the occasional double turns up. Other species that have been introduced over the years include Crucians (best caught 1998 was one of 2 lb 13 ozs) Roach and Rudd to 1 1/2 pounds, small tench and Ide. Only 4 inches when they were put in, some of the Ide are now over a pound in weight and fight like fury so we're looking forward to when they reach 5 lb as they will do in time. 500 carp were added in the Autumn of 1999 and a further 1000 added in November together with 1200 Ide. Spring 2000 will see an extra 9000 crucians of various sizes added to give even more sport for the average angler, We aim to please so we are open to helpful suggestions to make your fishing even better.
As the name would suggest, Jubilee Lake was constructed in 2002/3 to celebrate the Queens Golden Jubilee. The area that the lake sits used to be occupied by disused and over grown stock ponds. With only around 10 pegs, last year (2004) saw the first seasons fishing with spectacular results.
Stocked mainly with Tench around the 10" mark, there is also a handful over 2lb and a few Golden Tench.
Jubilee also holds the club record (2004) Pure Crucian Carp (no cross breads here) record at 3lb 4oz although the main stamp of Crucians run at about 6". Rudd, Perch and Skimmers, chunky and about the size of your hand make up the rest of the stock.
The Pole seems to be the preferred method although waggler has also produced some good results with Pellet or Sweetcorn for bait. This is the lake if you want some none stop Tench and Crucian action, there are no real monsters but 50-60lb bags are not uncommon.
On the A507 Stotfold to Bedford road, turn onto the A6001 to Langford at the roundabout in Henlow, go over the next small roundabout and approx 200 yds further along, turn right into Park Lane. Bear right keeping the playing field on your left, enter the park and continue to the Grange Health Farm, at the junction turn left, after approx 100 yds, turn right, cross the River Ivel and just after the bridge bear left, carry on for about 150 yds to the car park. The gate is opened by a Padlock ( Please close the gate and lock after use). This is the only entrance to Poppy Hill