Old Bury Hill Lake
At 12 acres in size with 75 fully-decked pegs, the delightful Old Bury Hill Lake is the largest of the four waters and offers everything from general mixed angling and match fishing to specimen fishing for carp to over 30lbs and good heads of big bream, tench, pike and zander. The lake is one of the country's best known pike and zander waters holding pike to 30lbs and zander to 16lbs.
Hand dug 200 years ago as a private estate lake, Old Bury Hill is deepest at six to 12 feet near the Boathouse whilst for the most part is only four to six feet. Along the Front Bank the bottom shallows gradually from six feet near the Boathouse to only two to three feet in The Jungle, an area renowned for its specimen tench but only fishable by boat because it is surrounded by a protected nature reserve on one side and a private bank on the other.
Along the Long Bank the water again shallows from about six feet near the Boathouse to three feet at the far end.
Individual bags to over 250lbs are not uncommon during spring and summer and with carp and pike to over 30lbs, zander to 16lbs, bream to 10lbs, tench to 9lbs, crucian carp to just under 5lbs as well as roach, rudd and perch to 3lbs anglers stand a good chance of claiming new personal bests.
A recommended technique for general silver fish fishing is to fish a waggler four to six inches over depth with only a No 10 shot on the line about a foot from a size 18 hook. Shot the float right down in the water and spray the swim with about a dozen maggots every couple of minutes.
Every two to three minutes flick the rod tip to lift the bait off the bottom. Expect to get bites on the drop and once the bait reaches the bottom.
Fishing The Jungle from a punt is renowned for its huge bags of tench during spring and summer with John Houseman and Chris Tulley once sharing a 500lb haul which included tench and bream to over 8lb. When fishing from a punt it pays to select two swims and fish not closer than six feet from the bushes, baiting each swim with two handfuls of pellets and a few pieces of flavoured sweetcorn. Using either a small waggler or peacock float fixed bottom only, set the float about six inches over depth with a No 8 shot lying just on the bottom and a size 14 hook. Feed the swim little and often.
Because the tench in Old Bury Lake run to over 9lbs, and because there is a good chance you may pick up carp in the process, the use of a 6lb minimum line strength is recommended when fishing this part of the lake. Hook a piece of sweetcorn through one corner and after the bait has settled wait for a bite, which will probably show as a lifting of the float.
A renowned specimen carp fishery, following extensive stocking over the years, Old Bury Hill Lake now holds some 450 double figure carp and more than 50 twenties, whilst several fish are known to top the 30lb mark.
All 75 swims have large, wooden platforms, ensuring comfort and enough room for seatboxes, bait-waiters or rod pods and shelters, with plenty of room between pegs. Multiple catches of double-figure and 20lb carp with the chance of a 30-pounder is what capable carp anglers can expect from Old Bury Hill. A tremendous stock of mirrors, commons, leathers and linears and even a brightly coloured koi provide plenty of variety. Mornings and evenings are productive times, and even short trips can bring multiple hauls on boilies.
Using strong size 6 or 8 hooks, bait with hair-rigged boilies or fairly large pieces of flavoured luncheon meat. Alternatively, use about eight grains of flavoured sweetcorn strung directly onto the hook or attached with a hair rig.
Alternate between the swims feeding both little and often. Because at times you will be fishing in only 18 inches to two feet of water, keep a lookout for tails which tell when the carp are moving in and feeding on the bottom.
Because the carp tend to be fairly large and powerful, a minimum recommended line strength of 15lbs is advised.
Predator fishing starts on October 1 and runs through to March 31st, during which time the fishery runs a full series of bank and boat matches including ACA qualifiers (please contact the Estates Office for latest details and dates).
Particularly favoured spots are pegs around the island for zander and in the jungle for the larger pike. Local advice is that the last two hours before dark are without question the best times for pike and zander. The fishery sells its own ready made-up float rigs which are specially designed for the water. Fish a small bait close to the margins or alternatively in the open water channels. A minimum line stength of 12lbs is recommended.
Bury Hill also caters for match anglers with a five-hour match catch of 168 lb being recorded in 2017 from the Long Bank.
One of the features of Old Bury Lake is the prolific drag which requires anglers to fish over depth and to strike at the slightest twitch of the float or rod tip. The water does not respond well to groundbait and although a little can help at the outset, after that it is best to add small amounts of loose feed every cast.
Situated just a few hundred yards from Old Bury Hill Lake, Bonds Lake and Milton Lake were completed in 1990 since when extensive landscaping has been carried out. Both waters have established a solid reputation for themelves and are equally as popular with anglers as the main Old Bury Hill lake.
Bonds Lake is the smaller of the two waters at two acres in size with 20 swims. This 'runs' water provides hectic action and is a great place for carp crunching with large numbers of fish.
Described as being a youngster's dream, it holds plenty of carp to 8lbs as well as a good head of tench and roach, making it an ideal year-round fishery for both pleasure and club anglers.
A venue for beefy pole elastic or powerful float and feeder rods, Bonds regularly out-fishes all the other lakes due to the head of greedy carp.
Method feeders or a straight leger cast to the island or down the margins with mini pop-ups on hairs is a successful way to catch the lake's carp, though pole anglers also catch their share on banded pellets over fishmeal groundbait.
Pleasure catches of 10 or 20 carp are commonplace in the warmer months and the top match weight of over 300lbs makes it a good venue for club bookings.
Bonds is a comfortable water to fish, being only four to five feet deep throughout although where there are lilies the bottom is even shallower at between two and two-and-a-half feet.
A pretty lake which is surrounded by irises with a large island in the centre, Bonds requires careful feeding and good baits are often all that is needed to bag up. Finesse is less important with so many fish competing for food, making the action hectic at times.
Bury Hill's Milton Lake was been described by angling personality John Wilson as: "One of the top tench and crucian carp waters in the country." When the lake is on form, 50 to 100 crucians can be caught at a sitting.
At three acres and with 30 pegs, Milton is larger than Bonds Lake and is noted for its huge stocks of crucian carp which run to just under 4lbs and tench to 7lbs as well as decent stocks of roach to 3lbs, rudd, golden rudd, skimmers, bream and smaller carp. This mix provides good year-round fishing with exceptional spring, summer and autumn angling when 250lb pleasure bags and 100lb match weights are regularly reported.
With a depth of between two and five feet, although slightly deeper in the centre, it is a straightforward water to float fish on either pole or waggler. Fishing close in can pay dividends as there is a shelf which runs to about two metres out and fish can often be found patrolling this.
Once the water warms up, flavoured sweetcorn or small meat cubes fished under a waggler set slightly over depth are good baits. Trout pellet paste also makes for a good hookbait in warmer weather.
The policy in developing Milton has always been to limit both numbers and sizes of carp present which allows anglers who enjoy sport from crucians, tench and other smaller species to find a quiet corner.
All methods work at Milton from pole with its superior presentation at close quarters, against the reeds or lily pads, to waggler fishing. A feeder or ledger bomb are good for exploring further out or when conditions make float fishing tricky.
Soft hooker pellets, red or white maggots, casters, corn, worms, bread and meat are all reliable baits, and small balls of groundbait introduced on a regular basis seem to concentrate the fish.
Situated directly behind Old Bury Hill Lake alongside mature parkland, Bury Hill's four acre Temple Lake is designed specifically for large specimen carp fishing and holds more than a dozen 30-pounders, at least two fish that are over 40lbs, an more than 90 20lb-plus pedigree English carp. The lake has four islands running down its centre which divide the two fishing banks. Hundreds of underwater features have been created on both the banks and islands creating fish holding points.
Described as Old Bury Hill’s land of the giants, depths vary between six to 10 feet along the main channel with all swims having access to a choice of water depths to suit all weather conditions.
To ensure each angler has plenty of space between swims, the new lake has just 15 large four-metre by four-metre purpose-built pegs designed to take the biggest bivvies and latest equipment. These have been set a minimum of 30 meters apart to provide fewer than four swims per acre.
Constructed from wood, the swims jut out into the lake to ensure a good depth of water right to the edge to allow the safe landing of big fish. The swims are free draining and have been lined with bark for comfort. The lake has breathtaking views and has been extensively planted with thousands of irises, reeds and lilies whilst the surrounding banks have been planted with hundreds of semi-mature trees.
Temple's carp have been documented from stocking, ensuring that both members and fishery staff know exactly what the venue contains. Each carp has been tagged with a permanent microchip that allows it to be recognised through a unique 16-digit code, as used on valuable dogs, cats and other animals. The tags are invisible and harmless but allow staff and anglers to identify each carp with a hand-held scanner and to monitor its growth rate and capture patterns precisely. They also ensure that each carp is positively identifiable, for unrivalled fishery security.
Additional works have included a new access path from the boathouse to and around the new lake, a new toilet and kitchenette situated close to the new lake and a shower unit, which is located in the existing boathouse. The new lake is not accessible to visiting day ticket anglers and instead operates on a membership basis, with anglers paying an annual membership fee and a day and night ticket to fish. Advance booking is required for Temple Lake.
Membership is limited to anglers aged 18 and over although juniors are able to fish with an adult under a shared membership ticket, provided that both fish from the same swim. All anglers applying to join are carefully vetted to ensure they have the suitable equipment and the necessary experience to handle big fish.
The £350,000 project has resulted in the creation of a prestigious, purpose-built lake stocked with extremely large carp. Anglers interested in becoming a member of what must surely be one of the country's big fish waters should contact the fishery.