Pool Three - Specimen Pool
At one-and-a-half acres, this is the largest of the Hamstall Fishery pools but has only nine well-spaced pegs to give anglers privacy.
Following a major restocking at the end of 2013, Pool Three now holds mirror carp to over 30lbs as well as commons to over 25lbs and large leather carp. Because of the size of the fish - nearly all the carp are now over 10lbs - poles are not allowed on this water and stout lines and good sized hooks are recommended with sized 6-10 being advisable for the carp. Fishing on this water is by advance booking only.
Even before the restocking the average fish caught generally came in at around 12lbs. For those not after carp there are some excellent quality roach to 2lbs - Tamworth angler Brian Treadwell having taken seven specimens over 2lbs in one sitting the winter before last. In addition there are rudd to 1lb, the odd chub up to 4lbs and some excellent perch to 3lbs.
The depths vary from four to 10 feet, the deeper water being near the entrance (left) with the shallowest at the far end (below) where there is a sunken island about four feet under the surface. The shelf around the edges is about five feet deep before falling to an average of about seven feet.
There are no favoured pegs but anglers are advised wherever possible to fish into the wind. Anglers fishing for the carp have found that luncheon meat and meat paste baits have proved consistently succesful season after season whilst cat food, chick peas and even frozen chips have caught. Good floating baits include bread and even popcorn. As one angler said: "You can put half a loaf of bread on the hook and they'll still have a go for it!".
Small amounts of groundbait are allowed and used with maggots, casters and sweetcorn or with a maggot and worm cocktail are effective for all other species in the water. Bread also works well for the roach as do worms and maggots for the perch.
Described as: "Hamstall's Jewel in the Crown", Pool Two is predominantly a bream and tench water with the tench running to 12lbs and the bream to 7lbs. There are a small number of perch to 2lbs 8oz and again plenty of quality roach and rudd. Summer pleasure catches of 40 to 50 fish between 8oz and 7lbs to 8lbs are fairly common. Even in winter the water fishes well with one angler bagging over 30 bream between 2lb 8oz and 3lb as early as March.
Hamstall member Mick Povey from Walsall set a new fishery record for tench when he caught a specimen which weighed in at just over 12lbs. Fishing on the dam between Pool Two and Pool Four, Mick fished double red maggot on an open-ended feeder.
Despite the size of the fish, double red maggot is a favoured bait whilst caster and worm cocktail and sweetcorn and bread are all extremely effective.
Pool Two is popular with pole anglers and unlike the other Hamstall waters is one where good catches can be taken from the middle as well as the margins, although the majority of the tench tend to be taken close in to the edges particularly early mornings and during the evenings.
Pool Four holds a lot of small common, mirror and ghost carp to 6lbs as well as a wealth of roach to 1lb 8oz; red and golden rudd; skimmer bream and a smaller number of bigger bream to 6lbs.
The depth is usually about six feet round the sides falling to about eight in the centre and 10ft to 12ft at the end furthest from the car park.
The two pegs nearest the car park are suitable for disabled anglers.
It is in the deeper water where most of the fish are caught with favoured baits being pastes, double red maggot. Caster fished on the drop is successful all year round, particularly for the rudd.
During summer, pleasure catches of 120 fish are regularly taken and popular pegs tend to be 7, 8 and 9 and the pegs at the far left hand side of the lake for the bigger bream.
For the tench Pegs 1 and 2, and 15 to 20, the pegs along the causeway between Pool Four and Pool Two are always worth a try.
Although Pool One is by far the smallest of the Hamstall Pleasure Fishery waters with only seven pegs, it holds a complete mix of fish species including what are believed to be several potential British record gudgeon, tench to 7lbs, common and mirror carp to 6lbs, crucian carp to 1lb 4oz and some quality roach and rudd.
Again, double red maggot is a favoured bait as are luncheon meat, sweetcorn and casters.
In summer masses of rudd can be caught on the drop, especially by anglers using caster or bread flake, whilst sinking bread is great for the carp and other species.
Obviously the majority of the tench, carp and gudgeon are taken on bottom fished baits, although the carp also fall to floating baits near the side in summer.
Surrounded by bankside vegetation, this is a delightful small pool suitable for both adult and younger anglers alike and whilst it is only small it is certainly worth investigating as it is as attractive as any of its larger siblings.
The River Blithe
Hamstall Fishery offers a 700 metre stretch of the River Blithe, the majority of the farbank which is sometimes grazed right up to the waterside. The width varies between 10 and 25 feet and the depths from one to six feet, particularly on the outside of the bends where the tree roots have created some spectacular chub haunts.
Regarded as grossly underfished and largely unknown to many of the Hamstall regulars, this stretch of the river holds super chub which have been caught to 6lbs, excellent dace with many shoals holding fish to 8oz, pike to 12lbs, a few roach and perch, eels and brown trout to 1lb, the occasional rainbow to 3lbs and grayling to 2lbs.
Anglers who regularly fish the water with both coarse techniques and fly say the most successfull method is to stalk because the water is usually gin clear and the fish scatter at the slightest noise, footfall or shadow. In summer, however, the banks can become overgrown which provides plenty of cover - although you have to clear your own way to some of the pegs.
Trotting maggot or worm about 18 inches deep or legering the deeper swims and holes are the best coarse techniques. Freelining using a short spinning rod and just one Swan shot to allow a bait of cheese or bread to trundle along the bottom is a good way of taking the bigger chub.
How to get there...
Travelling north on the A38, take the turn onto the A513 for Kings Bromley at Alrewas and then follow the signs for Kings Bromley, passing through the village of Orgreave. At Kings Bromley turn right onto the A515 and after about a mile turn left at the traffic island to Morrey and Hamstall Ridware.
At the next junction turn left for Hamstall Ridware and the fishery entrance is clearly marked on the right hand side just before you go over the river and enter the village.
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