Heronbrook Fishery's Specimen PoolHeronbrook Fisheries

near Eccleshall, Staffs

7 Falmouth Avenue
Weeping Cross
Stafford ST17 0JQ

Tel: 01785 613666

Even this bag didn't put him in the prizesNow in it's ninth year, Heronbrook started life with the Specimen Lake which was quickly followed by the Match Pool. The Canal is the latest addition, being opened for angling some four years ago.

A new 60-peg L-shaped pool, which has good access for disabled anglers and which will also be used for coaching anglers, is expected to be developed shortly. This will be 11 metres wide with a one meter wide, one meter deep shelf on the far side. Depth in the middle will be seven feet and there will be purpose-built staging on each peg. Initial stocking will be tench, different varieties of carp, Crucian Carp and bream. Fish will be removed at 2lb to maintain the angling consistent. Anglers are no longer allowed to use trout pellets because of the health dangers they are believed to have for coarse fish.

Anglers can be assured a warm welcome from Neil Dale and his bailiffs providing they follow a few common sense rules: No keepnets, barbless hooks only and bloodworm/joker are banned. In fact Neilís main rules are catch some fish and enjoy yourself. The fishery has matured nicely with island features, shelves and margin reeds in abundance on all pools.

Another fish comes to the netFish stocks are high and catches varying from small roach and perch to large carp. There are purpose made pegs on all three lakes with cars being allowed access to the specimen lake and match pool to aid disabled anglers. There is ample car parking space.

Other good news for anglers is that Neil has qualified as a Professional Anglers Association Coach, being one of the first people in the country to take the new course. Neil is also in the rare position that he owns the fishery so is available full-time to advise and help anglers. Those who are interested in brushing up their angling skills or are interested in learning how to fish should contact Neil for details.

Opening Times

Summer - 7.00am
Winter - 8.30am

Ticket costs

Day Tickets

A limited number of season tickets are available at £55 for adults
and £50 for concessions.

Open Matches

From May - Monday evenings Draw 5.00pm Fish 6.00pm - 9.00pm
November to April - Sundays Draw 9.00am Fish 10.00pm - 3.00pm

Heronbrook Fishery's Specimen PoolSpecimen Lake

The original three-acre venue has three islands with reeds and rushes at the nearside bank. Vehicular access is available to over half of itís 50+ pegs for disabled anglers. Depths vary from 2ft in the margins to some 9ft towards the middle island, fish are caught from all areas of this pool with carp anglers targeting a spot between the main islands for specimens to 30lbs.

A feeder or float to the large island, float or pole on all pegs with red maggot, sweetcorn or luncheon meat will account for all species; roach, rudd, bream, carp, crucian carp, tench and ghost carp abound, perch in excess of 2lbs and large chub also cruise this water.

The smallest island is a recent addition and was in instant success with the fish, this can be fished comfortably with a modest length pole and upper doubles are regularly taken on floating baits from behind this island. Pegs near the car park should not be ignored as there are underwater ledges and hollows which fish patrol.

Surprisingly, this lake often fishes best during a northerly wind although it is not the best winter water on the site despite itís size and extra depth.

The Match PoolMatch Pool

This 30 peg rectangular venue contains one long island with a shelf at half distance in some places. The bottom of the shelf is a well known area and fishing tight to the island will produce good catches.

All pegs can be fished with a pole, although some of the best and most consistent fishing is to be found using a waggler to the island at the widest part, which is a into a bay along the brook side of the water.

This one's putting up a fight!Sweetcorn takes good catches of crucians, tench and ghost carp, all of which have fed well through the winter. Other popular baits include maggot, caster and luncheon meat, although a small amount of groundbait is sometimes needed to get loose feed through the surface feeding rudd which, as suggested, feed freely up in the water with fish up to 8oz regularly caught from these shoals.

There is also a resident shoal of bream around the 4lb mark with a good number of individual fish being taken in excess of 8lb. Quality roach, golden rudd, perch and surprisingly large gudgeon are also present, along with double figure carp. Also, the lake has now been stocked with Ide to 2lb.

The match record stands at 103lbs 6oz, set by Ian Boothby fishing for Shakespeare. Ian was drawn on the last peg on the canal side of the pool and fished a 12 metre pole hard to the island with red worm bait to take a mixed bag of Ghost, Mirror, Common and Crucian Carp plus tench, roach, rudd, perch, gudgeon and bream. The fish were predominantly in the 1lb to 1lb 8oz bracket with the best fish being a bream of around 5lbs.

The Canal, ideal for pole or wagglerThe Canal

A 41 peg canal-profile water between nine and 11 metres wide with bends having extra width. This water is tailor made for the pole angler with depths of 18 to 30 inches on the far shelf and 7ft in the track.

That said, rod and line anglers have no difficulty catching quality fish from either shelf and in the track with pegs on the last bend, in the high twenties, being notable for their extra width. This bend can be fished with a pole but the tried and tested "mag & wag" right into the corner pays excellent dividends, especially if the wind is blowing into it. The last few pegs have some rushes on the far bank which are an obvious area, but good catches are often taken from the end peg by fishing in the middle in a depth of around three-and-a-half-feet.

A fine conditioned carpOnce the water has warmed sufficiently the main area to target is the far shelf for most pegs, with reeds and rushes in abundance, at other times the track at the bottom of the far shelf is favourite. There are stages over the water on all pegs and a long walk isnít necessary as good catches are often taken from the car park pegs, there is no near shelf in this area.

Exotic stocking means golden tench, golden rudd, and ghost carp swim with their more common brethren, roach, perch, chub and occasional skimmers. 2,000 small carp were introduced last year to add to the existing stock of fish up to 7lb plus.

Pleasure catches in excess of 150lbs are regularly taken from all areas. Red maggot over coarse fish pellet is a favoured method with sweetcorn, bread, luncheon meat, casters, coarse fish pellets and paste all having their day. The match record for The Canal stands at 114lb 9oz.

A nice carpHow to get there...

From the North: Exit the M6 at Junction 15 and taken the A519 signposted Newport/Eccleshall. After five miles is the junction with the A51. Go over this crossroads and continue for a further two miles. The fishery is on the right hand side just past the Duke of York pub.

From the South: Exit the M6 at Junction 14 and take the road to Eccleshall (A5013). At Eccleshall turn right onto the A519 to Newcastle. Follow the road for two miles into Slindon, round a 90-degree right hand bend and the entrance is 40 yards on the left.

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