One of the most successful match and pleasure venues in the Midlands, Molands Mere is the largest of the Packington Somers waters with 61 pegs.
Developed from a former 10-acre gravel pit in 2000, it has an average depth of seven feet with a large irregular shaped island running along the centre which provides nearly every peg with a feature to fish to. The luxuriant bankside vegetation also means that most anglers can't see the person in the next peg.
Although the water is suitable for most methods of fishing, most anglers opt for the pole although feeder and waggler fishing are both also popular. All swims offer at least 25 metres of water to the island.
The current record match weight stands at 164lbs and was taken on open-ended feeder and pellet by Roger Atkins during one of the Winter League series of matches in December 2008. Fishing Peg 46, Roger had a bag of 35 carp to win the match and set a new lake record.
The predominant species are in Molands are carp and tench with the carp running to 15lbs and the tench to 8lbs. Molands also holds good head of bream to about 8lbs, a lot of crucian carp some of which run to over 3lbs, as well as good stocks of roach and perch.
Before the start of the 2009 season, fish stocks were supplemented with the addition of a further 2000 F1 carp averaging about 8oz in weight.
Access is good all around the lake with a circular roadway and pathways to all pegs making the water popular with disabled anglers. Also, with at least 15 yards between each peg this is a 'comfortable' venue to fish.
Willow was created by building a dam wall between the restructured Molands Mere and the old Third Bay. To improve features, an island was created in the centre and the water.
Offering 13 pegs and reserved for pleasure anglers with only the occasional match being held on it, Willow Pool is well stocked with some decent sized hard fighting carp averaging 2lbs to 3lbs but running to double figures, tench averaging 2lbs but going to 5lbs, crucians to 1lb, skimmers to 2lbs and roach to 1lb.
A very consistent 'bites' water, Willow is served by its own car park and popular with anglers who don't want to fish the bigger Modlands Mere. It is therefore favoured by those who are looking for a smaller, more intimate water, being an attractive pool with plenty of bankside vegetation and beds of water weed to fish to as well as more open water swims.
Regarded as a reliable water which consitently throws up good catches, Willow is a good long pole and waggler venue favoured to smaller baits such as caster, sweetcorn, luncheon meat and pellet fished under a float all being good ways to catch. Larger expander pellets often account for the bigger fish.
Alder, Crescent, Reedy Bay
and First Bay
These four smaller ponds have been developed down the entrance side of Molands Mere and offer good sport with decent sized tench and carp to about 5lbs, crucian carp to 1lb 8oz, rudd and roach to 1lb and perch to 2lbs.
With plenty of trees, shrubs, reeds and lilies, these intimate pools hold a maximum of six anglers - although up to 11 anglers can be accommodated on the slightly larger Crescent Pool.
Whichever one you choose, they are all ideal for pleasure anglers wanting a spot of solitude whilst at the same time offering excelllent sport. Whichever one you choose they are all worth a visit.
No more than five feet deep in the centre, they are ideal for younger anglers because they offer lots of bites on small baits such as maggot and casters. The pools are also good for fishing sweetcorn, luncheon meat and small 4mm expander pellets on the hook. Float fishing the pole or waggler close into the steeply shelving sides is a particularly effective method for catching fish.
With Molands Mere, Geary's Level is probably the most popular water on the Packington Somers fishery being one of the venue's main match and pleasure venues.
Eight acres in size but with only 42 pegs, every angler has the opportunity to fish a variety of methods for a variety of species from large, open water swims to more intimate tree-lined bays.
Once again, carp are the predominant species but, despite the size of the water, the majority average only about 4lbs, although specimens to double figures are taken regularly. The largest carp known to have been saught was a 21lb common.
Indeed, the smaller carp to 4lbs make up the bulk of match weights with the current lake record standing at 149lbs.
Increasing numbers of bream are also starting to show with fish to 4lbs now regularly being taken. These are in addition to good shoals of skimmer bream with a lot of individual fish weighing in between 1lb and 2lbs.
Despite its size Geary's is a fairly shallow water being only four feet deep out from most pegs, although about five feet can be found off the high bank pegs numbers 1 to 15.
About 70 yards out from some of the high bank pegs there are also markers which show where a gravel bar runs about two feet under the surface. This is a popular area for catching the carp.
Popular pegs tend to be those in the middle of the high bank from Peg 7 through to 13; Pegs 16 to 19 and Pegs 30 to 36.
Nearly all techniques work well on this water although fishing the Method Feeder, straight lead with a pellet bait or fishing the pole are the three most popular. 8mm hard coarse pellets, luncheon meat, dead maggots and bread are all popular and succesful baits.
However, many anglers become preoccupied with catching carp on this water and ignore the large heads of roach, rudd, bream and tench that can be caught, often very close in, with maggots, caster and pellets fished on the float.
The lake is open for club matches, although there is a minimum booking of 20 pegs at weekends. Clubs which book over 30 pegs get the whole lake to themselves. In addition, regular Open Matches are held mid-week and at weekends which always prove popular.
At just over an acre in size and offering good sport for match and pleasure anglers alike, Little Gearys has 30 solid platform pegs along a circular pathway to give ease of access and holds a good head of match-sized carp plus larger specimens to 8lbs including some nice F1 hybrids to this size.
As Fishery Manager John Burchell says: "If there was a national rod caught record for F1s, I think Little Geary's would have it!"
In addition, there good numbers of tench to 4lbs, roach, bream, rudd and crucian carp.
For the most part the pool is between six and eight feet deep and is consistantly a productive winter venue. Pole and waggler are the best methods, particularly when fished in conjunction with pellet, sweetcorn, maggot or caster.
Because it is the furthest water from the entrance, anglers are allowed to drive up to the car park alongside the pool.
Match bookings are taken for clubs of up to 25 anglers and the match record currently stands at 135lbs, taken by Fish O'Mania winner Mick Bull from Peg 28 in 2007.
Gratuities - known as 'Grats' by its regulars, is a 16 peg pleasure and match water with a central island running down the spine of the lake and regularly yields good match returns with the current match record standing at 89lbs.
Between four and six feet deep with gently sloping sides which run down to a channel between the bank and the island, the water holds a good head of carp to 5lbs with a large number of small fish ranging between 12oz and 1lb 8oz; roach to 1lb; tench to 6lbs and a good number of crucians to 1lb 8oz. There are also a large head of skimmers.
Grats fishes best either close to the bank or up against the central island using either pole, waggler or small open ended feeder.
Popular baits include pellets, sweetcorn, luncheon meat and maggots although anglers are advised to go easy on the groundbait.
Grats can be found at the bottom end of Molands Mere and can be reached by taking the track to the left as you enter the Packington Somers complex.
Anniversaries is a good mixed fish water with some 30 pegs and bream to 3lbs, plenty of skimmers to 2lbs, tench to 4lbs, roach and rudd to 1lb 8oz, crucians to 2lbs and plenty of common and mirror carp - a small umber of which run to 20lbs.
With irregular shaped islands which are dotted around the water, Annies is as one of the most feature-packed of the Packington waters offering swims which vary from open water to channels between the banks and the island to sheltered tree-clad bays where anglers can hide away in seclusion from the remainder of the water.
Indeed, nearly every peg offers a feature to fish to and being only five feet deep at the most it is an easy water to fish whether float fishing on the pole or waggler, or fishing more open water on ledger tackle.
Most anglers prefer the pole or waggler fished either tight to one of the islands where about one-and-a-half feet of water can be found on the shelves, or when it is quieter close into the marginal reeds and bankside vegetation where patrolling fish can be picked up.
At two-and-a-half acres in size, Annies regularly throws up good catches with popular baits being coarse fish pellets, sweetcorn and luncheon meat for the carp and sweetcorn, maggots and casters for the silver fish.
Those going after the carp are increasingly using modern carping techniques with pellets, boilies, sweetcorn and meats being the most popular baits for fishing on the bottom and floating bread and dog biscuits the favoured option for floater fishing on the surface in warmer weather when it often pays to go with a minimum of tackle and stalk fish which can be seen cruising in all parts of the water.
Annies is reserved exclusively for pleasure anglers.
The River Blythe
Packington Somers controls one-mile of bank along the River Blythe and offers 20 good pegs on one of the few day-ticket stretches of this delightful river.
With dace to 12oz, chub averaging between 2lbs and 3lbs but running to 6lbs, perch over 1lb and the occasional summer carp which have been caught to 10lbs, this stretch of river also holds tench, bream, rudd and more recently a small number of barbel which have now been caught to 4lbs.
Most anglers fish with a light Arlesey Bomb (quarter to half ounce) or trot the water with a stick float. Whichever you choose, look for the holes and deeper stretches which can be up to eight feet at the downstream end of the river.
Popular baits include worms, maggots, casters and bread.
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Latest match reports and news from Packington Somers Fishery, together with information on the trout fishing, the Marsh Lane Nature Reserve, details of property for rent and for sale on the estate, plus information on the neo-classical St Jame's Church, can be found at www.packingtonestate.net.
How to get there
Packington Somers Fishery is a short drive from the M6 and M42 motorways. From the M6 travel south along the dual carriageway following the signs for Warwick. At the Stonebridge island with the Malt Shovel pub on the right continue south under the A45 flyover and turn left at the next island, signed Meriden. You will see the entrance to the fishery and golf club a couple of hundred yards along this road on the left. Drive past the caravan park and the golf club and you will see the fishery car park and lodge at the end of the track.
From M42, leave the motorway at the junction with the A45 and turn right towards Coventry. After about a mile take the slip road to the left at the Malt Shovel pub and at the island head right towards Warwick. Turn left at the next island, signed Meriden. You will see the entrance to the fishery and golf club a couple of hundred yards along this road on the left. Drive past the caravan park and the golf club and you will see the fishery car park and lodge at the end of the track.
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