Pridewood Hops Fishery
An attractive and shallow, well-established lake, surrounded by flat grass banks. Common and mirror carp to just under 30lbs as well as crucians and silvers.
Key facts about Pridewood Hops Fishery
Part of a 500 acre farm
The day ticket fishing lake at Pridewood Farm is part of a 500-acre arable, hop and cider apple farm in the heart of beautiful Herefordshire countryside just five miles from the ancient market town of Ledbury and 12 miles from Hereford.
The history of the lake and house is unknown but both are shown on an 1846 map of the area. Whilst the exterior suggests Georgian origins, some of the interior is of half timbered black and white construction which indicates that parts of the farmhouse are of a much earlier date. The original half-moon shaped lake was extended to its current size about 20 years ago and today offers day ticket fishing from well-maintained grass banks.
Visiting anglers can park their vehicles either in the farm yard or at the end of the track which leads to the lake. The flat and even grass banks around the lake also makes Pridewood Hops suitable for disabled anglers, who are allowed to park their vehicles behind their pegs when the weather and ground conditions permit.
Although the lake at Pridewood Hops is popular with locals it can rarely be described as busy – despite the fact that it is known to hold common and mirror carp to just under 30lbs. The lake is also home to a good number of crucian carp, good sized roach which are regularly caught to 2lbs with one angler even reported to have captured one over 3lbs, some bream and tench and even a pike which was weighed at 28lbs when last caught.
Pridewood Hops Lake
Described by locals who fish it as a typical Herefordshire pool because, despite being about three-quarters of an acre in size, it is only three to four feet deep, Pridewood Hops is an out-and-out pleaure venue which does not cater for matches.
An informal relaxed fishery
The fact that there are no bait bans and the only rules being that landing nets must be clean and dry before use, that keepnets are not allowed and that unhooking mats should be used when handling larger fish go to make Pridewood Hops an informal fishery where anglers can relax and enjoy a session either on their own or with family.
Because there are no designated pegs anglers can fish from wherever they want on the bank. All that is asked is that they leave their pegs clean and tidy and that they take their litter home with them.
Numerous interesting features
The lake has well maintained grass banks and two islands, one of which is capped by a large attractive weeping willow tree. There is also dense thicket of shrubs at the entrance end. This, together with the islands, all make great features to fish near – although anglers are warned that if they fish too close to them hooked fish will bolt for the roots making it vital that they are turned towards open water as soon as they strike.
Being fed by an underground stream means that water levels in the lake remain fairly consistent throughout the year. The constant supply of fresh water and the fact that the lake is not over fished ensures that the fish remain in tip-top condition and are a delight to catch whilst the steady flow of water helps reduce freezing in colder winter weather.
Common and mirror carp up to 28lbs
One of the main attractions of the lake at Pridewood Hops are the common and mirror carp, the largest of which was weighed and witnessed at 28lbs when it was caught in 2014. Although there are obviously smaller fish in the lake, the average size of the carp is around the 10lb to 12lb mark with a good smattering of bigger fish.
Anglers targeting the carp can use a wide variety of methods from traditional to modern carping techniques with popular baits being boilies or 10mm to 16mm marine halibut pellets hair-rigged on Size 8 or 10 hooks to at least a 10lb line. These are best fished over a bed of feeder pellets or in a pva bag stuffed with loose offerings. Bread is also a good bait fished either on the surface or on the bottom whilst dog biscuits are another popular floating bait.
Although sweetcorn is a favoured bait for carp on many waters, at Pridewood Hops it tends to attract the roach making it a good bait for those after the silver fish. Also popular baits for general fishing are bread, paste, pieces of luncheon meat and casters, although fishing with maggots can attract nuisance fish.
Fishing technique on Pridewood Hops lake
Whilst pole and waggler both work well, anglers can’t reach the larger of the two islands with the pole. This, however, is not a problem as fish can be attracted into a swim anywhere in the lake. When the lake is quiet many big fish are also taken by anglers fishing close in to the margins.
Fish can be taken from anywhere in the lake whilst popular pegs tend to be those which give access to the two islands, the shrubs which run into the water at the entrance end and fishing towards or by the outlet at the far end of the lake from the entrance.
However, wherever you chose to fish Pridewood Hops tends to be one of those waters where anything goes – so if you are not catching don’t be afraid to experiment with different baits or techniques.
Fishing at Pridewood Hops is from dawn until dusk. Anglers should start fishing – day ticket fees will be collected on the bank. Juniors under 16 must be accompanied.
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