White Springs Lakes
One of the largest, match and specimen fisheries in Wales with accommodation and tackle shop.
Key facts about White Springs Lakes
White Springs Lakes embraces the beauty of South Wales with day-ticket and holiday breaks which offer comfortable accommodation and an abundance of fishing on six lakes ranging from pleasure and match angling through to short and long-stay specimen carp angling.
44lb 8oz mirror carp
In addition, it has the honour of being the venue from which the Welsh Carp record was set in 2004 – although a bigger fish, a 44lb 8oz mirror carp, was taken by an angler from London, whilst fishing Specimen Lake in March 2006. Unfortunately, the catch was not photographed or verified.
However, Peterborough angler Paul Fitzjohn set the Welsh Record for the biggest carp to be caught in the principality when he took a 41lb 6oz beauty from the Specimen Lake at White Springs towards the end of July, 2004. Paul was fishing for bream in the centre of the lake from Peg 10 when the carp took his worm bait and gave him the surprise of a lifetime.
Good accommodation for anglers
For those looking for an angling holiday or break, in addition to the new Scandanavian-style log cabins featured above there are six apartments that offer flexible accommodation ranging from single apartments through to apartments which sleep seven people. All apartments have their own bathroom, living room and kitchen and one of the apartments has been developed to suit disabled visitors.
In addition to the apartments which overlook the White Springs complex there is a timber fishing lodge next to Specimen Lake which is also available for rental, plus plenty of room for camping and visiting touring caravans with electric hook ups, toilet, shower and laundry facilities. In the main complex there is a comfortable bar and a games room, whilst the bed and breakfast accommodation for visitors is supplemented by all-day breakfasts for anglers.
Great selection of restaurants locally
In the nearby village of Pontarddulais is a selection of restaurants and take-aways offering Chinese, Cantonese, Indian and Balti meals and Pizzas. Place your order by ‘phone and your meals are delivered to the fishery. When your meal arrives, the delivery driver comes down to the fishery and the order is announced over a tannoy system for collection!
So, whether you are fishing White Springs alone or with the family, the accommodation and catering are easily sorted – leaving visitors free to concentrate on enjoying the sport and there can’t be many fisheries which offer Baltis and Biryianis by the bankside.
Another feature is that you needn’t worry about losing tackle or running short of bait whilst you are there. The on-site tackle shop is stocked with a wide range of equipment from rods and reels to outdoor clothing, terminal tackle and baits. The well equipped tackle shop White SpringsUnlike many fishery tackle shops, White Springs even stocks fresh maggots as well as worms, pellets, boilies, tinned baits and groundbaits. The Tackle Shop is open from 8.30am until 6.00pm.
Despite being a fairly large fishery, White Springs hasn’t lost that personal touch. Owner Vince Lloyd and his family are always on hand to offer help and advice on matters as wide ranging as the fishing to telling about the local places of interest worth visiting. Their commitment to providing a friendly and helpful service is one of the many reasons why so many anglers and their families return to White Springs year after year and why local anglers from as far away as Cardiff become regulars at the venue.
And with impressive countryside all around and the mountain of Cefn Drum, a site of special scientific interest and home to numerous Red Kites, forming a background to the fishery, the scenery is as exciting as the fishing!
As with all the White Springs waters, Pleasure Lake is fed by the natural spring water from which the fishery gets its name. At about two acres in size, Pleasure Lake has 20 well-spaced pegs and is ideal for pleasure anglers of all capabilities, being stocked with carp, tench, bream, roach, perch, golden orfe, golden tench and blue orfe.
Averaging about five to six feet deep with ledges about three feet deep and two feet wide around the islands, Pleasure Lake is about three feet deep around the margins and is shallower in the corners and by the lily pads which form a favourite haunt for the fish. A popular spot are the pegs by the inlet where depths of between six and seven feet can be found and where the fish tend to hold up.
Because it is an out-and-out pleasure fishing water, all techniques tend to work well with float fishing, ledgering and fishing floating dog-biscuits on the surfaces being the most productive techniques with surface baits particularly effective for the carp in the summer months. Fishing the whip close in to the sides is also very effective.
Ideal for novice and younger anglers who want to graduate to the Specimen Lake, Pleasure Lake offers carp to 20lbs with the biggest known specimens being Commons to 20, Mirror Carp to 18lbs, bream and tench to at least 6lbs, golden tench to 5lbs, golden orfe to 4lbs and roach and perch to an impressive and witnessed 4lbs 8oz.
All methods work well on Pleasure LakeThe biggest roach to come out of Pleasure Lake weighed in at just under 4lbs – not far short of the UK record – and was taken four years ago.
In addition to a good head of rudd, Pleasure Lake is also home to some hard-fighting barbel, introduced a few years ago when they were the size of gudgeon, which are now coming out at 3lbs plus and growing on well. These fish have the reputation for fighting like good tench and promise to provide exciting sport for the future with one angler describing them as “Street fighting speed machines”.
The variety of species and techniques is matched only by the variety of baits which can be used. Corn, pellets or luncheon meat tend to be the most popular baits and these are best fished over a bed of trout or coarse pellets. For the carp, tutti fruitti, strawberry or plain yellow corn work well.
Most anglers not after the surface feeding fish tend to fish on or just off the bottom using pop-ups. Those after the Orfe, which can often be found gliding just under the surface, fish floating maggot or caster to great effect.
Whilst maggots and casters are an effective bait when fished on the bottom, these often attract unwanted smaller fish although anglers who persevere usually find that after a while the bigger fish move in and push the small fry out of the swim. It’s unusual shape and varying depths make every peg on Pleasure Lake a different challenge.
Following the enlargement of Specimen Lake when it was combined with the former Central Lake, this is now by far the largest of the White Springs waters at 10 acres. Despite its size, however, the number of pegs has been kept to a minimum to ensure anglers have plenty of space and never feel overcrowded. In addition to the single pegs there are 13 purpose-built double pegs.
Despite holding a good head of fish and a great deal of natural life – Specimen Lake is a prolific spawning water in early Spring and the fish are not difficult to catch.
Also, although it is a big lake you don’t have to fish far out with the margins quite often being the most productive part of the lake as well as the shelves just off the nine islands which give most pegs a pleasant feature to fish to, especially those after the carp, several of which run to over 30lbs and a few to over 40lbs. The largest recorded fish from White Springs weighed 43lbs 4oz and is believed to be the biggest carp caught in Wales.
Despite its size, Specimen Lake is not particularly deep for a water of its size. Although there is a 17-feet deep trench which runs about two rod lengths out from Peg 4 to the corner and a few pegs where up to 14 feet can be found, much of Specimen Lake is between six and nine feet deep.
The shallowest parts are in the margins, around the islands and where there are lily pads. In these parts about three feet can generally be found and the fishing is usually good in these spots, particularly in the warmer months. Having said that, floating baits fished out in open water usually attract the fish pretty quickly, so this is another easy option.
Apart from float fishing the margins and lily pads and floating baits in open water, the most popular methods for fishing Specimen Lake are the Method and Cage Feeder fished to the islands for the carp. Fishing the margins should no be underestimated as many large fish have come to the net from under anglers’ feet – particularly in late evening when they patrol the margins scooping up anglers leftover bait.
When it comes to bait, almost anything goes. As there are no bait bans at White Springs anglers can experiment to their heart’s content. As a rule, the ever-popular boilies, sweetcorn, luncheon meat, maggots and biscuits all work well but it pays to adjust your bait and size of bait to the type of fish you want to catch.
It is also worth trying some of White Springs’ own Method Mix because the fish have become accustomed to feeding off it over the past few years and this can lead to decent catches of fish.
As with Pleasure Lake, if you are looking for an enjoyable day or evening’s fishing where you stand a decent chance of getting into a big fish, Specimen Lake is a great venue as well as being in the heart of some beautiful countryside. Specimen Lake also has the advantage that night fishing is allowed, making this is a great venue for both day-ticket anglers and those looking to stay for longer periods.
In addition to the Mirrors to over 40lbs and Commons to over 30, the water it is known to hold a decent head of grass carp to 31lbs plus a number of koi carp to an impressive 25lbs which are regularly seen but which prove hard to catch.
New Match Lake
Two former trout pools were developed into one larger water to create the New Match Lake. Opened in April 2003, the water is now open for club bookings, corporate days and the regular Sunday and Wednesday evening Golden Peg matches which are alternated between New Match Lake and Central Lake to prevent overfishing.
New Match Lake can be fished by pleasure anglers when not in use for competitions. Two acres in size with 26 pegs and three central islands, New Match Lake has been designed particularly for 10 and 12-metre poles and is between four and six feet deep throughout, although there are ledges around the three islands which are about two feet deep and two feet wide.
Most anglers who fish New Match Lake use the top three sections of pole or whips for fishing the margins and closer in. This proves popular because they can land and net fish much faster than if they have to fish the island ledges and spend time shipping in their poles, re-baiting and running them out again.
The most popular method for fishing is to loose feed trout or coarse pellets – which can be purchased at the on-site tackle shop – and fish pellets, corn, or small pieces of luncheon meat for the carp and caster and maggots for the roach and skimmer bream.
To provide plenty of sport, the size of fish in New Match Lake have been deliberately kept to 3lbs or under and although there are a few bigger fish, the majority of the carp come in at between 2lbs to 3lbs but run to 6lbs. In addition, there are roach to 1lb, tench to 12oz, perch to 1lb, small chub between four and six ounces and similar sized golden tench, golden orfe and blue orfe.
The Canal Match and Pleasure Lake
Serviced by its own car park at the far end of the White Springs site, the 36-peg Canal Match and Pleasure Lake was stocked with fish from the former Central Lake which has now become part of the enlarged Specimen Lake. Developed with the pole angler in mind, Canal has six central islands 13 metres from the bank and has an even depth of between five and six feet. It holds 17 varieties of fish including carp to 10lbs; Koi carp to 6lbs; the venue’s famed perch which go to over 5lbs; bream, tench and golden tench to 4lbs; skimmers to 1lb 8oz; and golden orfe to 3lbs.
Because of the exceptional size of the perch, White Springs is becoming increasingly popular with anglers who are staying at the venue just to catch these specimen fish. These are most frequently taken in winter by anglers pole or waggler fishing chopped work either close in the margins or in the central open water.
As with The Pit, which was opened for angling in 2004 and is situated next to the Canal, the banks and surrounding grassland are being planted with trees and shrubs to further improve the appearance and appeal of the lake.
Although a reasonably new water, it is already throwing up match bags of between 70lbs and 80lbs for four hour competitions with best results coming from the pole fished either close to the islands opr whip fishing close in the margins. Most popular baits so far are soft-hooker pellets and maggots.
New Canal Match Lake and the Pit
Opened for angling in 2005, the New Canal Match Lake holds nothing over 3lbs in weight and has been stocked with the same variety of fish as can be found in the original Canal Match and Pleasure Lake. With half-a-dozen central islands running along the spine of the lake, New Canal holds 41 pegs and has so far produced winning bags of over 150lbs of fish.
Called ‘The Pit’ because although it is only a fairly small water, it runs to 18 feet deep at the inlet end. Offering a total opf 12 pegs, The Pit was opened at the beginning of 2004 and has three islands surrounded by shallower water and at the far end from the inlet runs to between eight and 10 feet deep.
Predominantly a pleasure lake, The Pit is stocked mainly with carp between 7lbs and 14lbs together with a good head of perch which run to 3lbs 12oz and bream to between 4lbs and 5lbs. Because of its depth, ledgering is proving to be the most popular technique with almost any bait working well on its day.