Middle Pool(67 Pegs)
The main pleasure water at Baden Hall, Middle Pool is currently the largest lake at the venue at some 10 acres - a lot of water for 67 pegs - and is reserved exclusively for pleasure anglers.
Early in 2001 the fish stocks were supplemented by transferring the larger mirror and common carp from Dam Pool when Dam became the main match water at Baden Hall. Because it is a pleasure only water, keepnets are not allowed.
There are a number of promontories and bays along this water, some of which are very deep, whilst the deeper water, up to 14 feet and therefore excellent in winter, is along the rugby pitch side in the low numbers.
An aerial photograph in Reception clearly shows this area. Pegs 11 and 12 are noted for good catches of bream, the best of which was 10lbs 8oz.
The original stream bed runs from the high 40s to the centre of the lake, turns right and borders the deep water down to the bottom end of the pool.
There is a definite ledge here which is worth noting for two reasons: firstly as a patrol area for the fish and secondly as a potential hazard - when fighting, the fish neary always head for the deeper water. The bay at the top end of the pool, by the drive, has a depth of some five feet and slopes gently to eight or nine feet in the middle. This is a popular spot.
Because the bay pegs are near to the car park and are spacious, easy to get to and look over open water, they generally tend to be popular. For many anglers, the fact they are highly productive is a bonus!
Middle Pool holds the largest number of carp of all the Baden Hall waters with specimens now averaging between 10lbs and 201lbs. There is also a good head of silver fish including barbel to over 12lbs.
Middle Pool is also a good runs water anytime of the year which makes it very popular in the winter months.
Because of the keepnet ban, pleasure catches can only be estimated, but the best have certainly been in excess of 250lbs.
When fishing for the carp, these are caught on most modern and traditional methods with floating, ledgered and waggler baits all being successful in summer whilst the bream and tench fish best on feeder, tip or waggler.
Favoured baits for the carp are meat, corn, boilies, particles and pellets plus all surface baits whilst the silvers and bream, roach and tench tend to fall to corn, red maggot, pellet, paste and bread.
Duck Pond (20 Pegs)
Deepened and widened in 2001 with improved access and landscaping, this two-and-a-half to three acre pool was dug in 1987 and stocked with five carp around the 20lbs mark. Although those original fish were never removed they have not been seen in recent years. However their offspring have thrived in what has been until the last few years a stock pond.
The Duck Pond is primarily a carp pool with tench from 1lb to 4lbs and carp from 8oz to over 20lbs. There are also quite a lot of crucian carp which average between 8oz and 1lb 8oz.
The Duck Pond is a fully tree-lined oval pool with an island to one side. Although much of the water is about four feet deep there is a a channel of around 8ft at the narrowest point between the bank and island and a shallow area at the far end of the pool. Situated in a dip within a copse, this is a very warm, sheltered pool where water temperatures can be markedly higher than on the main fishery.
Duck Pond can be reached down a road which runs between Dam Pool and Middle Pool but because it is off the beaten track it is one of those waters where lone anglers can fish undisturbed.
Best baits tend to be sweetcorn, meat and bread. Although boilies and nuts are not allowed floating baits tend to do well in summer whilst in colder weather maggots and casters are best. Anglers are requested to take an unhooking mat.
The Dam Match Pools (50 pegs)
Another change at the fishery is that the original Dam Pool, formerly a trout fishery which was converted into a mixed coarse fish lake in 2000, has been drained down and divided into two. All the original fish have been moved into the dam end and this part is now The Dam Pool.
As part of the work, the margins have been deepened to three feet shelving to a maximum of 14 feet to try and bring the fish closer to the banks. The pool has 28 pegs and has been stocked with fish from the Dam Match Pool. Carp range from 10lbs to over 16lbs, the bream go to 4lbs and chub, tench and roach range from 8ozs to 4lbs. Best baits on this water are all kinds of boilies, pellets, particles and floating baits
The other end of the original Dam Pool is now called The New Dam Pool and has been substantially deepened and shelved. Like the Old Dam Pool it goes down to about 14 feet. This pool holds 22 pegs and is a good match water for the smaller club. It has been restocked from scratch with stocky carp, bream, roach and other silver fish which range from 8ozs to 4lbs.
Best baits on this water are proving to be corn, meat, pellet, paste and bread.
Old Match Pool (48 pegs)
Work was completed on deepening, revamping and restocking Old Match Pool in 2001. The first water to be reached on entering the fishery, this four-and-a-half acre 45-peg lake has a boomerang-shaped island in the middle and a bay at the far end.
The Old Match Pool was adjacent to The Lodge but the two have been opened as one water to create an excellent pleasure and match venue. It is stocked with carp to 16lbs, tench and barbel to 3lbs, orfe to 8oz and small bream and skimmers.
Old Match Pool is best fished on pole or waggler out to the channel or on feeder rod when casting towards the islands. However, in summer it is always worth going for the chub by fishing up in the water as these can provide exciting sport. Favoured baits are small pieces of luncheon meat, corn, pellets, paste or bread.
Depths on The Old Match range from three to nine feet with three feet being found around the margins before the water deepens to about five feet some eight metres out and down to nine feet in the channel which runs between eight and 12 metres out.
Best baits tend to be meat, corn and floating bread and dog biscuits in summer and maggots, caster, worm and bread in winter. Again, pellets are a good year-round bait.
The Doughnut(26 pegs)
Circular in shape with a central island, the Doughnut holds 26 pegs and was purposely created as a match water with the pole angler in mind, being in effect a circular canal. Because it is a match water, kepnets are allowed - although two should be used.
Built to the same specifications as Drakes and Dykes Canals, Doughnut is nine feet deep in the track, has a three feet deep, six feet wide ledge which shelves down from the far bank and a steeply falling bank from each peg. At six feet out depths are between seven and nine feet.
To ensure consistent catches throughout the year, the Doughnut has been stocked with a variety of fish including carp to over 10lbs and chub, tench and barbel to 4lbs. There are also plenty of skimmers and small golden orfe and roach to bulk out weights.
As you would expect of a water of this kind, pole and waggler are the best methods to use when fishing Doughnut with meat, corn, pellets, paste and maggots once again being the best baits to use.
The Canal (29 pegs)
Opened in 2000 The Canal was constructed next to the Wetlands which have now been returned to a conversation area.
Similar to the Doughnut, they provide canal-style fishing for pleasure anglers and club matches with many clubs booking both waters at the same time to give four end pegs.
Approximately 14 metres wide and nine feet deep in the track, they have a three foot deep, six foot wide ledge which shelves from the far bank whilst the near bank drops steeply to about nine feet deep just two metres out.
The canal waters have a good head of fish, predominantly carp between 2lbs and 12lbs, tench to 3lbs, bream, skimmers, orfe and roach, perch and chub. Best baits tend to be luncheon meat, sweetcorn, pellets, paste and maggots.
This is an ideal match water on which up to two keepnets are allowed to be used.
Mallards is a 25-peg oval shaped canal pool which Baden Hall has revamped.
With a shelf off the far bank three metres wide and between two and three feet deep, the bottom then shelves to about six feet. The width is approximately 14 metres but this does vary slightly in places. It has a flow in and a flow out so has a constant supply of fresh water.
Mallards fishes well with average match weights of between 70lbs and 80lbs. Predominately stocked with carp weighing between 2lbs and 8lbs on average, it also holds a decent head of skimmers, roach and other silver fish.
The peg spacings are quite wide at about six metres so each peg has a lot of scope. Usual baits such as corn, meat, pellet and maggots all work well and keepnets can be used for pleasure fishing unless otherwise stated due to weather conditions.
Quarry Specimen Carp Lake
A former gravel pit where extraction stopped in 2000, each peg on the new Quarry Specimen Carp Lake has its own individual fishing hut, complete with staging onto the bank, which is large enough for anglers' beds. An unhooking mat, landing net and weigh sling are supplied with each cabin.
Costing £35.00 for two rods per person for 24 hours, the new water is deepest close to the railway bridge where up to eight feet of water can be found just three rod lengths out before dropping to a maximum of 12 feet along the spine of the lake. Whilst the banks are shallow between Pegs 7 to 11, they shelve steeper along the railway bank feom Pegs 1 to 7.
Although much of the bottom is gravel and sand with some silt, there is a large open bed of gravel out from Pegs 16 to 18. In summer there is also a weed bed out from Pegs 14 and 15 which tends to hold a lot of fish. As yet there are no known 'hot spots'.
Because the water can become quite weedy in summer with silkweed, most anglers tend to use solid pva bags or pva foam around the bait. Another alternative is to use chod rigs and to lead about to find clearer spots, of which there are plenty.
In calm weather when the surface is like glass, floating baits do well, particularly with anglers targeting fish in their swims or luring them to the surface with free offerings of dog biscuits or bread crust.
At other times the faithful old maggot also does the trick, with a maggot clip loaded with 15 to 20 wriggling baits on a medium sized clip on a D-ring taking plenty of fish in the right conditions.
The current lake record stands at 49lb 5oz for common carp and 48lb 4oz for mirrors. There are between 50 and 60 fish over 30lbs including known 40lb fish with the average size now around the 30lb mark.
Because of the size of the fish in the Quarry Specimen Carp Lake, anglers must use at least 15lb line and a minimum Size 10 hook, although most anglers use anything between a Size 4 and a Size 10.
A multitude of different baits work on the Quarry, but Baden Hall stipulates that only freezer baits must be used and not shelf life boilies. It also pays to talk to the staff in Reception to find out which baits are working well.
Access to the new water is between 12.00pm and 2.00pm and anglers must be ready to depart by 12.00 noon the following day as this is a 'lock-in' water.
The Quarry Lake is one of three of Baden Hall's specimen lakes and has 18 single pegs. The fishery supplies cradle weight slings and landing nets which are kept in containers situated on the pegs on all three of the specimen lakes. There is also an age restriction policy of 18 years to fish all three of the specimen lakes plus a strict ruling of no dogs, visitors or companions being allowed.
Bookings must be made leaving a non-refundable deposit to be paid in advance to secure swims. Bait can also be purchased from Baden Hall's fully stocked tackle and bait shop located in Reception.
Full rules for the Quarry Lake will be posted in Reception and copies will be put on Baden Hall's website at www.badenhallfishery.com. Further information can be obtained by telephoning the fishery on 01785 850313.
Bridge Specimen Lake
Bridge Lake is Baden Hall's second big specimen carp water. Some 13 acres in size it ranges from eight to 14 feet deep and has 10 pegs, all on the same bank, about 30 yards apart with a double peg in the middle for anglers who want to fish together.
Bridge has been developed as a bivvy water to cater for the anglers who don't like to fish from huts.
Anglers are reminded that supplements and rulings are the same as for Quarry Lake.
Stocking took place in 2005/2006 and the venue is expecting the carp to be 20lb plus, although the pike are an unknown size.
Up to the end of June 2016 it was known that the lake contained numberous fish over 30lbs together with a large head of 20lb fish to go for.
Glovers Specimen Lake
Glovers is the newest of Baden Hall's specimen lakes and again has the same supplements and rulings as The Quarry whilst offering an exciting range of fish that have hardly been fished for.
At around 10 acres in size but with only eight pegs it is the smallest of the venue's three specimen lakes. The swims are set up like Bridge Lake with the pegs situated along one bank so that anglers can cast to the far bank or fish the nearside margins without disturbing fellow anglers.
The biggest fish to come out of Glovers in 2015 was a lovely common weighing in at 35lbs 4oz which was caught by Nick Harper (above left) whilst the fish to the right is a 30lb 6oz common taken by Robbie Ackers.
Like Quarry and Bridge lakes, Glovers is an former sand and gravel quarry with crystal clear water, an abundance of natural food and a great mix of wildlife.
Glovers is Baden Hall's newest water which opened in May 2015 and has already produced numerous mid to upper twenties carp and several different thirties - as well as specimen fish of other species including a 16lb bream which was taken by Steve Wright. Steve is pictured below with a 10lb 13oz bream he took from Glovers.
The lake itself has been in existence longer than the other two specimen waters as it was the first area quarried at Baden Hall and until May 2015 had been unfished apart from some trial fishing.
There are still a lot of uncaught fish in Glovers and for this reason it has been popular since opening. Again, like Bridge Lake the fishing is from one bank and the average distance is around 80-90 yards, but bait boats can also be used on this water. A lot of fish are caught from the far margins just off the front of the reeds where chod rigs and stiff hinge rigs have have been responsible for a lot of fish. Cell and Monster Tiger nut frozen boilies have caught a lot of fish with white and yellow pop-ups fished over the top. Like everywhere the fish like surface baits which fall to zig rigs. If you go around to the far bank in front of your swim and see the fish up in the water its worth trying these tactics.
Pintail is Baden Hall's newest pleasure and match water which was opened for fishing over the winter in 2013. The Pool holds 15 pegs and has a good stocking of quality roach, bream, perch and gudgeon. Pintail is a doughnut shape pool with depths of around seven feet. To the island anglers are looking at around 10 to 12 metres if fishing the Pole.
This pool is a silver fish water which has been developed for winter fishing, so although still good in the summer it is the best suited for winter match style fishing.
How to get there...
Baden Hall Fishery is situated on the Eccleshall to Swynnerton Road, just South of Cold Meece. From the M6 junction 14 take the A5013 to Eccleshall, turn right at the mini roundabout and go straight across the next mini roundabout. On leaving Eccleshall take the right hand fork towards Swynnerton, the Fishery can be found on the right hand side after approximately 2 miles.
Alternatively from the M6 junction 15 take the A519 towards Eccleshall, follow the signs to Swynnerton (left fork), drive through Swynnerton, through Cold Meece, across the railway line, up the hill and Baden Hall is on the left. Please enter through the Fishery Entrance, not the Private Drive.
Visit Baden Hall on the 'net|
Baden Hall has a great website where postings keep anglers up to date with what's happening on a regular basis.
The site includes not only details of all the rules but also photographs and news of latest catches and events. Pay them a visit at www.badenhallfishery.com.