Those improvements are set to continue further following a great deal of ongoing fishery consultancy work which has thinned out the smaller fish to give the remaining stock the opportunity to grow on.
Indeed, over the past few years Hopsford Hall's main lake has built a growing reputation for its carp and is now a popular haunt with an increasing number of anglers not only from the Coventry area but as far afield as Suffolk.
Slightly away from the main lake past the remains of a former canal arm is another small lake - the Duckery - which, although hardly ever fished, is preferred by some anglers to the main lake.
As its name suggests, it was originally used for duck raising and shooting and holds a good head of fish including some good sized double figure commons and mirrors as well as decent roach and perch.
Improvement has been carried out on the Duckery over the past few years to remove much of the excessive vegetation which had becoming invasive whilst maintaining the original charm of the pool for those anglers who enjoy fishing more intimate waters.
Hopsford Hall Lake
Depths vary greatly on this attractive three acre lake, ranging from six feet at the narrow end nearest the car park to seven feet down the length of the lake and nine feet at the dam end.
Although most anglers going for the carp used to fish from the dam wall at the far end of the lake, significant fish are now taken from virtally anywhere on the water, making all pegs popular.
And with with commons and mirrors taken to over 30lbs, ghosties between 12lbs and 28lbs and a few leathers/linears to 22lbs, there is plenty to go at. Indeed, a recent netting carried out on the lake showed there were in more than 550 carp between 12lbs and 30lbs.
The biggest fish to come out of Hopsford in recent years was a 36lb common whilst last year fish of 31lbs nd 30lbs were taken on separate occasions by two anglers from Coventry. A 31lb mirror was also taken by a lady angler from Suffolk.
However, it would be wrong to regarded Hopsford Hall simply as an out and out carp water because it also holds a good head of big bream, many running to between 9lbs and 11lbs with the biggest to have been caught in recent years weighing an impressive 15lb 7oz. The biggest bream tend to be taken by anglers fishing for carp with smaller boilies.
Then there are perch to a handsome 3lbs-plus, good roach to between 2lbs and 3lbs and tench, the majority of which were known to be between 2lbs 8oz and 5lbs with some specimens running to 8lbs, although these have not shown regularly in the last couple of years.
Whilst many of the carp anglers use flavoured boilies, pop-ups and partcile baits, more conventional baits seem to work equally well with sweetcorn, luncheon meat and floating dog biscuits particularly effective for the carp in the summer months. Floating baits work well in the shallower parts of the lake when fished close to the marginal weeds.
It is really only in the winter that boilies come more into their own. Generally effective throughout the year are sweetcorn, trout pellet paste, dog-food mixers, maggots and worms.
Most popular methods for fishing the lake for the silver fish are float fishing on rod or pole around the edges and legering in the deeper water.
Interestingly, it is worth taking the time to get to know this lake because the different species tend to occupy specific territories. The bream, for example, generally stay in the swims in the far right hand corner from the bridge, where the depth is around six or seven feet, whilst the carp are usually caught in the deeper water by the dam and along the bank between the overflow and the island. They are now also regularly taken from the shallower end by the entrance.
Although the roach can generally be caught anywhere, they are more regularly taken in the shallower water as you come onto the fishery and the tench congregate in the shallow bays down the right hand side of the pool.
The bay down the right hand side as you come onto the water is said to be good for the tench, although there are one of two underwater snags where which anglers need to be aware of.
This old half-acre pool, reinstated in 1990, is popular with some anglers who prefer its wooded seclusion to the main lake.
Deeper than it looks, The Duckery is about six feet at the point where you enter the fishery whilst the narrow arm behind the island to the left is only five feet on average. However, the main body of the lake to the right shelves steadily to nine feet at its deepest before coming back up to seven feet as it goes behind the island.
Well-stocked with carp, roach and perch, The Duckery is perhaps most famous for its stock of indigenous mirror and common carp which are regularly caught between 8lbs and 15lbs and generally tend to give anglers a really good scrap.
With good heads of roach and perch it is easy to see why this little pool is so popular with anglers. However, because the water is heavily reeded along its fringes there are plenty of escape routes for any hooked fish and many a good one has found freedom in the reeds.
When fishing The Duckery it is worth noting that boilies are not allowed. However, float or leger fished luncheon meat, maggots, sweetcorn and bread usually do the trick.
How to get there
Hopsford Hall Fishery can be found to the north of Coventry. At the traffic lights in the centre of Shilton, take the Wolvey/Hinckley road. While still in the village take the first right into Withybrook Lane. The entrance to Hopsford Hall fishery is about two miles down here on the right. As you aproach the lake you will see the entrance to the car park on the left.
Click on the map for more detail.
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