Mallard and Teal
Also known as the Silver Fish Lakes at Birch House Lakes, Mallard and Teal tend to be regarded as one water as they are both canal-style venues ideally suited for pole fishing. However, the larger of the two – the three canal 55-peg Mallard Lake – has a large rectangular bay at one end which also makes it suitable for either waggler, swimfeeder or straightforward ledger fishing. Teal has a total of 21 pegs.
In addition to a few errant carp, both waters are heavily stocked with a selection of silver fish. These include roach and rudd to 1lb 8oz, bream to 8lbs, perch between 8oz and 1lb, chub to about 1lb, green and golden tench to about 2lbs and both blue and golden orfe and ide.
Offering a total of just under 80 concreted pegs, Mallard and Teal run between four and eight feet deep and are great year-round waters which particularly come into their own in winter. Both are ideal match and pleasure venues and although not particularly popular because of the current trend for carp fishing are two places where those who do fish them tend to bag up.
Equipped with their own toilets and car park, Mallard and Teal also have the attraction for anglers who enjoy solitude that, being at the far end of the Birch House site, they are normally quieter than the other lakes – except on Sunday mornings when the nearby church bells announce the morning services!
About two-thirds of an acre in size, Buzzard was stocked at the beginning of 2012 and opened for fishing in 2011 when further fish were added to boost stocks. With 21 pegs it now holds a good head of mirror, common and F1 carp between 4oz and 3lbs as well as good numbers of roach and rudd around the 8oz mark. About three-quarters of the fish are carp.
Whilst most anglers fish the pole, Buzzard is also a decent waggler water with banks which slope at 45 degrees and an average depth of between six and seven feet, although in parts it drops to as much as nine feet.
Because the fish in Buzzard are still small they tend to eat anything they can get in their mouths, making sweetcorn, soft hooker pellets, small pieces of luncheon meat, chopped worm and maggots popular baits. Also, because the fish are so easy to catch, Buzzard is an ideal water for parents with children who are interested in taking up fishing.
As with any water it pays to feed little and often to get the fish going and to hold them in your swim, but Buzzard is one of those waters where anglers tend not to measure their catches by weight but by the number of fish caught – which usually runs to over 100 in a typical four-hour session! The match record, set in 2014, stands at 86lbs.