Total Carp talk to Dan Wildbore and go behind the scenes to find out more about the simply magical and awe-inspiring edit, Reflections
Old Mill – Birch Lake
Birch lake – The jewel of the Old Mill complex, Birch represents more of a challenge to the angler, but what rewards there are to be had for your effort! Birch contains multiple 40lb+ specimen carp with Common Carp to 46lb+ and Mirror Carp to 51lb. In addition, there are an impressive number of 30lb+ fish present and we estimate there to be around 45 in total over this weight (winter 16/17). Though Birch Lake can be a challenge, talented anglers have previously been able to catch on most visits, though equally, don’t be surprised if you go half a dozen or more sessions without a fish!
BIRCH LAKE FACTS
FISHERY: Old Mill Lakes
SIZE: 8 acres
STOCK: 180 carp
NUMBER OF SWIMS: 16
LAKE RECORD: 51lb mirror – 50lb common
PRICE: There is a one-off membership fee of £50. Please enquire about availability as memberships are limited.
£30 per 24 hours for members. Please be aware payment is required to book in advance and this is taken over the phone. You are welcome to call for availability on the day and pay on the bank.
CONTACT: 07767 363545
TOP TIPS WITH ADAM SNOWDEN
Use Quality Bait
Birch is like most well stocked day ticket waters these days, its busy! This is when fishing with a bait quality really does give you an edge over the other anglers. These fish have grown very big in a relatively short space of time and that is down to them knowing what food is good for them. Using a high-quality freezer bait such as The Krill or Manilla will set you on the path to success before you even get the rods out of the car. I’ve done equally well on both and would happily grab a bag of whichever I had in the freezer at time with total confidence.
Apply Little and Often
The fish in Birch Lake tend to group up so when you’re on them and the conditions are right they can get through an awful lot of bait, however I’ve never done very well fishing over a large bed of bait and found the fish spook off this tactic. I’ve found by far the most effective tactic is to keep introducing bait in small amounts on a regular basis. I tend to put a couple of handfuls over each rod to start with and will top up with another handful every 20-30 mins to keep fish regularly visiting the spots.
Nicking a Bite
When things are slow, the conditions are against you and the bites are proving hard to come by, I’ve found by far the most effective tactic is a small PVA bag of boilie crumb, just two or three freebies powered up, alongside a matching bottom bait or snowman to give the hookbait some buoyancy. This setup cast to any showing fish is almost guaranteed to get you a bite on Birch Lake!
Early in the season bright hookbaits work brilliantly on Birch Lake and orange is by far my favourite colour on here, the vast majority of my fish from Birch have all been caught on Peach & Pepper hookbaits. However, later in the year when the fish have been pressured they tend to avoid the bright ones. At this point a simple bottom bait straight out of the bag to match your freebies tends to be the most successful option.
1. Strictly frozen boilies and carp pellet only. No readymade boilies, nuts, particles, maggots or artificial hook-baits of any type to be used. We do permit the use of pop-ups (except cork-ball pop-ups), wafters and hard-hookers as hookbaits.
2. Unhooking mats are provided on Birch, please ensure these are used at all times. Large landing nets only (42 inch minimum), sharing of nets and unhooking mats is not permitted.
3. Fish to be lifted out of the water in safety weigh-slings, under no circumstances are fish to be lifted from the lake in just a landing net. All fish are to be returned to the water safely and as quickly as possible. Again, this is to be done via the use of a safety weigh-sling.
5. Fishing is from designated swims or pegs only. Your rods must be setup in the same peg as your bivvy/brolly. Rods must not be left unattended, this is strictly enforced on Birch where we do not expect you to be in the next peg when angling to snags or channels between islands etc. Do not ever pull for a break, if you get into difficulty please contact us.
6. A minimum of 15lb and 0.40mm diameter line is to be used at all times. Braided mainline is not permitted (with the exception of marker and spod/spomb rods).
7. We are a rig tubing only venue. This means that all leaders, braid and leadcore are banned (that includes the particular brand leader you may use be it korda, fox, nash etc!). Naked chods and zigs are also banned.
8. A maximum lead-size of 3.5 ounces to be used. No fixed leads (semi-fixed is fine but lead must be able to free itself from the rig in event of line parting).
9. No back-leads of any description permitted. This includes flying back-leads. The use of bait-boats is also forbidden on Birch.
10. Spod/spomb floats must be used when using a spomb. These prevent the spod/spomb from sinking in the event of a crack-off.
12. No keepnets or sacking of fish.
SEE WEBSITE FOR FULL LIST OF RULES AND REGULATIONS