Earnie's Fishing Blog - Manor Carp Lake

Manor Carp Lake - nr York

Website: www.manorcarplake.co.uk
Manor Carp Lake, Bolton Lane, Wilberfoss, York, YO41 5QX - off A1079 between Wilberfoss and Barmby Moor.
07761 678 506

Day Permits £10 - Night Fishing £20.

Manor Carp Lake is a specimen Carp lake, around two acres in size, tucked away on the outskirts of York near Wilberfoss. The lake is home to around 80 Carp plus offspring weighing up to 26lb, Roach, Perch and half a dozen Tench. The central section of the lake (pegs 1 and 2) is six to nine feet deep and came about when the land was dug to extract clay to be used on the surrounding farm land. In 2005 the furthest section of the lake (peg 5) was dug to around six feet. This was added to enable the fish to be moved whilst the lake bed was cleaned. In 2007 the closest section of the lake to the car park was dug to extend the lake further (pegs 3a, 3b, and 4.) All pegs are open plan behind so space is plentyful for a bivvy, and they are chipped or gravel lined to keep your swims mud free. It does make it hard to get pegs and bank sticks into the ground so take a decent camping peg and mallet with you to create a pilot hole in the ground, making setting up a bit easier.

The lake is reed lined with a variety of mature pond plants ensuring all swims have great marginal features around the lake edge, and all but peg 5 have islands to fish against also, however my thoughts were that the Carp weren't hugging these area's. On my visit the water was clear enough to flag up any Carp near the surface and none appeared close to islands. The lake looks very well designed ensuring there should be nobody fishing into someone elses swim, and enabling anglers to get up close and personal with the Carp, offering something a bit different to other specimen lakes that are generally just large expanses of water. At this time of year (August) the lake had patches of thin pond weed however every attempt appears to have been made by the owner to clear swims. It's pretty obvious where the weed is and very easy to identify large areas of open clear water to present a bait. I found it easy enough to play fish towards me through any small areas of weed also.

I found John the owner to be very informative and a thoroughly decent bloke. He was genuine when asked about how well the lake was fishing, identified what had and hadn't worked for others if prompted, but left you alone to get on with your fishing. Manor Carp Lake can be a bit tricky to find and the sat-nav brings you quarter of a mile further up the road but John was available on his mobile to direct us in. Parking is in a car park only meters away so easy to unload and unpack. He does allow parking behind pegs for anyone who'd struggle otherwise if mentioned in advance. There's a clean and well kept portaloo by the entrance, but other than this there are no facilities on site such as bait shops or cafes.

Earnies reviews of Manor Carp Lake;

Manor Carp Lake

Half past five, alarm going off. No it's not a bite alarm, but my early morning wake up call telling me to drag my backside out of bed. Up and out of the house by six to Richards house to wake him up. "My alarm never went off." The usual excuse.

We're on the road to York battling through crazy and at times suicidal early morning traffic. We eventually found Manor Carp Lake after ringing the owner to guide us in. It's on a long back road linking the village of Bolton with another small village. The owner 'John' met us by the lake and we went for a walk around together so he could show us our pegs and extract a few hints and tips. He told us what it had been fishing like, what had worked, what hadn't, and what had Carp had been landed. Told us where to stay clear of to avoid certain weedy areas which in fairness weren't that bad. We got the rods set up and cast in. I tried casting a large pva bag with my dwarf rod which provided a few laughs. It was an epic failure.

We were on pegs one and two which were positioned on the original and deepest part of Manor Carp Lake. Richard took peg one targeting what looked like a nice tranquil holding area in a small quiet bay. He spent the day using fluro pop-ups slightly higher in the water around 8-10 inches up. I took peg two to the left of him. I cast towards the edge of the island with the pva bag and not happy with the distance or positioning reeled in, my lead cutting through the pond weed. A meter or two further away, the weed disappeared so on single Sonubait white choc pop up I cast to the far bank near the reeds, popped up less than six inches. With my other rod I used the same technique and cast at a corner area, ten foot from the bank. I went round to loose feed Nash Coconut Creme boilies and some white coconut pellets I'd bought from Willies Worms. Once set up we tidied our peg up and started on breakfast, waiting for the action to happen in the middle of the pond.

Around half ten I was observing the lake looking for fish near the top and happened to look down at the corner rod. The tip suddenly pulled but no bite alarm. As it pulled again I struck and after a moment or two realised the fish was definitely on. Being in the corner the fish had little option but to swim at me but it wasn't swimming fast or fighting hard. I was sure it was a carp, and certain it was a small one, but after playing if for a couple of minutes and battling with it so carefully to keep it away from Richards swim, we saw it surface. Smiles on faces, it was a big one. I smiled out of happiness. Richard smiled knowing there'd be a day of banter and he'd be on the wrong end of it after I'd got the bragging rights. We landed the fish, weighed it at 22lb, took some photo's, treat a little graze by its fin, and put it back in to recover. When we sat back down for a cuppa we had a discussion. All my big fish have been on white baits and Richard hasn't seen as many using Fluro and colourful baits despite using the same set ups, sometimes better set ups with extra rig tubing etc to avoid tangles. Also, when striking and playing the fish, the bigger ones don't appear to fight as hard, feeling lazy and compliant through the rod, so if a fish doesn't fight and you think it's a small one, actually it could be quite the opposite, especially when turned and heading back towards you if fishing against a far bank.

Later in the day Richard went chasing carp on the surface in an empty peg five using floating dog biscuits. Being shallower in peg five we were able to spot carp coming to the top on a regular basis and Richard came close to landing one, losing one fish whilst hooked and having a good few goes at striking on the other bites. The sun was in the wrong place and the water at times being wind swept. If he'd have had a spotter on the opposite bank not in the line of the sun he'd have had more of a chance but the nice weather hampered his efforts.

I lost another fish later in the day when I allowed my line to momentarily go slack when reaching for a landing net, and just before I left landed a 1lb Roach whilst Richard landed a couple of small Perch, all on worm.

Just before leaving we bumped into John again in the car park and had a good chat to him. Really nice bloke and very interested in ideas to improve his fishery and what other fisheries are doing. He mentioned a 30lb+ Ghostie that died a few years ago which sounds like a target fish that appeared quite often, and mentioned a slow down once that had gone, which is a shame because there are some really nice fish in the lake, and they are visible thanks to the well placed islands pushing the fish towards pegs and restricting their hiding places. There doesn't appear to be any hiding places or particular holding places on the lake so anglers all have an even chance of catching. I'm impressed with Manor Carp Lake and will be returning. My night sessions are limited at the moment but it'd make a very good day ticket water and I intend returning in the near future for another session.