Ashley Bugden is a plumber and avid fisherman from Shobdon who’s been lucky enough to fish Pearl Lake since his partner Emma came to work on park 4 years ago!
Pearl Lake is the largest natural lake in Herefordshire which was created by glaciers during the last Ice Age. The lake resides in an idyllic and peaceful location set in amongst some dense woodland, particularly on its western side.
It really is a proper Carp anglers paradise.
Why Fishing at Pearl Lake is so Unique
The lake is spring fed, with crystal clear water year-round and has a large population of freshwater swan mussels of which I’m pretty sure the resident carp feed upon.
It has an abundance of wildlife and other coarse fish species including, Tench, Perch, and Pike. Through the autumn months, the lake comes alive with reflections of all shades of greens, browns, and yellows, making it hard to distinguish where the tree line finishes and the lake begins.
Fishing is free for Holiday Home Owners at Pearl Lake Holiday Park
However, like most natural lakes, the fishing can have its challenges.
Be under no illusion, this is not your average run-of-the-mill West Midlands commercial pond fishery, and this must be kept in mind when tackling this venue from an angling perspective.
The lake is wild, overgrown in places, has some dense weed beds and due to being surrounded by trees the silt can be very deep in places.
But don't let that put you off, because its challenges offer great rewards to those that persevere and tackle this great venue in the right way with the correct angling approach.
Top Tips & Advice
The Carp in this venue are somewhat shrouded in mystery. There are many rumours as to their true origins.
Some people suggest that they came from old stock ponds that were once owned by the Cadbury's Chocolate factory not too far from here.
Whatever their origins most of the carp are immaculate dark old commons with real character and have an air of wild carp strain about them.
With age though comes wisdom and these Carp are anything but daft, so a stealthy approach is key when trying to catch them but just like Cadbury's milk chocolate, sweet rewards are on the table if you choose the right tactics.
This brings me on nicely to my tactics and how I approach the carp fishing here at Pearl lake. Find them, feed them, catch them. As with most venues, carp location is key. You can't catch what isn't there.
So be on the lookout for signs of carp movement.
When it comes to baiting up I try to approach all my own personal angling the same way, little and often, akin to a matchmen really.
I'd much rather tickle their taste buds then serve them an all you can eat buffet. I want them to compete and search out my hook bait, not over feed them.
To bait or not to Bait...
Due to the dense weed beds and deep silt, strong tackle and light leads are the order of the day. 15 to 20lb Monofilament or Fluorocarbon mainlines are a must when targeting these fish.
Also forget using 3 or 4 oz leads and huge PVA bags the size of coconuts, as this will only lead to your rig and hook bait becoming buried.
1 to 1.5oz leads on a helicopter style arrangement with a popped-up bait is the way to go. The end tackle is up to you, but I like both the presentation and the simplicity of a Chod rig. It's pretty much anti-tangle and fool proof providing you feather the lead down correctly and most tackle manufacturers make ready-made Chod rigs if you don't fancy tying up your own.
Like I said earlier I'm not a big fan of heavy baiting. That's not to say it wouldn't work at certain times of the year, but I much prefer a well spread scattering of bait to get the carp moving.
On my last short session fishing at Pearl Lake Holiday Park in the spring of 2023 using the very same approach I’ve just described, I managed 6 Carp in total. All of them into double figures with the largest topping 20lb closely followed by a 19lb 1oz, 18lb 4oz, 15lb, 12lb 6oz ghost carp and a 12lb 1oz.
All the fish were in pristine condition and fought really well especially considering how cold the water was.
Hopefully I have helped to convey the sense of wonder and mystery which shrouds this magnificent lake, which just keeps pulling me back time and time again and with the right tactical approach you too can have the opportunity to catch these immaculate lovely old carp.
Fishing is free to holiday home owners and visitors in our Self catering caravans and cottages staying at Pearl Lake Holiday Park. Visitors staying in their own touring caravan or motorhome or owners/ visitors from our sister parks there is a charge of £4 per person, per day to fish in the lake.