The Green Heart of Poringland


Morley’s Memorable Day 

Ace fisherman Mick Morley has had some memorable days at Poringland Lakes but yesterday was unquestionably his best ever. 

Fishing Duffield, he bagged what he conservatively estimated to be over 110lbs of carp including Appleslice weighing in at 15lb 8oz and another quality 9lb 8oz common. Both fish were independently witnessed and weighed. 

"It was a fabulous day" said the Angling Trust level one coach. "I must have had well over 20 carp, virtually all commons and all between two and seven pounds. With one exception all the fish were in pristine condition but unfortunately one had some really bad mouth damage which is worrying." 

Morley would not be drawn on what bait he used, preferring to say that he and fellow coach Ryan Westgarth 'had a special method for fishing Duffield which always works!" 

It certainly did yesterday! 

Crisis Adverted 

A potential crisis at Poringland Lakes has been adverted thanks to swift action by a small group of volunteers. 

Water tests showed a dramatic drop in dissolved oxygen levels, brought about by the current prolonged spell of hot weather, which threatened fish stocks. 

A response team was quickly assembled and they pumped pure oxygen into all three lakes as well as deploying a recirculatory water pump. 

"All three lakes were dangerously low on dissolved oxygen" explained fishery manager Mick Morley.  "The lowest reading was in Duffield which registered just 1.73 which is considered critical.  Gudgeon and Noble were also well down with readings of 2.3 and 2.4 respectively." 

Adequate dissolved oxygen is necessary for good water quality.  As dissolved oxygen levels in water drop below 5.0 mg/l, aquatic life is put under stress. The lower the concentration, the greater the stress. Oxygen levels that remain below 1-2 mg/l for a few hours can result in large fish kills.

The Association has recently received substantial grants from the Angling Trust and South Norfolk Council towards a permanent electricity supply and aeration system. 

Project manager Paul Bonham confirmed that the project programme would be accelerated following the dramatic drop in DO levels. 

New Bailiffs Appointed

Poringland Lakes has appointed three new bailiffs.  Local residents Jonny Causton, Mike Dicks and Andy Freeman have joined the team, taking the total number to eleven.

“We are really grateful for the support of our volunteer bailiffs” said Association chairman John Overton.  “Not only do they collect day fees but they also keep an eye on the site and make sure the fishing rules are observed.”

The full team is Michael Blanchflower, Peter Carman, Jonny Causton, Mike Dicks, Andy Freeman, David Garrod, John Hodgson, Danny Morley, Mick Morley, Ray Noble and Ryan Westgarth.  

Chub Plans Put on Hold?

Plans to introduce chub to the lakes later this month may have to be put on hold because of the cost.

Fishery manager Ryan Westgarth has been looking to stock the lakes with one hundred chub between six and eight inches but the cost may prove prohibitive and, in any event, stocks across the country are extremely low.

"I am in the process of getting quotes from a number of suppliers" said Ryan. “Three companies have told me they are out of stock but will be able to help out next season.

"I have only managed to get one quote and that’s for £822 which works out at over £8 a fish.  With the priority on providing electricity and aeration which will cost the Association several thousand pounds, we may have to put off introducing chub for a while" said Ryan.

The Association is awaiting a decision by the Angling Trust to fund £5,000 towards the electricity and aeration project. If that’s successful it could pave the way to stocking chub in the next few months. A decision by the Angling Trust is expected at the end of March. 

No Change in Fees

Season and day tickets have been pegged at existing levels for the third year running.  Season tickets, limited to 60 anglers, will remain at £50 and day tickets £5.

"Although we have some heavy commitments in the coming year, we are pleased to announce there will be no increases in fees in 2018/2019" said Association treasurer Dr George Shearer.

The season runs annually from 1 June to 31 May.  Reminders are due to be sent out to existing ticket holders in April. In the meantime, anyone interested in being added to the waiting list should email secretary@poringlandlakes.co.uk.

Appleslice Banked at 17lb 14oz

Poringland Lakes’ celebrity fish, Appleslice, has been banked for the first time in weeks.  Weighing a healthy 17lb 14oz, the fish appeared in good health and according to its captor Jonny Causton, was “fighting fit”. 

Jonny picks up the story. 

“I had a very good day on the lakes today.  I started on Noble with a little baby carp which was quickly followed by a 4lb carp.  The wind built up and it was cold so I moved to Duffield around noon.  After not getting a bite for an hour I needed to change something on my method feeder so switched from an 8mm spicy sausage meat pellet to crab which did the trick. 

“First cast and two minutes later I netted a 6lb 2oz carp. Next cast, same spot and within minutes rod pulled of the rests and finished halfway in the water.  I managed to snatch it and 20 minutes later, in what was a new PB, Appleslice was on the bank weighing 17lb 14oz.  It was a memorable fight on 8lb line. 

“I must thank fellow fisherman Graham Ward for helping land the fish and verifying the weight.  What a day!” 

In fact regular day ticket visitor Graham may well have been into Appleslice earlier in the day.  Fishing float fished maggot on relatively light gear, Graham hooked what he described as a ”monster” which took him all over the lake before shedding the hook in a reedbed.

New Sub-Group Set Up 

A Bailiffs’ sub-group is to be set up to discuss matters of mutual interest such as the rules and their interpretation.  Headed by head bailiff Ray Noble and Ryan Westgarth, the new committee is expected to have its first meeting early in the New Year.    

“This is a positive development” said trustee Ryan Westgarth.  “The committee can have a real input into all fishing activities, including the rules and regulations.  However it must be emphasised that any resulting proposals would have to be endorsed by the Trustees” he added. 

Great Return After Fifteen Years 

Making his first visit to Poringland Lakes for 15 years, a Thorpe angler has hit the jackpot, by catching the lakes’ celebrity fish, Appleslice.

Hardly recognising the place since his last visit, Dave Stillwell caught the mirror carp using a method feeder loaded with pellet on a size 16 hook. 

“It put up a tremendous fight” said Dave.  “It was in wonderful condition although it looked a bit thinner than the pics I’ve seen previously on the website.  The fish must be well over 25 years old” he added. 

Angling Trust level two coach, Mark Casto witnessed the catch and confirmed that the fish weighed in at just over 16 pounds. 

However there are emerging suggestions that Appleslice’s reign as the biggest carp in the lakes may soon be over.  Several anglers have reported losing mid-doubles in both Noble and Gudgeon.  With all the stock continuously gaining weight, Appleslice may soon be knocked off his perch!

Fishing Bonanza 

Poringland Lakes is really fishing well at the moment. 

Regulars are reporting excellent catches of quality carp, bream, tench and roach from all three lakes. 

Even day visitors are getting in on the act including Wymondham based Chris Potter.  Making only his second visit to Poringland, Chris bagged several carp close to double figures and was impressed with the quality of the fish.

“These fish are in super condition and put up a great fight” said Chris.  “This is the best fiver I’ve spent in a long time” he added smiling broadly. 

Another visitor impressed with the lakes’ stock of prime fish was Michael Morter, bailiff at nearby Topcroft Lakes.  Adopting his familiar approach of fishing paste close in on light tackle, Michael bagged some quality carp in an early evening session.            

“This place has improved beyond belief since I last visited.  The fish are in wonderful nick“ said Mick. 

Appleslice Puts in Spring Appearance 

Poringland Lakes’ celebrity fish Appleslice has been caught for the first time this year. 

Family Fishing co-ordinator Andy Dewar bagged the big mirror carp using a 8mm Krill pellet. 

According to spectators, Andy, using light elastic on the pole, did well to land the 16lb 3oz fish which appeared to be in perfect condition. 

Surface Fishing Ban Imposed

An immediate ban on surface fishing has been imposed at Poringland Lakes.

Trustees took this unanimous decision after several reports of damage to fish had been reported.

Explaining the change, head bailiff said “Being both a conservation site as well as a fishing venue, fish welfare is one of the Association’s top priorities. 

“We have noticed damage to fish mouths in recent weeks which the bailiffs put down to an increase in surface fishing.  There have also been instances when wildfowl have picked up surface baits which could end up with a tethered bird.     

“We realise this method is popular but we have to put fish welfare first” added Ray.

More Popular Than Ever

Poringland Lakes is proving quite an attraction, both for local anglers and those further afield.  

Last weekend, bailiffs sold 19 day tickets as news of the fishery spread, helped no doubt by visitor Jamie Kirsty Smith’s recent 25 carp haul (see our Facebook page for more details). 

Appleslice Has Wintered Well

Poringland Lakes celebrity fish has been caught for the first time this year.  Practising ahead of the next match, Harry Harrison was on the swingtip with ledgered maggots when he hooked Appleslice.  A jubilant Harry takes up the story

"Around 2pm I had a solid take followed by a storming run which zipped line from the reel. After a spirited battle which cris-crossed the wider end of the pond several times, and led me in circles around the marginal lillies, I managed to gain control and slip the net under Appleslice.  

“I couldn't believe it, I wasn't fishing for him specifically, but it was a lovely capture and reminded me how fantastically rewarding it can be fishing the ponds at Poringland.  

“Weighing in at 16lb 12oz he seemed to be in really good condition after the winter and seemed even bigger than I remembered!  During the session I had a handful of smaller carp and some beautiful rudd and wily little tench, a really memorable session!  

“I was also interested to note that Appleslice has been caught at around 2.30pm on several occasions, I've done it twice, and there are several reports of that time of the day being the "magic hour" for him, normally on a Tutti-fruiti bait, although he went for maggots over fishy groundbait this time.” 

Personal Best on First Visit 

Chris Inger’s debut visit to Poringland Lakes resulted in a memorable day and a personal best carp.  

Chris only moved to the village recently and wasn’t aware of the lakes existence until he took up residency.  Paying his first visit to the water, his first fish was a pristine 12lb carp, a PB.  Chris continued to land a further carp of around 4lb, along with a nice silver bream and lost another good carp at the net.  

Another very happy first time angler to the lakes!

Determined Harry

Match novice Chris ‘Harry’ Harrison is determined not be overshadowed by his more illustrious opponents when he lines up for the Glenn Duffield memorial match on Saturday 7 May.  

Harry has spent several hours this weekend sussing out the venue, trying a variety of baits and techniques.  Judging by this beautiful ten pounds common carp, Harry may well have stumbled on the best method.  

“I am really looking forward to Saturday’s match” said the Kirby Bedon angler.  “A couple like this will do nicely” he quipped. 

Morley Sounds a Warning  

Long standing member Mick Morley has sounded a warning that he could be the man to beat when season ticket holders contest the inaugural Glenn Duffield memorial match at Poringland Lakes.  

Practising ahead of the event, Mick caught a remarkable 45 fish including over 30 tench in a frantic morning session.  

Mick, chairman of the East Anglian Piscatorial Society, is one of the favourites to take the Duffield trophy but in the open category, he faces stiff opposition from Angling Trust coaches Mark Casto and Eric Peak who are entering as guests.

Carp Bonanza

While anglers on the rivers and local commercials were struggling for bites in cold conditions, season ticket holder Alan Crabb was having a field day at Poringland Lakes.    

Presenting dead maggot on a pole, Alan netted 14 carp between three and eight pounds as well as a few roach and skimmers, to mark a memorable session on a bitterly cold February day.

Mission Accomplished 

After literally months of trying, intrepid fisherman Ryan Westgarth finally achieved his angling ambition – catching the biggest fish in Poringland Lakes. 

Earlier today, Ryan captured Appleslice. 

Taking up the story, Ryan told our webmaster “I caught him at about 11.15am and it took me nearly ten minutes to land him. When I saw him show I couldn’t stop shaking. 

“He took a Nash 4G squid boilie that had been soaked in a Tutti-fruity dip overnight.  The fish was weighed on mine and Andy Dewar’s scales and witnessed by Peter Carman.  It was 15lb 5oz which suggests he must have lost some weight.          

“He put up an unbelievable fight taking me half way up the lake and across it” said a delighted Ryan. 

Rig Change Pays Dividends 

Poringland Lakes celebrity fish ‘Appleslice’ has been caught again. 

Day ticket visitor Darren Hubbard landed the superb mirror carp after a titanic battle before weighing in the fish at 16lb 4ozs. 

“I caught it about 2.30 this afternoon.  It came just ten minutes after changing rig and bait.  I hooked it on a Tutti Frutti boilie with a piece of floating imitation corn on top” explained an excited Darren. 

“It gave me a real good fight and took me halfway down the lake.  To be honest I thought I was going to blank today and then this happened.  It was awesome.     

“It’s the best fiver I’ve spent in ages.  Me and dad had a great day’s fishing, as always.” 

Day Ticket Delight 

Poringland Lakes’ ‘celebrity’ fish has been caught again. 

Day ticket visitor, Dave Stewart from Lakenham, smashed his personal best by landing ‘Appleslice’ which topped the scales at 16lb 4ozs.  The capture and weighing was witnessed by accomplished carp angler and part-time bailiff Ryan Westgarth. 

Beaming from ear to ear, a delighted Dave said “It was only my second visit to Poringland.  I had blanked all day.  It was around three o’clock and I was just about to pack up when the rod spun round and I knew immediately I was into a big fish.  It took me all over the lake.  It was so strong but after a real struggle, I managed to bank it.  It was so exciting.  It’s such an impressive fish and was in wonderful condition.”

Fishing the Glenn Duffield memorial lake, the fish fell to spicy sausage on a standard zig-rig. 

Harry “Over the Moon!”

Day ticket visitor Chris ‘Harry’ Harrison was “over the moon” following his recent visit to Poringland Lakes which was topped by the capture of a magnificent 15lb 10 oz mirror carp. 

Still buzzing after a great day’s sport, delighted Harry told us 

“I just wanted to let you know that I had a successful afternoon on Glenn Duffield Lake - a very successful afternoon.  I had a bundle of little tench on pellets. They are pretty little fish.  I also had a handful of carp, the smallest just under 2lb, and the largest was a fantastic mirror carp of 15lb 10oz which was taken from the peg closest to the Dell on a 10mm Tutti Fruity boilie in the margins at about 3.15pm..

“Having compared photographs with the pictures on the website, I'm almost certain it was Apple Slice, somewhat slimmer after the last capture but the head was huge and the tail was a proper paddle.  The scale pattern certainly looks the same” said Harry. 

“It went nearly the full length of the lake on the first run which was unstoppable, hugging the margins all the way up towards the black vent pipe. I turned it and then steady pressure brought it back to my end of the lake, before a tussle to keep it clear of the lily bed on my left and two attempts to draw it to the net. 

“No harm done to weeds or fish, cleanly hooked, it went back strong and fighting fit. I was over the moon to capture such a beautiful fish.  The scale patterns are spectacular and the colours were really bright. It's a proper old warrior that fish! 

“I'm so glad that the tackle was up to the job. Can't wait to get another session on the lakes towards the end of the week, hopefully for some more excitement like that! 

“Thanks once more for your everyone’s hard work and support.  The lakes are a little piece of heaven thanks to the dedication and hard work you chaps put in!” 

17lb Carp Landed

Lakes' season ticket holder Neil Edwards is celebrating a PB after he landed a stunning 17lb mirror carp this afternoon.

The fish, known as Apple Slice because of its evenly spaced scales, put up a valiant fight before succumbing to the net.

Clearly delighted, an exhausted Neil took stock before resuming a memorable day's fishing.

That was unbelievable" said Neil.  "The fish was so strong. I was so relieved to get it in the net."

The weigh-in was witnessed by head bailiff Ray Noble who verified the 17lb capture.

"It looks at if Apple Slice has put on some weight over the winter, probably because of the increased the food source" said Ray.

Fishing Bonanza

The welcomed sunshine and lighter winds has seen some excellent catches at Poringland Lakes over the past few days. 

Many anglers are reporting good catches including a day ticket visitor who caught carp weighing 15lb, 11lb and 9lb in an afternoon session. 

“The best day’s fishing I’ve ever had for a fiver!” he said beaming from ear to ear.        

Meanwhile lake regulars Mick Morley and Peter Carman have also been bagging it up.  Fishing Gudgeon lake, Mick netted a mixed bag of over 30 fish - bream, carp (including a 9lb ghostie), tench, roach and rudd while Peter landed a similar tally from Duffield lake, including no fewer than eleven carp, all around the 4lb mark which fell to maggot and bread flake. 

First for Norfolk

Poringland Lakes has become the first fishery in Norfolk to be listed on the prestigious Angling Trust website.

The village venue has been listed ahead of some of the country's most famous fisheries including Barford and Taswood Lakes.

"We are delighted to be the first" said head bailiff Ray Noble. "We hope that the website entry will see more anglers, including those from away, visit Poringland" he added.

The Angling Trust website can be viewed on www.anglingtrust.net.  Select "Find a Fishery" to view the Poringland Lakes entry. 

King Theo

Local angler Theo Kuil is celebrating after catching a 17lb mirror carp at Poringland Lakes. 

Ultra enthusiastic Theo who, by his own admission is still a novice angler, landed the superb fish, known locally as Apple Slice because of its large, symmetrical scales, to record his personal best. 

Fishing the Dave Gudgeon lake, Theo used worm to tempt the big fish.  Assisted by head bailiff Ray Noble, the fish took the best part of 20 minutes to land, not surprising as Theo was only using 6lb line. 

“I couldn’t believe it” said Theo.  “I thought I’d hooked a whale!  It was so strong.  It was a good job Ray was there as I would have struggled to get it in the net” said an excited Theo, beaming from ear-to-ear. 


Apple Slice is one of many double figure carp the lakes now boast.  Norwich-based rod, Peter Carman, who was on hand to witness Theo’s capture is adamant there is an even bigger fish lurking in the depths.  

After banking a 17lb plus common last year, Peter is confident an even bigger carp will be caught once the temperature starts to rise. 

Association Joins Angling Trust

Poringland Conservation and Fishing Lakes Association have become members of the Angling Trust.

The Angling Trust is the representative body for all coarse, sea and game anglers in England.  It was formed from an historic merger of six angling and conservation organisations in January 2009 with the aim of lobbying government, campaigning on environmental and angling issues and developing the sport from grass roots to elite level.

The Trust also incorporates Fish Legal wish uses the law to fight pollution and other damage to fisheries on behalf of its member clubs and fisheries.

“Our membership of the Angling Trust is something which is long overdue” said head bailiff Ray Noble who was instrumental in contacting the Angling Trust.

“Affiliation will bring a host of benefits including a free listing on the Trust’s website including a link to www.poringlandlakes.co.uk which hopefully will see more anglers visiting Poringland Lakes; advice on funding for angling projects; free expert factsheets on fishery management, angling and legal issues and discounted savings on civil liability insurance.            

“In return we will offer Trust members a 10% discount of all season and day ticket purchases” said Ray.  “Hopefully this will encourage more anglers to visit Poringland Lakes” he added. 

Season Ticket Increase 

The Trustees have confirmed that season tickets for 2015/2016 will be £50.  The committee decided to increase the fee after the Association invested £2,500 in new fish stocks earlier this year. 

“At less than a pound a week, this still represents wonderful value” said head bailiff Ray Noble. 

Demand for season tickets, which run from 1 June to 31 May each year, always outstrips supply.  The Association’s constitution limits season tickets to 25 a year, so it’s not surprisingly there’s a lengthy waiting list. 

The Association recently increased the cost of a day ticket from £4 to £5 which is still makes Poringland Lakes one of the cheapest venues around. 

Day Tickets Now A Fiver 

Now that the lakes have been fully re-stocked with an additional 2,000 fish, the committee has agreed to increase the day ticket charge to £5 per day with effect from 1 January 2015. 

“This still represents tremendous value” said Association chairman Dave Gudgeon.  “We have recently invested £2,500 in new fish which should provide excellent sport for our regular and visiting anglers.”

Eskimo Approach Pays Dividends 

Despite freezing temperatures and challenging conditions, the newly stocked lakes are fishing really well.

Anglers trying out the re-vamped Glen Duffield lake are reporting good catches of carp and roach.  So keen are some fishermen to try out the new facility that one intrepid angler (pictured above) resorted to breaking the ice, Eskimo style, in order to dip his float.  Thankfully his efforts (some would say madness) were rewarded with several pristine carp.

In the net - another pristine carp is carefully banked

17 Pounder Landed 

The restored lakes are proving a real hit with local fishermen. Already some quality mid-double carp have been caught providing local anglers with some excellent sport. 

Earlier this week Norwich angler Peter Carman landed a superb 17lb 2oz common carp.  Unfortunately no-one was on hand with a camera to record the magnificent catch but three independent witnesses verified the weigh-in. 

Fishing Highs

The revamped Poringland Lakes are really paying dividends.  Some stunning fish have been caught in the past few days including several ‘doubles’ as well as some pristine bream and tench.  These pics illustrate the superb condition the fish are in.

More Doubles Than Eric Bristowe 

Star angler Dan Thompson has been hitting the doubles again.  Making his second successive visit to the lakes in as many days, Dan was again into the larger carp, capturing this magnificent 16lb 8 oz mirror just as our reporter arrived.

So prolific is Dan as catching these pristine fish that one local spectator quipped “He’s better at doubles than Eric Bristowe” 

Peter Carman in Good Form

Local rodman Peter Carman was in good form this week netting several ‘doubles’ including this pristine 16lb 10oz mirror carp.  Lakenham-based Peter presented a small piece of luncheon meat on a size 12 hook, fishing about two rod-lengths out in lake two.  The hard fighting carp took several minutes to land.

This prize capture is just reward for Peter for his continued hard work clearing and burning lots of scrub from around the site whilst still finding time to enjoy his fishing.