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 17 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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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”