5 Star caravan park with a fishing lake
Pearl Lake is the crown jewel of all Herefordshire lakes. Its sparkling spring fed waters are crystal clear all year round, even during the wettest English April since records began. (2012)
There are wonderful swims for every kind of angler – some are known for great catches of fish, others for that specimen of a lifetime that every angler dreams about. Some swims are open and ideal for the novice or for the young angler. Others are hidden away in the woods surrounded by weeping willows, rhododendron bushes or great gnarled oak trees that must be 500 years old. These places are maybe for the solitary angler, someone that likes to quietly stalk his fish.
The magic of Pearl Lake is not just the superb fishing, but the feeling that you are welcome and accepted into the peace and tranquillity from the very first visit. Whichever spot you choose to fish there will be tree creepers and nuthatches on one side, robins and kingfishers on the other. If you fish peg 19 take extra bait because there is a blackbird that hops straight to where you are sitting. If you ignore him he starts to flap its wings and chirp noisily until you reach down and scatter some bait by your feet. If you don’t respond quickly enough he will skip onto the bait bucket and help itself.
It is important for visiting anglers to know that Pearl Lake is kept as a natural lake. As a visual spectacle it delights those who do not fish as much as it excites those who do. For this reason the lake is neither designed to be, nor stocked as, a fishery. The water quality is paramount to us and all the contributors to this – flora, fauna, roots, lillies, freshwater mussels etc – provide an abundance of natural food for the fish. Your challenge as an angler is to outwit the fish and make your bait the more attractive option. Weed will shelter silver fish, protecting them from predators, and is another important part of the lake eco-balance. We try to keep the swims clear for anglers so this does not spoil your experience of fishing this beautiful piece of water.
To find out exactly which sort of fishing will make you happiest in a world and where time does not matter, please read on!
Fishing for youngsters
Some of the best pegs on the lake are also those that are recommended for children and young people. A lot of bait gets thrown in between pegs 2 and 8. I mean, if you are ten years old and someone puts a burger and fries with tomato sauce outside your bedroom every day at six in the morning, you’d soon get used to waking up on time! Fish are the same.
We have caught every type of fish on these pegs and the straight bank and low bushes make it a safe place to fish with an adult.
Fishing for match anglers
The regular Pearl Lake anglers know a thing or two about match fishing and that is why several pegs have been designed and built especially with the match person in mind. So when there is a Pearl Lake contest for holiday home owners, hopefully nearly everyone is likely to be on the fish.
Most matches take place in the summer months and there is often a few lady anglers too. To win a match on this lake, whether you fish the pole or a running line, you need good tackle to be in the prizes!
Fishing for the specialist angler
There is plenty of scope at Pearl Lake for the angler who is looking to catch a ‘glass case’ specimen, even though we don’t tend to stuff big fish anymore! It’s not just the carp and tench that grow so well in the rich, clear, spring fed waters, but big bream, perch, pike and roach are landed every year.
Specialist anglers often like to fish alone and so they are naturally drawn to the quieter, more overgrown side of the lake where everything looks as it has for hundreds of years. Although Common carp of over thirty pounds and tench of twelve can be caught from anywhere, local knowledge favours the pegs in the early twenties at the top end of the lake. In Spring and early Summer months when fish may be spawning, the big fish can often be found in the shallower water from pegs 26 and 27 at the opposite end of the lake.
Fishing for bream
A bronze bream of five or six pounds is a lovely fish but it still gets called a ‘slab’. The bream is a favourite with many and is often found at the top end of the water not far from the island. Look for the ledge at the far end of the island which is sometimes a bream hotspot. That the species is spawning successfully is shown by the number of anglers whose bag has included a dozen or so smaller bream, affectionately known as skimmers’. A bunch of red worms fished on the bottom is still a great bait for bream of any size.
Fishing for carp
Specialist carp fishing is almost a sport in itself since many anglers fish for carp and nothing else all year round. There are plenty of double figure carp in Pearl Lake and they can be caught from almost any peg. Some people prefer to fish a dog biscuit on top, close to the lilies. Other are confirmed method feeder people and they often prefer to cast out to the middle of the lake; they would use nothing else. Yet others are captivated by the sight of a float and quite often best results are obtained close in maybe fishing a ‘natural’ bait such as bread or a lobworm.
Fishing for tench
The average weight of the tench is around 6lb. We believe the current lake record is held with a fish of 11lb 2oz. This was taken on a hair rigged corn cast 50 to 70 yards into the middle of the lake from the “Stump peg”.
Tench can be caught on all methods and baits, but seem to have a liking for sweetcorn. This can be ledgered or presented underneath a waggler float 3 to 4 rod lengths out, especially on the caravan park side of the lake. The tench feed predominately at first and last light and are more prolific from late spring and into summer during May till August.
A small patch of pin head sized bubbles can locate feeding tench and casting into this area can often produce a fish. Being prepared to move with the fish can often make the difference between an average and a red-letter day.
Fishing for roach
Roach must be one of the most popular fish in the country. Sometimes difficult to catch without the finest of tackle, the roach can be shy when it comes to taking the bait. The golden rule is to feed samples of hook bait into the swim ‘little and often’. It can take a while to get the better roach, say fish of a pound or so feeding but as fanatical roach anglers will tell you, it is always worth the wait. I would start looking for a shoal of roach around the caravan side of the lake.
Fishing for pike
The pike is a ferocious fish and the speed with which it can attack and catch its prey is in the blink of an eye. A good place to start looking for pike is in the snaggy parts of the lake, but they will never be far away from shoals of silver fish such as roach and bream. Many people like to use dead baits, especially sea baits such as herring to catch pike, but others prefer to use an artificial lure such as a spinner. Either way there are 20lb fish in the lake so make sure your landing net is big enough to lift the fish from the water.
Fishing for perch
Perhaps the most beautiful of our native species of fish, the perch is the brigadier; a swashbuckling predator of small fish. Many a small boy (including me) started on the road to lifelong angling as a result of seeing that spiny dorsal fin, the dark green bars down the side of the fish and the brilliant crimson pectoral fins for the very first time. This fish is found all round Pearl Lake and if you are looking to catch perch, look for trees and snags in the water, look also for the burst of fry as they leap to escape the chasing ‘stripey’.
Fishing for golden rudd
Restocking has taken place over the years, as required, and they make a very colourful addition to the lake. They can be caught from all areas but prefer the reed fringed margins, an especially good spot is the “New New peg” where several good match winning weights have been caught.
- All tourers must obtain a fishing ticket prior to fishing.
- Please pick up and dispose of all litter including discarded fishing items
- Please observe all the fishing rules (available from reception)
- If any items of fishing tackle are tangled in foliage then please report them to reception
- Please observe the wildlife on the lake
Your nearest Fishing Tackle Shops are located at Docklow Pools (Nr Leominster), or Hereford (Various).
A VALID ENVIROMENT AGENCY LICENCE IS REQUIRED
Fishing rules and guidelines can be viewed here.