Barford Lakes

Fish Stocks
Crucian Carp
Detailed Information

Based on the outskirts of Norwich in Norfolk, we provide an impressive range of fishing across the four venues we manage. We have a total of 8 well stocked lakes holding a good variety of fish, including Carp, Tench, Bream, Chub, Crucian Carp, Golden Tench and Orfe, Roach, Rudd and Perch. Also on site we have excellent facilities including car parking, toilet block, and our fully stocked tackle shop.

For anglers of all abilities we offer some of the best fishing lakes in Norfolk and with additional lakes opening in 2007/2008 we will have something to suit everyone from the casual angler through to the specimen specialist.

Pleasure Lake

The Pleasure Lake is based at the main Barford Lakes complex.

It is an attractive 2 and a half acre lake with mature bank planting offering good cover and privacy.

The Pleasure Lake has been running as a commercial day ticket water for over ten years and has been developed with the pleasure angler in mind, rather than the specimen hunter.

The Pleasure Lake is well stocked with Mirror, Common and Ghost Carp into the high teens with the majority of fish weighing around the 6–10lb mark. There is also a stock of Bream to 10lb, Tench to 6lb, and Golden Tench and Orfe to over 3lb, Crucian carp to 1½lb and Chub to 3lb. For anglers who enjoy their caster fishing there is also an excellent head of Roach and Rudd to just under 3lb.

Peg Layout and Depth
Pleasure Lake Peg Layout
There are 35 permanent pegs, 30 of which are spacious wooden pegs ideal for two anglers, such as father and son, and 6 pegs are wheelchair accessible (pegs 2-7). Disabled anglers may reserve their pegs by email or telephone at least 24 hours before the day they wish to fish and will be given preference for these pegs.

All pegs are a good 8 metres apart and the majority have nice bank side cover to seclude you from the angler next door. The 30 pegs with wooden stagings all have good marginal growth where the fish tend to move to during the late afternoons – pegs 2–6 have the best cover.

The swims from pegs 1–4 and pegs 32–35 are about 6′ deep. The average depth across the rest of the lake is 10′ with a maximum depth of 15 feet at peg 9.

All pegs on the lake fish well but the following spots have had the best results for even the occasional dabbler:

The Point (pegs 31 and 32)
The Causeway – in between permanent pegs 13 and 22 (particularly peg 15).
Peg 4, Peg 5 and Peg 6.

Top Lake

The Top Lake is at our main Barford Lakes complex.

This water is open to Day Ticket anglers from April – September and during the winter months is available for match bookings from October – March.

It was established in 1989 and has its own car park which can be reached by turning left down the track just before the house at the end of the entrance drive.

We now have a portaloo on the car park of this lake (currently an awful pink colour!).

This water is stocked with the same range of fish as the Match Lake and has a fair mixture of species. Carp, the majority of which are in the 4lb–5lb range and some running to 12lbs. There are also good heads of Chub, Roach, Rudd, Crucians and Brown Goldfish with a few small Tench and skimmer Bream.

In the summer it’s possible to get the Crucians and Brown Goldfish one a chuck on caster with a 3-metre whip – lots of fun!

Peg Layout and Depth
Top Lake Peg Layout
This 15 peg lake is about 10-12′ deep (one of the deepest on the complex) and most swims have good marginal growth. The margins are 2-3′ deep and at the end of the rod tip is 4′ deep.

This lake provides quite a sociable and friendly environment as all anglers can be seen and heard from each peg!

Pegs 1–9 are easily accessible for wheelchair users.

All pegs fish much the same at this venue.

Match Lake

The Match Lake is at our main Barford Lakes complex and is used solely for competitive match fishing.

The match lake was the beginning of what is now the Barford Lakes Fishing Complex. Originally dug in 1981, the lake was initially used mainly by friends and family. The water was named the Match Lake when it was extended in 1989 at the same time that the Pleasure Lake and the Top Lake were dug. Consisting of 30 pegs (31 and 32 are not used), the Match Lake is now used solely for match fishing.

This venue is a mixed lake with Carp dominant which average 5-7lb but some run up to 12lb. There are also good heads of Chub, Roach, Rudd, Crucians, a few small Tench to 3lb and skimmer Bream.

Peg Layout and Depth
Match Lake Peg Layout
The lake is about 11′ deep in the centre and about 6′ at its shallowest at the far end (pegs 14–18). However, for the main part it has depths between 10-11′. When fishing at 6m you have 7′ of water and when fishing at 11m the depth is 12′. The margins are 2′-3′ deep and all pegs have very good cover with the exception of pegs 20–23.

Pegs 9, 10, 25 and 26 have been adapted for wheelchair users.

All pegs on the lake fish well throughout the year, but there is some variation:

Pegs 16 and 17 are in a bay and produce well when conditions favour.
During the summer months Pegs 7, 13 and the mid twenties are the hot spots.

Training Lake

This is our Starter Lake at the main Barford Lakes venue.

It is a small lake with 6 pegs on one side and one wide double swim at one end. Primarily used as a training venue for demonstrating basic angling techniques to new anglers, this lake is also available to fish on a general day ticket, but anglers learning to fish can buy a ticket for just this lake for a nominal fee of £2.50.

Formerly established as a stock pond, named the Starter Lake, this was converted to the Training Lake in 1999 with the additional of stagings and pegs. Since then, the lake has been extensively used for training new and potential anglers and is regularly used by many youngsters for tiddler bashing, providing an excellent introduction to the sport!

The Training Lake is particularly popular as anglers are “almost” guaranteed to catch fish on this small, well stocked lake and groups of children can be easily watched given the lack of bankside vegetation. The lake has good access for the less able with a specially designed peg and has regularly been used by groups of special needs children for their monthly out of school trips.

The Lake is very well stocked with small Carp, Brown Goldfish, Roach and Rudd. There should be no fish over 3lb in this lake (although the odd biggie has got in from the pleasure lake).

Peg Layout and Depth
There are six wooden pegs on one side and a very wide double swim at one end which can seat two anglers and an instructor. Fishing is only permitted from these stagings provided.

The lake has an average depth of 4′.

It is a tiny lake and there are bound to be fish around all the pegs. A weed bed is located on the far side of the lake around the area of the double swim and the first three pegs where fish tend to hang.

Colton Lake

Colton Lake is at Colton on the outskirts of Norwich and is about 5 minutes drive from the main Barford Lakes complex.

Originally a farm irrigation reservoir, Colton lake is about two acres in size and was converted to a fishing venue. Managed by Barford Lakes, this water is used solely as a match venue. The facilities on site are a portakabin and unisex toilet. There has been some additional work undertaken during 2003 on the pegs and stagings to improve access.

This water holds a large stock of Carp, which average a whacking 6–8lb with some reaching the 15lb mark – it’s our beastie lake!

The match record at this venue on a six hour match stands at 328lb (55 fish). Mick Mantle (Marryat Road A/C) achieved this weight by fishing catmeat on a waggler, 2 rod lengths out, feeding catmeat and Barford’s carp pellet. Due to the size of the fish, there is a 10 carp in a keepnet limit with a maximum of three keepnets to be used (further details to be found in the match rules) – so hot rods should bring some spares! In summer months at this venue 150lb+ is usually needed to win an open match held at Colton Lake.

Peg Layout and Depth
Colton Lake Peg Layout
Colton Lake is a match-only water, the lake is about 40 metres wide by 300 metres long and pegs are spaced at regular intervals, 15 metres apart along opposite banks.

The margins of this lake are 18″ to 3′ deep, there is a gradual slope which levels out to a flat bottom and the deepest part of the lake is 12-14′ deep. At 6m the average depth is 6-8′ and at 11m is about 12′.

This lake is a very fair venue, with 75% of pegs capable of producing a winning weight – see the match and peg analysis page for more information.
During the summer months most anglers favour pegs 12, 14, 16, 20, 24, 30 and 32.

Railway Lake

The Railway Lake is the main venue at the Railway Lakes complex in Thuxton (nr Garvestone), in Norfolk.

Originally dug by the previous owner as a water ski-ing lake, this venue was obtained by Barford Lakes in 1999. Water quality has since been improved and the banks graded and with the installation of a portakabin and a wheelchair accessible toilet, it has good facilites. The portakabin is located on the right as you go over the bridge when entering the complex and has two rooms allowing clubs fishing both Railway and Willow to draw simultaneously.

The lake holds quantities of small Carp to 2½lb, Tench to 5lb and there are also some good size Bream to 8lb – although they have proven to be very illusive. The lake is also teeming with Roach, Rudd, Chub and small Skimmers and 30lb catches of only silver fish is possible. There is also the odd double figure carp present from the original stock.

Peg Layout and Depth
Railway Lake Peg Layout
All of this lake has permanent pegs and all pegs are wheelchair accessible. The whole of the lake can be driven around, although anglers are requested to park in the two car parks provided. There is a large car park as you enter the fishery and further parking near pegs 35-40, there is also parking for a few cars near peg 57-58. There is a disabled toilet at this lake and a portakabin, which is situated on the right as you enter the complex.

The average depth of the lake is 5′.

The first 38 pegs have an island to fish to which is about 20–25 metres away.
Pegs 60–62 have good lily pad cover in the summer and usually produce good weights.
The 40’s fish well due to the weed cover.
Pegs 1, 12 and 30 are also good draws.

Willow Lake

The Willow Lake is situated on the Railway Lakes complex in Thuxton (nr Garvestone), in Norfolk.

Willow Lake was dug out in 2001 and is our newest match venue. Willow Lake lies parallel with peg numbers 1-16 of Railway Lake. A portakabin has been installed for use at this venue and with two rooms allows clubs fishing both Railway and Willow to draw from there, and is located on the right as you go over the bridge when entering the complex.

The lake is well stocked, mainly with Carp ranging between 2-10lb. There’s a nice mixture!

Peg Layout and Depth
Willow Lake Peg Layout
This banana shaped lake is an average of 10′ deep and has fishing platforms for each peg. At 6m you have about 6-8′ of water.

Planting consists of many Willow trees between the pegs which gave the water its name and the marginal reeds have also grown up nicely.

The most productive pegs to date have been pegs 1, 10-12, 16, 17, 22 and 24.

Abbey Waters

Abbey Waters is located on the outskirts of Old Buckenham in Norfolk, and is about a 25 minute drive from the main Barford Lakes complex.

This venue became part of the Barford Lakes complex in 1997. Situated on secluded private farmland, like Colton Lake, Abbey Waters began life as a farm irrigation lake.

Situated near to light aircraft strips at Old Buckenham and Tibenham you need to be careful not to miss bites at this venue as you will often see sky-divers parachuting through the air!

There is good car parking at this venue but as of yet no toilet facilities.

The lake is full of Roach, Rudd, Tench to 5lb and Carp in the 5-6lb range with some reaching 12lb.

Peg Layout and Depth
Abbey Waters Peg Layout
This triangular shaped lake has 30 pegs and averages at 6′ deep. The deepest part of this lake is in the middle and is more easily fished on the higher numbers.

A planting programme of Willows on the north side of the lake provides excellent screening from the wind and the margins, which tend to be quite shallow but productive, mostly have good reed growth.

With accessibility in mind, a car can be driven around the whole lake (with permission) and although it is possible to access pegs 19-30 and pegs 1-4, some assistance may be required as there is a ledge down to the pegs of about 18 inches-1 foot. Pegs 8-18 are inaccessible for wheelchair users.

Pegs 1-3 and 11-15 seemed to have been the most successful areas so far.
As weather conditions vary so do the productive pegs.