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Earlswood Lakes
@ :: UK Fisheries ::     Feb 12 2005, 07:25 (UTC+0)

Dtidmarsh writes: Address
Earlswood Lakes

For club matches and enquiries please contact Liz on 01827 252066
For details of Open Matches please contact
Carl on 07710 175067

Earlswood Lakes are three attractive large reservoirs set in pleasant wooded countryside next to the village of Earlswood to the south of Solihull. Nationally renowned as a prolific match venue, it is also popular with pleasure anglers.
Before the end of 1999 all three lakes were operated as unmanaged natural fisheries with the most common species being bream and roach. The quality of fishing was high but the demand from anglers for this type of natural fishery declined through the 1990's. In 1994 there were over 10,000 angler visits to Earlswood Lakes but by 1997 this had fallen to just 2,500.

In a bid to regenerate interest it was decided to substantially alter the way the fishery was operated. In October 1999, Engine Pool was virtually drained dry and most of the stock removed. All of the larger bream were transferred to Windmill Pool and all the other fish were transferred to local canals. Between November 1999 and March 2000 Engine Pool was stocked with five tons of carp averaging eight to 10 ounces each.

At about the same time a new car park, new footpaths and 80 large timber platforms were constructed. All the platforms are fitted with bankstick and umbrella holders. However, anglers are reminded that these are reservoirs and water levels usually go down during the summer months as water is pumped to maintain navigation in the nearby canal. The platforms, therefore, tend not to be useable from early June until mid October depending upon weather conditions - something which is amply illustrated in our photographs!

Opening Times

All year round 7.30am until Dusk

Ticket costs

Engine and Windmill Pools
Adults EA Concessionary
Mid-week Day 5.00 3.00
Evening (after 4.30pm) 3.00 3.00
Engine Pool - Summer weekends/Bank Holidays
(1 April to 31 October) 7.00 4.00

Terry's Pool

Season Permits only (Limited issue) 35.00

All permits are available from the bailiff on the bank
Matches must be booked in advance

Engine Pool

This 25-acre pool has 105 pegs, 80 of which are large timber platforms with the remainder being along the stone-built dam.
The carp have grown extremely quickly, reaching an average of 2lbs by September 2000 and 4lbs by September 2001. This resulted in huge match weights being recorded in the 2000 season when Engine Pool gained the UK Five-hour match record with a staggering 414lbs 14ozs.

Indeed, catches were becoming so big that British waterways felt it had to alter the rules in 2001 to provide extra protection for the fish. This has reduced match weights to "sensible" levels... although some are still being won with more than 200lbs although more common weights are now between 50lbs and 120lbs.

Pleasure anglers regularly catch over 100lbs and the fishery is has been widely recognised more many, many years as the finest of its type in the Midlands and one of the leading fisheries in the UK.

The most popular pegs are between 5 and 25 near the new car park, which is only a short walk from the bankside, and between 60 and 80 behind the council houses.

In early summer, pole is the favoured method with paste on the hook fished over pellets. Later in the year, however, as water levels fall, feeder fishing comes into its own and a greater variety of baits are successful.

It also pays to take a variety of baits as what is favoured by the fish one month can be ignored the next. Indeed, in September 2001 many matches were won with maggot as hookbait whereas in July using maggots had been virtually useless. Going equipped with maggot, casters, sweetcorn, paste, meat and the ubiquitous worm should cover all eventualities.

Anglers should note that the method feeder used in conjunction with a pole is not allowed, all hooks must be barbless - not crushed barbs - and there is a maximum hooksize of Size 12.

Naturally, all fish must be landed using a landing net and anglers are advised to take an unhooking mat for the bigger carp.

The car parks can be accessed from Malthouse Lane and Wood Lane.

Windmill Pool

Also 25 acres, Windmill Pool offers 45 pegs along "The Tins" (east bank), 12 along the dam and a further 16 or so along the west bank depending upon water levels. It should be noted that the dam cannot be fished when water levels fall by much more than two feet.
There is a sailing club on this pool and when water levels fall, anglers should take care to sink there lines if they are fishing a feeder at beyond 20 metres. In particular, it is recommended that they should avoid braided lines which float high in the water.

Bream are the main quarry in Windmill Pool and the most successful method is to use an open ended feeder loaded with brown crumb and either red maggots or worm - or both - on the hook.

Cage feeders are not reccommended because there is often a strong tow in the water and a cage feeder releases the ground bait too early as it falls through the water. Obviously the same applies to the Method Feeder, although this problem can usually be overcome by making the Method Mix a little firmer and slightly larger than you normally would to ensure it reaches the bottom quicker and stays together better.

Roach and perch are abundant and good weights can be caught with the pole. Favourite pegs are the 30's and 40's on "The Tins" or along the dam if water levels allow.

As would be expected, the waggler also can produce good results although it pays to take a selection including some weighted floats as the fish can sometimes be a fair way out and these should be shotted near the hook length to overcome the tow.

There is not so much of a problem when fishing closer in along the west bank, wher many anglers prefer to fish the open space between the weed beds rather than close in against them as they say the weeds are home to many pike and the silver fish prefer the safety of open water where they can see what's going on!

The manager of the Reservoir public house usually does not object to anglers parking in his car park provided that they purchase refreshments at the end of the fishing session!

Terry's Pool

This picturesque 20-acre lake is surrounded by trees which makes much of it difficult or impossible to fish. Also, as most of the pool is set aside for nature conservation, fishing has had to be limited to the bank adjacent to Engine Pool.
Fishing is available by season permit only and there is a close season between 15th March and 15th June inclusive.

Retained as an unmanaged natural fishery, Terry's Pool contains good stocks of bream, roach and perch as well as tench, pike and some large carp.

Indeed, many of the season permit holders see the carp as their main quarry, although a few also go after the bigger tench which are said to run to over 8lbs but which tend to populate the far end of the lake which cannot be fished.

Again, the Method Feeder seems to be one of the most popular techniques, although for the more traditional angler, this is a delightful water to float fish with a range of baits including bread, worm, maggot, paste, meat and sweetcorn.

How to get there...

Earlswood Lakes is the biggest thing in the village of Earlswood and its reservoirs, roadways and causeways cannot be missed.
From the motorways it can be reached by leaving the M42 at Junction 4 and heading on the A34 towards Birmingham and Shirley. At the first traffic light crossroads take the B4102 left towards Dickens Heath and Earlswood staying on the main road until you reach Earlswood.

From the M42 Junction 3 take the A435 south towards Alster and Studley and at the second major roundabout (Branson's Cross) take the left turn onto the B4101 for Wood End, Terry's Green and Earlswood. Stay on the B4101 to Earlswood.

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