Spot­light on Hallcroft Fish­eries

Hallcroft Fish­ery is renowned for big match nets but there’s plenty for the plea­sure an­gler to get stuck into as well

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

HALLCROFT Fish­ery is no stranger to hold­ing big events, and the lat­est one saw all the en­trants amazed at the num­bers of huge carp that were banked.

The Retford, Notts, com­plex wel­comed the lat­est heat of the big­money Maver Match This tour­na­ment and dozens of dou­ble-fig­ure spec­i­mens were brought to the net, with plenty of sil­ver­fish also show­ing.

But the six well-stocked lakes and a stretch of the River Idle are much more than just match wa­ters, with plea­sure an­glers also cash­ing in on the pro­lific ac­tion ev­ery day.


A mixed bag is on the cards on Croft and you can ex­pect to land carp, tench and skim­mers dur­ing your next ses­sion.

Worm and caster tac­tics on the long pole will help you at­tract fish of all sizes and species, while a banded 8mm pel­let on the bomb or wag­gler will en­hance your chances of pick­ing out the big­ger res­i­dent spec­i­mens.

Keep flick­ing a few grains of corn or cubes of meat a few me­tres out and give this a few hours to de­velop. Once the shoals move in you can ex­pect a bite a chuck that could eas­ily lead to an 80lb-plus net­ful in no time at all.


This lake is ca­pa­ble of some huge weights, and 100lb-plus hauls are not un­com­mon. Pegs are lo­cated both on the outer bank and the is­land, and at this time of year the wag­gler can be un­beat­able. Keep ping­ing 8mm pel­lets over the top, cast­ing ev­ery 30 sec­onds to cre­ate a com­mo­tion that will soon draw in the big carp.

Fish­ing shal­low on the long pole also scores well when there is a rip­ple, with the mar­gins of­ten com­ing alive from mid-af­ter­noon on­wards. Fol­low the wind and you are al­most guar­an­teed to put a bend in the rod shortly after start­ing.


If you’ve en­joyed a day of bag­ging on one of the lakes, why not try some­thing else for a quick hour be­fore head­ing home?

The River Idle is a small wa­ter­way but it has fan­tas­tic po­ten­tial, with chub over 4lb, bar­bel to 8lb and dou­ble-fig­ure preda­tors there for the tak­ing.

Stick float and mag­got will also pro­duce plenty of sil­vers, with legered meat or large pel­lets a much bet­ter op­tion when big­ger fish are your tar­get.


This is one of the UK’s big­gest com­mer­cial lakes, and def­i­nitely the place to go for your first dou­ble-fig­ure carp.

Both the outer bank and is­land have plenty of pegs, and a wide range of tac­tics will pro­duce the goods.

Bomb and pel­let or a cage feeder packed with damp­ened 4mm pel­lets chucked to the mid­dle will work well, with a wag­gler cast over the same line a bet­ter op­tion if the fish are sat up in the wa­ter.

Later in the day the big fish will come and in­ves­ti­gate the ar­eas close to the bank, and at this point meat 5m out or worm over ground­bait down the mar­gins will keep the bites com­ing.

If sil­ver­fish are on the agenda, fish a small sec­tion of worm over ground­bait at 13m for lots of skim­mers to 3lb. Park­ing is avail­able be­hind ev­ery peg.


There are sev­eral large plat­forms on this lake that make it the ideal choice for dads and lads ses­sions or peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

The great ac­cess isn’t the only ben­e­fit, though, and fish­ing big baits such as dou­ble corn or cat meat on the short or long pole will ac­count for carp to well over the 15lb mark.

If there are a lot of an­glers on the lake the shoals may con­gre­gate close to the is­land, and this is when a cage feeder packed with 4mm damp­ened pel­lets and a corn hook­bait will come to the fore.

As with all the lakes at Hallcroft, the mar­gins can be red-hot late in your ses­sion, with worm or dead mag­gots over ground­bait prov­ing par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive.


These ponds were ini­tially built as stock ponds but they are now ex­clu­sively used for plea­sure fish­ing, with no matches at all staged on them.

Their small na­ture makes them less in­tim­i­dat­ing than their big­ger broth­ers on site and the cover sur­round­ing the lakes means they are less af­fected by the wind.

What you’ll hook on the next drop in is any­one’s guess, as carp to 12lb, bream, cru­cians, tench and roach are all stocked in num­bers.

Worm and caster fished both shal­low or on the deck will fool lots of fish, with pel­let on the deck also scor­ing heav­ily.


With very few open matches held on this wa­ter, it is of­ten avail­able to plea­sure an­glers and it is the per­fect place to head if you need a con­fi­dence-booster.

Al­most ev­ery peg is around 13m wide and fish­ing close to the far bank on this snake lake will put you in touch with carp that av­er­age around 2lb.

Cup pel­lets into the shal­low wa­ter and present a 6mm ex­pander pel­let over the top. Fish fairly light gear con­sist­ing of a 0.14mm hook length to a medium wire size 16 hook and you won’t go far wrong.

If bites dry up, try fish­ing in the deeper wa­ter down the track with meat or corn.

A Bridge Pool carp comes to the wait­ing net.

The carp in Bridge Pool run big.

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