One of my favourite lakes is Bartles Lodge. I’ve been fishing this lake over a period of about 15 years, in that time they’ve had a few different owners, but the fishing has remained consistent. Situated in the quiet village of Elsing in Dereham, this is a beautiful 3 lake complex consisting of a small lake, mostly silvers, small carp and some decent tench, middle lake (my favourite) consisting of mostly carp, averaging around 5-8lb with the biggest getting close to 20lb. The third lake is a match-style lake, your typical runs water, carp average around 3lb.
I’m going to speak to you about the middle lake. This is by far the most challenging but the most rewarding if you put the effort in. It’s very shallow, only around 2/3ft, and the water can get pretty muddy when disturbed. The lake is really difficult in the winter, but you can still grab yourself a few with some patience.
Tactics at Bartles Lodge
The tactics tried and tested are 6mm pellets and feeding out 2mm micros. Any hard-banded pellets work, and there isn’t a great deal of silverfish to contend with. Within this lake, you’ll find an island. Fish as close to that as possible, the fish will move around that island in a clockwise direction. As it’s shallow, do not expect to have more than a couple fish in your swim at a time. Make sure you hit your bites and be prepared to wait a little while for the next rotation.
I do enjoy this lake on the pole. The fish fight incredibly hard throughout the whole year. Wintertime, a 10-12 elastic should do the trick. Plenty of giving, I find any heavier will result in a lot of hook pulls.
Summer on this lake can be very rewarding. I am a huge admirer of surface fishing. You can easily catch 120 lbs + of fish in a day just surface fishing. Firstly get yourself a peg as close to the island as possible, I prefer the car park side on the first two pegs next to the island. To start the day with, they’ll surface just about anywhere. USE BREAD! I’ve tried using different floating baits and bread is by FAR the best. Start by cutting half a slice into small pieces and chucking them out. It shouldn’t take long for them to start coming up. Once you start to see them, you’re ready to fish.
I normally go for a 14-16 elastic, around a 3 or 4-foot bit of line around the 10lb mark, with around a 7lb hook link and a size 10 hook. Pick your spot and away you go. I find always keeping 2 or 3 little bits around your bait at all times works best.
Over several hours, the sun will start to come out and become very bright. The fish here don’t tend to come out in the sun that much. The reason why I recommended setting up next to the island is it’s shaded from the midday sun. If you can get your bait over to that spot, you’ll find a lot of fish will be in that shade. If you can’t fish in that shade using a pole, I always take a rod with me.
My surface fishing rig for a rod isn’t anything fancy and doesn’t need to be. My advice is just to use a bubble float. Make sure your bait is at least 15 inches away from the float. Just remember to cast into the shade and close to the island as possible.
My biggest carp here is 15lb 6oz. This was caught on the surface with the methods I suggested. It can be difficult, although once you get the tactics right, you’ll see why this is one of the top fishing lakes in Norfolk.
Do they have a B&B
Yes, they do. I’ve seen people from all over Europe visit this. It’s not lakeside, but you can see it from the lakeside. I recommend staying if you live outside the country and want good hospitality close to the great fishing action.
I really do love this lake. It’s one of the few lakes I’ve consistently fished for a long time. It is very shallow and with that comes its challenges. Follow the advice and you’ll be successful.
Lake Size: 3 lakes. The small lake is one acre, the Middle lake is two Acres and the third lake 2 acres
Lake Record: Around 18lbs
Stock: Well stocked with carp from 1-20lb. Middle Lake’s Average is 6lb.
Other Species: Carp, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd
Contact: 01362 637177
Address: Church St, Elsing, Dereham NR20 3EA
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