If you’re clicking on this blog post, there’s a good chance you’re looking at visiting Woodlakes. Am I right? Well, after months of considering and putting it off, I finally decided to get myself up to Woodlakes in Stowbridge. I’m going to try my luck on a little mix species challenge. I went from 3-7th July 2023. You’ll read what I caught, how I caught it, and what I’d do next time. I am planning on going back at some point, as that’s how much I enjoyed the experience.
Why Did I pick Woodlakes?
I don’t ever really fish for longer periods. I’m dawn until dusk angler, as I like the luxury of a bed. I’d get up silly o’clock and still get to hit the early mornings and late evening feeding spells. Woodlakes has a variety of cabins, both Parkside and lakeside. You won’t be disappointed with either. The complex also has a choice of many lakes and once purchased the ticket for the duration which is £25, you can fish any of the lakes. The complex is only around 70 miles from me so not a ridiculous drive. There were a few road closures which did have around 20 mins to the trip, not too bad though
What lodge did I choose at Woodlakes?
I did plenty of research about these lakes, all are self-catering, and I wasn’t settling for anything other than a lakeside lodge. When it says lakeside, it really does mean lakeside, I could walk out the back door of the lodge and be on the fishing peg. There’s also a hot tub on the decking also. We settled for cedar. A lovely part of the lake with a parking spot and plenty of room. The lodges have a Nordic feel with a modern kitchen and decent bathroom. It’s not luxury but more than comfortable for a week’s fishing. The hot tub was beautiful
Is there anything on site and Woodlakes?
There’s a basic tackle shop which sells all the essential things like pellets and some carp end tackle. Like always though, I did have to use it twice, forgetting some smaller bits of tackle, as expected I would. You’ll also be able to get things like milk and other smaller fridge items, however, this is not a groceries store, the closest one I found was Downham market around 7 miles away. If you wanted to eat out, you have a choice from two on-site restaurants.
Jack’s – More of a family diner and seemed to resemble decent pub grub and has a decent mixed grill.
Liv Pan Asia – I prefer this one as I like Asian Cuisine, you can sit lakeside as well which is lovely. It’s got great decor and friendly staff. Highly recommend this venue, we did have to book in advance though, so bare that in mind
In the Enchanted Forest there’s a pleasant wooden path. You’ll walk through, and come across cosy wooden seating areas, that can be rented. They have a little log burner which looks fairly cosy.
What fish are in Cabin Lake and what am I hoping for
Fish in the cabin lake are woodlakes that go to specimen sizes and this includes, Carp to 40lbs, Bream to 15lbs, tench to 12lbs, Roach to 3lbs and perch to 3lbs. I believe there are some decent pike in these lakes to over 20lbs, but I have no intention of fishing for them at all. Depths are around 6ft and next to no weed and around 10 acres in size.
I was looking for a PB Tench, Bream and Carp which currently sit at 6lb2oz, 6lb3oz and 16lb12oz. Not only that, but I don’t ever carp fish, and I’m not really planning on to either. I think if I feed correctly and fish during the prime times, I stood a good chance of breaking at least one of my PBs
What tactics did I use at cabin lakes, Woodlakes?
I was planning on fishing with one carp rod and one feeder rod. Although, the carp rod was in no way set up with big carp, my target with that was big Bream and Tench. I had a variety of different ground baits, pellets and a nice spod mix of 2mm pellets, corn, hemp and maggots. The idea was to have a large bed of bait to fish over the top of. These were standard tactics and proven methods for both Tench and bream. The carp road was being fished with solid PVA bags or crushed boilies and pellets, and just a single boilie to start.
When it comes to the feeder rod, I was opting for my favourite Korum Heli rig and a short 4-inch hook link. I was going to be switching between a cage feeder and a maggot feeder throughout the days. I started fishing with a heli rig for bream and tench a couple of years ago, and I swear by it to anybody. Likewise, I love how it sits in the water and works so much better with a short hook link. Furthermore, I hardly miss a bite or get any hook pulls with this method, it’s fantastic.
My catch report from Woodlakes Cabin Lake
I’ll now go through how each of my days went and what I did. In all honesty, I didn’t change much, although I would change a couple of things for next time.
I arrived around 2:15pm. The first thing I did, before I even set up any rods, the plan was to get 3 or 4 spods out around 50m. A nice clear bottom and signs of fish were spotted in and around that area of the lake. I wasn’t planning on fishing for another couple of hours, so plenty of time for the fish to come in. I wasn’t entirely sure how stocked this lake was, as I’ve not seen or heard of any other angler feeder fishing this lake. Furthermore, I was hoping this would play into my hands and the fish not used to being caught on smaller baits and hooks.
After a local kebab was consumed at around 6:30, I started to fish (Visit reception for takeaway menus). The carp rod, a PVA pay full of 6mm robin reds and a mainline 15 mm tutti fruity boilie. I’ve always caught decent tench on tutti fruity through the years, so thought that was a good start. The feeder rod is filled with some Van Den Eynde Gold Bream groundbait, filled with 2 mm pellets, hemp and some maggots. Hook bait was double red maggot.
The first fish came on the feeder in around 30 seconds, a little skimmer, followed by a “fish a chuck” of skimmers within the next hour. It was a good sport, but for love or money, I couldn’t catch anything bigger than around 8oz. I consistently caught on the feeder for a good couple of hours nothing more than 12oz and the average roach seemed to be around 10-11oz, so I know there’s going to be some big ones if you put the time into roach fishing. I stopped fishing on day 1 around 9pm, I was tired and wanted to get up nice and early the next morning.
I woke around 4:45, and the first thing I did was get 3 spods back out over the same area and get the carp rod back out. The fishing on the feeder started as I finished, instantly bagging up on skimmers a decent roach. 6:45 I managed my first bream of around 5lb which was had once the smaller fish had stopped biting. I switch to corn in order to fend off some of the smaller fish, and the bream had taken that. Hours after that were spent catching roach up to 1lb, skimmers and the odd small perch.
It was around 9am when I hooked into something a little bit bigger, this one didn’t feel like a bream, so my first thought was a tench. I didn’t expect to catch tench already, so I was a little excited about what It would be. The other anglers around hadn’t seen a tench come out of this lake before, so I thought they were uncommon. Around 5 mins later, it was in the net. A new PB tench of 7lb 4oz. I was buzzing, and it was taken to double red maggot on my favourite Heli rig set-up
I didn’t deviate from this tactic the whole trip. The remainder of the day we’re just catching one after another of roach, skimmers and the old perch showing. It was bright and sunny that morning so was lovely just taken in the sun and observing the little ducks pining for food.
I did spod a couple out around 1pm and again around 7pm. Nothing notable on day two, probably had around 60lbs of silverfish that day. By 9:30 I had packed up for the night.
Similar sort of time waking up, same process, Spods then rods! This time the carp rod had gone off around 7am, it had only been in the water for 5 minutes. It ended up being a 16lb 8oz carp caught on the tutti fruity. The carp rod was getting some indications for the past couple of days, so I knew it was a matter of time. I was hoping for a bigger tench or bream, but as long as I’m catching, I’m happy.
Over the next few hours, the bigger fish didn’t show this lake is such a good sport for smaller fish. I had probably every other angler on the lake come and speak to me at some point, the word spread I was catching regularly and wanted to know how they should set up to catch during the day. Everybody else was carp anglers, and I didn’t know a single carp that was caught past 9am. They were all caught once it went dark, one angler had 11 carp in 2 nights.
At least I can say I convinced a couple of carp anglers to visit a local tackle shop and buy a float road to enjoy fishing during the day. They are surprised by how fun it can be and not knowing what you’d catch next. I continued the day catching skimmers and roach until around mid-afternoon when I decided to try to fish for the perch. Furthermore, I decided to fish with a maggot feeder in the margins just off a tree. Again this fishing was no different, I had a run of about 15 fish in 20 mins the biggest was 1lb 03oz. I know they’ll be bigger perch here, and I’d love to have the whole lake to myself to try and find them, obviously, that’s dreamland!
I reckon there’s some massive perch to be had, probably bigger than what they think.
I decided to fish until around 10pm tonight. I notice once it gets dark, the smaller fish no longer bite. If you do happen to get one, it’s probably going to be a fairly decent fish. I had a decent bream of around 5lb again at about 9:45. After this, same as every other night, straight in the hot tub and to bed.
This was my last full day, so I decided to make it my last day of fishing. After putting the carp rods out, I got my tea and sat down ready to fish. The feeder fishing was just as incredible as it’s been since day one, I had some roach up to around 1lb 3oz and a new PB perch being 1lb 3. The carp rod went off around 6:30 with a tench at 6lb 10oz.
It was around 09:30am the carp rod went off again, this time it was another carp at 15lb 08oz. It was not long after this the sun came out and it was so bright the fishing was much less productive. You were still catching skimmer and roach, but I knew the bigger ones were not feeding in this heat. I could no longer see signs of fish on this lake, and I thought it was best around 1pm to go for a walk around the other lakes.
We spent a couple of hours walking around the other lakes, the enchanted forest and spent a fair amount of time at the championship lake. The championship lake is essentially the lake with the biggest fish in the complex. It’s incredibly weedy and takes an element of skill to be able to fish that, in my opinion. I did bump into another angler right on the far side of the lake fishing in about a 3m x 3m section of clear water, that’s how weedy that lake was.
The other lakes looked pretty nice, the two-pole lake had some anglers fishing on it and also what looked like a small match-style lake, seemed like a bit of run water. The Liv Pan Asia restaurant was directly next to this, so I was looking forward to eating later overlooking this lake. Before I went to dinner, I put out 3 spods and knew after dark was the best time to catch a bigger fish. My plan was to fish until around 11pm
Dinner time at Liv Pan Asia Woodlakes.
I wish I could remember what I had to eat, but the names eluded me. I did have the satay chicken for a starter, which was probably the nicest satay chicken I’ve had in a long time. What I really love about this restaurant, and it’s not just the lakeside view but the style of it. You can pick to either sit outside or in a converted bus. The kitchen itself was a converted double-decker bus. Around the restaurant, there are also some little wooden pods you can sit in if you’d prefer.
I went for a Spicy shredded beef main and my partner went for a shredded Chicken main, and I was a little jealous of the sticky rice she’d opted for, as I haven’t had sticky rice since I was in Vietnam. I was rather full, we didn’t opt for a dessert on this occasion.
Back to the fishing?
The sunset sets the scene for big fish. It’s been so bright and hot today, the fish haven’t been feeding at all. I didn’t put the carp rod back out again and decided to just concentrate on the feeder. I believe fishing a bit later would yield a bite.
It was around 20:30 when I started fishing again, I first went after some perch to see if I can nab a bigger perch. I did have one come off which would have been my biggest perch of the trip. My PB perch I’d caught earlier on in the trip, so no doubt I’d of beaten that. I never saw the fish, though, so I would probably be a lot more annoyed if I did.
Around 9:30 I started back on the feeder. The light was slowly fading and I new this was my last chance of a bigger fish. I didn’t have a bite until around half 10 when I could barely even see the tip any more, I had my bite. It hit and knew it was something bigger than what I’d caught all trip. It wasn’t a tench as it wasn’t really moving but the odd head shake. I knew this was a bream, but I didn’t know how big. After around 5 mins of me playing a cautious fight, I had its head up, and it was the biggest bream I’ve ever caught. It was a new PB 8lb02oz bream and the last fish I was to catch on this trip
I love woodlakes, and I love Cabin Lake! During the day it fishes similar to broome pits. I love how productive it can be outside the normal feeding hours or dawn and dusk. The only thing I would change was maybe being a bit more flexible on the carp rod. I wasn’t fishing for the carp, but they’re there to catch if willing to use carp tactics and fish in the night a little more.
When walking around looking at the lakes at woodlakes park, I did notice a few fish showing on the surface. If it’s something that interests you, set up a surface rig and go get them! This will be my plan next time. A lot of people that fish through the days don’t like leaving their peg, but I think you have a perfect chance of getting something a lot bigger when the sun goes down. If you don’t want to fish through the day each day, you know the evening can be very productive
I didn’t bring any worms with me on this trip to woodlakes, so next time I’ll bring that, although maggots were a terrific choice, I’d like to test the water on worms. If you can spend time on this lake, I’m certain you can get specimen-size fish of every species, and that’s my goal next trip.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to woodlakes, the complex was clean the fishing is good, and the staff we very friendly. I’ll most certainly be back.
If you’re planning on coming to woodlakes park, make sure you book up nice and early. It can get very busy. You can book via the website or any other booking platform
Since i orginally posted this, I have visited again during the heatwave at the start of september 2023. The I fished on Cedar 10 plus. I caught all the fish I had on my previous visit but on this occasion had an eel. I didn’t even know eels were in this lake.