The Clay Pool


The Water

The Clay Pool is a man made, reed fringed body of water of approx 1.2 acres with a clay lined base and situated on the south west side of the site. This can be seen on the far right (as you enter the site) directly behind The Gravel Pit. At first glance The Pool could be mistaken as Commercial Carp bagging water but is anything but. The level of this Pool is approx 400mm higher than the surrounding water table and separated from the gravel pits by a clay embankment, this pool included just 7 fishing pegs when we bought the site in 2016.

This water was considered as little more than a muddy puddle with a small derelict trout farm separating it from The Gravel Pit. The first phase of the major works programme was to remove all but one earth walkways out of the old Trout farm and break this area through into the existing pool effectively doubling the size of the original pond to 1.2 acres whilst leaving a wildlife island in the middle of the new lake. The old timber fishing platforms have all been removed and replaced with clay pegs with timber frontage so every angler will be sat on solid ground close to the water. The increase size of the lake allowed us to cut out a total of 15 pegs and set out so no angler is facing another angler and everyone can fish to the far bank.

The average depth of The Pool at two rod lengths out is about 4 feet and drop to 7 in the middle, the newly excavated areas also drop down to 6 feet leaving enough depth and volume to cope with a harsh winter.

After the re-modelling of the lake banks in 2016 there was a lot of young aquatic plants grown and introduced, over the next 2 years these plants have matured into reed, rush and Iris fringed margins and now the lake looks like it’s been loved by mother nature for the past one hundred years.


The Residents

The small fish stocking density in The Pool was very high, and given the size of the water and the limited amount of natural food available the condition of the largest Tench made the over stocking problem quite apparent. On securing the site we initiated a feeding programme to recondition the larger fish and progressively moved some of the big Tench and Carp into The Gravel Pit where they could reach their full potential, and then to develop this pool into a true mixed coarse fishery.

The water was also over run with tiny Roach and 4-6 inch Skimmer Bream so over the 2016-2018 season we had days were keep nets were issued and over the two years we removed many 1000s of small “pesky skimmers” and transferred them across into the Old Trout Lake to create a Bronze Bream colony for future years.

Now this little water gives each angler an element of surprise and uncertainty, as the dip of the float may produce Common, Mirror and Ghost Carp to 5lb, Tench to 4lb, Bream to 4lb, Crucians to 1.5lb, Ide to 2.5lb, Perch to 2.5lb, Roach and Rudd over 1lb, the occasional Golden Tench, some stunning Golden Rudd and even the occasional Barbel. This little water also doubles up as a Tench nursery where fish can grow on free from predation to a size where they can be safely transferred into one of the two gravel pits and we continue to crop small roach and “pesky skimmers “.


What to Expect

The warmer months when the Tench and Carp are on the feed mixed species bags of 100lb + are achievable and don’t be surprised to take 40+ Tench in a single session. The Pool is an ideal venue for the everyday pleasure angler to fish the pole or float in the near side margins or drop a feeder across to the far bank.

The silver fishing can be excellent through all months with Roach, Rudd, Ide and Skimmers continue to feed all year round and pleasure anglers been catching 25-40lb bags from November through to March with average silver fish size 8-12 oz and a scattering of bigger bonus fish inc carp and occasional the occasional Tench over winter.


Baits, Tactics and Presentation

For the discreet angler the near side margin will see both Carp and Tench literally feeding at the base of the toe boards, they aren’t shy and to deter the silvers fish large baits like meat, mussel, large pellet on a sort pole with 14 grey Hydro, 0.17 and a size 14 to subdue the liveliest Carp and Tench.

Hordes of quality summer roach and Rudd can be taken on the short pole fishing straight to hand on light rigs using pellets, maggots, casters or punched bread.

For the lazy angler dropping a small method feeder tight to the far margin or into the middle will produce enough Tench, Carp and Bream to keep the tip pulling round all day long and for the float fisherman all of the above can be achieved fishing waggler – but don’t forget to try out a hair rigged prawn or two to temp some of the large Perch that patrol the margins looking for an easy meal in summer rather than chasing summer fry in coloured water.

Starcarr Lakes Angling Regulations

Summer Fishing times 07:30- 18:00 latest and not past dusk.
Summer Fishing days are Wednesday & Saturday.
Winter Fishing times (Oct – March) Pre-book only via Face Book.

The measures below are in place for the safety and welfare of the fish and apply to everyone fishing or visiting the site-NO EXCEPTIONS. If you won’t comply, you can’t fish. No fishing after dark. Site gates are locked at 18:00 each night and will not re-open until 07:30. Anyone caught fishing on site after dark will detained for poaching.
Anyone seen or caught moving fish, stealing fish, killing or deliberately injuring fish, (including use of live bait) will be prevented from leaving site until the police arrive. Anglers are asked to report such activity immediately by calling 07912 677302.


  1. Maximum 2 rods per person and anglers must have a current EA rod license.
  2. Strictly one angler per peg – unless an angler is accompanying a child that is fishing.
  3. Each child angler 15 or under must be accompanied by experienced adult angler at ALL TIMES.
  4. No litter will be tolerated (including cigarette butts) pegs are inspected each morning and evening. If you find litter left by the previous peg user please report it.
  5. No nets, slings, mats or cradles to be brought on to site – only our fish care items only permitted
  6. All fish must be returned immediately to the pond they were caught in – do not move fish between ponds. No retaining fish unless instructed to do so by the fishery owner.
  8. Any fish that are weighed must be in a Starcarr weigh sling.
  9. Do not lay fish on the ground, do not lay nets with a fish in on the ground – put it on the mat provided.
  10. Bait boats are NOT permitted.
  11. 1 x Barbless single hook ( MAX SIZE 8 )per rig, No Braid Hook lengths NO FIXED or BOLT rigs, NO safety release clips, use 100% free running rigs, No multiple hook rigs.
  12. Do not leave baited tackle in the water unattended.
  13. No pike fishing, No live baiting, No dead baiting, No spinning or lure fishing of any description.
  14. Fishing distances are half way to the next peg if that peg is occupied or becomes occupied or to the middle of the pool. All pegs are numbered – do not move or remove the peg numbers.
  15. No open cans or tins on the bank, please put tinned baits into bait boxes prior to fishing.
  16. All pegs are numbered – do not move or remove the peg numbers.
  17. Banned baits – tinned cat food or tinned dog food. Do not use excessive numbers surface baits or throw slices of bread into the lake unless it is wet and mashed up into sinking bait.
  18. Do not throw in large lumps of uncut meat into the water and do not discard unused baits onto the banks or bushes – please leave unused bait in the buckets at the bait station, we will feed it to fish in the clay pool on closed days.
  19. Do not fish close to snags and endanger the fish. If you find a snag please report its location to the manager or bailiff and we will attempt to identify it and remove it.
  20. If you are unsure of anything – please ask, do not just assume

Download Clay Pool and Gravel Pit rules – updated October 2019
Download Health & Safety and Registration – updated Feb 2017