Crowsheath Tips

As a bailiff i get to meet all kinds of people from all walks of life, but no matter who they are or where they are from, they all want to know the same things. So we have compiled a list of top Crowsheath tips and questions, and now you can all have a bit of inside knowledge about the lakes.


What bait works best?
A quality carp bait is always a good start which can be found on every tackle shop shelf. But topping your boilies off with something visual like a small pop up or fake corn can really help to get you bites.

Do they respond to a lot of bait?
Yes, and no depending on the length of your session. For short sessions a scattering of boilies or particle, rather than a bed of bait seems to Continue reading

Share This:

Joe Emmons Memorial Match Saturday 28th March 2015

Joe Emmons


We are hosting a special charity event on our main lake in memory of Joe Emmons from 10am this Saturday 28th March.

The lake will be open for day tickets and members up until 9am Saturday morning so we would be grateful if all swims can be vacated by 9am please. The match will run for 36 hours and will be closed to day ticket and members whilst the match takes place. The pike lake and the Catfish lake will still be open as normal during the event. Peg draw takes place at 8.30am, then fish 10am Saturday through to 2pm Sunday.

We are sorry if this has caused any inconvenience for anyone wanting to use the lakes during the match, but we could not say no to having the privilege of hosting a memorial match in his memory.


Share This:

What Are Carp?

What Are Carp? We all know what they look like and im sure most of you have caught a few in your time but do you really know much about the species and their origins?

The carp family are known as cyprinids, and they are the largest fish family in the world with a staggering 2,400 known species in total. As a carp angler you will have come across a small variety of cyprinids that are native to the United Kingdom which include Roach, Rudd, Tench and Carp. Carp are originally native to Asia and the Danube river in Europe and they are not exactly the same as the carp we have in our English lakes today, although that is where their story begun.

Common carp were farmed as a food source as far back as roman times, but betw38.5lb common carpeen the 13th and 16th centuries the monks wanted a fish with less scales so they were easier to prepare for the table. It was through mutation and selective breeding that our beloved European domestic common, mirror, leather, fully scaled and linear carp were born. Since then different strains have evolved all over the continent and have been bred to get the variety shapes, sizes, growth rates and markings that we see in the European domestic carp in our lakes today. It is because of the selective breeding process why we have fish farms creating their own strain of carp which can vary in shape, growth rate, colouration and scale pattern. But because all of this is interfering with the genetics by inbreeding, some strains for example will have a massive growth rate but will have a much shorter life span. Whilst other strains are more stable and may be bred for their specific markings rather than growth rates. These are all things that fisheries will have considered when stocking a lake.

What is selective breeding?

Selective breeding which is also called hybridisation, is when you select fish for their specific traits, characteristics and genetics and use them for breeding. Say for instance you chose a dark female mirror mirror carpcarp that is growing much faster that all of the others, and a golden male linear mirror carp. By using them for breeding you would find that a percentage of the spawn would be fast growing dark linear mirror carp. There will also be a percentage of common carp too suprisingly, but that is because this is where the genetics came from all those years ago. So by in-breeding the spawn of the new fast growing dark linear mirror carp you can create a strain of carp that will have the characteristics and genetics that you have specifically chosen from the parents. Just like us looking like our parents really, its all genetic.


Carp Facts

  • Carp do not have a stomach, their digestion takes place in their intestine which is around double the length of its body. Carp can eat around 2-5% of their body weight each day in the right conditions, so a 30 pound fish has to eat over half a kilo of food per day just to sustain itself. Food passes through their digestive systems pretty quick, which is why when they are are laying on your unhooking mat they can often poop out the bait you have just been using.
  • Carp do not have teeth although they do have boney hard pads called pharyngeal teeth which are located between the mouth and intestine, and when the fish makes a chewing motion it enables them to crush up harder foods like boilies and insects and gives them a more varied diet than other members of their family.
  • The linear mirror carp came from Germany and Poland and has a row of large scales that run along the middle of the fish called the lateral line. With the German reputation for order it almost makes complete sense that this is where they would originate from.
  • Leather carp are a completely scaleless carp, although some scales along the dorsal may be present, but not a complete row are permitted to be classed as a leather. They have a distinct genetic difference from mirror carp, so they are not actually a mirror carp without any scales as some people think. This is because they have a reduced numbers of red blood cells which slows growth rate and is why large leather carp are not common but large mirror carp are.
  • Carp have been recorded to live to around 65 years old, with some reports of some living to over 100 years.

Share This:

Big Plans For 2015 At Crowsheath Fishery

We have some exciting news for all of you, so no matter if you are dedicated to carp, catfish, pike or coarse angling. There is some news for you all!!!

At the end of the March 2015 once the pike season has drawn to a close, we will be shutting down our pike lake. This is to make way for improvements by the way of an extension of the lake making it at least twice its current size. Once work has been completed hopefully by the end of May, it will be stocked with roach, rudd, perch and carp, making it a perfect little match lake and a runs water for smaller carp up to 10 pound, with a couple of larger carp up to 20 pound to target. We will be working a lot more with qualified coaches and this will be a great little lake for them to be able to demonstrate a lesson and be able to build up an anglers confidence before moving on to larger fish in our main lake. Not to mention it will be awesome non stop action for the even the most experienced angler who just wants to put a bend in the rod.

The idea behind the original plan of creating a lake specifically for pike was for myself (Nick) to prove to the land owners that pike fishing really was as popular as ever. So rather than jumping in and stocking the main lake full of pike, we created a lake specifically for pike fishing to literally test the water. Now we are 3 seasons on and we have come to the point where the pike lake is full to capacity on most days and expansion was needed.

Once work commences we will be stocking all of the pike from the lake into our main eight and a half acre specimen carp lake. This was an easy decision to make from a fishery management point of view as there are virtually no predators present to control the population of smaller fish. So whilst the pike will growing in size from the abundance of small fish to feed on, the carp will grow more and faster because there will be more food to eat and more room to grow in. This is called the biodensity and can be observed at a much smaller scale in a fish tank at home where the fish will only grow to the size of its tank. This basically means that a certain area of water can only support a certain amount of life contained in it. This figure is not per species as it is calculated as a whole figure. This is why some lakes have regular nettings so that smaller fish are taken out. But with the presence of predators and good fishery management techniques this figure can be achieved over time and can be sustained at a balanced level. So by stocking the pike into the main lake is a win, win, win scenario and what we call a no-brainer and plus we get a brand new eight and a half acre pike fishing lake as a bonus for the start of next pike fishing season.

The mass majority of the catfish have been removed from the main lake over the past 3 years with only a few remaining. They have been living quite happily in our canal lake, but whilst we are on the subject of biodensity it is not ideal for the fish. This was a scenario that we knew that we would eventually be faced with as we kept adding fish to the lakes total. The decision to remove the catfish from the main lake was to control the population as they were breeding prolifically and we did not want our lake being over run with catfish like other venues have done the past. Now we are at this stage, we are submitting plans to the council to extend the canal lake to at least 3 times the width and if all goes to plan we will be starting work immediately after finishing extending the new match/runs water. But if things take longer than planned, as they usually do with the fishing industry, we will start work as soon as the catfish season ends around October time.

Once all this work has been completed it will free up the two stock ponds which are currently rammed with small fish waiting to go in to the new lake. This will allow me to concentrate more on a selective breeding program where we will nurture our own strain carp which already has a great reputation for their quality and condition and will be the next generation of fish to be stocked into the lakes.

Share This:

Carping for Moore Charity Event

If I said that there was an event here in the summer with fishing, drinking, cheap fishing tackle and prizes involved, all whilst raising money for charity. Would you be interested? if so? Read on and I will tell you all about it.

From the 31st July 2015 – 2nd August 2015 we will be holding a huge charity weekend called Carping for Moore which will consist of a Carp match for adults and juniors, family fun day, BBQ, fast food, Refreshments, Competitions, Raffles and a Tackle market.
Carping for Moore Carp fishing event at the lakes

So far for the carp fishing match we have confirmed a Jonjo celebrity team, from the likes of David Seaman to  Matthew Wright and Bobby Davro. Terry Dempsey has an Urban team and depending on his schedule we may see an appearance from Ali Hammidi as well as others. There is a Team from Bank Bug, a Crowsheath team and of course an Oi Oi Carping U.K Team too. We have space for 2 more teams in the competition, so whether you want to enter your company or group, or just a bunch of mates that want to get involved in this huge event, there is time.

The event is gaining momentum every day and we have just had confirmation that Navitas is now sponsoring the event and a few carp magazines and newspapers will be around too. We have the full support of Cancer Research U.K and the Bobby Moore Fund who will both be helping to run the weekend, so you know that this is not just another charity carp match, its a full on event!

We will be having a fishing tackle market on the Sunday when the competition ends which will be just like a smaller version of a carp show with trade stands from major fishing tackle suppliers as well as 2nd hand tackle section for the general public to donate any unwanted or unused items for sale.

Other attractions on the sunday will be a full on blow up pub complete with a bar and beer garden. Rides for the kids, competitions, auctions and raffles. Food will be available with a variety of fast food options with a huge BBQ at lunch time too. Most importantly there will be plenty of on site parking for everyone on all of the days. There are more things being added almost daily and we will be updating you on a regular basis as and when things happen.

Carp fishing event in EssexTo enter a team and join in on this worthy cause and be able to fish in the competition, or even if you just want to raise some money for a worthy cause and help us add to the total. Each team consists of 5 members and costs £50 entry fee per member. Each team member MUST have raised a minimum of £500, this can be done by self funding or raising the money through other means like through a just giving page etc. There is plenty of time to raise the money as the event is not taking place until the 31st July 2015. It will be a ticket only event which can be purchased in advance online or on the gate as you enter.

Want to know why we are doing this event?
Just over a year ago we had a group of lads called the ‘Oi Oi Carpers’ approach me about having a social on our carp lake. We wouldn’t normally have large groups on the lakes as it can get quiet noisy at times, and being a day ticket water we like to keep noise down to a minimum for the other anglers that fish here. But on this occasion, because Steve who is one of the groups admins, and a close friend to my brother, I agreed to their gathering.

Whilst they were here Steve approached me and asked if a young boy called Jonjo and his mother Donna could come down during the weekend and use my kitchen to serve a meal up for the lads, and that all money raised would go straight to charity. When Jonjo and Donna arrived, straight from another charity fund raiser that morning I might add, I could see from the amount of food they had brought with them that I had literally bitten off more than I could chew and we were going to struggle because of my tiny kitchen. But we cracked on regardless, made the best of a bad situation and managed to get the whole group fed, and a whole lot of money raised for the charity. Whilst the cooking was going on Jonjo and I had a bit of spare time to have a good chat whist playing with my dog, and from that moment I knew that this little boy and his mother were extremely genuine special people. At the age of just 12 Jonjo had raised more for charity than I have earned in my lifetime and is completely all his own doing, his mother just supports him rather than pushing which makes it even more incredible, and for someone that young to be so selfless, completely blew me away. You can read more about what he has been up to so far and also what else he has planned by visiting his website by clicking here.

The Oi oi gathering went extremely well and my concerns about groups with their noise and trouble were a thing of the past. Every single one of them was a perfect gentleman and I really don’t think you could get a better bunch of lads all in one place. So when Steve, Donna and Jonjo suggested a charity carp match the following year I could not refuse, and with over a year to plan, I knew that it would be an event to be remembered.

It was at that point, Carping For Moore was born!

Share This:

Mealworms As Carp Bait

During the winter months when fishing becomes a little slower, it gives you plenty of time to think about tactics in between bites. We have literally tried everything so far this winter, from zig rigs and chods, to medusa rigs and method feeders. We have had some really great results on most rigs and baits, but in true angler style we over think the situation and change from what was working, to something new. Just because the latest issue of your favourite carp magazine or angler tells you that you will catch more if you buy this and do this. So with that in mind we decided to do some research and look for our own ideas not realising that we had the answer right under our noses.  Myself and Darren have been breeding mealworms for over a year to feed his bearded dragon because they were quite expensive and did not last very long in little plastic tubs. So we already had a small supply, but to use them how we want to, we needed to expand slightly.

Mealworms are full of protein, up to 60% in some cases, not to mention that they are 100% completely organic and natural. They are a real versatile bait choice with a multitude of uses.

They can be used whole and live, although putting them on a hook can be extremely difficult, Mealwormsbut with a little patience, steady hand and a sharp fine baiting needle, hair rigging can be achieved. Also gluing them to a cork ball and using them popped up is a great way too.

You can use them as a live loose feed on their own and they do last a good while underwater before drowning and leaving a nice scattered lake bed. They can be used dead and dried in the summer for surface fishing and zigging because they become very buoyant when dried and can really get the carp competing for these little nutritional insects.

A really interesting way of using them is when they are dried, they can be ground into mealworm meal and used in boilies and pastes as a substitute for fishmeal. In the winter using a boilie or pellet with a high fishmeal content is pretty much a no no because the fish are not very good at digesting the fishmeal and this is because of the high oil content within it. The carp don’t move around  as much in the winter whilst the water is really cold, So this means that they don’t really burn off the the oils which can congeal on the lake bed and in their stomachs. So using mealworm meal in your baits at this time of year can be a really great and nutritional alternative.

Mealworms as carp baitAdding them to a mix dead, alive or as a ground up mealworm meal can really boost the nutritional value of what you are adding them too making it more of an appealing meal for the carp.

The only downside is that they can be very expensive if you buy them from a live food store, but if you breed them yourself or know someone that does, they are free! which makes them even better!

For more info and useful blogs about goings on here at Crowsheath, please visit our Bailiffs diary page.

Share This:

Bailiffs Piece 2015

Another year is over and we are now into January, so I thought seeing as I’m a bailiff, it would be an idea to write a little blog called bailiffs piece about what has happened and what has been going on here at Crowsheath in 2014, and what lies ahead for 2015 too.

It really has been a great season all round with so many great captures of carp, catfish and pike over the year, we have decided to just give you a run down on what has been out and what to look out for in the future.

Our mandarin Wels catfish (Manderjim) has been caught a record 5 times over this season at a top weight of 70lb. There were several other larger catfish caught up to a massive 83 pound too  throughout the season. ‘Bent whisker’ who still lives in the main lake for the time being, has been causing havoc as per usual by ripping rods into the lake and snapping off everybody, and I mean everybody! He was at 96 pound nearly 4 years ago, so i can only imagine what size he is now?

There was  only one carp over 30 pound caught this year which was the only known 30 to be a mirror, the carp has been named ‘Torpedo Mirror’ due to the length of Continue reading

Share This:

Christmas Competition To Win 3 Month Membership

Christmas competition


For your chance to win a 3 month membership all you have to do to enter our Christmas competition is:

  • If you a not a member of our website, firstly you must register., Then sign in.
  • If you are already a member of our website, just sign in.
  • Then leave a comment on this post with your guess on how many boilies are in the tub.

And that’s it!!!

Competition closes at midnight 31st December 2014.

The winner will be drawn on new years day.

One guess per person allowed.

Good luck!

Congratulations to our winner Jack Rose with the nearest guess of 607. The correct answer was 606!

Share This:

Lake Maintenance and Work Parties

Lake MaintenanceDuring the winter when the banks are a lot quieter, it gives us a chance to catch up on some much needed lake maintenance. Over the coming months we will be repositioning most of our swims on our main carp lake to give you have a more defined area of fishing. This applies especially around the two islands where you are fishing on a corner and have an almost triangle shaped swim. This has not really caused too much of a problem over the years because we generally have a great bunch of anglers that fish here, but there has been a couple of shall we say, disagreements. With that in mind, we try to listen to everyones ideas and points of view and there is no harm in trying something new out. We are anglers ourselves and could not be any more passionate about what we do here, so making a decision that will ultimately improve the fishing experience, was no brainer. We will be taking away a couple of swims to give you more space between each angler, although a couple of the swims will be closer together, to give you dedicated double swims for the more Continue reading

Share This:

Lake Mapping

Anyone who has been fishing here will have seen the map the bailiffs provide for you. It has served us well over the years and gave anglers a fighting chance of aiming at an underwater feature without having to thrash a marker rod around your swim. The map was a great little tool, but it was only an artists impression of the lake, and did not really show you the full picture under the water. There is so much information about the lake that we couldn’t put on the map as it would have made it pretty much unreadable. So it just contained the average depths at various intervals with some of the main features outlined.

Continue reading

Share This: