Docklow Pools | Kilburnlad | Fishing | Diary

Kilburnlad

Docklow reflections

Well, our holiday is almost over and today it’s raining, not that we’re complaining as we have had a marvellous two weeks considering the weather that immediately preceded our holiday. As we’ve got to be out before 10.00 tomorrow I’ve forsaken a final evening’s fishing, as I didn’t want to have to try to dry out everything before packing.

Docklow is without doubt a great place for anglers. The lakes are mature with plenty of bank-side features and are set amongst trees. There are plenty of pitches so at no time is there any pressure on finding somewhere to fish, unless of course you have a particular spot in mind. I only fished late afternoon and evening, which is often the most productive time. All lakes seem to have a good stock of carp, as would be expected these days, and a surprising number of barbel. I have not really tried for silver fish so I can’t comment on roach, bream etc., although I did catch some. There are also chub and although I only caught a couple of small ones I saw bigger fish landed. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (9)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: Another fine calm evening.
Swim: Match Pool Peg1
Tackle:13ft Multi-float, 6lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 12 hook.
12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three carp, best fish 10lbs, a barbel and a small chub.

I was heading for the Mickey Mouse Pool but saw from the road that my favourite spot was occupied. I happened to be next to Peg 1 of the match pool at the time. Now, I have noticed that this peg is very popular and when I had a closer look it was clear that the adjacent pegs were some distance away, making it ideal for margin fishing. There were reeds to the right (photo) and a corner to the left, where the road bordered the lake. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (8)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: A beautiful evening following earlier heavy rain.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Peg19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat and bread flake.
Fish: Two carp, best fish 9lbs, four small barbel and a small tench.

Leather 9lb

Leather 9lb


After a disappointing trip to the River Teme earlier in the day (see previous posting) I went down to Mickey Mouse for a couple of hours. Peg 19 was free so I slotted in there, as I knew it from previous occasions.

I cast out near the lilies and having missed one bite, next cast I hooked what felt like a heavy fish. It didn’t run a great distance but kept deep and circled, occasionally trying to get into the margin reeds. It must have taken about ten minutes to get the fish in but I wanted to play it out rather than risk losing it by applying too much pressure. On the bank it weighed just over 9lb, the best fish so far at Docklow.

Following this early success I caught four barbel, a couple weighed at 1¼lb each and the others estimated at about a pound. In addition I got one small carp, a small tench and a roach. I packed up at 19.00.

Docklow Pools (7)

Arrival time: 14.30
Weather: Calm and slightly overcast. Light rain later.
Swim: Match Pool Peg12
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
13ft float rod, 6lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 14 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat. Fed with maggots and sweetcorn.
Fish: Four carp, best 7½lbs, and a small bream.

I tried the match pool today for the first time. I went with the intention of using my float rod and not carp fishing. I had assumed that carp would not be the predominant species in the match pool. However, it was soon clear that there were good carp in the lake as they could be seen cruising on the surface. The swim I chose had good margins to the right and a bed of lilies about 30 feet out directly in front. There were large carp around these lilies so I started with the Avon rod and flake casting to the edge of the pads. I had a couple of good bites but at that range it was difficult to connect. I did ‘feel’ one fish that felt quite large.

This strategy having not succeeded, I reverted to my original idea and set up my 13ft float rod. I fed the swim with the maggots left over from my Wye trip, sweetcorn, flake pellets and luncheon meat. My first fish, at 14.55, was a small bream of about ½lb taken on luncheon meat. I tried maggot on the hook but only got tiny roach. At 15.20 I landed a lively mirror of about 1½lb that also took luncheon meat. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (6)

Arrival time: 17.30
Weather: A clear calm evening following a sunny day.
Swim: Figure of Eight pool
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Six carp, best 6½lbs, two small barbel and a small tench.

We got back a bit late today so I went down to the lakes a bit later. I tried the Figure of Eight pool again, this time in the SE corner (I couldn’t find a Peg number). This spot offered two near margins and the option to cast to lilies and overhanging trees on the far bank, about 25 feet away. There was nobody else on the lake.

Things started well. Having seen fish movement on the far bank, I cast flake over and immediately got a take; a 2½lb common. I then picked up a small leather of about a pound. Next I tried a light leger down the left margin, leaving the line slack and watching for line movement. This allowed me to reach part of the corner that I couldn’t fish by float and resulted in two more small carp. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (5)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: Sunny and almost calm.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Pool - Peg 19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Three carp, best 6¼lbs, a roach just under a pound, some small barbel and a small chub.

Having tried the Figure of Eight pool yesterday I was ready to return. However both the corner swims were taken today. I therefore went on to Mickey Mouse and set up in my now regular pitch 19.

I dropped in down the left margin and quickly had a small barbel of about 12oz. The margin then went quiet so I tried fishing just off the lilies about 25 feet out. The lack of wind made this easier than on previous days. I used a simple slider float arrangement to make it easier to drop the rig close to the lilies. I caught about three of four more barbel in a short time then lost what was almost certainly a carp in the lilies, but fortunately it didn’t take any tackle. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (4)

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Sunny with little to no wind.
Swim: Figure of Eight Pool - Peg 17
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10/12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Four carp, best 7½lbs, a 1¾lbs crucian and a couple of small barbel.

I thought I should try another pool today and as someone was in Peg 19 on Mickey Mouse that sort of forced my hand.

I had seen a good spot on the small Figure of Eight pool, in the NE corner. A bank of reeds stretched away to the left and to the right the bank was inaccessible all the way to the other corner. This made the swim very secluded; just my cup of tea. There were carp cruising the surface, probably up to around the 10lb mark. They didn’t seem to be feeding, just taking the sun. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (3)

Arrival time: 15.00
Weather: Sunny with little to no wind.
Swim: Micky Mouse Pool - Pegs 21 & 19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Some small carp, best 4½lbs and a small tench. Lost a few fish.

A bright sunny day with no wind so I went down to Mickey Mouse a bit earlier. For a Bank Holiday Monday it wasn’t that busy, but there was someone at Peg 19 where I had fished on previous days. I slotted in to Peg 21, the spot where the chap on Saturday had had such a good day. I tried shallow-fished flake casting to the edge of the willow trees by the island, only about ten yards. I got a take every cast but couldn’t hit them. I managed after a while to hook a couple of small carp. I therefore changed tack and fished to a lily bed close to the near margin. I got some fiddly bites on luncheon meat and another small carp.

By this stage the family that was at Peg 19 had left, so I moved there. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (2)

Arrival time: 16.00
Weather: Cloudy bright and very windy although the trees kept the wind off my swim.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Pool - Peg 19
Tackle: 13ft Fishtec multi-float, 6lb line, centre pin, pre-loaded waggler and 12 hook
12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Three carp, best 5½lbs, some small barbel and roach. A story of lost fish!

I walked around all the lakes in the morning and the Mickey Mouse pool certainly attracts me the most. I went back late afternoon with the aim of perhaps fishing the spot where the chap yesterday had such good sport. There were two anglers in the spot in the morning and they were still there when I arrived. I thought they may leave early and give me a couple of hours in the spot.

While waiting I went in the same spot as yesterday. I started with the 13ft float rod with the hope of picking up a mixed bag. I fed bread pellets and luncheon meat and started getting some tentative bites. A couple of roach were hooked and landed. At about 17.00 the float went away and a fish motored out to the centre of the lake, about 20 or so yards. It felt powerful and I could do little to slow it down. I was hopeful that being in open water would give me a chance on the light tackle, but unfortunately the fish turned and went into the dense lily bed to the right, where there were also remains of old tree stumps. All went solid and hand-lining had no effect. I had to break off and lost one of three new floats I had bought in the morning. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (1)

Arrival time: 17.00
Weather: Cloudy bright with a stiff breeze although the trees kept the wind off the water.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Pool - Peg 19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, 14/10 hooks. Waggler and pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake, sweetcorn and luncheon meat.
Fish: Four carp, best 6lbs, a possible carp/crucian hybrid and an ide.

I selected a pitch with reeds to the left, a fallen tree bough to the right and lilies both to the left and about 15 metres out. Plumbing showed it to be quite shallow, around a couple of feet. I put in some loose feed sweet corn and luncheon meat and started fishing the margin to the left. Starting with sweet corn on a 14 hook I was getting bites that I think were small fish. Changing to luncheon meat I caught a mirror carp of about 12oz, which fought very well for its size. I then got what I think was a 1¾ lb crucian carp, although its colouring suggested perhaps a carp/crucian cross. Two fish were then lost because of failed hook hold, and my float ended up in a tree as the hook parted company with the fish. I changed to a pre-loaded waggler with a single sinker shot and increased the hook size to a 10. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools


Mickey Mouse Pool

Mickey Mouse Pool


In the unlikely event anybody is wondering why the fishing diary has been silent for almost a month, it’s because we had a holiday booked, a fishing holiday none the less. I have always tried to grab a bit of fishing when on holiday but this is the first time we’ve decided to take a fishing holiday.

Docklow Pools in Herefordshire has a number of lakes, some of which are for residents only, and for Helen they boasted a 9-hole golf course. We arrived about 14.45 and after unpacking and having a bit of lunch walked around the Mickey Mouse pool (photo). The proprietor recommended this pool as a good starter. It is a nice lake, not too large and edged with reeds, as well as having lily pads both at the margins and out in the lake. I fished it the first afternoon: see next posting. Read Full Report...

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