Merrington carp pool, Shropshire

This man-made pool, set in peaceful surroundings well back from the road, was designed with carp anglers in mind.

The nine-acre lake has a clutch of islands, various underwater undulations and 18 well-maintained swims. There’s also an on-site café serving hearty meals seven days a week. You can even have food delivered direct to your swim for a small extra fee. 

A well-stocked shop offers bait and tackle, and if you really want home-from-home comforts, portable power packs can be rented.  

There are more than 200 carp present, almost exclusively over 10lb. At the top of the tree are more than half a dozen 30-pounders, backed up by around 85 twenties and 120 doubles.

Merrington is a regular host of high-profile carp matches and has been fished by a host of top names. Angling can be testing at times, but the rewards are well worthwhile and hectic action can ensue if you get it right.  


From the local expert

Carl Sharp, manager of Angling Direct in Willenhall, West Midlands, has fished Merrington many times and has had a number of multiple hits this winter.

He said “In the colder months the fish do tend to group up around the middle in the main bowl of the lake. There’s a small depression in the centre of the lake, about 6in-12in deeper than the rest of the water and the fish are generally never too far away.

“I think a lot of people go down the route of throwing in kilos of round balls and it’s not the way. In previous years before some of the bait bans, I’d use plastic baits, corn, worms and maggots, but it has changed a bit since then.

“If I was going down there in the summer I’d have one rod on a pink pop-up and the other rod on a worm. I think it’s anything but a boilie water, the carp aren’t competing with other species and they can pick and choose. 

“It’s a man-made lake and when it was dug they left humps and bumps all over the place. If you can locate these and fish on the top of them where it’s 2ft or 3ft shallower than everywhere else, it’s often a case of putting a bait out and waiting for a bite.” 


Essential information

 

Location: The Hayes Farm, Merrington, Bomere Heath, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 3QH

Contact: www.merringtoncarpfishery.co.uk or 07707 670408

Prices: £15 a day or £25 for 24 hours. £5 reduction on both tickets between November and February inclusive. Booking essential.

Rules: Two rods between March and October, three in winter. Barbless hooks, 12lb minimum line, no braided mainline and no leadcore. Maggots only in December, no plastic baits except zigs. Full list on website.