Fishery Focus | Anglers Paradise, Top General Lake


by James Furness |
Published on

Variety is the name of the game at Devon’s stunning Anglers Paradise, and if you were to conduct a poll among the regulars about their favourite water at the venue, there’s a good chance that the Top General Lake would be the winner.

It can accommodate around 10 anglers at a time, and it really does live up to its billing of being a mixed lake.

Alongside the more common species such as carp, perch and tench, there are plenty of colourful surprises. These include blue and golden orfe, koi to double figures, and even grass carp.

One of the many beauties of the lake is its sheer unpredictability – no single swim stands out as being a real hotspot.

The fish are constantly on the move, and a little watercraft and effort to find them will often make the difference between getting a few bites and enjoying a red-letter session.

Popular haunt

Peg five is the first swim that you’ll see from the road, and this leads to it being a popular choice with many visitors. If you arrive on a mild and overcast day, this peg is likely to prove prolific because a lot of bait is introduced here and, when the fish are in the mood for a munch, they’ll explore the area. Use two rods to cover plenty of water, floatfishing a couple of rodlengths out into open water and pinning a small Method feeder close to the point of the island.

Floater fishing fun

The big koi carp that inhabit the lake are quite easy to spot on a warm day, as they often swim within mere inches of the surface. Fishing with floating baits is permitted, and is a very effective way of catching these brightly-coloured specimens. The area in the vicinity of pegs 1 and 10 tends to produce well to this approach, with the slightly longer walk to these pegs making them less popular, and quieter. Carry a range of hookbaits such as bread, dog biscuits, Dynamite Baits Big Fish Floating Pellets and whittled-down pop-ups, and keep switching between them to try and get a take. Freelining works best, as it can present a hookbait without making any commotion that could spook your quarry.

Great for newcomers

It’s important for newcomers to the sport to get quick bites so that they can experience the buzz of angling, and this lake has a proven track record for providing instant action. Start the session with floatfished maggots to catch everything that swims, before switching over to a couple of grains of corn on the hook to try and be more selective. This tactical move could lead to a golden tench going into the net one cast and a koi carp the next!

Big-perch potential

Those searching for a big perch should focus their efforts in the margins, where perch to 3lb are on the cards. The lake holds lots of small fish, and a bigger bait will be needed to prevent you being pestered by them.

A couple of worms on a size 10 hook rarely fails, loosefed maggots over the top proving attractive to the tiddlers, which then draw the attention of the predatory perch.

Venue boss Zenia Drury-Gregorek says...

“This is one of my favourite lakes because of its ability to respond to a variety of tactics.

“Whether you want to fish a small feeder to the island or floatfish at close quarters, there are bites to be had. It’s important to walk the lake before you settle for a spot, as a swim that was in great form the day before could suddenly prove tricky if the fish have moved elsewhere.

“Hard pellets and mini boilies tend to pick out the bigger stamp fish, although you’ll get a bite every chuck from small silvers on maggots, with the odd bonus thrown in for good measure!"

Venue Factfile

Location: Anglers Paradise, The Gables, Winsford Lane, Beaworthy, Devon, EX21 5XT

Contact: 01409 221559

Prices: Adults £10, concessions £5. Bookings can be made in advance here

Rules: Barbless hooks only, no night fishing or leadcore, barbless hooks only, maximum of two rods

Facilities: Parking, disabled access, tackle shop, toilets, accommodation, bar

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