Share
Share
Pin
Venues
26 Jan 2016
by CARPology
Todber Manor Big Hayes Specimen Lake
Top UK carper, Rob Marsh gives you the lowdown on one of his favourite venues in the southern region

I first became aware of Todber Manor when it was included in the British Carp Angling Championships in 2007 when myself and partner Lee Merritt were disappointed that Sandhurst was no longer included, so we needed a new venue. We soon found out that the venue had been newly dug in 2006 and that the lake was in Dorset close to Sturminster. The lake was approximately 8.5-acres in size and with a head of carp somewhere in the region of 800 fish, it seemed a perfect match venue and so we booked on. Now several years later Todber is one of the most popular BCAC venues where the bookings sell-out in minutes!

Since fishing the venue I have seen the lake mature into a cracking lake with some stunning fish, averaging around 15-18lb with a good head of twenty’s and with a lake record 34lb fish. Methods have changed over the years, where maggots worked well at the start, but now you’ll find the perch and the silver fish can make it difficult to use them, although they’re still worth a go. Along with the carp there are big bream and some cats as well, so you never know what’s coming next! Pretty much all methods work well, with PVA bags, both nicked onto the hook or fished as solid bags with pellets and fluoro pop-ups or plastic corn some of the most popular. I have just got back from a recent trip and boilies are working well, with either CC Moore boilies or Mainline Cell doing the business. Rigs do not need to be complicated, but I do find a pop-up presentation works best - for me a boilie tipped with a piece of fluoro corn works best.

The lake varies in depth with an average depth of around 4-5ft up to 9ft by the overflow. One of my favourite swims is ‘The Monk’, this is the deepest part of the lake and on its day can be very prolific fishing towards the Monk overflow and tight along the marginal reeds. All the swims fish well all year round, but during the winter months the fish can shoal up in the middle of the lake. A great tip for when all else fails, is to get on the Zigs - yellow and black foam dipped in Hinders Betalin. Zig Rigs fished between 1-3ft off the bottom have produced some of my best hits!

The lake itself has 18 swims that have sleepers and a gravel base - so no mud! All have been placed to give the angler their own water and there are two islands, which break-up the lake well. There is road around most of the lake for easy access with car parking bays close to the swims. Porta loos are also found around the lake and there is also a toilet and shower block very close by, as well as one of the better-stocked tackle shops in the area. If you don’t fancy cooking, a local takeaway can deliver to the lake (menus in the tackle shop) and there is also on-site accommodation for those anglers looking for a holiday venue (which is spot on - as I have stayed there myself). With three other carp lakes on the complex to choose from, it makes a perfect holiday venue - there'll soon be 10 lakes in total on the complex. With ‘Big Hayes’ one of my favourite commercial fisheries and one I always look forward to fishing.

The vital information you need...

Biggest resident: 34lb
Average fish size: Mid to upper-double
Rough fish stock: 800 fish
Going bait: Mainline Cell and pellets
Takeaways: Menus available from the on-site tackle shop
Local tackle shop: On-site
Rod limit: Three rods
Location: Todber, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 1JB.
Contact: 01258 820384
Website: todbermanor.co.uk
Prices: £12 day (three rods), £24 for 24hrs up to £125 for seven nights
Facilities: Toilets, showers, accommodation and on-site tackle shop
Known winter areas/swims: All swims produce well, but find the deeper water in winter
Rob's top tip: Glugged Zig Rigs can work when all else fails

View map

Also Recommended
Help save Marlborough Pool
11/04/2017
Other Stuff
Help save Marlborough Pool
Marlborough Pool needs your help
11/04/2017
Other Stuff
Can carp sleep?
02/11/2017
Other Stuff
Can carp sleep?
Answering some of the more unusual angling issues and topics
02/11/2017
Other Stuff
The UK's most dangerous lakes
23/03/2017
Venues
The UK's most dangerous lakes
Dear CARPology, what’s the most dangerous lake in the UK? Karl Taylor, via email
23/03/2017
Venues
What features should you head for at a new water this spring?
22/03/2017
Features
What features should you head for at a new water this spring?
We ask the experts...
22/03/2017
Features
Can you guess these famous lakes from above?
23/02/2017
Quizzes
Can you guess these famous lakes from above?
How well do you know your Sandhursts to your Redmires? Take our 'From Above' test to find out how good you really are...
23/02/2017
Quizzes
Should fishery owners be more concerned about the use of maggots?
21/02/2017
Bait
Should fishery owners be more concerned about the use of maggots?
Big opinions by key anglers on major events happening within carp fishing right now
21/02/2017
Bait
Choose your own path
24/01/2017
Features
Choose your own path
Scott Sweetman has the passion and ability of catching special old carp from a variety of venues...
24/01/2017
Features
How Darrell Peck conquered Manor Farm
10/01/2017
Features
How Darrell Peck conquered Manor Farm
No bullsh*t, just good solid angling
10/01/2017
Features
Why it's just as important to stay mobile on small venues
06/01/2017
Features
Why it's just as important to stay mobile on small venues
Jon McAllister explains...
06/01/2017
Features
How to prepare for fishing in France
27/12/2016
Features
How to prepare for fishing in France
We ask Elliott Gray...
27/12/2016
Features
How you should approach a new water
21/12/2016
Features
How you should approach a new water
Elliott reveals his thoughts when it comes to approaching a new water
21/12/2016
Features
Interview with an innovator...
12/12/2016
Other Stuff
Interview with an innovator...
John Kneebone catches up with Kenny Dorset...
12/12/2016
Other Stuff