A cheeky dead baiting session at Moors Valley Country Park

Moors Valley lake is a shallow nine acre lake set in the grounds of Moors Valley Country Park located near Ashley Heath, Dorset. Having never fished this water before I was taken under the wing of fellow pike angler, Mark Barrow, also joining us on the session was first time piker King Lewie. Mark is a bit of a Moors Valley vet’ and he assured me the lake is an absolute pike runs water with a couple of decent sized pike knocking around. Other species in the lake that anglers often target are specimen tench and rudd, along with a nice head of perch and roach, we weren’t too interested in these today although I did hear King Lewie muttering something about smoking a few roaches still not quite sure what he was on about to this very day.


So we loaded up the golf and hit the road early so we could take advantage of some classic early morning rise action. As usual, my wallet got its back doors smashed in traditional pre fishing trip tackle shop stop. I like to think people might pick up the odd tip on here, so here goes, the first ever northerncourseangler.com fishing tip. Sprats are cheaper in the supermarket than they are in the tackle shop. BOOOOM! Tip over. The only downside to buying sprats from a supermarket is the fish monger might think that you are a total retard from the 1970’s for eating sprats. Oh well that’s the price you have to pay for saving a quid or two.

Upon arrival at the lake, it became immediately obvious that some swims were going to be off limits to us, due to a slightly out of control weed problem. Although Mark admitted he had not fished the lake for a few years he said that the weed was a fairly new comer to the lake and it had previously been distinctly weed-less. The lake however, is very nice indeed, and unlike some commercial fisheries that I know (which look less natural than Katie Price’s left boob) retains an air of being untouched although it is clearly a well managed fishery with easy access for all types of angler.


Beautiful Venue

I decided to completely rip off Mark’s tactics for the day as he had spent a lot of time on these here banks. We fished ledgered dead baits using a helicopter style rig, that would stop tangles on the cast and worked in the same way as a carp anglers’ choddy. The sprat should settle on top of any submerged weed. As usual in pike fishing, we decided to try find the fish instead of letting them find us by moving our baited spots around about every 40 mins or so. Either through a recast to a different spot or by changing swims completely. The trip was a while ago so the memory fades slightly, but I believe it was a bit overcast that day. But still quite warm; good conditions for pike angling.

Despite having 6 rods in the water between us,  there was little action through out the day. King Lewie missed a fish probably due to inexperience and the fact that both the experienced pike anglers were in swims further around the lake. I later proved even an absolutely legendary, world famous and good looking pike angler like myself can make a hash of it. Whilst I watched a pike’s curiosity develop into a take and despite striking well, I felt like I had connected with the fish – the hook pulled. Mark commented that this little action is not the norm for this venue. Luckily for us King Lewie the pike fishing newbie, who was being extremely pro active in his angling employing various tactics to outwit a pike (despite having strangely glazed over eyes for some reason). He even saved us from a blank, and what a fish to do it with. The fish eventually fell to a sprat at about 2 foot under a float that King Lewie was wobbling through his swim.

King Lewie's first ever pike - I think he's hooked ah thank you

King Lewie’s first ever pike – I think he’s hooked ah thank you

For some reason due to the depth and overall size of the lake, I wasn’t expecting so many doubles to be kicking about. I suppose if a lake is well managed with plenty of healthy prey fish, a pike will mature nicely. Either way King Lewie produced this beautiful 13lb 5oz-er as his first pike. It may be a while before he beats this cracking new PB. After, we packed up we headed for the traditional PB smashed after-party at the lovely Alice Lisle pub where we proceeded to drink 50 pints of Old Thumper each and then fell asleep like ABSOLUTE LADS!

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