The Lake

The lake is 1.1/4 acres and has 2 islands with overhanging willow trees. There are fantastic tree lined margins with reed beds which are ideal for stalking carp. The long island towards the narrower end of the lake now has the “Kiwi” island cabin with wood burner stove. It suits the angler that wants to catch the fish at close quarters with more traditional tactics such as freelining, float fishing or using a centrepin. The smaller island opposite the lodge decking gives the fish some sanctuary with the overhanging branches offering cover.

Unlike other venues, there are no day ticket anglers onsite. Freedom to fish where you want and – hopefully – no squabbling over swims!! Please note that there are only 4 swims, so we can only accommodate a maximum of 4 anglers with 3 rods each.

All Year Fishing

You can fish 24 hours a day, all year round. We guarantee fishing even when other lakes are frozen, due to our new heated aeration system. The picture shows the effect of the “heat wave” after a night when temperatures went down to -9C! (this is with just one of the heat waves running)

We pride ourselves on fish care and have received a gold award from the Fisheries Accreditation Scheme. This means that we have met the highest standards in areas such as habitat, quality, fish health and protection from predators.


Our original microchipped stock from 1978 includes 1 known thirty a mirror 30lb 10oz, a 29lb 12 common, approximately 15 twenties and forty doubles, with many of the doubles being close to the twenty pound mark. Stock fish born June 2009 already hitting 23lb 8oz . There are also Ghost Koi to 19lb 14oz, Tench to 8lb 3oz, Perch to 2lb 9oz ,cruisian carp to 1lb and Roach to 2lb 15oz. Our Catch Records speak for themselves!

There were over 200 twenty pound plus fish caught in 2012, plus a few thirties and lovely roach, rudd and ghost koi, including 41 personal bests. Our Fish Gallery shows you some of the inhabitants of the lake.

There are not many places around the South West that can give the chance of a 30lb+ fish at any time of the year, and very few that can give you the chance of catching multiple 20lb+ fish in the depths of winter. Those that have braved the British Winter and visited Stenhill Lakeside Holidays during the colder months have not been disappointed!

There is no better feeling than catching a carp when there is snow falling or on the ground, where other waters may be frozen solid!

Stenhill Tips & Tricks

We get asked a lot on “what are the best baits and methods to use at Stenhill?” and as with all venues, there are no hard and fast ways of catching the inhabitants of the lake. Keeping it simple is always the best way here, and we have compiled a few basic suggestions that we have found over the years to work perfectly fine. If you choose to follow them or not to follow them, you will not be far away from “cracking the puzzle”.

Keep things as simple as possible. There is no need for the latest fandangled “use every piece of terminal tackle in your box” rig. A simple hair rig with a small piece of silicone as a “kicker” will catch you carp from the smallest in the lake through to “Mr Angry” & friends. If the rig turns when drawn across the palm of your hand 10 out of 10 times, then you minimise the risk of getting “done” by the fish. A simple feeder rig will catch you the big roach and tench that are present in the lake.

We have taken pictures of the rigs that Brian uses when he gets the chance to fish the lake: Brian’s Tench Rig – Brian’s Carp Rig – Brian’s Big Roach Rig

Make sure that your hook is SHARP. A blunt hook or one with a damaged point will cost you fish as the hook can be easily ejected before any positive bite is registered or may drop out during the fight as it hasn’t penetrated into the mouth to the bend. A hook costs pennies compared to other items of tackle, so if you are not keen or confident in sharpening your hooks, change it. If someone said to you to throw your rig away and they will put a 30 on the mat for you, you would throw the rig away!

If you prefer to fish with a float, make sure that you weight the float so that the bare minimum of tip is showing for the given circumstances. If using a large or heavy bait, leave a little more float showing than you would if using a small bait such as maggots. If it is windy and there is a bit of chop on the water, leave a little bit more of the float showing and lay some line on the bottom to stop the float from moving the bait.

Check that you knots are moistened and bedded down well and, that there is no damage to the line above the knot (or anywhere else along the line). You do not want to travel for several hours to get here only for your knots to let you down. The most commonly used knots are simple to tie, and if not certain, ask Brian to show you.

Don’t put in too much bait initially. As the old saying goes, “you cannot take out what you have put in”. Building the swim gradually is more advantageous than piling it in as it does not put the fish on edge.

All good quality baits will catch fish here at Stenhill.

When you’re on holiday here at Stenhill Lakeside Holidays, I’m only a phone call away for advice. I like to see our visitors catch fish, so I will help out as much as I can to make your holiday one to remember.