Horseshoe Lake: map and tactics guide

This is our lake map and tips guide to fishing at Horseshoe Lake in Gloucestershire

Horseshoe Lake, Burford Road, Lechlade-on-Thames Gloucestershire, GL7 3QQ | Web: www.thecarpsociety.com | Tel: 01367 253959

We say…

A genuinely iconic water in British carp fishing, Horseshoe has had its share of ups and downs, but is definitely close to its former glory right now.

A big fish kill at the start of the decade was a big blow, but there has been an annual stocking programme ever since and this famous lake, which sits right on the border between Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, is blooming again.

Horseshoe has staged many big matches over the last 20 years, but was sometimes criticised because the fish tended to shoal up in one big group.

The annual stockings have changed all that, and fish are now caught from all over the lake.

Fishery manager Miles Carter says… 

“At a conservative estimate I would say there are about 800 fish in here at the moment, possibly up to 1,000.

“In 2011 we put in 180 C4s [fish that are four summers old] weighing between 8lb and 10lb, and lots of those are 30s now. We’ve continued to stock C4s each year since.

“I’d say there are probably still 200 to 300 originals left and we’ve had 12 to 15 new 30s come out this spring alone. The biggest recorded is called the Target at 38lb, but there’s also a 38lb common.

“The fish are spread out these days, and you can catch them around the lake all year. I think the old names of Winter Bay and Summer Bay should probably be left in the past.

“For example, we had an angler catch a 36 from the Road Bank in Summer Bay last December.

“They can follow a south-westerly wind on here, but other than that they don’t tend to follow the wind.

“Pink baits seemed to do very well in 2018, but it can change. Sometimes it can be yellows. Sweetcorn is very good and I think probably 60 to 70 per cent of captures are taken over some form of corn.

“Winter Bay lends itself to heavy baiting, whereas in Summer Bay it’s shallower and you can get problems with the birds. PVA bags tend to work well in that area of the lake.

“In Winter Bay, zig rigs can be very productive, generally between 5ft and 7ft. In Summer Bay, overdepth zigs have been very good.”

 

RULES

  • Barbless hooks only

  • Day-ticket anglers can fish two rods (three for permit holders)

  • No leadcore or shockleaders

  • No braided mainline

  • No nuts

  • No fish retention over 10 minutes

  • Surface fishing with a single rod only – no beachcaster setups

  • Full rules on website

PRICES AND FACILITIES

  • All anglers must be a £25 membership fee

  • Day tickets at £1 an hour

  • Four-night sessions are charged as three nights (£72)

  • Six-month permit £320

  • 13-month permit £420

  • On-site lodge

  • Toilets