Mallard Lake, Stanwick Lakes, Northamptonshire

Multiple hits can be had with many over 20lb

Mallard, Stanwick Lakes

A beautiful little water where a multitude of methods can outwit these beautiful scaly fish.


Big Fish Potential

Venue Cleanliness

On Site Facilities

Swim Comfort

Value For Money

Mallard Lake

A lovely intimate little venue of 4 acres in size with an average depth of 5ft-12ft that lends itself to stalking, margin fishing, surface, zigs, bottom fishing, everything. The majority of the fish are in great condition with a mixture of scaly ones and plainer leathery characters.

There is no booking system on this lake it’s first come first serve.

Mallard Key Info

Day ticket club?: Day ticket
How much: £20 24hrs for up to 3 rods. £7 one rod £10 2 rods £13 3 rods dawn till dusk.
How to book: On site
How busy: Weekends can be busy, midweek is quieter
Can you drive to swims: No
Onsite facilities: Tackle shop
Nearest tackle shop: Dodson & Horrell, Ringstead
Average Size: 17-25lb
Realistic catch rate: 2-3 fish in the warmer months
Best swims: Peg 6,8,13,26
Best method: Pellets and chops on a clear area with small PVA bags over the top
Best bait: Pellets and fishmeal boilies
Ideal range: Up to 40yrd
Max size: 30lb +

Mallard used to be one of the runs waters present on the fishery, but as time has gone on the fish have grown and become wiser with their size. It’s set in the heart of the Nene Valley, with another 5 lakes present on site.

Mallard would be classed as the “Intermediate” water on the complex. On some days, you can have a great hit of fish, other times it can be quite tricky. If you fancy a bit of close quarters fishing right under your tips then Mallard definitely offers this on the day, they love coming in close and as long as you’re quiet and stealthy with your approach you can have them churning it up right under your rod tips.

Mallard Lake, Stanwick Lakes

The lake is around 3-4 acres in size, anything from 3-9ft deep and is home to roughly 350 carp. We have introduced a number of scaly stockies over the years which have grown on a treat with lots hitting the 20lb bracket now. Although there is a lot of carp present, don’t assume you’re going to haul every trip that’s definitely not the case. Anglers that do better, fish over a tight spot, not spreading the loose feed too much. Mallard was the first lake I fished on the Stanwick Lakes Fisheries complex and it definitely kicked me in the teeth! After a couple of trips, the fish started coming, piecing the jigsaw together didn’t take long it was apparent they loved pellet!

Mallard Lake, Stanwick Lakes

If you fancy a bit of close quarters fishing right under your tips then Mallard definitely offers this on the day, they love coming in close and as long as you’re quiet and stealthy with your approach you can have them churning it up right under your rod tips.

Brad Wegner

What is the make-up of the lake bed and how do I go about fishing it?

The lake is reasonably weedy throughout the summer months, but there are loads of clean spots to be found, the end closest to Elsons Lake tends to be more weedy than the opposite, because of this I believe the fish spend a lot of time there.

Have a cast about with a bare lead, though, and you will find little gravel/silty spots in amongst the weed which is the perfect area to place your traps. Little solid bags are definitely my number one choice for spots like these! Also, don’t ignore the margins, there are lots of polished spots in close and they are often overlooked.

Mallard Lake, Stanwick Lakes

Baiting Strategy

As previously mentioned, I found out they loved pellet soon on. So, I would highly recommend a mixture of pellet as your loose feed with some small boilies too, chopped baits can also be a great edge! Bigger pellets can also work really well, anything for 6-10mm in size, so not your average micro pellet. I found introducing smaller pellets kept the fish rooting around on the area for longer and moving a lot slower, in return making them harder to catch.
Bait some spots in the edge and keep an eye on it with a set of polaroids, then choose a spot out in the pond and give them a kilo or 2 to start with tight on an area and top up if you’re starting to get bites.

Mallard Lake, Stanwick Lakes

What hook baits shall I use?

If you’re fishing solid bags, then a little wafter hookbait with some colour, I use the Northern Special Wafters, they’re the perfect size for fishing over the smaller bits present on the spot and the fish can often home in on the little sight stop poking out of the top of the bag!

If you think the fish are on you and you’re struggling for bites, switch over to a match the hatch fishmeal baits, like the Pacific Tuna – they can often trip them fish up when they’re being wary!

Mallard Lake, Stanwick Lakes

Surface Fishing

Absolutely! They love a floater in Mallard and if you find an area of floating weed in the warmer months you can almost guarantee the will be fish chilling in it. A few well-placed pouchfuls of floaters can often draw them carp out of the weed and straight up for the floating pellets. You can get them proper “Pac Manning” on the right day so make sure you take a good bucketful, I’ve found a big heavy float with a 2ft hooklink cast well past the fish and drawn back over the top cautiously makes them none the wiser and can produce quick bites!

The birds can be a nuisance sometimes so take your spod rod too so you can scare them off with the floating braid. The fish aren’t to bothered about the sound of the spomb hitting the water.

Does It Fish In Winter?

Mallard has great winter form and offers both fantastic zig and bait fishing. Yes, of course it will be harder than the warmer months but that’s just winter! They spend a lot of time around the reeds in the corner of the lake, which is in between pegs 6-15. There is both shallower and deep water around that zone so it’s a great holding point regardless of the weather.

If you want to zig fish it, bits of black and red foam have been successful for me, anything from 2-5ft. If you would rather fish over bait, then fish a mix of small baits and fish solid bags over the top with bright visual hookbaits. Using the solid bags as singles can often produce well too. Something that is often overlooked is the pulling power that is maggots. It is a tactic that isn’t often used, but if applied correctly can lead to a red letter session.


Mallard is a great place to get a few bites, but still test your angling capabilities, with lots of scaley fish present as well as a few 30lbers it’s definitely worth a visit, especially throughout them colder months when most other lakes switch off! Whether you want to fish in the edge and visually watch them feed, or fish over a baited area it definitely has it covered!

Mallard Rules

Are bait boats allowed: Yes!
Are there any rig rules: No fixed leads
Are there any rules on hook sizes or patterns: No
Are there any rules on barbed hooks: Barbless hooks only
Are dogs allowed: Yes must be under control
How many rods are allowed: 3
Is there an age limit: 16+ or with an adult
Lead arrangement rules: No fixed lead rigs. All leads must pass freely over leader knots
Line rules: None


I have been fishing since a young lad and much of my carp fishing has been targeting waters around the Nene Valley. Elsons is probably my favourite having spent years targeting its prestigious specimens.


& get latest posts via email