Stanborough Park Lake
Stanborough Park, also referred to as Stanborough Lakes, is a 126-acre park in Welwyn Garden City. Situated on the outskirts of town, close to the A1(M) and still within walking distance to Welwyn Garden City Town centre.
Controlled by Welwyn Garden City AC, the 16-acre South Lake has fishing all round, the park features two lakes, (North Lake and South Lake) which were opened in 1970. They are man-made and were built as a result of gravel extraction at the time of the building of the A1(M) motorway. Stocked with carp to 32lb, Crucian Carp, Chub, Roach, Tench, Bream, Pike, Zander. (The North Lake is used as a stock lake and no fishing is allowed.)
What You Should Know!
Stanborough Park is busy with people; whether that is boat clubs sailing throughout the day, cyclists, dog walkers, runners etc, meaning that if you want somewhere with peace and quiet, you won’t find it here.
That said, it is a very enjoyable lake to fish that I grew up fishing as a kid. In fact, I did a lot of my carp fishing apprenticeship here, learning how to cast accurately at distance, fish with bags etc etc.
The lake is very stocked, even though it had suffered a small fish kill and it the perfect venue for beginners who wish to get a bend in the rod, from carp or bream. It also makes a great winter venue.
The fish love to move on a strong, warm wind.
What is the lake like and how should I fish it?
Stanborough is a decent sized lake and so the carp have plenty of room to move around. It is predominantly a boating lake, thus has a launch area at one end where the boats go into the water. This has a cafe and other amenities.
At this end, there are several jetties and boats moored up, meaning that the carp spend a lot of time here.
If you stand at that end, where the carp is also located, you will often see several carp jumping. It is a safe zone and unfortunately no fishing is allowed here.
It gets a little quieter up the opposite end of the lake and the carp spend time here especially on a nice warm wind.
The first few swims of the river bank are closed to float fishermen only, this is to prevent carp anglers from casting too far into the boat yards, although you can still do this from the fourth swim 😉 just be discreet and safe (don’t cast if there are boats etc in the area).
The Oak Tree swim on the park bank is a very popular swim, again because it is the nearest swim to the boat yard. Tbh the nearer you can get a bait to this area, the more chance you have of catching!
Bottom baits work better than pop-ups
The bottom of the lake is relatively silty and so many anglers would reach for the pop-ups.
However, for some very strange reason, they just aren’t as effective as bottom baits. I have tried them countless times, but a simple wafter complete with a small PVA mesh bag of crumb, works far far better.
On terms of baits, a creamy, nutty, sweet sort of boilie works well.
I have done extremely well using CC Moore Live System and Cell in the past. You don’t need to overcomplicate things, just fish a wafter, bottom bait or snowman, place it on the fish and you will have a very good chance of catching.
What are the best swims?
The fish do move around but for consistency the swims nearest to the boat yard and cafe produce fish time and time again.
Due to the majority of it being out of bounds, the carp spend a lot time there, no doubt because there is cover aplenty and it just doesn’t receive anywhere near as much angling pressure as the rest of the lake.
So Peg 4 and the Oak Tree swim opposite if I had the choice. Failing that then target one of the buoys in open water and keep the bait going in via a catapult of throwing stick as Spombing freebies is banned.
What tackle & rigs do you need to catch at Stanborough?
Keep things simple!
There really is no need for fandango pop-up rigs or anything here. Standard bottom baits on coated braids, combi links, IQ D rigs, will all account for plenty of carp. My favourite presentation is a simple fluorocarbon wafter rig.
This features a nice soft, supple hair to which I tie knotless knot and then blob the tag with a lighter.
I then whip on the fluorocarbon section using a Domhoff knot.
This ensures that the bait can act naturally due to the soft hair, and then it can kick away from the lead due to the nice stiff fluorocarbon material preventing tangles. The key is certainly getting on the fish, and using a tangle free rig, with an ultra sharp hook!
In terms of tackle, sometimes a reasonable chuck is required so rods of 3lb test curve and above are recommended, along with big-pit reels. I personally like a braided main line as it is easier to cast, especially if you’re needing to distance cast or use PVA bags.
Stanborough Park Lake Rules
You’ll need these for your trip!
Stanborough Park lake will always hold a place in my heart, I have so many fond memories fishing there as a kid.
It was where I learnt my carp fishing apprenticeship and I still love going back there these days. The lake is full of hard fighting carp and also bream if they float your boat. It an amazing, lively place and I will be going back very soon!
Jimmy began his angling on the river Ouse with his father fishing for roach. His passion grew quickly and soon developed a love for big-fish across the globe!
James | 28th February 2020