Established by owners Jamie and Debbie Goucher as a fishery in 1998, Baden Hall is an extremely attractive venue situated in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside. Comprising nine different pools, covering over 30 acres and holding more than 275 permanent pegs, Baden Hall caters for everyone from the match angler to the pleasure angler, and, since 2007, the serious specimen hunter.
On arrival, day tickets must be purchased from the reception area, or from the automatic ticket machine located on the main car park. (Coins only). A wide variety of Richworth, SBS, Whizzo and other baits are available to purchase at competitive prices along with drinks, pies, pasties and confectionery. Later during 2009, the reception is being moved into the main clubhouse, hot breakfasts, increased bait stocks and fishing tackle will then be on sale. In 2010, further match waters will be able to support an increased number of club matches.
For the carp fisherman, Baden Hall offers the option of a ‘runs’ water, or an incredible specimen lake. The main lake, consisting of approximately 10 acres, with depths to 12 feet, holds lots of hungry mirror and common carp up to 27lb. Multiple catches are easily achievable, and this is an ideal water for the youngster, novice or the angler seeking to regain some confidence! Surface baits score on warm evenings, ‘the method’ or ledgered hookbaits will all account for big carp. Most fish are in the 8-15lb bracket, and the ‘lumps’ show on most days...
The water has lots of dark ‘carpy’ bays and corners, open expanses, reed beds, shallows and shelves to target, all of which hold carp in numbers. Each of the 67 pegs are easily accessible, with most only a short walk from the car. Disabled anglers are considered with many pegs being adjacent to the wide paths and walkways which surround the site.
Local angler Matt Summers recently took carp of 20lb 7oz and 21lb 9oz along with several others in the same session to highlight what great catches can be accomplished.
For the ‘serious’ carper, 2007 saw the opening of Baden Hall’s newest lake designed to attract specimen hunters from across the country. Each of the 20 pegs provides a warm cabin, unhooking mat, weigh sling and landing net to protect the carp, of which the largest currently stands at 36lb 4oz! (Common, Mirror Carp 31lb). The fish in this lake are all hard fighting English fish which have been taken from stock and an estate lake in the South of England. All are pristine and, as all the lakes are securely bailiffed by Dave and Gavin, the owners fully intend to ensure that these fish are well worth catching.
The fishing covers roughly 20 acres of mature gravel pit. Stocked with 250-300 fish, at least 15 of which are over 30lb, with a high density of upper teens and 20lb carp, there is plenty to tempt visitors. Large weed and gravel beds, depths to 12 feet and loads of underwater features make this a water that requires some thought before the rewards are banked. Carp are tricked in various ways; fruity boilies over beds of bait and grubs on a maggot clip among the more successful. Due to the size of the quarry, a minimum mainline breaking strain of 15lb, and a hook of at least size 10 MUST be used. Baden Hall’s own website (www.badenhall.com) has some fantastic pictures of these superb carp.
Prices for 24 hours are £30 for 2 rods. Gates open 12-2pm, advance bookings are necessary as the gates are locked to maintain privacy and security. Pegs will be drawn to allow everyone a fair choice of swim.
As mentioned, the owner maintains this stunning fishery with the help of 2 bailiffs; Dave and Gavin both have qualifications and extensive knowledge of fishery management and are more than happy to pass on advice and tips to the newcomer. As well as checking licences, tickets and barbless hooks, they can also be found pottering around Baden Hall on mini tractors fitted with cool boxes to supply drinks and snacks at your peg!!
To get to Baden Hall, from the North, leave the M6 motorway at J15 then take the A519 signposted Eccleshall. Passing through Slindon, turn left towards Swynnerton then find the gates after 1 ½ miles on the right. From the South, from J14 M6, take the A5013 into Eccleshall. Follow the A519 Newcastle road. Just outside the village, turn right for Swynnerton; the gates are 1 ½ miles along this road on the right.
To summarise; for the carp angler, novice, beginner or expert; Baden Hall will certainly offer something for you. At only £10 pounds for 2 rods on the main lake, it is an inexpensive way to spend the day in peaceful, pleasant surroundings with only the scream of a bite alarm to remind you of the outstanding fishing. On the specimen pool, 24 hours will certainly give you the chance to bank that fish of a lifetime....or think of the ‘one that got away’!