Windmill Fishery (Carp Lake): Bristol’s Best Specimen Venue?

The Windmill Fishery complex is located on the outskirts of Bristol, near Westerleigh. While the counties that surround Bristol have no shortage of day ticket carp lakes, there are very few within close proximity of the city centre.

I first ventured out to Windmill Fishery shortly after it opened to take a look at their specimen carp lake. Back then it wasn’t particularly appealing, a “P” shaped hole in the ground with far too many pegs. Fast forward to the present day, the trees and plant life has grown and it has been completely transformed by the new management. The abundance of match-style pegs have been replaced with 5 wood chipped swims (that are purpose-built for the modern-day carp angler) and the fish stocks have been re-allocated across the fishery to ensure that the specimen carp are exactly where they belong! 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes the carp tick on this water and how you can best prepare to get amongst them.

Windmill Fishery Carp Lake

Quick Look

The carp lake at Windmill Fishery is great for a local day session. While I am not sure that I would travel any sort of distance to fish here, there is something addictive about the place that keeps me coming back each season to try my luck at tempting some of the bigger specimens that reside here.

Overall
4
  • Stock Level
  • Peg Spacing
  • Facilities
  • Cleanliness

Pros

Easily accessible
Generous peg spacing

Cons

Not the most mature lake that I have ever fished
Pegs can be treacherous in the wetter weather

Arriving At Windmill Fishery

Windmill Fishery is easily accessible from the A4174 ring road in Bristol. If you exit the A4174 at Lyde Green Roundabout and proceed in an easterly direction on Westerleigh Road, you will reach the turning for Oakleigh Green Farm Lane after approximately 2 miles. Once you have completed the turn, the entrance to Windmill Fishery is about 100yds down the road on the right-hand side.

Finding The Carp Lake

As you enter the fishery, you simply need to follow the access road until you reach the designated parking area. The Carp Lake is the first lake you see as you enter the complex.

Windmill Fishery Carp Lake At A Glance

The Carp Lake at Windmill Fishery is shaped almost like a boot. The whole lake covers approximately 1.5 acres of water and has 2 main sections that are connected by a narrow channel, which is a no-fishing zone.

Pegs 2, 3, 4 & 5 are located in the main body of water, while peg 1 is on its own at the other end of the channel, giving the lucky angler exclusive access to their own area of water.

Peg 4 and peg 5 are probably the most “bivvy friendly” pegs, so anglers staying overnight will often book these.

Peg 2 and peg 3 are opposite peg 4 and peg 5 and occupy a similar amount of water.

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Stock Levels And Biggest Carp

Despite having multiple conversations with anglers who fish the lake far more often than I do, I still haven’t been able to confirm an accurate figure of the total stock. The general consensus seems to be that there are somewhere in the region of 60-80 carp present, so this is by no means a runs water.

The majority of the fish in the carp lake have been stocked from the highly regarded VS Fisheries, so when the larger residents do grace the bank, they are usually a sight to behold.

Although the carp lake at Windmill Fishery has yet to produce its first 30lb+ specimen, there are several that have been caught in excess of 20lb, so it shouldn’t be too long before we start to see some weights that are close to the magical barrier.

Choosing A Peg

With the lake being relatively small, you can walk around it quite quickly in order to look for some tell-tale signs of carp in the immediate vicinity.

The bottom is mostly clear, with most pegs offering depths that average between 3-5ft. There are some deeper holes to be found, so it is definitely worth having a lead around in order to build up a picture of what is in front of you.

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Popular Pegs

If you are fishing alone and don’t wish to be bothered by other anglers, then Peg 1 is the obvious choice as it enjoys the exclusive area of water that we already discussed.

Having said that, Peg 2 is arguably the most popular on the lake as it offers access to the islands and the opposite end of the channel, thus increasing the chance of tripping up one of the wily carp that reside here.

The pegs are well spaced, so even though this isn’t the biggest lake that you will ever fish, there are multiple features in each peg that you can target without fear of encroaching on another angler’s chosen spots. The margins are known to be very productive, so a stealthy approach can yield rewards.

Successful Baits

Boilies tend to be the most popular bait on the carp lake at Windmill Fishery, with nut varieties accounting for many fish. I have also experienced success on sweetcorn and luncheon meat, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try something a little bit different.

My regular approach is to fish with a brightly coloured wafter on a simple rig and an accompanying PVA mesh stick. Other tactics that have proved to be successful are the method feeder or PVA bags.

Facilities

Like many day ticket lakes, the facilities at Windmill Fishery are limited.

Showers or running water are not available, though there is a portaloo on-site for the convenience of visiting anglers.

Car Park

The car park is large enough to accommodate multiple vehicles and it is unlikely that you will ever struggle to find parking, even at peak times. The main gate is locked overnight for security purposes.

Ticket Price

Day tickets for the carp lake must be booked in advance and are priced at £10. For anglers wishing to fish overnight, enquiries can be made via the Windmill Fishery Facebook page.

Conclusion

Windmill Fishery is a well-run complex and the carp lake is ideal for anglers who live in Bristol and don’t have time to travel to lakes that are further afield.

While there aren’t any enormous carp in the lake, it probably offers one of the best chances in Bristol to bank a specimen in excess of 20lb.

Have you ever fished the carp lake at Windmill Fishery? If so, please let me know how you got on in the comments.