Just like Willows, the Laurels is an interesting lake full of arms and points sticking out into the lake.
There are 69 numbered pegs although a couple of these at the top end of the lake are now disused to create more space. Laurels is a very consistent all-around lake which produces all year round, even when frozen over. This is one of our deeper lakes where you’ll find 5-7ft of water on the long pole line.
F1s and carp are the mainstay in Laurels. The F1s go well over 3lb and the carp to mid-double figures, again like Willows there are some fantastic ghost carp here. A speciality of Laurels is the large perch it contains, we have weighed a few fish in in matches now over the 4lb mark and these fish tend to get caught in the colder months when the water is clearer.
In the first bay, which is also the deepest, pegs 4 and 16 are red hot. Peg 4 holds plenty of fish down the edge into peg 3 while peg 16 also has a great margin swim. In the summer months the shallow water to the right of the peg produces big fish later on. Most of the corner pegs with the edge bankings to fish up hold plenty of smaller stockie carp, pegs 20,21,35,50,57 and 59 are good examples. Other point pegs 25 and 33 are also noted.
A short pole line with corn, hard pellet or paste is a must on Laurels – plumb the depth carefully to find a flat area. Always feed a long pole line; shallow fishing with pellets, casters or sloppy groundbait works well in the summer months. You can also catch well on a very small waggler shallow. The margins work well on Laurels – you can catch F1s and barbel here regularly throughout the day, especially if you have reed cover or an empty platform. Once it comes to late afternoon and early evening however, it’s time to feed large pots of corn and groundbait tight in because those big fish will come in!
Fish a 4mm expander pellet and feed fishery micros with a small sprinkle pot. Start at 11m and work your way out when bites dry up, although on some days you’ll be able to catch on a closer line. The margins aren’t so good in winter although if you draw a corner peg with some cover you will catch fishing pellets up the banking. There’s plenty of bites to be had on maggots too and you never know what will come along next. It’s always worth putting up a bomb or tiny pellet feeder up on those windy days.
On a hot, bright summer’s day it’s always worth having a ‘dobbing’ rig up on Laurels. Keep your eye out for big cruising carp and fish a 4 x 12 or 4 x 14 cut down float, with a full top kit length of line above it. Swing the rig beyond the pole tip in front of cruising fish.
Lee Kerry, England International & £25k Parkdean Masters Winner