BAITZONE Crowsheath Fishery – Carp fishing in Essex

Crowsheath Fishery - Essex

Crowsheath Fishery – Essex

Crowsheath fishery is situated in Downham, Essex and is made up of 3 lakes set in 110 acres of rolling countryside. The first lake and the jewel in the crown is the main lake. It’s an 8½ acre specimen carp lake stocked with stunning carp ranging from double figures to an impressive 42lb. The lake itself has an abundance of features from reed lined margins, deep gullies, weed beds, shallow plateaus but the main ones that will grab your attention will be the two islands that just scream carp with overhanging willows and snaggy margins.

Crowsheath fishery

Stunning scenery with overhanging Willows

72lb mandarin catfish

72lb mandarin catfish

The other two lakes on the complex are the catfish canal which has some true monsters lurking in its depths and also a rather rare Mandarin catfish which is the biggest in the uk weighing in at over 70lb! so if you fancy something a little bit different then this is for you.

Last but not least is the pike lake. There are fewer and fewer Stillwater pike venues around so its excellent to be able to angle for those magnificent creatures in stunning and comfortable surroundings and finishes the package off nicely creating a wonderful complex that will cater for all sorts of anglers.


The Pike Lake offers Pike up to 20lbs+ and you can use live bait

The Pike Lake offers Pike up to 20lbs+ and you can use live bait

Back with me again for another session was my good friend and team spomb member Andy. We arrived at the fishery on a Saturday afternoon and to my surprise we still had plenty of choice of swims. The best bit of fishing in the winter is that the banks are not as busy and you get the luxury of being able to turn up to a venue and not have to slot into the only swim available.

We were greeted by the Bailiff Nick who gave us a rundown of the water and more than wetted our appetite with stories of huge dark commons and monstrous mirrors which left us gagging to have a go for one of Crowsheaths elusive lumps. As always with our luck, as soon as we set off for a lap of the lake the heavens opened and the wind increased to near hurricane strengths but it did make the first two swims look extremely appealing the wind hacking down into the corner and as we stood and studied the water a carp gently pushed its head out above a wave before silently disappearing back into its watery abode. With that, our minds were made up and we were soon trying to install our bivvies into our chosen swims. We got battered by the wind and the rain as we set up but we soon had the traps set for those unsuspecting carp.

Crowsheath Fishery

It was like fishing the North Sea


Our corner, you can just make out my bivvy on the far bank

Our corner, you can just make out my bivvy on the far bank

It wasn’t long before another fish showed, this one was a lot closer to Andy but I was still confident as we were fishing either side of a corner with an island to our side which created a sort of bowl and it was apparent that the fish wanted to be on the front of the wind which meant they would be in front of us both.  As we had basically the same water to cover we wanted to increase our chances so decided that I would fish up to the island with two rods and Andy would cover open water and if either of us received any action then we could chop and change to what was working.

On the island was a fallen tree that jotted out into the water that just screamed carp so my first rod was placed there. My second rod was placed at the base of the island margin slope and I spread a good helping of boilies that I’m currently testing for Bankbug between the two rods. On Crowsheath you’re allowed to use three rods so with the wind hacking into our corner it would be rude not to place a rod up the margin. After a bit of leading around I found a nice big weedbed up to my left and placed my third rod tight to that which was followed by a nice little spread of boilies. With the rods sorted and the light dying our thoughts were soon turning to food and courtesy of Andy my stomach was well lined with a very welcome spag bol. With the sun starting to set the wind began to drop and the rain eased off making for a lovely evening.


Around 9ish my alarm on the margin rod started to come alive letting out little bleeps as something nudged the line. After around 20minutes the inevitable happened and the alarm screamed at me as line ripped off the spool but upon striking the rod I was met with no resistance. I couldn’t get my head around the occurrence when all of a sudden the middle rod flew off making me jump but again the strike was met with nothing.

sun setting over crowsheath

sun setting over crowsheath

The only explanation I can come up with it that it must have been a fish trailing a line. The rods were soon back on the spots and topped up with some more bait just in case whatever gave me the false runs had finished off what was there. The rest of the night was uneventful but I did wake to a glorious sunrise.

Breath taking sunrise

Breath taking sunrise

What a difference a day can make. The day before we had to take shelter in the bivvies from the driving rain and fierce winds but now the wind had dropped to a gentle breeze and the dark clouds that littered the sky were replaced by a strange thing, I think it’s called the sun. We had to be away early afternoon so we went to working chopping and changing trying to get a bite but the fish just didn’t want to play ball. I did a few laps of the lake trying to see if I could find any signs of fish but they remained elusive and I was left scratching my head and try as we might no action came our way on this trip. You win some and lose some but it definitely didn’t put me off the venue and I cannot wait to get back down for another crack at the stunners with inhabit the depths of Crowsheath.

Just a taste of the sort of carp that Crowsheath can produce

Just a taste of the sort of carp that Crowsheath can produce

Kirk with The Diamond Back 35lb 8oz

Kirk with The Diamond Back 35lb 8oz

Over all I thoroughly enjoyed my session and only wish I had longer to try and outwit those beautiful fish but it has lit a fire which will not be extinguished until I have a Crowsheath stunner sulking in the bottom of my net! The venue was immaculate with excellent facilities which include extremely clean male and female toilets, showers and fresh drinking water on site. The car park is safe and secure with 24hr CCTV in operation and a full time Bailiff who lives on site and is on hand when ever needed. The Venue is also backed by Baitzone and they supply quality bait at a reasonable rate which accounts for many of the catches so it is something worth considering when venturing to the venue.

keith 36lb 8oz, check out the paddle of a tail!

keith 36lb 8oz, check out the paddle of a tail!

Talking to Nick the fishery manager and head bailiff, he has a lot of plans for the fisheries future and its somewhere that we will be hearing a lot from as it goes from strength to strength and it is definitely somewhere I can see myself spending a lot of time. I would highly recommend this fishery to everyone from your hardcore specimen hunter down to the pleasure anglers who want to spend a day on the banks with family and I can guarantee that once you have wet a line you will be returning for again and again!

VENUE:        Crowsheath Fishery


CONTACT:   Nick Kearsey 07402 298218

Facebook: BaitZone Crowsheath Fishery

Twitter: @Crowsheathlakes


Baitzone Crowsheath Fishery

Crowsheath Farm

Hawkswood Road


Near Billericay


CM11 1JT





If you are lucky enough to land a catfish over 70lb or a carp over 35lb then a reward can be arranged so be sure to let a member of staff Know straight away.

In dryer weather you can arrange to have all of your tackle driven to your swim of choice for a small fee.

Quality bait can be bought on site at reasonable prices.

Before fishing please be sure to read the rules and most importantly


Article by Tommy Flower