Malcom Barker Lake



Malcolm Barker is a mature gravel pit of approximately 1.75 acres. The margins are reed lined and depths vary from a few to several feet. Although the swims are flat care should be taken when fishing. There are several patches of lilies otherwise the water is weed free. The lake and car park are fenced in and access is via a combination locked gate. Fishing is allowed from 6 am to 10.30 pm (off the water)

Tench, Carp, Crucian, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Chub, Perch, Pike & Eels


How to get there

Just as you come into Stortford from the Spellbrook side of town, after the traffic lights at Thorley take the next turning on the right (Pig Lane). Across the railway bridge then first left (Twyfordbury Lane) and continue until the end of the lane - the lake is on the right.

Post code: CM22 7PA

View Malcolm Barker Lake in a larger map




Fishing Blog

Season 2016:

Following on from the serious tench kill in 2009 the committee has focused on returning the lake to it's former glory. Following a fish growth survey and water quality tests by the EA in spring 2014 a full fish survey by Framling Fisheries was commissioned in the autumn of 2014. The recommendations from both reports have been implemented with chalk introductions in 2015 and 2016, removal of 26 pike during spring 2015, the stocking of 200lb of tench and 18 large bream in June 2015 and 60 large roach in October 2015. All of this was made possible with donations by members and a substantial grant from the angling trust. During the past 8 months the lake has improved with pleasure nets of bream up to 40lb, including fish to 6lb 14oz, tench to 5lb 14oz, quality roach, rudd, perch and crucians to 4lb. Carp in the range of 3lb to 32lb have been caught in 2016. There is a 5 year plan in place to continue with the MBL improvements and provide quality angling to all our members.

Season 2015:

In the right conditions small roach, rudd and bream can be caught all day long on waggler or pole tactics using maggots as bait. To get hook baits through the smaller fish to target the bigger specimens and possibly a tench or crucian use a bigger float with the weight fished down the line. Alternatively try a variety of bigger baits or ledgering to find out what works best. Specimen carp are being caught using carp tactics which have also accounted for some good bream and occasional tench between 3 and 5 pounds.

Mid-May - multi catches of tench and crucians have been reported during the week. One angler caught 2 tench, 2 crucians and 2 carp in a short two hour evening session close to the margins.


Typical crucian approximately 2.5lbs caught on maggots close in.








July update:

Since the introduction of 300 tench to 2lb in June this year the tench fishing has been extremely good. Not only are these stocked fish being caught on a regular basis but also the established  fish between 3lb and 6lbs. Catches of over a dozen tench in a session have been reported. Successful baits have included pellet, bread, luncheon meat and paste. 


Good tench over 4lbs caught with pellet early in July 







Season 2014:

During a recent fish survey in May (see articles section) several bream and good sized tench were caught. Successful tactics for the bigger fish included fishing close into the margins particularly late evenings but also light ledgering accounted for some decent tench and bream using sweetcorn. There were many silverfish caught during the survey.


One of three tench caught by commitee member Jonathan Smales in an early evening session at the beginning of this season. Fish were caught close to the margin.








There have been recent reports of good sized roach, bream and crucian catches using sweetcorn. 


Season 2013:

The lake opened on 1st June and has been fishing well. Several double figure carp have been caught mainly to legered baits. Good bags of bream and silver fish to most tactics. What is very encouraging is that tench have been regularly caught, not in large numbers but fish between 1 and 3lb. These fish are too big to be this years stock and they look to be in excellent condition, which is great news. It may be worth trying margin fishing in the evenings, usually a very productive method for tench in this lake.

Over the winter silver fish continued to show for the pleasure angler as well as some of the bigger bream. Water clarity pushed the fish further out into the lake. The most successful methods to catch good bags of fish were waggler and light ledger tactics. Good carp continued to be caught as well as some big pike.


Season 2012:

Throughout the summer the lake fished well with good bags of large bream over 4lbs. A good tip for the bream is to use a fishmeal groundbait to draw fish into the swim. Pole has been affective for large bags of silver fish but if the fish are further out the wag and mag approach is best (try constantly altering the depth to find the bigger roach and rudd).

Good carp are being caught to over 20lb. An early season session with floating crust baits included a catch of double figure fish to 17lb. The tench fishing has been slow with only occasional fish reported.
During the winter months as the weather has cooled fishing on the lake has slowed as the fish became less active. Often the best fishing in the colder weather is in the last few hours before dark particularly when the water is clear. The feeder is still producing plenty of skimmers and bream. Good pike to over 20lbs have also been caught since October. The bigger carp are also being caught by carp anglers both through the day and evening (no night fishing is allowed).