Junior Coaching #4 Mangerton Mill Pre-event report

Our next event is just around the corner and it could well be a belter. I know many of you have not been to Mangerton Mill Lake before, so here's a little run down....

The lake at Mangerton is set in the pretty rolling hills just a mile or two outside of Bridport.

Size wise, it is a bit bigger than Luckfield Lake and quite a bit deeper. It is not uncommon to find a depth of 6 feet or more. So extra care needs to taken for our Juniors near the waters edge.

There are nicely prepared fishing positions well spaced around the lake, and the pegs to the left of the picture have some inviting reedy margins that hold lots of fish. This area is also the deeper end but, I'm pretty sure you can catch from almost anywhere.

The stock of the lake are mainly hungry Carp that can be insanely fit. Unlike other venues that we visit, Mangerton has a good depth and the carp will exploit that to the extreme. It makes it great fun to catch them too.

There are other fish to catch other than Carp however. The Roach can get very big, as can the Perch (right). I've never seen any Skimmers, but I am sure that are some in there somewhere.

The method feeder will score most of the time here but, if the fish are shallow, then you won't go wrong by bringing a pellet waggler rod or at least a shallow waggler. If they are really going for it, then the Carp can be suicidal for a shallow bait. Careful feeding will keep them hungry all day in the right conditions.

To help you out, I am hoping to do a little demonstration using a Pellet Waggler if the weather is nice and sunny. The forecast for the weekend suggests showers, so we may not get the opportunity to fully show how good the Pellet Wag can be, but we'll give it go anyway to give you some idea of what to do.

A standard float set up or a pole, even a feeder down the edge will catch you the odd Carp. But the fish can be quite big at Mangerton, so make sure your gear is strong enough, or at least have your clutch set properly and prepare yourself for a long, arm aching battle!

If you are going to use a pole, then make sure the rigs are long enough to reach the bottom. My pole rigs were getting close to being too short when I fished there last.

Bait requirements for Mangerton are fairly similar to anywhere else we go to.

6 and 8mm pellets will be the most used for sure. I would take at least a kilo of each type, just in case. I didn't find much use for 4mm pellets, but I would always have some with me. Naturally you will need 2mm micro pellets for the feeder, again about a kilo at least.

Other baits like Sweetcorn and Luncheon meat could be handy as an alternative bait.

Maggots are always with me where ever I go. The usual 1 pint of red maggots with a few whites thrown in will do nicely.

On the subject of Maggots, If anyone has a problem storing our wriggling friends or just don't want them in the house fridge, then I am willing to store them for you in my fridge at home. Just drop me a line when you are going to buy your bait, write the Juniors name on a CLEAN bait box and bring them to me and I will store them for you and bring them to the event when they are needed. Because I'm such a good guy!

That's pretty much it really.

We are the first coaching group to use Mangerton as far as I am aware, at least for a long time anyway. We have some of the best behaved young anglers in Dorset, if not the country. We need to prove that to owner, Rory, with our very best behaviour and a great first impression. Running around the lake will be met with my most sternest of hard stares.

I would ask that parents take lots of pictures please? I am usually so wrapped in what is going on, that I completely forget about it until it's too late! I'll be looking for a volunteer to be the event photographer for Saturday too....

Finding the lake at Mangerton is pretty easy.

Go to Bridport on the A35 and go right at the first big roundabout that you come to.

Follow this road (A3066) and you will get to a mini roundabout on the crest of a rise.

Go straight across.

Shortly after you will see a brown sign indicating a right turn to MANGERTON MILL

Turn right at the sign and follow the lane for about a mile.

You will see a sign on the right hand side for the track that leads to the lake. I will put a DDAS Juniors sign to help you, or even a big flag. You won't miss it. Follow the track to the bottom where you will find the car park.

Please park as sensibly as you can and consider that part of the lake is still open to the public.


It was raining when I got to Kings Road Playing Field but, for once, the forecast was correct and it stopped just in time for me to set up our brand new flags and banner. I measured out the cones and hoops and waited for everyone to arrive. It was nice seeing people that walked past noticing and even reading the information on the flags to each other.

New anglers Faith and Carter, along with returning caster Jake and even faiths mum, Lydia, joined us to sharpen her skills.

We started with some very basic casting practice, to get timings and a rhythm going. Lydia had it nailed as expected and faith was matching her for distance.

It became evident that jakes rod was holding him back. A quick go on the coaches longer rod showed where the problem was and he started hitting the mark immediately.

The biggest surprise was Carter who, despite not having even held a rod before hit a mark set at 20 metres every single time for his first tree casts!

It was at this point that I wondered if I was even needed??

Being the evil coach that I am, I stepped up the difficulty by adding a line clip element to faith and Lydia's casting. They were shown how to creep the 'feeder' closer to the target with consecutive casts, until they had the distance required.

Jake having a different rod to use, found it a little harder, but got there in the end once he had found where his line was clipped up.

Carter was happy to just keep the basic practice going once he had slowed himself down.

The process of casting is very much about timing. Long rods and heavy weights for small hands can be awkward at first. But with practice, time and patience, Carter will be casting with the best of them for sure...

We closed the session with some short range casting, under arm. This proved too much for everyone and will need to be re-addressed at a later date.

All present impressed their coach with new skills and I can not wait to see them in action at future Junior sessions....

UPDATE: Faith, Lydia and dad Mike, all went off fishing after the casting lesson. Lydia managed two new PB's of 11lb and 12lb. Was it down to better casting? hopefully.... Well done 'Mum'!!

UPDATE #2: Becky took Carter to Alan's Angling and was lucky enough to get his first ever fishing rod of his own. Carter used his club membership card to get a nice little discount from Alan too. Thanks Alan!

If anyone wants casting lessons or one on one coaching then please get in touch with me....

Juniors Sec.

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