Still Waters


Although I mainly fish the drains and rivers, I also do some still water fishing aswell.

I have listed below just a few venues which I tend to visit a lot during the river close season.

The Roswell Pits

The picturesque Roswell Pits are situated on the outskirts of Ely town centre and are linked to the Ely Ouse. There are two fishable pits and one private pit. Both fishable pits belong to the Ely Beet Social Club and are open all year, including the river close season. They were originally manmade gault clay pits and have recently become part of the newly built Ely Country Park.  It was here the the british record zander was caught back in the 90’s.

Both pits contain all the usual course species including some cracking carp. I have split the pits in to two sections, so I can go into more detail about the fishing available too you.

The Clay Pit


Despite looking deep, this pit is actually a very coloured shallow pit. This is very good for bream in the summer and the pike and zander in the winter. I tend to fish the wooded side of the pit due to all the overhanging trees, roots and hidden bays. You can also fish opposite the wooded side, but this is an area of Special Scientific Interest. Fishing can be restricted especially when the birds are nesting.

Baits And Methods

As the lake is so shallow, I tend to stick with classic float methods, usually the waggler. I use double red maggot and keep the feed going with the odd ball of groundbait and a handful of maggots. I have tried feeder methods but was always getting plagued by eels!

Pike And Zander

For the pike, I use both float and leger methods during the winter months and lure tactics in the summer. 

As for the zander use the same methods as pike. Roach or rudd live baits do well in here. Lure tactics and dead course dead baits are also very successful. If you fancy a go for the monster perch, small live baits and lure tactics work a treat. Especially near the tunnel that links all the pits together. This tunnel runs under the access road.

The Sailing Pit


This pit is a complete contrast to The Clay Pit. It is much bigger, has more features and is deeper. It was here that the record zander came out of. The best swims I find, tend to be near the reed islands along “The Cliffs” and the area near the sailing club which runs along the loop line. This is where the monster bream, tench and some magnificent rudd tend to be caught. There are also some beautiful carp in here. This is my favourite pit.

Baits And Methods

For the bream and tench, I always use feeder tactics. I use a sweet groundbait mixed with bread crumb, hemp, maggots , chopped worm and a caramel additive. Use sweet corn, worm or double red maggot for hook baits. This works a treat. Waggler tactics using the lift method works well for the tench.

Pike And Zander

Use the same tactics as the clay pit, but try to get a long way out or try in the channels between the reed islands.

For information on this venue and other Ely Beet Club Venues. Click on the link below:

Borrow Pit

Photo to come                       Photo to come

Situated next to the New Bedford River, in Sutton Gault this is a strange looking pit. It represents a drain, but is actually a narrow lake. It is predominately a tench venue, but also has some good pike, rudd and the odd bream in it. It can get very weedy in the summer, so best to rake a swim out before starting, this can also help the tench get on the feed.

In the winter this floods very easily, so take extra care.

Baits And Methods

This isn’t very deep, so float tactics work best. Sweet corn and worm baits do well for the tench and maggot for all other species.

As for the pike, lures can be deadly as well as dead/live baits.

Fenced Acre

This is situated in the village of Mepal.

It is a tiny, tree lined pond. It contains the usual pond species like rudd, roach, tench and bream. I have fished it a few times and have had some great sport.

Baits And Methods

Float tactics are best. Maggot and Sweetcorn seem to produce the most bites for me. The fish aren’t huge, but always be prepared for the unexpected!

Mepal Block Fen A


This is your typical commercial fishery, stocked with carp up to twenty pound and some good tench and bream. There is also another lake here, called the pump pond. Surface tactics here using dog biscuits can be deadly here during the summer. Ledger tactics also do very well. I tend to go here for evening sessions or during the week. Weekends can get very busy, especially bank holidays. There are a lot of matches here and on Sunday mornings, the local dog rescue team, train there dogs at the bottom end of the “A” pit.

I must say though, this is the perfect place to bring your family for there first fishing trip or to catch your first carp.

Baits And Methods

During the summer use fish based boilies and pellets on the bottom, or dog bicuits on the surface. As I said earlier, surface tactics can be deadly during summer evenings. Fishing can be slow here in the winter, although fruit flavoured boilies and maggot clips can produce.

Mepal Block Fen B


This is a very large, clear lake and very hard. Be prepared to put in a lot of time to reap the rewards. It is really a pike water, but there are also some lovely tench and carp up to 30ib.

The tench and pike seem to show in the deep channel by the road as you pull up to the lake, whilst the carp seem to prefer the main body of the lake at quite a distance. A lot of anglers tend to use bait boats, to get there baits out, which seems a bit drastic!

If fishing in the summer, this can get very weedy, so it would be best to bring a rake with you to clear yourself a swim out

Baits And Methods

For the tench, cage feeder with sweet corn hook baits works well. As for the carp, bottom tactics with fruit or fishmeal boilies do well.

As for the pike, popped up mackerel tails do well, as well as Sardines and Smelt.

For more information on Mepal Block Fen A and B, Borrow Pit and Fenced Acre. Click on the link below:




14 Replies to “Still Waters”

  1. Hello there I am very interested in catching a few tench from roswell pits if you could give me a little more detail of swims and baits

  2. Hi Alastair. Feeder tactics works best for me. I tend to use double red maggot, sweet corn and chopped worm. When using feeder, use a cage feeder filled with a sweet ground bait mixed with hemp, sweet corn and chopped worm. Really gets them on the feed. Float tactics can also produce.
    The best swims I find are around lily beds at the bottom end of the sailing pit “near the cliffs” as they call it. Don’t hesitate to contact me for more info on where this area is.

  3. I went and had a look down the sailing pit this evening iv started pre baiting a swim for carp. Put in a half kilo of mainline bollies in. I’m going to do this regularly now up till I fish it. Iv been looking hard for weeks to see any activity of carp iv not seen any carp as yet but my gut is telling me otherwise! See your advice has give me more hope and in the next few weeks I will be giving it my all. Tight lines all. Andrew.

  4. Thank you very much for your positive comment Andrew.
    Just the sort of comment I am looking for.
    Anyway the carp are there. Can get to around the 30ib mark. A couple of my mates have had a few out. You will catch, just keep up the pre baiting!
    Let me know how you get on and good luck!

  5. theres some cracking info on your site.thinking of coming up early nov for marie curie pike cup and testing a few venues out. cheers….

    1. Thanks Nick. Glad you find my site useful. I do the Marie Curie every year. Definitely worth a crack. Probably see you there!

  6. Looking to fish Roswell pits this weekend, will be carp fishing just wondering what lake of the two is best for this?

    1. Hi Ross,
      The best lake for the carp fishing, will probably be the sailing pit along the cliffs as they call it.
      Good Luck!

  7. Hi I’ve fished mepal fenced acre pit for the last ten years and have cracking tench in the 6,7.8 pound. Personally I think luncheon meat is the best for the tench,the other thing is not many anglers know this but there are a hand full of carp in this lake biggest caught last year 22.7lbs. With carp from 8 lbs there are hard to catch as easily spooked,

    1. Thanks for that. I have only just started fishing it more seriously, so any help, will be appreciated by me and other anglers.

  8. I’ve fished Mepal Fenced Arce for a long time, with various baits and tactics.
    Ive even tried spinning for perch, I was that desperate.

    The comments saying that the record carp caught there was up to 22.7lbs overwhelms me, and 6-7lbs tench is unbelievable.
    Are large fish still being caught out of there up to present date?
    I would be great if someone knows.

    1. Hi John,
      That is correct, both pits are now controlled by the EA. I haven’t fished these for a while now, so not sure wht the fishing staus is now. I am looking at making some changes on the website, and will adjust appropriately.

      1. Thanks for the reply.
        I contacted the EA and they told me that they do own both sites, however they have put up for sale and they are currently nearing the completion stage.
        They couldn’t give me any more info, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the new owner decides to do with them…

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