This is a reasonably easy venue to find in the south of Bishop's Stortford.  From the M11 take the A120 ring road, when you're on the A1184, don't take the main St. Micheal's mead entrance roundabout, take the left on the next one on. Park on the road near the houses and the lake is on your right after a short walk.

A little bit about St. Micheal's mead lake... start with, this is a free lake containing vast amounts of silvers - roach, rudd, hybrids and bleak - perfect for bagging up on. On a good day an intermediate angler will expect to catch between 50-100 fish (10lb-15lb), my record is just shy of the latter, at 82 in three hours (14lb 6oz), with an estimated weight of 1oz-5oz per fish, excluding the odd carp that showed up. The council have recently renovated the lake (2011), and have put several purpose built fishing platforms, ideal for winter fishing, because the mud used to be horrendous down there. This does limit the amount of anglers on the lake, but makes it a more pleasant venue to fish at. This is an ideal venue to start fishing at, and not only have myself and my friend caught our first fish here, but even my sister has as well!

For each venue I will tell you the best ways of catching certain species of fish in that lake.  

Silvers - mag and wag, to put it simply. The silvers go crazy for maggots, and a light float (e.g. 3BB) will do the trick, with one very small dropper shot (e.g. a No.4 or No.5) a few inches from the hook. If you can't get hold of maggots, use sweetcorn, bread (quite hard to hook them with bread) or pellets. Dynamite Baits Red Betaine flavoured 4mm pellets do the trick every time, get them from GoOutdoors in Harlow or Stansted Angling.

 Carp - legering, float fishing and surface fishing, you name it! The carp go up to double figures and sometimes you can have a blinder of a day and catch perfectly scaled, pretty looking, hard fighting carp all averaging 2lb to 8lb, YES that's clearly not massive, but considering the lake is less than an acre in size and a few metres deep, that's good enough for most pleasure anglers. I'm not a carp fisherman but I do like catching them on the float and feeder. A really productive method for carp in the summer has to be surface fishing with bread or dried dog biscuits at either end of the lake. Use 4lb-6lb line with a size 12 hook, make sure the pieces of bread aren't too small, or you'll get roach and rudd all day long. Another trick that worked well for me once, was bait-anchoring a boilie (with a Greys Prodigy Bait Anchor) to a size 12 hook and just resting it in the margins so that it was floating on the surface and no line was touching the water. This produced a 4lb 10oz mirror carp, my third best from this venue. This is an unpredictable method, so don't spend all day watching the boilie, have another rod out doing something else.


 You can float fish for them as well, use a decent sized cube of luncheon meat with free offerings and bury the hook, the bites will naturally come quite slowly. Use a heavier float (e.g. 5BB) and 5.5lb line is perfect, although have a go using lighter line - it's seriously fun! Instead of burying the hook, you can hair rig the meat or use a bait anchor, any way will do. In addition, you can sink a piece of bread which is reasonably big, and squeeze it once or twice onto the shank of the hook, I caught these five small - but pretty - carp (right) with bread under the surface at SMML.

If you are thinking of using feeder tactics be prepared to use selctive baits, e.g. boilies, bread or large worms. I've seen people perfectly cast out a big 40g feeder, absolutely packed with grounbait and maggot or sweetcorn as the hook-bait - the only fish they caught; were small roach. I'm not saying don't use feeder tactics because they clearly can produce the goods. But remember to use selective baits.

Legering for them is also productive however I don't often do it, but my friend does. Use baits that will only attract carp e.g. chickpeas, boilies and luncheon meat etc., otherwise you'll be bothered by nuisance fish all day long. Two rods will give you plenty of sport if you know what you're doing. You don't need to cast far out but watch for an old sunken island in the middle! The reeds at the far end hold many reasonably good sized carp in the summer, if you can get to them!

Tench - Yes, there are tench in here, however they are extremely few and far between. I do like catching them elsewhere but have only caught one tench at SMML whilst I was just float fishing. I did however use a lobworm to see if a bigger roach or carp was lurking about, to my surprise (my very happy surprise) a tench was on the end of the line! It weighed in at 11oz and I was dead chuffed with it. I can't really give you strong advice on how to catch tench from this lake, however all I can say, is perhaps try a lobworm on a size 12 and see what happens! If anyone wants to give any advice for the site about catching tench from SMML, then that would help.

 Brown Goldfish - I catch more and more brown goldfish at this lake as the years go by and all of them have been very pretty looking. I don't know any methods that will single them out from the crowds in this lake, but keep trying and you're sure to catch some. I believe they were stocked a few years ago and are now starting to show in numbers. I caught these two (left) with sweetcorn. They look remarkably like crucian carp,  but close identification proved they weren't. They had 31 lateral paws on their lateral line, whereas a true crucian carp would have only 26-27. Their fins also look very 'carpy', they're more abrupt rather than rounded at the edges. The brown goldfish (bottom left) was caught along with 6 others, 9 roach, 3 rudd and 4 common carp. All these fish were caught on bread punch from a soft white loaf. So, it just goes to show that these fish aren't picky and can be caught on a number of baits. This was from the swim at the far end of the lake with the double platform.If you have pictures or evidence of others please don't hesitate to send them to me! 

Myself and my friend payed a visit to SMML in the summer of 2011, it was my friend's first time fishing and he caught 28 fish. He used my old whip rod with a 4x10 stick float and caught his first roach, common carp, mirror carp and brown goldfish ever! In fact I only caught a few more fish than him (32)! However I did lose what felt like a possible 'P.B.' carp. He also got stuck in with the technical part of fishing and unhooked a fish with a discorger, not an easy task for a 'first-timer' - you would think! All fish were caught on pellet and sweetcorn.