Esnes Quarry is a mature, 18 acre ex-sand and gravel pit nestled in the the countryside on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border.
Previously an exclusive syndicate, as of 2023 the lake has opened as a day ticket, offering the chance for the everyday angler to pit their wits against their impressive stock of over 600 carp.
The venue itself is part of the Freshwater Fisheries portfolio, which as a group is responsible for the stocking and running of the lake. Whilst there is a good stock of fish, the lake is unique in that depths run to 44ft in places.
But get your tactics right, and you can enjoy a day of varied fishing, catching many of the scaley bangers that Esnes has to offer.
If you’re looking to fish Esnes, keep reading for more about how you can approach your session.
Tickets: Day tickets
How to book: Book your session on Catch.
Esnes Quarry Fishing Prices: 24hr £28, 60hr £70
Best bait: Zig foam, pop ups
Carp size: Up to 42lb
How busy: Expected to get busy in summer
On-site facilities: Public toilets
Address: Bognop Road, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV11 2AZ
My experience fishing Esnes Quarry
I fished Esnes once in the week not long after it opened as a day ticket. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
While there is a few YouTube videos from years gone by of syndicate members fishing the place, you never know how things might change with that transition to day ticket.
However, it seems things have gone very smoothly, and it’s all well run by the bailiffs in co-ordination with the Catch App.
With 600 fish present, there’s a good head to go at, but by no means was I expecting a runs water. 600 fish can soon look like a needle in a haystack in a 44ft lake.
One thing that is evident is how mature and varied the lake is. There is loads of marginal features, shelves and back channels for the carp to cruise around. You’ve also got a larger, more open water pat of the lake which is where I fished to ensure I commanded some decent water on my first session.
The carp were really active from mid-late morning, showing in the centre of the lake at around 20 wraps in 44ft of water.
It wasn’t long before three adjustable zigs were dispatched and I was able to snare a couple! I landed one lean common around 12lb and lost the other half way in.
I’m always happy to catch on my first session at a venue and I’ll be back later in the year for sure.
Tips for fishing at Esnes Quarry Carp Fishery
Book early, but check the weather first
As the lake is ran by the Catch app, checking availability and booking on couldn’t be simpler.
With very few venues like this in the vicinity, I do expect this to get booked up quite quickly throughout the warmer months. (Pretty much like all other carp lakes in the UK!).
Like other day tickets on the Catch App, you have to book your Esnes peg in advance. This does take watercraft out of the equation, and it leaves you a bit stranded in a fish-less peg if there’s nothing in front of you.
My advice to overcome this would be to check out the weather as far in advance as you can, and book your peg accordingly.
On my first session it was blowing a North Easterly. With that in mind I opted for Peg 4 on the back of the wind, with nice margins either side for the Spring sun to warm up.
On a warmer day I’m sure the carp will be down the southern end of the lake though, sunning themselves around the many islands and channels.
Speak to the bailiffs on arrival
The bailiffs on Esnes were great.
First by promptly answering some queries I had over email ahead of the session, and secondly showing me some decent spots when I turned up.
As soon as I hopped out of my car, one of them was showing me some likely looking areas that he’d caught from recently, which were fishable from my peg.
I did have it in my head to fish zigs with it being 44ft in front of my peg, and the bailiff soon confirmed that it would be the best choice for the majority of my trip.
I’m always one for taking the advice of bailiffs, they’re around the water constantly and know what works. Listen to them!
Get on the zigs
44ft of water is a lot of water for carp to swim around in.
In my opinion, on waters of this depths, you’d be foolish to not give them a go, particularly in daylight hours.
Adjustable zigs are probably your best option, as this gives you scope to work the depths throughout the session. You can raise and lower them, finding where the fish are and then move all rods over to the winning depths.
That’s what I did, getting two runs on zigs positioned 12ft under the surface. If you’re there for a prolonged period of time, it might be worth putting some spod slop/liquid attractants over the top to try and draw carp through the layers.
This often gives you the added advantage of having a fall back plan, as in a baited spot to fish on if the zigs aren’t getting any action.
Don’t ignore the margins
Like any lake with some depth, you can expect to find some excellent deep margins.
It slopes off very quickly but there are some areas around the islands and channels where you have the opportunity to fish closer in.
When doing my research for Esnes, I did stumble across a YouTube video of someone fishing the margins of peg 4 and catching. It’s promising to know that action can be had in the edge as I always like to put a rod close in at night.
If you’re heading to Esnes, definitely go against the standard ‘three on a spot’ tactic and fish one to the bushes either side of your swim.
Have your rods ready to go before you arrive
One thing I would say is that the arrival and depart times aren’t the most favourable from a fishing point of view.
Fishing is from 10:30am and you need to leave your peg by 9:30am.
Most of you will know that this is prime bite time. And if it’s anything like my session, you’ll find yourself packing down with fish boshing all over you.
With that in mind, I would recommend that you are super-prepared for that arrival time. Have rods tied up and baited, ready to dispatch as soon as you get into your swim.
Even if that’s just chucking a few solid bags or adjustable zigs onto showing fish while you set your carp bivvy up. It’s key to make use of that mid-morning time.
Being as prepared as you possibly can will help you catch a few extra fish I’m sure of it.
Use the steep banks to your advantage
Being an ex-quarry, Esnes has some incredibly steep banks.
Yes this makes it tough for getting your gear to your peg, however it’s a god-send for spotting fish.
The clear water and steep banks give you an excellent vantage point to spot carp cruising over the marginal shelves.
It pays to step up to the back of your swim every now and then and peer down to see if there are any opportunities in the edge to be had.
It definitely helped me spot a few carp on my session.
Rigs for Esnes Quarry Carp Fishery
I’m a big fan of keeping things simple and that’s no different on somewhere like Esnes.
You don’t need complicated rigs at all. Just fish with what you’re confident in, particularly on your first few sessions.
There’s nothing worse than blanking on a new venue and being unsure of whether it was your rig and baiting approach.
But you’ve guessed it, I would recommend adjustable zigs 100%. Waters like Esnes just scream out zigs, as you can work the water column and find where the fish are sitting.
If they’re showing over you in 44ft of water, chances are they’re not feeding on the bottom.
I had success with adjustables on 3ft hooklinks, with the hookbait presented 12ft under the surface.
Bait for fishing at Esnes Quarry
Bait wise, again I would recommend to stick with what you have most confidence in.
When it comes to zigs, you can’t go wrong with foam soaked in liquids, with the addition of spod soup over the top.
It’s worth remembering that a large percentage of these carp are newer stockies (or so I believe). These are often reared on high-protein carp pellets so it wouldn’t hurt to have some of these in your mix.
The bailiff team do recommend a heavy baiting approach, with plenty of liquids that can be used to draw carp down to the bottom of the lake. – This makes a lot of sense.
Looking at the reports on the Catch App, a lot of fish come out to pop ups. This makes sense as I also had my fish on a Parker Baits Pineapple Fluoro.
What I liked most about Esnes Quarry
I always like to summarise what I liked most about a venue, and for Esnes that’s:
- Fishing in deep water which presents a relatively unique challenge and the opportunity to hone my skills zig fishing
- Secluded swims with plenty of coverage
- The mature nature of the lake with plenty of features around the lake and underwater
Esnes Quarry FAQ
Is there secure parking at Esnes Quarry?
Yes, there is secure parking at Esnes Quarry. There is ample space in the car park, which is secured by two sets of locked gates.
Can you park behind the swims?
No, you cannot park behind the swims at Esnes Quarry. There is one car park and a single pathway that leads all around the lake. Due to it being an ex-quarry, some of the pathways are steep and a bit rough, so expect a hard time pushing your barrow if you’re booked on pegs 5-12.
A power barrow is a major advantage for them pegs further away!
Is it barbed or barbless hooks?
On the Catch app it states barbless, so I turned up to the venue with fresh rigs tied to suit. However, when I arrived I noticed that the board in the car park stated barbed hooks only.
Luckily I bumped into the bailiff right there who confirmed that micro-barbed hooks are favoured on Esnes Qaurry.
Can you take a dog to Esnes Quarry?
Yes, well-behaved dogs are allowed on the venue. In fact, it’s a great place to fish with a dog as some of the swims are really secluded so they’re not getting in the way of other anglers.
About the writer
I’m Rob, Carp Squad’s main contributor. I’ve been carp fishing on and off for 15 years, but the bug is well and truly back at the moment. Hopefully the articles I write on here help you put more carp on the bank.
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