Wadmill Lake At Todber Manor: The Best Runs Water In Dorset?

Wadmill Lake is one of the lakes on the Todber Manor Fisheries complex, which is located near Sturminster Newton and is set in acres of beautiful Dorset countryside.

I have fished Wadmill Lake many times, either for planned social sessions where some rod bending action is needed, or at times when the specimen lakes have been fully booked.

Let’s take a closer look at how to prepare when fishing Wadmill Lake for the first time, and what to expect from the Todber Manor complex in general.

Wadmill Lake

Quick Look

Wadmill Lake is an excellent lake to fish when you are looking to put a bend in the rod. With high stock levels and relatively shallow depths, you are always in with a chance.

  • Stock Level
  • Peg Spacing
  • Facilities
  • Cleanliness


  • Excellent stock levels
  • Well maintained pegs
  • Beautiful setting


  • Pegs are quite close together
  • Only portaloos available near the lake

Directions To Todber Manor Fisheries

Finding Todber Manor Fisheries can be a little bit tricky on your first visit. I’ll admit that I am not the best navigator in the world, but even following the sat nav to the exact postcode still resulted in me driving straight past the entrance and a few hundred metres down the road!

Once you find it, the main site is where the tackle shop and holiday cottages are situated. Several of the lakes are also located here, including the sought after Paddock Lake.

Make sure that you arrive well in advance of the time that you intend to start fishing as the tackle shop is like Disneyland for anglers, and you can easily while away an hour or so checking out the huge range of equipment, bait and terminal tackle that is stocked on-site.

Once you have picked up any essentials items that you forgot (or just didn’t realise that you needed!), you can head to the counter to pay for them and pick up your ticket at the same time.

Finding Wadmill Lake

Wadmill Lake is situated on the opposite side of the road and is positioned next to three of the specimen lakes – Little Hayes, Big Hayes and Willow Bank. It doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to drive to the exit from the main site, cross the road and follow the track along until you reach the car park for Wadmill Lake.

Wadmill Lake At A Glance

Wadmill Lake extends to just over 4 acres in size and has 4 islands that run down the centre of the lake. It is known as the runs water of the Todber Manor Fisheries complex.

There are 31 pegs on the lake, so it can feel crowded during the busier times.

There are in excess of 1,000 carp in Wadmill Lake, with the average size being around the low double-figure mark. A good head of upper doubles and 20lb+ fish are also present, up to a lake record of over 30lb.

The margins are often productive and some of the areas close to the islands can also prove to be popular. Boilies, pellets and luncheon meat fished over a bed of particle often yield good results.

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Stock Levels And Biggest Carp

In 2012, all of the carp below 6lb were removed from Wadmill Lake. At the same time, there was a large stocking of carp to over 20lb.

With such a large population of fish, it is no surprise that the carp haven’t gained huge amounts of weight. With that being said, the average size in the lake is now low double-figures, with many upper doubles and 20lb+ fish, too.

Carp Smart team member Jason Burton with “Spencer” at just under 30lb

Wadmill Lake has a handful of residents that have crossed the 30lb barrier at the right times of the year, with “Spencer” arguably being the most frequent visitor to the bank. The entire complex is growing increasingly popular, and more anglers are choosing to fish Wadmill Lake, so I imagine that the fish will gain weight more rapidly and we will see more and more 30lb+ carp in the not-too-distant future.

Choosing A Peg

With such high stock levels, you can expect success from most pegs on this lake, though certain pegs are more renowned for their summer and winter form.

The pegs at the car park end of the lake offer the shallower water, with average depths of around 3ft-4ft. The far end of the lake has the deepest water, with maximum depths of around 10ft.

The lake is long and narrow, with the majority of the 31 pegs evenly spaced out down the side banks. The 4 islands break the water up nicely and minimise the inevitable crossed lines situations that often occur on a busy day ticket water.

The Wadmill carp are not usually shy to show themselves, so walking around the lake a couple of times upon arrival can really help to build up a picture of where they might be, increasing the already high chances of a result.

If you are wanting to maximise the space in front of you, the north bank (car park end) and south bank (far end) enjoy slightly more water than the rest of the pegs on the lake, though it is worth remembering what I said earlier, that the north end has the shallower water and the south end has the deeper water.

Popular Pegs

There are more than 200 carp per acre of water in Wadmill Lake so, regardless of where you fish, you will never be too far from the action. With that being said, there are still some popular pegs that tend to get occupied first.

The North Bank

The 3 pegs on the north bank tend to be extremely popular for a number of reasons:

  • They are the first ones that you come to as you exit the car park
  • The left peg and right peg both have larger margins in comparison to most of the pegs on the lake
  • They are well-positioned for social sessions

The centre peg on the north bank doesn’t really have any margin areas to speak of, but it does have direct access to the island and the overhanging trees that come with it.

The South Bank

The south bank of the lake is the furthest away from the car park and has 2 pegs, which are also ideal for a social with a mate. There is an island directly in front of both of these pegs and, like the north bank, they also have generous margins (especially the left-hand peg).

While the whole lake tends to enjoy year-round form, as this end of the lake is home to the deeper water, it can be more productive during the colder months.

The East And West Banks

The east and west banks of the lake have 13 pegs each which, in some places, can be a little too close for comfort. The way that the pegs are positioned means that all of them have good margin opportunities, with most also having the option to position at least 1 rod towards the islands. A couple of the pegs have only open water in front of them, but these are popular patrol routes for the carp and are well-known areas for picking up a bite as they move between the islands.

Successful Baits

Baits from CC Moore have accounted for a lot of carp from all of the lakes on the Todber Manor Fisheries complex in recent years, with Pacific Tuna and Live System producing the goods for a lot of anglers.

Products from most of the well-known brands have tempted carp from Wadmill Lake, with individual mentions for Cell from Mainline Baits, Manilla and The Krill from Sticky Baits and Scopex Squid from Nash Bait.

With that being said, I have also experienced success on sweetcorn, luncheon meat, pellets and maggots, so a well-positioned bait is always likely to be in with a chance of a bite.

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The Todber Manor Fisheries complex ticks most (if not all) of the boxes of what carp anglers are looking for when they are choosing where to fish. This includes their very friendly, helpful staff who are always willing to assist you, whether you need some guidance on a particular product in the shop, or whether you are trying to find out some local knowledge about the best spots to fish from a particular peg.


On the main site, in between the tackle shop and Paddock Lake, you will find a purpose-built shower and toilet block, which can be used by anglers who are fishing any of the lakes.

However, Wadmill Lake only has a portaloo in the car park, and there is no running water, so you will need to drive the short journey back to the main site if you wish to freshen up properly.

Car Park

The car park at Wadmill Lake is large enough to accommodate multiple cars and it is highly likely that you will always find parking, even at peak times. The main gate that leads to this area of the complex is locked overnight for additional security.

Ticket Price

All fishing must be booked in advance, with day tickets being priced at £12 and 24 hour tickets costing £24. Anglers wishing to fish for extended periods can purchase week-long tickets for £125.


The entire Todber Manor complex is increasing in popularity, with Wadmill Lake now among the most popular.

If you are simply looking to put a bend in the rod, then Wadmill Lake is the ideal location, with multiple hits of fish common-place (especially in the spring and autumn).

Have you ever fished at Wadmill Lake? If so, I would love to hear from you in the comments.