Holiday Carp Fishing: Millhayes Lakes | Ali Hamidi

Picking a venue for a UK fishing holiday can be really challenging sometimes, if like me, you need somewhere to still work and run an exciting new company, but want to spend more time with the family and of course catch some humongous carp! 

Luckily, last year I found a special little venue in Devon called Millhayes Lakes, which is where I returned for our latest family outing.

Millhayes Lakes Sign

This place is awesome, not only do you get to stay in a luxury lodge right next to the lake, but the surroundings are incredibly quiet and the fishing exclusive.

Loads of work has been and continues to be done to this site, with more lodges being installed and facilities improved. It is even better now than it was when I first visited!

Ali Hamidi and mum Carp at Millhayes Lakes


Right, on to the important part, the fishing! Millhayes isn't a big venue, so don't come expecting to be launching an Arra Lead 100-yards. It's around 2-acres, so this is real up close and personal fishing, with far bank casts, intimate bays and margin traps the challenge on offer. 

There are roughly 110 carp in the lake and some good ones too, with potentially two forties and a crazy 30 thirties! Not only are the carp big for such a small venue, they are stunning fish too, as is typical of Priory Fisheries stock.

Ali Hamidi Millhayes Carp In Sling

This lake has a mixture of clay, silt, gravel and plenty of weed in places, so having a good look about for the best spots is crucial. Shallower water of around 2ft can be found at the island end of the lake, whilst it drops to around 10ft in the bowl end. There's plenty of reeds and features around the fringes of the lake too that are well worth investigating with a rig. 

A smaller pond situated nearby is stuffed with rudd, crucians and tench if you want to take a break from the carp and do a bit of light float or feeder fishing - a fun spot for the kids to give it a try with a rod.

Millhayes Lakes Devon


On a week holiday you really don't have to rush in to getting the rods out, so my opening attack was to just feed them... a lot!

Feeding is a great way to build the carp's confidence and get them regularly picking up bait, so when your rigs go in, they take them without caution.

Using a baiting spoon, I spread around 15kg of mixed Mainline Baits boilies all over the front, left and right of my swim. This was likely entirely different to how many other anglers had approached the lake to date and meant almost no matter where the fish moved, they would encounter a boilie to pick up. What a way to get them looking and more importantly, eating my bait! 

The next step was to get my remaining boilies on the soak in lake water using our PB Buckets. This ensures any further free offerings introduced alongside my rigs mimic what is already out there in terms of appearance and also softens the baits to make them more easily digestible for the fish.

The tactic certainly worked, as the following morning I woke to fish showing, fizzing and feeding all over the area the boilies were spread - they were on the bait! 

It was soon time to deploy some rigs to the zones and my opening gambit was the mega popular Spinner Rig. This time around my Spinner was tied with our Colne-V Needle Point Hooks and some other exciting new products coming to OMC very soon. 

Ali Hamidi Spinner Rig OMC Tackle

The special thing about our Ronnie Clips is they aren't just for Ronnies and Spinners either, so on the other rods I went for a classic Hinged Stiff Rig. This was done with ease, by simply clipping on one of our Chods Away Pre-Tied Rigs - less time tying rigs and more time fishing - BOSH!

Ali Hamidi Hinged Stiff Rig

Those of you who follow my social channels will know I boost the attraction of my hookbaits with Goo and toppers like maggots regularly. I also enhance the attraction in the area of the hookbait even further by moulding paste around my lead. Here's a quick step-by-step on how I create this awesome setup...

Step 1 - I fished these rigs with a lead clip system, so after threading on your Tungsten Tubing, Vitabitz Tail Rubber and Pin Lead Clip, you need to tie your mainline to the swivel eye on the top of the Magic Twig. I used a good old Grinner Knot for this. Strong and reliable is so important. Always remember to wet and check any knots thoroughly. 

Magic Twig Rig Tying

Step 2 - Slide the clip over the swivel and put the pin in, this will hold the swivel in place so your lead clip can't slide up and down the line. 

Arrow Lead

Step 3 - Attach your Arra Lead to the Lead Clip. I use the Arra in this scenario not because of how well it casts, but because the veins on the lead are great for gripping onto paste and groundbait when I mould it round. 

Ronnie Rig OMC

Step 4 - With the lead system complete, you now need to build the Spinner Rig section. You can learn how to create this in our Ultimate Guide. Alternatively, you can use our pre-tied Ronnie Boys or grab our Spinner Rig Pack that includes everything you need.

Ronnie Rig Clipped on
Magic Twig Clipped On Rig

Step 5 - I tested an exciting new LINK section on this trip, which is created by using our Kickback Fluorocarbon. Until their release you can create similar using our Vitabitz Crimps and Dog Bone Ronnie Clips. Simply clip your hook section to one end and the Magic Twig to the other.

Ali Hamidi Ronnie Maggot Rig

Step 6 - Time to add the baits! For the hookbait I mounted a Goo infused pop-up topped with maggots. The wrigglers certainly helped induce quicker bites. I used the Cool Tool and our Get Flossed Bait Floss to mount these onto the swivel.

Paste Wrapped Fishing Lead

Step 7 - Now to boost that lead! Before dropping the rigs into the pond, I wrap the lead in paste and groundbait to boost the attraction in the area immediately around the hookbait. I start this process with Mainline boilie paste.

Goo and Paste
Smart Liquid and Paste

Step 8 - I next add my favourite Goo and Smart Liquid to the ball of paste to really get it oozing with carpy goodness.

Ball of Paste Wrapped in Groundbait

Step 9 - The final step is to cover this in a nice and salty fishmeal groundbait. This will breakdown on the spot quickly and leave particles around it, whilst the paste pumps out attraction over a longer period. This tactic scored the majority of my bites over the week.

Ali Hamidi Method Carp Lead


After the initial baiting, I didn't need to introduce any more hits of bait during the session. Instead, I chose to just scoop or drop in a really attractive mix over the top of the rigs and ball of paste. This mix had everything, chopped worms, groundbait, boilies, pellets, maggots, nuts - a right old carp buffet. This was mixed as and when I needed it to keep it in the best condition.

Ali Hamidi Carp Bait Mix

There's not much need for casting at this venue. In fact, the more you can keep lead disturbance to a minimum, the more you will likely catch. To start with I used the old 'Washing Line Trick', which simply involves casting over to the far bank and suspending your line back across the water to your rods. This keeps the line totally out of the way of the carp and often results in some pretty spectacular bites!

For a full demo on how to best use the 'Washing Line' method, check out this video from the OMC YouTube Channel...

Whilst this tactic did produce some bites, it is quite labour intensive to get set up correctly and with the weed present, it was arguably not needed.

So with time limited, I set about using my next big edge to deliver my rigs and bait, the RT7 Bait Boat. Nothing beats a bait boat for stealth and accuracy, and with the tech on this beast I could find fish and spots with ease. 


With so many other things to do, including preparing and photographing lots of exciting new products, fishing was very much secondary on this trip. Despite that, I received what I would say is the perfect amount of action, which included some awesome fish too. In five full days of angling, I landed two 30lbers, four 20lbers and a few pretty doubles.

Ali Hamidi Millhayes Carp

It was a trip to cherish and allowed me to spend time with the family, whilst still getting time for that little fishing fix. We all idolise this place and can't wait to get back - those forties are waiting to be caught!

If you are on the look for a holiday venue in the South West, Millhayes is 100% worth booking. Be quick though, with the rate these immaculate carp are growing, demand is going to be high for years to come! 

Ali Hamidi Millhayes Common Carp


Lake Size: 2-Acres

Stock: 110 carp to 40lb, perch and pike also present 

Facilities: Luxury Lodges, Toilets, Nets & Slings provided

Ticket Type: Holiday bookings only

More Info:

Author Ali Hamidi is the Founder and CEO of One More Cast. He is a regular and popular face on mainstream TV, with his recent show 'The Grand Fishing Adventure' alongside ex-pro footballer Bobby Zamora taking him all over the world. Ali has been fishing and working within the angling trade for decades, bringing many exciting new products to market.