The S Lake in Depth
The S Lake is by far our most challenging lake at Picks Cottage Fishery - but also our most popular! With three known 30s to 38lbs and numerous 20lb carp, the S is a specimen hunters dream. Despite the lakes intimate size at 1.5 acres, don't be mistaken and assume the S is your typical day ticket water.
Unlike many day ticket lakes, the S lake is a pristine environment managed as a specimen water. From a fishery management perspective this results in the lowest stocking density of all five lakes on site. By maintaining a lower stocking density, we are able to produce some truly stunning characters. Crystal clear water results in an abundance of weed and insect life, ensuring a plentiful supply of natural feed. The stock of the lake is consisted of our oldest resident fish, dating back to when we first opened in 1987. More recently we have added a handful of beautiful VS Fisheries carp in small numbers to ensure a sustainable stocking approach is ensured for years to come.
The lakes bottom is predominantly weedy but many clear areas can be found. Depths vary from 3ft to 10ft depending on the area of the lake fished so I'd certainly recommend bringing a marker rod. We often find the margins are most productive, a well placed rig under your rod tips should never be ignored. We walk around the lakes on a daily basis and very rare is the day when we don't find a shoal of carp feeding in front of a swim!
When it comes to rigs, many anglers will tell you that wafters are the biggest edge on this lake. Personally I believe the popularity of Pop-Ups in recent years (especially in terms of their use with Chod rigs) have resulted in Carp avoiding such blatant presentations. A critically balanced hook bait ensures your presentation is subtle and most alike any freebies fed. If you take the time to check your rigs in the waters edge before you cast out I guarantee your catch results will improve - patience is key with this lake. PVA nuggets are also a great technique for shielding your hook point from any debris on the lake bottom. I prefer to double up with two nuggets to ensure my rigs are completely buoyant when they're first cast. Once in the water, the foam dissolves and allows your critically balanced rig to gently descend. At this point its also worth mentioning that a semi-stiff hooklink can be helpful as it reduces the likelihood of tangles found with more softer materials.
When it comes to rigs, I'd personally suggest Multi Rigs, Stiff Hinge Rigs, Chod Rigs or solid PVA Bag rigs. Each rig has it's own positives/negatives so experimenting is a worthwhile pursuit. It's often the case that anglers require several sessions before they catch their first carp, but once they've cracked what works for them the catch rates quickly improve. I've seen anglers blank and anglers catch in excess of 10 fish in a day, the difference is patience and taking the time to understand the lake. If you want to chuck out a rig without any consideration and guarantee a catch, this isn't the lake for you.
When it comes to choosing a swim, it's important to understand that every session is different. Take the time to walk around the lake several times before setting up and the fish will eventually show themselves. Location really is key. Any signs of feeding, or fish topping should act as a good starting point when selecting where to fish. It's also important to consider line lay and how you'll land a fish once you've hooked one. The deep reed beds and lilly pads can result in lost fish so consider all eventualities when casting out. The S lake can produce some fantastic sessions but a little thought is required. With so many outstanding specimens we firmly believe it's worth the effort!
- Jamie Roddick