Which lake should I fish at Picks Cottage Fishery?

With five lakes to choose from many anglers often ask us which lake should they fish at Picks Cottage Fishery.

We always recommend that anglers fish a lake that's best suited to their ability and preferred angling style. We try our best to cover all bases with each lake individually tailored to a particular type of angler. Fishing can be much like golf in some ways, each lake (or golf course) offers its own challenges and tactics. If you want to play a round of pitch and putt, don't turn up on a Par 5 golf course and wonder why you didn't get a hole in one.

Anglers fish for a wide variety of reasons. Like many people you may be short on time looking for a few quick bites on the waggler, or alternatively you may prefer specimen carp angling chasing an elusive capture and a new PB. Hopefully the following information will be useful for those new to the fishery or looking for a new challenge.

With 5 lakes to choose from there's plenty of rewarding angling to be had!


Best for:
  • I've just purchased my first fishing rod 
  • I want to introduce my kids to fishing

You've probably been eying up that fishing starter package from Argos and finally taken the plunge. The man at the tackle shop sold you a box of maggots which for some reason are sold by the pint (he mentioned something about sticking them in your mouth but you'd rather not). If this sounds like you don't fear - everyone has to start somewhere and thankfully anglers are a friendly bunch who are always helpful and willing to share some tips. I'd definitely recommend the Float Pond for your first visit. It's stocked with lots of small Carp all under 2lbs, Carp are greedy little fish at this size and respond really well to a bit of bait. It's our smallest water and dug uniformly so every swim offers the chance of a few fish.

Try to remain quiet and throw a few handfuls of maggots in front of your swim. Set your float at approximately 5ft from your hook, and cast towards the maggots you baited up with. Don't be afraid to recast, carp will often pick your hooked maggot as it falls. It's also worthwhile throwing a small number of maggots around your float every 15 mins just to keep your swim active. It can take a while for the fish to find your swim but once they've turned up it's important to keep them interested with a regular supply of grub.



Best for:
  • I've learnt the basics but want a new challenge
  • I'm a pleasure angler looking to catch mixed species such as Tench & Bream
  • I'm a match angler looking to practice my skills

The Top Match lake is designed for mixed pleasure angling. The next step up from the Float Pond, this lake offers slightly larger fish ranging between 1-10lbs (Carp, Tench & Bream). With a clean clay bottom to 6ft in depth, most tactics can produce fish on the day although a basic level of skill is required to fish this lake. Generally we find red maggots and pellets produce most of the action, either on the float in the margins or using a feeder up against the island.

Once Spring has arrived the beautiful lilies reappear and they should definitely be targeted. You'll often see the lilies being nudged by fish holding amongst them - an opportunity not to be missed! If you walk around the lake prior to fishing it's also worthwhile to keep your eyes peeled for tiny little feeding bubbles - they often indicate where the Tench are feeding. The most productive pegs are 2, 4, 6 and 10 from our experience - if they're available they're  often a good place to get started. This being said, location can really make a big difference. A little time invested at the start of a session looking for showing fish can make all the difference. If you're peg is proving slow, don't be afraid to move.  



Best for:
  • I'm interested in specimen carp angling for the first time
  • I want to catch my first double figure carp
  • I want to learn how to fish in weed 

The Doughnut is by far my favourite lake offering some really rewarding angling. The lake is stocked with lots of lovely specimens up to 25lbs, with the majority weighing between 10-15lbs. If you want to get to grips with specimen carp angling, this lake should definitely be on your to-do list. The lake has recently been refurbished with 15 new fishing platforms and stocked with approximately 100 carp relocated from the Top Lake (most weighing close to 10lbs). What makes this lake interesting is that it offers carp angling for most abilities.

If you have never fished for larger carp before, I'd suggest you fish between pegs 10 - 15. This area of the lake has a clean clay bottom and saves the complication of fishing in weed. A standard hair rig with boilies should do the trick. If you're more experienced and want to try fishing in weed, pegs 1-9 often produce the most fish as the weed here is more proliffic providing a natural food larder. To fish in the weed I'd suggesting using solid PVA bags or a pop up fishing on a Chod Rig. A bit of bait can really help hold the fish in your swim so don't be afraid to loose feed some pellets or boilies. If you need assistance getting to grips with fishing in weed just pop in to the shop and we'll be happy to give a few pointers. 

The Doughnut lake is also popular with carp anglers who like to use floater tactics. If you take a mobile approach you'll soon find the fish basking in the sun on a summer afternoon. A few dog biscuits or bread crust are best used on a controller float or even freelined. Generally we find the Doughnut is better suited to surface fishing as the S lake fish can be especially finicky when feeding on the top. Bite time is often from 3pm onwards so it's a great way to spend an afternoon in the warmer months. 



Best for:
  • I'm an experienced carp angler looking to target a challenging lake
  • I want to catch my first 30lb+ Carp
  • I enjoy long session angling for incredible looking specimens

The S lake is by far our most challenging lake. We suggest anglers only fish this lake if they are suitably equipped and experienced. With numerous 20lb+ specimens and 3 known 30s to 39lbs, this lake is a specimen hunters dream! The lake is full of features with depths ranging between 3-10ft dependent on location. If you're after numerous captures this isn't the lake for you - a good session is one or two fish per 24hrs.

With a lower stocking density we have been able to grow some truly exceptional carp which often feature in the angling press and targeted by many anglers. There's some real characters to be had if you have the patience and skill to tackle this lake such as the queen of the lake, Split Fin. Last caught at 39lbs there's a very real possibility that we'll achieve our first 40lb capture this year - ultimate bragging rights if you manage to successfully capture her! Many anglers use critically balanced hook baits, Chod Rigs, Multi Rigs and solid PVA bags to best effect on this lake. This lake can be especially busy at weekends so we always recommend arriving early to secure your swim. We often find the lake fishes its best midweek so it's ideal for mid week overnight sessions in between work. Sunday night is one of the best nights to fish in my opinion - the lake often feeds well after a busy weekend as reduced angling pressure encourages the fish to feed.



Best for:
  • I want to try catching my first Wels Catfish

A lake rarely fished but often worth a session on is the Barrow Lake. Stocked with over 50 Wels Catfish this small intimate lake offers the opportunity to try something a little different. There's also handful of Carp in this lake if you fancy targeting them . This weedy water requires close attention to detail, try fishing a poly ball or using PVA socks to present your bait. One thing for certain, if you manage to hook a Cat you'll definitely know about it!