The depth of the lake varies from circa 4ft to more than 18ft with an average of 7-9ft. There are about 70 swims around the lake and fish are regularly caught from all areas throughout the year.
Members may use up to 4 rods in their chosen swim provided that they have purchased two rod licences but often it can a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth! Barbed hooks are permitted and there are no bait restrictions although members have been requested not to use too much low-grade spod to avoid souring the water.
The largest reported specimen caught in 2004 was a mirror weighing 33lbs (see photo) caught by Mike Smith from Offley.Kevin Webb from Gamlingay was not far behind catching an immaculate 32lbs mirror (see photo). There have been several different 30s caught from the lake this year and their numbers continue to increase as our stock fish grow. The water was stocked initially with carp from Wrest Park, Silsoe and Stanborough Lake, Welwyn GC.
There have been further stockings of mirror carp from Fisher Pond, commons and fully-scaled mirrors from Bedwell Fish Farm and a large number of mirror carp from a private lake near Ely. All the fish stocked have shown excellent growth rates, for example, the Fisher Pond fish introduced in 1995 weighing between 3-7lbs have already grown to more than 30lbs and are still putting the pounds on each year. They are a fast growing German strain that is now one of the most sought after strains in the country. However, their growth rate has been matched by the fish obtained from Bedwell and Ely stocked in later years. Some of these stockfish have already exceeded the 20lb mark. The lake’s current stock is estimated to exceed 500 doubles with more than 100 of these over 20lbs with around 10 different 30s.
In addition to the stocked fish, the lake is subject to occasional flooding from the nearby river and these floods have brought an influx of foreign fish with, at least, 50 doubles up to the high 20s entering via this route. An estimated 150-200 carp over 20lbs were caught from the lake in 2004 with Derek Munro from Biggleswade taking a 7 fish haul of carp weighing between 20-28lbs. Derek was unlucky to lose a number of fish in dense weed, at least, one of which was estimated to exceed 30lbs.
The carp can be found in all areas of the lake and many are taken from the near margins. In the height of summer large beds of lilies and milfoil grow. Many of the carp seek the shelter of these natural sanctuaries. Carp to over 30lbs have been caught on floaters but waterfowl can make this a frustrating method. Boilies, sweet corn and particles are baits that have all accounted for plenty of fish during the year. Artificial baits (e.g. plastic corn) have accounted for a good number of carp too.
If you are not fortunate to get a night permit immediately, do not despair as the vast majority of carp have been caught during the daytime this year.
A number of tench were stocked from Bedwell Fish Farm weighing up to 5lbs and these have grown well in the rich water.
The average size is around the 5-7lb mark but smaller skimmers can be caught on float tackle. The bigger fish are regularly caught on boilies and can be drawn into swims by heavy baiting. A picture of an 11lb 8oz bream caught by Rob Packer from Sandy has been included to show the quality of bream fishing that is available.
Anglers Mail columnist, Andy Little, had a go for them in 2004 but they proved to be elusive on the day. The few that have been caught over the years have taken boilies or float-fished maggots but floaters are always a good bet.
Simon Pask from Bedford caught a specimen weighing 22lbs during a pike match in 2005. One of the more productive areas in the lake is Deep Bay where shoals of silver fish congregate in the winter months.
These food fish are regularly pursued by numbers of pike close to the surface during this time of the year. In the springtime, some big specimens have been spotted close to the margins waiting to attack spawning roach and rudd.
Large perch have been often guilty of taking small roach off anglers’ lines although few anglers have tried to deliberately target them.
A number of chub are present with a recently caught specimen weighing over 6lbs being caught by Paul Webb from St Neots. These fish have mostly entered the lake from the nearby river during floods as have dace and bleak. Pike anglers using dead baits have caught Eels over 5lbs with DeepBay being a good area. Please note that all eels caught must be returned to the water unharmed to preserve this species that is nationally in decline.
The periodic flooding of the nearby river Ouse means that it not possible
to know all that the lake holds and rumours of some exotic species abound
but largely remain as rumours!
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