About the Main Lake
Please be aware that all lakes (excluding Specimen Lake) will be closed from Monday 4th December through to Friday 2nd February.
This picturesque 4.5 acre Carp and Catfish specimen lake is well known for being one of the best and most prolific day ticket big fish waters in Kent and Sussex. With both Common and Mirror carp nudging the 40lb mark and Catfish to over 80lb this lake is definitely not for the faint hearted! Our current lake records are 42lb 4oz Common, 39lb 2oz Mirror and 78lb Catfish. The biggest known Catfish hasn’t been caught for over three years but was weighed during our most recent draining of the lake and came in at well over 88lb! The lake is well established with attractive features such as reed lined edges, several islands, two bridges and lots of underwater features, giving anglers plenty of options to fish towards. The bottom of the lake is clay with silty areas and average depth of 5ft. The deepest depth is around 10ft in the corner where the outlet is and Catfish corner near swims 5 and 6 has deeper water which often holds some of our larger catfish. Round the islands are shallow at around 1.5 feet so it’s worth finding the bottom of the island shelf where is goes down to around 4-5 feet. The fish use these margins as patrol routes so they are well worth placing a bait near to. The banks are gravel lined so access is easy even in the worst of conditions there is parking nearby so you never need to transport your gear too far.
Strong tackle is a must and minimum tackle requirements do apply. A 42 inch specimen landing net and large unhooking mat are essential and a minimum of 15lb breaking strain mainline is also compulsory to help handle such large fish. For more information about tackle requirements please see rules section. There are 14 swims on this lake although we only allow 11 anglers on at any one time and it’s two rods max to reduce angling pressure.
If you're looking for a new personal best Carp or your first Catfish then look no further than our Main Lake!
Main lake has many bottom and surface features which can unlock the secrets to having a successful session. If you go to our Facebook Page you will see in our photo albums an album of pictures entitled “The big drain down”. In this album there a several shots of the lake when it was drained in February 2013. This is invaluable information for finding out the contours of the bottom and can help you to work out the patrol routes of the carp.
As a rule, carp will follow a new wind in search of food that will be carried to the windward bank. If you keep an eye on the weather forecasts in the days leading up to your session you may be able to predict where the fish are most likely to be feeding. As a general rule when there’s high pressure the fish will come up in the water and also head to the shallower margins in order to feed more comfortably. When the pressure drops below 1000mb you can try to fish the deeper areas as the fish will move down in the water column to balance the pressure in their swim bladders. These are just general rules and like all things in fishing, nothing is a certainty but if you bear these things in mind at least you are doing all you can to be fishing the right areas.
As far as bait goes, all good quality boilies will work and pellets and particles are also popular. Light baiting is the way to go until you discover how the fish are feeding and depending on the length of your session you can use more bait in the hope to get more fish feeding. Remember you can’t take it out once it’s gone in so fish for one fish at a time until you’re sure they are in the mood for a feed. Also remember that the lakes are fished regularly and the angler before you may have put bait in an area so look for signs of feeding fish in your swim before you start baiting up an area that you’ve chosen as you could be competing with existing bait.
In the colder months, maggots are worth a try as the smaller fish will be less active but boilies are the best way to go if you’re after big carp. The catfish respond well to Halibut pellets and luncheon meat but will take most baits.
Rules and Regulations
- No Leadcore
- No braided mainline except marker and spod rods
- Barbless hooks only
- No nuts
- Minimum of 42” landing net and large unhooking matt (No sharing)
- Minimum of 15lb mainline on Main Lake due to large cats
- Minimum of 10lb mainline on Dove Lake
- No fixed leads
- Running rigs, lead clips or semi-fixed inline leads only
- No live or dead baiting for catfish
- All nets, slings and matts to be dipped in disinfectant provided
- No bent hooks, including long shank curved type hooks
- When an angler is opposite you, please cast no further than the centre
- No surface fishing allowed due to wildfowl
- No keep nets or sacks, fish to be held below knee level
- Fishing only from designated areas, No stalking
- No litter or discarded line
- No dogs, guns, radios or excessive noise. You will be responsible for your own swim
- No fires or unsupported BBQ’s (must be raised from the ground), no continuous burning lights at night.
- Alcohol in moderation!
- Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. This includes the use of any illegal substances; if found in your possession this will be treated as a legal matter and the police will be contacted.
- There is an angler’s toilet. Please use it!
- Anglers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult aged 21 or over.
- Sorry no anglers under 14 are permitted on this lake unless authorised by management.
- One spectator per fisherman only
- Spectators will be charged 50% of the person they are spectating for insurance purposes.
- Children aged 5 or under are not permitted on the banks due to health and safety reasons.
- Night fishing must be booked and paid for in advance
- Anglers must be in possession of a valid rod licence
- 2 rods maximum on whole complex
- No rods to be left unattended at any time
- Bait boats are permitted but must be used with consideration for others and any wildlife
- No echo sounders or sonar boats to be used
- No trespassing into the adjoining fields or woodland. Anyone caught entering/leaving the fishery outside hours will be treated as a criminal and may be prosecuted.
- The management accepts no responsibility for injury, death, loss, damage or theft to persons, cars or equipment whilst on the complex and reserves the right to close all or parts of said complex at any time. Damage to the complex will result in prosecution.
- Please ensure that you are packed up and ready to leave before your session finishes at either 7am/7pm in time for the next anglers session.
- No refunds.
- Please abide by the 5mph speed limit.
- Vehicles are to be returned to the designated parking areas once you have finished unloading – not left on the roadside.
- For security purposes night fishermen’s vehicles will be locked in on the site at closing time until 7.00am the following morning. Anglers may leave during the night for emergencies only.
How to Book!
Day ticket anglers do not need to book. But please be aware anyone booked in for 24hrs or more will take priority, so please call the office on the number below to check availability before your visit.
Sessions of 24hrs or more must be booked in advance and paid for in full upon booking. Payment can be made over the telephone via a credit or debit card. Please note that credit cards are charged at an extra 2.5%
If you are unable to make your session or if you have to leave during your session for any reason, unfortunately we are unable to issue a refund. However, if adverse weather conditions occur that cause the lakes to become un-fishable please contact the office on the number below to reschedule your session.