Sadly we have to report the loss of one of our 50+ lbs fish out of Lake Pepper.
Landed last year by Dale Crowson, at a weight of 53lbs (a regular at over 40lbs, this was the first and only time she tipped the scales at over 50lbs to our knowledge), and sadly now passed away.
Mitchell Mace made the most of the easing of lockdown restrictions landing a total of 16 carp in 48 hours, including a new PB. Here is just a small selection:
And his PB. Well, that was this stunning Mirror weighing in at 41lbs 12oz.
The Memorial Match is an annual event in the Cottington Calendar and arguably one of its most important, commemorating bailiff Dave Wall, who sadly passed away 10 years ago.
This years event saw a slight change in format (due to the Covid restrictions and social distancing measures), but was no less competitive for it. An early front runner on the leader board was Ian Canon who landed this stunning Mirror:
Tipping the scales at a very healthy 41lbs 14oz, this is a UK pb for Ian.
Its been a long time coming, but at last anglers are back on the banks at Cottington and we're able to start publishing some of the fish that have been landed, rather than Covid updates. And one of the first to take advantage of the eased lockdown measures and get back onto the specimen lakes was Shaun Shepherd, fishing peg 2 on Lake Christine, and who landed this lovely Mirror, weighing in at 29lbs 4oz:
Covid 19 - Update 7a
Amendment: To purchase a day ticket for the general coarse lakes (Specimen Lakes are still closed) you must call AKC (01304 380691) between 9.00am - 10.30am the day before you wish to fish (no earlier). If you need to purchase any equipment, you can do this at the same time and if it's in stock it will be ready for you to collect when you arrive.
Covid 19 - Update 7
Firstly, a massive thank you to all the anglers that have fished with us since we have re-opened our doors and who have respected the measures we've put in place to try and protect everyone's health. It is thanks to you and your efforts that we have been able to open the lakes to wider groups of anglers.
Specimen Lakes - The specimen lakes will re-open on Monday the 8th June for existing bookings only. We ARE NOT accepting any new bookings at this time and the diary will remain closed. All bookings between 1st and 7th June will be refunded.
Temporary swims changes: Please note that in order to comply with social distancing measures we have installed temporary swims on Old Pepper to replace swims 1 and 3 and a temporary swim on Lake Christine to replace swim 1. In all cases the waters you are fishing remain unchanged, all that has changed is the location you fish from the bank.
All anglers fishing the specimen lakes overnight (pre-existing bookings only) must bring their own hand sanitiser. You will be asked to show that you have it and if you don't you won't be permitted to fish.
For pre-existing bookings after the 8th June, please note that entry into the lakes is restricted. You must therefore arrive at the following specified times:
For 8am starts, you must arrive between 7.30 - 8.00am
For 1pm starts, you must arrive between 12 - 12.30pm
For 5pm starts, you must arrive between 16.30 - 17.00pm
Please note: AKC (the on-site tackle shop) will be open between 7.30am -12.30pm. To avoid delays and maintain social distancing measures access is limited to one person at a time. It is therefore recommended that if you need to make a purchase, you contact AKC a few days before your visit and pre-order and pay for any equipment that you need. This is particularly important if you are starting at 5pm when the shop will be closed. In this instance any pre-purchased equipment will be available to collect from the bailiffs upon arrival.
Season Tickets - These are now sold out and there are no more available.
Day Tickets (excluding Specimen Lakes) -
Day tickets remain limited to 25 per day, sold on a first come, first serve basis and must be booked and paid for the day before. (We cannot accept requests for half day tickets at present.) Anglers may only purchase one ticket for themselves and one other for another member of their household (if they wish.) Arrival times will be restricted. You will be advised of this when you call to purchase your ticket. You will be asked for id on arrival to confirm your booking (passport, driving licence or bank card), so please only book if you are able to provide one of the documents mentioned. If two members of the same household are fishing, you must both have proof of id. If you don't have the id requested, you won't be permitted to fish.
Day Before Fishing
- Contact AKC (by phone on 01304 380691) between 10am - 11am the day before you wish to fish (no earlier). (If you need to purchase any equipment, you can do this at the same time and if it's in stock it will be ready for you to collect when you arrive.)
- AKC will take your details and collect payment over the phone.
- You will be given a slot time to arrive.
On the day:
- You must arrive at the slot time provided.
- If you arrive by car, please stay in your car.
- On arrival you will be asked for your proof of id.
- We will confirm your booking and direct you to the lakes.
Please note: You will be asked for your preferred lake when you book (to help us manage allocation of space), but please note that we cannot guarantee space on your preferred lake as Season Ticket holders are given priority on the lakes. In particular space on Lake Alder is very limited and is offered to Season Ticket holders first.
Match Fishing - Match fishing remains closed at this time.
All anglers must have read the updates rules below:
Anglers must arrive at the times specified below:
Specimen Lakes (8am start) - 7.30 - 8.00am
Season ticket holders - 8.00 - 8.30am
Day Tickets - 8.30 - 9.00am
Specimen Lakes (1pm start) - 12.00 - 12.30pm
Specimen Lakes (5pm start) - 16.30 - 17.00pm
All anglers (irrespective of whether or not they are from the same household) must fish at least 15m apart.
Anglers are permitted one non-fishing guest provided that they are from the same household. The non-fishing guest can remain in the same swim space.
Anglers fishing the specimen lakes must bring their own hand sanitiser, and must use it before and after shutting the otter gates (see below).
Unless you have an existing booking on the specimen lakes, then overnight fishing remains prohibited.
On arrival you must stay outside (in your car if you arrive by car.) You must respect the social distancing rules and ensure you stay at least 2 metres apart from other people.
Staff from AKC will come out to greet you and check your season ticket or booking. If you do not have your Season Ticket with you or it has expired you will not be permitted into the lakes. No exceptions!!
Once your season ticket / booking has been checked, the barrier will be opened for you (we will not be issuing tokens.)
Each angler will be permitted to be accompanied by no more than one non-fishing guest provided that they are members of the same household only.
Anglers must have packed up and left the fishery before 5pm (6pm from the 8th June), unless pre-booked onto the specimen lakes.
Otter gates around the fishery will be opened by fishery personnel in the morning and remain open whilst anglers are on site until 5pm (6pm after the 8th June), when they will be closed by site personnel. The requirement for anglers to close the otter gates is temporarily suspended.
Anglers fishing the specimen lakes after 6pm must use hand sanitiser before and after using the otter gates.
These measures ensure that both direct and indirect contact between yourselves and anyone else is kept to a minimum and is intended to protect both your health and that of the wider community.
Cottington Lakes fishery
Covid 19 – Update 6
- Contact AKC (by phone on 01304 380691) between 10am – 11am the day before you wish to fish (no earlier). (If you need to purchase any equipment, you can do this at the same time and if it’s in stock it will be ready for you to collect when you arrive.)
- AKC will take your details and collect payment over the phone.
- You will be given a slot time to arrive.
You must arrive at the slot time provided.
If you arrive by car, please stay in your car.
On arrival you will be asked for your proof if id.
We will confirm your booking and direct you to the lakes.
Covid 19 – Update 5
Covid 19 – Update 3
Closure Due to Corona Virus
As a result of the Prime Ministers announcement yesterday evening, restricting people’s movements (to shop for essential items, travel to and from work, meet any medical needs and to exercise once per day), regrettably Cottington Lakes has no option but to close temporarily. This decision has not been taken lightly, but we believe that it is a responsible decision considering the current circumstances.
We have also temporarily disabled our “Bookings diary” to help allow us to manage the wishes of those with current bookings.
Understandably anglers will be concerned about their bookings. We will be contacting all anglers/group contacts individually to discuss bookings with them, however, please bear with us as this is a considerable undertaking. (Please try to refrain from messaging through Facebook or e-mailing as this will slow down our ability to contact everyone.)
Although current advice is that restrictions will be in place for a minimum of 3 weeks, initially we will be contacting everyone with a booking on or before the 31st May 2020.
For those with season tickets, we will put out advice once we have completed contacting anglers with confirmed bookings.
Cottington Lakes fishery
Pickings were slim for Dale Crowson, fishing peg 1 on Old Pepper. He only saw one fish during his whole session. But one fish is better than no fish. So how to tease it out? Initial attempts using dog biscuit proved unsuccessful.
The following day it was back but this time much higher in the water. And this time Dale was successful:
Dale weighed her at 53lbs and had the weight verified at a second weighing. This lovely Mirror has been seen regularly in the past at over 40lbs but has clearly had a growth spurt, to reach her current weight.
As Dale said, "this is what dreams are made of."
This makes Dale the latest member of Cottington's "50" Club.
Cottington Lakes is proud to support the Plastic Free Deal initiative, aimed at reducing the single use plastics that are contaminating our waters and our countryside:
For more information about this great initiative have a look at their website:
and/or their facebook page;
This monster would grace most specimen waters. But Joshua Handley, fishing with a friend at the weekend (2nd June), landed it out of Lake Alder.
This is the second time in recent weeks this stunning Mirror has been out, this time at 32lbs 2oz, topping her previous weight by a slender ounce.
Congratulations Joshua on the new Lake record.
Bait boats are permitted on Lakes Pepper and Christine.
However, there has been a significant increase in the numbers of anglers who have got them stuck and had to ask for them to be recovered. We are a small family run business and doing this takes valuable time away from us to carry out important maintenance and/or improvements around the rest of the lakes.
We have no wish to ban them, used correctly they are a useful tool in the anglers tool box, and this would be unfair on the vast majority who use them without issue. Instead we recommend that if you want to use them, then tie a line to them so that in the event that they become stuck, they can be recovered.
If you choose not to, then please don't be surprised if you are charged (£20) to recover it.
Graham Finn is a field tester for Next Generation Tackle (NGT) and has been bringing anglers young and old down to Cottington to fish the coarse lakes for a couple of years now. A busy early part of the year meant that the Easter weekend was the first opportunity to get out this year. And .... well, I'll let Graham tell you the rest;
A recent overnight session on Alder left Ben McDonnell with a haul of 5 fish, including one 30lbs + Mirror.
But first out of the bag was this 17lb 9oz common, which Ben landed using Casual Carpers Salted Caramel:
An overnight alarm call left Ben with a lovely Koi, also landed using Salted Caramel. Weighing in at 16lbs 7oz this is a new pb for Ben:
Next up came a smaller Common weighing about 13lbs and landed using Casual Carpers Spiced Krill. A quick catch and release, so no photo.
Saving the best to last (well nearly last), Ben brought this stunning Mirror, weighing 32lbs 1oz, onto the bank, another victim of the Salted Caramel:
And just when he thought it was all over this lovely Mirror made an appearance:
On the bank at 27lbs 4oz.
Ben was fishing from peg 12.
David Harden joins the limited few who have been fortunate enough to land Cottington's Big Girl at over 50lbs.
David landed her at 9pm on the 4th March from peg 10, weighing in at 51lbs 6oz.
For those wondering where best to try and land the Big Girl, pick a spot... any spot!! She's now come out from all around the Lake making appearances from pegs 1, 6, 7, 10, 13 and 16.
We know that lots of anglers are waiting anxiously to be able to book spaces on Lakes Pepper & Christine for 2019. Well, we're almost there and we are working very hard to make the new diary and booking system available from the 1st November.
But before releasing the diary, we need to make everyone aware of some important changes.
Reservations can only be made through the on-line booking system and can only be made with payment of a 50% deposit (no change to the deposit). Upon completion of a booking, the system will generate an e-mail confirmation. If you do not receive an e-mail please check your junk/spam filter. If you still haven't received an e-mail, please contact us via email@example.com and we will confirm your booking has been accepted.
Anglers are responsible for checking that the details within the confirmation e-mail are correct i.e. lake, dates and times etc.
Payment of the outstanding balance is due not less than 28 days prior to the booking and anglers are responsible for ensuring that this balance is paid in time. In the event that payment isn't received, the system will cancel your booking and make the space available for other anglers (please see our Cancellation Policy at the foot of the Bookings/Diary page.)
Lake Pepper has been separated into 2 lakes to enable half lake bookings. Old Pepper comprises of swims 1-8 and New Pepper comprises of swims 9-16. If you wish to book the whole of Lake Pepper you must book both lakes separately. Please note, you are booking a space on the lake of your choice, not a specific swim.
To enable the diary to run at an acceptable speed, it has been necessary to limit the start times. Bookings in 2019 will be limited to the following start times: 8am, 1pm and 5pm. However, you must book in with AKC one hour before your start time (see below.)
All ticket prices remain the same as for 2018. However, in order to enable the diary to function, start and end times must be different. Therefore the following changes apply:
1 Day Ticket = 23hrs fishing, 2 Day Ticket = 47hrs fishing, 3 Day ticket = 71hrs fishing ... etc. You can of course still book extra hours over and above a day ticket with additional hours charged at the hourly rate.
Upon arrival you must still check in with AKC (on-site tackle shop), present your booking confirmation e-mail and you will be issued with a ticket. We ask everyone to check-in one hour before your start time. This is especially important if you have booked a 5pm start time as AKC close at 5pm and you must have checked in and collected your ticket before they close. This will also assist the fishery to manage the issue of bank equipment (mats, nets & weigh slings) which we will be doing in the future.
We look forward to seeing you in 2019.
Ben McDonnell joined his dad, Mac McDonnell, for 5 days on Lake Christine courtesy of Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club as part of a long service award for Mac who has worked at the club for 40 years.
Mac, fishing from peg 4, and using Maple Nut, got off to a great start when he landed this 24lbs 10oz leathery Mirror, a new personal best;
It was then Ben's turn landing 3 of the Commons, which are a trademark of the lake, in succession. First up was this lovely 22lbs 11oz Common;
Next up, a night time wake up call with this 20lbs 5oz Common;
And finally, completing Ben's trilogy yet another Common, this time weighing in at 23lbs 1oz;
Ben, fishing from peg 3 was using Sticky Baits Krill and Sticky Baits 12mm Signature Squid.
Not to be outshone by his son, it was Mac's turn to get back into the action, and what a way to do so, landing one of the lakes big Commons at 35lbs 6oz and breaking his pb for a second time during the trip.
To finish off Mac landed another Common about 40 minutes later, this time weighing in at 29lbs 6oz, this time caught using a Crab boilie.
Congratulations to both of you and especially Mac for 40 years service, which is an outstanding achievement.
Olly Swift with his 38lbs 8oz Common, landed from peg 4 on Lake Pepper.
Congratulations Olly. An absolute stunner!!
Angie Northcott and Mark Forrister spent 4 days on Lake Pepper, back towards the end of August.
Mark was clearly still buzzing from the session as he sent the photos but with no other details. He just said "Great trip." So without further ado, here's a sample of their catches;
Congratulations to both of you.
A session on Lake Pepper to celebrate his sons 18th birthday, left Gareth Worsfold holding the prize rather than his son, and with a new pb in the process!!
Gareth arrived at the lake at 4pm on the 29th July and landed this gem a little over 12 hours later early on the 30th.
Gareth was over the moon. His previous pb stood in the "20s", but this gem leap frogged him past the "30s" and straight into the 40s. Gareth landed this lovely Linnear Mirror using Sticky Baits Manilla on a basic bottom bait hair rig.
And the weight... Gareth's new pb stands him at a very handsome 41lbs 12oz.
Scott Gentry, fishing from peg 13 on Lake Pepper on the 5th August, had a pleasant surprise when he landed this stunning Mirror;
Weighing in at 39lbs 3oz, Scott landed this gem at 8 am using Mainline cell boilies.
Fin Potter spent a day on Lake Elliot on the 15th July and came away with a lovely 15lbs 7oz Mirror. And here he is, presenting his catch ...
Congratulations Fin. Great to see the next generation of anglers enjoying time on the bankside.
The face may be familiar to some as Chris Wiles is a regular on the banks on Cottington's lakes. But now you are likely to see a lot more of Chris as he is the newest member of the AKC team, the on-site tackle shop. Chris is an experienced angler, as the photos below testify.
The resemblance is uncanny!!
Keeping it real on Alder, with his daughter.
A stunning Mirror caught off the top on peg 4 of Lake Christine, weighing 34lbs.
Another Lake Christine fish, this time weighing in at 28lbs.
You can find Chris in the shop on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Dave Meredith spent the recent Bank Holiday weekend making great use of the Christmas gift voucher bought by his wife, relaxing on the banks of Lake Pepper on peg 8.
All the action came at night, but you don't mind being disturbed if there's the chance of a great fish on the end of your line. Dave certainly didn't - just look at that smile!!
First up was this lovely 32lbs 8oz Mirror.
Dave completed his brace with this rather nice 23lbs 12oz Common.
A 48 hour session on Lake Christine resulted in Lee Franklin landing a new pb;
Lee landed this stunning Mirror fishing from peg 4 and weighed it at 28lbs 6oz.
Congratulations on your new pb Lee.
Having seen partner Ange land a lovely 33lbs 1oz Mirror , not to be outdone Mark Forrister landed this imposing fish on the 22nd May, ten days later;
Landed from peg 6 on Lake Pepper, this lovely Mirror weighed in at 39lbs 2oz.
Ange Northcott was woken at 1.50am on the 12th May to the sound of alarms screaming. A short while later and she had landed this cracking Mirror;
Landed from peg 9 on Lake Pepper, this stunner weighed in at 33lbs 1oz.
Congratulations Ange, and great to see you out on the bank.
Chris Duncombe never imagined that he would come away with a Lake record during his session on Alder on the 5th May, but that's exactly what he did...
Chris landed this beautiful Mirror using Strawberry Crush boilies. And the weight... 29lbs 12oz. Congratulations Chris!!
A "30" surely can't be too far away!!
Ben McDonnell recently spent 48 hours on Lake Pepper and was rewarded with this brute of a Mirror;
Ben landed his prize, which weighed in at 32lbs 14oz, using Sticky Baits i there I recently done 48 hours on pepper and was rewarded with this brute of a mirror at 32lb 14oz caught using sticky baits Manilla
Cottington Lakes is proud to support Fishing for Schools, playing host to an event on Windsor for five students on Wednesday 2nd May.
The programme consists of six four hour sessions during which the participants can achieve certification at various levels of a formally recognised ASDAN qualification, based on the Angling Trusts Cast Awards.
On the day all of the students caught fish with carp to 8lbs, bream to 3lbs and roach. All of the students got something from the experience and fullfilled the criteria for the Angling Trusts CAST awards Starter Level.
We look forward to welcoming them back on the 9th May for their next event.
"What is fishing for Schools?
Fishing for Schools was started in 2008 and offers young people the opportunity to discover the joy of fishing, whilst learning new skills in a fun and proactive way.
It is delivered by the Countryside Alliance Foundation and world famous angler Charles Jardine, and to date over 2,000 students have benefited from Fishing 4 Schools.
The charity helps pupils re-engage with education, building their confidence and self-esteem, while at the same time assisting with new qualifications and skills."
If you want to know more about Fishing for Schools, check out their website;
A story that is common to many anglers, but Jim Malyn found it hard going a couple of weeks ago on Lake Christine. He had fished the lake from Wednesday (18th April) night into Thursday and only had a 17lbs common in the morning, then nothing all day so he decided to pack up and head home early as he didn't fancy packing away at 6 o'clock on Friday morning. As he was packing away he had a screamer on his right hand rod and ended up landing this stunning 32lbs mirror:
What a cracking fish and a great way to end a session, on a high!!
Jamie Cox spent a few days on Lake Christine last month and came away with a brace of fish:
The pick of the pair was this stunning Mirror which weighed 31lbs 10oz;
But this Common is none to shabby either...
Jamie landed this lovely pair using maggot bombs.
Gary Lock landed this stunning lump on Friday 9th March. It was the only fish he saw, but what a fish...
Gary was fishing from peg 7 on "Old Pepper" when he landed it, tipping the scales at 30lbs 2oz.
Jason White braved the weather conditions to travel down and fish Lake Christine and was rewarded with this lovely little leathery mirror:
Well done Jason.