Fishy Things at Cosgrove

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This months blog features an overview of the fishing in all of the 17 lakes and pools on Cosgrove Park, giving details of species that can be fished for and an idea of there maximum sizes, plus just a few tips on how to catch them!


Its not just about catching! A stunning sunset over Swan Lake

The Fountain Lakes, Island View and Willow View/Banks

These four lakes are all connected. They are all of similar size and shape and all have a similar stocking level and size of fish to be caught. The nice thing about these lakes as with most of the lakes on the park is that whatever your favourite style of fishing whether that be out and out carp fishing with boilies and buzzers, match style using pole or feeder tactics or just pleasure fishing watching your favourite float when the sun shines there are plenty of species to catch - these include carp, both commons and mirrors to over 20lb, lots of bream to 8lb, tench averaging 5lb, a good head of silver fish and for the winter anglers a good head of pike!

Richard Mason with a beautiful Willow View/Banks common over 20lb

Top Tip - The bottom on all these lakes is a mixture of firm silt and gravel with very few features so when the weather warms up a little put out a good bed of bait made up particles, pellets and chopped boilies and create your own feature!

Teal Lake

This lake used to be known just as 'The Residents' Lake! It has a great stock of bream, tench and silver fish plus very good head of carp including lots of big doubles, 20's and probably the largest known carp on the park at over 35lb.

Darren Rosser with the largest known carp on Cosgrove Park at over 35lb

Double Top Tip - During the height of the summer particularly the carp get very pressured from anglers casting out into open water all doing the same thing! Do the opposite and that is to fish very close in! Early hours, late evening or even during the hours of darkness put some bait close in either to your decking or if you are lucky to have some close to any bankside rushes. Keep quiet and stealthy and you'll be amazed at what swims in to feed away from that pressure. They don't get big by not feeding!

On a similar theme of doing something different, the fish spend and awful lot of time off the bottom that just lends itself to fishing 'Zig Rigs' that is a buoyant bait anchored at a particular depth to present that bait right in front of there eyes whatever that depth is. A loose rule of thumb is the warmer the weather is the higher in the water column they will be.

A lovely Teal Lake double taken on a yellow foam - 5ft 'Zig Rig' 

Mallard Lake

Mallard is one of the smaller pools on the park but it has a good depth so the fishing can be really good all year round! It has a great mixed stocking including carp to 20lb, bream, tench and lots of silver fish including some very nice perch. Because its very sheltered and its overall depth of 6 to 7 feet its very good for all disciplines of fishing, my favourite on Mallard is to pole fish with light to medium gear but you'll have to hang on if you latch into one of Mallard's many carp!

A very nice 'feeder caught' Mallard Lake bream

Swan Lake

Swan Lake is the largest lake on the whole complex and because of its size we don't really know what lurks in its 20 plus acres! I consider Swan Lake to be a specimen water as its not easy to fish with conventional match style - pleasure tactics. Because of its size it is very wind swept and has lots of underwater features that lend itself to 'carp' style tactics with buzzers etc. The lake contains all the usual species with carp to 30lb plus some enormous bream well into double figures, tench to nearly that size plus some very big perch, specimen roach and some good pike.

Mick Linford with a Swan Lake bream in excess of 11lb caught using carp tactics

Top Tip - Early in the season try for some of Swan Lakes superb tench using specimen feeder tactics with either maggots or mini boilies either with a blockend  or  method feeder.

A superb Swan Lake male tench I took using popped-up maggots March 2018

It was far to sunny for the Swan Lake tench to feed, but feeder fished worm sorted some lovely perch out including this specimen over 3lb

Kingfisher Lake

Formally Heronsfield Lake is a superb but at times somewhat hard lake to fish. It contains a good stock of all the usual species but due to its very clear water and prolific summer weed growth it can be very difficult to get to grips with. In my opinion it is the best tench lake on the whole park with loads of green Tinca's to well over 7lb. It also contains some very big carp in excess of 30lb and some near double figure bream. The silver fish particularly its perch and rudd are simply superb due to the water clarity. The one nice thing with Kingfisher is you can be successful using various tactics such a carp stylee, pole fishing, waggler or particularly the lift float method close in.

A stunning Kingfisher Lake Spring caught tench taken on feeder fished maggots

Top Tip - Whatever you fish for in Kingfisher Lake make sure your gear is up to the mark particularly with regards to lines and hooks. For the carp I don't use line less than 15lb breaking strain and for the tench nothing less than 8lb will do!

Young Master Jordan with a stunning Kingfisher mid-20lb common

Canada Lake and Rainbow

Canada Lake is one of the most popular lakes on the park as its open access to all residents. It contains lots of the hardest fighting carp I have ever come across anywhere in Europe! It also contains lots of tench and has a high stock of silver fish but its the carp that attract most attention. They are catchable using most tactics although match style using the method feeder or the pole are most successful especially fished to 'a feature' such as the island or the marginal rushes.

Claire Setchell with a typical hard fighting Canada Lake mirror

Top Tip - In the last few years several of the local resident anglers have had great success using 'pellet and paste'. Particularly top match anglers Gary Harris and Fred Jackson have mastered this tactic and have taken large catches of carp with lots of individual fish to over 15lb on the pole!

Gary Harris with a big 'pellet and paste' caught Canada Lake mirror

Fred Jackson with a right Canada Lake lump taken on pellet and paste close into the marginal rushes

Rainbow is one of our smaller pools that is also the newest having been dug only a few years ago, but it has already established itself with a good head of smaller carp that provide easy fishing especially for the younger anglers. Both Rainbow and Canada lake also contains some rainbow trout that were stocked last year so they must still be there!

Bream - Tench - Pike and Perch Lakes

These four 'back' lakes together with the small pool that has no name are again open access to all residents. During this winter they have had extensive work on them having been dredged and lots of tree work. Despite the names they all contain good stocks of carp, tench, bream, silver fish and a few good pike. Tench and Pike Lakes are less popular than Bream and Perch but hopefully with all the winter's work this wont last long. Bream and Perch Lakes are used for our matches and as such have a good stock of smaller carp although they both contain some specimen sized fish.

Top match angler Jacob Harris with a lovely match winning catch from Perch lake

Top Tip - If you fancy a little 'pleasure fishing' try Tench or Pike Lakes as these are a little unknown. They both contains a good stock of bream and tench and one or two very big carp!

A lovely Pike Lake tench, one of many I took on the pole last summer

Mick Wilson with some lovely Bream Lake bream!

Mick Linford with a stunning Perch Lake common carp over 15lb

So there you have it, a little overview of all Cosgrove Park lakes before the we open on 1st April. Lets hope the weather is good for us this season and we all catch some fish of our dreams!


Tightlines - Gary S



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Venetian Marina Whilton Caravan Storage Whilton Marina
Cosgrove Park. Main Street, Cosgrove, Milton Keynes, MK19 7JP.
Phone: 01908 563360 Fax: 01908 263615