Alan Dudhill, general secretary, Pike Anglers’ Club of Great Britain, shared his knowledge with this blog on locating and catching big pike on estate lakes. Read and learn...
Estate lakes are usually formed by damming off a small stream in much the same way as a reservoir but on a much smaller scale.
The stream continues to feed them with an over-flow system at the dam end so they can have a constant supply of fresh water.
As a general rule, the wall (dammed end) is deeper, tapering off to the feeder stream.
The bottom will generally be of soft mud and silk, making the perfect medium for weed growth so not surprisingly, weed, rushes & lilies may be the only obvious features.
An abundance of vegetation encourages prey fish to spread out rather than shoal up.
Over-hanging or sunken trees and roots form the best features to target first.
The ecology of well established estate lakes can be very rich and diverse so most species of fish will thrive. For this reason, even the smallest of lakes can produce surprisingly big pike.
Of course, locating pike is only the start. You then need to identify what it’s eating to be able to present an appropriate bait.
As with all fishing disciplines, you get out of it what you put in. Anyone can go to a water and catch fish, but the angler who studies his quarry and puts in that extra thought and effort will inevitably catch far more fish on a regular basis, with a few real specimens along the way.