Cherry Lake is a 5 acre gravel pit and is the largest lake on the complex. It was recently drained and restored in 2012 and significantly improved. It has been designed by Carp anglers for Carp anglers and is the thinking Carp anglers dream. Cherry Lake represents a good challenge for the experienced Carp angler and cannot be described as easy or prolific. Even good anglers can blank on Cherry Lake. If in doubt you will probably enjoy your stay on one of the smaller more heavily stocked exclusive lakes. All the Lodge and Cottage swims contain plenty of features ranging from tree lined bank side ledges and shallows, to deep channels and holes, to plateaus and bars.
Cherry Lake contains around 250 Mirror, Common, Leather and Ghost (Mirror and Common) Carp of a variety of strains. The vast majority of these Carp are over 15lb with well over 100 Carp being 20lb+. The lake record is currently held by a 40-04 Common Carp caught in May 2015.
Since our opening in May 2013, some 15 different 30lb+ Carp have been landed including Mirror’s, Common’s and Leather’s. This includes three different Carp breaking the magic 35lb mark. We also have several Ghost Carp over 30lb as well as some other cracking ‘Ghosties’ including ‘The Peach’ at 26lb. What a fish! Since the beginning of 2014 over 50 different anglers have landed 30lb+ Carp joined the Cherry Lakes 30+ club. These ‘membership’ complimentary polo shirts have become much sought after and prized possessions!
These fish are growing, having responded well to the on-going feeding programme undertaken over the last few years. We normally feed the Carp in Cherry Lake, Cherry Springs and Cherry Mere three to four times a week during the warmer months when the water temperature is above 10 degrees Centigrade.
We also have a small number of small home grown Carp coming through. The chances are if you catch anything under 10lb, that it has never been caught before. Quality if not quantity if you are lucky enough to catch one of these!
Although many anglers have had some excellent sessions with double figure catches of Carp, this is not the norm! , Cherry Lake is not a runs water and is generally not suitable for the inexperienced or novice Carp angler. Inexperienced Carp anglers or those wanting more action will be better suited to any of the other three lakes on the complex notably Cherry Spring, Cherry Mere and Cherry Pool.
Typically 2-4 runs per session during the spring to autumn period is a realistic expectation for a competent angler. Often the difference between a memorable trip and just a good break is the ability of the angler to convert their chances. We recommend that Carp rods with a test curve of at least 3lb are used particularly when using a bait boat to fish at distances of 75 yards plus. Too many fish are lost on rods which are not ‘man enough’ for the job.
We feel that having a target stock level of around 250 large Carp should be about the right level in Cherry Lake and we will manage the stock levels to this range over the coming years. With this number of Carp the fish have sufficient space and food to stay healthy and keep growing, as well as having sufficient Carp in the lake to ensure it is not too difficult to fish. The Carp fishing experience at Cherry Lakes, and in particular on Cherry Lake is all about quality rather than quantity.
Each swim on Cherry Lake has an abundance of different features which you can clearly see on the illustration of Cherry Lake on theLake Map page.
Each Lodge and the Cottage has at least one acre of water available exclusively for it’s anglers to fish in (see lake map section). As a result the fishing pressure is relatively low for a holiday venue. We do not allow bank fishing or sell day tickets. The only people allowed to fish are our Lodge and Cottage guests.
The Cottage and the three Lodges, which are known as Heron, Osprey and Grebe, all offer a differing range of features. In fact the challenge for the angler will be to decide where to concentrate on. Within each Lodge and the Cottage there is an ‘anglers pack’, which along with the fishery rules has a series of photographs of the lake bottom and it’s features and a map of each swim. These photos and maps should helpfully give you some ideas as to where to fish. Pleasant to look at, each Lodge is not over-looked and feel very private.
Each Lodge can accommodate up to two anglers fishing up to two rods each. A maximum of 4 Rods can be used when two anglers are sharing a Cherry Lake Lodge or Cottage swim. This rule increases the chances of two anglers getting a run as well as reduce the chance of fish loss or damage by being caught in the other lines. A single angler can continue to use up to 3 Rods. There is plenty of room on the fishing platform, but you will need your rod-pods. These rod pods must be free-standing and not the screw in type. Bank sticks located to the side of the fishing platforms ares not allowed.
Similar to most other sensibly stocked waters across the Cotswold Water Park, weed wants to grow in Cherry Lake. We work hard to try to maintain the balance between having a sensible amount of weed (which is good for the Carp and the overall water quality) and stopping it from getting out of control. We believe we have got the balance about right and that the weed does not cause a problem for most anglers. We have been largely successful in stopping Canadian pond weed from taking over the lake again through the regular application of Dyofix Blue. This natural food colour turns the water a lovely blue colour which our guests always positively comment on.
Cherry Lake does contain a reasonable amount of ’Onion Weed’ which does not normally cause a problem when presenting your rigs. Some weed will become attached to your rig on the retrieve and it is nothing to worry about. There are several weed beds which are good holding areas for the Carp and are good features to fish to and in. This weed is rich in natural life and the Carp constantly feed in it. Providing your rods are able to control the Carp and you are able to ‘drop’ your leads quickly in the fight, this weed should not cause any problems. If you hate weed, then you should fish one of the other three lakes (Cherry Pool, Cherry Springs and Cherry Mere) which are all weed free due to their higher stocking density.
The bottom is largely gravel and sand as you would expect of an old gravel pit. There are also areas of silt (shallows and in the channels where the silt naturally collects).
If you intend fishing the far bank then rods with a test curve of around 3lb+ along with big pit style reels to gather up line quickly are definitely recommended.
Both Mike the owner, and Dave the fishery manager, have over 50 years of Carp fishing experience and will be around around to offer any help and advice as required. Please don’t hesitate to ask them as talking about the Carp will make their day!
Cherry Lake also contains a large number of Perch which are rarely fished for let alone caught. Perch up to 4lb+ have been found. owner Mike recently caught Perch of 2-10 and 2-06 in a few hours in April. The first time he has fished for them in 4 years!
Fish care and safety is paramount across Cherry Lakes. An approach welcomed by all good anglers who want to catch high quality good conditioned Carp. All anglers are expected to follow any advice or requests from the fishery management concerning fish safety.
All Lodges and the Cottage are provided with Carp Cradles, a 42″ Landing Net and a Weigh Sling, so no need to fill up the car with these, and avoid the wet fishy smells on the way back from your holiday! All Carp caught must be photographed over the Carp Cradle and returned to the water in the weigh sling.
Throughout the year the Carp in Cherry Lakes are fed on a combination of good nutritionally balanced Cherry Lakes boilies (which are sourced directly from a leading bait company), high quality 8-10mm Carp pellets and a Wheat/Barley/Conditioner based spod mix. We have also started to feed a 12mm fast dissolve cereal based pellet which the existing Carp love and the recently stocked fish have grown up on. It will be impossible to over feed with this pellet. If in doubt get on it!
Like all Carp, those in Cherry Lakes will respond to good baits which are well presented. If you have confidence in your own favourite bait, please don’t hesitate to bring it. If however you are not so sure, you can be confident that the Carp are used to the Cherry Lake boilies and pellets and that these are an established food source for the fish. These baits are competitively priced. A new Pre-baiting service is being trialed in 2016. See bait deal section >
We have done everything we can to ensure Cherry Lake is both very private and secure. We want you to feel safe and enjoy your holiday. There is only one access point to Cherry Lake which is through the main 6 foot high electric gates. These gates benefit from security lighting and CCTV. The rest of the property is fully fenced, mostly with 6 foot high fencing which is topped off by barbed wire. There are numerous security lights around the property including on each of the Lodges. We have also installed large 8′x3′x3′ lockable cabinets, which also serve as benches, on the decks of each Lodge. Given all we have done above we believe Cherry Lakes should be amongst the safest lakes to fish.