Members Articles


I will never forget the first time I stepped foot on darenth big lake it was 2006 and the place looked magical with the deep margins ,snags and tree covered islands.

It didn’t take long to get into the fish as on my fist night I managed two mid twentys this place isn’t that hard I thought to myself!!

How wrong I was..Like with any new lake it’s a big learning curve and I have to say it is a fantastic lake to hone your fishing skills from finding the fish to getting a bait to them or finding that small patch of gravel or hard spot and being prepared to move at any time of day.

I have to thank the lake for what its taught me over the last 6 years and the great bunch of guys that all help each other out.

The big lake really does have some great anglers gracing its banks but they are all great helpful guys and its a pleasure to fish there I still get the same buzz every time I’m on my way to the lake as I did the very first day I walked its banks.

And not forgetting some great fish too!!

Colin Gray


Darenth Big Lake

….An Obsession!….

The lake itself has hardly ever changed other than the odd sunken tree pulled out and basic maintenance. The main features are almost the same as they were 30 years ago. The swims and general security have improved dramatically and that’s due to Warren and the guys, he sees fit to make bailiffs, who work very hard to make a fantastic environment for the serious carp angler.

I have had some fantastic fish out of this lake over the last few seasons, and last season alone I finished with a total of 30 fish banked with 4 fish to 40 pound plus, around six thirties, numerous twenties and a number of upper doubles. Highlights for me were catching both Leathers at 43lb and 44lb and a fantastic Common at bang on 40lb.
We can all talk rigs and truly believe we are onto something, but sorry to say folks I caught on 5 different types of rig that season. There is no need to be over technical in this area, although I personally find it fascinating to mess around, from time to time with all types of “supa dupa” rigs and ideas which can sometimes cause me to disappear up my backside!

I always use the same bait which is “Bevo’s Dominator”, which is a high quality fishmeal based bait and has proved to be an instant success and the fish seem to love it.
Anyone thinking of joining this fantastic fishery, filled with history and some fantastic fish, should come down and meet the owner.

It would not be right to close this article without mentioning a couple of like minded, angling colleagues, Ron Jupp and Chris Whalley, whom I have had the great pleasure of sharing some truly memorable experiences and their confidence and ability to assist in the landing, weighing, photographing and safe return of all catches has helped me immensely.

John Picking (Lucky John)


Piking paradise, the Pike have gone mad, they won’t stop feeding

I fished the summer & autumn for the carp, managing to catch a PB 48lb mirror, but when the carping slowed down I commited to pike fishing from the first weekend in Decemeber to the last weekend in January. In what was the mildest winter I can remember I fished 12 days, of mostly non stop action I had an amazing 184 takes, thats an average of 15 per day landing 119 pike. I had some memorable days, 16 pike on 2 occasions, 19 on another upto 19lb and 5 doubles in one day.

Successful tatics were susupended dead roach and roach livebait fished 6 to 10 feet deep and about 10 fish to dead smelt & joey mackeral, I fished every area of the lake and had runs from every swim I fished, this year the pike were held up mainly in swims from the pads to the layby. Because of the mild weather, catching livebait was easy and the qaulity of the roach was amazing. The main feeding time was between 09.00 & 12.00, the takes were mixed, i had some screaming runs and some where the float just sunk, on one occasion a pike took one of my livebaits, whilst running the other bait went, it turned out the pike had taken both baits, when i landed it the hooks from both baits were in it’s mouth. I was leaving the pike to run for nearly a minute and most fish were only lightly hooked with only a few deeper which is easily dealt with if you have the right tackle, even leaving them this long 65 takes were not landed.

The average weight was 5lb to 8lb and I caught a double for every 10 fish landed, I managed 10 doubles in total 1 x 10lb, 1 x 11lb, 2 x 12lb, 2 x 13lb, 1 x 16lb, 1 x18lb, 2 x 19lb & a 21lb 8oz.

To off-set this great fishing, i had to pay a price, putting a fish back on a frosty morning, I slipped & fell head first into the lake, it was 5 foot deep & freezing, I had to drive home & change and come back later. In those 12 days I once had to go to the toilets at the club house, Big Chris (Hagrid) said he would watch my rods, i was gone 15 minutes and yes you,ve guessed it, before I was back he was ringing me to tell me he had a big fish in the net, when weighed it went 21lb and on the last trip my trace flew out of a pikes mouth and 2 hooks from a treble, one barbed went straight into two fingers right down to the bend, probably should have gone to hospital, but it was out with the forceps, hold my breath & pull, us pike anglers are hard.

So that sums up my best pike season and my best days piking ever.

Nick Stevens (Posh Nick)


Hi my name is Steve and I joined Darenth Big Lake this season along with my son Tony.I must say the lake has gone way beyond mine and Tony’s expectations.

It is a nice place to be both summer and winter and we have met some great people that are always ready to give a helping hand and friendly advice.

We have caught some nice fish and both broke our PBs several times my biggest being a 34lb mirror and Tony’s a 39lb common which are pictured below. The baits we use are Bevo’s Biz and Dominator which was advised and is a popular bait on this water.

We are both really looking forward to next season as we have learnt a lot about Darenth throughout the year and feel confident we can break our PBs further.


Steve and Tony


Dear Warren

Thought I would pass this on as I am so pleased. This was my first carp in 50 nights on Darenth and I was beginning to take it very personally. Also very pleased with the self portrait. Always carry my remote and tripod, an absolute must as there were no other fishermen on my side of the lake. Only the hardy soles (or mad) this time of year!!!!!!

I landed this 34.5lb mirror from Darenth Big Lake, beating my previous UK best by 2lb. The fish was caught very early on the last morning of a three day session. After moving two rods 20 yards to the left after two nights on the same spot with absolutely nothing. I had one hook pull and this mirror in four hours.

Coconut 16mm Pukka pop-up presented on a chod rig tied with a Fox size 6 Arma point sssp fished over 14mm  XTC glugged minamino freebies at 60 yards to a margin. This was the only fish of the session.



Ron Jupp Kicks Off 2012

I was introduced to DBL by an old friend of mine John Picking AKA “Lucky John” in November 2009, and after doing 11 twenty four hour sessions and the odd day, the only fish I had on the bank was 2 bream whereas John had managed to bank two good carp in one of the hardest winters I can think of, I had read on one forum and was told by a number of people that DBL is a very difficult carp lake and I was witnessing for myself how hard it really is, and although I never got down with such results, I did sometimes think perhaps carp fishing is not for me and maybe I should think of going back to bagging up roach and all the other smaller species on the rivers up and down the country, I’m glad I didn’t.

On the opening day of this year I drew out number 10 and found myself in the Royal Box, this was the first time I fished this particular swim, but things were just as the previous season ended, another 24 hours without a fish on the bank other than my old friend the bream, but day 2 was where it all changed for me, at 11:10 pm Dick was landing a mid 20 mirror for me, I had broken my pb, I was so chuffed I put the fish back without a thought of taking a picture, what a plank, I thought an hour later, but at least it was a good start to the season.

Since the opening session I have been very lucky to fish alongside some terrific anglers to which most have been able to advise me on some of the swims hot spots, the lake always seems to be in top condition, and we are all aware of the time and effort the bailiffs put into the lake, they do a fantastic job, well done chaps.

In June I broke my pb again a fantastic 44.0lb mirror out of the box at almost the same time, the box was becoming my new home, I then went 6 weeks without a sniff and things were not good at all, I then had a rethink and decided to go back to my match days way of thinking, feed little and often and use smaller end tackle and bait, this had instant success, on the 16th July I banked 4 fish the biggest a 43.08 mirror out of the slope, and I have used the same tactics ever since and although I haven’t caught big numbers I have caught on a fairly regular bases, August & September, produced a further 3 fish 2 twenties and a double, but October was a terrific month I had 4 fish, a mid twenty, a brace of 30’s, and Perky weighing a massive 49.04lb, what a cracking looking fish.

November as produced 2 fish to date, a mid twenty, and at 7:20 on the 12th in the slope, in the rain, I called Steve Nurse who was in the Rats to ask him if he would take a picture of what I thought was an upper 40, it wasn’t until he turned up with his camera and looked at the fish to inform me it was the Steak weighing a huge 50.04lb, another cracking fish, and another Pb, thank you Steve for giving up your time in the rain taking, pictures and helping me weigh the fish.

Using smaller end tackle is not as intimidating as some people think, scaling down end tackle, bait dose seem to produce more bites for me when waters are fishing hard, and in the harsh winter months when let’s face it bites are far and few between, scaling down just might get you that extra bite. DBL is a truly wonderful and peaceful place, with very good members, and the anticipation of the next run is very exciting probably second to none; Warren you truly have the Mecca of carp fishing lakes, good luck for the remainder of the season, and of course tight lines.

Ron Jupp

2 year quest over…!!!! And 4 forties this season….

I arrived at the lake early Monday morning & proceeded to walk around the lake there was a strong South Westerly starting to build so I had to decide whether I was going to try fishing behind the wind or go for a central swim and fish the channels hoping to catch them as they followed the wind to the other end of the lake.

After seeing a few fish in the channels I decided on the second option and chance my arm on them moving up the lake, nothing happened on the first evening but I felt fairly happy after hearing fish crashing in front of me during the evening. So sticking with it I recast to the far channels at around 70 yards range then spread a kilo of bait (16mm Dominator) right along the channel, after leaving the rods in all day the far right rod had a vicious drop back just as a very heavy rainfall started, I left the rod waiting for the fish to retention the line, which didn’t take too long.

Being a fairly powerful fish it managed to find the back of a small island between myself and the far channel but with some steady pressure on the rod I managed to coax the fish back round the island and then over the gravel bar directly alongside of the island.
It was fairly straight forward from that point although the fish didn’t give up once under the rod tips and continued to avoid the net for a further ten minutes before finally excepting defeat and sliding over the net cord.

Looking into the net a new it was a very good fish, but it wasn’t until it was on the bank that I realised I just banked my target fish (Perky) at a weight of 46lb 12oz my forth forty of the season (The Carp Gods were smiling on me)

Tony Lewis

Rogers 32 Years At DBL

This a is a picture of Perky, caught from the Road Bank a couple of weeks ago, Photos taken by Pretty Boy Chris who went out of his way to help me that night with lifting and taking excellent photos.

Which brings me to comment on over 30 years fishing on Darenth big lake and seeing a multitude of blokes come & go over the years. I think at the present time there is as good a bunch of guys as there ever was, someone will always lend a helping hand if needed.

The big lake its self has not changed to me, for over 30 years, except the banks, foliage & trees are all properly managed now.

The swims are so well maintained now, and well drained, not like in years passed when the road bank used to flood, and the twentys used to resemble a ploughed field.

Then we had stepping stones and boards in the Willows & Singles to keep out the mud & puddles, the Bum swim flooded one weekend when I was fishing it, the river burst its banks and flowed under my umbrella and out the front into the lake. (the so called good old days) ha ha.

Much rather these days with fantastic swims, not to mention the much larger head of carp, size wise, because back in them days although a terrific fish, the biggest weighted fish was 39 plus, so a vast improvement in fish size, and weights and quality.

This eventually leads on to 9 out of 10 of old members who left for pastures new, always at some juncture, came back to Darenth.

Coupled with the added security and car park, secured containers, for those who want them, makes Derenth big lake surely the best carp fishing in our part or indeed any park of England.

I have of course had many fish over the past 30 years, and have in that time never gone home from a trip to Darenth even if I have fished a so called insignificant swim, there’s a chance of a fish in all areas of the lake.

In fact the first ever 40 was out of the Lay By. By a 14 year old name of (Ginger Spice). Quite a claim to fame really the first 40 from Darenth.

I could probably ramble on for pages about Darenth Big Lake. Its such a good place to be.

Regards Roger

Craig Nevell’s Story

Fishing was a new hobby for me 6 months ago on Darenth Big Lake , i blanked 23 48 hour sessions , I was changing my rigs and techniques and nothing was working for me, then i started thinking fishing wasn’t either. When I fished the last weekend of the season, i was able to catch a 49lb 8oz mirror and a 38lb common , I was over the moon. I stayed with fishing and signed up for the next season. On the First weekend session of the new season at Darenth Big Lake, in the early hours of the first night fishing i was able to pull out a 19lb 8oz mirror, followed by a 41lb mirror, and lost a big fish the following day, great way to start the new season , all my fish were caught on BBR bait, The bizz.

Darenth Big Lake….An Obsession!…. By John Picking

When I was asked to do this article, I seriously thought about including some archive features from the late 70s and early 80s but decided against it. I personally have had an obsession with Darenth Big Lake since I was a young lad and in fact it was where I first met Warren the current owner, along with some, well known anglers through the valley that share my attraction to the Big Lake. Like most things in life though it’s no good harping on about the past because that’s all gone and it’s all about the future.

The lake itself has hardly ever changed other than the odd sunken tree pulled out and basic maintenance. The main features are almost the same as they were 30 years ago. The swims and general security have improved dramatically and that’s due to Warren and the guys, he sees fit to make bailiffs, who work very hard to make a fantastic environment for the serious carp angler.
Like all things that are done in excess, we can burn ourselves out from time to time and I am no exception, yet once again I find myself back where I love to fish. It doesn’t seem to matter how long I try and stay away from the place, the pull is too strong to resist and it never ceases to amaze me that when I return, I often meet old familiar faces, some of which I have fished with for 30 years or more. You could say the Lake has got us Hook, Line & Sinker!

I have had some fantastic fish out of this lake over the last few seasons, and last season alone I finished with a total of 30 fish banked with 4 fish to 40 pound plus, around six thirties, numerous twenties and a number of upper doubles. Highlights for me were catching both Leathers at 43lb and 44lb and a fantastic Common at bang on 40lb.

We can all talk rigs and truly believe we are onto something, but sorry to say folks I caught on 5 different types of rig that season. There is no need to be over technical in this area, although I personally find it fascinating to mess around, from time to time with all types of “supa dupa” rigs and ideas which can sometimes cause me to disappear up my backside!

This season I have started like a train and was lucky enough to catch the first fish on day one of the opening season, a double Common in perfect condition, from the “Shit House Door” swim, that really set the pulse racing. See that’s the thing here, when the buzzers scream off you just don’t know what you are going to strike into. It could be a fifty or a low double. I then had a great 24 hours in the “Stump”, six takes, banking four, 25lb 27lb 29lb and a double and losing two. The next session was in the “High Bank” where I lost one and banked three, two of which I would like to share with you in this article. Both fish could be classed as a catch of one’s life for various reasons. A Ghostie Common of 35lb and my new personal best Mirror of 45lb 12oz.

I always use the same bait which is “Bevo’s Dominator”, which is a high quality fishmeal based bait and has proved to be an instant success and the fish seem to love it.

Anyone thinking of joining this fantastic fishery, filled with history and some fantastic fish, should come down and meet the owner.

My advice for those fishing Darenth Big Lake for the first time, is simply, do some homework on the water, keep your rigs as simple as they need to be and use a good quality bait that you are confident in.

It would not be right to close this article without mentioning a couple of like minded, angling colleagues, Ron Jupp and Essex Chris, whom I have had the great pleasure of sharing some truly memorable experiences and their confidence and ability to assist in the landing, weighing, photographing and safe return of all catches has helped me immensely.
John Picking (Lucky John)

An Article By Jason Powers

Hi warren as requested some nice pics of my uk pb, s achieved at Darenth Big Lake this year, first off the grey lady at 44.1lbs and a uk pb common 35.12 ….total fish caught for my season was 15 fish hooked 10 landed 1×40 3×30 and a selection of some cracking twenties for a summer season only (as I don’t fish the winter) im well happy. Just started back mid Feb. until close of lake another 3 fish 2×30 1mid twenty good sign of things to come, all fish were caught over beds of mini particles supplied by Ace Baits and animal red boilies supplied by Aces Baits cheers to Brett and Steve, well that’s about it mate see you on the lake cheers….. Jason

A Thanks You from Jim Paveley

Just a short note to say thanks to you and the other guys that have helped me this year.

As you know I only joined in August 2010 but I have thoroughly enjoyed my fishing at Darenth. Not only is it an excellent venue but the guys around the lake have been great in making me feel very welcome, with lots of good quality advice and making a fuss of my jack Russell (Oscar) and putting up with his behavior near my bivvy when the guys have come for a chat. So a big thanks to you, Don, Chris, Ritchie, John, Steve, Aaron, Dick, Tony and James, to name but a few.

I joined three syndicate waters at the beginning of the year and found it very difficult to find a venue that accepted dogs. Also I found the majority of co-anglers on these waters either extremely “in your face” or completely snobbish in their own fishing. My crowning personal glory on Darenth was a reward of a 32lb mirror on 8 February. My only carp from Darenth last season but it beat my previous UK personal best by 13lb. That same day I also caught a fantastic looking tench of 7lb.

I hope you don’t mind but I passed the photo of the carp (great photo taken by James) onto Carp-Talk, who published it this week.

Thanks again Warren and looking forward to next year (if invited back).

Worth The Wait – Craig Nevell

I have been fishing big lake for 24 weekend sessions and blanked, the second weekend before the end of the season i was able to beat my PB by catching a 49lb 80z mirror carp, was over the moon, then the following morning waking up to yet again a beautiful 38lb common carp, couldn’t be happier well worth the wait, excellent venue to fish and strongly recommend, can’t wait for next season. Both fish caught on BBR BAITS (The bizz).

The Predator becomes the Prey by cat expert Gary Cavender

I was introduced to Darenth Big Lake in 1994. As a keen carp and pike angler back then I spent many hours fishing this wonderful lake. However, in 2000 I stopped fishing The Big Lake as I had an overwhelming obsession with catching (or trying to catch!) the biggest, baddest fish of them all…..the Wells Catfish. At this time The Long Lake had just been stocked with Cats and since then I have spent the last ten years fishing this lake on and off. I have had a fair few Cats from this lake, the biggest being 75lb in 2005.

Towards the end of summer 2009 Warren invited myself and my friend Keith to fish Darenth Big Lake for the night as this lake had now been stocked with a reasonable head of Catfish. My first thought was that it was going to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack as we knew nothing about the cats and their whereabouts in this lake. Within a few hours Keith had caught a cat of 39lb. Then a few hours later just after first light my middle rod was away and after a powerful fight I landed a 66lb cat. Not a bad result for a first night on a new cat water.
The next year I joined the syndicate on Darenth Big Lake aiming to fish for cats in the summer and go for pike in the winter. This season started slowly for me and was very frustrating as the carp boys were catching and loosing some cats but I just could not get a bite. Then, mid june things started to happen. I had been getting a lot of takes on live baits on previous sessions but not connecting with them. I put this down to small cats having a go but not taking all the bait so I started to use a smaller live bait. The next take I landed was a 13lb cat followed by a 12lb an hour later. Over the next few months I was catching on a regular basis on a variety of baits (luncheon meat, mackerel, pellets and liveys) I get some strange looks as I send out my livebait rigged up with polyball and starlight. I find that this helps me to see that the bait is working in the night. I finished the season with 13 cats, the biggest being a 70lb monster.

One downside to using livebaits or deadbaits on the Big Lake is that the pike like them too. There are hundreds of pike in this lake and although I would rather not catch them while catting, I have had them up to 20lb on a summers evening (this I do not mind!) Once the cats stop feeding in October that is my cue to target the pike. So far this year I have had some great days piking. I used to just set up for the day, out went the baits and wait for a take, but I have recently changed the way that I pike fish. I now prefer to be much more mobile and normally fish 2 rods, one rod a float fished dead bait and the other a lure rod. I walk around the lake fishing for 10-15 minutes in every available swim. I usually find that if the pike are there they will usually take your bait almost straight away. My best session to date was mid January when I had 30 pike in 7 hours, the biggest being 21lb. I have been piking on the Big Lake since 1994 and have had 5 over 20lb, the biggest being 24lb. I have heard of pike being caught here up to 28lb.
When fishing for cats it is important to use the correct tackle. I use 20lb main line, a braided hook link (never wire) of at least 40lb and hook size all depends on the size of your bait (1/0 – 6/0) You will also need a long unhooking mat.

This is a truly wonderful lake and although it is mainly aimed at the carp angler…remember…’s not all about the Carp!

Don “The Law” Pooke on Fishing DBL

I have been fishing Darenth Big Lake for donkey years, it’s a lovely picturesque lake, and the security on the lake is A1.

My personal bests are:
52.12lb Mirror
48.12lb Leather
40lb Common

This year so far I’ve had 49 fish consisting of:
5x 40lb, 11x 30lb, 15x 20lb, 15x doubles 3x singles 1 of them weighing all of 4lb
I’ve also had a few cats, a couple of 40lb and a couple of 50lb.The biggest cat I have seen come out of the lake was just over 100lb.

The biggest Mirror I’ve seen comes out of the lake 57. 8lb. The biggest Leather 56.8lb, the biggest Common 50.4lb. There is also some nice linears.

I had a 29lb, but there is bigger in the lake. I find members on the lake very friendly, helpful. If anyone can help you they will.
Wishing you all the best old and new members see you on the lake.


Member Article by Mark Plank aka 10KG

I joined the big lake in July 2009 and my first impression of the lake, when I first walked round, was Wow! It has everything, snag fishing, open water, long and short range and some great islands to fish to.

My first session was more of a social really, meeting the lads who were on there and listening to their advice. During the session there were 3 40’s and a 50 caught! I was blown away!

I decided to do my own thing, but use lots of bait! I soon got the name of ‘10 K’. My season on there got off to a wonderful start, when on my 3rd trip, I landed my first Darenth carp, a fish called ‘the little leather’ at an amazing 47lb 8oz! I finished the season with 14 carp, including 2 new PB’s, having landed a 33lb common in December.

It’s not just the big fish that make Darenth big lake such a great place to fish, it’s the stamp of angler on there, every guy I’ve met on there has been great and alot of them have become good friends.

This season I have had mixed fortunes, landing 10, but losing 9! But again I have had another PB, landing ‘Perky’ at 48lb 2oz!
I have enjoyed some great company, seen some amazing fish get caught and I can’t wait for the new season, so hopefully I’ll get amongst some fish again and maybe even do another PB!

The Guys from Bevos Bait Give An insight Into their Season

This year’s Team Bevo took on the Darenth Big Lake team in North Kent. We have had some great results there and I would recommend it as choice water for any serious carp and catfish angler. The Big Lake is not an easy water but it holds a good stock of very large and good specimen carp and cats, the rewards are there.

The Big Lake is also responsible for the creation of The Bizz. This bait has pulled in a lot of fish, and taken off on a lot of lakes in England and France. A big thank you to “Don the Law” Darenth’s Big Lakes bailiff, after many discussions between myself and Don The Bizz was born. Dominator also took a lot of the big fish out (check out the gallery), and is still our best catching bait throughout the UK and France.

Both these baits have proved themselves time and time again. Now we enter the winter and a lot of anglers have switched to our bird food mixes, available in Pink, Yellow and White. Our Pink Blackcurrant has so far pulled in big fish; the Yellow Pineapple and White Strawberry are also catching.

Nick Stevens On Pike Fishing

My pike fishing this winter, included six weeks of no fishing when the lake froze, I managed 2 trips before the freeze and six after. I caught in excess of 60 pike from these 8 trips, an average of 8 fish with 13 being the most in one session, I also caught a surprise 1lb 8oz perch.

Every tactic caught pike, float fished dead bait, especially roach, ledgered dead bait especially Joey mackerel and guaranteed to catch was float fished live bait, normally with in minutes, the problem is catching live bait, it is nearly impossible some days.

I didn’t spin or lure fish which I don’t really like but it has proved deadly at times for other anglers.

The average size is 6lb to 8lb and you get a double for every 6 fish you land, the pike have been very finicky this year, I have been letting them run with the bait for over a minute and then only hooking them in the top of month, I only had one fish that took the hook into the top of the stomach, which was easily removed.

As well as landing 60+ fish, I must have had at least another 30+ takes that I didn’t landed, so the action has been full on and I enjoyed some great days fishing. I was fishing with Bill when he caught a PB pike of 17LB and with 7 year old Alfie when he caught a 20LB pike, never seen a wider smile and it’s bigger than his Dad’s best. In terms of doubles I managed 11 in total, 2 x 10LB, 3 x 11LB, 13LB, 14LB 8oz, 18LB, 19LB, 21LB, 21LB 4oz, best feeding spell this year was between 07.30 & 09.30, last year it was after 16.00. Anyway great fishing but that’s it for now, back to the carp next week, hope I can have the same success with them.

Toby Keating Talks

Firstly my fishing is limited as like most have work and a young Family so I have to organize my fishing time and keeping the Mrs happy. I have been on Darenth for four seasons now but seems longer as I have fished in the area for over 10 yrs. This season I have managed two 3 day sessions and 5 2 day sessions and a hand full of overnight stints with a catch rate of 75 % which I think is pretty good considering my limited time.

My tactics are simple and have faith in what I use. Mostly D rig blow back style but on one rod will trial something a bit different like a pop up rig or multi rig. Just keep it simple!! Bait for me this season has been Bevo baits Bizz or blackcurrant mix as his service and bait quality has been spot on. The most important thing for me is placing that bait bang on where I want it. If it’s in the right place they will have it. Many members will I am sure agree with me on that one. I don’t put loads out but gradually build the swim. All the above worked for me for the picture you see of my PB common and as you can see I was pretty chuffed. Two o’clock in the morning first freeze up with fish showing so I braved the cold and moved the rod on top of them and an hour later off it went!!!

Darenth big lake has everything to challenge the angler from snags to islands gravel bars silt beds blood worm patches etc. For the members on here I have to say we have a right bunch of characters on Darenth and I mean that in a good way. All are happy to give help and advice but take on what you feel will help you and combine your own skills to help catch because at the end if the day we are all there to catch fish. The place draws you in for more so enjoy :)

Tight lines


DBL Top Road 2010/11 Stuart Hancox

I’ve been fishing for carp since the early nineties, on a variety of different waters. I have known of Darenth big lake for a number of years and the stock of fish it contains, and decided to join on the 2010 season after a walk around its banks, and a friendly chat Warren.

It is hard to find a lake that possesses the amount of features that Darenth has to offer, such as Lilly pads, gravel bars, islands, snags and silt. So I felt quite pleased to be accepted onto the big lake.

Security around the lake is excellent and a secure car park which aids peace of mind whilst fishing. I found the bailiffs to be firm but fare and approachable. I personally found an overnight session suits the way I fish, and every swim on the lake can produce fish. It’s not by any means a easy lake, but if you can find the fish you will catch, and the rewards are there to be caught!

My total amount of fish for the 2010/2011 season is 55 fish (from May 2010 till November 2010). I had 1, fifty, 3, forties, 12, thirties, 24, twenties, and 15 doubles. My highlights for the year was steak on my birthday at 47.08lbs, and a 35.07lbs mirror, and on my first day back on the lake from my trip to France, I caught a 40.04lbs common, and steak again at 47.13lbs , both within two hours.

Only to be topped by the steak at 50.03lbs, in November what else can I say for my first season! I highly recommend you take a look at ace baits and also bevo’s baits, they catch! I’m looking forward to the forthcoming season.

An Article by Robert Tough

My name is Rob Tough and in 2009 along with my fishing partner Tom Dunlop, I won the World Carp Classic fishing match held on Lac de Madine, a 1,500 acre Lake in Northern  France. This competition is over 5 days/nights non stop fishing and we managed to beat 126 pairs from 26 countries from all over the World. The Prize of £10,000 and Trophy we were presented with was the accolade of a Carp fishing love affair that has been with me since I first joined Darenth Fishing complex in 1987.

Over the years I have seen many changes to the hobby I love and I have fished many venues in England and France catching my share of large and not so large Carp.

One thing that has remained since my very first weekend on Darenth big lake in the “mud” swim in 1987 is my absolute love for the lake and the magnetism of the place. Although I drift off to other venues and take part in various events on the Carp fishing calender I am always drawn back to the magic of Darenth that taught me most of my carping skills, from stalking in the margins to zig rigging in the depths and the casting ability to hit within inches of a far island. I will never tire of fishing Darenth Big Lake and await with anticipation what 2010 season holds for the members and myself.

Tough & His Big Fish

An Article by Steve Nicholson

I have been fishing at Darenth Big Lake since 2006, on my first visit there i beat my previous PB. Since then the fishing has got better and better and my PB now is 47 1/2 lb, but its not just the fishing, its the people i’ve got to know and see on a regular basis at The Big Lake. 2009 has been my best season so far, in one visit i caught 9 Carp, 6 over 30lbs. The total catch for 2009 – 2010 is 38 Carp.
Can’t imagine fishing anywhere else.

An Article by Paul Butler

I joined Darenth big lake in July 2006 and after a slow start with only 2 fish till September (patience has never been my thing) I managed a pb in the shape of a 40lb Mirror, followed 12 hours lated by Pinky at 48lb, both from the fence.

The next session started slow again, but by September i was taking at least 1 fish a week !then in December another pb, little leather at 53lb from the singles, this was definitely my month because a week later a 60lb catfish popped up on a 10mm pIneapple boille.

Although the year didnt start well, with a bad draw putting me in the grave digger swim (ok if quiet and on your own, but no chance of that on the 1st day of the season) it was still good to meet everyone and catch up,  even though I drew a blank.

Thanks to Warren introducing new stock during the close season, the Summer was brilliant for me, I started going for a recce the evening before for a chat with the anglers and to see where if at all the fish were showing, this worked well when having arrived about 4am I noticed fish feeding on the tip bank, I want back to the car park, got my gear and rushed to the slope, within 15 minutes I,d had a 37 and 34, so it just go,s to show the benefits of fishing to fizzing and showing fish. (clever Bastard ! ).

By the end of the session I,d had 5 fish in all, so not a bad days work.

When the Summer ended I,d had a total of 32 fish, weighing from 15lb to 37.

The Winter started well with Big leather from the willows at 49.8, part of a three fish session, then as the weeks went on it got better and better, at the end of November i had Little Steak at 44lb, then 13 fish came out including Perky at 48lb, all in the first week of December, (Christmas come early !).The second week fared almost as well with 11 fish including the Long Mirror at 44lb, although I,d love to think that this is all down to my great angling we all know that the weather has a lot to do with ir, but for whatever reason I,ve had a ball, Totally addicted.!!


Paul Butler.

Greg Dring has been fishing the Big lake now for some 3 years.  Whilst sitting in his bivvy waiting for his next Carp, Greg wrote the following article for the Darenth Big Lake website.  We hope you enjoy it and would encourage any member to follow Greg’s lead.  Perhaps you have an article you want us to publish?

I first started fishing the Big lake in November 08 on the winter ticket. Between November and February I did a total of 11 nights and landed 10 fish to just shy of 30lb, 5 of these fish came in a short 24hour session.
After a successful winter on the lake I decided to get myself a ticket for the full season, the only goal I had set myself for the year was to catch a 30+ common as I had seen some pictures of the perfect commons the Big lake holds. I caught fish throughout the year although it wasn’t until the latter part of the season that i had a couple sessions that I will never forget.

The first one occurred in the second week of November, i had some time off work and decided to do 5 nights on the Big lake. I started off in the ‘Big Road’ after seeing fish all over the swim through out the day, however after 2 nights i hadn’t received any action and all signs off the fish had disappeared.

As the evening closed in on the 3rd night i noticed a number of fish showing in front of the ‘Highbank’ and after watching another member swoop one out of the highbank like a pro, i decided a move up there had to be made.
So just after dark i started to pack up all the gear and move up to the ‘Highbank‘, each time i was dropping off some tackle, i would see a couple more fish show. By 9pm i was munching on my Chinese having moved swims and got the rods sorted.

All through the night i was getting liners and in the early hours the right hand rod was away and after a long hard fight, ‘Perky’ was in the net and at 48lb 8oz i was over the moon- all the effort had paid off.
All the action seemed to come in the hours of darkness and on the second night in the highbank i lost a good fish in the early hours, however this was made up when on my final night in the ‘Highbank’ i had a take just after darkness which resulted in a chunky mirror that spun the needle to 41lb 14oz- 2 40’s in under 36hours, what a session!!

On my very next trip to the lake i decided that I wanted to set-up somewhere that I could watch as much water as possible and move onto fish when I saw them, like I had done the week before, I was only down for 36hrs so i wanted to get on the fish quickly.

I set-up in the ‘Right Twenties’ and had a large amount of water all to myself and could move onto fish if i saw them, little did i know i had landed right on them.
Within half hour of getting the first rod out it was off (whilst it was on the floor) and i soon had a 30+ mirror in the net. With the photos done i got the rods sorted before dark and settled down for the night.
Just after midnight the rod fished at short range was away and whilst playing the fish the left hand rod was away- 2 fish on in 30mph gusts aint fun!

Luckily there were no dramas and soon got both fish in. When peering into the net i soon realised i had achieved my goal as sitting next to a mid 20 mirror was one lump of a common. It turned out to be ‘jacks common’ and at 39lb 14oz it wasn’t far off being a 40 but with a fish like that i really didn’t care what the weight was. The rest of the night was uneventful and in the morning the rods where all re-done.

The one rod that hadn’t produced a fish yet started to produce fish the following day and i ended up taking 7 fish during the day from one spot, this included the ‘pukka linear’ at 34lb, 2 other 30+ fish and 4 20’s to 26lb. The final night was quiet and i think the fish that were holding up in my swim had moved on although i was still more then happy with 5x 30s and 5x 20s in 36hrs, especially after landing 2x 40s in the previous session.
I ended the winter (November to February) doing 18 nights and landing 17 fish.

Overall I’ve landed just over 40 fish from Darenth with some truly memorable sessions and some truly stunning fish.

Greg Dring

Comments are closed.