Why do you think photons have very high momentum? Let's do a quick calculation. Let's assume we have a pond, and we want to compare the momentum of a pebble to the momentum of solar insolation on a comparable area (sunlight is pretty bright compared to most of our light sources, so it's a decent upper limit for your intutive experience with light).
Total solar insolation works out to about 1400 W per square metre. Let's imagine a cubic pebble one cubic centimetre in size. We'll compare the pebble's momentum to the momentum of insolation over one square centimetre over a single second (which I hope you agree is pretty generous).
The total energy of incident light would be 0.14 J in that one second. This corresponds to a momentum of 4.67E-10 kg/m/s. Is that a large number? Our pebble would mass about 3 grams, and we could assume it impacts at, say, 10 m/s. Its momentum would be 0.03 kg/m/s. That's eight orders of magnitude more. For most macroscopic earthly purposes, you can completely ignore the momentum of light. It's tiny.
And this is already an extremely generous analysis. Note that:
- Sunlight actually usually "pushes" on the whole lake equally - so it wouldn't normally create ripples, instead, the lake would be "compressed" under the photons. You would see ripples everytime a cloud passed over the lake, as some of the lake would lose most of the incident pressure, while other parts would still have it. Needless to say, this isn't what we observe :)
- I took a full second of sunlight. Of course, the pebble's splash against the water is much shorter than that - it will traverse its full "depth" in 0.01s, which is where most of the wave comes from. That's two more orders of magnitude the pebble gains on photons.
- I assumed the photons momentum would be perfectly transferred to the water, all pointing in the downward direction, as if you got a perfect elastic collision. Needless to say, photons don't interact with water quite in that way. They get scattered, they get transmitted, they get delayed re-emission etc. etc.
And more :)
Can we fix that with taking a very strong light, instead of "mere" sunlight? Yes. There are many, many complications - but the National Ignition Facility is doing essentially that - pushing a huge amount of light into a very tiny space, compressing the fuel pellet into a density of 100 times the normal density of lead. Needless to say, this would produce quite the ripple.
If we want to have the same impact as the pebble, we would need a light pulse of 14 MJ (assuming all of the other conditions in our thought experiment stay the same, i.e. very generous for photons). The NIF laser, which is one of the biggest lasers we have ever built, produces a pulse of about 1.5 MJ. Scaling it up ten times might be a tad difficult, and I don't think you'll find much funding for replicating the effect of a thrown pebble on the surface of a pond with a gigantic death ray :)