Best urban fishing venues – 6 highly recommended places

ANGLER’S MAIL is the No.1 magazine for all sorts of things – and has a Where To Fish section that is unrivalled. It’s produced by regional experts.

Leazes Park is an urban fishing gem in the North East.

Urban fishing is probably not as popular as it once was.

That’s despite undoubted interest generated by the cool Urban Banx carp fishing videos on YouTube, and a rise in modern lure fishing.

But ‘where are the best fishing lakes near me?’ is one question that our Where To Fish team often hear from anglers in cities and towns.

There are many nuggets where you can enjoy urban fishing gold!

We bring you just six of our experts’ top suggestions for best urban fishing venues. They are all day ticket waters or free.

Be sure to read the team’s latest suggestions and form guide – it’s only in Angler’s Mail magazine each week.

Leazes Park Lake, Tyne and Wear.

Controlled by Leazes Park AA, this picturesque 2.75-acre lake is set in the heart of Newcastle city centre, offering quality sport for pleasure, match and specimen anglers.

A great head of silver fish makes it a useful urban fishing venue for families and youngsters looking to improve their fish-catching skills.

Species include carp to well over 20 lb, a good head of crucians up to 2 lb 8 oz, bream to 5 lb, tench to 4 lb, perch to 1 lb 8 oz, roach and rudd to 1 lb, and some big gudgeon.

There are 32 swims, all accessible for disabled anglers, including a specially built platform. The club holds regular group sessions for disabled anglers, as well as coaching sessions for novices.

Depths average 5.5 ft, but up to 7 ft in places, and there’s also a central island and a couple of floating cage islands.

For prolific silver fish sport, present a pole float or waggler at around 10 m, fishing maggots, pinkies or casters over loosefeed introduced little and often, topped up with a few helpings of hemp or groundbait. Soft hook pellets over micro pellets will also score.

Fish a cage or Method feeder to an island with dead maggots, chopped worm and groundbait for a chance of some decent bream. Bread punch tactics in the deeper water will be worth a try as the weather gets cooler.

Try legered, hair-rigged boilies for the carp, pop-ups advised because of the silty bottom.

On cooler days, pegs 16-22 are more productive. Peg 25 has been in good form recently.

Tickets: £6 a day; £3.50 concessions, available from local tackle shops. Yearbooks are priced £45 adults; OAPs and disabled £25; juniors aged over 12 £15; under-12s £10. Members parking permit £25 per year. Non-members parking costs £1.20 per hour.

Fishing dawn until dusk. Open all year round. Toilets and food facilities. Barbless hooks only. Tel: Roger Jeffries on 07941022346. See

Nearest tackle shop is Bagnall and Kirkwood, 28 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6AE. Tel: 0191 232 5873.

Location: day ticket anglers can park on Richardson Road, where a pay-and-display ticket system is in operation. Sat nav: NE2 4BJ.

Great Ouse, Cambridgeshire.

Free urban fishing on a mile-long river stretch between the A142 bridge at the upstream end down to Willow Walk railway bridge.

Three free car parks are adjacent to the length, which averages 30 m wide, with depths of 10 ft-plus down the middle.

Species include bream to 5 lb, perch to 3 lb, pike and zander to doubles, quality roach, rudd, silver bream, bleak, hybrids and some river carp to mid-doubles.

Pole, waggler, feeder, bomb, lures, livebaits and deadbaits all score. Worms are a must for the perch and bream.

Balling in four or five large balls of groundbait laced with casters, pinkies, chopped worm and hemp is a recommended autumn opening gambit for pole anglers.

Facilities include several food and drink outlets just a few steps away. Boats have mooring rights, so anglers must be prepared to move if required.

Tickets: free fishing and car parking. For info and bait, call Willow Grange Tackle & Bait on 01353 649573.

Location: Ely, CB7 4BN.

Peatmoor Lake,Wiltshire.

This urban fishing stillwater can be good for carp to doubles, the larger fish topping 20 lb.

Bream of 3-4 lb are a big feature of catches, which reguarly reach 30-40 lb.

Stick to boilies and don’t feed pellets when after carp, to avoid attracting too many bream.

If bream are your target, try a crumb feeder approach with fishmeal groundbait and pellets.

Tickets: £25 a season; £35 for two rods; concessions £10. Tel. 07917 352333.

Location: Shearwood Road, Swindon, SN5 5DL.

Sankey St Helens Canal, Merseyside.

Not the most picturesque canal length, yet it continues to bring a lot of angling pleasure to many locals.It’s an urban fishing gem.

Once famed as a hot water stretch full of strange, tropical creatures and fish, these days carp to mid-doubles, a lot of roach to over 1 lb, bream to 4 lb, tench, crucians, and rudd make up the sport.

Pole fishing is popular, but a lot of pleasure anglers target the carp with a rod and boilies. Waggler or groundbait feeder tactics with red maggots, casters, corn and worms will all score, too.

It’s a pretty safe place to fish here, as there are lots of folk about in the adjacent World of Glass museum.

Tickets: members only. St Helens AA yearbook is £30 for adults; £15 concessions; £5 juniors. Tel: 07720 721460.

Location: Hotties stretch, off A58 St Helens Road, St Helens town centre, WA10 1AU.

Martin Salter of the Angling Trust loves the urban fishing offered by the Thames. He caught this immaculate big roach on the tidal reaches.

Tidal River Thames, West London.

One of the best tidal stretches of the Thames, where big bags of quality bream and roach can be caught, along with hefty carp.

Location and tides influence catches very much on this largely untapped urban fishing venue, and eels can be problematic.

The two top weights from this year’s TideFest came from here, as they do most years.

Fish the tide down, wearing waders and using a fishing platform. Try a pole or feeder with maggots, worms and bread. Islands and bridges are key features to target.

As the tide drops, you’ll need less weight to hold bottom, so make sure you have a means of altering the loading on your feeder.

Tickets: free fishing.Weekday parking is tricky, but far easier at weekends. Tel: Surbiton Angling Centre on 020 7018 2134.

Location: Thames Road, Stand-on-the-Green, Chiswick, London, W4 3PL.

Woods Farm Fishery, West Midlands.

Four pools for pleasure fishing, which are accessible on main bus routes, with a pub opposite the entrance. Locals don’t have to travel far from Birmingham for a grand day out.

Lots of carp and big bream, F1s for action in colder weather, some specimen perch and a full complement of silver fish will appeal to all anglers.

It’s advisable to put some casters in your groundbait and a worm on the hook for the bream in Bills Lane Pool.

Corn and pellets in the deeper margins for Pines Pool carp. Long pole with pellets on the deck for bags of carp on Drawbridge Pool.

Tickets: £7 a day; £5 concessions; half-day tickets (from 1pm) £5; £2 for a second rod. No night fishing. Tel: 07866 735562.

Location: Shirley, Solihull, LN6 9EN.


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