With the rise in popularity of day-ticket venues, park lakes have largely been forgotten. However, in recent years they have been making a comeback with thanks to YouTube series such as Urban Banx, fronted by Nash’s Alan Blair, and several park lake videos produced by Carl & Alex, amongst plenty of others.
As part of Love Park Week, we take a look at some of the UKs best park venues, in no particular order. Later in the week we will be sharing our top tips for fishing park lakes.
Park lakes can be uncovered gems, unless there is a regular bailiff who knows the stock and hotspots, you could struggle to find local knowledge on the water, which usually means there is the potential for a surprise or two lurking beneath the surface.
Park lakes will likely be home to a plethora of coarse species, so there is something for every angler to target, whether you’re a young angler just getting into the sport and you’re happy catching anything, or you’re a seasoned carp veteran and you want to get your teeth stuck into a campaign, your local park lake can probably provide both.
The following paragraphs focus on some of the UK’s top park lake venues, it is by no means a fixed list and whether or not your local park lake features on the list or not, Angling Direct encourage you to head down for a session on your local park lake. You never know, you might just uncover a hidden gem right on your doorstep.
The UK’s Best Urban Fishing Venues:
Leazes Park Lake, Tyne and Wear
Located in the heart of Newcastle, Leazes Park is a 2.75-acre lake with a healthy silver fish population and a good head of carp, with specimens well over 20lb.
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 www.leazesangling.com
Peatmoor Lake, Wiltshire
With specimen carp reaching 20lb + and a good head of doubles, Peatmoor Lake is making a reputation for itself.
If bream fishing is your thing, hauls of 30-40lb are commonplace, with the average stamp being between 3-4lb.
If you’re targeting carp, stick to boilies and put the pellets away, in the hope of deterring the bream.
Tickets: £25 a season; £35 for two rods; concessions £10. Tel. 07917 352333.
Sankey St. Helens Canal, Merseyside
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.
Tickets: members only. St Helens AA yearbook is £30 for adults; £15 concessions; £5 juniors. Tel: 07720 721460. www.sthelensaa.co.uk
Tidal River Thames, West London
One of the best tidal stretches of the Thames, home to chunky carp, specimen roach and the odd eel, the stretch is influenced heavily by location and tide. Regardless, the location is largely untapped and full on potential.
The two top weights from this year’s TideFest came from here, as they do most years, proving the location is a hot as it ever was.
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.