There's nothing better than having a bend in your rod and a specimen carp on the end of it. If you’ve never caught a double-figure carp or have been struggling and just want to see your tip fly round then a visit to a carp runs water is a great remedy. There are literally thousands of them across the country including waters where the match carp have become too big and these can provide some superb sport. Angling Times has put together a list of the best day-ticket runs waters…
ALDERWOOD PONDS, STEYNING, WEST SUSSEX
Island Lake, as well as its huge perch to over 4lb is also full of carp which average around 11lb but top 20lb. Most of the them come out on boilies fished on bomb rigs.
01903 816377, Postcode: BN44 3AA, https://alderwoodponds.wordpress.com/
BADEN HALL FISHERY, STAFFORD, STAFFS
The pleasure fishing only, Middle Pool offers 68 pegs of carp averaging around 12lb with the odd larger lumps. You can night fish this lake as well as surface fish it in the summer.
01785 850313, Postcode: ST21 6LG, https://www.badenhallfishery.com/index
BARSTON LAKES, SOLIHULL, W MIDS
Barston lake is renowned for its lumps with fish to well over 20lb. The water deepens underneath the electricity wires from around 7' to 15' so these can be good pegs in the cold if the fish are searching for some depth. Otherwise try catching on the drop, or in the margins.
01675 444890, Postcode: B92 0LB, http://www.barstonlakes.co.uk/
BRADSHAW HALL FISHERIES, BOLTON LANCS
The 28-peg Lake Two is the carp hotspot at this multi-lake complex. It holds a good head of carp to 28lb and is kept aside from the match anglers as a specimen pool in itself.
01204 307197, Postcode: BL2 4JW, http://www.bradshawhallfisheries.co.uk/
BODDINGTON & DRAYTON RESERVOIRS, NORTHANTS
Two of the original carp crunching waters run by the Canal & River Trust, both are still stuffed with commons and mirrors touching 10lb and plenty of them well into double-figures. Anglers often target them on the pole with strong rigs and elastics here.
01582 843454 or 01908 302556 (Drayton) Postcodes: NN11 6UD or Drayton: NN11 0SG
COBBLEACRE LAKES, HEVINGHAM, NORFOLK
Adams Lake is another match venue which is full of doubles which are easy to catch. The lake is roughly 3 acres in size with depths ranging between 3ft – 7ft.
01603 754305, Postcode: NR10 5NL, http://www.cobbleacre.co.uk/
EAST DELPH LAKES, WHITTLESEY, CAMBS
These lakes have recently come under new ownership with much work and plenty of re-stockings taking place. At just under two acres the Front Lake is a well-stocked lake holding original carp to over 25lb.
07473 154208, Postcode: PE7 1RH, http://www.eastdelphlakes.com/
LLYN Y GORS FISHERY, ANGLESEY, N WALES
Karpium Lake is the venues 1-acre runs water. It has seven swims containing around 400 fish to 30lb, including a good head of mid doubles. For bites try the Method feeder while boilies over particles are better for the bigger specimens.
01248 713410, Postcode: LL59 5PN, http://www.llynygors.co.uk/home.html
LONGLEAT FISHERY, WARMINSTER, WILTS
The Top Lake, extending to some 7 acres, is a specialist carp fishery with 600+ ghost, common and mirror carp to over 30lb. The lake has a good head of twenties but with an average size of around 17-18lb. Day-tickets and night-tickets are available.
01985 844400, Postcode: BA12 7NW, https://www.longleat.co.uk/fishing
MAKINS FISHERY, NUNEATON, WARKS
Lake 1 on Phase One of the complex is another prime example of a match lake where the carp have outgrown their purpose. They average around 12lb but go to over 20lb. The gravel bars in between the islands are the hotspots.
01455 220877, Postcode: CV11 6QJ, http://makinsfishery.co.uk/
MANOR FARM LEISURE, BIGGLESWADE, BEDS
As well as holding game fish, the Damsel Lake also offers coarse anglers plenty of runs from carp even during the winter. They average around 8-10lb with some larger lumps to over 20lb. In winter the bailiff reckons anglers should try fishing zig rigs, maggot rings and focus on the margins.
01767 317835, Postcode: SG18 9BB, http://www.manorfarmleisure.co.uk/
MONK LAKES, MARDEN, KENT
The 10 acre Puma Lake is for pleasure specimen anglers only and holds a good head of carp to over 30lb. There are loads of features to target including three islands and gravel bars.
01622 833332, Postcode: TN12 9BS, https://www.monklakes.co.uk/
NEW FARM FISHERY, MAIDENHEAD, BERKS
The Carp Lake has doubles in every peg and they are growing quick from 8lb to 40lb+ with carp ranging from commons, mirrors, grass and koi.
01628 789564, Postcode: SL6 3ST, http://www.newfarmfisheries.co.uk/
POOL BRIDGE FARM, YORK, N YORKS
The Carp Lake at Pool Bridge Farm is a runs water heavily stocked with carp weighing in the late singles to early doubles. It has permanent pegs which and the lake isn’t match fished meaning the fish are in pristine condition.
07928 359 420, Postcode: YO19 4SQ, https://www.poolbridge.co.uk/
STAFFORD MOOR FISHERY, WINKLEIGH, DEVON
400 doubles make the Beatties Lake a real action water with lots of runs plus the chance to catch the fish of a lifetime to well over 30lb. With only 13 swims booking is essential.
01805 804360, Postcode: EX19 8PP, http://www.staffordmoor.co.uk/
STANBOROUGH LAKES, WELWYN GARDEN CITY, HERTS
Run by Welwyn Garden City Angling Club but available to fish on a day-ticket the 16-acre South Lake is a cracking carp water full of 20’s. Peg 5 and the Oak Tree swim opposite are the noted pegs for the biggest fish on here while pegs 1 to 4 are pole only, but have produced carp to 31lb.
07789 658056, Postcode: AL8 6DQ
STANWICK LAKES, STANWICK, NORTHANTS
The 3 acre, 30 peg Swan Lake used to be a match venue but the carp have now grown on. The average size is between 8lb-16lb although mid-twenties have been caught and there is also a known thirty. There is a car park, conveniently located next to the lake, so you can drive right to it.
07974 300015, Postcode: NN9 6QZ, http://www.stanwicklakesfisheries.com/
THORPE LEA FISHERY, EGHAM, SURREY
With a huge head of specimen carp, Thorpe Lea is arguably the best place in the country to bag your first 20lber. Adjacent to the M25, the lake was stocked with 2,500 carp 10 years ago and now boasts a huge head of upper doubles, 20s and even a few 30s.
07934 000559, Postcode: TW20 8PG, http://www.thorpeleafishery.co.uk/
TODBER MANOR FISHERIES, STURMINSTER NEWTON, DORSET
Little Hayes Lake is around 6 acres in size and stocked with approximately 700 carp ranging from 10-30lb. The lake boasts 15 gravel swims all of which produce carp catches all year round. Currently anglers are catching well using maggots.
01258 820 384, Postcode: DT10 1JB, https://todbermanor.co.uk/
TYLERS COMMON FISHERY, BRENTWOOD, ESSEX
The specimen Wagtail Lake offers a nice variation from the fishery’s match lakes. It is full of carp to over 30lb, 4 acres in size and has two islands. It varies in depth from two feet in the margins to five feet 7 metres from the bank. There are 38 pegs.
01277 821342, Postcode: RM14 1TS, http://www.tylerscommonfishery.co.uk/