New staging at the Canal and River Trust's Drayton ReservoirDrayton Reservoir
off the A361
NN11 0SG

Tel: 07889 532563 for the bailiff

the Canal and River Trust logoThe Canal and River Trust proudly says that Drayton Reservoir is arguably one of the best easy specimen carp fisheries of its type in England.

The dam wall at Northamptonshire's Drayton ReservoirAnd with the average size now being between 14lbs and 16lbs with much bigger fish being caught it is not surprising that the water is popular with anglers of all ages and abilities.

Angling is permitted throughout the water except from near the Sailing Club on the right hand sie of the dam. It speaks for itself when the Canal and River Trust warn anglers not to leave their rods unattended when fishing. Over the past few years more than 500 rods and poles have been dragged into the reservoir after being left unattended by anglers.

The new staging at Daventry's Drayton ReservoirDespite Drayton's popularity, anglers can always find room to fish, particularly since the venue stopped match fishing about three years ago. And with an abundance of trees and waterside vegetation there are some very attractive pegs.

In 2004 Drayton claimed its first 40lb carp, whilst fish weighing over 20lbs are caught virtually every day and even modest anglers can expect to catch several double figure fish at a sitting with afternoon sessions usually being the most productive.

Fishing the far end of Drayton ReservoirLike its neighbour Clattercote Reservoir, Drayton is unusual in that it is almost completely surrounded by a modern wooden walkway which leads to 123 individual jetty-style pegs which jut out into the water. These were installed for the beginning of the 2016 season and provide much more room for anglers with bivvies than the previous pegs.

Night fishing is available at Drayton but pegs must be booked in advance.

The new staging at Daventry's Drayton ReservoirFor the safety of anglers the water is patrolled 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because of the stamp of the fish in Drayton, unhooking mats must be used. In addition, anglers should not take metal tins for items such as cat food, luncheon meat or sweetcorn onto the site.

Mark and Angie Ryder have managed Drayton for nine years and say that recently one angler banked 54 fish to well over 20lb in a single 48-hour session, adding that it's not uncommon for visitors to bank 1,000lb of carp in 24 hours.

Fred Pinfold with his 21lb Drayton mirror 67-years-old Derby angler Fred Pinfold proved that late season fishing for carp can still yield massive returns when his first visit to Drayton Reservoir at the end of October saw him net 12 fish between 12lbs and 21lbs.

Fishing with a neighbour after having had a 15 year break from angling, Fred, pictured left with his 21lb fish, said: "I quickly found that in the carp world, technology had left me quite a way behind - but I'm also finding that some of the old methods still get good results."

Fishing off the dam steps because of the low water level, Fred fished a method feeder to 8lb line on one rod and a waggler to 4lb line on the other. On the method rod he hair rigged a marine pellet to a number 12 hair rig and cast well out whilst the waggler set up was a No 8 hook with no hair, baited with meat and fished on the bottom about three rod lengths out. Four fish fell to the method - the biggest being 17lbs - and eight to the waggler, the biggest being the 21lb fish. Even his smallest fish was over 12lbs.

Opening Times

Drayton Reservoir is open for fishing all year round from 7.00am until 9.00pm in summer (Monday to Friday) and 6.30am until 9.00pm (weekends). The fishery closes for day ticket anglers half an hour before dusk in winter. Night fishing is available by advance booking only off the new walkway past the sailing club.

Ticket costs

Day Tickets
£8.00 (one rod) and
£12.00 (two rods)
£5.00 (one rod) and
£10.00 (two rods)
Evening Tickets
(after 5.00pm)
£5.00 per rod
£5.00 per rod
Night Fishing
(noon to noon)
£25.00 (max two rods)
£25.00 (max two rods)

Fishing the dam wall at Drayton ReservoirDrayton Reservoir offers a total of 123 pegs, 36 of which are bookable night fishing pegs along the newly installed timber staging past the saling club on the right hand side of the reservoir and five of which are on the left hand side of the water.

In addition, the fishery also has an area from pegs 63 to 79 down the left handd side which are reserved for night anglers who have not booked and are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Looking across Drayton Reservoir from the sailing clubStocked predominantly with carp, a large number of which run to well over 20lbs but which average between 14lbs and 16lbs; as well as with perch to 2lbs 8oz; roach to 1lb 8oz; tench to 4lbs; and pike to over 26lbs, Drayton is a feeder reservoir for the Grand Union Canal and offers a variety of fishing from sheltered stretches in tree and reed-lines bays to open water fishing.

As one would expect, the deepest water - up to 30ft - is to be found off the dam wall whilst at either end of the dam it shallows to about eight feet. The depth shallows off towards the far end, running at only three feet near the banks to about seven feet in the middle at the far end.

The new staging runs the entire length of Drayton ReservoirWhen it comes to fishing, Drayton is popular with anglers from as far afield as Llandudno and most people do well even on their first visit. With 100lb-plus catches of carp now commonplace, Drayton attracted more than 15,000 angler visits last year.

Because it is fairly large, Drayton is slow to warm up at the beginning of the year but by the same token fishes well late into the season as it retains the heat better than many waters.

As a result, the best months tend to be from July through until about Christmas. During this time everywhere on the water fishes well.

Bivvied up at the far end of Drayton ReservoirAfter Christmas, however, the more successful pegs tend to be in the deeper water whilst from the end of March onwards the fish tend to spread throughout the lake with the very far end yielding good results for those prepared to walk in search of a bit of secusion.

Drayton is also an excellent pike venue in winter with the pike season running from October 1 until March 31.

The three main techniques used to fish Drayton are bottom fishing using a Method or groundbait feeder, an ordinary or bagging waggler and fishing either on the surface or using a Zig Rig to present the bait on or just under the surface. However, because the size of fish has increased over the past few years there has been a corresponding drop in the number of anglers using the pole.

As a result of the increase in size of the fish, most anglers now fish a 10lb main line tied to a 6lb minimum hook length and anything up to a Size 6 or 8 barbless hook.

Close to the waters edge at Drayton ReservoirFor float fishing in the deep water anglers are recommended to groundbait and loosefeed constantly and fish about six feet deep. Paste and pellet baits are also good, fished five to six metres from the bank.

Having said that, Drayton is another of those waters where you don't need to fish far out from the bank to catch and a waggler fished just off the end of the rod tip on the bottom often produces equally good results as baits fished at longer distances.

Looking across Drayton Reservoir from the new stagingAlso, it seems that almost anything goes. Two local anglers who have been regulars to the water for the past six years say they can remember having had only two blank sessions. Most times they fish the water they don't bother to take any hook bait, their favourite bait is ordinary groundbait squeezed tightly onto the hook and fished under the rod tip!

Because Drayton is a popular venue anglers are reminded that fish welfare is a priority so they should take a good padded unhooking mat with them and always kneel down with fish when having them photographed.

They are also reminded that the reservoir is now virtually surrounded by adjacent housing. As a result, 'social angling' is encouraged with anglers being reminded to be quiet and respect neighbouring residents, especially when night fishing.

Permits for Drayton are available from the patrolling bailiff on the bank. There are toilet facilities and car parking spaces.

Some typical Drayton carpSome typical Drayton carpSome typical Drayton carp

How to get there...

Click on the map for a larger image
Drayton Reservoir can be found on the northern edge of Daventry where the A361 nears the town and can be reached from the M1 motorway for anglers travelling from the North or South or from the A45 for those travelling east or west.

From the north leave the M1 at Junction 18 and head south on the A5. At the roundabout in Kilsby take the A361 heading south to Daventry and Drayton is on the right hand side.

Travelling on the M1 from the south east, leave the motorway at Junction 16 and take the A45 to Daventry, then follow the signs for Drayton Fields.

From the south west come off the M40 at Junction 11 and take the A361 to Daventry, then follow the signs for Drayton Fields.

Click on the map to the left for a better quality image and then scroll in our out to plan your best route.

Click here to visit the Canal and River Trust website
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