For most of the year fishing at Naseby is confined mainly to the deeper water by the dam wall and off the gravel spit which runs out from the near left hand bank across to the former yacht club. At times this can be completely submerged whilst in late spring and summer when water levels fall this can be greatly extended and give access to the open water further out in the reservoir.
At the same time, when water levels drop, fishing from the banks up the left hand arm is more accessible as is fishing from the right hand bank past the yacht club building to the first willow tree about a third of the way along this side of the reservoir.
At the car park end of the dam wall is a 10 to 12 feet deep channel which runs a couple of rod lengths out to about three quarters of the way along the wall. Depths drop as you approach the vicinity of the outlet sluice which has a maximum depth of 20 feet out from the middle of the dam wall.
Although the top end of the left hand arm is shallower at about four feet, the channel gets deeper to a maximum of about 12 feet where it joins the main body of the reservoir.
Although unfishable for most of the year because the banks are soft and muddy, the water at the top end of the reservoir furthest away from the dam wall is shallow at about only three feet. This part of the reservoir and the left hand arm are the first areas to dry out as water levels fall.
Pleasure anglers generally stick to the pegs nearest the car park, either on the dam wall or along the spit, fishing about four feet deep a rod length our on the pole or waggler or in deeper water with the swimfeeder for the roach, carp, tench or bream.
Naseby is renowned amongst its regulars as a prolific roach water with 100lb pleasure bags not uncommon. These are generally made up of fish with an average size of 12oz, although bigger fish can be had. Most popular baits for the roach are maggots, casters and sweetcorn.
As a general rule anglers are advised to build up a swim with plenty of free offerings and if fishing at distance to pack a pva bag with 1mm black and green pellets and samples of hook bait. Pole anglers often use soft hooker pellets on a Size 16 and combine this with a mix of sloppy groundbait or small pellets.
Those targeting the tench and bream are increasingly tending towards fishing modern carping techniques. Indeed, the reservoir's biggest bream - which came out at 12lbs 2oz - was taken on a 6mm strawberry boilie whilst the biggest tench, which was just 8ozs under double figures, was also taken by an angler fishing for carp.
Although the bream run into double figures, they are not as widespread as other species.
The other main pleasure species apart from the smaller carp are the perch which run to about 1lb 8oz and are most commonly taken on waggler-fished worm or maggot.
Naseby also has a lot to offer the specimen hunter or those after bigger fish. In addition to the big bream and tench, the reservoir is home to catfish known to run to over 60lbs as well as pike to 33lbs and carp to over just under 30lbs. However, regulars are convinced there are much bigger carp in the water having been broken by big fish or having reportedly seen 'massive dark shapes'.
Anglers going after the carp generally use modern carping techniques, using baits of large halibut pellets, a variety of boilies, sweetcorn or maggot rings. The Method Feeder is popular fished about 40 yards out into open water from the gravel spit with hook sizes as small as 14s and even 18s in matches being regularly used.
When it comes to serious angling for the really big ones, however, you have to go for the catfish. The biggest to come out so far was taken in 2006 and weighed spot on 60lbs - although it was taken by an angler after the carp.
Having played out a carp of about 6lbs, he was getting ready to net it when the big cat loomed out of the darkness and took the carp whole.
Anyone who catches a catfish is asked to telephone the Canal and River Trust 24-hour emergency line 0800 4799947 and to hold onto the fish until it can be collected and transferred to a licenced venue.
Anglers going for the cats generally fish carping or straightforward ledgering techniques with a wide variety of baits being successful. More conventional anglers opt for a string or long hair-rig of three or four 26mm halibut pellets with big hooks and strong line.
The more adventurous, however, are not afraid to try more exotic baits including dead sardines and other sea fish, large chunks of liver and even dead rats and mice!
Pike fishing normally proves most successful off the dam wall with ledgered dead bait such as roach or sea fish.
How to get there...
Travelling from west, make your way onto the A14 at the M6 junction with the M1 or from the north and south leave the M1 at Junction 19 and join the A14, taking the first turn off the A14 at Junction 1. At the end of the slip road turn left onto the A5199 towards Northampton.
After a short distance you will see a road to the left marked 'No access to A14' and a Biffa sign. Turn left here and after a fifth of a mile you will see a track going off to the left as the road bends to the right. Follow this track and after three-tenths of a mile you will see another track on the right going across a field. This leads to the reservoir car park.
Click here to visit the Canal and River Trust website
Go back to Fisheries homepage