Fishing off the gravel spit at Naseby Reservoir Naseby Reservoir

Carvells Lane
nearest postcode is NN6 6JF

Tel: 01582 843454 for match bookings only
Tel: 07904 493417 for the bailiff (8.00am - 6.00pm)

Mark hits the mark with two Naseby 20s

Mark Olds with his 20lb 7oz Naseby mirror carpMark with his 26lb 10oz Naseby mirror carp

Fishery owner Mark Olds took time off from running Alvechurch Fishery in Barnt Green, Birmingham, to have a session at Naseby Reservior, one of his favourite venues, and hit the mark with these two fine specimens - one at 26lbs 10oz and the other at 20lbs 7oz.

Mark fished 13 wraps and fed boilies spread over a wide area to attract the fish, starting with about half a kilo and spodding a party blend with crushed boilies and 2mm and 6mm halibut pellets.

Using a 3oz lead with safe zone leader and flying backlead he fished a D-rig with Size 6 hook and 15mm Essential cell wafter to take the fish.

The Canal and River Trust logoDespite covering some 93 acres, offering 80 pegs and having been around since the late 1700s, Naseby Reservoir has only recently been gaining a growing reputation as a specimen water - although it is known to hold some big carp, catfish, bream, tench, pike and even trout.

Looking towards the right hand bank at Naseby ReservoirJust a short drive from Junction 1 of the A14, the reservoir was run as a private fishery for many years before being closed to angling. In 2003, however, it was decided to open the water as a day-ticket fishery.

To boost fish stocks some 12,500 mirror carp about 1lb in weight were introduced. These fish are now regularly coming out well into double figures with 20lb-plus fish being regularly caught and even 30lb specimens now showing more frequently. Needless to say this means fishing Naseby can provide exciting sport for both pleasure and match anglers alike.

High water at Naseby ReservoirSituated just a mile from the site of the famous battlefield which changed the course of the English Civil War in 1645, Naseby Reservoir is used to top up the nearby Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal.

As a result, the water area can drop dramatically in summer to as little as 20 acres - and it is then that the angling really hots up as the fish are concentrated in a much smaller area.

And low water at Naseby ReservoirThe two photographs to the left, taken within a short distance of each other, show the difference between the high and low water levels which can be experienced at Naseby.

Indeed, it was in the summer of 2005 when water levels were low that the current match record was set by local angler Steve Porter from Knighton, near Leicester, who fished off the dam wall and took a 248lb bag of carp and roach. Despite this impressive track record, few matches are currently held.

The old boat house at Naseby ReservoirFor much of the year some of the bank is unfishable because it is soft mud. In summer, however, this dries out and with reduced water levels a much greater portion of the reservoir becomes accessible.

Fishing is available all year round from the dam wall and for much of the year a gravel spit runs out from near the car park entrance giving anglers the option of fishing a channel between it and the dam, out into open water or into the arm to the left as you face the reservoir from the entrance.

Naseby is not only an attractive reservoir but has the added attraction that the fish are usually in pristine condition.

Looking down the left hand arm at Naseby ReservoirAlthough the average stamp of the carp is now in the mid teens, mirrors and commons to over 30lbs are now being caught. Add in roach to 2lbs 8oz, bream to 10lbs 2oz, tench to 9lbs 8oz, trout to 8lbs, and perch to 1lb 8oz and you have some quality fish to go for.

And that's not to mention the pike which have been taken to 33lbs and catfish which grow so big that the reservoir is a regular weekend haunt for members of the Catfish Conservation Society.

Looking back towards the dam wallWhilst cats to 60lbs have been caught, members believe much bigger fish haunt the depths as several anglers have been broken whilst using tackle more suited to sea fishing than that developed for inland waterways.

For those interested in the bigger fish, night fishing is available to members but must be booked in advance with the bailiff on 07904 493417. Anglers should note, however, that there are no concesionary rates for night fishing.

Tony Wickham with his 23lb Naseby common carpTony Wickham with a 21lb Naseby common carp
Tony's Naseby carp

Northampton flooring contractor and Naseby regular Tony Wickham is pictured with common carp weighing 23lb (left) and 21lb (right), both taken on hair-rigged 15mm halibut pellet, size 12 hook and Method Feeder tied to 8lb line.

Opening Times

All year round
24 hours a day

Ticket costs

OAP/disabled/juniors under 16
Day Tickets
£6.00 (one rod) and £10.00 (two rods)
£5.00 (one rod) and £10.00 (two rods)
Night fishing
£20.00 (two rods maximum)
£20.00 (two rods maximum)

Match bookings are now being taken for 2022 and 2023.
Naseby has a Facebook page which can be found by searching 'Naseby Reservoir Official Page'
where details of the rules, pricing and catch reports can be seen.

Looking along the dam wall at Naseby ReservoirFor 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.

The gravel spit at Naseby ReservoirAt 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.

Fishing at the base of the dam wallPleasure 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.

The bay at the far end of the dam wall by the former yacht clubThose 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.

Setting up for the carp at Naseby ReservoirNaseby 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.

Out into open water at Naseby ReservoirWhen 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 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 fish he was landing 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.

This tree is sometimes surrounded by waterAnglers 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...

Click on the map for a better imageTravelling 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.

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