As National Fishing Month kicks off, our resident angling enthusiast, Aaron Brown, reveals the best fishing spots around our 9 UK forest locations.
National Fishing Month, from 18th July to 31st August (yes, we know), is about encouraging as many people as possible to try fishing. Age, class, gender and experience matter not. What matters is having a go and fisheries up and down the country are supporting National Fishing Month with lots of free events and coaching sessions.
In honour of this focus on fishing, Aaron has undertaken painstaking research (involving hours of fishing) to provide you with a guide to the best spots to fish near to our forest locations.
This is the perfect location for year-round sea fishing, sitting as it does on the shores of Loch Long, a sea loch. From April onwards the mackerel come in close to the shore. You can spin for these or even use feathers right up to early September. Near the jetties you can fish for other species including cod, whiting, pollock and conger.
If coarse fishing is more your preference, there is a small stream with brown trout right next to the cabins. Alternatively, Loch Lomond, a 10 minute drive away, has a large head of pike weighing up to 40lbs, and many other coarse fish. Remember, as with all coarse fishing around the country, you will need a fishing licence.
Further afield but worth the drive, is Oban, with the best skate fishing in the country. You can book a boat fishing day trip and catch skate weighing hundreds of pounds; a fish of a life time!
Right on your door step at Strathyre is Loch Lubnaig, a lovely location for fishing. From May to August, you can fish for salmon which are going upstream from the sea. There are also lots of perch and many other fresh water fish.
Cropton & Keldy
This is mainly a trout fishing area with lots of trout farms. You need to hire a fishing rod and you have to pay for what you catch. This means you can take your catch home and cook it! You can also do some fly fishing, using an artificial fly or a rod and reel with bait.
Coarse fishing in this area is very good as there are many local ponds, streams, lakes and rivers. The North York Moors website has an excellent guide to fishing spots, including the trout lake at nearby Pickering.
Sea fishing is very good at Whitby and Scarborough, approximately half an hour’s drive away. Both offer excellent fishing days whether you choose to fish over the wrecks or over the rough rocks at sea. There are some good cod, haddock, ling, mackerel, whiting, plaice and flounders. On land, there is some excellent rock fishing from the shore all year round. Ask at the local fishing shops for advice on the best areas to fish and the areas that have been catching recently. Staff will be more than willing to help you, particularly if you buy your bait from them.
Here, in the heart of the country, mainly coarse fishing takes place in the many rivers, lakes and ponds. There are a number of coarse fisheries, all within 20 minutes’ drive of Sherwood Forest, including Clumber Park Fishery, Sherwood Fishery and A1 Pits, a well-known carp fishery. This has a number of lakes to choose from which you can fish on a daily basis. You can also fish for several days and nights, but book in advance for this.
And of course, the River Trent. Renowned for its fishing all around the country, this river has everything: chub, barbell, bream, pike; you name it! You will require a fishing licence and can only fish the river at certain times of the year so check beforehand. However, as a rule, the closed season is from the end of February to the 16 June.
The River Thet is at the bottom end of Thorpe Forest, which is very handy! In this river there are all types of coarse fish. Again, you will require a National Fishing licence, which can be for the year or for shorter periods of time. The Oakwood Park fishery is also close by. This fishery is known for its predators, with a large amount of carp, pike and cat fish.
The Forest of Dean
Close to the Forest of Dean is the River Wye, probably the best barbell river in the country. The river also has large pike and salmon, the salmon mainly running around the springtime. You can rod and line fish or fly fish.
Coarse fishing in this area is very good, as you have some of the best commercial lakes in the country. The well-known Gold Valley, owned by the England international fisherman Will Raison, is only a 35 minute drive away. Here you have day ticket waters and a large number of match lakes which are in excellent condition. Staff are always happy to help you.
You also have a number of fly fishing waters around Winchester where you can just turn up for a pleasant hour or two’s fishing. As for sea fishing, there are some very good spots in Southampton, either from the shore or boats.
As you might expect, Cornwall is mainly sea fishing. Boat fishing is very good for all species and shark fishing is especially popular, as the water is slightly warmer down here. There have been some very large sharks caught in these waters. You can also fish for cod, pollock, bass, tope and more.
There are National Fishing Month events close to Sherwood Forest, Thorpe Forest, the Forest of Dean, Blackwood Forest and Deerpark. These events are a great opportunity to try your hand at fishing and many of them are specifically designed to give children a taste of fishing.
Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned enthusiast, our Forest Holidays locations are ideally placed for some quality fishing this summer.