Fishing at Sywell Country Park

Sywell Country Park reservoir - Blue-green algae

The water has been clear recently but please exercise caution as the blue-green algae can reappear without warning.

The fishing at Sywell is on a 67-acre (28-hectare) lake built in Edwardian times and opened in 1906 as a water supply reservoir for Rushden and Higham Ferrers.

Although no longer supplying drinking water, Sywell is now recognised as one of the leading tench fisheries in the country. Tench to over 12lb have been caught, although the average is around the 7lb mark.

The fishery also contains pike to over 30lb, roach to over 2lbs and a large number of perch and rudd.

Getting a ticket

Fishing is available on day tickets, concession,12 month season tickets and winter pike permits.

Tickets must be purchased before you start fishing. Day tickets are available (cash payment only) at any time on a self-serve basis from the Rangers Office near the lower main entrance.

The lower car park is open 24 hours a day or fishermen can park in the upper car park and walk down to the ranger's office at any time.

Purchase and display a valid ticket for the duration of your stay, car parking charges apply at all times.

For season tickets and pike permits, contact the Rangers' office by emailing [email protected] or calling 0300 126 5935.

​Ticket type ​Period Price
Day ticketDawn to dusk£5
Half day ticketHalf day£4
​Concession ticket for Blue Badge holders and senior citizensDawn to dusk​£3
Age 12 to 16Dawn to dusk£4
Under 12 years oldDawn to duskFree
Season ticket36 hour maximum stay, longer by arrangement£100
​Concession season ticket for Blue Badge and senior citizens36 hour maximum stay, longer by arrangement£50
Winter Pike Permit1 October to 31 March£50
​Concession Winter ticket1 October to 31 March​£25

Members of the Tenchfishers group are entitled to a 10% discount on season tickets (on production of a valid green membership card).

Tackle and techniques

There are good fishing spots all around the reservoir including the ever popular dam wall. Both surfaced and mown paths provide easy access to swims.

Weed growth can be prolific later in the season so early season is best for lighter line fishing. Waggler and feeder fishing are both successful methods for the tench. Static, drifting and wobbled dead baits and lures can all take their share of the specimen pike.

  • ​All fish must be returned alive
  • All anglers must have a valid rod licence
  • All anglers must be in possession of a valid ticket before commencing fishing (available from the ranger's office)
  • Under 12s must be accompanied by an adult
  • Bait boats are not allowed
  • Tents are not allowed
  • Anglers are responsible for clearing all litter in their swim
  • Barbless hooks only (max size 8 for tench fishing)
  • Unhooking mats are to be used by all anglers
  • Anti-tether leads and feeders only (e.g. sliding or break-away)
  • Lead weights must be a maximum of 1oz
  • No landing nets smaller than 30 inches
  • Keepnets for silverfish only. No tench or pike in keepnets
  • 2 rods max for tench fishing
  • Pike fishing all year - 2 rods max
  • Bite alarm volume must be kept to a minimum
  • Live baits are not allowed
  • All Pink rigs must have a wire trace

Check your rod licence carefully for Environment Agency rules.

General rules and by-laws for the park can be found on the noticeboard.

The council:

  • maintains the right to ban any fishing method or bait it deems to be causing harm to fish or wildlife
  • reserves the right to use any area of the lakes for its own purposes (such as pond dipping or conservation tasks) and to reserve the areas of bank
  • maintains the right to suspend all fishing and access to the park or certain areas of the park in extreme circumstances such as a risk to public safety

Further information

For further information, please call the Rangers office on 0300 126 5935 or email [email protected].

Last updated 15 March 2024