Where to Fish in and Around Leeds?

Author profile image of Ben Fraser
Author: Ben Fraser
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Winterset Fisheries

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Fishing is a cherished pastime, and Leeds offers an abundance of fantastic spots for anglers to enjoy. These freshwater locations, ranging from idyllic lakes to scenic ponds, are perfect for a day of peaceful fishing.

We have found the best fishing spots in and around Leeds.

Public Fishing copy-link-to-section

Lots of folks prefer fishing over other physical activities. And lots of anglers revel in the peaceful indulgence and connection to nature that fishing offers.

Despite the number of private fisheries for anglers (more on this later) fishing for pleasure started in public waters. 

When it comes to fishing in public you need a rod licence and fishing permit. If you’ve got these you’re good to go! 

For now here’s the best places to go public fishing in Leeds:

Kippax Park copy-link-to-section

Address: Kippax Park, Brigshaw Ln, Kippax, Leeds, UK

The three lakes at Kippax Park are stocked with trout, roach and carp. A selection of fish that make it a great place for new anglers to go. Every year the lakes get a regular restock of infant carp. People are invited to fish for pleasure or take part in one of their scheduled matches.

Booking Information

Day tickets – consisting of three mixed lakes and one specimen lake – are available on site only and must be obtained before fishing. There is a concession for Leeds and District ASA members.

For day tickets get in contact with Kippax Park Fishery.


There is a layby next to Kippax Park that can accommodate up to 10-cars. All of the 3-lakes are less than a 100-metres walk away. 


Across the 3-lakes – Lapwing Lake, Osprey Lake, and Skylark Lake – has 75-pegs for anglers at any one time.


With no public toilet close by to Kippax Park, you’ll have to find a spot in nature to use the toilet.

More info on Kippax Park

Roundhay Park copy-link-to-section

Address: Roundhay Park, Mansion Lane, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 2HH, UK

Roundhay Park lake

Fishing is permitted around the western edge of Waterloo Lake – this area is the only spot where you don’t impede walkers on the path that circles the entire lake. You can’t fish by the Dam and Bywash.

Back in the 80s and 90s Roundhay Park was a premier fishing match venue that attracted anglers from all around West Yorkshire. As an un-stocked lake the fish numbers are still large for carp and pike. You can catch anything from small roach and perch up to large pike (20 lb+) and carp (20 lb+).

Booking Information

It’s free to fish here but you need to have an in date rod licence.


The end of Park Avenue by the Lakeside Cafe, postcode LS8 2JL can get busy but has over 50-spaces for cars. 

It’s a stones throw distance to the nearest hard standing pegs next to the café.


The pegs are few and far between here due to the public right of way. We recommend pitching up just on from the boat house on the west bank. As the public pathway veers away from the waters edge, you will find hard standing ground that’s only suitable for a few anglers at any time.


Public toilets can be found in the neighbouring Lakeside Café.

More info on Roundhay Park

Skelton Country Park copy-link-to-section

Address: Skelton Country Park, Leeds, LS9 0AS

Skelton Lake is a bit of a surprise inclusion of public places to fish in Leeds. There are no established pegs and the lake has little history of being stocked with fish, yet, there are regular visits by local anglers who fish the banks of the lake. 

If you’re looking for an adventure then we recommend checking the lake out. Let us know @discover__leeds what you catch.

Booking Information

There is no need to book a fishing spot at Skelton Country Park. Just turn up and find a quiet spot on the bank next to the water’s edge.


Park for free for up to 3-hours at Leeds Skelton Lake Services, postcode: LS15 0BF. It’s a short walk of over 200-metres to get to the lake. 


There are no fishing pegs at Skelton Country Park. It’s a wilder fishing experience that’s more about finding a spot around the lake – check our tips below of what makes for a good fishing spot.


Skelton Services has toilets and washrooms open 24-hours.

More info on Skelton Country Park

Yeadon Tarn copy-link-to-section

Address: Yeadon Tarn, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7UR, UK

Yeadon Tarnfield lake

It’s all about the carp fishing at Yeadon Tarn. Since 2019 the local Yeadon Tarn Angling Club has been making it a destination for day and night fishing. 

Close to Leeds Bradford airport, this 20-acre lake offers both day and night fishing with a chance to catch some of the 600-odd-carp, with some of the biggest coming out at 30 lb+.

Booking Information

You will need to contact the Specialised Pleasure Angling Club for day tickets and prices. Arrive any time after 7am with options to fish throughout the night on offer too.


Park for free for up to 2-hours at Tarnfield car park, postcode: LS19 7UR.


There are up to 2-pegs available to book at Yeadon Tarn.


Yeadon Tarn has accessible toilets that are located in the Activity Centre

More info on Yeadon Tarn.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park copy-link-to-section

Address: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield WF4 4TR, UK.

Lake at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Bretton Lake is officially un-stocked with fish. This means the fish in the lake are naturally flourishing. The lake has 2lb perch and roach, tench at 5lbs, bream up to 7lb and carp and pike over 20lbs.

Booking Information

Daytime fishing tickets at Bretton Lake are available from Wakefield Metropolitan Angling Club.


A ticket into the Yorkshire Sculpture Park includes parking north of Bretton Lake. It is then a half-mile walk to the lake to set up your fishing spot.


Bretton Lake has up to 50-fishing-pegs available around the edge of the lake.


There are toilets, including wheelchair access cubicles, a 10-minute walk north of Bretton Lake at the YSP Learning and Visitor Centre.

More info on Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Clayton Wood copy-link-to-section

Address: 61 Clayton Wood Rd, Leeds LS16 5EH, UK

Clayton Wood has 2-ponds that have been fished for decades past. These days the ponds are still a lively place to catch tench, roach, carp, perch and even eels.

The carp are the biggest fish in Clayton Wood with some recorded as coming in at 20 lb+. We recommend you use floating baits for these big fish.

Booking Information

Clayton Wood is free to fish as long as you have a current rod licence.


Park for free opposite the woods – over the A6120 – on Fillingfir Drive, LS16 5EH


There are no fishing pegs at Clayton Wood pond. It’s a case of finding the best spot on the bankside by the water. 


The nearest toilet is a 5-minute walk away at McDonalds.

More info on Clayton Wood

St Ives Estate copy-link-to-section

Address: St Ives Estate, Harden, Bingley BD16 1AT, UK

The Coppice Pond at St Ives has been a fishing destination since the 1960s. It’s a great place to fish for carp, with a few hefty 25-plus-pounders. Also in the pond are tench, roach, bream, chub and perch.

Booking Information

To fish here you have to become a yearly member via the Bingley Angling Club.


The main car park entrance is on Harden road, this is the biggest onsite. All parking on the estate is free.


There are accessible pegs around Coppice Pond. Priority must be given to wheelchair users for fishing from the disabled stands provided.


Toilets are located next to the playground and are open 7-days-a-week.

More info on St Ives Estate

Private Fishing copy-link-to-section

Swillington Park copy-link-to-section

Address: Coach Road, Swillington, Leeds, LS26 8QA

Nestled just outside Leeds, Swillington Park Fishing presents a serene blend of natural beauty and angling excitement. With five well-stocked lakes spread across peaceful organic farmland, it’s a destination that caters to all fishing enthusiasts.

The specimen lake, a transformed section of river, is a haven for big carp, boasting stocks up to hefty doubles, perfect for the experienced angler. Each lake offers unique features and stocks, making every visit a new adventure.

Booking Information

For day fishing, no prior booking is needed; simply pay at the fishery office upon arrival. However, anglers planning to fish overnight should call or email to book in advance. The fishery welcomes visitors for a tour; just stop by the office for a leaflet.


Parking is hassle-free, with ample spaces near the lakes and an overflow car park near the entrance. Designated areas ensure convenience for all, with priority spaces for disabled and over 65s (blue badge or ID required).


Boasting over 100 pegs across its lakes, Swillington Park ensures ample space for anglers. Whether you’re looking for a quiet corner in Oak Lake or a bustling spot in Chestnut, there’s a peg for every preference.

Toilets and Amenities

Modern comforts aren’t amiss here. On-site toilets cater to both ladies and gents, and a snack van serves hot drinks and food, adding to the day’s ease. Facilities like disabled access and regular bailiff presence, coupled with CCTV, ensure a secure and accessible fishing experience.

More info on Swillington Fishing

The Oxbow Lakes copy-link-to-section

Address: Ninevah Ln, Allerton Bywater, Castleford, WF10 2EW

Tucked away in Methley, West Yorkshire, Oxbow Lakes is a part of the esteemed Allerton Bywater Victoria Angling Club. This 4-acre carp lake, with its largest carp weighing over 20lbs, is a treasure for carp enthusiasts.

Booking Information

Access to Oxbow Lakes is exclusive to members of the Allerton Bywater Victoria Angling Club. Anglers keen on exploring these waters must secure an annual membership book. Due to the lake’s popularity, there is a waiting list for membership, underlining its status as a top private fishing spot in Leeds.


With 19 pegs available, Oxbow Lakes ensure a tranquil fishing experience. Despite its modest size, the lake’s complexity and the elusive nature of its carp make for challenging and rewarding fishing.

Toilets and Amenities

There are no toilets close by to Oxbow Lakes. At a minimum it’s going to be a mile walk into Castleford for a proper toilet.

More info on Oxbow Lake

Spring End Farm Fisheries copy-link-to-section

Address: Spring End Farm, Gildersome, Leeds LS27 7NG, United Kingdom

Spring End Farm Fishery, situated just outside Leeds, is an inviting and diverse angling venue with two ponds: a long-established lake and a newer, burgeoning one.

This venue is renowned for its dynamic fishing experiences in both its lakes. The older, smaller lake brims with a multitude of fish, while the larger lake offers equally abundant and varied fishing opportunities.

Booking Information

Spring End Farm Fishery operates on a day ticket basis, making it accessible to anyone interested in fishing.


Convenient parking alongside the bottom pond allows for easy access and a comforting view of your vehicle while you fish.

More info on Spring End Farm Fisheries

Wintersett Fisheries copy-link-to-section

Address: Haw Park Lane Wintersett Wakefield Yorkshire WF4 2EB

Winterset Fisheries

Wintersett Fisheries offers a diverse complex of three unique water bodies, each providing a distinct angling experience. This serene spot is surrounded by a mix of deciduous woodland and active farmland, creating a perfect backdrop for a day of fishing.

Wintersett Reservoir is the largest of the three lakes, covering 105 acres. As an exclusive venue for Silver members, it boasts a large, well-established lake with a good head of quality carp, some weighing up to 35lb. About 50 available fishing swims offer plenty of space for anglers to spread out. The ongoing improvements, including access tracks and a well-planned stocking program, enhance the fishing experience here.

Cold Hiendley, the 28-acre lower reservoir, presents a natural setting ideal for specimen carp fishing. Despite being currently unmanaged and somewhat overgrown, there are plans to develop it into a leading day ticket carp water in the UK. It already houses an impressive stock of fish up to 27lb, and with a comprehensive five-year stocking and feeding program, the potential for growth and development is significant.

Botany Bay is a more intimate 3-acre pool, encircled by primary woodland. It’s an excellent choice for families, beginners, or those looking for a shorter fishing session. The variety of fish species makes it a versatile fishing spot, and upcoming improvements promise to make it even more accessible and enjoyable.

Booking Information

Day tickets for Cold Hiendley and Botany Bay are available through an online booking system on their website, while Wintersett is exclusive to Silver members.

To check lake availability and make a next booking for Wintersett Fisheries visit the @gocatchfish App or website at www.gocatch.fish

More info on Wintersett Fisheries

Birkwood Fisheries copy-link-to-section

Address: Birkwood Road, Altofts, Normanton. WF6 2JE.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries, established in 1996, has evolved from a single lake to an impressive complex featuring five lakes and canal fishing. Renowned for being among the best carp fishing spots near Leeds, this family-run business is dedicated to offering a safe, clean, tidy, and welcoming experience for all anglers.

Ideally situated in the rural urban fringe, Birkwood is not only close to Leeds and Wakefield but also conveniently accessible from Huddersfield, Mirfield, York, Doncaster, Sheffield, and other parts of Yorkshire.

The complex consists of five lakes: Main Lake, Frog Hall Lake, Molly’s Lake, Oscar’s Lake, and Emily’s Lake. With over 100 fishing stations, it caters to a broad range of fishing interests. The Main Lake and Frog Hall are particularly notable for their large carp, with recorded catches around 28lbs. Emily’s, Oscar’s, and Molly’s Lakes, while known for their 20lbs Carp, also boast a rich supply of Rudd, Bream, and Chub.

Booking Information

Birkwood operates on a day-fishing basis. Upon arrival, anglers can choose a fishing station, set up, and begin fishing. Staff will collect payments lakeside, and anglers are free to move between lakes, transferring their ticket to the new peg as needed.


Well-spaced fishing platforms and the convenience of parking behind pegs for most of the year.


Ample hard car parking is available near each lake, as well as parking behind most pegs.The site is equipped with accessible toilets.

More info on Birkwood Fisheries

What Makes a Good Fishing Spot? copy-link-to-section

Discovering the perfect fishing spot is an art that combines knowledge of the local ecosystem with a keen understanding of fish behaviour.

Fish Species and Population Density copy-link-to-section

In Leeds, understanding the variety of fish species and their population density in specific spots is crucial. Different species have unique preferences, influencing their habitat.

Tailoring your approach based on the prevalent species in Leeds’ waters, like carp in Roundhay Park Lake or trout in the River Aire, can significantly enhance your fishing experience.

Type of Water Body copy-link-to-section

The choice between fishing in a lake or a river can greatly influence your experience. In Leeds, adapting your fishing technique to the water type is essential. For instance, fishing in the River Wharfe requires different tactics compared to angling in Eccup Reservoir.

Seasonality copy-link-to-section

Fish behaviour in Leeds changes with the seasons. In summer, fish may be found in shallower areas, while in winter, they tend to move to deeper waters. Understanding these patterns in Leeds’ climate is key to successful fishing.

Topography and Satellite Imagery copy-link-to-section

Using tools like Google Earth to study the topography of Leeds’ fishing spots helps in identifying potential hotspots. Shallow areas might be more productive in warmer months, while deeper sections can be better in colder seasons.

Vegetation and Cover copy-link-to-section

Aquatic plants in Leeds’ waters provide essential shelter and food for fish, making vegetation-rich areas often hotspots for fishing. Inspecting the banks for signs of fish activity, like overhanging trees or submerged logs, can also be a successful strategy.

Bank Topography copy-link-to-section

In Leeds, steep banks often indicate deeper waters close to the edge, which can be advantageous in summer and winter. Conversely, gently sloping banks might suggest shallower areas that could be productive in other seasons. Each fishing spot in Leeds offers unique features that can influence fish behaviour.

By considering these factors, anglers in Leeds can enhance their fishing experience. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or a beginner, understanding what makes a good fishing spot is the key to a successful outing.

What documents do I need to fish in Leeds? copy-link-to-section

Fishing in Leeds, as in the rest of England and Wales, requires adherence to certain regulations to ensure both the sustainability of fish populations and the respect of private property rights. 

The most fundamental requirement for anglers is to obtain a rod fishing licence, as mandated by the UK government. This licence is essential for anyone fishing for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt, or eel with a rod and line. Not only does this licence contribute to the conservation efforts, but it also legally recognizes your fishing activities.

Without a license you could face a hefty fine of up to £2,500, especially if you’re unable to present a valid licence upon request. This rule underscores the importance of being prepared and informed before setting out for a day of fishing.

Do I need a fishing permit to fish? copy-link-to-section

In addition to the rod licence, there’s another crucial aspect to consider when fishing in Leeds – the fishing permit. A permit gives you permission to fish the actual stretch of water, depending on who manages that stretch. It’s important to note that many of the waterways in Leeds are on private land, and fishing without the landowner’s consent could result in being liable for trespassing. 

Acquiring a permit not only ensures legal compliance but also helps maintain good relationships with landowners and supports local fishery management. Together, the rod fishing licence and the fishing permit are the key documents every angler should have before immersing themselves in the tranquil and rewarding experience of fishing in the waters of Leeds.

Check whether you need to buy a permit from:

Where can I buy a rod-licence? copy-link-to-section

The quickest and easiest way to buy a rod-licence is directly from the UK GOV.

Author profile image of Ben Fraser
Ben Fraser

Ben is a big fan of the outdoors, whether it’s running through Leeds’ many parks or exploring them with his son. Working as a Development Officer for children and young people, he’s all about encouraging more movement and better well-being. He’s keen on discovering how the city’s green spaces can promote more play and activity for everyone. And he’s always on the lookout for the next best place for food and drink in Leeds!


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