Ardleigh Fishing Rules


1. A valid Environment Agency licence must be obtained before fishing.
2. Permits are only available from the fishing lodge where there is a self service facility.
3. Permits must be produced on demand to the warden or other officers appointed by the Ardleigh Reservoir Committee or any other permit holder.

Fishing areas

4. Fishing is only permitted in specific areas that have not been pre booked.
5. Anglers are not permitted to reserve swims in advance unless booking a match.
6. No fishing is permitted from any dam wall.
7. Anglers may only fish in the same swim for a maximum of 14 days and must not return to the same swim or within 50 metres of it for at least 48 hours.
8. No angler should fish more than half way across the reservoir in the area marked on the map on this page.


9. Anglers must comply with instructions issued by authorised wardens.
10. Any angler who uses foul or abusive language or threatening behaviour towards anyone else will be required to vacate the site immediately and have their permit cancelled.
11. Anglers must remove all litter or put it in an appropriate litter bin.
12. No open fires are permitted and no noisy music may be played.
13. No dogs are allowed on the site.
14. If anglers use a sack to hold fish, it must have a marker float attached.
15. Any angler breaking these rules or causing a nuisance will be required to leave.

Angling methods

16. Night fishing is permitted to season permit holders only but juniors must be accompanied by an adult.
17. A maximum of 3 rods are permitted but must not occupy more than 3 metres of bank. Anglers must be in possession of 2 EA licences to be able to use 3 rods.
18. Rods must not be left unattended at any time.
19. Moderate ground baiting is permitted only while fishing.
20. Live fish, particle baits (excluding sweetcorn and hemp) and general livestock feeds are prohibited. Dead baits must be sea and not freshwater fish.


21. Anglers should report any incident involving wildlife on the reservoir e.g. a swan getting entangled with a fishing line. 22. No fish may be taken away or brought to the reservoir, except as used as bait.
23. Fish must not be retained in keep nets for more than 6 hours.
24. An unhooking mat must be used for all large fish.
25. Wire traces and line with a minimum breaking strain of 12 lb is compulsory when Pike fishing and the use of a gaff is prohibited.
26. Carp anglers should have a medicarp kit to treat any injured fish.

Ardleigh Reservoir was opened in 1971 and beside its primary water supply it also supports two major sports being fishing and sailing. Found in the picturesque Constable country of Essex just north of Colchester in East Anglia; Ardleigh reservoir is ideal for the sport of fishing as it holds carp to more than 40lbs, pike to more than 25lbs and large shoals of bream, many more than 10lbs each as well as a good stock of Roach, Rudd, Perch, Tench and some eels as well.