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You are here:home > Leisure > Parks and Green Spaces > Fishing in Southampton

Fishing in Southampton

Fishing on the lake at Southampton CommonFishing is a FREE activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. We encourage responsible anglers and there are several bodies of water in the city where you can fish for free providing you have the appropriate rod licence.

All persons over the age of 12 must have a rod licence issued by the Environment Agency which can be purchased from any Post Office, by phone on 0844 800 5386 or online. There is an Environment Agency notice about licences pinned on the information boards. Report problems with fish/fishing/ponds/rivers to the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.

Under 12s do not require a licence however if the Bailiff catches a parent holding the rod, the parent may be liable to receive a fine.

Please note: If you fish with three or four rods (four is the maximum allowed) then you will need to purchase a second licence.

The statutory Environment Agency coarse fishing closed season runs from 15 March to 15 June inclusive and only applies to the Ornamental Lake (because it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest) and the River Itchen above Woodmill. We ask fisherman to observe the closed season on all other city waters.

Fishing for Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout is covered by different closed seasons. The city council owns the right to this and can issue permits to allow game fishing (although currently choose not to). All Salmon/Sea Trout fishing enquiries to Woodmill Activity Centre - phone 023 8091 5746. Note: a different Environment Agency licence is also required.

Fresh Water Fishing in Southampton

1. Millers Pond (SU 451109)

Access off the bottom of Spring Road, just before the railway bridge. There is a map detailing the fishing area near the entrance, the two island fishing points are only accessible down a narrow gravel track and several of the other swims are accessed via steps down the bank but the two nearest swims are more or less flat. Main fish are Tench and Rudd with a few Carp.

2. Cromarty Pond (SU 383162)

Access from Cromarty Road which is north of the main Lordshill roundabout on the way to Rownhams. There are several wooden platforms that mark the swims and a concrete hard standing for wheelchairs. Access to these is along approximately 25 metres of gravel path from the side of the road. Main fish are Tench and Rudd.

3. Mansbridge Reservoir (SU 448158)

Access from the car park to the side of the cottages on the bend of the A27 between Swaythling and Mansbridge, near Stoneham Cemetery entrance. There are approximately; ten swims accessible from the gravel path that runs from the car park and borders the lake. Main fish are Carp and Tench with Bream and Pike also reported.

4. Shirley Pond (SU 396143)

Access from Warren Avenue which is off Winchester Road. There are several wooden platforms marking the swims but most of these are down the bank and are reached via several steps. The bank is less steep at the far (Romsey Road) end and this is more suitable for disabled access via the gravel paths either side of the lake – approximately 150 metres. Main fish are Carp and Rudd with some Tench.

5. Ornamental Lake, Southampton Common

Nearest access is from Hill Lane opposite Bellemoor Road where the lake is approximately 300 metres up the tarmac path to the left. There is a tarmac hard standing suitable for wheelchairs and fishing is available along most of the south bank that is made up of a three metre wide gravel path. Access is also available from many other points particularly Cemetery Road. Note: this lake is very busy during school holidays. Main fish are Carp and small Rudd.

6. Riverside Park

Fishing is available along the bank of River Itchen at Riverside Park between Woodmill and Mansbridge. Fish that may be expected here are Dace, Roach, Chub, Gudgeon and Perch – this excludes Salmon and Migratory Trout.

Sea Water Fishing in Southampton

Fishing in tidal water (between Woodmill and Cobden Bridge) - no licence is required if fishing for sea fish but you do if you are fishing for migratory/coarse fish.

Other places for sea fishing:

Cobden Bridge
Northam Bridge
Vespasian Road, Bitterne Manor
Weston Shore
Small foreshore at Woolston

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Contact information

  • 0800 519 1919
  • Parks and Street Cleansing (RL) Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY