Famous for the invention of tractors and afternoon tea, Bedfordshire is also home to Britain’s longest town. For us carp anglers, there are some excellent day ticket lakes to be found in this beautiful county.
While Bedfordshire is certainly not renowned for an abundance of enormous carp, there are still plenty of lakes nestled in the sprawling countryside that are home to 30lb+ specimens.
In alphabetical order, let’s take a look at some of the finest day ticket lakes that Bedfordshire has to offer.
Henlow Bridge Lakes (Bedford)
Henlow Bridge Lakes is located in Henlow, around 10 miles from Bedford.
With 4 lakes and a 1km long stretch of river, this complex offers opportunities to anglers of all abilities.
The river and 3 of the lakes are primarily aimed at pleasure anglers, though Vincent’s Lake does throw up the odd surprise carp in the mid/upper double-figure bracket, so shouldn’t be ignored if you are simply looking to put a bend in the rod.
Jordan’s Lake is the main carp lake on the complex and extends to just under 5 acres in size. It has 26 evenly spaced pegs (5 of which are doubles) and boasts 2 central islands. Although other fish are also present in this lake, carp are the predominant species, with the average size being low double-figures. Larger specimens do exist, with a good head of 20lb+ fish, up to a lake record that was just shy of 30lb.
As this is primarily a campsite, all the expected facilities are available to overnight anglers. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is in use 24/7, providing additional security to this excellent Bedfordshire complex.
Day tickets are priced at £13, while 24 hour tickets will set you back £25. For anglers wishing to stay for a bit longer, 36 hour tickets can be purchased for £35.
Henlow Bridge Lakes At A Glance:
Name: Henlow Bridge Lakes
Location: Bedford, SG16 6DD
Biggest Carp: 29lb+
Lake Size: 5 acres
Price: From £13
Call: 01462 812 645
Lakeside Fishery (Leighton Buzzard)
Lakeside Fishery is located in Cublington, approximately 6 miles from Leighton Buzzard.
The complex consists of 2 lakes, both of which are stocked with mixed coarse fish.
Although there isn’t a dedicated specimen lake here, it is Top Lake where you will encounter the larger carp. It boasts an island and reed-lined margins among its main features, with the shallow areas and deep holes known to be productive (once you have located them!) The bigger fish tend to be particularly hard fighting, with the grass carp known for giving a tremendous battle.
You certainly won’t find the largest carp in Bedfordshire residing here, but what you will find is a healthy stock with an average weight of low double-figures. There are a number of fish in the upper double-figure bracket, with a handful that have crossed the 20lb barrier. The lake record is just over 25lb.
There is a lakeside lodge where anglers can gather for a chat and help themselves to the complimentary tea and coffee. There is also the use of a microwave for warming up food and drinks, and full toilet facilities are available.
Night fishing is not allowed at this peaceful fishery, but day tickets are valid from sunrise to sunset and are priced at £10 for anglers who wish to use 2 rods.
Lakeside Fishery At A Glance:
Name: Lakeside Fishery
Location: Leighton Buzzard, LU7 0LF
Biggest Carp: 25lb+
Lake Size: 2 acres
Price: From £10
Call: 01296 682 201
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Manor Farm Lakes (Bedford)
Manor Farm Lakes is located near Biggleswade, around 10 miles from Bedford.
Set within 100 acres of beautiful Bedfordshire countryside, this complex boasts a stretch of river and 7 lakes (5 of which have good carp stocks), ensuring that there is something for all anglers.
Becks Lake is a mixed coarse fishery that covers around 4 acres of water. It boasts an island, reed beds and multiple shallow/deep spots among its main features. The lake is heavily stocked with carp, so most methods and areas will produce results. Carp are present from single figures, all the way up to 25lb+, so plenty of action can be almost guaranteed.
Damsel Lake is a 5 acre water that offers good coarse fishing, whilst doubling as a runs water for carp. There are 39 pegs around the lake, with all areas capable of producing big hits of fish. The carp are mainly in the high single-figures/low double-figures, though many larger fish do exist, with a lake record of over 25lb.
Booney’s Lake is the largest at Manor Farm Lakes, extending to around 16 acres in size. Formerly a nature reserve, this is a very mature lake that has an abundance of natural food, in addition to a host of beautiful features. Around 200 carp were stocked into this lake when the current owners acquired it, and they complement the dark, scaly originals nicely, with many fish now in the upper 20lb bracket. The lake record is currently just shy of 35lb, though there is every chance that even larger specimens exist.
Carp Lake is about 4 acres in size and has 28 well-spaced pegs, though only 16 tickets are available for night fishing. Feature-wise, it has a single island, several gravel bars, reed-lined margins and a thin layer of silkweed on the lakebed. The majority of the 300 carp are in excess of 15lb, though some smaller ones do exist. Approximately 70 are over 20lb in weight, with 5 exceeding the 30lb barrier at the right time of year.
Winters Lake is arguably the hardest of all the lakes on the Manor Farm complex, possibly because the fish are older, bigger and wiser. There are 12 pegs spaced across roughly 5 acres of water, with lake depths varying from 4ft in the shallows, to as much as 12ft in the deepest areas. There are around 100 carp in the lake, many of which are in excess of 20lb in weight. The lake is home to several commons and original mirrors which have been captured at up to 35lb.
The complex has an on-site shop called The Tackle Barn where tickets can be purchased, along with a selection of accessories and bait. Many of the local takeaways will deliver to the entrance gate.
Day tickets at this wonderful Bedfordshire fishery are priced at £15. Night fishing must be booked in advance, with all sessions starting and ending at 4pm. 24 hour tickets are priced at £30.
Manor Farm Lakes At A Glance:
Name: Manor Farm Lakes
Location: Bedford, SG18 9BB
Biggest Carp: 35lb+
Lake Size: Various
Price: From £15
Call: 01767 601 138
Park Farm Fisheries (Dunstable)
Park Farm Fisheries is located in Eaton Green, approximately 5 miles from Dunstable.
There are 3 lakes on this beautiful Bedfordshire complex, 2 of which are aimed at pleasure anglers. The carp lake is the one that we will look at a little more closely.
At roughly 1.5 acres in size and with only 7 pegs, this is quite an intimate venue. It is very well stocked with carp and is considered by many to be a runs water.
The average size carp is low/mid double-figures, though many upper double-figure fish are also present. Multiple catches of specimens in excess of 20lb are commonplace and the lake record is in excess of 30lb. It is also worth noting that the lake does have a population of crayfish, so following these tips can help to minimise their impact.
There are parking and toilet facilities on-site. A shop is also available where you can purchase bait and other essentials.
Night fishing is only possible for members, but day sessions are available when booked in advance. A dawn to dusk ticket is priced at £20.
Park Farm Fisheries At A Glance:
Name: Park Farm Fisheries
Location: Dunstable, LU6 2BQ
Biggest Carp: 30lb+
Lake Size: 1.5 acres
Price: From £20
Call: 01525 229 140
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Three Island Lake Fishery (Leighton Buzzard)
Three Island Lake Fishery is located in Stewkley, around 7 miles from Leighton Buzzard.
As the name suggests, this 2.5 acre lake has 3 islands. There are 36 pegs, so even though the islands divide the fishable water to a certain extent, it can become crowded during busy periods.
This is a mixed coarse fishery rather than a specimen venue, though it does have a good head of carp. Very little weed is present, so baits fished on the bottom are usually presented quite cleanly. The depth varies between 3ft-7ft.
The average size carp is around the double-figure mark, but there are many fish in the upper double-figure bracket, along with a handful that have crossed the 20lb barrier.
Night fishing is not allowed at this lovely Bedfordshire fishery, but day tickets allow the use of 2 rods and cost £12.
Three Island Lake Fishery At A Glance:
Name: Three Island Lake Fishery
Location: Leighton Buzzard, LU7 0LU
Biggest Carp: 20lb+
Lake Size: 2.5 acres
Price: From £12
Call: 01525 240 451
Toddington Fishery (Dunstable)
Toddington Fishery is located in Toddington, approximately 7 miles from Dunstable.
There is a beginners pond and 3 spring-fed coarse lakes on this complex.
All of the lakes are relatively small, with Bottom Lake being the biggest at just over an acre in size. It also happens to be the deepest lake and home to the largest fish.
There is a good head of carp in this lake and the average size is around mid double-figures, with the lake record being captured at in excess of 30lb. If you fancy testing yourself a bit more, this lake offers one of only a few opportunities in Bedfordshire to land a catfish, with specimens up to a top weight of 60lb.
Parking and toilet facilities are available on-site, and many of the local takeaways will deliver to the main gate.
Day tickets are priced at £12 for anglers wishing to use 2 rods. Night fishing must be booked in advance and costs £30 for 24 hours.
Toddington Fishery At A Glance:
Name: Toddington Fishery
Location: Dunstable, LU5 6HH
Biggest Carp: 30lb+
Lake Size: Various
Price: From £12
Call: 07896 788 957
While there may not be any record-breaking carp in Bedfordshire, there are still plenty of opportunities to catch some specimens on a day ticket basis.
Whether you are looking for a small, intimate fishery, or a larger, more popular complex, this wonderful county has something for most carp anglers.
Have you ever tried your luck at any of the lakes listed? If so, please let me know how you got on in the comments.