The fishing possibilities are almost boundless
With an abundance of day ticket commercial coarse fisheries, coarse fish rivers, canals and reservoirs as well as one of the longest coastlines in England, the opportunities for fishing in Essex are almost boundless.
There’s mile upon mile of river fishing in Essex
The rivers run mainly through low lying land in open countryside with the Lea, Stort, Cam and Roding in the west; the Chelmer, Mardyke, Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Brain in the centre; and the Colne and Stour in the east. There’s even fishing in the centre of Chelmsford – the only city in Essex – in some of the rivers that flow through the parks, as well as other areas that Chelmsford City Council owns around the city centre.
Coarse fish species
The River Chelmer holds many species including chub, carp, bream, perch, pike, roach, rudd, dace, brown and rainbow trout with much of the river free to fish although a few sections are controlled by angling clubs. Check with local tackle shops to find out where you can fish and which are the best spots. The River Lea on the Essex/Hertfordshire border is also an excellent river but not always easy.
Commercial coarse fisheries in Essex
When it comes to commercial coarse fisheries the list is almost endless with venues ranging from the nationally known such as A12 Cuton Lakes, Crowsheath Fishery, Par Fishery, and Priors Fishery which hold big carp and catfish to lesser known but equally delightful smaller venues which offer general coarse and match angling. There are also a great number of stunningly pretty lakes which are available on day ticket.
Something for the trout angler
For the fly angler there are a handful of stillwater trout fisheries including Dairymeade Fisheries, Chigboro Fisheries, the Thornwood Trout Fishery, Norton Fishery and Hanningfield Reservoir trout fishery.
Angling clubs in Essex
Angling clubs in Essex include the Chelmsford AA which offers 14 lakes and miles of river fishing; the Billericay and District AC which controls stretches of the rivers Lea, Pant, Roding, Rother, Stour and Wid; and the Maldon Angling Society, members of which can fish various stretches of the Blackwater whilst stretches of the Chelmer and Blackwater Canal ,which it shares with the Chelmsford AA and the Kelvedon District AA, are available on day ticket.
Established in 1948, The Kelvedon District AA offers members pleasure, specimen and match fishing with 11 stillwaters that are open all year round as well as fishing on stretches of the Blackwater. Night fishing is allowed on six of the still waters. The Colnes AS began by renting stretches of the River Colne and has acquired fishing rights to a number of still waters including the popular Pebmarsh Lake as well as additional stretches of river.
More angling clubs
Other clubs include the South East Essex Freshwater Angling Society, the Willowmere and Chasewater Lakes Angling Club, the Colchester Angling Preservation Society which has 15 stillwaters more than 12 miles of the Chelmer and Blackwater Canal and access to a one mile section of the River Stour at Henny.
Opportunities for sea angling in Essex
There are also plenty of opportunities for sea fishing in the river estuaries and off the coast with Hutley’s beach at St Osyth’s, the piers at Clacton, Frinton, Walton and Dovercourt all producing particularly in winter. There are very good marks all around the coast and estuaries in the Colchester area from Maldon right up to Harwich. The bass will run up as far as Wivenhoe in the summer and at times may even get almost into Colchester. Charter boats also offer fishing trips from West Mersea, Colchester and the Thames Estuary.
Plenty of fishing tackle shops
As one would imagine, with such a variety of angling available in Essex the county is well endowed with tackle shops with most of the major centres including Romford, Basildon and Chelmsford having outlets selling a wide range of coarse, game and sea tackle. Many of the commercial coarse fisheries also have on-site tackle shops where tackle and bait best suited for use on their waters can be obtained.