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Milton Pools

Productive six lake fishery at Great Milton near Oxford with specimen carp to 43lbs and catfish over 63lbs plus good sized roach, perch, tench and pike. On-site tackle shop.

Key facts about Milton Pools Fishery

Attractive and productive fishery
Six lakes two of which are for private matches only
On-site well stocked tackle shop
Specimen carp and catfish to over 40lbs
Good sized roach, perch, tench and pike
On-site toilets and hand basin
Small Swedish-style bankside chalets
Night fishing available
Day ticket fishing from 7.30am until 6.30pm
Well spaced pegs

Established over 70 years ago, Milton Pools is one of those lesser known jewels of the angling world. Set in a delightful location next to the M40 motorway near Oxford, there are six waters which offer everything from tranquil pleasure fishing for roach to 3lbs and perch to 4lbs to specimen hunting for double figure tench, pike to 30lbs, carp to 43lbs and catfish to 63lbs.

On-site facilities

As well as round-the-clock angling, the fishery also offers a well stocked and competitively priced on-site tackle shop which sells a large range of equipment, accessories and baits including maggots and worms. Next to the floodlit car park with closed circuit television there are toilets with hand basin. Since owners Ray and Val Green took over the fishery in 2002 a great deal of effort has been put into improving the venue.

In everything that has been done, the emphasis has been placed on developing a quality fishery where anglers can feel at home catching healthy fish. This has ensured the pegs are well spaced so there is plenty of room and, as a result, the waters are not over fished.

Accessibility to anglers

Most of the pegs are suitable for disabled anglers with car access to many of the pegs, whilst plenty of space is ensured for pleasure anglers as all summer matches are now held on Campbells Match Lake to ensure the other waters are always available for pleasure and specimen anglers. Future plans for further development of the fishery will be aimed at improving facilities for anglers whilst at the same time maintaining the rural character of the pools and the health of the fish.

Chalets for rent

Swedish-style chalets are available for rental on the Specimen Lake. The chalets are for sleeping purposes only and have no services but are thermally insulated to allow anglers to fish in comfort all year round. Although night fishing is allowed, anglers are advised to telephone in advance – especially if they want to fish the Specimen Lake. Visitors should note that juniors may only fish if accompanied by an experienced adult angler aged over 21.

Arrival at Milton Pools

All anglers should report to the shop, which is open during normal arrival times, or when this is not manned they should report their arrival using the intercom which is located on the right hand side of the shop door before proceeding onto the fishery. Arrival times are strictly between 7.30am to 11.00am from Monday to Friday and between 7.30am and mid-day on Saturdays and Sundays.

For the safety of anglers and their vehicles, the entrance and the car park is protected by security cameras and the electronically controlled gates are locked between 6.30pm and 7.30am. This means that the fishery is open to day ticket anglers from 7.30am until 6.30pm.

For those looking to take up angling or to brush up on their technique, Milton Pools is able to put anglers in touch with Steve Dutton who can provide fishing tuition. Please enquire for further details.

Specimen Lake

Fishing at Milton Pools Specimen lake is home to huge carp up to 43lbs and catfish to 63lbs

The largest of the Milton Pools waters at just over three aces in size, Specimen Lake holds 18 pegs.

Features of Specimen Lake

Incorporating plenty of features including two islands, the lake has been planted with a central bed of lilies. As on the other lakes, the pegs are numbered so anglers wishing to fish for 24 hours or longer can book in advance and stipulate which pegs they want to fish. Specimen Lake fish range from carp to 43lbs, pike to 30lbs, catfish to 63lbs, roach, perch and some beautiful double figure tench.

If you are going for the roach, tench or perch, float fishing usually proves best with maggots, worm, luncheon meat and sweetcorn being the most favoured baits. Those fishing for the big carp tend to use boilies.

Plenty of 20-30bs and bigger fish.

Ray has ensured in the stocking of the Specimen Lake that large carp have been introduced. As a result the water now has a good number of 20lbs to 30lbs fish, several mid-30s and some going to over 40lbs. But large carp aren’t the only attraction of Specimen Lake, which also holds large fish of other species.

With roach to more than 2lbs 8oz, perch to 4lbs-plus and tench which run into double figures there’s plenty to go for, although most non-carpers give the water a miss because they are unaware of its potential for species other than carp. If you are after big fish, it’s worth asking in the shop what is working best at the time of your visit.

Catfish and Pike in Specimen Lake

The introduction of catfish not only enticed the carp to feed on a more regular basis but also gave anglers something new to fish for. Milton Pools also has an outstanding number of pike with a good number of fish to 30lbs that have been introduced into Specimen Lake, making it ideal for fishing during the venue’s pike fishing season which runs from October to the end of March.

House Lake

Fishing at Milton Pools House lake serves as Milton Pools' general course fishing water.

Stocked with carp to 26lbs, green and golden tench to 6lbs, bream to 11lbs, crucian carp, ghost carp, carp/koi, roach, large perch, golden orfe and golden rudd, House Lake is Milton Pool’s general coarse fish water and is a good starting point for newcomers to the fishery. Covering about one-and-a-half acres, it offers 11 well-spaced pegs, any of which offer an equal chance of a good day’s fishing.

Fishing on House lake

Unlike the Kidney Lake, there is no shelf around the fringes with the banks dropping straight down to the maximum depth of between four-and-a-half to five feet. Pole, waggler and traditional and modern carp fishing techniques all work well on House Lake with best baits tending to be boilies for the carp, maggots for the smaller carp, roach and tench, and sweetcorn and luncheon meat for the perch and bigger tench.

Len's Match Lake

Fishing at Milton Pools Len's Match is the shallowest of the waters at Milton Pools.

The shallowest of the Milton Pools waters at only four feet deep, Len’s Match Lake is a good water for both novice and experienced general coarse anglers and is a good water for both pole and waggler anglers. Stock includes carp to 18lbs and bream to 7lbs as well as crucian carp, golden and green tench, chub, roach, perch, koi, rudd, golden rudd and goldfish.

Places to fish on Len’s Match Lake

Covering about an acre-and-a-quarter with 15 pegs, the water is interesting in that there are two smaller basins connected to the main pool, the larger of which goes to six feet in depth making it popular with anglers wanting to fish slightly deeper water. These pools are often worth investigating as some of the bigger fish make their way into them and most of the time no one else is fishing them.

Technique on Len’s Match Lake

Anglers setting out for the tench tend to float fish sweetcorn, luncheon meat, worms or maggots. As one would expect, it pays to watch the water for bubbles to pinpoint where the fish are feeding and then keep them there by loose-feeding pellets or samples of hook bait.

All techniques work well whilst a bed of lilies down the centre of the lake not only adds to the appeal of the water but prevents anglers from casting from one bank into the swim of anglers fishing on the opposite side of the water.

Kidney Lake

Fishing at Milton Pools Kidney Lake is half an acre with plenty of features making fish easy to catch.

The smallest of the seven Milton Pools waters, Kidney Lake is half an acre in size with a total of 10 pegs and holds a nice mix of carp to around 12lbs, bream up to 2lbs 8oz, crucian carp, rudd, green and golden tench, roach, perch, chub, golden orfe, goldfish and black goldfish.

Great for younger or inexperienced anglers

A pretty little water with plenty of features, it is ideal for pleasure fishing, particularly for younger or inexperienced anglers because it is easy to catch. Averaging four-and-a-half to five feet deep, the pool has a shelf which runs about a rod length out and about two-foot-six inches deep, making it ideal for fishing close in either with the pole.

Being a general coarse lake, most regular baits work well particularly maggots, sweetcorn and worm float fished just off the bottom. Anglers should note that, because of its size, Kidney Lake is a float-only water and ledgering is not allowed.

Campbell's Match Lake

Fishing at Milton Pools Campbell's Match Lake features carp up to 12lbs and many other species of fish

Fully established in 2007, Campbell’s Match Lake has now matured and as anglers can see from the fishery’s match results this is now fishing extremely well.

Fishing on Campbell’s Match Lake

With 15 pegs, many of which are decked, Campbell’s is available for club and private matches by prior arrangement only. The water holds carp to 11lbs, ghost carp to 8lbs, bream up to 4lbs, golden rudd, green tench, koi, roach, chub, goldfish, black goldfish and crucian carp.

Records on the lake

Easy to fish with a uniform bottom, Campbells is constantly throwing up improving match catches with the match record currently standing at 204lbs 4oz which was taken at the beginning of June, 2013 by G Dodd fishing a Remenham AC match. Back-up weights included second placed Dick Shillito with 198lbs 8oz and third placed Steve Johnson with 182lbs 8oz. Eight anglers fished the match for a total weight of 1,046lbs 6oz. More recently, Excelsior AC members fished another fantastic match returning a total catch of 1,937lbs 8oz between them.

Anglers interested in holding a match on Campbells are asked to telephone Kimberley at the fishery or e-mail her at for further details and availability.


Day tickets cover angling from 7.30am until 6.30pm. Juniors must be accompanied by an adult angler at all times on a two children to one adult basis. Arrival times – Monday to Friday: 7.30am until 11.00am. Arrival times – Saturday and Sunday: 7.30am until midday


Day Tickets One Rod Day Tickets Two Rod 24-hour Tickets
Adults 10.00 15.00 25.00
Under 16
Not Available
Under 16 10.00 Not Available 25.00

Rules and conditions

Barbless hooks only – no microbarbed or crushed barbs.

Total surface fishing and zig rigs are banned on all lakes (hooks must be at least 18 inches below the surface of the water).

All landing nets must be dipped and left submerged for a minimum of five minutes in the blue tank by the shop door before going onto the fishery. Please bring your landing net and unhooking mat with you before purchasing a ticket (do not take your gear on and then come back and dip your net).

2 Rods maximum on all lakes.

Unhooking mats are required on all lakes ( No towels to be used to handle our fish )

Anybody found disobeying these rules will be told to leave immediately – NO refunds will be given.

The gates open at 7:30am and close at 18:30– no anglers/visitors may arrive or depart during the gate closure times.

No self prepared hemp or mixed particles (except sweetcorn and shop bought hemp).

No nuts in particular tiger nuts.

No braided main line but braided hook-links are allowed.

No lead-core.

No fixed rigs (i.e. must use a safety rig system).

Minimum of 12lbs line must be used on the Specimen Lake and 10lbs on the House Lake.

No Dogs Allowed (except for Guide Dogs)

No floating baits, no Bread (what so-ever) or no Dog biscuit

Pike Fishing season runs from October – March

Pike Fishing – No spinning or lures, dead bait only shop bought (no dead bait from other waters or the same water) barbless hooks and no pike gags

Junior Anglers under the age of 16

You must be 16 years of age or over to be left unaccompanied.

House Lake – Junior anglers (under the age of 16) cannot fish the House Lake (including when accompanied by an adult angler).

Specimen Lake – Junior anglers (under the age of 18) cannot fish the Specimen Lake (including when accompanied by an adult angler).

Junior anglers may ONLY fish the Kidney Lake and Len’s Match Lake, as long as they are accompanied by an adult (over 21 years of age).

Rods – Junior anglers can only use one rod so please do not ask to use two rods as your request will be denied.


Age restrictions on the following lakes:

House Lake – 16 years of age or older
Campbell’s Match Lake – 16 years of age or older
No juniors to fish these lakes.

How to get there

Map of how to get to Milton Pools FisheryMilton Pools is a stone's throw from the M40 motorway. Travelling south, leave the motorway at Junction 8 (Waterstock Services) and take the A418 towards Thame.
After about a mile turn right onto the old A40 and follow this road for about a mile and a half. At the junction with the A329 turn right again.
Go over the motorway and the entrance to the fishery is about 50 yards on the left.
Follow the track until you will come to the fishery car park. On arrival please report to the shop to obtain your ticket before proceeding onto the fishery.
Get directions on Google Maps

You may also be interested in

If you like the look of this fishery in Oxfordshire then why not take a look at these other fishing lakes in Oxfordshire including, Butlers Hill Fishery and Clattercote Reservoir.


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