If you enjoy fishing then there are plenty of places to relax with a rod here in the New Forest whether you prefer river, sea or coarse fishing.
Twenty species of fish are present in New Forest waterways, ranging from eels and pike to brown trout.
There is also sea fishing on offer on the Solent where you can catch mackerel and sea bass, depending on the season. Read on to discover more about some of the most popular fishing spots on offer in the New Forest.
Coarse fishing in the New Forest
There are several coarse fishing lakes that can be found in the New Forest. Some of the areas that you can coarse fish are run by the Forestry England. In order to fish at one of these areas you will need a Forestry England permit in addition to a rod license. Forestry England Fishing Permits are available as day, week or season tickets and can be bought from the following places:
- The Kings House, High Street, Lyndhurst
- Roundhill Campsite, Brockenhurst
- East Boldre Post Office, East Boldre
- Poingdestres Angling Centre, Southampton
- Loni's Angling Centre, New Milton
- Nobles Fishing, Blackfield
Three acres of lake makes up Lake Farm and Fishing, near Alderholt. The lake is fully stocked with mirror and common carp, golden rudd and tench, plus some very big eels!
Elsewhere in the New Forest, you can fish at Cadland Fishery, near Hythe. Mopley Pond, within Cadland Fishery is stocked with ghost, mirror, common and leather carp from 10lbs to over 20lbs, plus a variety of other fish.
Orchard Lakes, near New Milton offers five different lakes to fish on in its 56 acres of farmland. One of the smaller lakes, Jake’s Pond, is ideal for youngsters and beginners. Fishing coaching and tuition is also available at this site.
Fishing also takes place on Moors Lake at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, near Ringwood. Roach, rudd, tench, perch and dace are all regularly caught here. During the summer holidays rangers run fishing tuition for children.
If you're new to freshwater fishing, or want to find out more about it, check out 'The Beginners Guide to Freshwater Fishing' by Perfect Captain.
If you prefer to go sea fishing then there are opportunities to join in on fishing trips from several places in the New Forest.
Boat charters are available from Keyhaven with Reel Easy Charter and Greg Pitt Sea Fishing. Both companies help you to explore the waters of the Solent, whether on a scheduled trip or if you prefer to charter the boat for yourself. See if you can catch some mackerel as your boat makes its way over towards The Needles on the Isle of Wight.
Based in Buckler’s Hard, Lazy Daze Fishing Charters will take you out onto the Solent for a half day or full day’s fishing with skipper Jeff Semple. Tailor your trip depending on where you want to go, the fishing season and what you want to catch.
Lymington is another place where you can charter a boat. Hermit Charters and Lady Anne Charters of Lymington both offer fishing charters from this historic fishing town. If you would prefer to stay on dry land then you can fish for both bass and crab from Lymington’s sea wall during the summer months or flounder in the winter.
There are some great beaches for casting your lines in the New Forest. Milford on Sea and the pebbly Hurst Spit (as it leads down to Hurst Castle) can be ideal spots for catching mackerel in the summer months.
On the edge of the New Forest National Park, at Marchwood, more experienced fishermen can enjoy fishing for pouting or whiting from Magazine Lane. The deep water here offers some excellent fishing in the winter months and the area’s location means it’s slightly more sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly wind.
Lepe beach is another popular fishing spot, with parking nearby, ideal for not having to transport your fishing tackle too far!
There are two places to fish at Calshot Spit, inside the activities centre (for a fee and membership) and just outside it. Smoothhound, bass, plaice and ray have all been caught here.
Fishing tackle shops
There are a couple of fishing tackle shops that can be found in and around the New Forest including:
- Loni’s Angling Centre, New Milton
- Noble’s Fishing, nr Fawley
- Davis Fishing Tackle, Christchurch
Places you can stay and fish at the same time!
There are a selection of places you can stay in the New Forest that have their own fishing facilities. Burgate Manor Farm, near Fordingbridge is situated on the banks of the River Avon, with specimen barbel, chub, roach, pike and carp. Fishing tickets available to guests.
Alderholt Mill self-catering cottage have private fishing on-site with grayling and trout two of the species that can be found in the river here. A bait fridge can be supplied in the self-catering cottages for use.
There’s an onsite coarse fishing lake at Harrow Wood Farm Caravan Park in Bransgore, just within the New Forest National Park.
And last but not least, Shorefield Country Park at Milford on Sea has a small fishing lake onsite.