Where To Catch 40lb Carp In Essex: The Best Day Ticket Lakes

When people mention Essex, the first thing that springs to most people’s minds is the famous television show, TOWIE. Reality TV aside, Essex also has an abundance of fantastic day ticket carp fishing lakes that give anglers a real chance of going after a big personal best.

With acres of sprawling countryside, it is no surprise to find lots of carp fisheries tucked away amongst it all, many of which are home to some of the biggest specimens in the county.

Carp Lakes In Essex: The Ultimate Guide

Let’s not waste any time and get straight into having a look at some of the best day ticket carp lakes that Essex has to offer.

A12 Lakes (Chelmsford)

A12 Lakes is located in Chelmer Village, approximately 3 miles from Chelmsford.

There are 3 lakes on the complex, including 2 specimen lakes and 1 mixed coarse lake.

A membership is required to fish Specimen Lake 1, which costs £10 and is valid for 12 months.

At 6 acres in size, Specimen Lake 1 is the largest on the complex. It opened in 2005 and already has at least one known carp to have crossed the 40lb barrier. In addition, there are no less than sixteen carp in the 30-40lb bracket and two hundred that weigh between 20-30lb.

To complement the specimens listed above, there are in excess of 300 carp that will be the future of the fishery, ranging from 12-20lb in weight.

The water depth in Specimen Lake 1 varies between 5ft in the shallows, to around 12ft in the deeper areas. There is a central gravel bar that runs the entire length of the lake and is one of the most popular fish holding features.

Image by: A12 Lakes

Specimen Lake 2 is adjacent to Specimen Lake 1 and is slightly smaller, covering around 4 acres of water.

The lake is home to approximately 400 carp, giving an impressive 100 carp per acre of water. There are 3 known carp that have weighed more than 30lb, and the lake record was in excess of 34lb when captured at its top weight.

Specimen Lake 2 varies in depth between 3ft-11ft, with the margins known to be particularly productive.

There are toilets on-site and The Cabin sells snacks, refreshments and other essentials such as batteries, sun cream and hand sanitiser. You will also find bait, accessories and equipment from major brands such as Korda, Nash and Gardner in the tackle shop.

Day tickets at this outstanding Essex fishery start at £15 with 24 hour tickets costing £25.

A12 Lakes At A Glance:

Name: A12 Lakes

Location: Chelmsford, CM2 6NX

Biggest Carp: 40lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £15

Call: 07946 847 703

Bentley Fishery (Brentwood)

Bentley Fishery is located in Pilgrims Hatch, around 3 miles from Brentwood.

This secluded lake was dug in the 1970s, so it is fully matured and screams “carp” as soon as you lay your eyes on it.

At just over 3 acres in size, there are only 7 pegs and fishing is restricted to a maximum of 6 people at any time. There are 2 central islands which separate the water nicely between the pegs, ensuring that each angler has their own area of the lake in which to fish.

Image by: Bentley Fishery

The banks are completely tree-lined and there are multiple willows hanging over the water. The use of bait boats is encouraged to achieve success on this lake as casting accurately can be particularly difficult.

The lake is stocked with approximately 80 carp, all of which were handpicked and are amongst the best-looking in Essex. The average size is upper double-figure, up to a lake record of over 30lb.

Deliveries from local takeaways are permitted to the car park, which has 24 hour CCTV. There are clean toilets right next to the lake.

Day tickets at this idyllic fishery are valid from 6am-6pm and cost £15. A 24 hour ticket is priced at £30. All fishing must be booked in advance and a deposit must be paid at the time of booking.

Bentley Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Bentley Fishery

Location: Brentwood, CM14 5RU

Biggest Carp: 30lb+

Lake Size: 3.5 acres

Price: From £15

Call: 07939 074 089

Berners Hall Fishery (Ongar)

Berners Hall Fishery is located in Beauchamp Roding, approximately 6 miles from Ongar.

There are 3 immaculate lakes at Berners Hall Fishery and all of them are specimen carp waters.

The Res is the largest lake on the complex at an impressive 24 acres. There are in excess of 600 carp swimming in the depths here, all of which have been hand-picked. There is one island about halfway down on the east bank, and the pegs near to this area are popular. With that being said, the carp in The Res do get caught from different areas of the lake and succumb to different tactics, rigs and baits. The average size is mid/upper double figures, with a good head of 20lb+ fish. There are more than thirty different 30lb+ fish and the lake record, Rambo, is well-established at over 40lb in weight.

Image by: Berners Hall Fishery

Meadow Lake is just under 2 acres in size and has 5 purpose-built pegs situated on one bank of the lake, making this the perfect location for social sessions. The average size carp is mid-double figure, backed up by a good head of 20lb+ fish. The lake record is in excess of 30lb.

The final water on the complex is the intimate Poultons Lake. Covering an acre of water and with just 2 pegs, this lake is for exclusive bookings only. A healthy stock of 60 carp reside here, with many double figure and 20lb+ fish supporting the specimens that have crossed the 30lb barrier.

There are toilets on-site as well as secure car parking. The store of Total Fishing Tackle is also situated on the complex, so all of your bait, accessories and equipment needs will be taken care of.

Day tickets at this superb Essex fishery are valid from 7am-7pm and are priced at £20, with 24 hour sessions costing £30. All fishing must be booked in advance.

Berners Hall Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Berners Hall Fishery

Location: Ongar, CM5 0TB

Biggest Carp: 40lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £20

Call: 07939 074 089

Blasford Hill Fishery (Chelmsford)

Blasford Hill Fishery is located in Little Waltham, around 3 miles from Chelmsford.

There are 2 lakes on the complex – a smaller match lake of 1 acre and the main lake, which extends to approximately 4 acres in size.

The main lake is mature and full of features including 3 islands, lily pads, marginal reeds and overhanging trees.

Image by: Blasford Hills Fishery

The lake is well-stocked and has a good head of carp up to a lake record of 35lb. There is also some good winter sport for pike, with a top weight of 26lb.

There are portable toilets next to the lakes which are cleaned regularly. There is also secure parking available on-site.

Day tickets cost £12 and are valid from 6:30am until sunset. Night fishing is possible, but is at the discretion of the management, so it is best to enquire in advance.

Blasford Hill Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Blasford Hill Fishery

Location: Chelmsford, CM3 3PF

Biggest Carp: 35lb+

Lake Size: 4 acres

Price: From £12

Call: 07789 816 461


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Chigborough Fisheries (Maldon)

Chigborough Fisheries is located in Heybridge, approximately 3 miles from Maldon.

Of the 7 lakes on the Chigborough Fisheries complex, 3 are specifically for fly fishing. The remaining lakes are dedicated to coarse and carp fishing.

Chigboro Mere is the smallest of the coarse lakes at around 1.5 acres in size. Although there are carp present to double figures, there are also a lot of silver fish, making this lake perfect for pleasure anglers.

Heybridge Mere covers around 3 acres of water and has several spits of land that create fish-holding features. The average size carp is around mid-double figures with a good head of 20lb+ fish, and two that are known to have crossed the 30lb barrier.

Image by: Chigborough Fisheries

At 5 acres in size, Scraley Mere is the second biggest lake on the complex. This is quite a challenging lake, but the rewards are there for the taking, with multiple carp in excess of 20lb and a lake record of over 30lb.

May Water is the largest of the coarse lakes, extending to 12 acres in size. There are 7 islands throughout the lake, which separate the water nicely and give each angler features to fish towards. The bottom is predominantly clay, with some gravel patches and an abundance of weed. The depth varies from 3ft in the shallow areas to a maximum of around 9ft.

The average size carp is mid-double figures, with multiple fish in excess of 20lb and at least six that have exceeded 30lb. In addition to carp, there is also the opportunity to tempt some of the biggest catfish in Essex, with the lake record weighing in excess of 130lb!

There is a portaloo next to the lakes and additional toilets are located in the trout lake fishery lodge. A shower is also available for use, and is next to the main fishery office in the courtyard.

Day tickets cost £10 and are valid from 7am-7pm. Night fishing is available and costs £24 for 24 hours. All tickets entitle anglers to use 3 rods.

Chigborough Fisheries At A Glance:

Name: Chigborough Fisheries

Location: Maldon, CM9 4RE

Biggest Carp: 30lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £10

Call: 07702 244 440

Crowsheath Fishery (Billericay)

Crowsheath Fishery is located in Downham, around 5 miles from Billericay.

The complex has a pike lake, a catfish lake and the one we are interested in, the main lake.

With a stock of around 350 carp in just over 8 acres of water, there are plenty of fish to target, but this isn’t by any means an easy lake to fish. Fishing tight to the islands might be the obvious tactic, but the majority of the fish are actually caught from the margins.

Image by: Crowsheath Fishery

Of the carp in this lake, over 100 of them are in excess of 20lb in weight and there are multiple fish that have crossed the 30lb barrier, one of which is rumoured to have surpassed the 40lb mark. The average weight is mid/upper double figure.

Many of the local takeaways will deliver food to the car park, which is monitored by CCTV. There is a toilet and shower for both males and females and a tap is available to replenish your drinking water. Bailiffs are on-site and available 24 hours a day.

Day tickets at this picturesque Essex fishery are valid from 7am-7pm and cost £10 (2 rods) or £15 (3 rods). 24 hour tickets cost £20 (2 rods) or £30 (3 rods). This is a popular lake so it is advisable to phone before travelling.

Crowsheath Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Crowsheath Fishery

Location: Billericay, CM11 1JT

Biggest Carp: 40lb+

Lake Size: 8 acres

Price: From £10

Call: 07402 298 218

Crow Green Fishery (Brentwood)

Crow Green Fishery is located in Pilgrims Hatch, approximately 3 miles from Brentwood.

There are 3 lakes on the Crow Green Fishery complex. Although Lily Lake and Car Park Lake both have carp present to over 20lb, they are primarily aimed at pleasure anglers.

The main lake is around 3 acres in size and has a stock of over 200 carp, all of which are over 20lb in weight. There is a good head of 30lb+ fish, up to a lake record in excess of 40lb.

Image by: Crow Green Fishery

As well as carp, the main lake also has over 100 catfish present, with many of them now over 100lb in weight. The largest in the lake is in excess of 120lb.

There are toilet and shower facilities on-site as well as a vending machine that sells a range of drinks and snacks.

Day tickets at this superb Essex fishery are valid from 7am-7pm and are priced at £15 (2 rods) or £20 (3 rods). Night fishing is possible but must be arranged in advance, and is usually reserved for regular anglers only.

Crow Green Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Crow Green Fishery

Location: Brentwood, CM15 9SL

Biggest Carp: 40lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £15

Call: 01277 375 172

Forty Acre Plantation Lake (Billericay)

Forty Acre Plantation Lake is located in Ingatestone, around 3 miles from Billericay.

There are 2 lakes on the complex, surrounded by over 100 acres of woodland. The smaller lake is aimed at pleasure anglers, while the main lake is home to the larger specimens.

Covering approximately 3 acres of water, the main lake has a spit of land that divides the water into 2 sections. The smaller section of the lake includes an island, while the larger area contains the deeper water that reaches a maximum depth of 16ft.

Image by: Forty Acre Plantation Lake

There is a good head of carp in the lake, with an average size of mid-double figures. The lake record weighed over 36lb when captured and is well-supported by a number of fish that have crossed the 20lb barrier.

Many of the local takeaways will deliver to the car park (which is monitored by CCTV), and a local food truck serves breakfast and other snacks every Sunday. There are male and female toilets on-site.

Day tickets are priced at £10 for 2 rods or £15 for 3 rods and are valid from 7am-7pm. Night tickets are valid from 7pm-7am and are priced at £12 for 2 rods or £17 for 3 rods.

Forty Acre Plantation Lake At A Glance:

Name: Forty Acre Plantation Lake

Location: Billericay, CM4 9RS

Biggest Carp: 35lb+

Lake Size: 3 acres

Price: From £10

Call: 07949 478 441


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Newland Hall Fishery (Chelmsford)

Newland Hall Fishery is located in Roxwell, approximately 6 miles from Chelmsford.

The fishery is located within Newland Hall Country Estate which, in addition to the 4 lakes, also has a manor house, a moat, extensive landscaped gardens and in excess of 100 acres of woodland.

Moat Lake, Park Lake and Brook Lake are all aimed at pleasure anglers, though the latter does attract the attention of specimen hunters. It is heavily stocked with carp, and some of the residents have been captured at over 30lb.

Image by: Newland Hall Fishery

The lake that is of most interest to carp anglers is Osiers Lake. This is an intimate water, extending to just over an acre in size, with 8 well-positioned pegs. There is one small island, an array of willow trees and beautiful reed-lined margins. The majority of the carp are upper-double figures, with a good head of 20lb+ fish, up to a lake record of 35lb.

There is an on-site shop that sells snacks and bait during the peak months of the year. There are male and female toilets, and the car park is monitored by CCTV. There are bailiffs and security staff carrying out patrols 24 hours per day.

Sessions on Osiers Lake are valid for 12 hour periods, either from 7am-7pm, or 7pm-7am. Each period costs £15 for the use of 2 rods. During quieter periods, a 3rd rod can be used for an additional charge.

Newland Hall Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Newland Hall Fishery

Location: Chelmsford, CM1 4LH

Biggest Carp: 35lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £15

Call: 01245 231 010

Oak Lakes Fisheries (Maldon)

Oak Lakes Fisheries is located in Southminster, around 11 miles from Maldon.

There are 4 lakes on the complex, covering all aspects of fishing. The match lake is aimed at pleasure anglers and Pipe Lake is a small syndicate which already has a waiting list.

The predator lake is strictly for pike fishing from October 1st to March 31st, with catfish being targeted from April 1st to September 30th. The largest catfish ever landed in the UK was caught from here in 2012 by James Jones at a whopping 144lb!

Image by: Oak Lakes Fishery

Oak Lake is the oldest lake on the complex and is the day ticket carp lake. This is a spring-fed lake that boasts an island, lily pads and gravel bars amongst its main features. There are 26 pegs, and it is possible to drive to most of them. The average size carp is mid/upper double, with numerous 20lb+ fish to target. The lake record is in excess of 30lb.

There is secure parking on-site, as well as male and females toilets and shower facilities. A number of local takeaway shops will deliver to the gate, and there is a small cafe on the complex that is open at weekends serving meals, snacks and drinks. Bait can be purchased on-site along with some other fishing accessories.

Day tickets for Oak Lake are valid from 7am-7pm and cost £10. A 24 hour ticket costs £20. Anglers wishing to target catfish on the predator lake will be charged £20 per day or £30 for 24 hours.

Oak Lakes Fisheries At A Glance:

Name: Oak Lakes Fisheries

Location: Maldon, CM0 7BJ

Biggest Carp: 30lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £10

Call: 07702 384 027

Par Fishery (Brentwood)

Par Fishery is located in West Horndon, approximately 6 miles from Brentwood.

There are 2 lakes set in 12 acres of beautiful Essex countryside. The complex has matured over the past decades and has become one of the finest fisheries in the region.

Tillingham Lake is just over 4 acres in size and is the first lake that you see when entering the complex. Fishing is limited to a maximum of 10 anglers, which leaves 3 pegs free at all times to enable movement. The average size carp is mid/upper double figure and there is a good head of 20lb+ fish, up to a lake record of over 32lb. There are also approximately 30 wels catfish present in the lake, with the largest exceeding 85lb.

Image by: Par Fishery

Faraway Lake is around 4 acres in size and is the favoured of the 2 lakes amongst carp anglers. There are many overhanging trees and reed beds throughout the lake, and there are approximately 100 carp present. The average size in the lake is around 20lb, up to a lake record of over 38lb. There are more than 10 different fish in excess of 30lb.

There are portaloos on-site, but I know many anglers prefer to take their own portable toilet with them.

Day tickets for Tillingham Lake are priced at £15 or £20 (2 or 3 rods) and 24 hour tickets cost £25 or £35 (2 or 3 rods). Faraway Lake day tickets cost £20 or £25 (2 or 3 rods) with 24 hour tickets priced at £30 or £40 (2 or 3 rods).

Par Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Par Fishery

Location: Brentwood, RM14 3PB

Biggest Carp: 38lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £15

Call: 07836 358 102

Essex Carp Lakes Conclusion

Essex certainly has its fair share of top fisheries for both carp and catfish, and it is definitely a county that I would like to spend some more time exploring in the future.

Whether you are wanting plenty of action at a well-stocked runs water, or would prefer to play the waiting game for a personal best, Essex has a number of lakes that will suit you.

Have you fished any of the lakes listed in this article? If so, which ones are your favourites? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.