Where To Catch Specimen Carp In Kent: Best Day Ticket Lakes

Commonly known as the “Garden Of England”, Kent boasts both the smallest town and the most haunted town in England. Luckily for us, it also has some excellent day ticket carp fishing lakes.

Within the sprawling countryside that Kent offers are some fantastic day ticket carp fisheries, a couple of which are among the very best in the UK.

Having reviewed many day ticket lakes within the UK, I don’t think that there is a county which has the same quantity of “big fish” waters that are here in Kent.

Not wanting to delay things any further, let’s get straight into taking a look (in alphabetical order) at some of the finest day ticket carp fishing you can find.

Cackle Hill Lakes (Ashford)

Cackle Hill Lakes is located in Biddenden, approximately 12 miles from Ashford.

There is one mixed coarse lake and two specimen lakes on the Cackle Hill Lakes complex. Although the mixed coarse lake does contain some carp, we will focus our attention on the specimen lakes.

Specimen Lake 1 is shaped almost like a boot and covers around 3 acres of water. There are 3 islands which all have shelves of varying depth and are known hot spots for carp. The margins are often ignored by anglers but do produce a lot of fish when targeted correctly.

Specimen Lake 1 has seen commons and mirrors captured to over 40lb and has grass carp and ghosties very close to the magical number. There is also a good head of catfish, with the largest being in the region of 90lb.

Image by: Cackle Hill Lakes

Specimen Lake 2 covers slightly more water and is approximately 3.5 acres in size. It boasts a central island and has an average depth of around 6ft. The carp here aren’t quite as big as they are in Specimen Lake 1, but the lake record is still an impressive 38lb. Catfish are also present and have grown to over 80lb, and there is also some good winter sport for the specimen perch that are close to British record sizes.

There is a full range of facilities on-site including a fishing tackle shop, cafe, toilet and shower block which will make things more comfortable for anglers on longer sessions.

Day tickets at this Kent fishery are valid from 7am-6pm and are priced at £15. Night fishing is available and a 24 hour ticket costs £25.

Cackle Hill Lakes At A Glance:

Name: Cackle Hill Lakes

Location: Ashford, TN27 8JW

Biggest Carp: 43lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £15

Call: 01580 292 292

Chart Fishery (Maidstone)

Chart Fishery is located in Chart Sutton, around 7 miles from Maidstone.

The larger lake of the complex is the coarse lake, which is a very heavily stocked runs water and attracts the attention of pleasure anglers.

Image by: Chart Fishery

The specimen lake is only just over an acre in size and has a stock of between 30-40 carp, with the lake record weighing in excess of 37lb. Anglers visiting this Kent fishery must bear in mind that the use of boilies and nuts is prohibited, so thinking outside the box a little with regards to bait may help tempt one of the bigger residents.

Day tickets are valid from 7am-7pm and cost £20. Night fishing must be booked in advance and a 24 hour ticket costs £30.

Chart Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Chart Fishery

Location: Maidstone, ME17 3EZ

Biggest Carp: 37lb+

Lake Size: 1 acre

Price: From £20

Call: 01622 843 987

Claygate Lakes (Maidstone)

Claygate Lakes is located in Marden, approximately 9 miles from Maidstone.

There are 3 lakes on the Claygate complex, 2 of which are aimed at pleasure anglers.

Amy Lake is the specimen lake and covers around 2.5 acres of water. There are gravel bars towards the island, deeper gullies in the margins and an average depth of around 5ft.

Image by: Claygate Lakes

The majority of the carp are over 10lb in weight, with an average size of mid-double figures. The lake record at this Kent fishery fell just shy of the magical barrier at 39lb 8oz.

Night fishing is available but must be booked in advance, with a 24 hour ticket costing £24 or £30 for 2 or 3 rods. Day tickets are valid from 7am until dusk and start from £12.

Claygate Lakes At A Glance:

Name: Claygate Lakes

Location: Maidstone, TN12 9PL

Biggest Carp: 39lb+

Lake Size: 2.5 acres

Price: From £12

Call: 07770 513 448

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Elphicks Fisheries (Tonbridge)

Elphicks Fisheries is located in Horsmonden, around 11 miles from Tonbridge.

There are 7 lakes on the Elphicks Fisheries complex, with the smallest covering just over an acre of water and the largest extending to approximately 6 acres.

Sandwich Lake and Kettles Lake are 2 of the smaller lakes on the complex and are both stocked with other species in addition to carp. With that being said, they shouldn’t be ignored as their higher stock levels almost guarantee some rod-bending action, and there is still a chance of landing a carp in excess of 30lb.

Image by: Elphicks Fisheries

Plantation Lake is the smallest of the specimen lakes and covers just over an acre of water. Although there are 8 pegs, only 4 anglers are allowed to pit their wits against the carp at any time.

Prairie Lake, Pullens Lake and West End Lake are all 3 acres in size. The stock levels in Prairie Lake are slightly higher than in Pullens Lake or West End Lake, with the latter lakes both being limited to 5 anglers at a time. The lake record at Prairie Lake is in excess of 40lb, while Pullens Lake and West End Lake both have carp that have crossed the 50lb barrier.

Image by: Elphicks Fisheries

Arguably the most sought-after lake on the Elphicks Fisheries complex is North Lake. At 6 acres in size, this is the largest lake which boasts 19 pegs, though only 10 anglers can fish at any time.

The reason why the North Lake is so popular is that it is home to “The Big Girl”. As one of the largest carp in the UK, she has the potential to become the next British record, having been captured at over 60lb already.

If you weren’t already convinced to give this outstanding Kent fishery a try, there are also some excellent on-site facilities for anglers. Firstly, the entire site is monitored by CCTV, giving you that extra peace of mind. In addition, the fishery lodge stocks bait, terminal tackle and other carp angling essentials as well as a range of drinks, snacks and sweets. A shower is available for overnight guests and there are portable toilets on every lake.

Day tickets for Sandwich Lake and Kettles Lake are priced at £15 for 2 rods, with a 24 hour ticket costing £25. Day tickets on the specimen lakes include the use of 3 rods and cost £25, with 24 hour sessions priced at £35.

Elphicks Fisheries At A Glance:

Name: Elphicks Fisheries

Location: Tonbridge, TN12 8EL

Biggest Carp: 60lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £15

Call: 01580 212 512

Gabriel’s Fishery (Tonbridge)

Gabriel’s Fishery is located in Edenbridge, approximately 12 miles from Tonbridge.

Gabriel’s Fishery includes a stretch of the River Eden as well as 5 lakes. Hare Lake, Silver Lake and Swallow Lake are all aimed at pleasure anglers, while Oak Lake and Admiral Lake are the specimen waters of the complex.

Oak Lake has 2 islands that provide features in each peg on the lake. This 2.5 acre lake has a predominantly clay bottom and the depth ranges from 3ft in the shallows to as much as 16ft in the deeper areas. The average size carp is mid-double figure, with many 20lb+ fish, up to a lake record of 33lb.

Image by: Gabriel’s Fishery

Admiral Lake is the main specimen lake of the complex and was extended in 2019. Again boasting a clay bottom, Admiral Lake isn’t quite so deep and ranges from 3ft in the shallows to around 10ft in the deep holes. There is a good head of 20lb+ fish, with several known to have crossed the 30lb barrier. When captured, the lake record weighed in excess of 44lb.

There is an on-site tackle shop that sells reasonably priced bait, accessories and equipment as well as a range of drinks and snacks. There is also a 24 hour vending machine that contains some popular bait items.

Day tickets for Oak Lake are priced at £13 or £16 for 2 or 3 rods, while 24 hour tickets cost £25 or £31. For Admiral Specimen Lake, day tickets cost £17 or £21 for 2 or 3 rods and 24 hour tickets are priced at £33 or £41.

Gabriel’s Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Gabriel’s Fishery

Location: Tonbridge, TN8 5PP

Biggest Carp: 40lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £13

Call: 01732 865 355

Hartley Lands Fishery (Royal Tunbridge Wells)

Hartley Lands Fishery is located in Cranbrook, around 14 miles from Royal Tunbridge Wells.

With a total of 7 lakes on the complex, there is something to appeal to all anglers.

Samson Lake, Finches Lake and Pear Tree Lake are all aimed at pleasure anglers, but the latter does contain carp to in excess of 20lb in weight.

Reservoir Lake is the runs water of the complex and is heavily stocked with carp that have an average size of 10lb. There is some bigger fish present and the lake record has crossed the 30lb barrier.

Image by: Hartley Lands Fishery

Henniker Pond has a low stock of just 10 carp and has only 2 pegs. This is a small and very peaceful pond in which all fish are over 20lb in weight.

Nicks Lake is a beautiful looking water with 3 islands, overhanging willows and reed-lined margins. The depth ranges from 2ft in the shallows to 6ft in the deepest areas and contains carp from high-single figures to a lake record of over 36lb.

Bramley Lake is the main specimen carp lake of the complex which has 12 pegs but a maximum of 8 anglers at any time. All of the carp are over 10lb in weight, with an average of mid/upper double figure, up to a lake record of 41lb. The 3 islands, marginal shelves and varying depths are the main features of this fantastic lake.

The Hartley Coffee House & Farm Shop is next door and serves a full English breakfast as well as sandwiches, snacks and drinks. There is a shower, male/female/disabled toilets and a tap to refill your drinking water.

Day tickets at this wonderful Kent fishery start from £13 for 2 rods on the pleasure lakes and increase to £15 for 2 rods on the specimen lakes. 24 hour tickets range between £25 to £30, depending on which lake you fish.

Hartley Lands Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Hartley Lands Fishery

Location: Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN17 3PS

Biggest Carp: 41lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £13

Call: 07703 825 064

Hawkhurst Fish Farm (Royal Tunbridge Wells)

Hawkhurst Fish Farm is located in Cranbrook, approximately 15 miles from Royal Tunbridge Wells.

There are 7 lakes on Hawkhurst Fish Farm, with the Match Lake and Juniors Lake aimed at pleasure anglers and beginners respectively.

Four Trees Lake and Quarry Lake are the smallest of the day ticket lakes, covering under an acre of water each. With that being said, big things really do come in small packages, as Four Trees Lake is home to carp in excess of 20lb, while Quarry Lake is the runs water of the complex and has carp to over 25lb and catfish in excess of 36lb.

Image by: Hawkhurst Fish Farm

Dove Lake is a 2 acre specimen lake that has an island at each end. While the carp aren’t quite as big as they are in the main lake, the largest common is in excess of 36lb and the biggest mirror tipped the scales at over 38lb. For those anglers who also like to target other species, there is a good head of catfish, with the largest resident weighing 63lb.

Main Lake extends to 4.5 acres and is surrounded by weeping willows and reed-lined margins. There are bridges and islands in addition to a host of other features, including hard clay areas, soft silt patches, shallow patrol routes and a deep area near to the inlet pipe. There are some large specimens in this picturesque lake, with the lake record carp weighing in excess of 40lb and the biggest catfish reaching over 84lb.

The Waterside Cafe overlooks the main lake and is open every day from 9am-4pm, serving a range of breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas and snacks. Kent Tackle is also on-site and is very competitively priced for bait, terminal tackle and equipment.

Day tickets prices range between £15 and £25 depending on which lake you choose and are valid from 7am-7pm. Night fishing is only allowed on Main Lake and Dove Lake, with 24 hour tickets costing £35.

Hawkhurst Fish Farm At A Glance:

Name: Hawkhurst Fish Farm

Location: Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN18 4RT

Biggest Carp: 40lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £15

Call: 01580 753 813

Monk Lakes (Ashford)

Monk Lakes is located in Marden, around 6 miles from Maidstone.

Boasting 7 lakes and a stretch of river, this complex can cater to the needs of most anglers. Of the 7 lakes, 4 are match lakes which appeal to the pleasure anglers, leaving 3 lakes for the specimen hunters.

Bridges Lake is the biggest on the complex and covers 16 acres of water. As the name suggests, there are bridges to the islands which separates the lake nicely so that each angler has their own area of water to target.

Puma Lake extends to around 10 acres in size and has 3 islands. In addition to the islands, the other features include a central gravel bar, multiple lily beds, reed-lined margins and varying depths. While there are other species of fish present in this lake, carp are the main target and the lake record is in excess of 30lb.

Image by: Monk Lakes

The specimen lake of the complex is the 5 acre Mallard Lake. There is an island towards the north end of the lake which, along with the lily beds and reed-lined margins, is among the main fish-holding features. Fishing is strictly limited to 10 anglers at a time, enabling each person to have their own area of water in which to target the residents of this lake.

There are only a few carp under 20lb, with the lake record exceeding 45lb. In addition to the specimen carp, there are also a number of catfish present.

As one of the largest fisheries in the UK, it is no surprise that there is a tackle shop on-site, well maintained toilets and a cafe with seating area.

Day tickets at this Kent fishery are priced at £14.50 or £18.50 (2 or 3 rods) for all lakes except the specimen lake, which cost £25 or £27.50 (2 or 3 rods). Night fishing is available on selected lakes and costs £25 or £27.50 (2 or 3 rods), whereas the specimen lake is priced at £35 or £37.50 (2 or 3 rods).

Monk Lakes At A Glance:

Name: Monk Lakes

Location: Maidstone, TN12 9BS

Biggest Carp: 45lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £14.50

Call: 01622 833 332

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Orchard Place Farm Fishery (Tonbridge)

Orchard Place Farm Fishery is located in Paddock Wood, approximately 7 miles from Tonbridge.

There are 12 lakes on the complex and incredibly, 9 of them are specimen lakes.

Lake 1 is the original lake of the complex and is approximately 2 acres in size. This is a mature lake that has 1 main island, 3 submerged islands and reed-lined margins. The lake record carp is in excess of 44lb and there is also a good head of catfish which have exceeded 75lb in weight.

Lake 2 is another mature lake of just over 2 acres. There are 5 islands which separate the water between the 7 pegs and are among the main fish-holding features, along with the over-hanging trees and reed-lined margins. Catfish are present to a top weight of 70lb and the lake record carp tipped the scales at 38lb.

Lake 3 is almost square in shape and has a central island that divides the water between the 2 pegs on each bank. The depth ranges from 3ft to 8ft, with an average depth of around 6ft. Fishing tight to the island or just beyond the near margin yields the best results for carp, which have been landed to 44lb. Catfish have also been stocked into this lake and have reached weights in excess of 85lb.

Image by: Orchard Place Farm Fishery

Lake 4 opened in 2007 and is maturing into a very picturesque lake. It has 2 islands and covers around 4.5 acres of water, with an average depth of around 5ft. Similar to Lake 3, catfish in this lake have reached 85lb and the early stockings of carp in this lake have also grown well, with the top weights now in excess of 46lb.

Lake 7 is the largest on the complex and extends to approximately 12 acres in size. There are 7 islands and 2 spits of land (1 on the north bank and 1 on the south bank). This is also the most popular lake on the complex and has been used by British Carp Cups and British Carp Angling Championships for their respective competitions. The catfish in this lake exceed 100lb and the lake record carp is currently on the brink of breaking the 50lb barrier.

Lake 8 is the second largest on the complex and is around 7 acres in size. There are 4 islands to separate the water between pegs and the depth varies from 4ft to 15ft, so feature finding is essential. Catfish in this lake have reached triple digits and the lake record carp is 43lb.

Image by: Orchard Place Farm Fishery

Lake 9, Lake 11 and Lake 12 are all specimen lakes that have been more recently added to the complex and are still maturing. Don’t let that put you off from fishing them though as they all hold carp in excess of 35lb and catfish of over 60lb. However, if you are looking for established surroundings, you should target the original lakes.

There is an on-site tackle shop that is well stocked with bait, tackle and accessories from many of the main brands and there is also a toilet block with hot shower. There is an additional toilet block between Lake 3 and Lake 4, while the block near Lake 7 has a fridge, microwave and sink/kitchen area.

Day tickets at this extensive Kent fishery start at £15 for 2 rods or £17.50 for 3 rods. Night fishing is available on the specimen lakes and a 24 hour ticket costs £30 for 2 rods or £35 for 3 rods.

Orchard Place Farm Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Orchard Place Farm Fishery

Location: Tonbridge, TN12 6NY

Biggest Carp: 49lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £15

Call: 01892 838 576

Shirkoak Farm Fishery (Ashford)

Shirkoak Farm Fishery is located in Woodchurch, around 8 miles from Ashford.

The current owners purchased the fishery in November 2019 and immediately set about transforming it. The overpopulation of small fish was addressed and pike have been added as a control measure. In excess of thirty carp between 12lb-19lb were stocked in addition to six that exceeded 20lb.

Image by: Shirkoak Farm Fishery

As the owners have run successful fisheries in France in the past, I believe it is inevitable that they will turn Shirkoak Farm Fishery into one of the finest carp fishing venues in the area.

Day tickets at this wonderful Kent fishery start at £12 for anglers wishing to use 2 rods. The use of 3 rods costs £15 and these prices are simply doubled for anglers wanting to fish for 24 hours.

Shirkoak Farm Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Shirkoak Farm Fishery

Location: Ashford, TN26 3PZ

Biggest Carp: 20lb+

Lake Size: 3 acres

Price: From £12

Call: 01233 860 279

Sandwich Coarse Fishery (Canterbury)

Sandwich Coarse Fishery is located in Sandwich, approximately 12 miles from Canterbury.

There are 6 lakes at Sandwich Coarse Fishery, with 5 of them aimed at pleasure anglers and 1 specimen lake.

Victory Lake is around 2 acres in size and has 2 islands. The depth ranges between 2ft in the shallows to as much as 10ft in the deeper areas.

Image by: Sandwich Coarse Fishery

While there are also some specimen roach, rudd and perch, the lake is well stocked with a variety of carp including albino grass, ghost, common and mirror up to a lake record of 36lb.

As this Kent fishery also has pitches for caravans, the on-site facilities are excellent. There is a well-stocked tackle shop, a waterside cafe that serves meals, snack and refreshments, ladies and gents toilets and a clean shower block.

A day ticket for the use of 2 rods costs £10. Night fishing is available but must be booked in advance and is priced at £20.

Sandwich Coarse Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Sandwich Coarse Fishery

Location: Canterbury, CT3 2DA

Biggest Carp: 35lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £10

Call: 07936 409 912

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Strawberry Fields (Royal Tunbridge Wells)

Strawberry Fields is located in Hawkenbury, around 3 miles from Royal Tunbridge Wells.

There are 2 lakes at Strawberry Fields, each covering around 2.5 acres of water. The setting is idyllic, surrounded by the beautiful Kent countryside.

Image by: Strawberry Fields

A lot of the carp were stocked at single figure weights in the late 1990s and have flourished in these lakes, which is testament in part to the abundance of natural food and the strict measures put in place by the fishery management.

With a number of fish weighing in excess of 40lb, several that are known to be 50lb+, and the pièce de résistance of the complex – Lee Jackson Common at 60lb+ – it is easy to see why this Kent fishery is so sought after.

The minimum booking is for 24 hours and costs £35.

Strawberry Fields At A Glance:

Name: Strawberry Fields

Location: Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9AD

Biggest Carp: 60lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £35

Call: 07519 770 310

The Willows Angling Centre (Sittingbourne)

The Willows Angling Centre is located in Teynham, approximately 3 miles from Sittingbourne.

The 4 lakes on the complex are The Stream, Farm Lake, Pan Lake and Langleys Lake, which is the specimen lake that we will take a look at.

Langleys Lake is around 3 acres in size and has multiple islands to separate the water so that each angler has their own area. In addition to the islands, the margins, reed beds and hard areas are known to produce fish.

Image by: The Willows Angling Centre

The average size carp is mid/upper double figure and there is also a good head of fish in the 20lb-30lb bracket. The lake record is 38lb and there are several other fish that are in excess of 30lb.

Day tickets for Langleys Specimen Lake are available for £15 and 24 hour tickets are priced at £30. Fishing must commence at either 7am or 7pm.

The Willows Angling Centre At A Glance:

Name: The Willows Angling Centre

Location: Sittingbourne, ME9 9BU

Biggest Carp: 38lb+

Lake Size: Various

Price: From £15

Call: 01795 520 887

Tricklebrook Fishery (Tonbridge)

Tricklebrook Fishery is located in Five Oak Green, around 5 miles from Tonbridge.

There is a 1 acre match lake and a 4 acre specimen lake on the Tricklebrook Fishery complex.

Image by: Tricklebrook Fishery

The specimen lake has an island towards the south bank and reed-lined margins amongst its most popular features. Many of the carp are in excess of 20lb with several known 30lb+ fish. The main targets continue to be Arthur and Sugar, who have both tipped the scales over the magical 40lb barrier.

There is an on-site cafe which serves snacks and drinks and will also provide cooked breakfasts at busy times. Toilet facilities are provided and the showers can be used for a small additional fee.

Day tickets are priced at £15 or £20 for 2 or 3 rods. A 24 hour ticket is priced at £25 or £30 for 2 or 3 rods.

Tricklebrook Fishery At A Glance:

Name: Tricklebrook Fishery

Location: Tonbridge, TN12 6SH

Biggest Carp: 40lb+

Lake Size: 4 acres

Price: From £15

Call: 01892 835 453

Conclusion

Having only fished at a couple of the venues listed, I was blown away by the amount of day ticket lakes that Kent has with carp to over 40lb. It certainly makes me more determined to spend some more time in this beautiful county in the future.

From “The Big Girl” at Elphicks Fishery, “Lee Jackson” at Strawberry Fields or one of the many 40lb+ specimens that reside elsewhere within Kent, you will be hard pushed to find anywhere in the UK that offers day ticket fishing like this.

Have you fished any of the lakes in this article? If so, did you manage to tempt any of the prized specimens? Let me know how you got on in the comments.