There are not many places in the entire UK where it is possible to catch bass, carp and wild trout all in the space of a few miles, but with quality sea, coarse and fly angling all nearby, Bude offers some of the very best fishing in Cornwall. For fresh bait, tackle and up to date catch reports, a good bet is always Waterfront Fishing and Shooting. Do also note that apart from the sea, all fishing is strictly catch and release in Bude. We would also encourage the release of fish such as bass and mullet, which are slow growing and valuable recreational species.
Coarse Fishing on the pretty, scenic canal represents the easiest and safest angling option in Bude. The waters here are well stocked with various species, but the fishing for rudd, roach, bream and carp can be especially good. That said, you might catch the occasional flounder or sea trout!
Float fishing is best fun, with pole or rod and reel. Maggots, sweetcorn and pellets are all reliable baits. You’ll get more bites fishing relatively fine (4-5lb line, size 12-16 barbless hook) and by regularly throwing in small helpings of bait around the float. Feeder or carp style tactics will also work however; most carp are 2-5lbs, but the odd much bigger fish appear to well over 20lbs.
One word of warning here too: the canal can get very busy with boats at certain times of year. Early starts make sense if you want a peaceful couple of hours, or you could try further out of town for a quieter experience. The fish are well used to kayaks and pedaloes however, so don’t be too discouraged by human traffic.
Coarse anglers aged 13 and over will need the usual national rod licence, but also a day ticket from Bude Canal Angling Club. Both can be easily bought right next to the canal at the Post Office.
Several level fishing platforms also exist for wheelchair users.
The Weir Cafe & Bistro
The lake was created back in 2011 and current stock is mainly Carp with some Roach and Dace.
Adult Ticket: £5.00 per Day, £20.00 per week
Junior (U16) & OAP: £2.50 per day, £10.00 per week
Please purchase your ticket from the Café either on the day or over the phone where we can accept credit or debit cards.
Upper Tamar Lake, Cornwall EX23 9SB
Upper Tamar Lake, nestled on the Devon and Cornwall border, is the perfect spot for your next angling adventure, voted the second best still water coarse fishery in the UK in 2019!
Built in 1977, this 81 acre venue was originally a trout lake until the 1990’s when it changed over to a coarse fishery. There are three miles of bank to be explored and several bays and attractive marginal areas, which produce plenty of great sport and some lovely peace and quiet. It is an extremely well stocked fishery with all species and, surrounded by British countryside, it is a beautiful place to fish.
Tamar has carp to the mid 30lb range with a good number of fish over 20lbs. Just over 300 new carp to 35lb have been stocked in the last few years, so expect plenty of fish if the conditions are right. Roughly one in three carp are over 20lbs. Anglers have caught as many as 25 carp in a single 24 hour session. The bigger fish can be elusive but there are many big secrets lurking in the depths!
Tamar is also a big perch mecca stuffed with fish averaging around 2lbs but fish to 5lb have been caught on lures, prawns or worms. 43 Perch, with the smallest being 2lb, were caught during a day session by a single angler a couple of years ago! Tamar has also featured on BBC TV’s Gone Fishing series with Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse who enjoyed some great perch fishing at the venue.
There is also a huge head of eels to well over 5lbs for the avid eel enthusiasts.
Lower Tamar Lake, Devon EX23 9SB
Lower Tamar is a stunning coarse fishery and holds specimen fish of each species. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking for some peace and quiet and great fishing. The lake is shallow with around nine to ten foot maximum depth with 15 swims to choose from. Take a look at the fishery map on this page to get a good idea of the layout before your visit.
The lake is stocked with carp to 39lbs with plenty of fish from 15lbs upwards. The majority are common carp but there are some fantastic mirrors too. The bream fishing is superb with fish to 14lbs with lots of double figure fish. The roach fishing can be superb with fish to over 3lbs and plenty of fish over the 2lb mark. There are a few tench which go to 8lbs, perch to 4lbs and plenty of eels.
Lower Tamar can become quite weedy at times making fishing more challenging, but this does not happen every year.
The lake is open for day and 24 hour fishing but there are no season tickets. If tickets are purchased in bulk a 25% discount will be applied.
Sea fishing on the beaches or via charter boats in and around Bude produces the sort of sport Cornwall is famous for, with many species to go for and places to try. For the beginner, sea fishing also has the advantage that, unlike freshwater fishing, it requires no license.
From the shore, beach casting is popular. Bude Breakwater and Bude Harbour produce mackerel, pollack, school bass and mullet (try spinning or float fishing), while beaches such as Widemouth, Sandymouth and Crooklets beaches can be worth a shot for small-eyed and thornback rays, dogfish and bass, especially at night with sandeel or peeler crab baits. Whiting and codling provide winter sport.
Boat fishing trips are also popular locally, where a little extra cost will more than reward you with local expertise and a much higher chance of a good catch.
Independant Charters at Clovelly are a firm favourite for sea fishing boat trips.
Fly fishing and trout waters
With classic lakes and rivers nearby, Bude also has game fishing options to satisfy the travelling angler. The River Neet is one of only a handful of sites to offer free fishing in Cornwall, from the sea mouth to the Rugby club. You’ll find plenty of challenging mullet, along with a few trout.
Another nearby destination noted for fly fishing in north Cornwall is the Upper Tamar, where you will find pretty, wild brown trout and even some sea trout and the odd grayling. Controlled by Bude Angler’s Association this is great value fly fishing at just five pounds a day!
The Tamar can offer some good fishing for brown trout, but do check the weather. Settled conditions are ideal, with rain often making the water muddy and difficult. Bring small wet and dry flies in sizes 14-18 such as Klinkhamers, Black Gnats and beaded Hare’s Ears.
Also on the rivers, the region has many miles of excellent river fishing in Cornwall and North Devon under the Westcountry Angling Passport Scheme. This is a brilliant not for profit system offering affordable and idyllic fly fishing in Devon and Cornwall.
In terms of year round fly fishing in Cornwall and North Devon, there are also some fine lakes to be explored. The nearest are at Simpson Valley Fishery (near Holsworthy), which has rainbow, brown, blue and tiger trout which are caught even in midwinter.