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Date updated: 21/11/2022
The angling season opens at 12.01am on Thursday 16 June. For information on how to apply for a permit, read on below.

Hampstead Heath is a great place to fish, with five ponds to fish on and carp, bream, roach, rudd, tench, gudgeon, perch and pike to catch.

Fishing on Hampstead Heath

You do need a permit and an Environment Agency rod licence to fish here. Find out how to get these below.

Fishing is allowed on five of our ponds, these are:

  • Highgate Men's Pond
  • Model Boating Pond
  • Hampstead No 2 Pond
  • Viaduct Pond
  • and Vale of Health Pond

You can find each of our ponds our our Heath map:

Hampstead Heath Map PDF (1MB)
Date submitted: 5/12/19

Applying for a permit

You can apply online for a fishing permit. There is a £10.60 charge for this permit.

You also need an Environment Agency Rod Licence

Fishing guidelines

There are a few rules you need to follow when fishing on the Heath. You can read up on these below.

  • you must not fish between 15 March and 15 June
  • night fishing is not allowed by under 16s unless accompanied by an adult
  • you must present your permit and rod licence if it's requested by our staff
  • you must not fish anywhere that there's a risk of snagging trees, vegetation or underwater obstacles
  • you must put all rubbish in bins or take it with you
  • you must not use waders to enter any pond to fish
  • you must not put in or remove any fish, animals or plants to any pond
  • you can only use three rods at once
    • you'll need two Environment Agency rod licences
  • you can't leave baited rods unattended in the water 
  • you can't use bait boats, live bait or bait nuts
  • you should use a minimal amount of ground bait to look after the water quality of the pond
  • you must take away any unused bait
  • you can't use:
    • lures
    • barbed hooks
    • bent hooks
    • lead shot
    • tethered rigs
    • bolt rigs
    • or braided lines
  • you must have your hook line at a lower breaking strain than your reel line
  • you must not have your reel line attached directly to your hook without a weaker link
  • your tackle must be free to slide off the line
  • if you're pike fishing, your minimum line breaking strain must be 12lb and have a minimum trace of 18" of 20lb wire
  • you must remove all broken line to stop waterfowl getting snared by it
  • you must handle fish carefully with wet hands and equipment
  • you should make sure that watch straps and jewellery don't injure fish when handling them
  • you must have a landing net
  • you can't use keep nets or carp sacks
  • you must use suitable knotless landing nets
    • your net should be a minimum 106cm if fishing for carp
  • you must have a disgorger and forceps for removing hooks
  • you must use hooking mats to unhook large fish
  • you must use a weigh sling or bag and hold it above the unhooking mat when weighing
  • if you're photographing fish:
    • your equipment must be ready before you bring the fish to the bank and you must photograph it as quickly as possible
    • the fish should be photographed over the mat as close to the ground as possible
  • you must return all fish to the pond as quickly as possible
  • you must use a sling or enclosed mat to put the fish back in the water