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Date updated: 29/04/2024
The closed season is from 15 March to 15 June 2024. We do not permit fishing during this time. The angling season opens at 12.01am on Sunday 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 £11.70 charge for this permit.

The required age for a permit is 13 and over. 

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 use no more than three rods at once
  • 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