Churchgate Top Lake, Battlesbridge, Essex

A great water for carp action all-year round and also a float anglers paradise with silver fish aplenty.

Key Details

Day ticket, syndicate or holiday booking: Day ticket
Realistic catch rate: Multiple catches possible
How much: Day Ticket up to 2 rods - £15.00, 3 rods - £20.00; 24 hours fishing 2 rods - £25.00, 3 rods £30.00; 48 hours fishing 2 rods £45.00, 3 rods £50.00
Best swim(s): Peg 1 is a great swim
How do I get a ticket: On the bank
Skill level to catch: Beginner
How busy is it: Average
Location: Battlesbridge, SS11 7QR
Can you drive to the swims: No
Best method: Fishing tight to the island
On site facilities: Toilets, tackle shop
Best bait: High attract baits
Nearest tackle shop: On site
Ideal fishing range: To the far margin
Average size: Mid doubles
Max realistic size: 32lb

Churchgage Top Lake, Battlesbridge

This 3 acre water has beautiful views stretching across the unspoilt Essex countryside. Over the last few years the lake has really matured. The stock of carp is large with fish to 32lb and loads of 10-20lb fish.

Not only does the lake hold carp aplenty, it is also a fantastic for float fishing where fantastic bags of tench, roach, ide and bream can be landed, with the bream going to 12lb.

The gate opens at 7am, night fishing is available but you must book in advance.


The carp fishing can be prolific at times with more than 500 in the lake; averaging mid double and plenty of 20's

Dave Levy

What is it like?

The lake is around 3 acres in size with a great mix of fish; carp; mirrors and commons, perch, roach, bream, tench. It is the carp that I tend to fish it for, but float anglers receive a lot of bites fishing in a more traditional style. The carp fishing can be prolific at times with more than 500 in the lake; averaging mid double and plenty of 20’s.

It is shaped like an O, with a an island that the fish love to hug tight to. This isn’t far out either, enabling you to fish it accurately and also bait up easily via a Spomb or catapult.

The depths are pretty uniform of around 8ft and they shelve up gradually the closer you get to the island. Don’t be afraid of fishing tight, though, because the fish do feed in the shallow water, particularly when it’s hot.

How do you fish it?

I tend to cast light leads as tight as I can to the island margins, spraying pellets over the top at regular intervals. This is key. Rather than baiting and waiting, I keep a consistent amount of bait feeding little often. Due to the numbers of carp, it encourages them to keep on feeding and entering the area regularly, almost like a match angler would fish.

The fish aren’t huge, so I do fine down a bit, preferring small baits (10mm), light hook links and size 8/10 patterns. These are attached to standard lead clips, the bottom is made up of clay, thus you will always be presented.

Zig-rigs can score well. If you see fish showing on the surface, cruising, then it is worth trying a small sliver of foam just under the surface. Unfortunately, fishing right on top is banned due to the amount of birdlife in the lake.

Prolific winter fishing

Due to it being close to my house, it makes the perfect venue for nicking a few bites in just a few hours in the depths of winter. Flicking very high attract hook baits, tutti fruity baits in bags up tight to the island work really well, and keep your fire burning when it’s freezing.

Churchgate Top Lake Rules

Catch & release only?: Yes
Are there swim boundaries: No
Are mats provided?: No
Bait rules:
Hook pattern rules: Micro barb preferred
Fish care rules: No carp sacks, no keepnets.
Parking rules: In car park
Rig rules: No leadcore leaders
Can I use spods/spombs?: Yes
How many rods?: 2
Mainline: No braid
Are dogs allowed?: No
Is there an age limit?: All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult
Can you surface fish?: No, zigs only
Can I use particles: No peanuts, all other particle to be prepared correctly and safely


A prolific 3 acre lake with a great head of 20’s.

Dave Levy

Dave Levy is a hugely experienced carp angler. He has an untold amount of big-carp to his name across Europe and is respected by all.


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