Grimsbury Reservoir, Banbury

Fishing on a large, windswept boating lake that contains some beautiful scaly carp, loads of bream and a few large perch too.

Grimsbury Reservoir, Banbury

Windy, raw, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for in stock.


Big Fish Potential

Venue Cleanliness

On Site Facilities

Swim Comfort

Value For Money

Grimsbury Reservoir

Grimsbury reservoir is a relatively small boating lake owned by Thames Water just off Hennef Way, near the Grimsbury Estate of Banbury. It is used mostly as a boating lake so you will often see windsurfers, kayaks and the like surfing through its waves.

Information on the venue is difficult to find, so it is best to join the Facebook page for more information.

To Add

No night fishing on the lake, they are very strict on this. Take a rod pod!


Grimsbury Reservoir Key Info

Tickets: Day Ticket - ring Castaway Fishing Tackle for more info - 01295 254274
How much: Info not available
How to book: Just turn up and fish (gated, you will need a code)
How busy: Can be busy at weekends
Can you drive to swims: No
On site facilities: None
Average Size: 16lb
Realistic catch rate: Multiple Hits To Be Had
Best swims: Swims either side of the jetty
Best method: Throwing stick boilies
Best bait: CC Moore Pacific Tuna
Ideal range: 80yrd-100yrd
Max size: 34lb

The Stock

The stock is relatively unknown as it is a public water. There are lots of carp present, with many of them over the 20lb mark. Each and every fish is different; some wonderful fully scaled fish, linears, plainer more leathery characters and some hefty commons too. They go to mid thirties. There are also large heads of bream, the bream fishing can be fantastic in fact. Also, if you love your predators, there’s the odd large stripey lurking in the depths.

What Is It Like?

It is a typical, urban, concrete jungle. Do not go thinking it will be festooned in lilies, weed, overhanging bushes and snags, because it couldn’t be further from that. Grimsbury is a baron, boating reservoir, but what it lacks in looks, it makes up for with stock. The lake is gated from the public, so you will need a code to get in. There is a concrete wall that runs all around the lake, so the majority of the lake requires a rod pod. The banks are grassy, though, so it is comfortable.

There is a boating launch at one end, jetties etc, and then it funnels down to a narrower end which can be great on the end of a heavy chop. The bottom is pretty clear and uniform really with depths of 10ft on average. There are some smoother areas, but bait is your main feature. The lake can get very windy at times, so be prepared to tackle this and if you use a brolly, take plenty of pegs!


It is a bit of trek from the car park so don't take loads of gear otherwise it will be a real chore to move.

James Armstrong

How Do You Tackle The Lake?

One huge piece of advice is to travel light. It is a bit of trek from the car park so don’t take loads of gear otherwise it will be a real chore to move. You will need a barrow, but keep things minimal, the carp love to move around the ressie and on occasions I’ve fished up to five swims in a day to keep on the fish. Grimsbury fishes very well all year round, so if you fancy the chance of a winter scaly, it is a great option.

What Rigs & Baits Do You Use?

There is a large head of bream present, so be careful with your choice. Piling in loads of pellets and 10mm baits will just attract bream, so if you are looking for carp only use boilies only. Spreading 18mm baits via the throwing stick over hinged stiff rigs works very well for me over there. I like to fish bright hook baits too, Northern Specials being a fantastic option. Due to the colour water, stinky, potent baits work effectively. In terms of rigs, as I said, the hinged stiff rig works well. It is tangle free, and will always be presented well on the hard lake bed. I have caught fish on snowman rigs too.

Grimsbury Reservoir Rules

Are bait boats allowed: No
Are there any rig rules: N/A
Are there any rules on hook sizes or patterns: N/A
Are there any rules on barbed hooks: Micro barbs only
How many rods are allowed: 3
Fish care: Unhooking mats compulsory
Are dogs allowed?: No dogs
Can you night fish?: No


Jimmy began his angling on the river Ouse with his father fishing for roach. His passion grew quickly and soon developed a love for big-fish across the globe!


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