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Finchley Lido

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Finchley Lido
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The small pond behind the Vue Cinema in the Great North Leisure Park is so small, it does not appear on most maps. Squeezed between the giant Vue multiplex cinema and the A406 North Circular Road, it is urban angling in its truest sense. The pond is fed by run-off from the car-parks which service the leisure park and the semi-ferral Coppets Wood open space.

There are no formally laid out pegs and it is generally a case of fish when you can find a spot. A reasonably large council estate just over the 406 means that there are usually plenty of kids having their first go at fishing and on a sunny day you can struggle to find a spot around this oval shaped pond with no significant features other than a large tree growing into the water on one side and an abundance of water lilies during the summer.

A sluice gate at one end provides a slightly deeper area of water (when the pond is full, it can be up to around 5-6 feet) although beware of dumped shopping trollies and other miscellaneous rubbish. London Angler once pulled a small moped out of this water!

Although this isnít the worldís greatest place to fish, it is at the end of the day, a place to fish. Yes the 6 lane A road is noise, but you do start to tune it out after a while. Yes there are lots of kids knocking around maggot-bashing, but we all had to start somewhere. Would it get a 5-star review, certainly not, but spots to go and catch in the capital are, relatively speaking few and far between. For those who find themselves in North London and fancy a couple of hours sport, with a half decent chance of catching, there are far worse places to go.
Finchley Lido


Finchley, North London

Map Location:
Link to Google Map

Getting There:
If you drive, park in the furthest section of the carpark, to the right of the cinema and head towards the A406. The pond is just beyond a new housing development, a couple of minutes walk down on the lefthand side. This pond is a good walk from either East Finchley or Woodside Park (North Finchley) tube stations, both on the Northern line, but there are frequent buses travelling between the two, many of which stop off almost next to the pond.

Venue Type:

Fish confirmed:



Venue Website:

As mentioned above, this is a small pond that can comfortably accommodate 5-6 anglers, maybe 10 if they are all fishing considerately. However donít be surprised at twice that number or even more, particularly on a sunny day during the school holidays.
Generally float tactics are going to be the best here, there just isnít the room for anything else, although you will get the occasional selfish carp angler who will fire out a couple of ledgers in either direction, effectively cutting off half of the pond to everyone else.
As with many waters, dusk is a great time to fish here and you can literally pull out a fish a cast if you are happy maggot bashing for gudgeon (which actually grow to surprisingly large proportions here) and small roach. More wily carp, up to around 6lb can be tempted either with baits such as sweetcorn or luncheon meat off the bottom, or a floating bread crust off the top. Be warned however, the fish in this pond are caught regularly and can be very spooky when you are trying to take the off the top. Stalk up around the east side of the pond and you might just take a decent urban carp, meters away from hundreds of commuters rushing to and from work.

At the opposite end to the sluice gate, floating baits flicked out on a free-line can do wonders for carp, similarly in and around the branches of the overhanging tree. Pretty much anything and everything goes here, although if you are looking for some guaranteed sport, you canít go wrong with maggots or small pieces of bread. Sweetcorn is also a popular bait and tends to cut out the constant bites from tiddlers that you will get on the other baits. At the opposite end to the sluice gate, floating baits flicked out on a free-line can do wonders for carp, similarly in and around the branches of the overhanging tree.


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User Reviews:

Reviewer: ?pike? 10/12/2012 10:41:29 PM Overall: 14 /50 ( 28 %)
I like this place

Can anyone tell me if there is still fish in the lake as I like it a lot? Does anyone know the last time fish is caught there and what species can be found? Today I was there and the whole lake is covered by algae.It doesn't seem that anyone was fishing at that place soon.Thanks in advance
Quality of fishing: 1/10
Access to venue: 10/10
Pegs: 1/10
Facilities: 1/10
General Cleaniness of Venue: 1/10
Reviewer: shazza 4/14/2012 6:20:34 PM Overall: 9 /50 ( 18 %)
No Go Area

I went down to check out this venue this afternoon (April 2012) and discovered it is almost completely covered in algae. The tree in the picture grow out across a third of the pond now, and there is a LOT of debris visible. Shopping trolleys etc. I'd say its unfishable, which is a shame as it looks like it used to be a pretty good spot.
Quality of fishing: 1/10
Access to venue: 2/10
Pegs: 2/10
Facilities: 3/10
General Cleaniness of Venue: 1/10
Reviewer: john_x 05/11/2010 16:26:02 Overall: 22 /50 ( 44 %)
Not pretty but OK place

As it says in the review above, this place is not exactly a delight on the eyes. I have fished this a few times over the years and it can produce a decent bit of sport. There are some small Carp in here that will give you a good fight on light gear and float fishing a few maggots will get you bites (often from Gudgeon, but other fish are there too). It is free, it has fish and you will probably be the only person there so worth a go every now and again.
Quality of fishing: 6/10
Access to venue: 8/10
Pegs: 5/10
Facilities: 1/10
General Cleaniness of Venue: 2/10