Castor Backwater




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Info for Castor Backwater

Castor Weir to Waternewton Lock

This open water will contain silver fish and bream in warmer months along with the predators that follow them. Chub will be present in the winter but will need searching out by roving. On you reaching the spinney you enter prime chub territory where overhanging trees provide cover. Downstream from here there is another open field before reaching the next wooded area. A concrete post next to the path marks the boundary beyond which the land is private.

P&DAA water commences again once you have passed the boat mooring area downstream of the lock.

Castor Backwater and Main River

Upstream of the bridge the left hand bank is where the prime barbel swims are to be found. As well as the barbel there are specimen chub and roach along with almost every other species you can think of. On entry to the fishery if you turn left and through the pedestrian gate at the water’s edge there are only a few hundred yards of the backwater remaining before its confluence with the main river. The fishery continues for one meadow where it becomes Splash Lane Meadows Fishery, a section historically famed for its large catches of bream.

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General Notes For All Venues

These apply to all P&DAA waters

  • Fishing is strictly one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset through out the year, i.e. there is no night fishing available. This rule is strictly enforced.
  • Our waters are mostly shared with other users and have public footpaths crossing them or the river bank forms a public footpath. Anglers do not have preferential rights in these cases. Many of the meadows are grazed by livestock and care should be exercised especially when there are young animals present. Some banks are also public bridleways so expect to see horses at times. Please do not obstruct any public right of way.
  • Parking is as described in each fishery description and must be adhered to. Do not block access to fields or park on protected verges. Never leave valuables on show in your car. Parking at Ferry Meadows and Thorpe Meadows is charged for by the owner, Nene Park Trust, and their parking conditions apply. P&DAA members may buy an annual parking permit for Ferry Meadows at a preferential price (50% discount) on production of a current P&DAA handbook and EA rod licence. Available from the Visitor Centre.
  • Fish welfare is of paramount importance, unhooking mats should be used at all times, a minimum landing net size of 30” applies to specimen anglers. Keepnets are allowed (min 3m) but common sense regarding length of time fish are retained should be observed. Full details on day tickets and in the handbook.
  • Live baiting is prohibited.
  • All fish to be safely returned to the water.
  • Fishing is allowed between 15th March and 15th June on Gunwade and Overton Lakes at Ferry Meadows and the Boathouse Basin at Thorpe Meadows. Some areas may be closed while birds are nesting.
  • It is a condition of season and day ticket membership that a current EA rod licence is held therefore our Water Bailiffs will ask to see licences and refuse access where these cannot be shown.
  • P&DAA enjoys good relationships with its landowners but relies on their generosity in renewing fishing agreements. By following club rules we will maintain our fishing rights for the benefit of all members.


The bearer is hereby given permission to fish the waters of Peterborough & District Angling Association on the date listed on your e-ticket and under the terms and conditions detailed:



1. Fishing of any kind is not permitted on any of the Association’s river waters during the close season, 15th March to 15th June inclusive, with the exception of Ferry Meadows lakes and Thorpe Meadows Basin.

2. No night fishing is permitted on any P&DAA waters. Anglers may commence fishing one hour before sunrise and cease one hour after sunset.

3. The use of live freshwater fish as bait is not allowed, only pre-packed shop bought dead bait.

4. Keepnets are permitted. These must be fish friendly and a minimum of 3 metres long. They must be secured correctly so as not to cause any damage, stress or fatality to the fish. Pleasure anglers at Ferry Meadows are permitted to use keepnets only for the retention of silverfish up to 2lb. Bream, other than in matches, must not be retained and must be released upon capture. For matches at Ferry Meadows a minimum of 2 nets must be used with a limit of 50lb per net. On the river there is a 50lb limit per net. Other than in matches, keep nets may not be used to hold specimen fish such as pike, carp or barbel.

5. No fish may be killed or taken away. All fish (including eels) must be returned to the water alive after they have had sufficient time to recover.

6. Landing nets must be used at all times. Nets must be of a 30” minimum size for all specimen and predator fishing including, but not limited to, pike, zander, carp and barbel.

7. Unhooking mats must always be used for fish on the bank. Do not place fish on the ground even if it appears soft and wet. All photography over an unhooking mat and never when stood up.

8. Lead Ban: The following lead shot sizes are not allowed to be used, Swan to No. 6 inclusive and also leger weights up to 1 oz. The allowable exceptions are Swim Feeders where lead is an integral component.

9. No more than three rods may be used at any one time (rod licence(s) to cover the number of rods in use. However, on ALL BACKWATERS anglers may only use one rod.

10. The use of multiple hooks is not allowed. The exception being when an integral part of a lure or to secure a deadbait when predator fishing. The use of gaffs, gags or lip grippers is not permitted. No trolling on P&DAA waters.

11. Overhead Wires: For your safety, fishing is not allowed within 30 metres of any overhead cables and power lines.

12. Anglers must park with consideration, not block any gateway or entrance when parking their vehicle and respect all signage present.

13. Anglers may take their dogs with them when fishing but must keep them under control at all times. They are also responsible for clearing up their dog’s waste and taking it away.

14. Anglers are expected to remove all litter from the bank side, even though they may not be responsible for its being there. Remember discarded fishing tackle is a danger to wildlife.

15. Anglers are reminded that our waters are shared by other users who must be shown respect at all times.

16. Members of our Bailiff team carry ID badges and patrol regularly to check all anglers who use the Association’s Waters have the appropriate documentation and equipment to meet the conditions laid out in the Rules. They will check for proof of membership, day tickets and rod licences. Any abuse or obstruction to a Bailiff is not acceptable and will lead to a loss of membership of the Association and a ban from fishing any of the Association’s waters. Camping, fires, barbecues and excess alcohol are not allowed at any time. The Association reminds its members that the fishing rights are granted by the generosity of our landowners and damage caused to crops, fences or property could result in the loss of these rights. Members are asked to report any damage or vandalism to a Bailiff or any of the Association’s Officers. Please also be aware that any contravention of the above Rules by an angler could lead to a fishing ban from the Association’s waters.


How to Find the Venue…

Castor Weir to Waternewton Lock

Once at Castor Weir commences the main river takes a sharp turn to the right and you will need to take the bridge over the weir. This is open grazed pasture land and following a left hand bend the river continues until a spinney.


Castor Backwater and Main River

This fishery is accessed from the bottom of Station Road, Ailsworth PE5 7AH where parking is available on the roadside. Once parked, cross the Nene Valley Railway line using the pedestrian gate and then through the green metal entrance gate. At this point the backwater is a few hundred yards in front of you and offers a number of choices. Turn to the right and you can fish either bank of the backwater going upstream. If crossing the bridge you also have the option of fishing the right bank down to the point where the backwater rejoins the main river or fishing the main river from there up to the mill pool below the lock.



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