This large lake is regarded principally as a pike fishery although it also contains a good head of roach together with perch and eels. Trout are undoubtedly present but rarely targeted, although some salmon fishing does take place at the outflow by Ouse Bridge
Bassenthwaite has a much more pastoral feel to it than most of the other lakes with the northern and western shores being surrounded by relatively flat agricultural land. Despite its size access to the shoreline of the lake is largely restricted to the road side bank bordering the A66 with fishing from NPA land at Woodend, Blackstock Point, Beck Wythop and at Ouse Bridge below the laybyes.
A boat is a great asset for pike angling on the lake although none are available for hire. Anglers can buy permits for their own boats which may be launched at the public slipway at Peel Wyke near the Pheasant Inn. Season permit holders may use electric outboards and a number of ‘stands’ are rented to boat owners who wish to keep their boats at the lake. There is a waiting list for these stands and more information is available from the Blencathra Centre on 017687 79633.
Camping and fires are not permitted on the lake shore although season ticket holders are allowed to night fish.
Angling visitors to Bassenthwaite Lake should be aware that the lake is recognised as being of national and international nature conservation importance. It is recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Natural Nature Reserve (NNR) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The Bassenthwaite Lake Restoration Programme is currently tackling many of the threats to to this unque habitat.
The fishing on the lake is controlled by the Lake District National Park Authority. Permits are available from Keswick TIC, Youdales Newsagents, Main Street, Keswick, the Castle Inn Hotel or from Herdwick Croft Guest House at the northern end of the lake.
Adult day permits for coarse fishing are currently £7.00 Permits for salmon fishing on the short river section above Ouse Bridge are £9.00 per day. Concessionary and longer period permits are also available. Under 16's may fish for free but must be in posession of a permit. .