Exeter Canal

The canal is approximately 6 miles long, running from the centre of Exeter (the Basin), continuing downstream & adjacent to the Exe estuary at Turf. Whilst stocked with all species, fish locationship01 however, can at times be difficult. Popular fishing areas are: Clapperbrook, Double Locks, Countess Wear, Lime Kilns & Swans Nest. Local knowledge is best sought prior to a fishing trip; it is therefore; advisable for anglers to enquire in the local tackle shop i.e. Exeter Angling Centre 01392 436404 as to the best areas to fish at a given time.

The canal has the reputation as being one of, if not the best, pike fisheries in the South West, with the biggest recorded pike going to the low 30’s, fish to 20lb are not uncommon. Popular methods are either dead bait or lure; all areas mentioned above are good for piking. (See pike angler’s page on this website)

For the experienced carp angler there is good fishing throughout, again, location being the main problem, if you do catch however, there is a chance the fish might have never been caught before. The canal has a reputation as a difficult carp water, yet the rewards can be great with many enormous fish present, the largest reported being 40lb. (See carp angler’s page on this website) For the pleasure and match angler; the areas mentioned above will all produce.

During spring to autumn the Lime Kilns area has proved to be consistently productive with big nets of tench/bream are possible. Popular tactics being maggot/sweetcorn fished on pole or feeder for bream and tench and highly flavoured boilies for the carp.

Directions: Due to the many areas it is recommended you seek advice from the local angling shop for directions; however, the following will guide you to the most popular areas:

Clapperbrook: Directions as given for our Weirfield fishery.

Countess Wear: Go down the Exeter By-Pass (A379) over the River Exe Bridge, before you go over the swing bridge turn left, with parking by the boathouse. From the car park you can either walk across the main road to fish the Double Locks stretch; alternatively, walk & fish downstream toward the sewage works, both of these areas can be productive.

Lime Kilns: Continue down the by-pass for a ¼ mile to the Matford roundabout, turn left on the Dawlish road (A379), after 600 yards you will see an oil refinery on your left, adjacent to this you will see a small lane, travel up this lane for a mile and you come to the Lime Kilns car park only yards from the bank. In the winter months this is a popular area for pike anglers and in the spring for carp/tench/bream/roach.

Please note a locked gate has now been fitted by the council and is to be kept locked at all times. If you find it open make sure its locked when leaving or entering the lane.
Please go to Ascot Jewellers with your membership card, as only fishing club members can
purchase a key. Your details will be kept in a register, for council inspection.
Ascot Jewellers Cowick Street Exeter EX4 1AA.

Please remember this is for the benefit of members and the council can stop this access at any time, if it is abused.

Swans Nest: From the oil refinery as mentioned above, continue down the main Dawlish road for ship02two miles (Sannerville Way), to a mini roundabout, turn left towards the Swans Nest pub, continue over the railway bridge and you will eventually come to the parking area adjacent to the canal. For the more energetic angler, walk downstream for 1 mile to the Turf basin & Turf Hotel, this is a good bream, Pike and carp holding area, it is however……..a very long walk….. but - the pub does sell a good pint!


  • As per the Association handbook
  • No closed season
  • 3 rods can be used year-round, providing they do not interfere with other anglers and are in the same swim.
  • Carp/pike rules apply
  • No fishing from boats allowed

Boundaries: Both banks from the city basin lock gates to Turf Locks.

Warning: Beware of power lines on this water.