Skelsmergh Tarn

Skelsmergh Tarn

Skelsmergh Tarn lies just off the A6, 2 miles north of Kendal. The postcode for the fishery is LA8 9AS.

This is a very special, venue, being one of only a handful of ‘marl lakes’ in the country. It is heavily protected and its status as a SSSI severely restricts any allowable development. However, this is a venue that is at its best very much left to nature.

The venue is served with a dedicated car park with spaces for around 6 cars and access around the tarn is by a raised timber walkway. 

10 well-spaced pegs are interspersed with deep lily beds which make for picture-book fishing. An area of ‘out-of-bounds’ at the back of the tarn maintains the unspoilt feel.

The venue had a reputation for producing very large tench, which grew to huge proportions gorging on the very high levels of natural food. In the past, there were also good heads of rudd.

In recent years otter predation has taken its toll on these stocks, but after extensive negotiations, WADAA secured permission for the erection of a protective fence. Please ensure that all gates used are continuously closed and padlocked at all times during your visit. With this work now completed and the site secure, restocking has taken place. Slesmergh tarn is a managed mixed coarse fishery; species include: Tench 9lbs+, Crucian Carp, rudd and perch.

The venue is deep and tactics need to be adapted according, with both the pole and slider scoring well. Some bait restrictions are stipulated by Natural England and these can be seen in the rules. Fishing is from dawn until dusk, all year around. 

For the full rules, please open the following link: Skelsmergh Tarn Fishery Rules Updated May 23



Skelsmergh Tarn


Head north from Kendal on the A6. After passing Kendal Rugby Club on the right, continue for 1.4 miles, then turn right onto Garnett Folds. Fishery parking will be on the right in approximately 0.4 miles. The fishery is North of the car park.

Postcode: LA8 9AS

Co-ordinates: 54.362403, -2.717800