The shortlist

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Bury Hill Fisheries, Dorking, Surrey: set in a 12-acre, 200-year- old estate with a small tackle shop and cafe. You can hire a punt for the day and fish from there. Fish: tench carp, zander, roach, bream and crucian carp. Tackle: float rod, reel with 4lb line and a 16-18 size hook. Cost: a day permit costs pounds 8 (pounds 4 concession except Sunday and bank holidays), punt hire costs pounds 4. Details: call 01306 877540.

River Swale, Topcliffe, West Yorkshire: the best spot is near the village of Topcliffe where the river ripples and swirls. Fish: chub and barbel. Tackle: quiver-tip rod with feeder and caster for deep-river fishing. Anchor bait down on the river bed. Cost: pounds 2 per day. Details: call 0113 2482373 after 7pm.

Loch Ken, nr Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway: a picturesque 13- mile loch with pine trees and open bank access. Fish: roach, pike and perch. Tackle: a swing-tip or quiver-tip rod with a 1lb test curve and a 1-2oz bomb weight. Cost: between pounds 1.50 and pounds 2 a day. Details: call 01644 470220.

Bridgewater Canal, Warrington, Cheshire: a picturesque fishing spot on a canal near the pretty village of Lymm. Fish: roach, bream, perch, carp and pike. Tackle: an 11m pole with 11/2 lb breaking strain line and small hooks. For bait use a pint of casters (maggot chrysalis) or red pinkies. Cost: annual membership pounds 40 men, pounds 7 women. Details: call 01925 637525.

River Trent, Swarkestone, Derbyshire: the quietest and prettiest stretches are in Clifton Grove, Long Higgin, Gunthorpe Bridge and East Bridgeford. Fish: chub, bream, carp. Tackle: rod and line. Best baits are casters or maggots. Cost: pounds 2-pounds 3 a day. Details: call 0115 9813834.

Makin Fishery, Wolvey, Warwickshire: a popular multi-lake complex. Fish: giant barbel (largest catch was 16lbs 5oz), carp, chub, bream and roach. Tackle: standard running line tackle and float. Cost: pounds 5 a day, pounds 3 concession. Details: call 01455 220502.

Compiled by Cayte Williams with the help of The Angler's Mail