Monday, 16 August 2010

Somerset 2010 Part 4 - River Huntspill, Sloway Lane

Thursday saw my last session of the week. No trip to this area is complete without tackling the mighty Huntspill. The section I had chosen is actually the least daunting part of the river, as it's more like the width of the Avon along the Recreation Ground in Stratford. Other sections further upstream are more like twice as wide.

Although it's called a river, it's actually an artificial river with a sluice at either end. It was built during WW2 with a dual purpose - partly for essential water supplies for manufacturing and partly for drainage. At 5 miles long and fishable from both banks almost all the way, there's a big volume of water to go at.


The upstream section here isn't fishable as it's kept as a nature reserve. In the far diatance are the sluice gates where it enters Bridgwater Bay.


I fished the first peg below the bridge, hoping for a bit of shelter from the very brisk wind. I had been to the tackle shop in Highbridge earlier and the guy who served me always asks where you're going. His advice never changes - if you're after silver fish, then fish anywhere you like - the river is solid with fish.

Proper Bream are a bit harder to come by, largely because there aren't huge shoals of them. With 5 miles of very wide and very similar water to move around in, they take a fair bit of locating. Again, with about 4 hours to play with, I wasn't going to waste my time looking for them, but it didn't stop me chucking in 8 cricket balls of groundbait. You have to be optimistic that they'll show up!

Bites were slowish to start with, but as I kept the feed going in, the speed of bites picked up. Half an hour in and it turned into another bite a chuck session, but the stamp of fish was pretty poor - lots of 1-2oz fish. There was plenty of variety again though.

I switched to corn, but it didn't have the desired impact. Bites were consistent, but much slower. The stamp of fish didn't improve much though - very littlle over 4oz. The wind continued to pick up and was making the presentation awkward at times.

Although I had a good few fish, I doubt I caught much more than 6-7lb in total. Bites were fairly easy to come by, but it still felt like hard work to build up a weight. It never ceases to amaze me just how many fish there are in this river. As the guy in the tackle shop says, you can catch plenty of fish from absolutely any peg across the entire 5 mile length. It's a far cry from the middle section of Wasperton!


  1. Hi Sean,
    I used to live round that way, the drains are stuffed with small fish throughout. There are a few hotspots regarded as closely guarded secrets by the locals Bussex bend on the King's Sedgemoor is one of the best for big bream (to 8lb+). It is accessed through Bussex Farm, Westonzoyland (site of the battlefield). Don't tell anyone I told you!
    Regards Steve.

  2. Thanks Steve.

    I've often seen that area mentioned and thought it must be a bloody good walk - access is only shown from either Parchey or Greylake bridges. I'll investigate further next year!

    If my memory serves me correct the last two Division 1 Nationals held on the Bridgwater AA waters were both won with decent Bream nets from the Bussex bend area on the KSD.

    I was a bit gutted not to fish the KSD this time around. Parchey, Greylake and Bradney have been good old servants to me in the past. The problem is that there's just so much water in the area, I could happily spend a whole month getting around the various sections on the Bridgwater AA waters alone. When you factor in waters held by other clubs, I could spend a season getting around them all!