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In this information age probably the waters that still hold the most mystery, at least to most, are the rivers. And of course king of the English Rivers is the Thames. Stories of huge carp abound and is is cetainly true that for those prepared to do the groundwork there are some very large carp around, with many talking of record potential
Of course the downside of unknown stocks is the fairly random nature of fish origins. Carp have escaped from all over the place, or been released and it is fair to say that there are the odd fish of slightly dubious heritage lurking, as well as those of a more ornamental nature. However this is the nature of the beast and shouldn't detract from the challenges and rewards lurking in the murky depths.
The Thames officially begins its long journey in the Cotswolds, and of course empties into the North See from the Thames Estuary after passing through London. A fair amount of water to fish then!! It is officially the longest river in England altough of course the Severn which also runs through Wales holds the crown for the whole of the UK.
The course of the river takes it through a number of Towns including Oxford, Windsor and of course London.
The carp fishing challenges of the Thames can really be divided into two types, tidal and non tidal. Tidal fishing offers a range of challenges from mitten crabs to dragging leads so most wanting to sample the thames will head to calmer waters. Tactics to overcome fierce currents include using sea fishing style watch leads and backleading, although this tactic is not always possible in snaggier areas.
There are free stretches along the length of the river so it is well worth researching the area you'd like to fish. All tidal waters, including the tidal Thames, have a common right to fish so if it is legal to access the river path fishing is in. It is also worth noting that the river close season remains in force on the tidal Thames which officially starts around the aforementioned Teddington locks.
Notable areas to fish include Teddington, Hampton Court, Sonning and Staines.
The challenge with catching Thames carp is often said to be not hooking the fish, due to their roving nature they are less pressured, however one of location. Also worth a look are some of the Thames many backwaters. A walk in the summer can prove quite an eye opener.
Last Edited by: erikb on the 04 April 2009