Recently I popped up to the tidal Thames at Teddington for a session with Richard Crimp and one of his friends. I has been encouraged to fish the Thames when I looked into the Thames Anglers Conservancy website and forum. The chosen section was at Teddington Lock and when I arrived I could see that it was popular with anglers with many already setup on the island in the choicest swims. Even through the best angling is to be had at high tide when the river flow slows to a crawl, anglers were there in numbers several hours before this.
Even though it doesn’t look it, the water was ripping through this channel. Even a 3oz lead was struggling to hold its position and I was very glad that I was targeting it with lures. My tactic was to cast small rubber shads between the boats and allow the current to drift the lure underneath the hull. The plan was to get one of the big perch that allegedly live under the boats…
Sadly it was not to be and after an hour of lure fishing I couldnt find a single perch and didnt even have as much as a follow of the lure. I think that the exterme current has moved a lot of fish to more sheltered areas and not only did I blank there all the rest of the anglers did as well.
At 11am Richard and his mate turned up and it was time to swap rods and tactics and go for zander. The rigs were very simple just a swivel tied to the end of the main line, a 3 oz lead on 4lb line as a “rotten bottom” and a 2ft length of fluorocarbon tied to the top eye of the swivel. The bait was simply lip hooked on the end of a single hook on the fluorocarbon trace. As the tide started t change the river level started to rise. The difference on the day we were there had to be about 1 meter however I hear that there are tides as high as 7 meters… quite how they cope with them I have no idea but the river is very impressive as the level suddenly ( over about an hour) rises up.
Our hotspot was proving to be a little tepid so we decided to over to the other side of the lock where there was a little less flow. Unfortunately the only visitor to the bank was a single very friendly swan that must be used to tourists feeding it bread which as we were all out of bread it left us alone.
The end tally was not a single fish to any of the 3 rods however the company more than made up for it. Whilst I am still a thames fish virgin, I will break this duck at some point and considering that all the angling on this stretch of the Thames is free ( you only need an EA license) it is well worth popping down. If you are interested in fishing the Thames, why not join the Thames Anglers Conservancy , make a donation ( optional) and preserve this amazing place for our children to enjoy fishing.