How to Fish the River Thames

You might be under the impression that the River Thames is a dirty, smelly waterway with very little aquatic life swimming about its murky depths. Thankfully, this stereotype doesn’t hold true, and in recent years, the river has undergone a significant cleanup, making it a clean, pleasant water for fish to live in.

This is great news for the anglers amongst us, as it means that the main water of our capital is once again fishable. Of course, you might not want to drop a line off the side of London Bridge, but if you head downstream a little bit, you’ll find some seriously good fishing can be had. So, if you’re a Londoner and you’re interested in learning how to fish the Thames, don’t worry, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to what you should expect to catch, what you should pack to catch it with, and some of the river’s best pegs.

The Real River Thames

If you have any preconceptions about the River Thames, now is the time to leave them at the door. Although once upon a time it used to be the case that if you floated a line down the river you’d be waiting a very long time to get a bite, these days, the river is well stocked with roach, rudd, tench, bream, carp, dace, pike, zander and catfish. You’ll be surprised to know that even the water flowing through central London is now starting to repopulate after decades of toxic water.

The Necessary Kit

Fishing any river requires a certain level of kit/gear to ensure that you’ve got everything you need for a successful fishing session. If you’re Course fishing, you’ll need two rods as a minimum – probably one with feeder and one simple float and line. If you’re planning to be static, you’ll also do well to take a capable box with adjustable feet, as riverbanks are often poorly maintained. If you don’t know where your local London tackle shop is, consider using a site like Fishing Hut that will deliver straight to your address.

Top Locations You Should Try

A popular fishing spot on the Thames is at the Thames Side Promenade, which is set into an attractive park area that is perfect for a relaxing spot of fishing. Another is the Sonning Lock, which is upstream of lock on tow-path – just beyond the small island on the river. Here, fishing is available all season long.

These are just a couple of popular fishing spots, but hopefully you’re now more aware of the great fishing that’s on offer on the River Thames.