The Bridge Pool

The Bridge Pool

Fishing is from the moored punt (which may be positioned anywhere in the main pool) or by wading.
See below for rules, information & fishing tips...


Extract of the current rules, as applicable to the Bridge Pool:

The permit holder named shall be responsible for ensuring that each person fishing observes these rules.
The permit includes the right to fish for sea trout and salmon during the respective seasons (no salmon fishing after 31st August) providing each angler is in possession of the appropriate Environment Agency (Migratory) Rod Licence. 
Environment Agency bylaws must be observed at all times.
Only two anglers may fish at any time. 
No more than one rod at a time may be used by each of the 2 anglers.
Fishing is allowed from 0600 to 2300 but salmon fishing must cease at sunset.
Bag limit is 2 sizeable sea trout per angler (maximum 4 fish from the Pool per day). 
All salmon, brown trout & other fish to be released unharmed. (If you catch a fish and are unsure whether it's a sea trout or not, please put it back immediately - we do not allow you to take salmon or brown trout.)
Minimum size limit for sea trout is 15" and maximum size limit of 20" measured from tip of nose to cleft of tail. 
To facilitate Catch & Release, anglers are recommended to use barbless or de-barbed hooks.
No worming for salmon - shrimp or fly only allowed (worming for salmon is illegal on the Avon).
No salmon fishing after 31st August.
No lobworms (fly, maggots, small single worms, shrimps & prawns may be used but no shrimps or prawns after 31st August).
No spinning (no spinners, spoons, plugs, wobblers, devons, or fly-spoons).
No keepnets.
No pike fishing.
No fishing from the bridge.
For the safety of the general public, fly anglers must not fish from the bank or allow their fly lines to cross the bank. 
No litter, radios, fires or camping on or near the river.
Before vacating the pool, the punt should be moored so that it can rise and fall with the tide*.
All salmon & sea trout caught must be reported to Davis Tackle (including undersize fish).
Any known break of rules should be reported to Davis Tackle or a bailiff immediately.
Fishing is undertaken at the anglers’ risk.

General Notes:

Please have consideration for local residents at all times. The boat chain is very noisy - please do not move the punt until 6.00am. and leave by 11.00pm
If leaving the pool for lunch etc., don't leave your tackle or other belongings unattended and take care to leave the punt moored so that it can rise & fall with the tide.
Being tidal, other boats may legally navigate through the pool. Allow them to pass peacefully and they should not affect your sport.
*Please note that when leaving the pool, the mooring chain must be clipped to the mooring ring at the stern of the punt and not tied to the steps or handrails. The main chain should also be attached to the ring post with sufficient slack to allow the punt to reach the bank.
A catch return of all game fish caught (or nil return) must be made to Davis Tackle asap after fishing. Anglers failing to submit a catch return, leaving the punt in an unsatisfactory state or breaking any other rule may not be eligible for future bookings!
There are umbrella sockets provided in the punt for your use.
If there is excess water in the punt, you can use the bilge pumps with the handle provided. If a pump won't prime, put your hand over the outlet and give 3 or 4 quick pumps to create a vacuum.

Notes on "Catch & Release":

Our fish stocks have improved in recent years mainly because of "Catch & Release" so please don't kill fish, particularly large hen fish, unless you are going to eat them.
There are often large numbers of undersize fish in the pool so to facilitate C & R, avoid using barbed or multiple hooks - you may be surprised how few fish you will lose when using barbless or crushed-barb hooks, and how much easier it is to release fish. Also, single barbless hooks are much easier to extract from nets, clothing and body parts!
When bait fishing, strike quickly to avoid fish swallowing the hook.
When releasing fish, please hold them firmly but gently into the current until they are strong enough to swim away.
Avoid bringing fish into the boat or onto the bank - use a large landing net with a small soft mesh and try to release fish without removing from the water. If you must handle the fish, wet your hands and/or use a wet cloth.

Which Method?

Both fly and bait fishing can be effective. Do whichever you enjoy, or both! You have up to 17 hours x 2 anglers = 34 rod-hours in the pool, plenty of time to experiment! The ever changing tidal conditions affect the depth and flow so be prepared to vary your technique. The shallow area below the main pool can be very productive with fly or bait, particularly for good numbers of smaller fish. It can be accessed by wading (if careful!) from about 2 hours into the ebb tide until about 2 hours after the start of the flood, although the ebb is generally better. You can then fish for a distance of approximately 50yds to the bottom boundary (which is just upstream of the first yacht mooring). It is generally best to position yourself in the middle of the river and cast towards the far (east) side, then let the current do the rest! For tidal predictions covering the next 6 days click here.

Fly Fishing:

If casting from the punt, position the punt in the pool so that you (and your partner) can cast safely, without allowing your line to pass over the bank or hit the bridge. It is generally best to cast diagonally across the current and allow fly to swing around. Experiment with different depths and retrieve rates:- Sometimes a fast retrieve across the surface will work. Other times the more traditional "slow & deep" method is better. Remember that the depth and current change with the tide.
Most traditional wet fly patterns will catch fish but the following are local favourites: Alexandra, Medicine, Black Pennel, Whiskey, Teal & Silver, Black & Silver and Zulu, sizes 10 - 14 in daylight, size 6 - 8 during darkness.
Fly leaders/tippets for sea trout should be 4 - 6lb in daytime in clear water conditions and 10lb in coloured water or dull conditions.
Fly leaders/tippets for salmon should be 10lb or more.

Bait Fishing:

Experienced coarse anglers with a background of trotting techniques will do best. When bait fishing for sea trout, small worms are a good bet, and there is no need to groundbait but if using maggots, heavy feeding (1 gallon at least) can be very productive. 
Line strength should be around 4lb or more, depending on conditions.
Hook size: 12 - 16 for maggots, 8 - 12 for worms.
An Avon or Chubber style float and centrepin reel will give you the best control when float fishing and allow you to fish over-depth and "hold back" at the tail of the pool.
A small swimfeeder can be effective if legering (particularly when there is little or no flow during a flooding tide)
When trotting, you will usually find that the pool fishes best when the tide is ebbing (running off). The exception to this is when the river is in spate in which case you should experience good flows during the flood tide.

Parking:

The nearest public car park is at the Council Offices in Bridge Street, about 200yds east of the Bridge Pool.
Accommodation: Click here

Emergency numbers:

Agents
    Davis Tackle: 01202 485169 or 0845 166 8038
Pollution/Fish in distress etc.
    Environment Agency: 0800 80 70 60 or 0278 457333
Swan Rescue
    Ken Merriman: 01202 828166 or 07785 917457

Booking:

The price for fishing the Bridge Pool in 2016 is £90.00 per "double rod" per day..
Bookings are taken on or after 1st November for the following season. Applicants may pay by cash or cheque at Davis Tackle. Provisional bookings may be made by telephone but must be confirmed in writing within 7 days, together with a cheque for the full amount made payable "Southern Fisheries Ltd." Bookings remaining unpaid after 7 days will be cancelled automatically.
If you have a booking but are unable to fish and wish to let a friend use your booking, you must contact Davis Tackle and supply details of the person you wish to fish. However, you will remain responsible for the conduct of the anglers fishing. Alternatively, given sufficient notice, Davis Tackle may be able to re-let your day, and offer you an alternative day in lieu. 

If you wish to make a booking or ask any questions about the fishing, please either call in at Davis Tackle or telephone either 01202 485169 or 0845 166 8038 (local rate). Please do not e-mail your enquiries or bookings unless you live overseas - it is too time-consuming.

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