LONGHAM, BOURNEMOUTH, DORSET
DESCRIPTION: a short length of classic lowland river offers great sport. This free fishing stretch involves walking across a field to gain access, and fishing from uneven banks, but the rewards can be spectacular. Many of the fish reach specimen size; these include pike and carp to 20 lb, barbel to 15 lb, a few bream to 8 lb, lots of chub to 7 lb, with perch and roach to 3 lb.
TACTICS: loosefeeding plenty of maggots before casting a float rig or feeder to far bank branches is one of the best ways of catching chub here. Depths are around 4-6 ft deep, and casts across are no more than 20 m. Using a waggler or big stick float, for improved control, will bring results. If feeder fishing, a block-end filled with maggots, in conjunction with a short and strong, bolt rig-style hook length, is the best attack. Add an artificial maggot if small fish are a nuisance. As the weather cools, roving a few likely swims after baiting with bread mash will bring good roach alongside chub. For barbel, bait in the faster flows with pellets and then fish a banded, 8 mm pellet wrapped in a stiff paste on a running leger rig. Rolling meat through on a weighted hook rig can be successful on quieter days, but this is a popular stretch so can be busy. Hemp and tares can bring nice roach nets on light stick float tackle. Set the float shallow to run above any weed and keep trickling a pinch of bait in every cast. A large spoon or plug worked along each margin will be a good way to net a pike. Otherwise, leger a small deadbait close to likely spots, with the bait popped-up to impart some movement. A soft, grub lure on a light jig head will work for perch beneath the bridge. For carp or bream, fish corn on a groundbait-loaded Method feeder, just below the bridge and around the island. The tail end of the island is the best bet during strong flows. TICKETS: free fishing. Food outlets, shops and several pubs nearby.
GOOD SWIMS: those with good pace and cover, or just below the weir.
LOCAL TACKLE SHOP: Bournemouth Fishing
Lodge, 904 Wimborne Road, Moordown, Bournemouth, BH9 2DW. Tel: 01202 514345. LOCATION: from Bournemouth, head towards Ferndown on the A348. Cross Bear Cross roundabout, heading towards Longham, and continue for 600 yards. Parking is just before Longham Bridge, on the left, in a lay-by near shops. Cross the road carefully, to access the fishery through a gate on the opposite side of the road. BH11 9LQ.