Location in South East:
River Lane, Perterhsam or Ham Common Road, Ham, Greater London, England.
Car parking at Ham and River Lane.
Maggot, caster, worm.
From the A307 take the turning into River Lane at Petersham or Ham Common Road at Ham and go to the end and park.
The stretch of the River Thames from Ham to Petersham Meadow used to offer some of the finest river coarse fishing in the South East of England. Massive bags of roach and dace were commonplace. Despite the decline in fishing due to adverse clean water policies, this stretch of the Thames is still one of the most challenging and rewarding river venues anywhere.
Approximately 80yds at its widest with depths varying between 5-7ft, the best time to fish this stretch of the Thames is five hours after high tide at London Bridge during the simmer months and four hours in the winter. Although the dace are no longer present in the numbers they used to be, the river still provides some excellent roach fishing as well as holding some superb bream [to 7lb], perch [to 3lb], the odd barbel [to 7lb] and some big specimen carp.
Tactics that work well are groundbait feeder, waggler, long pole and whips. Best baits are maggot, hemp, worm and caster. Expect to get through 3-4 pints of maggots and hemp and 3-6 kilos of groundbait for the bream. Top spots are around Hammertons Ferry [upstream of River Lane] and downstream at the bottom of Petersham Meadow.
* No bans in force
* Free Fishing
* The banks at this stretch are very steep - take care ascending and descending the banks.
Reader feedback - November 2006
River Thames [Ham - Pertersham] - you mention that it is 5-7 feet deep, this
may be true at low tide when the Richmond Lock gates are down but 2 hours before
high tide these gates lift and the tide pushes up as far as Teddington Weir,
raising the water level by approx. 5-10 feet depending on the height of the
tide. The tide then runs out until the gates at Richmond Lock are lowered again,
2 hours after High tide and the water level settles. When the gates are up the
tidal flow can be strong enough to make holding the bottom very
Now, just to confuse you even further, for most of this month, November 2006, the gates at Richmond Lock are being kept up all the time, this means that the River Thames between Richmond Lock and Teddington Weir is fully tidal and at low tide there may be very little water at Ham or in fact anywhere between Richmond Lock and Teddington Weir, the actual level at low water will depend on the amount of water coming down stream. This is known as 'The Run Off' and happens most years so that any required maintenance can be carried out.
Most local fishermen will know about the run off but someone may be visiting and could end up very dissapointed.
To find the time of high tide at Richmond you must add 1 hour to the time of high tide at London Bridge (GMT).
In British Summer Time you must add 2 hours.
I am sorry for the length of this note but feel it is only fair to let people know what to expect when they arrive. I have fished this stretch of the river thames for many years and am used to the tides etc. but anyone just turning up for a days fishing may find the river as calm as a lake, get set up and then find they are fishing in a tidal river.
Finally keep your eye open for rubbish floating by when the tide is moving.
Thanks to Nigel for the feedback
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