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That little stretch of the Itchen between Mansbridge and Woodmill


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#1 Houseplant

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 10:15 PM

Dear all

I find myself living in Southampton after being abroad for the past year and my thoughts have of course turned to fishing.

I'm a bit of an all rounder and enjoy sea, game and coarse, but can't stand commercial carp pools.

The above stretch has caught my attention and was thinking about giving it a go to get back into the swing of things. I know it gets very bust during the summer with dog walkers and duck feeders etc, but seemed OK when I took a little walk there this morning. Water looked perfect too.

Is it any good? Quite fancied trotting with maggots/bread flake, rolling big baits for big fish (chub, barbel?) and maybe a bit of spinning (pike?).

Any thoughts and thanks.
Jack Pike Hunter Extraordinaire

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 11:03 PM

"I find myself living in Southampton after being abroad for the past year and my thoughts have of course turned to fishing."

You're a very lucky man, fishing-wise..

"The above stretch has caught my attention..<SNIP>
Is it any good? Quite fancied trotting with maggots/bread flake, rolling big baits for big fish (chub, barbel?) and maybe a bit of spinning (pike?)."

Upstream of Woodmill right up past Mansbridge, to the gatehouse a hundred yards or so above the pub is free fishing. You'll need a rod licence though.

This season I have witnessed or had on good authority that the stretch has produced roach to 1lb 10oz, chub to 4lb plus, pike to 13lb, grayling to 1lb (small shoal hangs around Mansbridge, often right under the bridge), carp to 17lb, and two barbel to 5lb plus.

It's got a good mixed head of fish, and responds well to float tactics, stick and avon, maggots and/or redworm, for the chub etc. The carp boys seem to favour meat and boilies. Due to the canalisation, the near side is not rated highly by the locals, and you'll see a lot of people legering the far bank, as well as the local centrepin boys trotting the stream. There's also the chance of a big trout, brown and sea, not to mention the salmon, which, although forced to run up "private" side-canalisations, to the Lower Itchen Salmon Fishery, sometimes still appear in the free stretch.

The aforementioned Salmon Fishery sells a winter coarse ticket (180!!) which is usually fully-subscribed. This winter they've had a few "celebrities" down, with grayling to 3lb plus taken. It was featured recently in one of the glossies, but I can't remember which one.

I haven't even mentioned the mullet fishing! ;o)

You're going to like it down here.;o)

#3 Houseplant

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 01:05 AM

Thanks Graham, just the sort of info I'm looking for. See you on the bank very soon.
Jack Pike Hunter Extraordinaire

#4 darrell.cook

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 03:40 AM

I've been living in this neck of the woods for 18 months now - the Itchen is a real belter!!

The stretch you refer to is, as graham says, free fishing. The stretch throughout the park is well fished particularly during the summer months. Most people favour trotting here, and steady loose feed should bring some bites.
When I've fished it I've mostly gone for the stretch above the pub. There are some good chub in this stretch, put on your polaroids and stand and stare - they'll soon appear!
The best swim I've found is right at the top - below Gator Mill, take care though as the pavement runs out and the bank is quite steep.
A legered breadflake to the far bank underneath the tree will produce a couple of chub. Alternatively don your waders and stand in the shallows and trot down the far side.
On a summers evening, get out the back of the White swan, buy a pint and a packet of nuts, drink the pint and feed the nuts to the plentiful chub and odd carp that swim right alongside the decking!( Theres no fishing here ) :rolleyes:
I've also had a couple of small pike just below the stone bridge in the slack water on the far side.
If you want to fish other stretches, Eastleigh and District have their own parts as well as access to "The Lower Bishopstoke Fishery" between November and end of February ( Saturdays and Sundays ) If you want even more try applying for membership of Eastleigh Railway Institute Fishing club. This is the club I belong to, and have had grayling to 2lb 6oz, chub to 4lb 10oz. pike to 11lb and this weekend carp 12lb 4 oz.
Good luck, let us know how you get on!

#5 Houseplant

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 04:12 AM

Thanks Darrell. I actually started dusting my kit off tonight!

Think I'll start off with some early morning spinning, just to get a feel for the water.
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#6 The Diamond Geezer

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 05:03 PM

quote:


Originally posted by darrell.cook:
The stretch you refer to is, as graham says, free fishing. The stretch throughout the park is well fished particularly during the summer months. Most people favour trotting here, and steady loose feed should bring some bites.

Darrell

Isn't this stretch tidal? :confused: I thought Woodmill was a tide-mill. Haven't fished there for decades!

Also, what does it cost to fish through the Park?
Can you fish right up through, past the railway bridge?

Cheers for any info

DG

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 06:35 PM

Hey DG..allow me to jump in here..

"Isn't this stretch tidal? I thought Woodmill was a tide-mill."

Well, technically, it still is. Despite all the canalisation and fish pass work, some of the locals still call the freshwater stretch "tidal" because when the sluice gates are opened due to too much water, it runs off more quickly. It's not what I'd call "tidal", though, not any more. The stretch below the mill is still fully "tidal" in the traditional sense.

"Also, what does it cost to fish through the Park?"

If you mean Riverside Park, it's free fishing. If you mean the Itchen Valley Nature Reserve (opposite bank above the pub),or the Itchen Valley Country Park (nearside bank above the motorway) fishing is banned. There is a private stretch (Lower Itchen Salmon Fishery)which has a winter coarse ticket, like I wrote before, and Eastleigh AC have some of the Bishopstoke stretch, Chickenhall Lane etc.

"Can you fish right up through, past the railway bridge?"

You've totally thrown me here. Railway bridge? The only one I can think of that crosses the river is the Eastleigh/Hedge End line, which is quite a way upstream.

[ 02. March 2004, 12:37 PM: Message edited by: Graham X ]

#8 darrell.cook

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 07:26 PM

The free fishing runs from Gator (?) Mill which is about 400 yards upstream of the pub ( White Swan ) right through the park down to Wood Mill.
As graham says the stretch below Wood Mill is tidal.
The point where the railway crosses bisects the "Pirelli" stretch and the "railway 6 arches" stretch both of which are now controlled by Eastleigh Railway Institute Fishing Club, the bank accessed from Chickenhall Lane anyway.
Below this is the private Lower Itchen Fishery, followed by gator Mill and then the free stretch.
Think that's right anyway.

#9 prez

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 11:37 PM

Hi folks my brain cell is a little overloaded so once again:

Above Gaters Mill - private fishing.
Gaters Mill to The Swan - no free fishing?
The Swan to Mans Bridge - I think free fishing.
Riverside Park Mans Bridge to Woodmill Lane - free fishing?
Riverside Park Woodmill Lane to Cobden Bridge - free fishng?

Following downstream there is another railway bridge joining St Denys to Bitterne which is below Riverside Park and Cobden Bridge.

Does tidal mean no fishing?

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 02:38 AM

"Above Gaters Mill - private fishing."

Correct.

"Gaters Mill to The Swan - no free fishing?"

Free fishing.

"The Swan to Mans Bridge - I think free fishing."

Correct.

"Riverside Park Mans Bridge to Woodmill Lane - free fishing?"

Correct.

"Woodmill Lane to Cobden Bridge - free fishng?"

Correct, and no rod licence needed (saline water).

"Does tidal mean no fishing?"

Not necessarily..it just means a different style of fishing, different quarry etc., if that's what you meant? As I said, the tidal stretch of the Itchen is saline and free fishing, all the way down to Ocean Village.