Our “Jewel in the Crown” premier fishery affording excellent fishing, Game and Coarse but excelling in the Barbel department. Easy roadside access and a good number of hard based pegs (can still get muddy after a flood) makes this a very popular venue. Not however without limitations. The fishery is extensively policed by the Bailiff team, as all waters are. This one has to have particular care.
Entry to the fishery is via Sultan Road and New Park Road. You will then approach the fishery from the top of the map on the left hand side of the river , where the red arrow marks the downstream end of the fishery and the road takes an abrupt 90 degree turn to the right. When approaching the fishery you will notice a SYDNEY AVENUE FISHERY sign directly in front of you when you approach this 90 degree bend. The road then closely follows the river bank, past the Island, gravel ‘Shingle Beach’ area and eventually to the Weir pool. The weir marks the top limit of the Sydney Avenue fishery.
Ample parking is available either side of the road however we would ask you to refrain from driving up on the ‘River Bank’ side when conditions are wet, slippy or muddy. This to prevent damage to the footpath that is also used by the public. We would prefer you to park on the other side of the road underneath the trees whenever possible.
If parking on the ‘River Bank’ side please park as considerately as possible so as not to make an obstruction of the path.
Toilets are situated by the car park at the weir and are open daily from around 8am.
Please read the signs situated at intervals along the fishery. There are also further NOTES FOR ANGLERS on the wooden bollards situated along the fishy. Please take the time to read them and please acquaint yourself with the fishery rules before fishing.
Sydney Avenue is well renowned for its Salmon and Barbel nationwide. It attracts anglers from as far away as Kent and Essex, London and the home counties in the south and as far as Sheffield, Yorkshire and Cumbria, even as far as Glasgow in the north, all hoping for one of our clean, fit, hard fighting specimens. And there are specimens to be had. The water thunders over the weir at all but the lowest levels. The weir Pool is normally the haunt of the Salmon angler, hoping for a young Grilse or ‘Silver Tourist’.
The white water really pounds through here at times making fishing tricky at times or even impossible if not loud. Below the Weir Pool rumours of Monster Barbel, plus good Pike and Perch fishing in the many slacks and eddies falling away either side of the tail race as it rushes away from the Weir Pool. The river here flows over a wonderful, clean gravel bed as its mood changes and the pace lessens as it slows to a lovely wide, streamy glide above the ‘Shingle’ , before squeezing past the point of the island and passing either side.
Most barbel are caught in a slightly deeper channel at least three quarters of the way across the river. The Shingle Beach area is popular with visitors as well as anglers and many people feed the ducks and swans here and they can be troublesome at times! Fantastic summer fishing for Chub and Barbel in specimen proportions so do not forget your un-hooking mat and be prepared for a surprise.
The Island stretch is typical Barbel country. Plenty of far bank cover where the keen Barbel angler can enjoy good sport. In the summer months Barbel can be spotted swimming across the shallows. The average size of the Barbel on this section is 6lbs with larger specimens not uncommon. As a result we request you use mainline with a breaking strain of at least 8lbs or even 12lbs.
Sydney Avenue is NOT the place for light hooklengths and light tippy rods. The fish here fight hard and will wrap you round a snag in no time, that is assuming they don’t pull your rod in before you can grab it. Believe us, this does happen. 7 rods lost summer 2008 alone. If fishing exclusively for Barbel we recommend a heavy feeder or Avon style rod with a test curve of 1.5 to 2lbs. A range of leads and feeders in sizes from 1 to 3oz stepping up to as much as 5 oz or more when in flood. Minimum recommended hooklength B/S of 8lbs.
Please fish appropriately otherwise you will end up loosing fish and leave line trailling from fishes mouths and unwanted tackle in the river. We cannot stress this enough.
As the river passes below the island it forms a giant slack area in its lee. This area has produced Specimen Carp, Bream, Chub, Barbel, Perch, Roach, Dace, Salmon and Pike. A very weedy area indeed, Carp can, at times be seen basking here in the summer months especially early morning when they root about in the prolific weed growth. At this point the river is approximately 60 to 70 yards wide. It is possible to fish beyond the weed but again stronger tackle must be used. A feeder cast short of the weed will often produce plenty of Chub with the Barbel preferring the mid-river flow.
Generally a shallow fishery, summer depths vary between 1-4ft. Keep nets are not allowed for retaining Barbel, Pike or specimen Chub.