Get the most out of summer on Godalming’s waters.
Summer is a great time for fishing our waters. With water temperatures high and fish finished with spawning good catches are on the cards on all of our venues. To get the most from summer fishing watch the weather forecast and invest in a good alarm clock! Why? Well you need to be flexible with your fishing times particularly when the weather is hot and bright. Sunshine and heat cause a lot of tiny algae to grow. These algae thrive in the upper layers of our waters and being photo-synthesisers they produce plenty of oxygen. However the algae don’t live for long and as they die they sink to the bottom where they decompose and use up oxygen. The result is that fish find it simply uncomfortable to be near the bottom layers of lakes on hot summer days and are happiest basking in the upper oxygenated layers of the water often not feeding very much. By fishing early in the morning and in the cool of the evening you will be using the hours when the oxygen levels are better spread through the water and fish will be more comfortable feeding on the bottom.
Luckily for us no British summer is nonstop bright sunshine and heat! On cooler fresher days when we get a mixture of sunshine and showers with some wind the oxygen levels in our waters are more balanced and fish will feed confidently all day long. So if you don’t like early mornings or late evenings watch the weather forecast and target those cooler periods of summertime when you will get all day fish catching action on all of our waters.
But enough of the science. Here is a quick guide to the top tactics and pegs for summer bagging on our venues.
The Tea-Bag. Broadwater fishes well over summer. Carp are big fish and they need to feed to keep their energy levels up so a session at Broadwater will usually produce a good run of hard fighting big carp. All tactics work well but for open water carp fishing small T-bags stuffed with pellets and crushed boillies are still the no.1 choice with the method feeder a close second.
Down the edge! For anglers who want something a little different try float fishing or even pole fishing down the margins for those big carp. There are good deep margins round most of the lake and the carp will come right tight to the bank particularly in the evening. If you are float fishing or pole fishing make sure your gear is up to the job – these carp go big and you will need to be using 0.26 reel line and 0.20 or 0.22 hooklengths on the float and 0.20 line with at least red hydro on the pole. The other great summer bait on the lake is paste. This can be freelined down the edges or fished in open water and will often beat boillies hands down.
Silvers galore! But broadwater is not just about carp. The roach fishing in summer is stunning. Caster on the wager is the best approach for big roach and the caster seems not to pull in too many carp. On very hot days the big roach will come close enough to be caught on a short pole on hemp and tares. This is great fishing but come with a few spare rigs as the carp love hemp and tares too! Finally the perch are making something of a comeback. Big perch can be caught on prawn or maggot down the edges especially in the swims around the overspill!
Remember to take your unhooking mat and a good sized landing net with you when fishing at Broadwater and to read the rules carefully before starting.
Top summer swims for carping: pegs 10 to 14 facing the island are always popular as are 15 to 18 at the top of the rugby bank. The oaks area fishes well all summer as does the point. If you want to try a quieter area of the lake then
Best roach swims – pegs 15 to 25 along the rugby bank are the best or summer roach fihing but big roach and rudd can be caught anywhere round the lake!
- 6 and 8mm pellet and boillies for carp in open water, meat, corn or paste down the edge
- Casters and hemp for roach
- Prawns for big perch (but the carp love prawns too!)
Summer fishing on the river really does depend on the weather. If we have a drop of rain and a bit of colour in the water then you can expect good fishing all along the river. However if the weather turns dry and the river goes clear and slow then target those early morning/ late evening times when the big fish will feed confidently.
Roving. In early summer roving is the best approach on all of our river stretches. Select a few swims and rotate them giving each swim half an hour to an hour. If you don’t get a bite try feeding a few pellets or some hemp and meat and returning to the swim later.
Building a swim. By the end of August the river fishing will improve and it can be worth sitting on one of the noted swims at Eashing, Salgasson or Upper Common Meadows and building a swim up through steady feeding of maggots or casters with plenty of hemp. You can put together good mixed bags of dace and roach with a few dog chub thrown in.
Bank a barbel! For a real challenge why not target the big barbel in Upper Common meadows. Again I would wait till late August before concentrating on barbel but you can catch them at dusk or after heavy rain right through summer. Use a bait dropper to feed plenty of pellets and hemp then fish a big hookbait – a. 11mm hard pellet or a boillie – and ignore the crayfish bites. You will know when a barbell takes the bait as your rod will be bent literally double and your reel screaming!
Best river swims:
Eashing: pegs 1-5 on the straight, pegs 11-13, pegs 21,13 and 30.
Salgasson: pegs 48-51 (round the big bnend), pegs 61-64 and 69-70
Upper common meadows: pegs 71-73, peg 80-82 (opposite the library) and 84 and 95 ( the doctors swim)
Lower common meadows: either end – from town bridge to just past Saimsburys or the three swims above the canal join at Catteshall
Firs Bridge – the first 3 swims from the canal downstream, above and blewo the bridge, the 3 swims below the manor.
Colonels ground: the last 3 swims before the weir
Broadford Bridge: Top and bottom of the lengthand the two swims up and down from the bridge.
- pellets for chub and barbell ( and the odd big bcarp),
- hemp and tares when it is hot,
- maggot and hemp or caster and hemp later in the summer.
Marsh farm fishes at its best through summer provided you are prepared to fish early and late.
Harris tips. Harris Lake responds well to pellet feeder tactics fished close to the island or margin fishing next to the reeds in the evening with pellet or selective baits like chopped prawn or meat. If conditions are hot and sunny the afternoons can be tough on Harris with the feeder being the best tactic through the heat. Try to cast as close as you can to the far bank trees for bites as the fish like the shallow shady fringes of the islands. It is worth trying loose fed caster up in the water on Harris looking for big rudd and roach when it’s hot. There are some stunning fish to be had! Remember the biggest fish are usually closest to the surface because they get to the feed quickest so don’t be scared to fish as little as 15cm deep!
Richardson tips. Richardson will fish better throughout the day because it keeps more colour in the water. Even so hot, still afternoons will see sport slowing down so plan an early morning or evening session if the weather really warms up. Tactics here are more varied than on Harris. Paste will work well in the main channel as will the waggler with pellet and the pellet feeder fished across. But it is hard to beat pellet and expanders fished about 5 metres out for simply catching loads of fish. Chopped meat can produce bumper mixed bags throughout summer. In the evenings the fish come right close in. Fish hard against the rushes with pellet, corn or prawns for some scintillating tench sport. The very biggest tench seem to feed best in the evening too so be prepared for some white knuckle battles with big lumpy tincas!
Harris – 3-6, 11-14, 18 and 19, 27,28 and 29 and 36-40
Richardson; they are all good! But try 1-5, 11-14, 25 or 16 and 31-35 if you want to be in the hotspots
Top baits: pellets – either on the pole in in a feeder, sweetcorn, meat, paste, chopped prawn, worms.
Work the layers. Busbridge fishes consistently throughout the summer and is less affected by hot settled weather than some of the other lakes. There are now plenty of big tench to target as well as the resident bream shoals. Try fishing off the end of the lilies for tench and loose feeding 6mm pellets with a n 8mmbanded pellet on a bomb for bream. The bream at Busbridge love to come off the bottom if it is hot so set up a waggler rod at 3 or 4 ft deep and fish banded pellet up in the water – the roach and rudd love it every bit as much as the bream!
Fish the bomb! One good tip for Busbridge is ignore the feeder as it rarely works as well as a straight lead and regular loose feeding. It is different in winter when using small feeders and chopped worm or pinkies but in summer when pellet fishing steady loose feeding works best.
Lure time! Lure anglers can have a go at Busbridge for the big perch but watch out for jack pike and if you are spinning a wire trace is advisable to avoid lures being lost.
Best swims: It is all good but try 6-9, 12-17, and 31-38
Best baits: 6 and 8mm pellet and sweetcorn for bream and tench. Caster for bream and roach. Boillies for the carp and bigger tench.
Open water. Being tree lined and sheltered Bramley does not suffer quite as much in heat wave conditions as Marsh farm or Broadwater. So it is a good bet for some daytime summer sport. The main target fish are bream but there are plenty of good tench and crucians to add variety to a day out. For the bream aim to fish the feeder to the middle or a waggler at 25-30 yards. Pellet scores well at Bramley in summer and loose feed 6 mm pellets for the waggler or use a fishmeal groundbait laced with micro pellets and banded 6mm pellet on the hook for the feeder.
Pole tips. Pole fishing works too especially near the lily pads. Here more tench and crucians will find your feed along with the bigger bream. Try feeding 4mm pellet with 4mm expanders on the hook or small cubes of meat. Sweetcorn is also worth a go on the pole. Use a sensible elastic because the tech are hard fighting and will drag you into the pads if you are not geared up for them!
For something different there are a lot of gudgeon in Bramley and if you simply want some bites for the day then try fishing maggots on the pole for a mixed bag of gudgeon and roach with the odd bream or tench likely to put in an appearance at some point in the day!
Best swims: pegs 1-3, 8-14 and the high 20’s. The two platforms are well worth the walk too!
Best baits: Pellets for the bream and tench with sweetcorn and meat possible change baits. Maggots for plenty of bites from small fish!
This is the jewel in our summer crown. The lake is a proper summer venue with big tench, crucians and rudd all worth targeting alongside the big carp.
Tench and crucians. Tench and crucians can be targeted on the pole or waggler along the railway bank but the method feeder rules the roost on the other banks. Small boilies or 8mm pellet hookbaits are best for the trench whilst dead maggot and 6 or 8mm pellet hook baits score with crucians,
Bars of gold! If you enjoy waggler fishing for spectacular rudd then try fishing casters off any area of the lake and set your float 2ft deep no matter where you are. Rudd are fantastic fish and they will feed readily even when the weather gets hot.
Carp angling. For the carp big boilies are the way to go to try and avoid the tench. Massive feeding does not work well at Johnson and a more cautious feeding plan coupled with persistence seems to pay dividends. This is a water to extend your tactical thinking about carp fishing. If you want bites in the first hour of fishing then Broadwater is a better venue! But Johnson’s is a proper angler’s lake and a real challenge to any angler. Bank a Johnsons carp and you will have earned it!
- Railway bank: pegs 7 and 8, around the overspill and 17-19.
- Chicken farm bank: The 4 swims up from the in, the helicopter pad.
- Road bank: Provide there is not too much weed they are all good.
Best baits: Pellet and fishmeal groundbait for tench. Maggot or sweetcorn hook baits for crucians, Boilies for the carp. Caster and maggot for rudd.