Where to fish

River Itchen - Woodmill and Mansbridge

Woodmill is one of the few stretches on one of the worlds most famous chalk streams that is freely available to the general public. The brave angler has to fight his way through litter strewn streets of cheap housing and student digs to one of two car parks that double as entry points to the river. The Mansbridge entrance also has a nearby pub - The Swan, that is perfect to drown your sorrows if a Sea Trout has snapped you up or if a drunken skin head has puked on your seatbox.

The river has been reshaped and heavily canalised at the Woodmill end but the water is pleasingly unpolluted and often gin clear. This combination can make fishing difficult but the river has a good head of Chub and Roach with scattered populations of Dace, Perch, Pike, Carp, Bream, Eel, Trout, Sea Trout and Barbel.

Most species respond to trotting, but in the summer months when the water levels dip, ledgering bigger baits come into their own.

Being situated in an urban area, the river also has some special events that make the anglers day more interesting.

Highlights include:

  1. Anglers using beachcasters to catch Roach
  2. Annual charity duck race
  3. Golf balls hitting you from the nearby pitch and putt
  4. Dogs/people jumping in
  5. The local canoe flotilla
Despite these local hazards Woodmill is an excellent place to learn how to river fish. It is hard enough to make you work but kind enough to reward you for the hours you put in. The Itchen is a shining sliver of beauty in the harsh urban landscape of down town Southampton. If you want to brush up on your trotting skills and can duck a golf ball Woodmill is the place for you.