Basingstoke Canal

Basingstoke Canal

Greywell Tunnel to Swan Bridge

There is very little opportunity for angling throughout this section. The first 1/2 mile carries spring water from the aquifers in the Greywell tunnel as a result this looks more like a chalk stream than the start of a canal. The winding hole at St John’s Castle holds a large shoal of roach but due to the clarity of the water are very difficult to catch. They may be catchable at dusk or at night.

Swan Bridge to Lodge Bridge (North Warnborough)

 

This section is rarely fished but does hold a very good head of fish. Below the first bend are some far bank bushes, under which live a shoal of carp which average 5lb. Further down is a large sweeping bend that is solid with roach and tench, but no-one fishes for them due to the limited access. The best place to park is in the Jolly Miller pub car park, but make sure you get the landlord’s permission first. Access to the canal is via a gate at the back of the pub garden.

Lodge Bridge to Colt Hill Bridge (Odiham)

 

Parking:  Very good access at Colt Hill Bridge where there is a proper canal car park complete with picnic area, hire boats and the excellent Waterwitch Pub.

Depth:2 to 3.5ft deep, width 10 to 12m.

Disabled Swims: Three disabled fishing stations available after Colt Hill Bridge

 

Peg Information: This section is permanently pegged, peg 1 being at Lodge Bridge, and peg 50 at Colt Hill Bridge.  Serious fishing starts here; the straight below Lodge Bridge is only a couple of feet deep and is not worth bothering with but once you reach the trees you’re in with a good chance of bagging up. The pegs opposite the trees hold a massive head of fish; bream & tench to 6lb, carp to 20lb and plenty of roach and perch. Double figure bags of fish are common from these pegs during the summer early morning and late evening is best. For the bream and tench fish straight down the middle, caster, red maggot and sweetcorn are good baits. The carp will be caught under the overhanging branches on the far side, floating baits and boilies are equally successful. The pegs opposite the Waterwitch pub are very popular and produce plenty of tench and carp, bread being a favourite bait due to the regular feeding of ducks by the pub visitors.

Colt Hill Bridge to Bypass Bridge (Odiham)

 

Parking: Very good access at Colt Hill Bridge.

Depth: 2.5 to 3.5ft deep, width 10 to 12m.

 

Peg Information:    A very short stretch consisting of perhaps 15 pegs. The main feature(s) of this section are the large turning bay directly below Colt Hill Bridge and the boat yard. The depth is like the previous section with the width varying from 11m to 30m in the bay. The turning bay holds a massive shoal of bream, tench and some very large carp (27lb). The bay is also home to some big pike in the winter (25lb). Despite the excellent fishing here anglers must remember that this is a turning bay and a dock for BOATS! and so all anglers must give way to boats ALWAYS. The carp also live under the boats in the boat yard below the turning bay but due to the incessant problems we have had with anglers fishing into a working boatyard we have had to declare this a NO FISHING AREA.

Broad Oak Bridge to Sandy Hill Bridge (Broad Oak)

 

Parking: Limited access at Broad Oak (approx. 7 cars).

Depth:2.5 to 3.5ft deep, width 11m.

 

Peg Information:  (73 pegs) Peg 85 is below Bypass Bridge and peg 158 is above Sandy Hill Bridge.  Recent towpath improvements have meant many of the pegs have been buried, it is hoped to have these replaced in the near future.

This is a very fair section where 4 to 5lb are possible off most pegs, 2 to 3lb tench and skimmers to 1.5lb can be found throughout. There are no out and out fliers, though where the stream enters the canal is a popular spot and further round the bend with Wilkes Water directly behind you is also a good area.  The area towards Sandy Hill is pretty much unknown and not fished a great deal due to the long walk I would expect it to be like the area below Broad Oak.

Sandy Hill Bridge to Stacey’s Bridge

 

Parking: Good access at Barley Mow, very limited access down Spratts Hatch Lane.

Depth: 2.5 to 3.5 ft deep, width 11 to 12m.

 

Peg Information: (50 pegs) Peg 159 is at Sandy Hill Bridge with peg 208 at Stacey’s Bridge.  This is one of the few areas where you can catch chub around the bridges especially at Baseleys; they run to 3lb but generally are 1 to 1.5lb. Some big tench (5lb) can be found directly below Spratts Hatch with 2 to 3lb fish showing anywhere. The pegs either side of the pylons below Spratts are good mixed fish pegs where anything can show including some good perch. The straight above Baseleys can be a bit hard though hasn’t been fished seriously for a couple of seasons, mainly a small fish area roach, skimmers & perch. The tree peg between Baseleys and Stacey’s can produce nets of skimmers

 

Stacey’s Bridge to Barley Mow Bridge (Winchfield)

 

Parking: Good access at Barley Mow.                                     

Depth: 2.5 to 3.5 ft deep, width 11 to 12m.

 

Peg Information: (35 pegs) peg 209 at Staceys Bridge peg 244 at Barley Mow Bridge.  This section can be quite weedy but holds a good head of fish. Lots of small roach & perch throughout. Below Stacey’s a shoal of bream reside by the cottage though the ducks can be a pain. The pegs above and below the pylons are also good bream pegs and hold quite a few tench. The pegs directly above Barley Mow are reasonable roach pegs with the odd skimmer as well. The peg by the gate also throws up a few big perch the best recorded recently went 2-13-0. A couple of pegs above the gate live some big carp but they don’t often get fished for.

Barley Mow Bridge to Blacksmiths Bridge (Dogmersfield)

 

Parking: Good access at Barley Mow limited access at Double Bridge – park up on verge.

Depth:   3 to 4 ft deep, width 11 to 12m.

Disabled Swims:  Three disabled fishing stations available before Barley Mow Bridge

 

Peg Information: (98 pegs) peg 245 at Barley Mow peg 342 at Blacksmiths Bridge.  The winding hole below Barley Mow contains a resident shoal of bream but are often hard to locate. The 3 pegs below the winding hole are good small fish pegs (roach, perch & skimmers). Just before the gate there a few better skimmers to 1.5lb. From here down to Tundry pond is very temperamental, sometimes it will fish well, and other times garbage, roach and perch will be the main target. The pylons at Tundry pond hold a large shoal of bream 15 to 20lb possible.  The winding hole above Blacksmiths Bridge holds a lot tench 3 to 5lb and holds some big pike up to 20lb.

Blacksmiths Bridge to Double Bridge (Dogmersfield)

 

Parking: Limited access at Double – park up on verge.                               

Depth: 4 to 5ft deep, width 11 to 12m.

 

Peg Information: (18 pegs) peg 343 at Blacksmiths Bridge peg 361 at Double Bridge.  The odd tench and carp can be caught against the rushes on the bend below Blacksmiths Bridge. A few skimmers can be found around the large tree above Double. The pegs directly above Double Bridge are difficult to fish due to high banks.

 

Double Bridge to Chequers Bridge (Dogmersfield)

 

Parking: Good access at Chequers, limited access at Double – park up on verge.

Depth:4 to 5ft deep, width 11 to 14m.

 

Peg Information: (112 pegs) peg 343 at Double Bridge peg 474 at Chequers Bridge.  Below Double there is a good head of small roach, perch & skimmers. The early pegs are quite deep and produce good roach & skimmers down the track. There also tench present especially if there is weed cover. The pegs on the rushes by the 2nd house are fliers, big tench to 5lb live here and some big carp, there is also loads of small roach down the middle. Perch to 3lb can be caught throughout the section. The bend after the rushes can produce some good bream, and below the broken bridge and the boat counter there is also the bream shoal that produced the winner of the 1997 Division 5 National.

 

Not too much known about the rest of the pegs until you get to the derelict bridge above the ‘silt dump’. There are a lot of big perch up to 2lb in this area. The ‘silt dump’ pegs are all fliers with loads of tench, bream, perch & carp throughout, the pegs by the bench are possibly the better pegs or the last peg by the large tree. The pegs between the silt dump and Chequers are generally hard due to the tree cover, however a few gudgeonhave been showing here recently though no-one to my knowledge has ‘gone for them’. The 2 pegs above the gate are reasonable with some big perch down the inside and a chance of a tench over.

Chequers Bridge to Malthouse Bridge (Crookham)

 

Parking: Good access at Chequers, limited access at Malthouse – park on side of road.

Depth:3 to 4ft, width 12 to 13m.

Disabled Swims:  Four disabled fishing stations available before Chequers Bridge

 

Peg Information: (67 pegs) peg 475 at Chequers Bridge peg 542 at Malthouse Bridge. .  A good head of skimmers and roach throughout. The winding hole below Chequers & the pegs below it holds a lot of tench, bream to 6lb and some large carp. Bream to 8lb can be found on the pegs just above the first set of wires. The pegs above Poulters especially either side of the wires produce loads of bream and regularly feature in winning matches. The wides below Poulters and the pegs on the rushes by the house are fliers, again lots of tench & a few carp. A few tench and bream can be found on the rushes below the swing bridge and quite a few gudgeon in this area as well. Halfway down the straight above Malthouse there are a few better skimmers, but they don’t always show.

Malthouse Bridge to Reading Road Bridge (Fleet)

 

Parking:   Good access at Reading Rd, limited access at Malthouse and along Crookham Rd by the Fox & Hounds pub

De  3.5 to 5ft, width 12 to 14m.

Disabled Swims: Three disabled fishing stations available before Malthouse Bridge & Three disabled fishing stations available above Reading Road Bridge

 

Peg Information: (82 pegs) peg 543 at Malthouse and peg 625 at Reading Road Bridge.  Malthouse to Coxheath can be pretty hard at times though the peg above Coxheath holds lots of small roach & rudd. Some better bream has shown recently on the pegs just above the layby below Malthosue Bridge. Skimmers can be found in pockets anywhere between Malthouse & Reading Rd. There are good perch to be found on the bend above the pub, a shoal of bream can be found on the peg above the ‘tins’ and under the rhododendrons behind the pub there are a few chub and some big carp. The first peg below the pub by the gate can be a good mixed fish peg though generally there are not any out and out fliers on this section. There is a big shoal of bream on the rhododendrons above the canoe slalom and similar shoal at the other end of Glen Road just below the bend.

Reading Rd Bridge to Pondtail Bridge (Fleet)

 

Parking: Good access at Reading Rd Bridge, limited access at Pondtail Bridge.

Depth: 3.5 to 5ft width 12 to 13m.

 

Peg Information: (Approx. 80 pegs – not permanently pegged).  This whole section runs through residential Fleet and both banks are bordered by houses, subsequently this section only really gets fished on big matches, though there are stacks of fish through here. The pegs below Reading Rd produce lots of skimmers and a few better bream especially alongside the rhododendrons. In the middle of this section is a bend with rushes on the far bank and is also a noted area for skimmers and good bream. The pegs above Pondtail Bridge are also very productive for skimmers and roach with a few carp residing around the bridge.

Pondtail Bridge to Norris Bridge (Pyestock)

 

Parking: Good access at Norris Bridge, limited access at Pondtail Bridge

Depth: 3.5 to 5ft width 12 to 13m.

 

Peg Information: (Approx. 40 pegs – not permanently pegged).  The pegs below Pondtail hold a few tench and carp especially where there is weed cover. Roach and skimmers can be found throughout. Carp used to be readily caught on floating baits to roving anglers in the middle of the section though the tree cover they used to live under has now been extensively trimmed. There are a few skimmers above Norris Bridge around the sluice.

Norris Bridge to Eelmoor Bridge (Pyestock)

 

Parking: Good access at Norris Bridge & Eelmoor Bridge.

Depth: 4 to 5ft, width 12 to 14m.

 

Peg Information: (70 pegs – permanently pegged) peg 1 at Norris Bridge and peg 70 at Eelmoor Bridge.  The start of the ‘Aldershot’ match sections used on the majority of opens. Not too much to shout about below Norris due to the excessive tree cover, though a lot of this is being removed. Some large bream live near the large oak tree halfway between Norris & Eelmoor. Small roach & perch can be found throughout this part of the section & these should be your target on any swim that does not contain a feature. As you get to Eelmoor there are features galore, over hanging bushes, lily pads, the lot. This used to be the best-looking bit of canal you would be likely to come across. Recently though the area has resembled a lunar landscape after some over zealous tree clearance. However, the fish are still here in great numbers. The pegs in and around Eelmoor flash hold bream, tench & carp galore, 40 to 50lb catches are made regularly. This is the area everyone wants to draw in a National as the winner usually comes from here. The flash itself is very popular with carp anglers with lots of doubles caught each season. The best recorded to date that we know of was 27lb. A couple of 20lb+ pike also live here.

Eelmoor Bridge to Claycart Bridge (Rushmoor)

 

Parking: Good access at Eelmoor Bridge & Claycart Bridge.

Depth: 4 to 6ft, width 12 to 14m.

Disabled Swims:    Three disabled fishing stations available after Claycart Bridge

 

Peg Information: (56 pegs)  peg 71 at Eelmoor Bridge and peg 127 at Claycart Bridge.  Below Eelmoor can be a struggle at most times, the section looks lovely but for some reason does not seem to hold too many fish. Perch will make up most of the catches with roach and a few small skimmers making up the balance. There are a few carp which ‘cruise’ the section and if you can catch one of these it will be a real bonus. Claycart flash is very different from the rest of the section, our match record of 53lb 7oz was set here several years ago by Steve Champion (Dorking), however the bream do not seem to live here in those sorts of numbers anymore. The flash is more likely to throw up a decent weight of carp or tench. This flash is not as popular as Eelmoor flash but it still contains a good head of carp and gets a lot of attention from the bivvy brigade.

Claycart Bridge to Farnborough Rd Bridge (Rushmoor)

 

Parking: Good access at Claycart Bridge & Farnborough Road Bridge.

Depth: 4 to 6ft, width 12 to 14m.

 

Peg Information: (50 pegs) peg 128 at Claycart Bridge and peg 177 at Farnborough Road Bridge.  The first few pegs below Claycart are known as ‘cyanide straight’ for obvious reasons but recently this area has improved dramatically. Some reasonable bream weights have been reported from this area especially if the water is coloured after rain. Generally, up to Rushmoor flash, the area we call the ‘nature reserve’ it is pretty fair. Small perch, roach & skimmers can be found throughout. The nature reserve produces bream to 4lb which are the main target and may be caught throughout the 12 pegs on the reserve though they are normally towards the bottom end. There are also tench, carp and plenty of small fish to be caught off these pegs. The pegs after the reserve are good skimmer pegs but are no match for the previous pegs. The straight before the ‘pipe bridge’ is normally hard, however the peg directly above the bridge is usually quite good with a good mixture of skimmers, roach and the odd tench to be taken.  The pegs below the pipe hold loads of small rudd and if you get through them a few tench as well. The last peg just allows you to fish into the large winding hole and is a good skimmer peg.

Farnborough Rd Bridge to Iron Bridge (Aldershot)

 

Parking: Good access at Farnborough Rd and Iron Bridge.

Depth: 4 to 5ft, width 12 to 16m.

 

Peg Information: (20 pegs) peg 178 below Farnborough Rd Bridge and peg 197 above Iron Bridge.  Roach, skimmers & perch can be caught all through this section with the following areas being of note. The first few pegs are known as the ‘wides’ and apart from the notorious ‘flashes’ is the widest section of the canal. These early pegs are home to a large shoal of bream, which can show themselves anywhere over the first 10 pegs. The first 3 below the bridge are also home to a large number of tench and some large carp. All these pegs are regular ‘framers’ on matches. The bream tend to move down towards Iron Bridge in the winter when plenty of perch can also be caught throughout this section.

Iron Bridge to Ash Lock (Aldershot)

 

Parking: Good access at Iron Bridge and parking available along Camp Farm Road.

Depth: 4 to 5ft, width 12 to 14m.

 

Peg Information: (80 pegs) peg 198 below Iron Bridge and peg 277 above Ash Lock.  Below Iron Bridge are the infamous ‘Green shed’ pegs though the green sheds are now long gone the name still remains. The first peg did produce a good weight (24lb) of bream & tench a couple of year’s back but they have not shown like that since. A 24lb carp was caught off of peg 200, together with some tench up to 6lb at the start of the 1999 season. The next 10 pegs all hold bream up to 3lb and a few tench are very consistent pegs, there are also several large carp that live on peg 208. The pegs around the power station are also home to a few bream & tench, the power station outlet peg is also home to some large carp. From here down to where Sylvesters footbridge used to be is good for skimmers and tench around weedbeds. Below Sylvesters you can often find some better-quality roach especially late on in a match. The outfall, 10 pegs above the lock, holds a few tench but otherwise all these pegs hold small roach, perch & skimmers until you get to the barge pegs. These pegs often look better than they really are, though on occasions tench and big perch have been caught from beneath them, however it usually better to treat them as small fish pegs.

Ash Lock to Ash Wharf (Aldershot)

 

Parking:  Good access at Ash Lock and park in front of shops at Ash Wharf.

Depth: 4 to 5ft, width 10 to 12m.

 

Peg Information: (50 pegs – permanently pegged) but it’s a good idea to find them first.  Below the lock it looks like a totally different canal, here the canal is a lot narrower 10 to 11m and is usually very weedy along both banks, though the section was dredged in 2002 and most of the rushes removed. The section is split in half by the Blackwater Valley Relief Road Aqueduct. The predominant species to go for are tench and there are loads of them averaging about 1lb but occasionally up to 3lb. Strong lines & heavy elastic are order of the day to stop the fish getting into the weeds. There also some quality roach & rudd in this section but normally not enough to see off the tench weights. There are no real fliers, most pegs can produce a good day’s fishing. The short section between Ash Wharf and the Ash Railway Bridge is quite dark due to the tree cover but is home to some good skimmers, roach and perch.

Ash Wharf to Heathvale Bridge (Ash Vale)

 

Parking: Park in front of shops at Ash Wharf and on the verge opposite Scotland Farm Road or opposite the Swan pub  at Heathvale Bridge.

Depth:  2.5 to 3.5 ft, width 12 to 13m.

 

Peg Information: (50 pegs – not permanently pegged).  This section is exceptional in the winter as the fish from Great Bottom Flash migrate here to avoid predators and despite the clarity of the water will produce fish when you least expect. We have had some excellent matches here with average weights around the 6lb a man. The turning bay at Ash Wharf holds some big roach and a few tench during the summer but in the winter is generally not very good. The rest of the section holds lots of roach and rudd up to 12oz. The pegs by the big willow tree opposite Scotland Farm Road are very good pegs in the winter. This area also holds a lot of pike but not of any great size. The moored boats down towards Heathvale Bridge are home to perch up to 3lb and the odd chub. And if you find the fishing not too good then there are always the hospitable surroundings of the Swan pub by Heathvale Bridge that you can visit.

Heathvale Bridge to Ash Vale Railway Bridge (Ash Vale)

 

Parking: At weekends there is plenty of parking in the Ash Station car park.

Depth: 3.5 to 8 ft. Width 12m to 100m.

 

Peg Information: (25 pegs – not permanently pegged).  The first 15 pegs are a bit non-descript, sometimes these pegs hold a few roach and at other times they seem devoid of fish. About 3 pegs down there is a small storm drain which colours up these pegs after rain, this can be a good time to fish these pegs especially in the winter. The next part of this section is the notorious Great Bottom Flash, which is excellent in the summer. Massive bags of tench are caught here regularly. Though the flash is very large and can be fished using long range waggler or feeder tactics most of the tench are caught close in, sweetcorn being the favorite bait. The main expanse of the flash gets very weedy in the summer so fishing within the confines of the canal is the norm. The tench run big up to 6lb but there are also big perch up to 3lb and this is one of the few areas where crucian carp can still be caught. In winter this a good area for piking with many double figure fish being recorded.

 

One disadvantage in the summer is that there is a hire boat operator sited by the station, so if you wish to avoid the boats fish early mornings or late evenings.  Unfortunately, there is no longer any night fishing allowed on the flash as directly behind the towpath are houses and due to the actions of several small-minded idiots we have had to ban night fishing.

Ash Vale Railway Bridge to Mytchett Lake Bridge (Mytchett)

 

Parking: At weekends there is plenty of parking in the Ash Station car park or just over Mytchett Lake Bridge.

Depth: 4 to 12 ft. Width 12m to 150m.

 

Peg Information: (60 pegs – not permanently pegged).   NO FISHING ALLOWED IN MYTCHETT LAKE, this is a private fishery controlled by Mytchett Lake AC.  Directly below Ash Railway Bridge is a turning bay, which is home to several large carp and plenty of good tench. The next few pegs hold a few tench, some nice roach and a few skimmers though the clarity of water makes them difficult to catch. School Flash holds a lot tench and bream and is well fished by the residents, find the swims they have dragged, and you should bag up. The pegs down to Mytchett Lake Railway Bridge are quite difficult due to clarity and weed problems mainly small roach, perch and rudd reside here.

 

The bottom end of this section runs through Mytchett Lake and is similar in features to Great Bottom Flash. The canal is reputed to be up to 12 ft deep here, but it is probably closer to 8ft at its deepest part. The canal is separated from the lake by a wire fence, which allows the fish to move freely between the lake and the canal but prevents the angler fishing from the towpath casting into the lake. There is a big shoal of large bream here which live by the fence, groundbait feeder works well for them. There are also plenty of tench to catch on the pole line similar to Great Bottom Flash.

Mytchett Lake Bridge to Mytchett Place Rd Bridge (Mytchett)

 

Parking:  Parking for about 12 cars just over Mytchett Lake Bridge or park in the Canal Centre.

Depth: 4 to 5 ft. Width 12m to 20m.

 

Peg Information: (20 pegs – not permanently pegged)The first 12 pegs are pretty featureless, and tree covered and home to few roach and perch but the area to head for here are the pegs above Mytchett Place Rd Bridge. Here there is a wide area adjacent to Potters Steak House which is home to a large shoal of bream and tench, these can be caught on waggler or a light feeder fished over towards the generous tree cover. Potters have their own boat channel off the canal and at either end of this channel live some very big pike in excess of 25lb.

Mytchett Place Rd Bridge to Guildford Road Bridge (Frimley)

 

Parking: Plenty of parking in the Canal Centre where you can cross to the towpath over the swing bridge. Or park in Frimley Lodge Park close to the model railway.

Depth:  4 to 5 ft. Width 12m to 14m.

 

Peg Information: (50 pegs – not permanently pegged).  This is a very busy section with lots of activity from walkers and boaters as the section has the Canal Centre at the upper end and Frimley Lodge Park at the lower end. There are plenty of roach, skimmers and tench to be found throughout this section though it does not get fished all that often. The area around the entrance to Potters Pool is known to hold quite a few tench and some carp. Early morning or late evening are undoubtedly the best times especially during the summer.