Misery on the Mersey ……. Part 1

For anyone outside the North West’s boundaries I thought I’d set the scene for this article abit; here’s some quick background reading.


Right with the scene aptly set, the picture perfectly painted. It’s time to cast your “sweetcorn eyes” further down the page.

Recently, I’ve been strolling the banks of the River Mersey in South Manchester. Some stretches of it for an urban river are staggeringly beautiful. I’ve never been salmon fishing in Scotland but I feel that if you stripped out the background of the picture below and replaced it with some rolling hills and men wearing skirts it wouldn’t look out of place meandering through The Highlands.  Recently, in fact, there has been reports of our dear friends the Silver Traveller returning to the River, once reputed to be the most polluted in Europe.


2013-12-31 15.48.59

With this stretch of the river being about 5 minutes drive from my house I’ve decided to start a quest to catch a big wild brownie.

On this first attempt I utilized a small Fladen spinner with the aim to winkle out a bigger fish. Of course it was a complete and utter failure on all accounts. But I am going to treat every trip to this river as a recce and try to home in on some good spots.

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I’ve already found a couple of cheeky little fish holding spots that I am definitely going to revisit. I think I might scale down my tactics for the next trip and have a trot with maggots; on lighter tackle. Hopefully by catching a wider range of the inhabits of the river will give me a good idea of the stamp of fish. I have a feeling that this may turn into another obsession similar to barbel on the Tame but I think this has got the makings of a good ol’ quest.

2013-12-31 15.14.29

It’s a fair cry from the idyllic millstreams of the meandering River Avon where I discovered my passion for all things piscatorial but I’m not sure if I would swap it.

Oh! If any locals have have tips or spots they are willing to share then please pop a comment in below! Any help on my quest would be greatly received.

5 Responses to Misery on the Mersey ……. Part 1

  1. andrewparkeruk says:

    Can I suggest that you have a read of this before you start fishing on a river
    (06-Jan is in the closed season for Trout and any other Salmonid)

  2. Wes says:

    similar challenge again this year, in season (post 16th) in between the bread and butter venue’s, for the River Mersey:

    2014/15 season
    Chub (tick)
    Grayling (tick)
    Dace (tick)
    Brownie (tick)


    Carp (few reports, hard to find)

    Barbel (Rare escapees from the Goyt that have not travelled up into the Tame at waters-meet during spate)

    Bream (few reports, seen pics so know they are in there)

    Perch (few reports from match anglers)

    Cat….. (isolated rumors, backed up however by very logical & substantiated theories, so a possibility imo)

    Pike (unfortunately due to some seriously organised poaching, numbers have taken such a battering and for well advised preservation ie only a few large females left from waters meet to Didsbury, I have decided to leave this one off the list.)

  3. Wes says:

    Most of the Roach population have suffered predation from Cormorant’s, but such is the ebb & flow of fish populations and the speed of recovery for renewed food availibility in Roach habitat (coupled with low Pike numbers) such low Roach numbers have also added overall to the food chain of these birds, which has more gradually become more unsustainable. After that point where peak Cormorant population weighs heavy on diminishing food sources, The remaining small population of Roach may well have an exponential breeding season should all the variables in balance, allow, but I’m no expert.

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