Bristol Water Fishery Report May 2023

Bristol Water Fishery report for 12/04/2023 - 06/05/2023

Bristol Water Fishery Report May 2023

As April progressed, it finally started to feel like spring; day light hours have been increasing and the Buzzers hatching. Despite the shift in the seasons, the fishing has still not been easy, the changing winds have made it testing but equally rewarding!


The lakes have been exceptionally busy with competitions on both Chew and Blagdon. Our Ranger team have been kept on their toes with the influx of angers, hoping to get amongst the fish and as always, they strive to provide a first-class service for our anglers.


This month we welcomed another BRFFA event at Chew, the Spring Cup. This was a mixed event with competitors taking to the water and angling from the bank. It was great to see such a brilliant turn out with some new faces as well as a few more familiar ones!

Blagdon hosted the ATEFF team England qualifier on 23rd April where 28 anglers fished for a chance to go through to the 2023 National!

Blagdon really is living up to its reputation as an iconic venue with Bristol Waters’ rearing and stocking programme, providing some incredibly hard fighting fish and a good mix of sizes to keep things interesting. This season Blagdon has been producing an incredible stamp with an average weight for the qualifier of 3lb 7ozs! We’ve been consistently receiving reports of large fish caught daily on both lakes with some of the freshly stocked fish also making an appearance.

A group of fishermen sitting on boats

Blagdon report

Since 12th April, over 2,000 fish have been stocked into Blagdon. The ‘Top End’ at Blagdon is still throwing up a lot of fish with some real crackers in amongst them. Over the last couple of weeks, the fish have really spread out around the lake with all the bays down through the South Shore holding fish.

Butcombe has been consistent for both our boat and shore anglers. The usual tactics of Buzzers, Muskins, Crunchers or Daiwl Bachs fished Washing Line style with a FAB or Booby on the point. Also, Cormorant patterns have been taking a good number of fish.

When the fish are sitting deeper, or in the absence of a hatch, then an Intermediate or Di3 line fished with Damsels, Blobs or Lures is the way to go.

Season ticket holder, Mr J. Hirst, continues his good form following the 11lb fish pictured in the last fisheries report, banking yet another two confirmed double figure Rainbows along with fish of 9lb+ and 8lb+ including a 6-8lb Brown! Great angling Jeff!

a man proudly holding a large fish he has caught

Mr S. Bristow pictured above with a solid Blagdon Rainbow from the bank at Green Lawn that bottomed out his 7lb scales!

Well done to all that qualified in the ATEFF at Blagdon on 23rd April –   28 Anglers caught 114 Fish.

Average Weight – 3.7lb

Top Rod – M. Burgess – 24lb 9oz

Chew Valley report

Since 12th April, over 2,500 fish have been stocked into Chew Valley. It always surprises us just how long certain areas of the lake can continue to provide good sport. Herons Green and behind Denny Island has been producing fish since the beginning of the season. These have been the ‘go-to’ areas of late, although those anglers exploring other areas of the lake have started to find some excellent sport.

The Dam basin has produced fish along the front of the Picnic Area 1 through to North Shore and Walley Bank has been producing some quality sport as well. North Shore, Woodford Bank, Bobs Bay and Walley have been the best areas for bank anglers. Tactics-wise, the best methods have been those detailed earlier in the Blagdon section with the addition of Bloodworm and Apps flies at Stratford also picking up a few fish.

The Buzzer hatches have seemed to be more intermittent on Chew this year, possibly down the changeable cold winds making the start of “Duffers month” abit more of a challenge! Chopping and changing to suit the conditions have proved to be essential in these periods when there is no hatch to match. Reverting back to early season tactics of adding colour to the cast or dropping down lower in the water can pay dividends.

A quick mention to the BRFFA for organising the Spring Shield at Chew 29th April, they had a great turn out with 36 anglers in boats and 11 anglers on the banks.

A total of 287 fish caught; 6.6 rod average for boats; 4.45 for the bank; and well done to our top rod for the boats Mr John Harris, also our top rod bank – P. Bessel, very well fished! The following day we welcomed the Ospreys FF at Chew with 26 Anglers finishing with 133 fish for a competition weight average of 2.2lb.

Barrow Tanks report

Since 12th April, over 500 fish into Tank 3, 200 into Tank 2 and 200 into Tank 1. Recently, all 3 of the Tanks at Barrow have been consistently producing fish to a variety of methods. Teams of Buzzers fished static or very slowly. Gold-head Damsels and Humongous patterns have been filling the gaps between hatches. 

The far side of Tank 3 seems to be the best spot at present along with the inlet on Tank 2. The rod averages have been very promising, looking from 24th April - 9th May, they are sitting at a respectable 3.49!   

a man catching fish in a lake using a net

Competition results

ATEFF at Blagdon on 23rd April

28 Anglers caught 114 fish.

Average Weight – 3.7lb

Top Rod – M. Burgess – 24lb 9oz


BRFFA Spring Shield at Chew 29th April

36 Anglers in Boats – 11 Anglers on the Bank

A Total of 287 fish Caught

6.6 Rod Average for Boats, 4.45 for the Bank

Top Rod Boats – J. Harris

Top Rod Bank – P. Bessel

Ospreys FF at Chew on 30th April

26 Anglers caught 133 fish.

 Average Weight - 2.2lb


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