Anchor Meadow has been run as a private fishery for more than 20 years and has built a reputation as one of the most consistently productive and varied stretches on the Warwickshire Avon.
Although the fishery has only 40 pegs, these vary between deep slow moving water for carp, tench, bream, roach, perch and pike to shallower fast-running stretches favoured by those after some big barbel and chub.
The variety of fishing is matched only by the quality. Anchor Meadow has been a favourite with well-known names and ordinary anglers alike, and with carp to 48lbs, Pike to over 30lbs, barbel well into double figures, tench to over 7lbs, bream to 9lbs and good sized roach and perch, its easy to see why.
2010 saw the capture of the biggest barbel to come out of the Anchor Meadow stretch so far when an 18lb fish was taken from the slow moving water above the weir - the stretch where many large 2010 fish were caught. This is unusual in that in the past the bigger barbel generally tended to come from the fast moving water below the weir off the island.
The previous best Anchor Meadow fish weighed in at just over 16lbs. Other recent top quality fish have included a carp of over 40lbs and a pike of a similar weight. Both these fish were taken from the slower moving water along the meadow.
Anchor Meadow's facilities were further enhanced for 2010 by owners Ken and Margaret Fisher, who are always on hand to offer advice, with the construction of new ladies and gents toilets and showers.
The result is that anglers travel from throughout the UK stay for short angling breaks at Anchor Meadow and with Evesham, Worcester and Stratford on the doorstep there are a host of good pubs, restaurants, shops and tourists attractions within easy driving distance.
There are both camping and caravanning facilities on site with toilets and showers. Electric hook-ups are also available for caravans for an addition £3.50 per night.
Because Anchor Meadow is popular at weekends, particularly during the summer, anglers wanting to fish on Saturdays or Sundays are advised to telephone in advance to check peg availability. However, the river is usually quieter mid-week so telephoning in advance is not necessary unless you are travelling from further afield.
Anglers can drive their cars to nearly all the pegs at Anchor Meadow. Those heading for the slow deeper pegs along the Meadow stretch should either head across the meadow itself or drive down the lane and turn left just before the bridge. Those going to the Island pegs should drive over the bridge and turn either left or right.
Angling Ticket Prices
||Day tickets (Dawn to Dusk)
Junior anglers under 10 can fish free of charge. All anglers under 14 must be accompanied by an adult
||£6.00 per person
* Includes trailer tents. Prices are based on two adults and two children sharing.
Additional adults are charged at £6.00 each.
The price includes awnings and electrics.
The Meadow - Pegs 1-19
The Meadow length, Pegs 1-19, is the deep, slower moving stretch which runs from the top end of the fishery down to the entrance to the lock which by-passes Harvington Weir.
From Pegs 1-6, up to 13 feet of water can be found under the bank making the pole, swim-feeder or ledgering the most popular techniques for fishing close in.
Because the water is deep and slow moving, these pegs are favoured for carp, tench and bream and are particularly good for the roach and dace in winter. Indeed, it was from Peg 2 in 2001 that an angler from Scotland who visits Avon Meadow for a three-day angling holiday every year took a Common Carp which weighed in at 48lbs. He ledger fished worm under the bank.
From Pegs 7-19 the river shallows as it approaches the lock, coming up to six feet deep. Because these pegs are shallower than those at the top end, float fishing is easier. However, because the bank along the whole of the Meadow length is undercut it forms a natural lie for the fish, making it unnecessary to cast more than a rod length out unless anglers want to fish the faster moving water towards the centre of the river either on swimfeeder/ledger tackle or trotting an Avon Stick downstream in the current.
Pegs 17 and 18 where the water slackens near the entrance to the lock are particularly favoured by those going for the tench. Evening fishing is generally most productive and it pays to bait up a swim and leave it for an hour before starting to fish.
In 2010, anglers fishing this area from the island also produced the fishery's largest barbel with several double figure fish to 18lbs having been taken.
Anglers looking to catch some of the big bream should fish close in under their feet on the Meadow bank or within about 10 feet of the far side. When going for the bream, roach, perch, dace and other silver fish it pays to feed generously and often to keep the fish in your swim.
When it comes to baits, almost anything goes although luncheon and pet meat on a Size 8 or 10 hook are favoured by those after the carp, tench and bream with surface-fished dog biscuits being popular for anglers wanting to take carp off the surface. Chopped worm is another popular bait with maggots, casters and bread always forming a popular fall-back and slugs being particularly effective for the chub. Black slugs usually work well whilst those night fishing should try snails - still in their shells - again fished on a Size 8 or 10 hook.
Fishing the entrances to the lock can provide surprising sport with good catches of carp, tench and bream in particular being taken. Whilst anglers should not fish near the lock itself during daytime in summer, they are allowed to fish it late evening, through the night and throughout the winter months.
For the most part both entrances to the lock are only three feet deep and, being still water when the lock is not in use, are easy to fish with float on both rod and pole using stillwater techniques.
The bottom is quite silty and it is obvious when the fish are feeding because great dark brown clouds and bubbles are thrown up as the fish rummage through the silt. Look out for the tell-take signs and you should be in for some fun!
The Island - Pegs 19-40
If you are looking to catch some of the big barbel and chub at Anchor Meadow, the Island pegs are usually the ones to head for. Turning left after you cross the bridge leads to the slower moving water above the weir whilst turning right leads to the weir pool itself and the faster moving water downstream. The biggest fish in 2010 to come from the fast moving water below the weir weighed in at 15lbs whilst some 30 double figure fish were taken by anglers fishing the last peg off the point.
The main methods of fishing the Island pegs are trotting an Avon Stick downstream, using a swimfeeder or ledgering. Most popular baits are luncheon and pet meat, a fairly hefty bunch of chopped worms or slugs for the barbel and chub and maggots, casters and bread for the roach, bream and perch.
When float fishing it often pays to wear chest or thigh waders and to wade out slightly from the bank. Although it doesn't look it, the water at times of normal flow is only about three-and-a-half feet deep, but wearing waders enables you to control the float better. Set the depth at between three and four feet and 'button shot' the line by spacing weights evenly along its length with fine dust shot nearer the hook. After casting, hold the float back slightly to allow the bait to run downstream ahead of the float. Bites will usually be obvious as the barbel tend to take the bait fairly viciously. However, be prepared for a good scrap as you will not only be fighting the fish but also the current!
Float fishing is really only suitable from Pegs 19, 20, 32, 27, 28, 29 and 38, 39 and 40 off the downstream point of the island.
When ledgering use about a one-ounce free-running Arlesey Bomb on the main line stopped about 18 inches to two-feet from the hook by a lead shot. An alternative is to set up a similar sized weight on a fixed paternoster which acts like a bolt-rig. Again, whichever technique you use, the bites will be vigorous so those fishing lighter lines of under 6lbs should slacken their slipping clutches to avoid being broken on the take.
An alternative technique is to freeline worm or meat, using part of a blade of grass or grass stalk to hold the bait on the hook.
When fishing for the roach and other silver fish, anglers need to take plenty of bait as regular feeding is required to keep the fish in the swim. A good supply of float and ledger weights is also required as the current can roll the weight around the river bed causing the terminal tackle to snag on rocks on the bottom on occasions, although this shouldn't happen if angler fish with their float set shallower and hold it back as it passes down the swim.
How to get there...
Anchor Lane Fishery is about 14 miles from Worcester on the M5, 18 miles from Warwick on the M40, 10 Miles from Redditch and four miles from Evesham.
From Evesham, take the A435 north towards Norton. At the mini-roundabout take the second exit for the B439 and follow this for about a quarter of a mile until you come to Anchor Lane on the right. Proceed into Anchor Lane going over the new by-pass and Anchor Lane Fishery is at the very far end of this road.
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