The Mersey is coming back to life
For a start, the River Mersey is coming back to life after being slaughtered during the Industrial Revolution. Thanks to work by organisations such as the Mersey Basin Campaign, established in 1985 to improve water quality and encourage waterside regeneration, the River Mersey was recently announced to be “cleaner than at any time since the industrial revolution” and is now considered one of the cleanest in the UK. This means that there has been a resurgence of angling not only along much of the 80-odd miles of the river itself but also in its three tributaries of the River Etherow, the Goyt and the River Tame.
Even salmon have returned to the river
It is testament to the work which has gone into improving water quality in the Mersey that salmon have returned to the river and have been seen at Woolston and Howley Weirs. Salmon parr and smolt have been caught in the Mersey’s tributaries, the River Goyt and the River Bollin. Whilst the fishing rights at Warrington are controlled by the Warrington Anglers Association and a small section near Rixton by Prince Albert Angling Society, much of the remainder the river is owned by local councils and is available for fishing free of charge.
Far sighted Liverpool Council initiative
That’s not all. Through a far-sighted initiative by Liverpool City Council, fishing is also free of charge on lakes in the Council’s parks including Calderstones Park, Greenbank Park, Larkhill Park, Newsham Park, Princes Park, Sefton Park, Stanley Park and Walton Hall Park. Some of these waters are delightful and anglers only have to register on-line with the council to take advanatage of the free fishing.
Get hot on the St Helen’s Canal!
Then there’s the St Helen’s Canal. Reputed to be one of the oldest canals in the country, the canal is popular with local anglers, particularly the stretch alongside the Pilkington Glass factory which is known locally as ‘The Hotties’ because an outfall from the factory releases warm water into the canal ensuring it never freezes.
Merseyside has a good number of day ticket coarse fisheries
There are also a decent number of day ticket commercial coarse fisheries in Merseyside including Larton Coarse Fishing at Frankby on the Wirral which is part of an equestrian livery business and has five well established lakes available on on a day ticket and membership basis.
At Thornton, Brooms Cross Fishery has two lakes with carp to just under 40lbs; Lingmere Fishery has two lakes with carp to just under 40lbs and double figure tench; located between Liverpool and Southport Rosemary Wood Fishery offers carp and match fishing on two lakes; Carr Side Farm at Sefton has a total of four lakes whilst Claremont Fishery at Birkenhead is a one-acre water with access path all the way round.
Local angling clubs
In addition to commercial venues there are about half a dozen main angling clubs in the region which offer a variety of fishing on local waters including the Association of Wirral Angling Club, the Cammell Anglers AC, the Kirkdale Angling Association, the Liverpool and District AA, the Newton-le-Willows AA and the Port Sunlight Angling Club.
The Mersey Estuary offers opportunities for sea fishing
When it comes to sea fishing, Liverpool Marina is a popular fishing spot on the River Mersey being home to flatfsh, whiting and even cod. At Seaforth Rocks catches of flounder, codlings, dogfish and thornback rays can be taken whilst owing to its location where the Mersey flows into the sea Fort Perch Rock is also a popular spot. For sea anglers who prefer to fish from a boat there are charter vessels based in Birkenhead and the Wirral and along the north Wales coast at Rhyl.
There’s plenty of fishing tackle shops on Merseyside
Local anglers are supported by fishing tackle shops in Liverpool, St Helens, Wallasey, Meols, Ellesmere Port, Birkenhead, Anfield and nearby Southport.