Success On The Hampshire Avon

Swindon based angler Mark Woodage has been enjoying some great success on the Hampshire Avon during recent months, but it’s not been easy as Mark explains.


The Hampshire Avon is new territory for me, one of the first obstacles was obvious, I’d need to overcome it’s the crystal clear water. It’s fantastic to be able to watch the barbel at close quarters, but on the other side of the coin, they can see you and your tackle too! To help overcome this I’ve been using the weed as best possible to lay my line in and then by sitting well upstream of my rig to lower the angle of the line. It is so important to have a main line that not only sinks well but is strong and abrasion resistant. ESP Syncro Loaded XT fits the bill perfectly.

As I have been fishing a relatively small bait in the form of 2 West Country BaitsElips pellets superglued to the hair I have been using a size 11 Super Specialist Barbel hook. I have used this range of hooks since their launch, and with great success so I had no reason to change. This has been fished in conjunction with 6 inches of Gravel Braid, tied to a small swivel which is then covered in tungsten putty. Above this, four Float Stops, two either side fix a coated lead in place. This enables the length of the hook link to be adjusted. Completing the set up is a back lead which is fixed between a single float stop and 6 ply PVA string. This enables the lead to stay in position when being cast but allows the back lead to move in the event of a hooked fish getting caught up in weed.

I’ve been very lucky so far this season, landing several fish, including two in excess of 14lb with the best going 14lb 4oz.