Langport & District Angling Association
Langport & District Angling Association

Fishing News

River Parrett

River levels

The Fishing Info website appears to have been taken down by the Angling Trust and replaced with something inferior.

I've since found a very good alternative called

The list of Somerset river level monitoring stations can be found with the following link:-


I find the 'Monks Lease Wq' at Combe and the 'Oath' at Oath Lock locations give meaningful levels for the river. Scrolling down a page with show a chart of the variation in river level for the past week.


Beware the level at 'Westover' which is the river side of the Westover Pumping Station opposite Cocklemoor in Langport. When the river is low, this measuring station shows a smooth horizontal line which suggests the level sensor is not low enough to measure low water levels.


I hope this site is of some use to you.


Thursday 1st July

Fran and I fished upstream of the footbridge at Oath. The river was very coloured with a nice flow. The rain, last weekend, had brought the river up a few feet judging by the reeds and debris left on the bank. The river was now a foot below summer level as evident by the bare mud showing along the opposite bank. More water was run off through Oath Lock during the session, dropping the level another foot.

The day was sunny and hot with a nice cooling breeze blowing from behind.

Fran fished a 7 metre whip with a 3 gram rig. He fished a single maggot on the hook over groundbait laced with caster, maggot and hemp.

He caught roach, hybrids, skimmers, rudd and a ruffe for a total of 7lbs.

I fished a waggler close in where the flow was slower.

I fished single or double white maggot on the hook over groundbait laced with dead pinkies and hemp.

In the afternoon I changed to a 7 metre whip with a 2 gram rig again with maggot on the hook over groundbait.

I caught roach, skimmers and chub for a total of 3lb 12oz.

Friday 2nd July

Ian Grabham fished a three-hour evening session on Stuckies. He started on a maggot feeder but found there was too much weed so he changed to float fishing shallow and caught these roach and chub.

Cocklemoor Bream

Russell Hamblin-Boone had an early morning session to beat the heat recently on Cocklemoor.

He feeder-fished a garlic hooker pellet to catch this lovely 5lb 1oz bream!

Thursday 29th July

I fished the River Parrett in the first swim above the footbridge at Oath, between 7am and 12pm.

The weather was warm and dry with an upstream breeze.

There wasn't a lot of colour in the water, which was back to summer level, and there was a small amount of flow.

I fished a 13' match rod and centrepin reel. With a fairly strong upstream breeze, I used a wire-stemmed avon float to counteract the drag from the bow in the line and this carried a good bulk of shot, close to the hooklength, to get the bait down as quickly as possible through the shoals of bleak. The float was dotted right down so the fish only had to breathe on it and it would sink!

I fished just past the edge of the shelf and only had to trot about three metres down the swim.

I threw in a few balls of groundbait laced with dead pinkies and hemp and topped up a number of times during the session. I fished maggot on the hook.

I caught skimmers, roach, rudd, bleak, gudgeon and small perch.

At one point in the session, I hooked and played what I thought was a pike. It stayed deep and took line as it went across the river.  When I eased it up to the surface, I thought it was a small jack, then I saw the stripes and realised it was a good perch. I had two more nice perch later.

In total, I had 5lb 5oz with the two biggest perch weighing 1lb 6oz and 1lb respectively.


You'll be pleased to know the farmer has now cut the grass in the field so it's much easier walking the bank!!

Wednesday 4th August

For a change, I fished the River Parrett on the Somerset Levels Angling Club (SLAC) section at Combe. The bank has been mown down through the field so there are no nettles, at present, but the long grass on the edge of the bank needed trimming to open a swim.

The water was quite clear and there was very little flow.

The day was mainly sunny and hot with an occasional overcast period. I only fished for about three hours as towards midday it was getting too hot to fish; there's no trees to shelter you from the sun!

I fished a 13' match rod and centrepin. As I was only fishing over the ledge a couple of rodlengths out (which was only about 6' deep) I fished a light waggler float.

I put a few bait droppers of maggots and hemp  on the bottom in front of me with maggot on the hook and started catching roach and the odd perch.

Later I loosefed maggots and hemp but started a catching a lot of bleak. I stopped loosefeeding and only fed the occasional handful of hemp and the bleak disappeared eventually.

I caught rudd up in the water but if the bait managed to reach the bottom, I caught roach.

I caught small roach, bleak, rudd and perch for a total of 2lb 8oz. Not much but nice to be fishing!!

Tuesday 10th August

Fished a morning session on the River Parrett at the footbridge at Oath.

There's cattle (and a bull!) in the field over the footbridge. As a result, the bank in some of the swims above the footbridge have been churned up by cattle drinking from the river.

So I decided to fish the Somerset Levels Angling Club (SLAC) section on the road side between the footbridge and the next house downstream.

It was a sunny, warm morning with a light breeze. It clouded up and rained for the last half hour. The river was fairly clear and there was only a small amount of flow.

I fished a 13' match rod, centrepin reel and a small loaded insert crystal waggler. I fished fairly close in, just beyond the lilies in front of  me.

I set the depth about two feet off the bottom to miss the weed.

I fished maggot on the hook and loosefed hemp and maggot.

There were plenty of bites, mainly on the drop, to start with but they tailed off towards midday.

I caught bleak, roach, the odd chublet and a small skimmer for a total of 2lb.

Thursday 19th August

Fran and I fished Stuckies (below the Town Bridge) for the first time this season. The swims were strimmed out for the start of the new season but haven't been fished much so have become overgrown with long grass and nettles. I spent the best part of an hour clearing a couple of swims for us.

The water was crystal clear and there was a gentle flow. In most swims, the eel grass had grown up close to the surface; probably the reason why Stuckies hadn't been fished much.

The day was warm, overcast with misty drizzle, then sunny.

Fran fished a 6 metre whip with a 2 gram rig set at about two feet depth. He held the rig stationary over a hole in the weed until the float went under.

He fished maggot on the hook over loosefed maggots and hemp.

He caught roach, rudd, bleak, small chub, perch and skimmers for a total of 3lb 10oz.

I fished a 6 metre whip with a 0.75 gram pencil float rig set at about 12 inches depth.

I fished maggot on the hook over loosefed maggot.

I managed to trot the float down the swim. I started off catching quite a few bleak but then started catching roach and rudd.

I caught bleak, small chub, roach, rudd, skimmers and a couple of perch for a total of 4lb 8oz.


Although the weed is thick and nearly up to the surface, with regular loosefeeding and fishing shallow, there's plenty of fish and not just small ones; we both had fish around the 5oz mark.

So for plenty of bites, why not give it a try!!

Saturday 6th November

Visiting angler, Lee Callow, fished opposite the tree on Cocklemoor. He caught a mixed bag of roach, perch,  skimmers and a nice chub of about 1½ lbs. He said it was a lovely stretch of river and will be visiting it again.

Combe Lake


Coronavirus Pandemic

Remember the 2-Metre Rule, keep your distance from other anglers and we'll all be safe.


Hand sanitiser is available at both gates for your protection.


The virus can live on metal for up to 72 hours so I spray the padlock and parts of the gates and latches with my disinfectant spray before touching them. A good habit to get into!



Shutting and Locking

Please make sure you shut the gate securely in the otter fence when entering and leaving the lake.


We are finding, all to often, that the main gate is being left unlocked.


When you leave by the main gate, please make sure the padlock is correctly attached and locked securely. Scramble all the numbers on the lock.


Protect the lake, and your fishing, by ensuring that the gate is securely locked.


If you are fishing Combe Lake, why not let me know what you caught; photos of your catch would also be appreciated. We'd love to know how it's fishing for our members. Email me.

We've noticed members have been propping the gate open recently with bricks while they drive in or out.


For the last few years, there has been a wire loop fixed to the fence which hooks over the top rail of the gate to hold it back. The wire loop can be bent tighter around the rail of the gate if required.


You'll find this is more reliable than propping the gate open with bricks. I've now taped the wire loop to make it more visible.


I know some members aren't happy about the weed in our lake. However, the weed is very beneficial to our fish and the waterfowl. It contains lots of food in the form of invertebrates. It provides shelter and protection for our fish. It also helps to keep the algae levels down and improve water quality.


Most of our fishing can be done in front of the platforms so we only need to clear the weed from where we want to fish. This is easily achieved by spending a few minutes raking before we tackle up. This gives a short period for the swim to settle before fishing. Raking also stirs up the silt which attracts the fish into the swim.


A simple weed rake (as shown above) can be made by joining two garden rake heads back to back and securing with cable ties. A length of strong nylon rope can be securely attached.

Thursday 26th August

I fished an afternoon session in the open water between the two lily beds in the south-west corner of Combe Lake.

It was a warm, sunny day with an occasional light breeze.

I raked the swim first to remove a small amount of weed and to stir the silt up to get the fish interested.

I fished a 13' match rod and a centrepin reel with a clear loaded waggler float rig. I was only fishing a couple of rod lengths out so I could cast the rig underarm to drop it near to the weed bed in front of me.

I fed three or four squeezed handfuls of groundbait laced with micropellet every hour.

With single or double maggot on the hook, I caught steadily (though bites were slow) until later in the afternoon when bites stopped altogether! I then started loosefeeding a few maggots before each cast and started catching again!

I caught roach, rudd, perch and a couple of small tench for a total of 3lb.

As you can see, there is still a lot blanket weed over the lake but there are a few clear, fishable swims.

Thursday 2nd September

I fished an afternoon session at the south end of Combe Lake in the swim opposite the point of the island.

The weather was overcast with a cool breeze blowing in my face; it felt a bit cold after a few hours!

Water temperature was 17°C.

I raked the swim before setting up; there wasn't much weed but it stirred up the silt.

I again fished a 13 foot match rod and centrepin reel with 1.5 gram loaded clear insert waggler float rig.

I started fishing double maggot over groundbait but got very few bites. I then fished a different area of the swim, just loosefeeding maggots, and started getting more regular bites. Dead depth was a bit slow so I shallowed up one inch and the bites improved. I was catching small roach and rudd then had a couple of small tench. I hooked a larger tench which took me into the nearby lilies before straightening the hook! With a change of hook size, to increase the wire thickness, and loosefeeding micropellet in addition to the loosefed maggot, I hooked another larger tench. This time, he saw the inside of my landing net and was about a couple of pounds!

When I packed up, I had roach, rudd, a small skimmer and four tench in the net for a total of 4lb 13oz.

Wednesday 8th September

Fished the same swim as last week, this time it was more of a morning session. I raked a few pieces of weed out and widened the swim on the right-hand side.

It was a warm, sunny morning which was going to cloud up and rain for a while at lunchtime.

The water temperature was 18.5°C and the lake was flat calm.

I started fishing with a 13 foot match rod and centrepin reel. I plumbed up to find the depth and then shallowed up one inch which I've found produces more bites; maybe the bait is just above the silt and so more visible. I loosefed maggot and hemp with double maggot on the hook. Bites were very slow, producing a few roach and small skimmer bream and a perch. At one point, the float went under and lifting into it, something headed across the swim taking line and then everything went slack. Reeling in, I found something had bitten through the hooklength.

For the last couple of hours, I fished a maggot feeder loaded with either maggots or hemp with maggot or sweetcorn on the hook. Eventually, the tip pulled round and something headed in to the nearby weed before the line went slack. Again, the hooklength had been bitten through. I suspect it must have been a pike, both times! No signs of any tench this time, not even any tench bubbles; maybe the pike was hanging round for the morning!

There is still a lot of blanket weed over the surface of the lake. Maybe with some rain, the weed may get washed down to the bottom.

As temperatures drop, the Hairlike Pondweed and the Rigid Hornwort weed will started to descend to the bottom, opening up more swims once more.

Wednesday 15th September

I fished an afternoon session in the south-west corner swim between the two lily beds.

It was a sunny, warm afternoon with just a light breeze and the water temperature was 18​°C.

First thing I did was rake the swim which removed some weed and disturbed the silt.

I fished a match rod and centrepin reel with a 1 gram crystal waggler rig fished at dead depth.

I occasionally loosefed hemp and expander pellets and started with expander pellet on the hook.

I caught a few two inch roach and rudd on a 6mm expander pellet before changing to a small single grain of sweetcorn. I stopped getting bites from the small fish and then caught tench; I had four, the largest was about a couple of pounds.

I also had this small carp of about a couple of pounds on sweetcorn. Great fun on light tackle in what was a fairly confined swim!

Tuesday 21st September

Fran and I fished at Combe Lake.

It was a warm and slightly overcast day. Water temperature was 16°C; 2°C down from the previous week.

We raked our swims to clear any weed and stir up the bottom before we tackled up.

Fran fished a rod and reel with a waggler float rig. He fished sweetcorn, worm, expander pellet or maggot on the hook over groundbait.

He caught roach, rudd and perch for a total of 1lb 5oz.

I fished an Avon rod and centrepin reel loaded with 6lb line and a waggler float rig, hoping to find some tench.

I started with sweetcorn on the hook over loosefed hemp and micropellet. There were plenty of tench bubbles appearing around the float but no bites.

I changed to expander pellet on the hook and then, what must have been, a large carp picked up the bait and travelled several yards into the weed before breaking the hooklength. That was the only bite of the day! There was no sign of any tench for either of us!

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© David Jolly