River Thames

The River Thames in the heart of London may not be what most people think of when thinking about fishing locations, but the Thames is home to thousands of fish which are highly sought after by anglers at all times of the year. The Thames has a long history with fish, being both a source of fish for local anglers and having many ports serving as fish markets.

Remains of Bronze Age and Saxon fishing traps have been found along the river, demonstrating just how far back the history goes. At one point smelt were plentiful around the Billingsgate area, with up to 40 boats working every day and catching up to 50000 smelts between them.

Eels have a long history in London as an essential food source, particularly in jellied form, and remain an important part of the fishing culture. While the appeal of jellied eel has given way to other foods over the years, it is still possible to buy jellied eels caught from the Thames in many fish shops in London.

For sport fishing, one of the most commonly sought after fish is the carp, with most anglers aiming to catch the largest that they can. Many fishing competitions take place regularly along the banks of the Thames.

Barbel is a highly prized fish for anglers to attempt to catch in the Thames, and although they are not seen as particularly rare, they are notoriously difficult to attract and hook. Anglers looking to test their skill against smaller fish, below 15 kg, may be on the hunt for bream, which are plentiful in the Thames and make for a suitable catch.

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