13. Huntspill River

Brief description of fishery:

The Huntspill River was constructed in 1940 as part of the construction of a new Royal Ordnance factory at Puriton. The factory required a guaranteed daily supply water of 4.5 million gallons. An idea was born to combine a storage reservoir with drainage for the area. 

The 5-mile-long channel was cut through the coastal clay-belt from Gold Corner to the Parrett Estuary. Gold Corner was connected to the South Drain via a pumping Station with Retention sluices placed at both ends, thus creating the water storage and drainage system. It was eventually dug with a 16-foot-deep channel not deep enough for gravitational feed, thus, requiring water from the South Drain to be pumped into the channel to provide the reservoir element. In summer months, the water could be topped up with water from the South Drain via the Pumping Station. During winter months excess water could be allowed to drain into the Parrett Estuary. 

This venue became quite famous during the 80’s and early 90’s for the National competitions held on the venue. There were some huge shoals of Bream and bags in excess of 100lb were quite common. Although the Bream are not as prolific as they were in the venue’s heyday, there are still yearly reports of pleasure catches past the magical mark.  

If you are on the Bream the favoured tactic is balling it in with groundbait. It is sometimes difficult to know the number of fish in your area, so don’t go to heavy with the loose feed in the groundbait mix until after the first hour or you start catching the Bream. 

There are good all-round areas with lots of small fish, a chance of Bream and one or two better Roach. You can get a good catch of 8oz to 10oz fish. The Roach and Skimmers are wide spread and the Roach can approach 1lb with Hybrids up to 3lb.   

Feeder tactics work well, therefore make sure you sit on your hands as striking line bites is a sure way to spook the fish.  

All through the Venue there are 3oz to 4oz Roach and Skimmers right up to full-size Bream. When it is not windy and the colour is good you can often fish on the pole. The original central channel started 26ft from the bank. This method is great fun, when you have been having regular 3 to 10 oz fish and the next strike is a 6lb plus Bream.   

Waggler fishing is a great method on the Huntspill with a single caster as bait on the hook, you might sacrifice quantity for quality, but it depends on your likes. Hempseed is also a great bait in late Summer and early Autumn, a single grain or tare on the hook can catch well, with maggots as a good alternative hook bait. 

Eels used to be a constant in the river and there are still quite a few Eels in the river, but these days they tend to be bigger. Not many Anglers target them.  

Perch are throughout and they are picked up in amongst the Roach, Hybrids and Skimmers and Gudgeon. There are some bigger Perch showing now as the species has made its comeback.   

There are Pike in reasonable numbers. The nature of the channel lends itself to a nomadic approach, some large fish have been reported on wobbled dead baits and lures. 

The old ‘Motherless Minnows’ are still about and if it is that hard, you can usually catch a couple of pounds of them. 


Access & Parking

Access to the Huntspill river can be made at every bridge, not all of the bridges have dedicated parking so please park responsibly. 

  1. Sloway Lane,
  2. A38, Pawlett Road between Pawlett and Hunspill,
  3. Puriton Rd,
  4. Withy Grove,
  5. Causeway (B3141) between Woolavington and East Huntspill,
  6. Goldcorner 
  1. Sloway Lane, If you head for Laburnham House you will be able to orientate to the river. There is no carpark at this bridge but usually enough offroad parking for 4 cars.
  2. A38, Pawlett Road between Pawlett and Hunspill, There is a carpark at this bridge please use this carpark. If you wish to fish the other side be careful getting across the road.
  3. Puriton Rd, This Bridge has no dedicated parking, but usually enough offroad parking for a couple cars.
  4. Withy Grove, This Bridge has no dedicated parking, but usually enough offroad parking for a couple cars.
  5. Causeway between Woolavington and East Huntspill, there is a carpark at this bridge please use this carpark. This is a great meeting point if you are looking to arrange a match on this venue.
  6. Goldcorner, There are a couple of parking areas here, you carpark in front of the pumping station or there is another small carpark at the sharp bend on the North side of the river. 


  • Bream
  • Eel
  • Motherless Minnows
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Roach
  • Skimmers