Sunbury lies at the start of the M3 motorway, from which you can actually see part of the school that I taught in for so long. Taking the Sunbury turn-off from the A3 or A316 takes you into the main roundabout at Sunbury Cross, take the sign for Lower Sunbury and the river. This is Green Street and will lead you out to the Thames at Kings Lawn and Wilsons Ferry. This section is just below the main weir at Sunbury and is consequently fairly fast flowing with a good gravel bottom. It varies from about 6ft to 9ft at a rod length out, to over 12ft in the middle.

Traditional Thames fishing punts can be hired out from George Wilson at the top end of the Kings Lawn section. These are good sized and will comfortably accept three anglers. The punts come complete with mooring weights and paddles which are more than adequate in this non-tidal section of the Thames.

Travelling upstream from Wilson's ferry there is one other small section below the weir. This is about as close to the weir as you can bank fish. Naturally like Kings Lawn, this small section holds typical Thames weir stream species such as chub, barbel and dace. The chub and barbel often appear at night when they can be caught on legered meat baits or block-end feeders with maggots.

My friend, Roger Baker and his son Paul often make good catches of barbel off of Kingslawn in September and October. They trot over depth using casters as bait over a bed of hemp. Not only do they catch barbel but also perch, big dace and roach to over a pound.

Last year they found some big shoals of bream below Kings Lawn and really hammered them out. They had several hundred-pound plus bags with individual fish to well over seven pounds. These are the largest bags of bream that I have ever heard of from this section. However the bream population of the Lower Thames appears to be increasing, resulting in some terrific bags. Many of these catches are approaching two hundred pounds! Location and heavy feeding are the key to success with these fish.

Moving upstream from that small swim below the weir, the next area to fish is from the next car park which is on a backwater that enters the main river just below the weir. This backwater is normally slow flowing and is often full of pike. The best pike I have caught from this section was just over 171b but I have had plenty of them with more than my fair share of doubles. Most pike fishing methods work here but this is not an exclusive pike fishing area as it also produces some good fish of other species, particularly roach and chub. The fishing for these species appears to be at its best when the river is carrying some extra water and it is backing up in the section.

That is about as far upstream as you can get from the bank as the banks above here are all private. I believe that one of the best ways to fish Sunbury properly is to use a boat, either your own or a punt hired from George Wilson. This gives you the freedom to explore and fish areas out of bounds to bank anglers. The weir pool at times can be very productive for most Thames species. It has produced some surprisingly good results but non better than those produced by the legendary A.A. Green in the 1960's. He was a well known local angler who knew that weir better than any angler, living or dead. And John Burrett's catch of big chub with three fish for over fifteen pounds: he also caught barbel recording seventy six in just one week. Again I understand that the majority of his catches were made from a boat.

Now that the bream population in the area is building up, any visitor would be foolish to ignore the pike fishing potential. Again, this is far easier from a boat.

If you enter the backwater from the weir using a boat you can travel up a fair distance, fishing areas that are out of bounds to the general public. Again there are good fish in this section with some very big carp and chub. Eventually you will come up against a small weir with a fast flowing side stream flowing in on your left hand side. A sign says "Navigation is dangerous above this point" and they are not joking. Below the sign the river is fast flowing and can at times be very productive for chub and barbel.

Before closing I would like to point out that it is well worth using trout pellet as feed with a large pellet hair rigged for barbel in this section. The fish now appear to be switching on to this bait that, on many waters, is out fishing more traditional barbel baits such as meat. From a punt it is worth using a bait dropper to introduce pellet into the swim and fish either with a banded pellet or trout pellet paste. This is a more modern alternative to hemp and caster that at times can produce some remarkable results. However, one word of warning: there are a lot of big carp in most sections of the Thames so make sure you do not fish too lightly!