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Six perch....17lb 12oz

Ok a bit of a cheat title because it was over two sessions but it was from one swim during consecutive dusk/dawn periods. I had no intention of spending a night by the K&A Canal.   Saturday 5th January, River Kennet, Newbury and the K&A Canal, Thatcham   At last an opportunity to get on the river trotting. The Kennet has been pretty inaccessible with all the rain so the few short sessions I've had have been on the Lambourn catching grayling, nice but I was beginning to miss catching

Rusty

Rusty

It's a good job size doesn't matter

River Kennet, Speen Moors, Thursday 16th June 2011   It makes a nice change for the opening day not to end in an anti-climax particularly at a venue which has provided me with so many blank days in the two years that I’ve been a member of NAA. Speen was chosen because of its location and the fact that it was very unlikely to be busy, my plan was to fish six specific swims in rotation all of which had been recce’d the week before, if they didn’t produce I could either wander off to other parts

Rusty

Rusty

Closing week

What an end to the season! The opening day was pleasant enough but between then and now there really hasn’t been much to say about my fishing trips. Blank after blank had me wondering whether the angling gods had got it in for me or whether I’d just got myself in a rut fishing known swims and taking success for granted.   When the reliable swims eventually failed to produce (as they often do) I had no plan B and just kept on flogging the same dead horses. Eventually I got fed up with that but

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Rusty

I know, I've been slacking

River Kennet, Weekend of 30th & 31st October 2010   I seem to have got a little behind with my blog, probably because I’m spending too much time fishing to write about it all so the next two entries will be out of sync I’m afraid.   Speen Moors 30th October   A gentle day out with Steve & Robbie, perch being the target species. Conditions were bright & sunny (not ideal then) and we didn’t fish either dawn or dusk so you could say that we didn’t give ourselves much of a chanc

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Rusty

Not quite what I expected

River Kennet, Barton Court, Monday 15th November 2010   I feel cheated, for the first time ever I’ve failed to catch a trout at this venue. Towards the end of the day I was trotting weirpools in a desperate attempt to justify my view that they’re a nuisance and easy to catch on anything but a fly, all to no avail. Trout blanking at Barton Court is unforgivable and I hang my head in shame.   The freezing foggy day which greeted me matched the forecast that had suddenly changed from a warm s

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Rusty

An unexpected treat

River Kennet, Sunday 6th March 2011   I thought I’d seen the last of this venue for a while, the plan was for Steve to take my place on the final visit of the season but with a couple of days to go I learned that Chris Plumb’s fishing partner wasn’t able to make it (thanks Chris) so that meant we could both go.   We were on a bit of a mission, firstly to visit a special swim and then to catch a pike from it. Steve was going all out; there was no trotting kit in his hands as we yomped from

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Rusty

Wingham Trip

Wingham Fish-in, 21st 22nd & 23rd May 2011   Words that have struck the fear of God into me in the past and I suspect that I’m not the only one. For the past couple of years I’ve shied away from this fish-in, I don’t really have the right tackle/gear and it’s always seemed a daunting prospect. The offers of help and support from members are continually posted on the AN forum though and so this year I decided to give it a go. I’m sure other AN’ers feel the same way as recent events have b

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Rusty

A change of plan produced a little bonus

River Kennet, Newbury, Friday 23rd September 2011   An opportunistic session following POETS day. The pint of maggots in my fridge was beginning to overstay its welcome so I thought it best to donate them to the Kennet on a lovely sunny afternoon. This routine is quite well established now, once I’ve arrived home from work I can be back on the road again within ten minutes, important at this time of year when the evenings are getting shorter. Chub were the target and under normal circumstance

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Rusty

My new camera

River Lambourn and K&A Canal, Saturday 5th November 2011   I’ve bought a new camera, a Nikon Coolpix P7100. It’s a fixed lens camera with the functionality of a DSLR (apparently) but without the bulk. The purchase came about because my faithful old Ixus 700 decided to stop displaying anything on the display, it would still take pictures but I had no idea what it had taken or what the settings were. Photos became a bit of a lottery.   The new Nikon has more dials, knobs and buttons than

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Rusty

A day chubbing

River Kennet, Speen Moors, Saturday 22nd September 2012 (afternoon shift)   It struck me recently that I hadn’t caught a decent chub for a good while. In such circumstances I generally fall back to quivertipping bread flake in a couple of reliable swims, on this occasion though I wanted to try somewhere I’d been thinking about for some time. The back end of Speen Moors fishery is a slow stretch, it’s full of fallen trees and looks very chubby but it’s not fished very much probably because it

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Rusty

A chance to try some new kit

River Kennet, Thatcham, Friday 10th September 2010   I’d been mulling over the idea of an evening session all week. I don’t generally fish evenings because there always seems to be stuff to do in the house after work, dinner, chores etc. Today was different though, I was working from home and my evening was free so it was an ideal opportunity to try out a couple of recent acquisitions, a new reel and some Power Pro braid.   The venue was carefully selected, I’d be wading mid river and trot

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Rusty

Couldn't keep this in perspective

River Kennet, Newbury, Saturday 2nd October 2010   After last night’s great little session I couldn’t help but head for Speen Moors again. I wasn’t planning to wade but took the chesties just in case and thought I’d take a look further down first to see if the well protected chub were still in residence. The water was more coloured than last time and I couldn’t see them but I did spy a certain Mr. Plumb preparing to empty the river of anything worth catching. It would’ve been rude not to say

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Rusty

Signing off

Well it's been 12 months to the day that I started this blog and I think I've achieved what I set out to do, i.e. provide an insight into the ups and downs of an angler who just enjoys being out and about fishing. Looking back it's interesting to see that this season has been my most successful by far, the biggest chub, perch, barbel, dace and grayling that I've ever caught have all been netted this year. Not too shabby but size of fish caught is only half the story.   Thanks to;   Chris P

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Rusty

First foray into tenching

Knotts Lake, Sunday 3rd April 2011   Well here’s something I didn’t think I’d be writing about in the blog, a stillwater session targeting tench. In two seasons NAA membership I’ve visited their lakes just once and that was to test the rod that I refurbished last year. Apart from that I’ve been dedicated river man even to the extent that I stopped fishing during the close season.   Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons, it seemed churlish to deny myself some of the pleasures the early

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Rusty

Second foray and success!

Knotts Lake, Saturday 9th April 2011   A return trip to last week’s venue, no early doors start this time just leisurely bait buying and preparation in the morning and a bimble along the A34 in time for a 10:00am arrival. I was keen not to change too much while I was finding my way with these tench so bait was the same as last week, liquidised bread with hemp and corn as feed and corn hookbait.   The first dilemma was where to fish, the second which method to use. I wanted to float fish th

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Rusty

Where's the patent office then?

River Kennet, Saturday 9th July 2011.   A return trip to the swim that caused me so much angst two weeks ago. Again barbel was the target species and from previous experience I knew that this was probably going to be an ‘all or nothing’ trip. I have caught one chub from here but I regard that as a bonus rather than the norm, the trout don’t count.   Making its debut was the prototype bait dispenser, a lazy way to ensure that a regular trickle of hookbait (maggots) was fed into the swim. Fi

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Rusty

Back in business

River Kennet, August Bank Holiday Weekend   Friday 26th August 2011   Well I’m mobile again, on doctor’s orders I can drive provided I wear a patch over my left eye, it was very strange at first but I am getting used to it. Great care is needed on roundabouts with filter lanes, I can’t turn my head far enough to look behind me with my right eye (try it) so I rely on my mirrors and having a good look at the other traffic before I enter the roundabout. Anyway all this means I can get to the

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Rusty

Lost for words

River Thames, Thursday 26th January 2012   A short late afternoon session only possible because the training I’d undertaken earlier in the day had finished sooner than anticipated. The course content was learning how to drive a 4x4 vehicle off road and the venue was Salisbury Plain so you can imagine that it had already been a really enjoyable day.   The plan was to ledger breadflake into dark for chub but I could get to the river with an hour of light left and so I decided to take the tro

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Rusty

Frome Trip

River Frome, Friday 10th February 2012   At the risk of repeating the content of Chris Plumb’s blog here’s an account of our day out from my persepective.   The venue was to be a stretch of the Dorset Frome on the DDAS book, according to their website a total of 1600 yards in length. Apparently the river colours up very quickly after rain so whilst we had agreed on the 10th for the trip it was very much dependant on the weather during the preceding week. The weather gods were undecided; th

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Rusty

Last knockings success!

River Kennet, Newbury, Sunday 24th June 2012   Well I’ve done it! This won’t be a big deal to most of you but to me it’s the culmination of one of the best opening weeks of the season I can remember, it’s been pure pleasure albeit interspersed with a fair bit of frustration and bemusement. Species caught on the float are: chub, perch, roach, dace, gudgeon and now…barbel.   I was down to my last pint of maggots and fancied an afternoon session at the venue where CP did well with dace on the

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Rusty

Predator 2

Kennet & Avon Canal, Sunday 2nd September 2012   Even I can take a hint, for the second day running the weather screamed perch and although I realised this a bit too late for the dawn session (as usual) I had lobs in the fridge and I was in the mood for a walk. Time to explore the canal.   The objective was to try and find a perch swim to replace one that had been decimated by ‘canal improvement’ works earlier in the year. It wasn’t my swim mind, another AN’er had kindly put me onto i

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Rusty

Lots of Grayling

River Lambourn, Saturday 13th October 2012.   One of those days when you wonder why the whole world doesn’t take up angling as a pastime, we didn’t break any records but had such an enjoyable day fishing it almost seemed unfair.   The venue was the Lambourn our local grayling river, the anglers were myself, Steve and Keith. We met Keith at Goring (his chosen place of retirement) about a year ago. He’s a Yorkshireman and likes catching bream but despite that he’s an all round good bloke and

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Rusty

A wee dram or two

K&A Canal, Newbury, Sunday 17th February 2013   After Saturday’s drama how could I not revisit the scene? I had plenty of lobs and although the weather wasn’t quite as conducive to perch fishing it was pleasant enough and dusk was sure to come. I was chasing…chasing the fraction of an ounce which prevented Saturday's fish reaching the 3lb mark.   On arrival I met a young lad who told me about a canoe race which had taken place earlier, this might have scattered the fish for a time but I

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Rusty

The Merlin sees action

River Kennet, Monday 9th February 2015   A day spent on a stretch of the Kennet which sees a little less pressure than other venues on my club books. It has everything from fast raging pools to quiet sidestreams which would barely pull the line off the most free running of centrepins, the perfect location for testing the rod’s capabilities.   The morning was spent trotting in the slower water, the overcast conditions were encouraging but that wasn’t to last, early afternoon the sun came out

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Rusty

A Red Letter ten minutes

River Thames, Sunday 30th August 2015.   What a strange day this was. It started with a chub quest and ended with three perch for 9lb 7oz. Not all of them were mine though and I have to congratulate Steve on taking the laurels today. But first my plan…mashed bread for feed and flake on the hook, arrive sometime between dawn and 10:00am, bag a couple of seven pounders and celebrate with lunch in the pub.   Everything went to plan for once, right up until the point where I got a glimpse of whi

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Rusty

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