0500 - 1430
Bright and sunny - and VERY breezy. River very full - highest I've ever seen it at this time of year.
0500 - 0800 - Newbury.
1 Barbel, 4lb 9oz, 7 dace, 2 roach and a brownie
Always try and get a session here early in the season - though last year was the first time in over 30 years I didn't get a barbel from here - something I put right within 10 minutes of starting to fish. The surprise was it came from my 3rd choice swim! Choice number 1 was inaccessible due to depth and flow (it can only be accessed by wading something which would have been foolhardy - I tried but had to turn back!). Choice number 2 was occupied by someone overnighting at the venue. So confidence wasn't high but the swim has produced decent dace before now - but a barbel on the bank was a real bonus.
Note to self - add 'check camera batteries' to start of season checklist!
0845 - 1145 - Thatcham
1 Chub 4lb 14oz, 16 Dace, 1 brownie.
So after a trip to Tony's to replenish the maggot supply (and pop next door for some batteries) it was off to a swim which pretty much saved my winter fishing last season and a spot which a certain Mr Brasier has purchased some new fangled float to surf the far bank trees. In truth a rod held high and a stiff cross wind achieved the same effect this morning and the 'chunky' dace Chris reported as being in residence yesterday were very obliging. Bites from the dace were just starting to dry up when a strike met with a very solid resistance and a hefty chub burying itself into the ranunculus on my bank meaning a scramble downstream to effect an extraction - well worth it though.
1200 - 1430 - Thatcham
2 Chub;2lbs and a chublet, 2 dace, 4 brownies to 1¼lb
One of my favourite trotting venues though the heavy flow made for a bit of a struggle - and the winter floods have re-modelled a number of my favourite swims (and not in a good way!). Still it was nice to stand in the river with the sun beating down and catch a few fish. Also saw an enormous carp - wonder which lake that escaped from in the winter!