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20 May

Chris Plumb

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Willows Lake - Thatcham

1400 - 2200

Warm and sunny with a nice breeze to keep the mozzies away!

1 Tench: 3lb 13oz. 2 Carp: 5lb 11oz & 4lb 6oz.

A rare (very - I usually have a bit of a break in the spring) 'closed season' outing - a trip to cure the lockdown blues! Just wanted to sit on the bank and watch a float for a few hours not even so bothered about catching! As usual I set my stall out to try and snaffle one of the lake's big but scarce crucians and as the tackle shop had no maggots it was straight out with the float fished prawn sections a rod length (or less) from the bank. Bright conditions did not make for good sport and I didn't get a bite until gone 6.00pm when the bigger carp snaffled the bait. There then followed a really frustrating evening - lots of sail-away 'un-missable' bites which had my striking into thin air - it happened time and time again - think fish must have been attacking the shot. The only time I did connect it was another carp until finally just before 2200 a dithering sort of a bite resulted in the lovely plump tinca - can't remember catching one bigger in Willows at least not for the last 20 years. And just as I slipped her back the International Space Station passed overhead! A lovely evening all round.

Willows Tinca.jpg



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Life's too short Chris, you never know what's around the corner to stop you fishing, get out when you have the chance. I'm going to Barton Court lake this week, the first place I fished when I moved to Oxfordshire 15 years ago. Don't know what's in there and don't care, I'll be sitting watching a float.

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I hear the new owners are doing a lot of work at BC - and have closed the river to coarse anglers in the winter. Good luck if you go - I don't think I've even seen the lake at BC - what's in it?

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I had small roach almost every cast (which became a nuisance), a jack of about 1lb, a bream of similar size and a perch of maybe 8 oz. Bob reckons he stocked 500 tench to 1lb and 500 crucians last year, he said the crucians were 10 inches average size which seems very expensive to me - and I did double check with him - nobody's caught one yet. There are the usual carp but I also saw a large shoal of bream cruising around for most of the day. I only had maggots so will try different baits next time, it's very well looked after and at £6 for one rod, £10 for two, it's quite good value. 

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