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Chris Plumb


Kennet & Avon Canal - Widmead

0715 - 1030

Mild, overcast with some light drizzle and an ever increasing breeze. Canal quite full.

4 Perch: 2 'pounders', biggest 1lb 6oz. 3 Chub: again a brace of pounders - to 1lb 9oz.

Dawn perch raid to a favoured swim of old - been 3 years since I last fished here but for a decade from 05-15 this was a nailed on banker venue for big perch - had dozens and dozens of 3lbers in that time plus a couple of 4s. My last 3 from here was Dec 15 and they did a rapid disappearing act over the following couple of winters - and yes I'm blaming the otter, as I saw frequent sightings of it on the canal at this time.... Was hoping the perch would have thrived on neglect and I had to wade into the margins to clear one of my favourite swims of common reed on arrival. Despite this commotion  I had a perch first cast and there followed a busy hour or so when I caught everything else. Alas the first barge came through at 0830 and whilst I did get the odd bite after this further shipping meant the swim never really had time to settle down - still I saw enough to want to come back!

Edited by Chris Plumb
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Great smash 'n grab session there, Chris. I was going to Brimpton that morning but put off by promise of 40mph winds, opted for the relative shelter of Dobsons, having caught a few nice-ish perch (as well as dozens of small ones) in the margins recently on double-magg. I armed-up and went with worms and prawns rubbed in garam-masala, ready for the big 'uns. Fished 6:45, through the rains until 2pm for a single 3oz perch. That's fishing! Will be Brimpton for sure next weekend, but in the meantime where is the Widmead stretch? I presume it runs alongside Knotts? If so, I guess it isn't on Newbury AA's list. I've seen there are swims get up on the south bank along there and a private fishing in a small parking area sign near Bulls lock on that side, but haven't identified who has the rights; the Thatcham AA site (I presume it's theirs) is very vague on the matter.

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This is Thatcham AA - they have the canal all the way from Colthrop Industrial Estate, past Thatcham railway station upto Widmead lock (which is the lock you come out at if you take the footpath between Dixons & Collins). NAA then have the north bank from Widmead to Bulls lock (CSAS have the south bank of the river - but this bit isn't available on the exchange) and the canal on into town until you get to the 'Whitehouse'  (behind B&Q and the now disused pub) stretch which is TAA again....

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Ah, you are the font of all piscine knowledge. Thanks Chris. I'm always half-to-two-thirds tempted to join TAA , but NAA have more than enough swims/venues really, so it would be a case of being greedy and give me even more option overload! The Thatcham Reeds sections always look good when I walk past as well...oh, decisions! To be fair, I've not fished Speen Moors yet, or even looked at the Kintbury and Hungerford stretches, so I really ought to give them all a good crack before venturing elsewhere. 

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Well - err I'm a member of both TAA and RTAA plus I have my little syndicate at Marsh Benham and I'm waiting on my half year Dorchester & DAS book to arrive! (to fish the Frome). TAA have the bonus of doing an exchange with Godalming which saves a few pennies on trips to Marsh Farm (plus gets me on Johnsons Lake next door!) and RTAA is only £25 a season - I pay more than that for a day ticket on the Itchen!

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5 hours ago, Chris Plumb said:

Blimey. No fish is safe from you! I notice that where the canal widens behind the police station there appears to be some platforms which would be ideal to fish from, though I suspect they are launch pads for those freaky canoe guys. Any ideas?


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