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27 February

Chris Plumb


River Kennet - Thatcham

0900 - 1245

Bright and sunny after a frosty start. AT was 11ºC when I packed up. River very full - but quite clear.

2 Chub: 3lb 13oz & 2lb 5oz. A dace and a brownie - both around 6oz.

Bit of a gamble which nearly backfired - very few floodwater swims at this venue - though there is a nice near bank eddy which usually produces a nice chub. Alas if it was in residence it wasn't hungry as all I extracted from the swim were minnows (yes, Martin - there are some still in the Kennet!). I didn't really have a plan B after this inauspicious start however I found some chub by running my float under some far bank willows - not a spot I've ever had one from before - though I can't think why as it looks VERY chubby!


Edited by Chris Plumb


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Envious of those minnows, Chris. How d'you do it? You didn't say how many? If anyone can catch 'em it's you! I drew a blank at Willows today. Fish seemed to be coming out to others on pop-ups, but none on mine.  Also tried worm, bread and maggot at times, but not a bite. That's 6 blanks in 15 trips in Feb. I don't think you can doubt my enthusiasm or persistence, but I'm evidently the antithesis of a fish magnet. 

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Had 3 in quick succession - never good sign when you're after something that would have them for hors d'œuvres! 15 trips in Feb - blimey!

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Barbel once lurked under those willows Chris. I once waded over to the tree which now been removed and trotted past them, didn't catch one but a couple came out and swam upstream by my feet!

Edited by Rusty
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15 - I know! As a gardener, my services are less required in Jan/Feb so I take good advantage on the bankside. OK, the fish don't much like the cold, but I struggled to catch anything other than the odd trout from several trips to Speen Moors and while one happy Bulls Lock gave me a surprise couple of grayling (and 10 minnows- beat that!), my return visits yielded nothing in either the stills, where I though they might be holed up, the crease with the mainflow,  or alongside the south bank. I really enjoyed my January trips on the Lamborne, but there's more anglers there than pedestrians in Newbury town centre, so in Feb (clearly to my own detriment) I've avoided it. Despite fining down tackle to a size 18, single maggot on a 1.5lb hooklink, I've blanked at Bulls Lock twice, the Moors, Greenham Mill, and since the weather has improved, Pallets, Dobsons and Willows (OK, so make that 7 blanks, not 6). I believe  I'm stealthy enough to try not to scare the fish, - I even had a girl on one of those ridiculous standing paddle board things on the canal scream out loud as she hadn't seen me til the last mo. On flowing water,  I try to hold the float back when trotting, set it as close to the bottom as I can without continuingly getting submerged, and chuck maybe 6 maggots in a cast. I really am not sure what I do wrong, but it's something, and once I've sussed it, well, minnows beware!

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Aye Rusty - twas a swim you used to see barbel 'flashing' on the shallows in the summer - now a distant memory. I'd have thought it a bit too pacey for chub - though the mill leat joins at the back of the run which is where the chub were laying up....

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