Middle Kennet Estate - Kintbury
0830 - 1730
Cool and Sunny with broken cloud 2ºC->7ºC->2ºC. River very low.
9 Chub; 6lb 7oz (new PB ), 5-2, 3-15, 2-13, 2-10, 1-10 and 3 chublets. 47 Dace, of which less than a dozen were under 8oz!!!! 2 fish of 13oz, 3 fish weighed at 12oz but probably had a load more that were close,10 Roach; 4 of which were over 10oz - best 14oz. 10 Brownies and a Rainbow.
This was supposed to be a club day on this lovely estate water - except no one turned up apart from me, Rusty and Steve !! Rusty and Steve explored down stream leaving me to have the whole upstream beat to myself!!!! My plan had always been to fish a chub swim that I fish quite a bit but which is otherwise relatively unknown - I've had a hunch for a few seasons that it could hold a quite special chub and this morning it turned out I was right. In the past I've only ever had one or two fish at a time from it so this morning I approached it a bit differently - taking my time - resting and feeding between fish. It certainly paid off as every time I ran a float through (with 3 kernals of red sweetcorn as bait) I had a bite straight away. The 2,2's were followed by the 5lber, in turn followed by the 3-15. Each fish put back some way downstream and each time I dribbled in more freebies for 10-15 mins before recasting. The 6 was the last fish of the morning and the constant feeding obviously paid off as it nailed the bait seconds after hitting the water - I hadn't even trotted down to the 'take zone'. The aggressive take was more akin to a trout but there was no mistaking this for a trout in the clear shallow water. Having already had a 5 I knew this was somthing special and was even muttering could be 7 as it hung in the fast water refusing to budge. The standoff was fairly brief and it was soon being coaxed into a waiting net where it promptly coughed up an enourmous gob of mashed up corn - could have been 6-08 if it had kept it down!! Still at 6lb 7oz it's a new PB by an ounce - I was well chuffed and all the more satisfying for being caught on the float. Next trot through produced a ruddy brownie = one 'killed swim'. I returned for an hour in the afternoon for 1 more chub before the brownies moved in again...
If the morning had started splendidly what was to follow was equally awesome. My plan had always been to switch to dace after a morning's chubbing but I hadn't expected to get so many and such quality - and from a swim I hadn't planned to fish. However looking into the water with my poleroids as I stopped for a mid morning drink and chocolate I could see the swim was stuffed with dace - and by the looks of it some really quite big ones. (I don't think I caught anywhere near the biggest in the shoal!). I weighed the first 5 dace I caught, 3 were 12 oz the other 2, 9 & 10oz. Having got my eye in I only weighed anything that looked bigger - and popped a couple of later fish on the scales which both went 13oz but in truth nearly every fish was of the same stamp - I could see bigger dace in the swim - but never got past the 'schooly' 10ozers to catch one!!!
All in all a fantastic days sport - feels like two days fishing in one!