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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/03/13 in Blog Entries

  1. 3 points
    Saturday 12th January, K&A Canal, Thatcham That’s the thing about my AN blog, it’s a record of my angling trips so if I shout about the good days I suppose I’ve got to shout about the bad ones too. That’s what I’m doing now. This early doors trip was always going to be touch and go, I’d guessed that Thursday would be the last day for mild conditions and hoped that the water would still be warm enough through Friday to this morning. To be honest it was just about, at 6 degrees I was glad I’d made the effort and the car temperature gauge showed 5 degrees on the way to the venue so although not mild it was still fishable and shouldn’t be too cold. The difference though was the wind chill, the brisk easterly blowing straight up the canal was biting and it wasn’t long before my fingers were numb, that was before I’d even started fishing. When I did start the float was being blown away from the feature I was targeting and what with the rippled surface everything seemed to be conspiring against me…payback for last week no doubt. I swapped banks which at least helped to get the float near the feature but by that time the images of bacon butties and fresh filtered coffee back in my warm kitchen had got the upper hand, I packed up an hour after first light. Not a great session but it’s all information logged for future reference. Good perch were showing and being caught in that swim last night so I do think it may be a holding spot, I was just a day later than I needed to be.
  2. 2 points
    River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 1830 - 2345 Cool,(cold!) clear evening under a full moon. AT down to 6ºC when I packed up (it got down to 2ºC in our greenhouse overnight). River up a couple of inches and looking in better nick than it has for a couple of months. 1 Barbel; 11lb 7oz. 1 Perch; 1lb 12oz. 11 Dace; (5 of which were over 8oz). 7 Roach; (all small save for one of 11oz). 1 Gudgeon. Hooray! After nearly 40 'rod hours' ledgering (and countless more trying to get one on the float) I finally get off the mark on the barbel front - and with a real lump too! As usual I started off on the float and was soon into some really nice dace - followed up with a nice bonus perch. By eight o'clock I was hunched over my isotopes waiting for something to happen. I planned to fish a bit longer than normal - and would in all probability have normally packed up when at a quarter to midnight my downstream rod gave that familiar 3 foot twitch and I was into my first barbel of the summer. Right from the off it was clearly a big fish - a real struggle to get it off the bottom - but once I did it was quickly mine! And with that it was off to bed - much earlier than I originally intended! Not the most sylph-like barbel I've ever caught!
  3. 2 points
    River Lambourn - Shaw 0815 - 1145 Bright, cool and sunny. Temp up to 5ºC. River quite low as you'd expect this time of year. 31 grayling; All a decent size, nothing below a band 3 (20cm) and most 25cm+. Biggest 1lb 5oz with lots of fish an ounce or so either side of the 1lb mark. 1 trout parr. First trip to the Lambourn this winter and it didn't disappoint. Most fish (2/3rds) from the church stretch where I was also bitten off by a rather large pike!
  4. 2 points
    River Kennet - Nr Newbury 0900 - 1600 Cold, overcast with snow laying to a depth of around 3-4inches. Temps hovering around 0ºC all day with frequent sporadic light snow flurries. No wind so wrapped up warm I was quite toasty all day - was actually rather a nice day to be out. River at near normal winter levels and quite clear. WT 42ºC 17 Chub(!); all over a pound with only 4 under 2¼lb, Biggest 4lb 2oz. Most fish in the 2½-2¾lb bracket. 10 Perch; Biggest 4, 2lb 8oz, 2lb 4oz, 2lb 2oz, 1lb 13oz. 16 Dace. 1 Roach, 2 Gudgeon. 4 Brownies including fish of 5lb 1oz and 4lb 5oz. 3 Rainbows to 2½lb. A session that defied logic or at least conventional wisdom as to what constitutes 'good angling conditions'. With air temperatures struggling to get above zero and water temperatures continuing to fall - we expected to struggle - how wrong can you be. I suppose we did have an overcast day and the road salt has yet to get into the rivers - but we considered these mere straws to be clutched! The date had been in Paul and my diaries for some time - we usually try and get a 'special' trip in sometime around my Birthday (which was last weekend). However it was touch and go whether, A we could find a venue that would let us on (or in the case of the Frome was within its banks) and, B we could actually get there. In the end we made the decison at 0700 on the day - and as a concession to the weather opted to arrive and leave in day light. (We usually arrive when it's still too dark to see a float - and leave under the same light conditions!!!!) Any fears that we had evaporated instantly. Paul probably spent most of the morning rueing his decision to turn down my offer to toss a coin for choice of first swim. We both had in mind where we wanted to start - but Paul said 'you can start there'. (well it is MY birthday!) And what a present the river delivered. In the first 1½hours of fishing I had 14 chub to 3¼lb plus the two biggest trout. I don't usually weigh the trout but these were 2 impressive fish. At times the fishing took on Mr Castwell proportions - with the float dipping at the same point in the swim every trot - and yet another 2½lb chub was brought to the net (as opposed to a similar sized trout in Skues' fable). A schooly 2½lber... By the time Paul joined me for mid-morning coffee, bites were begining to dry up - I was almost thankful!! We agreed that we'd rest the swim and that Paul would have first dibs to fill his boots in the afternoon - something he did with aplomb - snaffling another 8 fish including one of 5lb 3oz. I joined him right at the end of the day and was allowed to run a float through a few times. Paul had just announced that we hadn't caught a 4 lber today (a less than subtle ruse to draw attention to the fact he'd caught a 5 methinks!) when bang on cue I get one of just that size. Between the morning and late afternoon chubfests - Both Paul and I had some great predator action. Paul had spent most of the morning catching dace - something I joined in on after my chubby start but after lunch we both decided on seeing if we could get some predators. Paul had his pike gear with him and had seen a fish in the shallows - plus I'd lost a dace to a pike. My target was a perch or two - though that was more in hope than expectation. Sure enough my perch campaign got off to a slow start - chub in cold conditions is a bit of a staple but perch - I must be mad. These thoughts were going through my head after 15minutes of looking at a stationary float when all of a sudden it bobbed twice and slowly went under. A strike met with the briefest restistance and no lob - crayfish? a perch?. The answer wasn't long in coming as my next bait was snaffled even before the float cocked and a nice perch shot out from the slack into the main current - a nice fish of 2½lbs... I'd added 3 smaller ones to this when I had a call from Paul. He'd caught a big pike and could I come and take its portrait with its captor. It was a VERY nice pike short and very fat as trout fishery pike often are and at 17lbs exactly a new PB for Paul.. Paul then caught a couple of jacks and after the hiatus I returned to my Perch swim to continue where I'd left off with a couple more 2lb+ fish and half a dozen smaller ones upto 1lb. 4 O'clock and time to pack up as we wanted to be off the country roads while it was still light. Normally I'd be a bit regretfull at leaving a venue such as this while there was still fishable light - Paul too - but today we were well and truely sated!!!! Paul's 5lber - should be easy to identify again in the future... Winter Wonderland
  5. 2 points
    My PB List. Haven’t done one of these for a while and it seems an appropriate way to ‘celebrate’ my 400th blog post. And I’ve even dug out and scanned a few old photos (rather crappy ones I have to admit!) which are appearing on the WWW for the 1st time. Best Carp – 27lb 6oz. 15 August 2008. Blue Pool – Burghfield. Method feeder – hair-rigged hemp bogey. I usually spend all summer trying to avoid carp as I pursue tench and crucians but this was caught on an IAC fish-in – a 24hr booking around half a dozen of us had on this CEMEX water. I was getting plagued by carp knocking the feeder but not taking the hook offering (pellet or boilies) so I figured I’d give them something EXACTLY the same as was in the feed and made up a ball of hemp with Kryston bogey and hair-rigged that instead. Above was the result! Blog Entry: http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/index.php?/blog/82/entry-263-1415-august/ Best Pike – 18lb 10oz. 10 February 2001. River Lambourn – Newbury. Free-lined Lamprey section. An opportunistic capture – and one of the few pike I’ve ever ‘stalked’. I saw the fish laid up in a small weir-pool and was able to lower a bait within a couple of feet of its nose. As soon as the bait hit the bottom I could see the pike’s gills ’flare’ but it still took nearly 20mins to edge up to the offering before engulfing it – exciting stuff! Best Barbel – 12lb 4oz. 27 July 2004. River Kennet, Arrowhead – Thatcham. Ledgered Halibut pellet. A bit of ‘prospecting’ which paid off at the time – but despite repeat visits a swim that never produced another fish despite also getting an 8lber and a river carp of similar size the same evening. Still the only 3 fish I’ve ever had from the swim. Best Bream – 12lb 2oz. 2 July 2011. Summer Pit – Yateley. Float fished (lift method) maggot. Really a venue I used to visit for its tench and crucians – but I was actually after bream when I caught this and had a number of 8lb+ fish that summer from the same venue. Blog entry; http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/index.php?/blog/82/entry-704-12-july/ Best Brown Trout – 8lb 12oz. 14 March 2008. Middle Kennet Estate – Newbury. Trotted Maggot. (No photo) I rarely weigh trout let alone photograph one – especially when like this they are caught right in front of the keeper’s cottage. I Usually spend the winter trying to avoid them and hoping they get off when I hook one – though was rather pleased to land this on light-ish tackle in fast water. Blog Entry; http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/index.php?/blog/82/entry-222-14-march/ Best Tench – 7lb 10oz. 18 June 2003. Wylies Lake – Thatcham. Float fished (lift method) black pudding. Black pudding (it needs slicing and frying up first to give it a skin) is one of my favourite tench baits – and one that was first suggested to me by reading the very first printed book on angling. Published in 1496, The Treatyse of Fishing with an Angle (also from which the woodcut of an angler float fishing is my Anglersnet Avatar) is attributed to one Dame Juliana Berners – though there is scant evidence such a person ever existed. In it a recommended bait for tench, is described as a paste made from black sheep’s blood, honey and flour – which must have looked like (and smelt like) black pudding. Best Chub – 6lb 7oz. 19 February 2012. Middle Kennet Estate – Nr Kintbury. Trotted Red Sweetcorn. Patience rewarded. A swim I had a hunch held big chub but which I think I’ve rushed at too much in the past – often getting a few schooly ones before killing the sport. This fish was the last one of half a dozen caught in a morning where I rested and fed the swim after each capture. Just in time too – this winter’s floods have changed this swim significantly – washing away the bush that used to create the slack that held the chub – I didn’t get a bite here from 2 visits this (12/13) winter…ho hum. Blog Entry; http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/index.php?/blog/82/entry-848-19-february/ Best Salmon – 5lb 10oz. 13 October 2008. Lower Itchen Fishery. Trotted Maggot. (No Photo) Again a species I’d rather not be catching when I’m fishing for grayling – was still nice to get my first ‘proper’ one though! Blog Entry; http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/index.php?/blog/82/entry-281-13-october/ Best Rainbow Trout – 4lb 10oz. 5 March 2004. Barton Court – Kintbury. Trotted Maggot. (No Photo) A species I rather wished wasn’t in the Kennet at all! Best Perch – 4lb 2oz. 16 February 2013. Kennet & Avon Canal – Thatcham. Float fished lobworm. Don’t think I need to say any more about this! Blog entry; http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/index.php?/blog/82/entry-1017-16-february-part-2/ Best Crucian – 3lb 13oz. 26 June 2011. Newbury AA Lake – Widmead. Float fished (lift method) bacon grill. One of my favourite summer species. Blog Entry; http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/index.php?/blog/82/entry-699-26-june/ Best Grayling – 2lb 15oz. 6 January 2002. Lower Itchen Fishery. Trotted maggot. One of my first winters at LIF – and looking through my diary I’d forgotten just how awesome the grayling fishing was back then. In just 2 trips in 01/02 I had 27 grayling over 2lb of which 9 were over 2½lb. This 2.15 was the biggest – over a decade later and I’m still hunting a 3! Best Roach – 2lb 11oz. 7 February 2003. Middle Kennet Carrier – Nr Hungerford. Trotted maggot. A red letter day to end all red letter days. 7 Feb 2003 is now hard-wired into my consciousness. I had a 1-15 roach pretty much 1st cast and this beauty last cast. In between these 2 redfins I had…. Best Dace – 1lb 2oz. 7 February 2003. Middle Kennet Carrier – Nr Hungerford. Trotted maggot. …3 dace over 1lb including this fat pigeon chested female (plus 5 more between 13-15oz). Martin Bowler catches a 1-02 dace from the same swim in Catching the Impossible (filmed sometime after my capture I have to add!) And finally some odds ’n sods… Brown Goldfish - 1lb 14oz: 21/06/05, Float fished Bread, Pumphouse Lake, Yateley. Sea Trout - 1lb 12oz: 06/01/02, Trotted Maggot, Lower Itchen Fishery. Eel - 1lb 6oz: 11/10/03, Trotted Maggot, River Test, Timsbury Rudd - 1lb 6oz: 27/07/91, Float fished Maggot, NAA Lake, Widmead.
  6. 2 points
    River Kennet - Thatcham 0700 - 1200 Sunny morning after a rainy start - rain stopped almost as soon as I started fishing. 2 Perch; 3lb 10oz & 1lb 2oz. 19 Dace (5 of which were in the 8-10oz class - very nice). 3 Roach. Fished trotted corn for the first 45 mins in the hope of snaffling one of the big chub that are usually in residence - but didn't get a touch. Was rueing that decision by 0830 with the swim now in full sunlight thinking I'd wasted the best part of the morning. I needn't have worried - though I was contemplating switching to Plan B and a venue just downstream when at around 1000 I connected with something distinctly chub-like which headed for the trailing branches on the opposite bank. However once I'd bullied it into open water I could see it was a really good perch and I thought I'd be celebrating my 500th blog posting with a 4lber - alas 6 ounces shy - but my best of the season (so far). Also nice so see some really chunky dace in this swim this season.
  7. 2 points
    Lower Itchen Fishery 0830 - 1630. Cool and overcast after a soggy start, rain returning just as we packed up, temps didn't get above 4ºC all day. River quite pacey with a slight tinge of colour. 37 Grayling; 14 over 1lb with half of these over 1½lb. Best two; 2lb 5oz & 1lb 13oz. 1 Brownie and 2 Salmon Parr. IAC fish-in in memory of Paul Goulbourn. A poignant day on the Itchen. Paul and I were introduced to this fishery back in the late 90's - via an IAC fish-in and we made a point of fishing it every season since - always scheduling a trip in mid to late Feb - so today was full of recollections of trips past and a fitting venue for some of his old IAC mates to gather in his memory. The talk on the list this week has all been about otters and blow me if the first thing we saw when we arrived at Gaters Mill at first light was an otter. And not just a fleeting glimpse - we watched as it scampered up the bank, crossed over the track and plunge into the river to head upstream under the M27. After this early excitement the first challenge was to get the cars up the track - we'd been warned that it was in a poor state but everyone made it up safely even if a few cars had to be pushed out for the return journey. The angling was everything I'd hoped it would be (save for the lack of chub). The river was quite 'full' but thankfully the lack of rain in the previous days had meant it had had a chance to fine down. The weather was exactly as per forecast - early rain giving way to a dry, cool, overcast day. I started in a spot where I expected there to be chub but the extra water meant that the slack that is usually there - wasn't. However it wasn't long before my trotted corn was snaffled by my first fish of the day a 1lb 9oz grayling - a super start. It quite quickly transpired that the fish appeared to be shoaled up in a few specific spots - and I ended up catching all my grayling from just 3 swims - rest and return being my mantra for the day. Sometimes at fish-ins you can go all day without actually meeting up with anyone - especially on a large venue such as LIF. Dave had a arranged for everyone to down rods and meet up for lunch - with the offer of freshly cooked sausages, toasted sandwiches and cupcakes! It made for a nice sociable interlude - even if Ed did miss the photocall in his urgency to return to the river! Thank you's to: - everyone who came especially those that travelled some distance to make it - Dave Smith for organising the day and acting as treasurer -£120 (+ Gift Aid) was raised by the event which will be given to Duchess of Kent Hospice where Paul spent his final days. - Chris (Rusty) for offering to give me a lift and being great company. Some the IAC Reprobates! (That's Brian on his knees - praying for a 2lber?) My biggest of the day.
  8. 2 points
    Middle (just ) Kennet Estate. 0900 - 1645 Bright afternoon after a soggy morning. AT up to 11ºC. River quite full but with little colour. 28 Chub; nearly all in the 2½-3½lb bracket. Only 2 under 2lb and only one over 4lb (and that by just 3oz). 2 Dace. 7 Trout (6 Rainbows & a Brown) up to 2¾lb. Treated myself to a late birthday trip. Keeper directed me to a carrier that he said was 'black' with chub back in the summer (but warned that the extra water might have pushed them out). He (and I) needn't have worried. First 6 trots all produced chub and I had a dozen in no time at all. Rested it in favour of another chub swim on the main river - and that was pretty much the pattern of the day - rest and return! Most fish (around 2/3rds) on trotted red corn - the rest on trotted maggot. The swim on the main river.
  9. 2 points
    River Frome - Wool 0800 - 1400 Dull, overcast and cool - AT around 6ºC all day with a breeze picking up. River VERY full, barely within its banks and that only recently given the state of the field. 1.30m at the East Stoke river gauge - much higher than I'd usually fish it - BUT after a dry week it was reasonably clear. 10 Grayling - only 4 needed the net - biggest 1lb 11oz but that was the only really 'decent' one. 1 Sea Trout (1¼lb and still with sea lice on it), 1 brownie - small. Bit of a gamble - but the river levels have been so high on the Frome since the start of the season (1st Nov) it looked like my DDAS ticket was going to go to waste - and with more rain forecast this week - it was a case of now or never! The venue is never prolific so it was nice to get a few, and would often get a fish first trot when I moved swims. Frustratingly I lost nearly as many as I landed including a large fish which I had on for sometime before the hook pulled (again!) - hope it was just a troot! Resting and returning to swims was the order of the day - all fish coming from just 3 spots (and one of those only produced one fish!) One of yesterday's 'hotspots'.
  10. 2 points
    8th August - Shh So I managed to secure a ticket on the water that featured in my last blog and thought it was about time I christened my new rod so I popped down there to fish the afternoon into the evening. As before I baited a good number of likely looking spots with soaked pellet, corn and a few chops and fished them in rotation judging by what I'd seen. It's seriously exciting stuff, watching these dark, old cheese's feeding, all the time willing them to drift off momentarily so you can sneak a rig in. When they come back it's as if time stands still, you freeze to the spot, even trying to breathe quietly as you watch them edge closer to the hookbait. Then in an instant the serenity is broken, the centerpin turns into a blur and your holding the rod at full compression in an attempt to stop them reaching any cover. I had 3 and a tinca over about 5 hours fishing. - 9th August - Shh Another day off... Lasted a couple of hours sitting around at home before I gave in and hotfooted over to the forgotten lake with 4 hours to try and outwit another of it's residents. Baited a number of swims, concentrating on trying to catch from new ones this time. Got off to a very good start in the first swim. Sneaked a hookbait onto a new spot that only had one fish feeding on it, put the rod down and sneaked the 5 yards next door to check another spot when the pin went into meltdown. Pressure off. I had a bit of a wander around after that. The other spot I'd seen fish on had become occupied by a chap that I'd met the day before... he'd been a member for over a season and was yet to land a carp. Anyway, I crept about checking spots before spotting a couple of tails waving at me from the dark water next to a very snaggy tree. It seemed like I waited forever for them to drift off before getting the rig in with a fresh handful of bait. 10 minutes later they were back, 5 or 6 of them feeding with gusto, somehow avoiding my rig. Then out of nowhere a familiar looking ghosty sped in, beelined for the hookbait and hooked itself instantly. A real hit and hold scrap later and as I suspected it was the same fish that I'd opened my account with a week previously. They played hard to get after that with all the spots looking quiet, until I saw a fish ghost over the area I'd had the most action from. They had obviously cleaned all the bait out and were looking for more, so in went the rig and a handful of grub. 20 minutes and one aborted take later I landed another absolute stunner. I'm sure you can see why I love the place and understand that I want to keep it's location quiet.
  11. 2 points
    31st March - K&A Canal Popped back to the canal with the soft plastics tonight. It was rather an impromptu trip after unexpectedly getting off from work early but it was certainly worthwhile. I thought I'd try another new stretch to prevent it getting a little stale, and to give the other stretches a bit of respite. I made a quick call to see if the old man wanted to join me and 3/4 of an hour later we were tackling up, full of expectation. We fished for an hour or so in the biting wind with only a little jack to show for it and feeling rather deflated we came close to admitting defeat and going home. Somehow I managed to persuade him to stay, with the promise that it would pick up as the light was fading. For once my premonitions rang true and as the sun dropped below the horizon I had a right result. 4 good'uns in approximately 15 minutes, and when you consider half of that time was spent weighing and photographing fish, it was pretty hectic. 2.11 2.13 3.0 The other one was 2.4, which I slipped back without a pic. Dad chipped in with a beauty of 2.10 a few minutes after mine which rounded the evening off fantastically. I don't think I could ever get bored catching these perch on the jigs. That said I have ordered some gear for drop-shotting, just to mix things up a little. No doubt I'll be straight back out there when it arrives so hopefully the next entry won't be too far away.
  12. 2 points
    Disruption is the word that springs to mind when I look back over the past season. After a bone dry winter relief (from an angling point of view) came in the form of heavy rain leading up to June 2012, as you would expect this bolstered levels and provided some temporary respite for the struggling Kennet. Only the respite didn’t turn out to be temporary, I kept expecting to see the water drop back during the dry spells but there weren’t many of those for the rest of the season. As a consequence there was a period of about three months during the summer when the Kennet was in prime condition, wading was still possible and it was a pleasure to fish. From there on it became more difficult, during autumn and winter the rain kept coming and what we have now is a river just within its banks and very susceptible to the lightest of rainfall. I don’t mind this situation, it’s much better than if we’d had a dry summer but it has had an impact on the fishing, swim availability has been more limited with some stretches like Brimpton being a muddy torrent most of the time. As regards results well it’s been a pleasing year with January 2013 being particularly notable. This is when I found a swim which produced perch after perch and all of them a good size. Early season activities centred around barbel, the first week off work saw me feeding pints of maggots into what I thought were reliable swims but it wasn’t until the last day of my holiday (24th June) that I finally managed to catch one, only 4lb 4oz but enough on light trotting gear; July and August were fairly quiet for me fishing wise, motorcycling took priority as I prepared my bike for what was to be week long holiday in Cornwall. In the event the weather was terrible so I went in the car and then a family emergency ended the holiday not long after it had started. The time I did spend fishing though was to prove invaluable, in trying to avoid September boat traffic I chanced my arm in a canal swim and stumbled across a shoal of decent perch. Exactly how decent I wasn’t to find out until later in the season but for now 2lb 12oz was pretty good; September also accounted for one of the more amusing moments of the season. A pike grabbed a dace that I’d caught and managed to hook itself neatly in the top jaw, probably a PB pike on the float at 6lb 14oz; October was the last month that my club stretches were fishable without any restriction due to high water levels. After that it was a case of fish the Lambourn, the K&A Canal or search out slack water on the Kennet and there wasn’t much of that. Before the Autumn deluge I did have one final fling at Speen Moors (the APFA Kelly Kettle swim) and achieved a venue PB chub at 4lb 10oz; The onset of winter brought with it the worst fishing conditions I’ve known. The Kennet was high, coloured and fast in most places and the Thames was quite lierally all over the place. The location of last year’s PB chub was four feet under water and although the high levels eventually receded a days rain would see them straight back up again. I never did get down to Goring for winter chubbing which is a real shame. Another disappointment was the lack of access to the Middle Kennet Estate venue but this is perfectly understandable given the conditions the riverkeeper was having to deal with. I did get there twice late in the season and both times caught chub so I’m very grateful for that. November saw me having a brief encounter with roach on the Lambourn. After initial success with a nice little specimen and eyeballing a shoal which contained much bigger fish I really thought I was onto something. As usual though my impatience got the better of me and after failing to tempt the larger roach I abandoned the mini campaign after a couple of visits; January was without doubt the highlight of my season, remember that perch swim I found on the canal during September? Well it accounted for a PB perch of 3lb 8oz and one of the best sessions I can remember, six fish for just under 18lbs in weight This spot was to retain my focus until the end of the season though it never quite lived up to that session again. In fact it dumped me firmly in my place when it failed to provide a fish on an occasion where I was absolutely certain that I’d do well. It was also responsible for my season going out in a quiet whimper rather than a big bang, my final evening session on the 14th March resulted in a spectacular blank. So that’s my review of the 2012/13 season. All things considered it’s been a pretty good year and I’m now looking forward to hot sunny days fishing for carp off the surface and (on the occasions I can manage to get up early enough) misty dawn mornings after tench. Oh and there’s Wingham, I fully intend to put my hand up again this year so if I’m fortunate enough to go who knows what that might bring?
  13. 2 points
    Ok a bit of a cheat title because it was over two sessions but it was from one swim during consecutive dusk/dawn periods. I had no intention of spending a night by the K&A Canal. Saturday 5th January, River Kennet, Newbury and the K&A Canal, Thatcham At last an opportunity to get on the river trotting. The Kennet has been pretty inaccessible with all the rain so the few short sessions I've had have been on the Lambourn catching grayling, nice but I was beginning to miss catching chub. Chris Plumb's blog indicated that there might be a chance at one venue so that's where I headed for the late morning session, the afternoon would be spent on the canal trying to take advantage of the perfect perch conditions. As I drove over the bridge first impressions weren't good, despite the dry spell the river was still way over its banks and I wondered whether it was actually higher than when Chris had fished it. Walking the venue revealed just one fishable swim but it looked a corker, sure there was loads of water but it wasn't coloured and the increased flow on the far bank had created a beautiful glide between the middle of the river and the near bank. Trotting commenced and I'm pleased to report that it was interrupted on several occasions by fish. The first two were chub with 3lb being the largest, unfortunately a trout put an end to those but small grayling, roach, dace and perch followed over the next few hours. Exactly the sort of session I was after. So off to the canal buoyed with enthusiasm, that is until I spent an hour in my chosen swim with no sign of any perch being present. Thoughts of my local pub and dinner started to enter my head as it got darker and creepier, I phoned Steve to let him know that somebody has stolen all of the fish in the canal and that I was thinking of going home. He made the valid point that I may as well stick it out through dusk until it got proper dark, I just needed to be careful about the ghost of an axe murderer who'd drowned in one of the locks (it was a heavy axe and he wouldn't let go apparently). I couldn't fault his logic and also couldn't remember the last occasion Id fished for perch at the 'right' time of day so I pressed another lobworm into service and cast out. Not long after that fry started showing on the surface, not in large numbers but it was activity at last. It was like a switch had been flicked somewhere, my float shot under and I lifted into a solid lump of a perch, I haven't yet caught a tiddler from this swim and that trend continued with this 3lb 2oz beauty; About 20 minutes later another bite and another 'three' but no spare ounces this time, 3lb exactly; I was both elated and speechless but amazed myself by retaining enough composure to re-bait and cast out in rapidly fading light, sadly there was no more action, the feeding spell had only lasted half an hour. Fumbling around and packing up was a tricky business (I'd forgotten my headtorch) but I got back to the car in one piece and contemplated the evening ahead. Forget the pub, early dinner and early to bed, dawn was only a few hours away. Sunday 6th January, K&A Canal, Thatcham and the River Kennet, Newbury Back to the same canal swim and at 7:30am on the dot I could just see well enough to fish. I'd been feeding maggots for half an hour by then and the time had come to lower in the first lobworm of the day. I thought the float had disappeared as soon as it hit the water but in the gloom I wasn't sure that I could trust my eyes, a tentative strike provoked something at the other end and a couple of minutes later the first perch of the day was on the bank, 2lb 12oz; I won't go into chapter and verse about the following two hours, suffice to say it was the best perching session Ive had and included a new PB. The next fish, 2lb 15oz; And the PB, I'm really pleased that this looks noticeably larger than the other fish. Sometimes I look at my perch photos and wonder whether they really look the weight, this one does at 3lb 8oz; Finally 2lb 7oz to round the morning off; At 9:30am I hadn't had a bite for a while so I concluded that the morning feeding time had come to an end. The canal was getting busy with canoeists, dog walkers and pesky anglers so it seemed a good time to move back to the river. The sun came out for a bit and the chub and dace came out for a bit longer, nothing large but it was really pleasant to finish the day on running water. It had been a memorable weekend, the perch weren't full of spawn yet so itll be interesting to try that swim nearer the end of the season, I wonder how much heavier a 3-08 will get?
  14. 1 point
    River Kennet - Thatcham 1200 -1400 Warm and breezy - large thunderstorm just missed me! 2 Chub; 3lb 12oz & 2lb 6oz. 5 Dace (all chunky ones!), 1 Roach. One of the advantages of living in the Kennet valley is that within 30 mins of deciding on a quick trip between the showers you can be slipping the net under a 2lb chub! This was a quick trip to Rusty's 'surf float swim' and it's clear from the jungle I had to hack through to get to it that no one has been here since June. Smaller chub was first trot through and the larger one pretty much last cast - between some really nice dace and a half respectable roach.
  15. 1 point
    K&A Canal - Enborne 1400 - 1600 Cool (4ºC) and bright. WT a low(ish) 43ºF 1 Perch; 1lb 14oz. 1 Chub 1lb 11oz. 1 Tench (!!!) 3lb 3oz. 1 Roach (10oz!). 1 Gudgeon The excuse was a recce to have a look at the river at Speen in preparation for tomorrow's trip - but I couldn't go to the river rodless! The canal though was always my intended option to drown a lob or two. Wasn't particularly optimistic on 2 counts - bright sunshine and a WT of 43ºF. Thankfully no one told the fish! Bites were at a premium but they did come! The gudgeon with eyes rather bigger than its stomach was first cast. And the perch soon followed. Other 3 fish - including my first ever December tinca came in the last half an hour. Christmas Tench - a lovely yellowy/golden hue.
  16. 1 point
    Lower Itchen Fishery 0900 - 1815 Bright and breezy and quite warm after overnight rain - temps didn't dip below 16ºC all day. River really quite low despite this week's rain and carrying a bit of colour which dropped out during the day. 23 Grayling; 8 over 1lb - best 4, 2lb, 1lb 10oz & 1lb 8oz. 3 Chub; All over 2lb, best 4lb 14oz, 10 Roach (all small, alas), a dace, a small perch, a gudgeon, 4 brownies - biggest a cracking looking fish of 3lb, 1 small sea trout & 7 Salmon parr. A trip, which despite weeks of anticipation, nearly didn't happen! Paul and I have been fishing here for many a year now and the routine is now a familiar one. My house at 0615 (though Paul is usually 5mins late!), Little Chef, A34 Sutton Scotney for 0700 (Olympic & OJ for me, Early Starter and a pot of tea for Paul), LIF by 0800 - fishing by 0815 at the latest! For this trip I was also under instruction from Paul not to get his new car too dirty - he only picked it up on Weds - so I even put in a clean set of clothes to change into after we finished. I wasn't overly alarmed to get a call at bang on 0615 - fully expected to hear from Paul that he'd just pulled off the motorway and would be 5 mins. Well the first part was right - though limped off the motorway would be more accurate - as he'd broken down with an over heated engine - having lost all it's coolant! 142 miles on the clock - the AA man did have a chuckle - newest car he'd ever attended! Thankfully after quite a bit of head scratching the problem was located - a plastic spacer used to keep the clip from attaching the hose to the thermostat housing during manufacture hadn't been removed (which would have engaged the spring clip) when it left the factory meaning the pipe had come loose and emptied coolant all over the gear box - and stank out the car in the process. Having got Paul going, the AA man followed him to my house to check everything was OK and whilst he finished off the repair we rejigged our timetable for the day. And it was bye bye breaky!! I did us some toast and we decide that we'd head straight for the fishery - fishing time being EVEN more important than a fry up! However, whizzing past the LC at 70mph did feel a little strange! On arrival I was quickly wondering why I'd bothered as I had a very frustrating first hour, We both started in the same pool - often a hotspot and a good place for both of us to get off the mark. I fished red sweetcorn (something I'd continue to do for most of the rest of the day - all my better fish were caught on it) while Paul fished maggot. There's no doubt I got the majority of bites - but fish after fish kept coming off. 'Your hooks not sharp enough', said Paul (I checked it - it was). After getting bitten off by a trout I changed patterns which seemed to do the trick - as I started to land fish - including the trout that had bitten me off 10 mins earlier - my original hook being retrieved from its scissors. We both caught pound plus fish from this first swim - though I was hoping for something a little more impressive - something I eventually achieved by letting my float trot down the glide below the pool - I connected with, and thankfully landed this time, the only 2lber of the day. Roach were also high on our agenda for this trip so for most of the rest of the day we eschewed the usual grayling hotspots in search of redfins (though I was also after a chub or 2!). Paul even got out the feeder rod a couple of times. By the end of the day our final tallies were very similar Paul had more grayling than me with a best of around 1½lb, a couple of nice chub, fewer roach - though those he did catch were a much better stamp than mine - being around the 8-10oz mark. However, I think the highlight of his day was getting an eel when he was feeder fishing - almost by design too - twas from a spot where we've seen them caught before (another point in his species race comp - hence the delight!) As tradition befits we rounded the trip off with dinner and a lovely pint of ale in a local hostelry while we let the rush hour die down. The bit of plastic that caused all the problems... My 2lber & 4-14 Chub Paul's eel and biggest chub (unweighed as his scales were knacked - but I reckon a similar size to mine...)
  17. 1 point
    River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 1930 - 2345 Cool (down to 10ºC) and clear - perfect evening to be out watching perseids - and with no moon nature put on a stunning display! River down a couple of inches at least on my last visit here (29 July). 3 Barbel; 4lb 10oz, 3lb 15oz, 3lb 9oz. 1 Chub 4lb 5oz. 4 Dace (all chunky ones requiring a net!), 1 Roach and 4 spotties. Wayhay! So there are still some fish in the Kennet!! Trotted until it was too dark to see my float and all the fish bar the biggest barbel came to these tactics. Switched to ledgered pellet for last 2½hrs and had the 4lb+ barbel at around 2200. Missed another good bite due to spending more time staring at the sky than looking at my isotopes! A couple of obligatory fish plus pin pics...
  18. 1 point
    River Kennet - Speen Moors 1030 - 1530 Bright, cool (5ºC) and breezy with a few snow flurries on a stiff northerly. WT 44ºF. River still high but down over a foot on my last visit of 5th Jan. This... was halfway up the 6... 4 Chub; 4lb 4oz, 2lb 15oz, 2lb 5oz & a chublet. 5 Roach (all small), 1 Dace & 1 small Brownie. Came with the initial intention of targetting the perch - but my favourite perch slack wasn't. (Slack that is!) So ended up walking around the whole venue (quite a trek). Smaller chub from the weirpool and the APFA swim. Bigger one from a spot I've not fished in ages (due to the length of the walk to get to it - worth the effort though) - my biggest chub from Speen since Oct 04 when I had a 5-11...
  19. 1 point
    Middle Kennet 0645 - 1815 Bright and very breezy after early rain. River at 'normal' levels and quite clear. 5 chub (4lb 13oz, others all around 1lb), 7 perch (3 X 1-1¼lb) 12 dace (just 1 good un - 9oz), 5 grayling (all 10-14oz), 3 small roach, 2 gudgeon & 20 trout to 3½lb. A hurriedly re-arranged trip in the light of Monday's weather forecast (when we were due to go!). Biggest Chub and 4 of the Grayling on trotted sweetcorn. Perch on lobs everything else on maggot. Paul had some nice Perch at dusk - his best a plump 2lb 9oz stripey. Paul's Perch. Where he caught it.
  20. 1 point
    Kennet & Avon Canal - Thatcham 0600 - 0900 Mild, Overcast/milky sunshine. Canal carrying some colourand quite full - forgot thermometer so no readings! 5 Perch: 2lb 12oz, 2lb 2oz, 2X'pounders' and a tiddler. Crack of dawn session - though could have had an extra hour in bed as no bites until 0700. Unusually fish got bigger the brighter it got - biggest was last one banked. Barge coming through the swim at 0830 killed sport! Used Anglersnet Centre Pin for the first time - well impressed!
  21. 1 point
    Kennet & Avon Canal - Thatcham 0645 - 0900 Cloudless sky - so bright sunshine by 0800. 11ºC 6 Perch: 3lb 11oz (New PB) , 3lb 3oz, 2lb 6oz, 2lb 2oz, 1lb 13oz and a tiddler, 2 Chub 1lb 10oz and a chublet, 1 very small Pike. After a great start on the river last weekend - and even better start on the canal!!!. Both 3lbers in first 45 minutes of fishing - the 3-11 was first perch of the session. A really chunky fish - as fat as a football! All fish caught on float fished lobs.
  22. 1 point
    River Kennet nr Newbury 1915 - 2315 Very breezy, 15ºC, Drizzle for last ½hr. River down as low as I've seen it all summer (but still with good flow and a little colour). 7 Barbel, (8lb 4oz, 6lb 7oz, 6lb 2oz, 4lb 10oz, 4lb 4oz, 3lb 14oz, 3¼lb), Chub 3¼lb. Fished a rarely visited swim - though it won't stay that way after last night's haul!!! 8lber first cast (and a frying pan 2nd cast - see picture!) - all fish in the first 3 hours - no bites after 2215.
  23. 1 point
    River Kennet - Newbury 0830 - 1130 Cold and bright. AT -2ºC -> 3ºC. WT 40ºF. Some colour and near normal levels. 7 Chub: 4lb 2oz, 3lb 15oz, 3lb 9oz, 3lb 6oz, 2lb 13oz, 2lb 10oz, 2lb 3oz. An excellent morning on a frosty Kennet - or rather IN a frosty Kennet as I was wading for the whole session (warmer than on the bank!). All fish on trotted double red maggot (on a size 14). 1st fish of the decade - below. (3-09)
  24. 1 point
    River Kennet - Nr Newbury 0815 - 1600 Misty and drizzly all day - temp up to a balmy 7ºC. River low with just a hint of colour after over-night rain and snow melt. WT a chilly 41ºF 1 Chub; 3lb 2oz, 14 Dace; 3 gooduns - best of which went 12oz. 6 Brownies - biggest 3lb 11oz. Satisfying days angling all things considered. Due to low water we were restricted to a short section of river and with a low WT, salt and snow melt in the river we expected sport to be slow. Spent most of the morning playing hunt the fish (and 'Avoid the Trout'). I said to Paul when we do find them they'll be shoaled up and so it proved - I found the dace and Paul the chub (he had 6 to 4lb 7oz). Paul's 4lber.... The Dace swim... Paul's Chub swim...
  25. 1 point
    River Kennet - Newbury 0815 - 1115 Mild and overcast. Battery flat in thermometer so no temps. River up a bit to normal levels and carrying a bit of colour. 1 Barbel; 3lb 14oz. 3 Chub; 3lb 9oz, 3lb 3oz, 2lb 13oz. 2 Perch 1lb 12oz and one just shy of a lb. 2 Dace & 3 Gudgeon. An 'insurance' session!! Meant to be having a day on the middle Kennet tomorrow - but if the weather forecast is accurate I'll probably get up, check the rain radar and go straight back to bed!! So this morning, on the excuse that I had to pop over to Tony's to get some maggots anyway, I thought I'd sneak in a couple of hours or so on the bank as I suspected the river would be in good nick - and so it proved. A barbel on the pin at any time is to be welcomed - all the more so in mid-February. All the chub and the barbel on trotted lobs (and one of the dace!). The rest including both perch on double red maggot.
  26. 1 point
    River Itchen 0830 - 1730 Mild and overcast all day. AT 13ºC Max. River at near normal levels though carrying quite a bit of colour. 22 Grayling; 12 over 1lb, with 6 of those over 2lb - biggest 2lb 7oz. 2 Chub 4lb 3oz, 3lb 8oz. Thanks to Paul's excellent networking skills (& silver tongue) we had exclusive use of this lovely bit of river for a second time (see blog entry 13/10/08 for the first). Bites at a premium and quite hard work at times - but if you stuck at it the fish would take - eventually!! About half my fish on red sweetcorn - most of the rest on white maggot (4 of the 6, 2lbers on corn). Paul managed less well on the grayling front with a dozen fish to 1lb 10oz - mainly beacuse chub kept turning up in his swim (or sea trout). Think he had ½doz chub and a suprise 2lb perch along with some salmon parr - much more of a mixed bag than I managed! A couple of Paul's fish - including his Itchen stripey!
  27. 1 point
    NAA Stillwater - Thatcham 0630 - 0930 Warm despite clear skies. 15º - 20ºC 1 Crucian, 2lb 15oz. 1 Carp 5lb 7oz, a rudd (small!) Mini campaign to get an autumn crucian meets with success!! Though in fairness this morning felt more like high summer! Thought my chance had gone, as despite having the odd crucian rolling it wasn't until the sun just started to bathe the swim in full light at around 0900 that I had a bite from one (the carp trashing the swim an hour earlier didn't help either! ). My biggest ever crucian from this lake - very thick set which doesn't come across in the photo...
  28. 1 point
    K&A Canal - Nr Thatcham 0720 - 1100 Still, overcast and mild - with the sun breaking out for the last ¾hr and the breeze picking up. WT 52ºF. 6 Perch; 3lb 5oz, 2lb 10oz, 2lb 5oz, 2lb 3oz, 2lb 0oz, 1lb 12oz. A perfect perch morning got off to a perfect start with the 3lber first cast! The biggest 2lber followed soon after and I thought I was going to be in for another morning's haulin! However there then followed nearly an hour of crayfish activity and my 'lobworm attrition rate' shot up - was worried I was going to run out. Thankfully bites from stripeys returned - but they were never really having it, probably as there was also a pike feeding in the swim. My smallest perch clearly showed signs of having been grabbed by one and I was briefly connected to an Esox before it bite through my hooklength. A couple of piccies - first, and last fish caught just after the sun came out...
  29. 1 point
    Middle Kennet Estate water 0730 - 1630 Mild and mainly overcast with some 'milky' sunshine at times. River VERY low. 7 Chub; 4 over 1lb - biggest 3lb 1oz. 8 Perch; 2 over 1lb - biggest 2lb 3oz. 2 Bream - both circa 1lb. 3 Doz+ Roach - most quite small though 2 warranted the scales - one at 13oz the other a lovely fish of 1lb 4oz. 2 Doz + Dace - all quite small. 20 + Gudgeon. 8 Brownies - most over 2lb - biggest 3lb 8oz. 1 Rainbow - 2¾lb. A lovely day wandering around this prolific water. Low water meant that the fish were shoaled up in the pools - also made them a bit spooky . We saw some really big chub and hundreds of bream but neither would take a bait. Paul caught even more than me and whilst he didn't get any respectable chub had loads of good dace - and was given the shock of his life when a hugemungous pike attacked one of his perch has he was bringing it to the net - alas neither of us had brought any pike gear! A couple of pics - unfortunately the roach is a bit over-exposed and Paul took a couple of arty landscape pics of the moon between the trees which are on the cutting room floor as they didn't come out very well! A couple of 'library' pictures - taken Nov 08 when there was a little bit more water in the river too!
  30. 1 point
    Middle Kennet Estate - Kintbury 0900 - 1630 Frosty and bright, temps around 2-4ºC all day. River low and clear 8 Chub; 4 chublets and 4 over 2lb, biggest 5lb 6oz. 16 Dace; half over 8oz, biggest 13oz & 12oz. 3 Roach, biggest 1lb on the nose. 6 Brownies - biggest 2, 4¼ & 3¾lb. NAA day on this lovely part of the Kennet so had to share the place with a couple of dozen other anglers! Highlight of the morning was seeing Rusty do an impersonation of Nigel Mansell as he raced off to bagsy the weedrack swim and seeing 2 other anglers pull in behind us on the Kintbury rd, unload their car in a blind panic and practicallly sprint off to their swims to ensure Paul and I wouldn't get them!! In truth we weren't at all bothered as we were pretty sure our secret dace swims were safe (as they were!!). All in all, a fairly slow day as you'd expect in such bright conditions. Paul and I both caught decent dace early on though I had much better success in the last hour when I had the 13oz dace and the 1lb roach in consecutive casts. Paul caught more dace overall - he having had a better 'middle' part of the day - again local knowledge playing a big part. Equally my 'banker' chub swim was unoccupied mid-afternoon and trotting 3 grains of corn on a size 8 quickly brought some decent chub to the net - the 5lber was first cast. Paul and I pride our selves in being last off the venue on such days - but Rusty outdid us - we were on our way home when I got a call from Chris - to say he was still fishing!!!!! Pics from Paul (apart from the chub)...
  31. 1 point
    River Frome - Wool 0830 - 1700 Cool and overcast. AT 1ºC -> 5ºC. River clear with normal flow and levels. 5 Grayling; 2lb 12oz, 2lb0oz and 3 tiddlers. 2 Brownies; 1 parr and a ¾lber. A day in Dorset with Rusty. This was another 'delayed decision' trip firstly because the forecast kept changing and secondly because of the forecast snow overnight potentially making the drive down problematic. However I judged that the river would be OK and this was the clincher. If Chris could get to me conditions should improve as we drove south. And so it proved - the dodgiest bit was a mere 400m from my house with Chris's car slewing across the road as he pulled into my lane. (Maybe I should have warned him about that! ) By lunchtime I was begining to wonder why we'd bothered. For a winter's day conditions appeared to be close to ideal - though maybe the overnight snow had put the fish off. Whatever, we struggled - big time. By noon I'd winkled out a tiny trout, and grayling barely any bigger (oh, and a minnow!). Chris was waiting for his first bite. I even (horrror of horrors ) but a feeder rod out for an hour while I had my lunch. (Chris captured the rare moment on camera so its not deniable ). This resulted in.....another minnow Chris meanwhile had covered every inch of the venue but was still biteless though I thoroughly admired his optimism when we strolled back up to the top of the venue at 2 o'clock. "Over 3 hours of daylight left - still plenty of time" he exclaimed - though for the next hour it was business as usual save for another micro-grayling that 'fell' to my rod. At around 3.00pm the sun came out and I said - more in hope than expectation - that the sudden change in light levels might wake the fish up. Prophetic words. I was first into a fish - suddenly shocked to be connected to something large I gingerly walked down to the fish - shouting for Chris to grab the net - preying it would stay on. Thankfully it did and I was soon juggling a large stroppy grayling on the bank. We both guessed at a big 1 - but I wasn't going to argue when the needle on my scales hovered bang on 2lb. Incredibly with 15 minutes I was returning the favour for Chris - who had dropped into the swim above me as I'd said it had produced for me in the past. Another big fish which like mine hung in the water and saved most of it fight for on the bank! Bigger than mine by an ounce - I was mightly relieved - incredibly we'd now both caught 2's. Despair to joy in under 20mins. My swim wasn't finished with me - another small grayling and a splashy trout followed before I connected with something really impressive which shot downstream into a riffle. Thankfully I had an able ghilly to call on who managed to get below it in the fast water and net it for me. This looked a lot bigger and Chris was muttering 3 as I put it on the scales, though having seen Paul's 2-15 3 weeks ago I knew this wasn't as big but at 2lb 12oz its my 3rd= biggest - and a great way to end the day - alls well that ends well! PS 3 weeks ago when I fished here it was to the sounds of sirens and police helicopters on a man hunt. This time it was to the sound of gun fire as the British Army shot up the Dorset countryside (the firing ranges are nearby!) Nice peaceful venue this! Pics on Chris's camera - so they will probably appear on his blog! And here they are... http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/Frome-T...7-entry842.html
  32. 1 point
    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!
  33. 1 point
    River Frome Worgret 0800 - 1130 Wool 1200 - 1600 Bright and sunny after a foggy start - felt positively warm in the sun - had far too much on! River clear and low. 11 Grayling: 10 over 1lb (9 over 1½!). Best 5, 2lb 14oz, 2lb 5oz, 2lb 2oz & 2 at 1lb 14oz. Last trip down to Dorset this winter as the water closes to coarse anglers at the end of Feb. I wanted to give Worgret a proper go this time as it was the colour of milky tea when I came here in November. Some of it looks really nice - lots of long glides with some deep holes on the bends but I fished down the entire length of it for a solitary bite and fish (one of the 1-14s). So whilst I had planned to stay all day here it was a call for an early lunch and off to Wool. Walking back to the car I stopped to chat with another angler who had turned up after me (and was fishing the one spot where I'd caught!) to find he was using the same reel as me - A 1920 Witcher copy! I think most of those that were made have ended up in display cabinets so it was nice to see another angler using one. Being the last Sunday of the Frome season I expected Wool to be quite busy - so was quite relieved to only see a couple of other anglers. I started in the bridge swims but after a biteless ¾hr it was time to move upstream. I had the 2lb2oz fish in the first swim I dropped into - and ended up not moving from that spot for the rest of the afternoon!! In the morning I'd blamed the bright sunshine for the lack of fish - but they didn't seem to put them off here and I had a slow but steady session bringing some fine grayling to the net. The 2-05 and 2-14 were the last 2 fish of a fine afternoon's sport - and seeing the 2-14 twisting in the current I thought this was my 3 at last - alas not to be - but ranks as my 2nd biggest ever - and a grand way to end my first winter on the Frome. Pics of my 2-05 And 2-14 As usual the buggers wouldn't keep still for the camera!
  34. 1 point
    K&A Canal - Thatcham 0700 - 1000 Overcast with rain/drizzle for ¾hr from 0830. AT & WT 48ºF. 2 Perch; 3lb 2oz & 2lb 7oz. Unexpectedly had a free morning due to Sam deciding on a lay in after partying last night rather than go training. Dad's taxi still had to take Matt to work for 0630 which was the time I'd have rather have been making my first cast. So I arrived 30 or so minutes later than I would have liked to get a couple of nasty surprises. The first - cows!! A herd of them (well ½doz) on the public towpath - stubborn buggers too very disinclined to get out of the way - making a right mess as well! The second was more of a shock - my banker perch swim is no more For over a decade the low bushes and scrubby willow on the far bank have proved a refuge for some big perch. Alas some official at the BWB has obviously decided that they posed a hazard to shipping and the whole lot have been completely grubbed out - not just cut back and pruned but completely ripped out! Thankfully over the years I've sussed out some 'back-up' swims here and fished 3 in total - both perch taken from the second one I dropped into - from the only 2 bites I had all morning (apart from the crayfish!) Bigger one below...
  35. 1 point
    NAA stillwater Widmead and Thatcham 0400 - 1200. Overcast, still and mild - temps around 17/18ºC 1 carp, 11lb 5oz. 1st EVER close season session - oooo I feel a little bit dirty! Don't intend to make a habit of it but I had some time owed to me which if I didn't take by next week (and as ½ the office we already off, next week was out) I would lose. So I thought I'd join Paul on one of his 'free Fridays'. 1st part of the morning was purely reconnaissance, OK I did have a bait in the water but after 5 hours looking at a stationary float I was packed up in a flash when Paul suggested we move and try and get a carp or two off the top from a pit where they shouldn't be - and relocate them to where they should - work that clearly comes under the heading of 'Close Season Preparation! (In case you're wondering the club have a Section 30 for this that runs to the end of Oct). Sure enough the carp were clearly patrolling the surface layers and catching them looked a doddle - especially as I had a fish pretty much first cast and Paul had a hook straightened with his first cast. Alas I didn't get another take - though Paul did go on to winkle out a couple of commons (mine was a mirror) of 5lb+ and 6lb+. All in all a good excuse to be out! I really didn't want my photo taken... But Paul was determined to gather the evidence... Paul had a 9½lber from Dixons. Fish-on ! Fish on the bank. Paul gets all arty (Again!)
  36. 1 point
    River Kennet - nr Thatcham 0830 - 1230 Cool (for June) and overcast - with heavy rain for last ½ hour which persuaded me it was time to pack up early and go home for lunch. Heavy overnight rain - but the river was in good nick with good clarity and down a bit on the 16th. 1 Chub; 4lb 10oz. 2 Barbel; 2lb 13oz, 2lb 1oz. 13 Dace. 4 Brownies - 2 circa 1lb. (Rusty's going to hate me!) A quick return to the venue we visited briefly on the opening day in order to get Paul a float caught barbel. Paul had to work today so I was going solo. My choice of todays venue was influenced by 2 factors. 1, I knew it would be pretty quiet and I should get my first choice swims and 2 -, said swims have recieved 6 pints of Rusty's maggots over the previous 48 hours - thanks for the baiting up - Chris!!! I started in the swim I put Paul in last Saturday and within 5 minutes of starting - the float dipped and I was met with solid resistence. A battle, as much with the current as the fish ensued and it wasn't long before I had the chub subdued in slightly quieter water - my biggest from here for over 2 years. I was saying to Paul yesterday at Padworth that it's a pity this venue didn't produce more dace - so of course today I started to catch some - interpersed with the odd trout. My starter swim produced no more rod benders - so I followed the bait downstream and fished another favourite - the Bridge swim. Again success was almost instantaneous - with a hard fighting fish stripping line off the centre-pin on the strike - when I eventually got it under control I couldn't believe how small it was! Half an hour later and the trick was repeated - this barbel being even smaller - great fun though. Chub Baby Barbel
  37. 1 point
    Newbury AA Stillwater - Thatcham 1930 - 0730 Clear, still night, quite chilly (5.5ºC) by dawn. 5 Carp; 12lb 10oz, 11lb 15oz, 11lb 6oz, 11lb 3oz, 10lb 10oz. A repeat of last weekend for Paul and myself - hoping for a repeat performance on the crucian front. Alas, they were conspicuous by their absence with little evidence of fish rolling. Paul and I did both suffer some curious bites on the float which neither of us could connect with - and for me at least I had to content my self with feeding bits of bread in the margins and waiting for them to start disappearing before offering one with a hook in it! Last carp and smallest did come on float fished prawn - meant for the crucians. As last week Paul had many more carp (he did fish the method OR the pellet waggler!) - but when I left still hadn't managed a double! Sunrise over Willows Lake... X marks the spot?
  38. 1 point
    River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 1900 - 2300 Warm, balmy evening - in shirtsleeves all session - temp still at 19ºC when I got back to the car. Lovely evening to be out! 3 Chub; 4lb 10oz, 4lb 2oz, 3lb 4oz. 1 dace, Another evening NOT catching barbel - but at least some half decent chub kept me occupied for the first couple of hours. Biggest chub and the dace on trotted maggot in the first hour. Other 2 chub on ledgered snailz boilie (an impulse buy when I was in Hinders back in May!! ) in the second hour. All fish caught by 9.00pm. Very gratified to see the margins absolutely black with fry - thousands and thousands of fish - hope they're not all minnows!
  39. 1 point
    River Frome - Wool 0800 - 1630 Very mild (14ºC), overcast and quite breezy with the very occasional drizzly flurry. NOT at all what was forecast - which was pretty much rain all day! River quite pacey (0.97m at East Stoke river gauge) and carrying a bit more colour than I'd have liked. 14 Grayling; 8 over 1lb (6over 1½lb). Best 3; 1lb14oz, 2lb0oz, 2lb1oz. 2 Dace; best 10oz. 1 Roach; 9oz. 9 Brownies to 2¼lb. 3 Salmon parr. A trip that we nearly aborted at the last minute due to an increasingly dismal forecast but because little rain had fallen in the run up to the trip we decided to chance it. As it turned out the river was in a slightly worse state than we expected while the weather was way better - in fact we got the weather that had been forecast on the Wednesday when I bought Paul's guest ticket! As ever though the Frome makes you work hard for your fish - and Paul and I caught slowly and steadily throughout the day. I had way too many trout - many of them doing a good impression of a big grayling in the fast current - so I was repeatedly disappointed to see a spotty flank when I got a fish on the surface. I'd heard of some nice dace showing - and they were very much a secondary target after the grayling. A first for me was one of my grayling (a fish of 1-10) sicking up a half digested bullhead in the net! First time I've ever seen evidence that they predate on smaller fish (and this bullhead wasn't a whole lot smaller than its mouth)! Apart from the brownies I think Paul had a near identical return - a dozen grayling to 2lb 1oz (not the same fish as mine!) and a brace of 10oz dace. As ever grayling will simply refuse to pose for a photo - my 2-01 in mid flick! My other 2 behaved itself just long enough for Paul to get a shot off! Cut off Oxbow. Last year this was bank - from the grasses in the bottom left corner - out to the island - last winter's floods have created a short cut! Compare with this picture taken last December - where I'm standing is now the middle of the river!
  40. 1 point
    River Lambourn - Newbury 0915 - 1215 Bright, crisp and cold. -2º->3ºC. A lovely winter's morning. River low and clear (as always!) 20 Grayling; 3 over 1lb - best 2; 1lb 12oz & 1lb 10oz. 2 Dace. 4 trout parr. A great way to kill time while my car was having its MOT! Had arranged to meet up with Paul (who provided a lift back to the garage) and we leap frogged our way down the fishery - for near identical returns. Think Paul ended up with 21 grayling to 1lb 10oz (6 over 1lb) had a solitary dace and a bonus roach of 13oz. A couple of arty pics from Paul - plus a roach which looks like it's been crossed with a fantail goldfish!!!
  41. 1 point
    River Lambourn - Newbury 0800 - 1245 Cold (-1º -> 4ºC) bright and sunny. River very full but clear as always! 18 Grayling with around half a dozen in the 12oz class and a couple of bigger ones to 1lb 6oz. 1 Dace; 10oz & half a dozen brownies 1 fish of a 1lb plus the rest small or parrs. Another 2 inches of rain since last weekend has really stuffed up the Kennet and with the first frost of the year there was only really one choice if I wanted to get on the bank this weekend. Seems I wasn't the only one - I encountered 8 other anglers fishing here this morning! Usual tactics of catch a couple and move on - dace was a bit of a surprise - especially the size of it.
  42. 1 point
    Harris Lake - Marsh Farm, Milford 0700 - 0400 Bright and breezy, mainly sunny. Lovely clear night with some high cloud and a gorgeous full moon. 9 Tench; best 5lb5oz with 6 of the rest over 4½lb. 2 Crucians; 2lb 0oz & 1lb 11oz. 2 Perch. 4th IAC Paul Goulbourn memorial fish-in. Yet again 20 of Paul's friends came together to honour his memory and try (and mainly fail!) to catch a crucian! Bites were at a premium all day though I think most anglers caught at least 'A' tench - I had my biggest pretty much first cast. However only 6 crucians were caught by the allotted time. Gary started the ball rolling with a splendid fish of 2lb 12oz - easily enough to win in previous years - however he had only seconds to enjoy the moment as news spread along the bank of a 2lb 15 (and a ½!) oz fish which fell to Alex - which naturally was the winning fish. I fished on after everyone had gone and as in previous years the fish came on the feed at 2130. I then had a lively few hours catching mainly tench until it went completely quiet at around 0200. I packed up as soon as it got light and headed home for some sleep. Money raised for Duchess of Kent Hospice was in excess of £300 meaning the IAC has now raised nearly £3K through this (and the winter Grayling) fish-in. MANY THANKS to all who came and gave.
  43. 1 point
    I've always wanted to fish the middle Stour since someone told me it was a place where you could reasonably rely on a good bag of roach with a good chance of a fish over 1lb. I was able to combine it with visiting a family member. Would the fishing come up to expectation? 15 Nov 1.30-4.30pm. The fishing shop steered me in the direction of a 'mill pond', weir pool really. But this immediately raised a question. Where on earth in a weir pool do you find roach? Such experience as I have of weir pools involved perch, trout, chub and a few dace, but never roach! I felt the most likely place for fish generally was near the tail of the weir pool where the flow curled nicely against the bank, but my health requires me to sit for fishing most of the time nowadays, and there wasn't a suitable spot. In the end I sat on a stanchion where I could fish the back flow and tried casting a maggot feeder into likely places. My theory was that, even if I only caught very small ones, it could give clues as to where the fish were. But after nearly an hour - zilch. So I moved to a spot on the main river 100 yards below the weir pool. As I was set up I continued with maggot feeder. The first fish was a small roach, and I became hopeful that there would be more. But the next fish was a perch, and the next, and the next...… It was a relatively short session as I had spent a fair bit of time exploring and moving swim, but I had about 8 perch with a couple over half a pound, not too bad on maggot feeder. 16 Nov 11.30am -2.30pm A different 'mill pond', but I decided to try the main river again. It was quite narrow but about 10ft deep with a nice medium flow. I decided to feed roach specific ground bait (as I thought) to avoid the perch, and started with feeder to ensure the feed ended up where I wanted it. I planned to switch to float when I had a reasonable layer of bait laid. I started with single maggot on the hook. After a few minutes a gentle bite - perch. After a few more minutes - big perch, 2lb 6oz no less! Well that made sense, my ground bait was attracting lots of little roach which attracted the big perch. But then a 3 inch perch, what led him to be there? And so it went on, always perch, though none over 4oz except the big one. I tried trotting a maggot through - perch. I switched back to feeder with bread on the hook - nothing at all. On the way back I met an angler who'd had a nice bag of roach up to a pound, as I'd been led to expect, but my experience from two sessions was that the river was full of perch. Of course I was delighted with the 2 pounder, and if I can arrange another trip I shall go armed with lobworms! Out of interest, has anyone else fished the middle Stour?
  44. 1 point
    8am to 3.30pm 4 zander up to a pound vertical jigging, plus some perch also to about a pound - thanks entirely to Kappa's experience and coaching. The first time I have tried this style of fishing. A great day!
  45. 1 point
    Harris Lake, Marsh Farm fishery, Milford 1900 - 1000 Warm, becalmed and overcast night - don't know what the minimum temperature was but it must have been min-teens ºC. Simply a lovely night to be out fishing - could've got away with shirtsleeves ALL night if it hadn't been for the odd persistent mossie! 12 Crucians; 7 over 2lb (!) best 2lb 7oz. 6 Tench; all over 3lb - best 2, 4lb 7oz & 4lb 14oz. A roach (small). Last hurrah at this venue for another summer and it didn't disappoint! Action picked up after a slow start - then followed the usual pattern of 2 or 3 fish in quick succession followed by a bite-less hour or so. Sun breaking through the cloud cover at dawn, slowed action even further and I had just 2 fish in the last 3 hours - though one of them was my biggest tench of the session. All my fish float fishing the margins - or a rod length out - most fish on chopped prawn - though I also had 3 fish on meat and 3 on cockle. Paul in the next swim had a near identical but opposite return. 18 fish as well - though his was made up of 13 tench to 5lb and 5 cruicans to 2¼.
  46. 1 point
    17th Feb Berkshire lake and various stretches of the K&A Back out with the lure rod following yesterdays success. I started off in the shop once again, spending more money on lures. I thought lure fishing would cost me a lot less money than carping, but so far it's cost me a fortune.. it's certainly addictive. I'm even thinking of buying a new rod already... I've only used the other one 3 times . I'd intended on fishing the stretch of canalised river again, but was met with an armada of canoes participating in a race. I couldn't see the fish playing ball with all the disturbance so I hoped over the fence and did a lap of the lake I spent the previous year carping on. I'd seen a real big fish in there a year or so back but nobody every fishes for them so it's potential is largely untapped. Not a lot happened in the end.. I spooked a double out of the edge and managed a small jack. At a loss of what to do I went back to the K&A where I caught well yesterday and half heartedly gave it a go for 45 minutes without a touch, so a mate and I hurried down to a new stretch for the last half an hour of light. I ended up with 2 pike to 7lb or so, and a 1.5lb perch. He had 3 perch to 2ish and a small pike. There was plenty of predator activity down there so I'll be giving it a proper go next time I'm off work. Hopefully I'm going to give a stretch closer to home a go if I can get off early one day this week. If I get down there for the last bit of light hopefully I can at least locate the bait fish that seem to spend 20 minutes dimpling in the half light.
  47. 1 point
    Summer Pit - CEMEX Yateley 1800 - 2315 A lovely warm evening under a hazy full moon. Temps 21º -> 16ºC. Shirt sleeves all evening and no mozzies! 2 Tench: 6lb 4oz, 3lb 13oz. The last Hurrah on this venue - bringing the curtain down on a splendid series of mid-week after work float fishing sessions. Won't be back here again until next june (unless we get an early October heatwave!). Fished a new swim - probably not the right time to be experimenting but it had to be done - and quite quickly had the 6lber on the bank, followed next cast by the smaller one. So just as 2 weeks ago - a brief feeding spell at dusk. Did have a few liners thereafter and fish topping in the swim - but nothing hittable. Both fish on float fished meat at a couple of rod lengths out.
  48. 1 point
    River Kennet - Nr Newbury 0500 - 0800 Overcast with heavy drizzle for most of the session. 17ºC - river quite low. 2 Chub; 2¼lb & 1½lb. 18 dace, 14 roach and a dozen gudgeon. Pre-breakfast trotting session in the rain - most notable for my very first sighting of an otter on the Kennet. Paul had just arrived - ½hour after I'd started fishing and had waded out to join me mid-stream. I'd just announced that my bites had dried up and we quickly saw why! The animal wallowed in my swim then scurried up the bank not 20 feet from us - sniffed the air - glanced in our direction and slid back into the river heading upstream. Definitely an otter, no question glad Paul was with me to verify!!!! Update! Having returned home for brekkie leaving Paul fishing 'my' swim I wasn't too surprised to get a text from him sometime later - I was surprised to get the news that at last he'd got his first ever 6lb chub!!! Pic of his 6lb 1oz fish below...
  49. 1 point
    River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 0930 - 1230 Overcast, 15ºC. River at 'normal' levels - carrying some colour after the recent heavy rains. 3 Barbel (6lb 13oz, 4lb 5oz, 3lb 11oz), 3 Chub (3lb 4oz, 2lb & a chublet) Great session on trotted maggot - (and I also bumped a couple). Fed swim for ¾hr, then had all the fish in a little over an hour - no bites after 1130.
  50. 1 point
    River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 1830 - 2200 Overcast, drizzle 'in the wind' temp a constant 13ºC 7 barbel 11lb 6oz, 7lb 3oz, 6lb 10oz, 6lb 4oz, 6lb 3oz, 5lb 13oz, 4½lb An eventful evening at the swim I 'discovered' on Saturday. River carrying more colour than at the weekend. Couldn't even fish for the first hour due to swans feeding just upstream sending down a constant barrage of floating ranunculus. Once I started fishing bites came thick and fast. Only downside is that while fighting the 11lber a HUGE clump of ranunculus got wrapped around my line (more floating debris) - took me ages to bring the whole lot up against the current and just as I brought the whole 'kit and caboodle' to the net my rod snapped. :-( Only one I'd brought with me so had to pack up 2 hours before I'd intended too - shame as I reckon I'd have hit double figures at the rate I was catching!!!! Also had time to extricate a bat which managed to get itself tangled up in my line. Quite an evening!!!!!
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