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  1. Middle Kennet Estate - Kintbury 0830 - 1645 Cool (1º - 4ºC), overcast with sunny spells in the afternoon. River quite 'full' and carrying more colour than is usual for here - quite 'milky' in appearance - possibly the result of springs 'breaking' on the downs. 11 Chub; Biggest 5lb 7oz with only 3 under 3lb. 32 Dace; Biggest two 14oz & 12oz with around another dozen in excess of 8oz - I weighed another 4 at 9, 10, 10 & 11oz - but quite a few of similar size went un-weighed! 2 Grayling, a doz brownies to 3lb. Birthday outing! And the plan was to go all out for Chub and Dace - so both those boxes got well and truly ticked. Dusted out my 'short' float rod which hasn't seen the light of day since the 80's to fish the small streams and carriers for the dace. And fished some of my favoured swims on the main river for the chub. All chub caught on trotted corn except the smallest of the day - a 1½lb fish which turned up in one of my dace swims 10 minutes after slipping the 14oz fish back - never been so disappointed to see a chub in the bottom of my net! Paul had a similar return in terms of numbers - though I think his best chub was a 3lber and best dace around 11oz. Safely in the Net! Big Gob! 5½lb Chub Typical Dace swim. Nice Dace
  2. Middle Kennet Estate - Kintbury 0715 - 1800 Bright (very) at first with some welcome broken cloud in the afternoon. AT around 8ºC all day after early frost. River not quite as full as expected and no colour despite yesterday's rain. 12 Chub; Biggest 3lb 14oz, 19 Dace - though only 2 real gooduns - biggest 13oz. 7 Roach, 4 Grayling. A doz+ brownies - biggest over 4lb - though also had quite a few parr fish. Given the time of year - the plan was to go all out for a big dace (after some early chub fishing). Everything went according to plan in my banker chub swim - but Paul's was occupied by nothing but trout - so I let him run a float through my swim so that he knew what a fish without an adipose looked like. (The swim duly obliged with a 3lb 10oz chub). We knew the bright conditions would make the dace in the shallow carriers spooky and hard to tempt - but were hopeful that the increasing cloud cover and setting sun would make them bolder. In truth though I don't think we found them - certainly not in the same numbers as our visit here in January.(See blog entry of http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/index.php?/blog/82/entry-1273-18-january/ ). Paul and I both had a decent fish or two for our efforts - but it wasn't quite what we were hoping for. 13oz Dace Paul the Poacher!(of 'my' chub swim!) Rickety Bridge. Here be Dace?
  3. River Kennet - Thatcham 1500 - 1700 Cool and sunny AT around 4ºC. River quite full with most colour dropped out. 2 Doz dace - with over half in the 8-10oz range !! 2 Brownies to circa 1lb. With a really crappy weather forecast for Saturday AND Sunday - bunking off work early and snatching a couple of hours on the river was the order of the day - though I didn't expect to still be able to see a float at 5pm - spring is just around the corner (maybe!). Was hoping for a chub or 2 but there was a tree down in one of my banker swims and the other one produced nothing. A clutch of really chunky dace was more than adequate compensation however!
  4. I've dropped out of angling pretty much for the past two seasons due to a serious cycling habit - but the allure of the rivers is drawing me back. Once June 16 hits I hope to wet a line. Unlike my my inventive fishing partners who employ a range of fishing techniques for a range of species, I will invariably drop into a trotting session with float and fixed spool reel (my centrepin days never really took off). I guess my hopes for next season include a summers day, sun shining (yes I know that knocks my chance of catching), hearing the water burbling past and my float smoothly edging down the swim, across gravel beds between streamer weed. I'll probably lug my gear along by train and public transport. Happy to cough up a few spondoolies for a day ticket. But where? Countryside or urban I don't care. I don't want you to put me on your fish. But somewhere interesting where I'll have a sniff. Thanks folks Tiddler Tamer
  5. The original plan was to go and spend the whole day at a new venue, after the large bream that inhabit the lake. However, as happens quite a lot in our family life at the moment, cunning plans sometimes fall at the first hurdle! So, plan A fails when the hospital ring to say they have a slot for me to come in and be measured up for a dose of radio-therapy. This is because my cancer has decided to start invading me a bit further, my bones this time. The thought of what Kim might do if I turned this down by saying that I was going fishing did not paint a pretty picture, so booking accepted, plan B was decided upon. I settled on a morning visit to a couple of sections of the Kennet, first the river at Rainsford Farm, to be followed by a couple of hours on the canalised section at Thatcham and then off to hospital. Arriving at the river I was greeted by the sight of a very low water level and a kingfisher darting off downstream in its characteristic flash of blue, far too fast for me to get a picture, but the view in itself was worth a snap. Reports from fellow Kennet anglers had not filled me with a massive amount of confidence, but if you don’t try, you don’t find out for yourself, so armed with a bait-smock full of maggot and hemp I went off in search of a fish or two. Wandering upstream from the car, I was shocked to see how much things had changed since my last visit, but, checking my diary later that evening I found it had been three years previously, so maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised! I believe the significant changes had been down to the floods of a couple of winters ago, it was almost like fishing a new venue!! One example was what had previously been a nice steady deep run down to some trees was now a gravel bar!! I quickly established that cancer is having a significant impact on my ability to spend hours wandering river banks armed with rod, bait, net and a handful of tackle. It is all turning into a bit of a vicious circle, the cancer saps the energy, and the associated pain makes you less likely to try to undertake anything energetic to build up the stamina, but the body needs to be in the best possible state to combat the disease. So, after just 20 minutes fishing which involves being stood up, knee deep in fast flowing water, constantly trotting a float, and feeding bait, I’m knackered!! One thing I had forgotten was how active minnows are in the summer! Apart from the minnows I found the only other species that was eager to feed was trout, and after catching this one for the second time I decided a change of venue was called for. A two minute drive followed by a five minute walk along the canal path found me with an hour to spare before pack up time so a few maggots were thrown in every 30 seconds or so whilst I had a drink and forced a bar of chocolate down before the trotting gear was again in use. A significant side effect of several of my medications is the change in behaviour of the taste buds. This one has hit me really hard, being a lover of all things edible, and drinkable! As a result, gone is the appetite, which has led to further weight loss, and rapidly disappearing is the liking for many old favourites, such as beer!! Most foodstuffs, and drinks, at times, taste either metallic, or too strong, or too salty, or all of those at the same time. My all time best beers, Fullers ESB and Theakstons Old Peculiar, I’d currently struggle to drink an egg cup full let alone a pint! I suppose looking on the bright side, at least the weekly shopping bill has gone down at bit! Anyway, back to fishing, the canal proved to be a tad more productive before the arrival of three barges in quick succession put the fish off the feed. Prior to their appearance I was able to catch several very nice roach, and dace, with the best of the session being a very chunky 9 ounces! I’d like to catch this one again in the winter when it has put on a bit of weight in the lead up to spawning time….mind you, I’d also like to be still fishing this coming winter!! Whilst my cancer currently seems fairly determined to prevent this, I am just as determined to try and make sure I get to write at least a few winter fishing blog entries! Postscript – I get home from fishing, to find a message on the answerphone, from the hospital, postponing todays appointment, ho hum….the bream will have to wait for another day.
  6. Flowing Canal (K&A), Nr Thatcham 0645 - 1000 Foggy start, brightening up. 7º - 10ºC 9 Dace - all good uns, biggest 11oz! If the last 2 hours of daylight produced a red letter day - would the first 2 hours be the same? The answer a categorical NO! A couple of half-hearted bites on lob was all I had to show before getting the trotting rod out for the last 45 mins and immediately getting among a really good stamp of dace - though even these stopped biting when the sun came out!
  7. Hello all, I am new on this forum although not new too the coarse angling scene, although I have been away a while chasing the saltwater species around the beautiful coasts of South Wales! However I am now looking to recapture the magic, how I learned to love this sport, trotting a little stick down a secluded small river or stream for Gudgeon, Dace, maybe even a bonus Chub, Brownie or Grayling! Is there anyone on here from the Swansea/Neath/Port Talbot area with any idea's of little streams that I may chase my quarry in, I would, of course obtain all the correct permissions to fish any of those venues. Many Thanks.
  8. I must confess I spent nearly all of the last river season caught up with cycling training ... until with a week to go before the end of the season I ventured out to the River Avon near Salisbury... and how I missed it... And whilst I,caught bigger fish on the day, the 11 ounce dace, a new personal best, was the most rewarding. I've decided to get back onto the river bank again next season and target a new dace personal best. I believe some of the people that use this site - Chris Plumb take a bow - have caught dace over a pound. Respect. Whilst some anglers disdain dace, they surely are the smallest but pluckiest fish species that anglers enjoy catching. I don't expect any details on swims. LOL! But any advice on which stretches of southern rivers throw up good specimens and tips on tactics would be appreciated. I tend to use trotted double red maggot with a fixed spool reel. Way to go?
  9. River Kennet Estate Water - Nr Hungerford 0645 - 1615 Bright sunny start, showers then HEAVY rain after 1500. AT 5º -> 11ºC. Water VERY low. 44 Grayling, 18 over 1lb, best 2 - 2lb 0oz, 1lb 14oz, 21 Dace, best 2 - 13oz & 12oz - also weighed another at 10 oz and had quite a few of similar size - unweighed, 5 Rainbow Trout - to 2½lb, 3 Brown Trout - to 2¾lb. Surprisingly good day given the very low water conditions. Best return of 1lb+ grayling from this venue in a day (by a long chalk). 2nd ever 2lber from the Kennet (1st was back in Feb from the same venue,). All fish on trotted maggot ( white seemed to significantly out-fish reds!)
  10. Middle Kennet Estate Water 0800 - 1700 Bright and very breezy, 4ºC. Water carrying some colour after yesterdays rain - though dropped out noticeably by the end of the day. 4 Chub; 3lb, 2lb 4oz and 2 chublets, 19 Dace; best 2, 13oz & 11oz, 8 Brownies; best 2, 4lb 7oz & 4lb 3oz, 1 Grayling. 'Scratchy' sort of a day playing hunt the fish. Spent the morning exploring a carrier I'd not fished before - and probably won't again as it appeared devoid of fish!! Biggest chub on corn all other fish on trotted maggots. Even the perch were absent from their usual haunts (or more likely not feeding). Biggest dace since 23 Jan 05 (when I had a 1lber and 2 others over 14oz also from this venue.)
  11. Middle Kennet Estate Water 0800 - 1600 Cold and overcast 0ºC ->5ºC. River very coloured - very unusual for this stretch. 2 Chub (5lb 0oz, 1lb 6oz), 2 Perch (2lb 1oz, 1lb 11oz), 14 Dace (2 X11oz, 1X10oz), 4 Brown Trout - (best 2½lb) Bit of a struggle in a very coloured river. Both chub and 2 biggest trout on sweetcorn. Perch were first AND last fish of the day - one on maggot one on lobs. All dace were a good size - had 4 more around the 8oz mark. Paul had a very similar return - had a bigger perch than me, a small chub and a similar number of dace and brownies.....
  12. Middle Kennet Estate water - Nr Hungerford 0700 - 1700 Dull and overcast - Last day of Anti-Cyclonic gloom? 10ºC. River at 'normal' levels colour from the weekend's rain now all dropped out. 41 Grayling (4 'pounders' best 1lb 5oz, over 2 doz circa 12oz), 17 Dace - (best 2 weighed 12oz & 10 oz, 8 over 8oz), 1 doz Trout (50-50 Rainbows/Brownies) best 3¼lb Brownie. Lovely day exploring the carriers with a float rod and CP. 12oz dace was first fish of the morning - which got me rather excited - alas I couldn't winkle out a bigger one!!
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