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  1. Kennet & Avon Canal - Enborne 1430 - 1745 Overcast, VERY windy with light rain for last hour and a half. AT 10º ->7ºC. 7 Perch; 4 over 1lb of which 2 were over 2lb - best 2lb 10oz (last bite of the season - I nice way to end!) Many, MANY years ago (probably sometime during the last millennium) I bought a pack of 3-way swivels. I stuffed them in with a wallet of tubing and they have languished at the bottom of one of my tackle boxes ever since. I suppose I must have thought 'they might come in useful one day' - well that day was today! My morning venue is relatively sheltered with tree cover - however arriving on the bank of a much more exposed canal I realised I'd be casting into the teeth of a gale. The trick here is to get the bait as close as possible to the far bank reeds (and keep it there). Casting today was problematic at best with the added jeopardy of giving it to much welly and the whole kit and caboodle flying straight into the reeds. Even if I did pull off a decent cast the wind quickly pulled the float away from the take zone. So after 10 mins of cussing and a few near misses into the reeds I was looking for my 3 way swivels and tying up a paternoster rig - bit of a first for me on fresh water - and it worked a treat. The extra weight aided accurate casting AND keeping the bait exactly where the perch would find it. Was always a little nervous of tangles - but a 1lb+ fish first cast gave instant confidence in the set-up.
  2. Kennet & Avon Canal - Woolhampton 1500 - 1800 Sunny with scattered showers. Windy/blowing a hoolie, especially during the squalls. 8ºC 9 Perch: 2lb 14oz & 8 small uns - one of which was close to a pound the rest half that or less. 2 Pike: 3lb 13oz & 3lb 4oz. 1 Chub circa 8oz. Pike are always a piscatorial hazard when fishing lobs but slightly miffed to get one from each of my 2 'banker' perch swims. It looked like my last trip here of the season would end in disappointment on the perch front until quite literally last cast (in the ever increasing gloom) produced a perch that actually fought back! Turned out to be my best of the season from this stretch of canal - still not had a 3 from here since I started coming here in 17/18 but this is now the 3rd season in a row I've come within a few ounces of that mark.
  3. Kennet & Avon Canal - Enborne 0700 - 0915* 1000 - 1715˜ Mild, mainly overcast, quite breezy (some milky sunshine at times) - light showers on and off all day with rain for last hour and a half. AT around 12/13ºC all day. *27Perch - with 13 (!) over 1lb - and 3 over 2 - best 2lb 7oz. ˜(½mile upstream!) 7 Perch - all over 1lb (3 over 2) best 2; 3lb 10oz & 2lb 11oz. A doz roach and a dace - all small. What a Red Letter day! Make hay while the sun shine's! Nailed on conditions for a day's winter perching, mild and overcast after a 2 week cold snap - just knew that stripeys would be on the munch - but didn't dream of such a return! The morning was just ridiculous - fishing was almost 'Mr Castwell' at times - cast out, let the float cock, float dips - 1lb perch - repeat! Thankfully the bites were drying up when the local yoofs turned up and with no sense of etiquette made base camp not 10 yards from where I was fishing. Suspect they weren't even members but as I was out numbered 5-1 discretion proved the better part of valour - and I moved upstream earlier than planned - but also thankful to escape the dogs - one having knocked over my bait box and another had tried to steal my lunch! The rest of the day started serenely - fishing yet another swim I've not fished before I was straight out with a lob again and settled into my seat to watch a stationary float. After an hour I'd switched to maggot and soon started catching small roach - and hoping these would draw some perch into the swim - but really just killing time until the light started to fade. By 1530 I was out with a lob again - and met with instant success in the shape of the 2-11. Slow and steady sport then ensued - interupted by an unexpected barge - which put an end to action for nearly an hour - however there was still time for one really special fish -the only bite 'post barge' - but what a fish - my biggest perch (and first 3lber) for 5 years. And my biggest from this stretch of canal by a country mile - fat as a football - it had clearly been on the munch!
  4. Kennet & Avon Canal - Woolhampton 1500 - 1630. Mild, overcast with a stiff downstream breeze putting quite a chop on the water. 9ºC 3 Perch; 1lb 5oz and a couple of 6-8oz. 1 Pike; 2lb 12oz Quick return to yesterday's venue hoping for a bigger stripey (achieved by around 4oz!) Dropped into a different swim - one in which I saw some scattering fry as I walked back to the car yesterday evening. All fish in the first 45 mins - Pike was last caught and didn't get another bite afterwards.
  5. Kennet & Avon Canal - Woolhampton 1330 - 1630 Overcast and Mild(er) 7ºC. Canal gin clear!. 6 Perch; 4X14oz(± a couple of ounces)& 2 tiddlers. Birthday trip to make the most of the milder weather. Up until Sunday the mean average temperature for January (locally) had been a lowly 1.1ºC so with temps up as 'high' as 9ºC this Mon/Tues I was hopeful that the perch would have woken up. And the session started off promisingly with the 2 tiddlers in the first 20 mins - however I then had to wait 2½hours for my next bite - with the 4 'bigger' fish coming in a flurry as the light went. The time between was punctuated with an argument with one of the barge owners who claimed I was breaking lockdown rules by angling - must print off the AT guidance for next time I go!!!!
  6. Kennet & Avon Canal - Enborne 0700 - 1000 Chilly and bright - clouding over. 3º - 8ºC 6 Perch - only 1 below 8oz but only 1 over lb (and not by much!) 1 Roach c10oz (on a whole lob) A sudden drop in temps and a bright crisp morning are not the ideal conditions to kick off my autumn perch campaign here - so glad to get any interest at all in my float fished lobs. Started in one of my 'banker' swims which produced all the fish before doing a bit of prospecting which produced just a couple of half hearted bites!
  7. Kennet & Avon Canal - Woolhampton 1345 - 1615 Bright with squally showers. AT 10ºC 9 Perch; 5 over 1lb - 3 not by much and two that went 1lb 12oz & 2lb 8oz. 1 Roach (small - the lob worm it took was longer than it!) With a very mild end to the week I reasoned that the perch would be on the munch - and I was right. Didn't even need to wait until dusk for some action - in fact most fish caught with the swim bathed in sunshine - though (of course) the biggest one WAS as the light was fading.
  8. Kennet & Avon Canal - Enborne 1400 - 1600. Bright & breezy. AT 7ºC 4 Perch; 2lb 14oz, 2lb 0oz, 1lb 6oz, 1lb 2oz. So Plan B was to fish the witching hour on the canal hoping for a big stripey - though as so often happens in the winter it's a witching 20 minutes around 4.00pm just as the light is fading. Had all 3 bigger ones in this 20 minute spell culminating in the biggest - which was a very last cast fish as I'd already packed up my bags. A season's best as well.
  9. Kennet & Avon Canal - Enborne 0700 - 0915 & 1445 - 1630 Squally rain to start, overcast and becalmed to end. Quite mild. 18 Perch; Most 8-12oz with around half a dozen in the 1lb class save the biggest which went 1lb 10oz. Dawn and dusk session to top and tail a trip to Speen and there appears to be a LOT of perch in the 12oz class this autumn. More fish during my dawn session than dusk - but that may have been due to pike as was bitten off twice.
  10. Kennet & Avon Canal - Woolhampton 0615 - 0945 Mild (13ºC) with an increasingly strong breeze (storm Aiden approaching) 9 Perch: All, bar one, over 8oz with a couple pushing a lb. Still searching for the bigger ones! Quick session before the rains arrived (started pishing down just as I got back to the car!). One of the advantages of the clocks going back is there's a bit longer to fish before the barges start up and whilst the first one came through at 0830 again - there wasn't the same traffic as last Saturday. This was a bit of an exploratory session - tried around a dozen new swims - though most fish came from last year's 'hotspots'.
  11. Kennet & Avon Canal - Widmead 0715 - 1030 Mild, overcast with some light drizzle and an ever increasing breeze. Canal quite full. 4 Perch: 2 'pounders', biggest 1lb 6oz. 3 Chub: again a brace of pounders - to 1lb 9oz. Dawn perch raid to a favoured swim of old - been 3 years since I last fished here but for a decade from 05-15 this was a nailed on banker venue for big perch - had dozens and dozens of 3lbers in that time plus a couple of 4s. My last 3 from here was Dec 15 and they did a rapid disappearing act over the following couple of winters - and yes I'm blaming the otter, as I saw frequent sightings of it on the canal at this time.... Was hoping the perch would have thrived on neglect and I had to wade into the margins to clear one of my favourite swims of common reed on arrival. Despite this commotion I had a perch first cast and there followed a busy hour or so when I caught everything else. Alas the first barge came through at 0830 and whilst I did get the odd bite after this further shipping meant the swim never really had time to settle down - still I saw enough to want to come back!
  12. Kennet & Avon Canal - Woolhampton 1245 - 1615 Overcast, cool and drizzly at first (after 2inches of rain in the previous 24 hours). Water up and coloured. 5 Perch; All 'netters' with a couple nudging a pound. 1 Tench; 2lb 6oz. Quick 'snatched' session to the venue nearest where I live. Had planned to fish upstream of Newbury today but didn't fancy standing out in the pouring rain all day - so made the most of a short break in the weather (the rains returned as I walked back to the car). Had vowed not to fish here until November when winter mooring starts and the boat traffic diminshes - but reasoned there wouldn't be much boating happening in the rain - and so it proved! Never been so disappointed to get a 2lb tench - which snaffled my lob - on the drop - first cast. For a good couple of minutes I thought I was into a jolly decent perch - and rather surprised to see a tinca eventually brought to the surface - my first from this part of the K&A. Not a Perch!
  13. Kennet & Avon Canal - Thatcham 1345 - 1600 Mild, breezy with some drizzle in the air. AT 51ºF. WT 49ºF. 2 Perch: 2lb 13oz, 1lb 11oz. 1 Pike; 4lb 3oz. 1 roach. Had a half day workshop in Newbury so rather than go back to work - seemed the perfect excuse to take some time owed and squeeze in a couple of hours fishing! All fish on lobs and all caught in the last hour.
  14. River Kennet - Nr Newbury 0400 - 0800 Fine clear morning, 10º - 14ºC. River quite low and carrying its usual summer colour. 4 Chub best 2, 3lb 7oz & 3lb 3oz, 1 Perch 1lb 15oz, 5 Trout, best 1¼lb, 1 doz roach, 10 dace and 3 gudgeon. A lovely dawn spent standing in mid river trotting maggot. Perch first cast, All chub came in consecutive casts after 0700 - from the tail of the swim where they'd no doubt been confidently sucking in my maggot for the previous 3 hours!
  15. Hello everyone, Durham University student here who is researching the attitude of UK freshwater predator anglers towards natural and artificial baits. If you'd like to participate please say so below! Many thanks, Nosey Student
  16. Kennet & Avon Canal - Enborne 1430 - 1800 Still bright and breezy with a brief drizzly shower. AT down to 8ºC when I packed up. 10 Perch; 6 over 1lb - best 3, 1lb11oz, 1lb 14oz, 2lb0oz.12 Roach - all small & 3 Bleak At last some bigger perch - with the odd exception I've had loads of perch around the 1lb mark this winter from different parts of the K&A - I obviously found a different year class today as the pounders were all over 1lb 4oz.
  17. Kennet & Avon Canal - Woolhampton 1500 - 1800 Mild, bright and very breezy. AT still 11ºC when I packed up. Canal quite coloured up after all the rains. 13 Perch; 5 over 1lb and a couple just an ounce or 2 shy of that. Biggest 2: 2lb 13oz & 1lb 13oz. 1 Roach - 9oz (on a whole lob!) I've now had nearly 2 doz perch over 1lb from here this winter but this was my first 2 (and I think the 1-13 may be my 2nd best from here this year!) Yet again I fished a different spot - but one which will certainly get a return visit next winter! Fat as a football!
  18. Kennet & Avon Canal - Woolhampton 1500 - 1745 Mild and breezy - with sunny spells. AT 10ºC. Canal still with quite a bit of colour. 3 Perch; 1lb 13oz, 1lb 10oz & a tiddler. Bunked off work early to snatch a couple of hours on the canal - though in truth I needn't have rushed - no bites till gone 1700 and all the fish came in a flurry around 1730. Fished half a dozen new swims - including the one which produced.
  19. Kennet & Avon Canal - Avington 0715 - 1215 Cool, and overcast. AT 6º -> 9ºC. WT 11.4ºC 6 Perch to 1lb 12oz (3 over lb). 3 Chub; all over 1lb - best 4lb 5oz. 15 Roach, 4 Dace, 1 Bream (circa 1½lb). Pleasant morning on this rather remote part of the canal - started off on lobs which accounted for all the perch and one of the chub. Switched to maggot for the last couple of hours hoping to snaffle some decent roach as per last autumn here - no big red fins but the 4lb chub was adequate compensation!
  20. Kennet & Avon Canal - Thatcham 0700 - 1100 River Kennet - Thatcham 1145 - 1415 Bright and sunny after a cloudy start (thankfully!). AT 15ºC WT 12.9ºC. River up a bit and with a tinge of colour after yesterday's rain. Canal: 1 Perch; 2lb 11oz, 4 Chub; all ¾-1lb, 11 Roach 1 Dace. River: 7 Chub; between 8oz and 2lb (4 over lb), 8 Dace, 2 Roach, 5 Brownies to 1¼lb. First decent perch of the autumn - though the chublets were a bit of a pain - snaffling my lobs and impersonating perch. A switch to the river gave a surprisingly good return - the barbel may have disappeared but it was nice to see some chub coming through. One of my better sessions from here in recent years - especially as the dace were all of a good stamp - and both roach were in the 6-8oz class too.
  21. Middle Kennet - Nr Newbury 0800 - 1700 Overcast, mild (9-10ºC) with some milky sunshine at times after a drizzly first hour. A lovely benign winter's day. River quite pacey and carrying a little colour. 14 Chub: 6 over 3lb - best 4lb 13oz. 3 Pike; All jacks - biggest just under 7lb. 7 Perch; all small, save for one goodun of 2lb 8oz. 2 Dozen Dace & Roach. 3 Brownies all around 2lb+. Cracking day's sport (as always from here). Plan was to do a bit of piking for a change (hoping to meet the monster of the weirpool from 2 seasons ago), as well as go after the usual glut of chub. Paul spent more time chasing dace than me so didn't end up with so many chub (but had twice as many dace). A very satisfactory chub to trout ratio too!! Smiling for once!
  22. K&A Canal, Thatcham 0700 - 1000 Mild (15ºC) and mainly overcast - sunny for last ½hour 6 Perch: 2lb 15oz, 2 around the pound mark and 3 tiddlers. 2 Chub both circa1lb, 1 Roach (small) Successful dawn raid for a big stripey - though in truth the crayfish were rather too active for the majority of the time - especially once it got properly light after 0800 - by which time I'd had the biggie. Wonder what's causing the red belly?
  23. River Kennet 0800 - 0930 - Newbury 1000 - 1230 - Thatcham Overcast, mild (8ºC) and breezy. River high but clear. Newbury - 1 Grayling and a couple of gudgeon. Thatcham; 2 Chub; 4lb 0oz & 3lb 6oz, 1 Perch 4lb 2oz (!) and a small dace. Started at a favoured flood slack which was surprisingly devoid of fish. So shifted off downstream to show Paul and Rusty how its done! However, the first hour and a half or so was bite-less and it looked like I'd be joining the blankers club. There then followed a 45 minute spell where I had all 4 fish - topped off by my 3rd ever 4lb perch - yippee! All fish on trotted maggot. Had planned to stay a little longer but with the wind and rain picking up I decided to quit while I was ahead! Obligatory fish plus pin pics! (A brace of 4s!)
  24. 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.
  25. 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!
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