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  1. River Kennet - Hambridge 0700 - 1330 Cool (5ºC when I started), bright and breezy. River quite low - normal for Sep. 3 Chub; all 1-2lb. 5 Barbel (!!!); all 12oz-1lb. 8 Dace - all chunky ones in the 6-8oz class with a couple a tad bigger. 4 Brown Trout; one close to 3lb the others circa 12oz+. Another recce session - following up on some recently acquired intelligence (cheers Martin - spot on! ). Been a few years since I last exchanged my NAA card for a CSAS one to fish this stretch. Fished over a dozen swims but had all the fish bar one dace from just one of them - which I
  2. River Wye, Llanthomas 1630 - 1930 Warm,sunny evening. 2 Barbel: 5lb 14oz & 7lb 7oz. Mission accomplished! I usually make a point of NOT fishing when I'm on holiday with Mrs P - I tend to stay married that way! However when a long weekend in the Brecons became a week's stay in Hay due to our Greek holiday falling victim of Covid it would have been churlish not to drop in on Geoff's! I've known Geoff over 20 years and around 9 years ago he acquired a mile (double bank) of the Wye above Hay - and a visit has been on my to-do list ever since. Geoff was ever the genial host
  3. River Kennet, Newbury & Thatcham 0400 - 1230 Cool, overcast and very blustery. River quite coloured and very full for the time of year - highest it's been in the summer for many a year.... (well since 2007 now I come to think about it!!) 2 Chub; 2lb & 1¼lb. 1 Barbel 3lb. 57 Dace, 7 Roach, 3 Grayling, 1 Perch, 1 Gudgeon, 1 Bleak & a 1¾lb spottie. Pleasant start to the season with plenty of fish to put a bend in the rod - we had planned an overnighter on a local lake put had been put off by the weather forecast which wasn't half as bad
  4. River Kennet - Thatcham 0645 - 1045 Warm and overcast - river in good nick with good weed growth this year. 2 Chub; 3lb 11oz & 1lb 14oz. 1 Barbel; 2lb 5oz. 7 spotties - all small except for 1 'pounder'. Fished a number of swims in rotation - number one banker swim produced just trout (all of them bar 1!) but dropping downstream produced the 3lb chub. Other 2 fish up in the fast shallows. No sign of any dace which is a shame!
  5. River Kennet - Nr Newbury 1830 - 2330 Overcast with drizzly showers. 14ºC. River quite low - needs a drop-o-rain! 5 Barbel (6lb 10oz, 6lb 2oz, 5lb 9oz, 4lb 3oz, 3lb 15oz), 1 Chub 1½lb A return to the 'Fryingpan Swim'. 3 barbel in 1st 45 mins then 3 more fish between 21-2300.
  6. River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 1745 - 2215 Cool, clear evening under a bright half moon. New thermal trousers made their debut - so was quite toasty! River quite low and clear. 1 Barbel 10lb 4oz, 6 Dace (all around 6oz), 1 Brownie of 2¼lb. Quick half an hours trotting - rather hoping to get a chub followed by the expected long hours of staring at stationary isotopes - so somewhat surprised to see the boilie rod wrap around after ¾hr of casting out. Had intended to stay longer but thought that would be pushing my luck!
  7. River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 1800 - 2330 Warm and breezy evening - still 15ºC when I packed up. River quite low. 1 Barbel; 9lb 1oz. 1 Chub c1½lb, 7 Dace, 1 Roach, 3 Brownies to 2lb 4oz. A barbel for the 2nd river trip in a row - and a decent one too! Was hoping today's rain would have gingered the river up a bit and so it proved! As usual, I started off with the trotting rod until it was too dark to see my float, but within ¾hr of settling down over my ledger rods the upstream rod baited with a snailz boilie was wrenched from the rod rests and I wa
  8. River Kennet - Newbury 0830 - 1145 Warm (ish) and overcast with milky sunshine. River low and clear. 1 Barbel; 5lb 6oz, 2 Perch (both circa 1lb - possibly the same one!), 15 Dace, 4 Roach, 1 Gudgeon, 1 Grayling and a Brownie - un-weighed but must have been close to 2lb... At last a barbel on the float - but in truth I'd all but given up on getting one and had other plans for this morning's trip! I was in a couple of swims that have given me pike trouble over the last few visits so I actually started with 20mins in each swim throwing a lure around
  9. 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
  10. River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 1830 - 2315 Warm, calm and mainly overcast evening. River quite low. 3 Barbel (!): 8lb 14oz, 6lb 4oz, 5lb 7oz. At last - the frustrations of the summer evaporate under a benign autumn evening sky. Fished a swim I'd not frequented for a while (01/09/10 was the last time) but it certainly won't be 4 years before I return. Smallest fish at around 2000 then a flurry of activity just after 2200. Was putting the 6 back when the other rod went off to produce the biggest of the night.
  11. 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
  12. River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 1630 - 1900 Heavy thundery showers. River looked in good nick, reasonable flow with some colour. 1 Barbel; 4lb 9oz. 2 Chub; 4lb 5oz & 1lb 13oz. 7 brownies including one of nearly 3lb! Curtailed trotting session. Had planned to stay all evening and have a couple of hours of darkness on the lead. However I really don't like being out in a thunderstorm and having watched one storm skirt north of me and another south I could tell a third one was heading straight for me - so a hasty retreat was beat - pity as it was turn
  13. River Kennet (Nr Thatcham) 1800 - 2330 Light Showers 4 Barbel (10lb 11oz, 5lb 15oz, 5lb 10oz, 4lb 6oz) Fished 14mm halibut pellet and Meteor boilies - (Had one hour pellet, one hour boilie...). Double on boilie - other 3 on pellet. Paul also caught 4 - all in 3-4lb bracket
  14. River Kennet, Woolhampton 1815 - 2315 Cool and clear at first - then clouding over. 1 barbel 9lb 5oz, 2 chub (2lb, <1lb), 1 roach, 1 doz bleak, Started with float fished maggot - in order to get my bleak point for the species race. Roach (quite a decent size) on maggot too. Then ledgered with two rods for a change - pellet on one, boilie on the other. A chub to each bait followed rather appropriately at 9.15pm by the barbel - my 1st from this venue.
  15. River Kennet - Newbury 1900 - 2330 Cool and breezy - clear then high cloud and bright moon. 15ºC --->11ºC (but felt cooler!) 1 barbel 5lb 15oz Mission accomplished! This session was about getting my mate Simon his first ever barbel - a feat he achieved impressively with an 8lb 10oz fish - my 'banker swim' came up trumps again! Simon also had a small >2lb chub, whilst I just about saved my blank though I had loads of sharp taps and knocks all evening - came to the conclusion it was probably signals as the bait (14mm pellet) kept getting stri
  16. River Kennet - Newbury 0745 - 1215 Cold and overcast - Easterly breeze. AT 38ºF, WT 41ºF 14 Chub (5lb 15oz, 5lb1oz, 4lb14oz, 4lb 6oz, 4lb 3oz X 2, 7 X 3lb - all over 3½, 2<3lb), 1 Barbel 5lb 2oz, 1 grayling, 2 dozen dace, roach and gudgeon (mainly dace). WOW! Cracking session in one of my favouirite chub swims - but one that really hasn't produced a lot for me since the opening week of the 05/06 season - so today was like seeing and old friend again. Barbel fell 1st cast - real surprise given the water temp and it had me thinking that it must
  17. River Kennet - Near Thatcham 1800 - 2330 Still breezy and cloudless 18º->12ºC. River 'full' quite coloured with quite a bit of floating rununculus (very annoying!) 4 Barbel 8lb 2oz, 4lb 15oz, 2X 4lbers Fished with Paul who had a 9+, 8+ and a 3. Two of my fish in the 1st hour, two in the last - all of Paul's fish came after 2200. Ledgered Halibut Pellet as per usual!
  18. River Kennet, Nr Thatcham. 0930 - 1430 Hot and sultry, 24ºC. River clear and low. 4 Barbel - 7lb 2oz, 5lb 3oz, 4lb 14oz, 4lb 4oz, 13 Chub - 8 over 1lb, best 4: 5lb 8oz, 5lb 3oz, 4lb 15oz, 4lb 10oz. 6 Brown Trout - 3 over 1lb best 2, 1lb 12oz (Same fish I think!) A cracking trotting session in seemingly less than ideal conditions - but the usual tactics paid off. Keep trickling in the bait and they will come. First 'decent fish' (the 4.15 chub) came at around 1130. The (next) 3 biggest chub and the 2 biggest barbel all fell in the last hour - befo
  19. River Kennet - Newbury 0630 - 1230 Bright and sunny 7.5ºC -> 19ºC 3 Chub (4lb 2oz, 3lb 10oz, 2lb 13oz) 2 Perch (2lb 2oz, >1lb) 1 Barbel (2lb), 2 Trout (both 1lb+ - probably same fish!) 60+ Dace, Roach & Gudgeon (mainly dace). A morning trotting red maggot for a nice mixed bag. Big perch 1st cast and all the chub came in the 1st 1½hrs otherwise caught steadily throughout the morning despite the bright conditions. River still 'full' though with little colour and some debris - mainly weed coming down.
  20. River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 1830 - 0100 Warm overcast night - light drizzle from 2200 - temps never below 15ºC. River up a bit and carrying a bit more colour than of late. 1 Barbel 9lb 11oz A very pleasant and 'educational' evening on the river in the company of Paul. The plan was for both of us to fish a couple of new swims which neither of us had ever fished before on one of our favourite club stretches. I struggled with both my choices - struggled to find clean gravel in fact. Paul on the otherhand hit the motherlode with his 2nd swim and ended
  21. 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.
  22. River Kennet - Newbury 0630 - 0900 COLD, and clear. AT was 22ºF when I arrived WT a whole 20ºF warmer at 42ºF. River clear and quite 'full'. 13 (!) Chub: In order of capture; 3lb 1oz, 6lb 0oz, 2lb 14oz, 5lb 2oz, 3lb 10oz, 4lb 13oz, 4lb 3oz, 4lb 10oz, 3lb 7oz, 4lb 15oz, 1lb 11oz, 2lb 2oz, 3lb 6oz. 1 Barbel 3lb 4oz. 1 Dace. Simply an awesome session!! All fish on trotted double red maggot (to a size 14). I seriously questioned the wisdom of this trip (and my sanity) when I set off in the half light with my car thermometer reading -6.0ºC. I was head
  23. River Kennet - Nr. Thatcham 1800 - 0000 Overcast, 20º -> 15ºC but felt a lot cooler fishing an exposed swim in a stiffish breeze - had the thermals on by 8 o'clock! River a little on the low side. 3 Barbel: 9lb 12oz, 8lb 5oz, 7lb 6oz. A trio of terrific hard fighting barbel. First fish (the smallest) just after 2100 followed by the biggest just on 2300 with the 8lber on the stroke of midnight as I was about to pack up. All fish on 14mm halibuts - no activity from signals which is always a good sign!
  24. River Kennet - Nr. Thatcham 0700 - 0930 Cool, overcast with light drizzle. 15ºC. River a little on the low side - but was lower this time last year! 2 Barbel; 7lb 6oz, 6lb 13oz. 5 Chub; 4lb 8oz. 3lb 15oz, 3lb 10oz, 2lb 14oz & a chublet. 6 dace, 1 brownie. Cracking little trotting session - one of my bigger float caught barbel. Most fish in the last ¾hr having moved a few yards downstream of where I started.
  25. River Kennet - Nr. Thatcham 1915 - 2345 Clear, still evening with a heavy dew - temp down to 11ºC at midnight. River at normal summer levels - with a little colour. 2 Barbel: 10lb 2oz, 8lb 0oz. 1 Chub 2¾lb Fished a new swim - somewhat surprising as this is my 29th season on this stretch of water and I've fished nearly every inch of it in that time. A fine brace and my first double since 15 Oct 2007 - it will be a lot less than 29 years before I return to this spot!!! Both Barbel in the first hour of darkness. Last hour plagued with plucky bites w
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