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Found 34 results

  1. Chris Plumb

    7 July

    River Kennet - Hambridge 1800 - 2030 Cool (14ºC or there-abouts), overcast with drizzly rain at times for the first hour. River down and inch or so on 3 weeks ago but still with good flow for this time of year. 3 Chub: 2lb 15oz, 1lb 11oz & a chublet. 30+ Dace & Roach - in roughly equal numbers - slightly more roach. Nothing particularly big - a couple of the dace were in the 6-8oz bracket - but good to see so many 'silvers' in the river. 3 Gudgeon (also a welcome sight - they seem to be getting rarer!). 1 Bleak. 2 Brownies (small) and a 2lb+ Rainbow. Bigger chub first cast - followed by a good hour or so of a 'fish a chuck'. Great sport - though of course a barbel on the float from the fast gravel runs (which is what I might have hoped for a decade ago!) would have been an even more welcome sight!
  2. River Kennet - Widmead 0845 - 1145 Warm & Sultry. 1 Chub: 1lb 10oz, 21 Dace - with around a third 8oz or better - weighed a couple, both at 10oz and had another 4 or 5 that weren't much smaller. 1 Grayling - small. 3 Brownies - a pounder and 2 tiddlers. Having exhausted my first swim it was off to another spot a mile or so downstream - and a haul of cracking dace. This swim 'looks' very chubby so it was nice to have that confirmed - all be it right at the end of the session - it was the last fish caught - a good 30 mins after my last dace.
  3. River Frome - Wool 0745 - 1500 Cool, bright (too bright!) and very breezy. River very low (lowest I've ever seen it). 56cm@ East Stoke. 19 Grayling; 7 over 1lb, best 1lb10oz. 1 Dace, 9oz, 7 Brownies. A bit of a struggles in challenging conditions - though the lure of a 3lb grayling will keep me coming back here! Fish very spooky in the low water so it paid to rest 'hot spots'. Dace was a nice bonus.
  4. Middle Kennet Estate - Nr Newbury 0800 - 1600 Overcast with drizzle at times becoming increasingly windy. AT 10ºC. River very low. 14 Chub: Biggest 4lb 9oz. 2 Dace: - 1 a real lump of 12oz. 4 Roach. A doz+ Rainbows - all 2-2½lb & a couple of small Brownies. A day playing avoid the trout - which was difficult as they appeared to be sharing the same swims as the chub! Did eventually find a couple of swims with fewer of the menaces - which produced the big dace and the biggest chub of the day.
  5. River Kennet - Speen Moors 0745 - 1315 Mild and Windy, VERY VERY Windy! River in the fields - but with only a little colour. 1 Chub: 2lb 10oz, 3 Dace: 13oz, 10oz & 8oz. 1 Roach - small. 1 Rainbow Trout 4lb 4oz. A WILD day in West Berkshire. Couldn't get to most of the swims I'd usually fish because of the flooding and when I could it was way too windy - had trouble just standing let alone holding a rod! However was keen to fish here as the venue's been closed all winter for bridge repairs and extensive tree felling. Thankfully found a couple of slightly sheltered spots which at least had the wind at my back. Chub was first cast which somewhat cemented confidence for the morning but bites generally were few and far between - however when they did come a lovely trio of chunky dace was the result - biggest one is my season's best - a male in full sandpapery breeding condition!
  6. Chris Plumb

    7 March

    River Lambourn - Newbury 0730 - 1000 Overcast and mild. River VERY full - over a foot up on normal winter levels, BUT clear as always. 22 Grayling - most in the 10-14oz class with a few slightly bigger. 1 Dace - 11oz (another sandpapery male). 2 Brownies. Usual fall back after another week of rain has pushed the Kennet into full flood again. Fish of a remarkably similar stamp - dace was a real bonus.
  7. Chris Plumb

    23 July

    River Kennet - Nr Thatcham 0500 - 0830 Cool (9/10ºC), clear and misty. River up a couple of inches. 3 Chub: 4lb 15oz, 2lb 14oz, 1lb 8oz. 20 Dace and half a dozen brownies to circa 1lb. Pre breakfast trotting trip - and another fine chub from here - and many of the dace were a good size too - biggest I put on the scales went 10oz with another ½ doz not much smaller.
  8. River Kennet - Newbury 0900 - 1400 Warm (for late October) and mainly sunny. 15ºC. River very low and threadbare. 6 Chub; 5 over 1lb. All in the 1-2lb range save for a 4lb 4oz fish. 30+ Dace most quite small apart from one clonking fish of 12oz. A doz+ Roach with around half in the 6-8oz bracket (nice!), 4 Gudgeon, 1 Bleak & 3 Brownies to a pound and a bit. Unexpectedly had a free day and with Jaq out all day it seemed the perfect excuse for a bit of autumn chubbing! I fished 6 swims in total, starting at the spot which has produced my only float caught barbel of the season and quickly had a 1¾lb & 2lb chub. Low water meant spooky fish so moving swims was the order of the day and this was the only swim that produced more than 1 chub. Lots of silver fish atm which is very pleasing especially the stamp of some of the roach - and no pike trouble which also helped matters! Nice Dace - will be even nicer in 3-4 months!
  9. Middle Kennet Estate - Nr Hungerford 0700 - 1745 Clear and misty then overcast - touch of frost to start, Max of 10ºC. River at 'normal' levels. 36 Grayling - 16 over 1lb - best 3; 2lb 1oz, 1lb15oz, 1lb 13oz, 6 Roach - best 4; 1lb 6oz, 1lb 4oz, 1lb 3oz, 14oz, 9 Dace - best 4; 15oz, 14oz, 12oz, 11oz, 9 Rainbow Trout to 2lb, 3 Brownies to 2½lb. Fantastic days trotting. First ever 2lb+ Kennet grayling - my previous river best was 1.14 so beat it twice today. All roach and big dace in last 2 hours - nearly all on single white maggot.
  10. Middle Kennet Estate. 0845 - 1745 Heavy drizzle all morning, dry afternoon, temps around 4/5ºC all day. River carrying some colour - more than is usual for here. 3 Chub; 3lb 14oz, 3lb 12oz, 1½lb, 2 Perch; 2lb 14oz, 2lb 10oz. 1 Roach 1lb 2oz. 3 Grayling; biggest 14oz. 21 Dace - best 2 - 13oz & 12oz. 4 Brown Trout - biggest just on 4lb (caught twice!!) A day on the river with Paul (& Rusty ) nearly didn't go - thankfully the predicted monsoon was anything but. I said to Paul as we drove to the venue that I was perched out after yesterday so would be concentrating on snaffling a big dace or 2 . We started in a new swim which neither of us have seen before - but which was rumoured to hold big dace. My first couple of trots produced - you guessed - 2 nice perch - on a single white maggot to a size 18! After resting the swim I returned for ½ doz good dace and the roach. However biggest dace of the day was also the last of the day - just as the light was fading. Paul also lost something substantial at dusk which might have been a really good dace - though he'll mark it down as 'probably a chub' so save his sanity! All fish on trotted maggot except the two smaller chub on trotted sweetcorn. 2-14 Perch.
  11. Middle Kennet Estate 0900 - 1730 Cool, Overcast and Dry. AT around 5-6ºC all day. River at normal levels and carrying a tinge of colour - all in all neigh on perfect winter conditions! 10 Chub. 8 over a pound, biggest 3; 4lb 5oz, 3lb 14oz, 3lb 5oz. 13 Dace. Most a good size, best 4; 14oz, 11oz 10ozX2. 1 Grayling - 1lb 7oz. 8 Brownies to 2½lb. Typical day spent wondering the banks with rods in hand. Spent all morning searching out the dace and had caught just 4 by lunch time though it did include both 10oz & the 11oz fish. Post lunch the focus switched briefly to chub and I had ½doz in quick succession - half on maggot and half on corn. Then after a quick visit to poach Rusty's swim - forlornly as it turned out for a perch - it was a long trek down to a swim rumoured to hold really special chub - unfortunately when I got there I realised I'd left my sweetcorn at the top of the fishery. This meant changing up my dace tackle to something a bit stronger and fishing double white maggot. A small chub resulted quickly followed by the grayling - small compensation for the MUCH bigger lady I lost in the morning due to my own stupidity. I hooked what I firmly believed to be a brownie - and played it really hard - hoping it would get off. The plan worked in the same instance I realised I was connected to a really substantial grayling not a troot! Last hour was spent in a known dace swim - resulting in my last fish of the day being a rather special dace of 14oz. 3 of Paul's fish from Sunday....
  12. River Frome, Worgret & Wool. 0730 - 1030 - Worgret 1100 - 1500 - Wool. Mild and breezy. Overcast am. Mainly sunny pm. River very coloured but well within its banks. (Not at all what I was expecting!!!) 4 Grayling; 2lb 11oz, 1lb 4oz, 12oz & a tiddler. 1 Dace; 10oz. 6 Brownies - most quite small. 1 Sea trout - 1¼lb. A couple of new venues for this winter and a river I've been wanting to fish for AGES! So some new waters to learn - and the 1st part of my education was in misreading what the state of the river would be!! My heart sank when I saw the colour of it. The game keeper informed me that it wasn't like your typical chalkstream - and coloured up quickly after rain. Still he was quite chatty and pointed out a couple of hotspots - one of which produced the dace and both of which I want to revisit when the water is clear! BTW - I can't remember the last time I was asked for my permit on my usual club waters - yet get asked for it within ½hr of starting here! I was hopeful that further upstream at Wool would be less turbid - and so it proved. Still very sub optimal - but not quite as hopeless as where I'd started. Bites still at a premium but slowly they came - lost a really good fish when the maggot bent over the hook point - and next cast caught the sea trout - still with lice on it. 1st grayling of the afternoon was the tiddler, followed by some trout of similar size - but then I hit the jackpot with the big un giving a bloddy hearstopping fight - it jumped - twice! So, bit of a hard slog - but I've seen enough to want to go back!!! Edit - this site will prove very useful in the coming months...just upstream of where I started on Sunday... http://www.farsondigitalwatercams.com/live...me/Holmebridge/ 2lb 11oz of grayling - my 4th= biggest. Wool Bridge
  13. 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)...
  14. 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!
  15. Chris Plumb

    9 March

    Middle Kennet Estate - Newbury 0700 - 1800 Mild and overcast, breezy at times, temps around 10ºC all day. River still low - though up a tad (maybe a cm or so) on recently. 17 Chub, 6 over 1lb biggest 3lb 0oz. 24 Roach - biggest 1lb 4oz - though quite a few more needed the net. 15 Dace - best 2, 13oz & 12oz. 3 Gudgeon and 4 brownies. A knackering day as we walked the entire length of the fishery TWICE in order to find the fish. My plan was to start off in a known chub swim while Paul started in a nice eddy that requires wading to mid river to fish properly! Having expected chub I was somewhat shocked to start the morning with 2 stonking dace - the 12 oz fish followed next cast by one an ounce heavier - and whilst I caught some more gooduns throughout the day these were the only 2 I weighed. The trekking paid off as we caught in pretty much every swim we visited - and it did mean we could rest some of the hotspots - especially the roach one - where I finished the session with pretty much fish a cast - until Mr Pike decided he'd interfere - he kept returning to hold station right under my feet in order to get the best chance of grabbing a free meal! Paul had a near identical return to me - though his biggest chub was 11oz on from mine - and he did lose one a whole lot bigger. He also had a shed load of gudgeon and a couple of perch - one of which was 2lb. 1st fish of the day... In Bob's footsteps (20 years on) - me poaching Paul's swim with my worming gear (hence no CP!) Chub with an evil eye - Paul sticks his tongue out at a self take!
  16. Middle Kennet Estate(s) Newbury (am), Kintbury (pm) 0745 - 1615 Breezy with sunny spells. 7º->9º->7ºC. River 'full' and clear - though within its banks after recent (and very evident) flooding. 5 Chub; 4 over 2¼lb - best 2, 4lb & 3lb 10oz. 3 Grayling - 1lb 13oz, 1lb 2oz & 14oz. 5 Dace, 3 over 8oz - biggest 13oz. 2 roach, a gudgeon and 2 Brownies both circa 1½lb plus a 4lb bream which doesn't count as it was hooked in the dorsal - giving the most almighty battle in a fast current and doing a great impression of a huge chub. Bit of a grueller especially in the morning when we covered miles of bank trying to find fish - and when I did find a few - managed to hook one in the backside! More success after lunch and after a second move of the day - this time a couple of miles upstream!!! Paul struggled even more than me in the morning - but decided he would concentrate on trying to catch big dace in the afternoon - something he managed rather well with nearly a dozen over 8oz. Best comedy moment was seeing Paul trying to get into the 'Bob James Position' with thigh waders when really chesties were needed - he never did manage it - but it made amusing viewing! Some pics One of Paul's Dace - looks like a female already in breeding condition. 2, 13oz dace - both Paul and I caught 13oz dace at the same time - mine is the top one and although Paul's looks smaller in the pic it was a lot thicker... A welcome chub - caught 1st cast after the lunchtime move. Followed shortly after by a nice grayling. Paul gets all arty (again) looking upstream toward dace town! The chub that wasn't...
  17. Middle Kennet Estate - Kintbury 0900 - 1630 Cold (-1ºC ->3ºC), bright and breezy. Clouding over somewhat in the afternoon. WT 7ºC (won't stay like that for long). River still very high but quite clear. 2 Chub; 4lb 3oz & 1¾lb, 5 Grayling; 3 over a pound best, 1lb 13oz. 10 Dace - only two of which were below 8oz! . Best 13oz which I achieved twice. 5 Brownies to 4lb and 2 Rainbows to 1¾lb. Club day so the plan was to target dace all day and not really move too far from the likely holding areas. As it happened I had the place to myself as only one other angler turned up! Meant I could give the swim a good rest during the worst of the bright sunshine knowing I would be able to get on them again as it got dark - just as well as 8 of them were caught in the last hour of light. One of the 13oz dace - (note a rare outing for the Witcher Avon Elite ) Fat Chub Wilderness Lady
  18. River Kennet - Nr Newbury 0730 - 1745 Cold and overcast with a raw easterly wind - though thankfully reasonably sheltered on most swims at this venue. Max temp all day was 2ºC though judging by the times the line was freezing in the rings it was close to or below freezing for all but 2 or 3 hours around midday. WT 43ºF River clear with good flow. 10 Chub; 8 over 2lb, best 3, 4lb 12oz, 4lb 6oz, 4lb 3oz. 18 Perch; all small except for one clonker of 3lb 3oz!. 3 Pike; biggest 7lb 4oz. 22 Dace; 2 worthy of the scales one at 10oz and a really nice fish of 12oz. 1 Bream; 1lb 6oz, 6 Roach; 4 of which in the 6-8oz bracket, 1 bleak; 5 brownies to 3¼lb. Plan C! We had hoped to be fishing further upstream for big dace but we couldn't get the required permissions. We also considered a trip to the Itchen but in the end settled for this venue - which is becoming a bit of a go to when conditions are as sub-optimal as they were today (see also, blog entry for 19 January). The day started with a toss of a coin as both Paul and I wanted to begin fishing where the chub were all holed up last month. As it happened though they were spread throughout the fishery so whilst I won the toss and did get my biggest from the hotspot I also caught decent chubfrom 6 different swims - as did Paul who had a near idientcal return with 7 chub and the same number of 4lbers as me. As usual the day was spent wandering the fishery and dropping into pretty much every likely looking swim (at least twice!). And like last time we took a couple of hours out to hunt for preds - though this time it was me that was after a pike or two - as I'd not caught one this season. My big perch though was a bit of a fluke - caught trotting maggot when after chub - my 1st ever 3 from this venue! My best chub of the day. 3lb stripey Me in the swim where I had my big perch. Under the dogwood in this photo (far bank) was black with chub - we just couldn't tempt them out into the open!
  19. Chris Plumb

    11 March

    Middle Kennet - Nr Newbury 0715 - 1745 Cold and RAW, with frequent snow flurries and a mini blizzard around lunchtime. Strong and dessicating NE wind. Temps 0ºC or below all day (line freezing to rod ALL day), wind chill must have been minus loads! Spring is here - NOT! WT a balmy 43ºF. 17 (!) Chub; Almost all over 2lb - biggest 3lb 14oz, 4 Perch; 2 'gooduns' at 2lb 2oz &1lb 14oz. 23 Dace - quite a few chunky ones and 2 real corkers; a female fish of 13oz and a male fish of 14oz. 6 Roach - all small. 2 Brownies 1½lb & 2½lbs. Brrrr We must be mad - any other venue and we probably would have cried off - but this is now the third time we've been here in sub-optimal conditions and the place has fished its socks off (see 19 Jan & 22 Feb). Certainly a day for several layers of thermals, hot soup (Jaq's Honey Roast Parsnip) and plenty of coffee. The keeper even unlocked the fishing hut for us - and what a palace it is, full kitchen, lounge, loo, heaters, spare kit. Trout anglers have it cushy! Yet again I won the toss and had first dibs at the chub hotspot and whilst I did get 6 chub from it - all the others, bar 1, came from a different swim in the afternoon - one that hasn't really produced for me in the past. So Paul having lost the toss decided to get his worming gear out and target the perch. Good luck with that says I (somewhat triumphantly it has to be said!) - I think you'll struggle to get perch today. Well what do I know - in the time it took me to get my first two chub Paul had snaffled a dozen stripeys with several fish over 1½lb and a best of 2lb 4oz. I dropped into the same spot in the afternoon and had my two biggies 1st & 2nd casts! Apart from more perch I think Paul's final tally was nearly identical to mine - slightly fewer 1lb+ chub and more trout (and I think he also worried the local bleak and gudgeon populations ). So worth getting out of bed for despite the conditions and whilst the 5lb+ chub appear a bit thinner on the ground here at present it's good to see SO many coming through. Also today I was particularly pleased with my chub to trout ratio - fewest number of trout I think I've ever had here in a day - so the cold did bring some good!!! Obligatory fish plus Witcher pictures. Some Pics from Paul. Our nets were doing this all day - frozen solid! Spring? Dace! From here!
  20. Middle Kennet - Kintbury 0745 - 1530 Bright and very breezy with a couple of very brief but very lumpy showers. Torrential rain curtailed proceedings half an hour early. River quite coloured and milky (much more than is normal for here) - the product of the springs breaking on the downs and not yesterday's rain. Middle and upper river has been like this for the past week according one of the keepers I was chatting to. 12 Chub; 9 over 3lb, but only 2 over 4 - best 4lb 7oz. 14 Dace - most quite chunky with 3 really good fish of 10,12 & 13oz (season's best). 4 Grayling, 3 Roach. ½doz+ Brownies to 3½lb. All out chub quest in the morning with 3 out of my 4 chub 'banker' swims producing fish - though 7 came from one spot. All chub on trotted red corn - I hardly used maggot all day. Shame the really big chevins didn't show up - the one swim I blanked in was the one I had my PB from (6.07) in 2012. Last hour and a half was devoted to snaffling a big dace from the carriers - and whilst I had a season's best I also lost a much bigger fish (maggot had folded over the hook point - poo!). Biggest Chub of the day: Biggest dace of the season (so far!)
  21. Chris Plumb

    9 January

    River Kennet - Thatcham 0930 - 1230 Overcast and mild with squally showers. 9ºC. River up 3-4 inches on last visit (Boxing Day) and quite coloured up. 1 Chub; 4lb 4oz. 8 Dace - most normal dace size with a couple of clonkers that warranted the scales - 12oz & 10oz. Possibly my biggest ever from here. 1 Roach, 1 Grayling. Plan was to get a chub - achieved within 10 mins from a reliable spot but unlike 2 weeks ago I couldn't winkle out another one - this is probably the same 4lb Rusty's had out recently! Then found a nice slack where I had all the rest of the fish from. Three other anglers here and none of them had caught a thing - so feeling quite smug! Same as your's Chris?
  22. Middle Kennet Estate - Kintbury 0830 - 1630 Bright and sunny after biblical amounts of rain in the 1st hour (and the preceding hours of darkness). River though was clear and still quite low! 8 Chub; All over 2lb with half over 3lb. Best 4lb 4oz. 4 Dace; All gooduns - biggest a shade over 12oz! A doz+ brownies to 3½lb and a rainbow. A day that was booked off work with the intention of heading down to Dorset in search of a monster grayling. A plan that was abandoned mid-week after the Frome rose 51cm in under 48hrs! So Plan B was quickly tee'd up and Paul obtained the required permissions to fish this stretch of the Kennet (with certain restrictions as to where we could go). The forecast was for a wet start followed by bright sunshine - which is exactly what we got - and we arrived in monsoon like conditions - so waited in the car for half an hour on arrival waiting for it to stop. With the rain easing we were soon trekking across the fields to our chosen swims only for the heavens to open again - and we fished the first hour in lashing rain. I daren't even get my maggots out in such conditions - so trotted red corn for the 1st hour - which brought the first of the chub. Eventually the rain desisted and within 20mins I had warm sunshine on my back! The morning was spent wandering from swim to swim - and the highlight was a first trot through a small pool where we have found big dace in the past - and sure enough it produced again - my 12oz fish imitating a small trout - until Paul exclaimed that I had a big dace! After lunch we decided to move down to the bottom of the fishery - and I was surprised to see the famous weedrack - is no more - though it has been replaced by a smart new bridge. All in all a good day - all my chub fell to trotted red corn. Paul managed a bigger variety - getting some roach and even 4 grayling to over 1lb in his tally for the day - though he was somewhat frustrated at losing a big chub at dusk. A Kennet Chub No Weedrack! More pics to follow (including , hopefully my big dace!) And here they are: View upstream from the 'old' weedrack. Where Paul lost his chub. Sunset over West Berkshire.
  23. 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
  24. 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?
  25. 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!
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