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Found 11 results

  1. Chris Plumb

    2 March

    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!)
  2. River Kennet - Thatcham 1030 - 1430 Bright and sunny. 8ºC. River VERY high - but surprisingly clear. 2 Chub; 4lb 13oz, 2lb 7oz. New winter chub banker swim turns up trumps again! Wasn't sure what I'd find - or even if I'd be able to get to the swim - but after paddling through the field - found a surprising slack piece of water. Smaller chub first cast on a lob worm, 4lber 90mins later on trotted maggot. Lovely afternoon to be by the river. Fat chub in its winter prime...
  3. Middle Kennet Estate - Nr Newbury 0800 - 1645 Drizzly. 7ºC. Little wind - though enough to blow my brolly into the river when my back was turned! River 'full' with quite a bit of colour - more than I expected - and more than is usual for here. 19 Chub: All over 1lb - though biggest 'only' 3lb 13oz and 'only' 8 over 2lb! Pike; 10lb 11oz. 3 Dozen Dace with many many fish in the 6-8oz class, 9 roach - all small and only 3 troot (2 brownies and a rainbow). A damp gloomy day in West Berkshire - though we got nothing like the amount of rain forecast just 24 hours earlier - thankfully the heavy stuff didn't arrive til after dark. I was quickly into the chub while Paul headed off in search of perch - only to have one snaffled by a very large pike - and he was distracted all morning by trying (and failing) to catch it! He did lose another smaller one which somehow threw the hook - a low to mid-double he said - confirmed when I hooked and landed it first cast on trotted lob (it was holed up in a favoured perch hotspot). Paul went on to get a couple of Pike to 8½lb and whilst he caught less than half the number of chub I did - he did manage the only 4lber of the day. All in all a most excellent days angling - followed up with a couple of pints and a curry at my local - Paul's trousers were literally steaming in front of the log fire! Lob gobbler! Paul's Pike and 4lb chub... Soggy Snowdrops!
  4. River Kennet - Thatcham 0645 - 1030 Bright and sunny - a lovely spring morning. River still very high though running clear and a couple of inches down on Sunday. 3 Chub; 5lb 14oz, 3lb 14oz, 3lb 6oz. 3 Perch; 3lb 1oz, 2lb 11oz, 2lb 3oz. Stonking session in the swim I fished on Sunday - though this time there was a bit more flow as the flood water is starting to run off. In truth I hadn't planned to fish here but Paul paid a visit during the week and had a couple of really nice perch (2-09 & a 3) so plans were changed! This swim always looked like it should have perch though until now Paul and I have only caught chub here. Even so with a bright sunny morning in prospect I didn't expect sport (if I had any) to last too long, as it turned out most of the fish came after 0900 when the swim was bathed in full sunlight! Smallest perch on lobs - everything else on trotted maggot. Biggest chub of the season. Pics. of best 2 fish of each species... 3lb 14oz 2lb bigger! Just over 3 - as fat as a football. A bit smaller but better proportioned...
  5. 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.
  6. River Kennet - Brimpton 0930 - 1330 Cold & Sunny. AT -5º -> +3ºC. WT 5.3ºC. River low and clear - very low for mid January. 5 Chub: 5lb 4oz, 4lb 15oz, 4lb 5oz, 4lb 0oz, 3lb 2oz. 4 Grayling - all over 10oz with 2 over 1lb - best 1lb 3oz. 2 Brownies - to 2lb+. Blimey! Didn't expect that! Best haul from here in over a decade. A trip more in hope than expectation given the conditions - bites at a premium but when they came it resulted in a quality fish. Fished 3 swims in total - not a touch from the first one so chased the maggots downstream and had 4 of the 5 chub from the second swim 40m below where I started. Size of the grayling a real surprise too! All fish on trotted maggot. Biggest 2 chub. 5lber Nearly 5!
  7. River Kennet - Brimpton 0800 - 1115 Bright and sunny. river up a couple of inches and carrying a bit of colour - looked perfect! 5 Chub: 5lb 11oz, 4lb 14oz, 3lb 5oz, 2lb 13oz, 2lb 0oz. 3 brownies - 2 over 1lb... Cracking morning's trotting - all the chub from the same swim - took it nice and slow - fed well before my first cast then rested & fed between each fish - certainly paid off as I don't usually get more than a couple at any one time....
  8. River Kennet - Hambridge 0945 - 1245 Bright sunshine, calm and quite mild (9ºC). River FULL! Bank high and up another 6 inches or so on my last visit here at the begining of the month - little colour though. 2 Perch; 2lb 11oz & 2lb 8oz. 8 Grayling - (all 6-10oz), 2 Roach, 1 Dace & 3 Brownies to circa 1lb. So, the plan for today was to start on a favourite flood water swim - hoping to snaffle a big chub and then switch to the canal for the witching hour for some perch. The perch therefore were a big surprise - my biggest from here since 10/11 season when I had a 2lb 14oz fish from this swim. And can't remember getting so many grayling at one go either - usually 1 or 2 show up amongst the dace. Not a hint of any chub!
  9. River Kennet Carrier - Marsh Benham 0845 - 1245 Mild with bright sunshine. River very full - up at least a foot on normal levels and quite coloured (for here!) 3 Chub; 2 over 1lb (but not by much!), 20 Dace and Roach in equal nos - some quite chunky ones too - best roach was 14oz and had 3 dace over 8oz. 4 Brownies from 2lb to over 4lb & a Rainbow of nearly 5lb! Winter chub hunt thwarted by troot turning up in all my banker swims, some really chunky ones too, which didn't fight at all like trout, keeping low in the water imitating ole rubber lips. Carrier was in really good nick with so much water in it - just as well as the main river was unfishable and over-topping its banks.
  10. 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.
  11. As Rusty alluded to in his most recent blog, there would be three reports from the same outing on 9th Febraury….and following on from Chris, this is the last. The reader may think that being the last to be published means it has taken the longest to write and is therefore likely to be a work of literary genius. However…..it probably isn’t. Being the chief organiser of the day, my plans got off to a very poor start when, less than 24 hours before the meet up time, I found out that we wouldn’t be able to have access to the stretch that I really wanted to fish. Then, to add to my sense of dismay, I saw the weather forecast! From being really excited about a day out on the river I started to look forwards to the beer on the way home, and that was before I had even done any fishing! The day dawned exactly as forecast, well, not so much of a dawn, more a change in light conditions from totally dark to nearly dark. At least it was light enough to see the edge of the river as we walked upstream to our chosen swims, and to see the snowflakes. After trying the main river a little further downstream from Chris, spending 30 biteless minutes, my usual impatience set in, and with so much water to explore, I went for a wander. Now, the sensible thing to do on a day when the angler knows it is going to be tough going, is to fish swims that have produced results in the past. So, I did the exact opposite and went to explore a section I hadn’t fished before! The reader will agree however, that this first swim looks like a perfect chub haven. Unfortunately, the chub didn’t have the same opinion and I didn’t get a bite. Another 50 metres downstream and an even more “chubby” looking swim. Surely there would be hordes of chub here, even Mr. Crabtree would have been dribbling at the prospect of fishing here. Fourth trot through, the float dipped and a fish was very briefly attached to the other end of my line, before the hook pulled. Checking the size 18, I established that the hook point was about a sharp as a stick of celery, so new hooklength attached I tried again. After another 5 minutes feeding maggot and guiding the float through the trailing branches, the float dipped again, and this time the hook held. At a few ounces under 3lb’s, it wasn’t a monster by any stretch of the imagination, but mission accomplished, my target for the day had been to catch a coarse fish! Little did I know as I poured a celebratory coffee, that this was to be my only coarse fish of the day! The hordes of chub that I expected to be under the branches….weren’t there or at least if they were, then my maggots were failing in their task of attracting fish to eat them. Having negotiated our mid-morning relocation to a new section of a Kennet carrier, I went all the way to the top limit, and it was easy to see at this point why it is called a chalk stream! Ninety minutes, and a brown trout later, we stopped for lunch, lovely location for a fishing hut, well, okay, more accurately, a lovely location for a shed. At least it had a couple of chairs and it was nice to sit down for a few minutes after all the walking we had done. Back to the main Kennet after lunch, for more walking around throwing maggots in likely looking spots. Yet another “chubby” looking swim,......with no chub. I did manage to catch another three fish in the afternoon, two more brown trout and a very fat rainbow of around 5lbs, before the light started to fade…. ….and the call of the pub with good beer and an open fire became too strong to resist. A struggle of a day, but it was nice to be out in the fresh, if not a bit damp, air, with good company, and if fishing was easy all the time, it would get boring…..wouldn’t it ?
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