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  1. Middle Kennet Weirpool - Marsh Benham 0500 - 1100 Warm, sunny and quite humid - temps already 15º C when I pulled into the car park at 0430. A lovely summer's morning - though the mossies were out in force! 10 Chub; 7 over pound, with 2 over 4lb - biggest 4lb 9oz. 2 doz Dace and Roach - in roughly equal nos - slightly more dace than redfins - nothing particularly big, though most of the roach were 'hand-size' or better. 1 Perch; under lb but needed the net, 1 Rainbow - c3lb. Throughout my teens and early 20s - 16th June was always spent on a weirpool on the lower Kennet - and this is now the 2nd year running I've started my season here - on a nice quiet spot above Newbury. Chub, as always, were a first day target and they didn't disappoint - nice to get a brace of 4s - they looked in fine condition too. Took a ledgering rod - and again not a sniff on ledgered meat - they clearly prefer maggot!
  2. River Kennet - Marsh Benham 0500 - 1400 Bright and breezy with heavy showers. River with good flow and a tinge of usual summer colour. 4 Chub to 3lb, 1 Bream; 4lb 3oz, 5 Dace, 4 Roach & a Perch. And so another season begins - a nice quiet secluded start on my syndicate stretch. All fish on trotted maggot despite ledgering for several hours (during the rain) with meat - which didn't produce a jot of interest - not even from the cray fish!
  3. 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.
  4. Chris Plumb

    25 June

    River Kennet/Carrier, Marsh Benham 1000 - 1230 Overcast, warm and breezy. A brace of 3lb chub and a dozen chublets. 18 Roach, all small. 6 Dace, 1 Perch, 1 Brownie and 1 Rainbow. A venue that will see more of me in the winter months when there's a bit more water in it - but as I now have unfettered access wanted to see it in its summer finery!! had been told to expect lots of weed - but still found plenty of spots to drop into. Was hoping to pick up something a little bigger on the roach front but it was good to see so many fish present. Both bigger chub from the main river.
  5. Chris Plumb

    16 August

    River Kennet/Carrier, Marsh Benham 0900 - 1300 Warm, muggy and overcast. River low. 8 Chub; a 3lber and 7 chublets, 30+ roach, a doz dace, 5 perch, 2 bleak and a 3½lb rainbow.
  6. Middle Kennet Estate - Kintbury 0800 - 1600 Bright and very windy especially on the meadows. River high and carrying quite a bit of colour - much more than is usual for here. Mild, around 10ºC all day. 18 Chub (!!): Only 1 under 2lb, most around 3lb with 6 fish over 4lb - biggest 5lb exactly (over 63lb of chub). 2 Grayling 2lb 5oz (!) & 1lb 3oz. 9 Brownies to 3lb+. For some time now Paul and I have had 2 dates pencilled in over the Christmas period to go fishing - 23rd & 27th. Dates of 2013's pre & post Christmas storms!! As Monday's trip was cancelled we kept a very keen eye on the next weather system and were gratified at its early arrival - meaning the day would be at least dry - if somewhat windy! However Monday delivered over 2 inches of rain and last night another third of an inch. The river wasn't flooded but it would be very coloured up. The river keeper thought we were barmy - but permissions were granted!! We agreed that we'd at least turn up have a look and if need be get back in the car and go somewhere else (though we really didn't have a Plan B!)We were pleasantly surprised at the levels - not at all flooded and whilst it was quite coloured we could just make out the bottom in fast shallows runs. So we concurred it was not completely hopeless - and set off to find some sheltered (from the wind)swims. Expectations were lowered somewhat - Paul even said we wouldn't get any grayling today!!! Any worries that it would be a struggle we quickly dispelled - fishing float fished red corn in a known chub spot I had 30lb of them in the first hour! Paul got off to a slower start so I invited him to run a float through said swim and sure enough the float dipped at THE spot and he was soon bringing a chub to the net. Eventually the bites dried up and I agreed to rest it 'til then end of the day and for Paul to finish off there - though when he did there were rather more trout than chub in residence! After this fantastic start it was off to explore some of the other favoured swims at the venue. The place used to be excellent for big perch - though the hotspot for these hasn't produced a decent fish for a few years - as was the case again today. After this Paul and I went our separate ways until lunch - Paul seeking out dace me just fishing for whatever! Just above the 'perch' swim is a trot where I've had chub in the past so I decided to trot maggot through it for a few minutes. Sure enough I was immediately into a fish - taken just where I expected a chub to be laying. The fight was somewhat prolonged and I was beginning to think it was a trout when up through the milky waters popped up a rather large grayling. I've caught bigger ladies from the Itchen and Dorset Frome but this is my biggest ever Kennet fish. Most unexpected and most welcome! The rest of the day was spent on the windswept meadows trying to eek out my supplies of sweetcorn. Highlight of the afternoon was 4 X 4lb+ chub in 4 casts - again all on red corn - they were really having it today! Paul managed to find some dace - I think he had a round a dozen with fish upto 10oz plus his chub count got into double figures. I don't think either of us expected such a good day's angling! Some Pics. No Perch here! One of Paul's Dace. Despite blowing a hoolie - Paul finds a quiet spot!
  7. Chris Plumb

    12 March

    Middle Kennet Estate - Kintbury 0730 - 1730 Cool (5ºC or thereabouts all day) and very blowy with frequent squally showers of rain,sleet or hail! River VERY VERY high - highest I've ever seen it here - many swims needed waders just to get to the'bank'. 21 Chub; 7 over 4lb - biggest 6lb 3oz - a real lump! 4 Dace; 2 that were weighed went 14oz & 12oz - the other 2 weren't much smaller. 2 Roach - small and only 3 Brownies - all 3lb + A wild day on a wild venue - thankfully though, despite the huge volumes of water everywhere, the chub were in their usual haunts. Spent until mid afternoon just trotting red corn (got through 3 tins of the stuff) before switching to one of the carriers for a succesful dace hunt. My first 6lb chub from this venue since my PB from here back in 2012.
  8. Kennet Carrier - Marsh Benham 0645 - 1145 Mild with sunny spells AT 12ºC when I packed up. River VERY full but with little colour. 17 Chub (!): 8 over 3lb - best 4lb 4oz, the rest all over 2lb. 6 Brownies to nearly 5lb & a 2lb Rainbow. Start of my 4 day end of season extravaganza when I hope to fish 7 or 8 venues in the next 4 days. First up was 'my' syndicate stretch of the middle Kennet and for the first time this winter 'Chub Corner' lived up to its moniker. First 7 fish I landed were all without an adipose and whilst the 8th fish was a 2lb brownie the scene was set for a bit of a chub fest! Seems half the syndicate had the same idea - usually have the place to myself but 5 other anglers turned up this morning - including Rusty with a cunning plan to try and avoid the troot - which wasn't exactly working when I left him!!!
  9. River Kennet & Carrier - Marsh Benham 0900 - 1430 Overcast and fairly warm (18ºC). River low and clear. 6 Chub: Biggest 3lb 15oz the rest all less than half that! 3 Doz Dace and Roach in roughly equal nos. A couple of really nice dace of 10 & 11oz and quite a few roach in the 6-8oz class with a couple bigger ones (best went 12oz). 3 Perch - best nearly 1lb, 1 Bleak. Lovely day's trotting. Did try a couple of hours ledgering - with no returns (not even a crayfish!)
  10. River Kennet (and carrier) Marsh Benham 0930 - 1530 Overcast, mild and quite breezy. River down on a fortnight ago (well we have had zero rainfall in that time). 3 Chub; 4lb 1oz, 3lb 3oz & 2lb 11oz. 1 Pike 2lb 10oz, 4 doz Roach & Dace (roughly 2 -1 ratio). Biggest roach 12oz with a lot more circa 8oz. 2 Brownies 4lb 14oz & a pounder, 2 Rainbows - both 3lbers (possibly same one!) Chilled out birthday trip! Carrier was very low so fish were very spooky - though did land the pike from here which had clamped down on a dace and didn't let go - steered it into the net before it realised what was happening! Most of the time spent trotting the weirpool. Big brownie was actually a bit of a disappointment - didn't fight at all like a troot - kept deep, hugging the bottom radiating gigantism, thought it had to be a huge chub - though I even entertained the notion it might be a barbel - didn't see it till I brought it to the net. Stunning fish but not what I was after!!
  11. Chris Plumb

    28 July

    River Kennet - Marsh Benham 0830 - 1430 Warm, bright and breezy with a couple of lumpy showers. River still higher than anticipated and carrying quite a bit of colour. 2 Pike; both 3lbers, 7 Chublets, 1½doz Roach. 1 Doz Dace, 1 Perch, 1 Gudgeon, 2 Bleak and a Trout. First trip of the season to 'my' syndicate stretch of river - both pike on ledgered meat from the weirpool - had me thinking I hooked small barbel both times!
  12. 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!
  13. Chris Plumb

    7 March

    Middle Kennet Estate 0715 - 1730 Mild (max 15ºC) with sunny spells after early morning drizzle. River high with more colour than I expected. 15 Chub; all over 1lb - best 4lb 7oz, most between 2-3lb.15 Roach - quite a few 'chunky' ones with the best 2 going 1lb 2oz & 15oz. And err 15 dace. 7 perch; all small except one 'pounder' & 'only' 3 brownies to 2½lb. Usual 'chub fest' at this ever reliable venue though Paul and I started out trying to snaffle the weirpool monster - a large pike that Paul was briefly connected to last time we came here. Alas, whilst we saw loads of pike today - none were playing ball so we were soon into our usual mode here of wandering from swim to swim. Paul had a similar catch return - though reflecting his slightly differing priorities to me - getting more dace and roach (including some really chunky dace) and less chub. Though he did manage the biggest chub of the day at 4lb 11oz. Oh and he even caught a pike - by accident! a small jack snaffled a dace he was bringing in and managed to hook itself! My biggest roach & chub (more pics expected from Paul!) Think I've worked out why I often catch more than Paul - he spends half the time taking pictures! A selection that he took yesterday!  And he even took one of a fish - presumably his biggest chub!
  14. Middle Kennet Estate - Nr Newbury 0830 - 1615 Wild morning - wet and windy. Rain stopped at 1130 to give a bright afternoon with the wind dropping. Mild, 10ºC. 7 Chub; 2 @ 5lb+ - best 5lb 4oz - the rest around 2½ - 2¾lb, one under 2lb. 9 Roach quite a few chunky ones up to 1lb. 1 Dace (8oz). 1 Gudgeon. 6 Brownies to 3lb. 8 Rainbows to 4lb 8oz Another day's fishing, another storm - and at least today I had the River Keeper to thank for staying reasonably dry! We were given permission to fish - providing we kept to the main river - and started at the bottom beats of the fishery. The carriers and the rest of the estate were out of bounds as they were being used for shooting. We were promised a call for when it was safe to progress upstream. All this meant Paul and I made base camp underneath the A34 - at least out kit would stay dry and whilst Paul ventured out to a known hotspot just upstream I decided to start trotting from the dry confines of the bridge! Whilst it may have been 'fairly' dry it was like fishing in a wind tunnel with my float regularly been blown upstream against the current. I was however more than gratified to get some fish from here - a couple of the chub AND the 1lb roach amongst the highlights. The forecast was for a dry afternoon - thankfully accurate - and with the call from the keeper giving us the all clear we made our way upstream. Paul had caught very little for his troubles - and we both fish another known chub slack - Paul getting off the mark and I baggsied another brace of schoolies. I then spent the rest of the afternoon working my way down a long deep run trotting red corn for chub (I remembered to bring copious amounts with me today). Unfortunately the trout/chub ratio was rather on the high side -but at least I was rewarded with a brace of 5lbers the bigger one my best of the season so far. A brace of 5s.
  15. Chris Plumb

    14 March

    Middle Kennet Estate - Kintbury 0715 - 1800 Cold and frosty start - bright and sunny morning with some cloud in the afternoon. Cool but light breeze. AT -3ºC->6ºC but felt much warmer out of the wind and in the sun! Almost spring like and a vast improvement on Monday (and last Friday!) 16 Chub; Only 1 under 2lb, most over 3lb, biggest 5lb 2oz. Over 55lb in total!. 3 dace - 1 goodun of 11oz, 1 Roach (small), 1 Grayling circa 12-14oz. 7 Brownies to 2½lb. 1 Rainbow c2lb. Ton Up!! Looking through my diary on Wednesday night I realised I needed 9 chub over 1lb to make it 100 for the season - the first time I've ever achieved this!! So today was an all out chub hunt - and I'd reached my target by lunchtime - though 2 of those had obligingly turned up in 'dace swims'! All chub caught trotting with about half caught on red corn and the other half on maggot. Paul's was after monster dace though in the bright morning sunshine he struggled somewhat and had only managed one when we met up for Jaq's Parsnip Soup. Fair play to him though as he stuck at it and managed some crackers in the afternoon - 3 fish totally 2¼lb! in an overall catch of 7 dace. Overall numbers of them seem well down something even the river keeper commented on - and again both of us failed to find any perch - big or otherwise - which used to be one of the highlights of fishing here.... Pic of my 5lber... Most of the dace Paul and I were catching were in spawning condition - males sandpapery, females pigeon chested. However big dace tend to spawn first - and this huge dace caught by Paul was very hollow and had clearly just done its thing - a pity because given the length of it it should have been bigger than the 12ozs it registered on both our scales - we'd love to have caught it a fortnight ago! More piccies from Paul's camera. Dace swim. Walkng the plank? Frosty start.
  16. Middle Kennet Carrier 0900 - 1645 Bright and and sunny after a frosty/misty start. 2 brief showers (& 2 brilliant rainbows) in the afternoon. River 'full' and carrying some colour. 50 Roach & dace (2/3rds Roach - 1/3rd Dace), 2 roach 'scraper' 1lbers (1 weighed). Biggest dace 10oz with 3 others around 8oz. 2 chub (2lb and a chublet). 7 Brown Trout - Biggest 5lb 10oz (new PB), 1 Rainbow (2lb+), 2 gudgeon. Lovely day spent as Merv's guest on his syndicate stretch. (Thanks Merv!! ) Brownies were a bit of a pest as they always seemed to turn up just as you were getting a swim built up - but I'll let them off with a PB which I'd hooked and lost in the morning - hook was still in it when I got it 2nd time! Merv had a splendid roach of 1lb 10z and a 5¼lb bream.
  17. Chris Plumb

    7 March

    Middle Kennet 0645 - 1815 Bright and very breezy after early rain. River at 'normal' levels and quite clear. 5 chub (4lb 13oz, others all around 1lb), 7 perch (3 X 1-1¼lb) 12 dace (just 1 good un - 9oz), 5 grayling (all 10-14oz), 3 small roach, 2 gudgeon & 20 trout to 3½lb. A hurriedly re-arranged trip in the light of Monday's weather forecast (when we were due to go!). Biggest Chub and 4 of the Grayling on trotted sweetcorn. Perch on lobs everything else on maggot. Paul had some nice Perch at dusk - his best a plump 2lb 9oz stripey. Paul's Perch. Where he caught it.
  18. Chris Plumb

    14 March

    River Kennet nr Newbury 0645 - 1845 Mild, overcast and calm. Some light drizzle early on (despite being forecast to rain all day!) 11ºC. River at normal levels with just a hint of colour - Couldn't ask for more perfect conditions! 8 Chub (5lb 2oz, 4lb 15oz, 4lb 5oz, 3lb 14oz, 3lb 10oz, 3lb 8oz & 2 chublets). 3 Doz Dace - handful of 'good-uns' - best 12oz, 1½Doz Roach, best 2; 1lb0oz & 13oz, ½doz Gudgeon, 4 Perch (all small), 2 Salmon Smolt, 2 Brownies, biggest 8lb 12oz* (!!) , 2 Rainbows, biggest 4lb 8oz. Great end to the season. Chub in fantastic winter condition - a fought really well in the fast water. Trout, (a new PB by some way) took an age to land and I then discovered my camera didn't work Paul was at the other end of fishery and I was more keen to get the magnificent fish back in the river - I would not have been popular with the keeper if that had gone belly up!!! All fish on trotted maggot The AnglersNet Centre Pin performing admirably - will be writing a full review of it this weekend. Spent the last 3 hours with the swim feeder and bread flake in what appeared to be ideal conditions for the roach - but only a pesky rainbow showed up. Paul had perch to 2lb, roach to 1lb 5oz & chub to 4½lb. * 6 weeks ago my PB brownie was 4lb 2oz (a fish I caught in August '97 from the lower Kennet nr Reading) I've now had 3 fish over that mark in the past month! Pic below is of the 4-15 chub - and no that's a leaf on my finger not a slug
  19. River Kennet - Near Newbury 0730 - 1630 Bright and breezy - rain from 1500. 4º -> 11ºC. River rose an inch and coloured up a bit during the day. 13 Chub ( 5lb 9oz, 5lb 3oz, 4lb 7oz, 4lb 1oz, 3lb 10oz, 3lb 8oz 3lb 0oz, 2lb 11oz, 2lb 8oz. 1¼lb - & 3 chublets!) 7 Brown Trout - biggest 4lb 14oz, 6 Rainbow trout - biggest 3¾lb, c100 Dace & Roach - in roughly equal nos. Best roach 12oz, best dace 9oz, ½doz Gudgeon! River was teaming with silvers - many dace and roach around the 4-6oz stamp. Most chub - including all the 4lb+ fish from main river - 3 from carrier. All fish on trotted maggot.
  20. Middle Kennet* 0815 - 1630 Bright and Breezy. River 'full' and carrying some colour - dropping out during the day. 8 Chub - best 3; 4lb, 3lb 13oz, 3lb 6oz, other 5 <2½lb. 13 roach - best 3; 2lb 1oz (Yippee!!), 1lb 12oz, 1lb 10oz, (next biggest 14oz), 10 dace (6 over 8oz - biggest 11oz), 5 Brownies (to around 3lb), 3 Rainbows (ditto!), 1 Salmon Parr and a Gudgeon! Fantastic day! Fished with Paul - who I think had a similar day - catching more smaller fish - though only one chub and 3 1lb+ roach to 1.10. All my fish fell to trotted maggot. Paul's biggest roach fell (eventually) to bread - once he'd fed the Rainbow's off (he had one of 7lb!). Did quite a bit of wandering around as fish quite hard to find at first. First 2lb + roach for nearly 5 years (since Feb 03). * - How the EA classify the Kennet: Upper reach; Source to Eddington Bridge, Hungerford. Middle reach; Eddington Bridge to A34 Newbury by-pass. Lower reach; A34 to the Thames
  21. Middle Kennet 0845 - 1745 Bright and sunny after a cold (-7ºC) start. River still 'full' with nearly all colour dropped out. 3 doz Dace - best 10oz. 3 Perch (2lb 2oz, 1¼lb), 1 Chub 3lb 11oz, 7 Brownies to 2lb, 1 Rainbow 1½lb. 1 Roach, 1 Grayling. Usual day of playing 'hunt the fish'. Fish quite spooky in bright conditions - necessitating many swim moves - though the dace in the 'keepers cottage' swim were positively suicidal at times! Dace are close to spawning condition - caught quite a few sand-papery males. Perch on lobs.
  22. Middle Kennet 0800 - 1730 Bright, calm and sunny after a frosty, misty start. River still high with most colour now dropped out. 10 chub (3lb 7oz, 1¾lb & 8 chublets), 40 roach (best 1lb 3oz, 3 or 4 others ½ decent - most very small), 20 Dace (4 'good-uns', best 10oz), 7 Brownies - biggest 4lb 11oz*, 1 rainbow 2½lb, 2 gudgeon. Most - actually nearly all apart from the 3-7 chub and a couple of brownies - fish caught in first and last couple of hours. Walked miles in between times looking for fish prepared to feed in bright conditions. Biggest roach on trotted bread flake in first hour - though most fish on red magg (trout seem to like bread even more than maggots!). Saw remarkable sight of 5 buzzards circling and calling in the same thermal (right above us). Paul had 2 or 3 dozen - mainly roach plus the obligatory brownies and a 2½lb chub. *2nd biggest ever - would have been a PB but for last Monday!
  23. Chris Plumb

    8 March

    River Kennet - Nr Newbury 0700 - 1800 Bright and breezy - with heavy afternoon showers - becoming really quite windy. Max AT 10ºC. River 'full' and carrying a bit of colour, 7 Chub - best 3; 6lb 6oz (new PB) , 4lb 5oz, 4lb 0oz) 70+ Roach and Dace in roughly equal nos. - all small save for one lovely roach of 1lb 1oz, ½doz Gudgeon, 1 skimmer Bream, 1 small Perch, 5 Brownies - biggest 4lb 4oz, 1 Rainbow 2½lb. A day of the river with Paul. All fish of trotted maggot (single reds mainly). Big chub (my 4th 6lb+ fish) from weirpool - just as it started raining. Paul had a succesful -if rather different day. Had no chub - despite us fishing the same swims (I had my 6 from a swim he'd not long vacated! ) He did manage a couple of pike. A brace of ½ decent perch - and last cast of the day - a surprise common carp. (From my 'banker' chub swim!!). Both his biggest pike and carp weighed exactly the same - 9lb 6oz.
  24. 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.
  25. Chris Plumb

    13 March

    River Kennet - Barton Court 0630 - 1815 Dull and over cast some light drizzle in the morning some milky sunshine in the afternoon. Max AT 11ºC. 17 Perch: 9, 1½lb+, best 3: 2lb11oz, 2lb 6oz, 2lb 0oz. 1 Chub 2lb 10oz, 3 Dace, 2 Roach, 7 Gudgeon, 1 Brownie - 1¼lb Anglers Net fish-in. Biggest two perch from Gunters, all others (including chub) from Railway Cut. 4 perch on maggot 5 on float fished lobs.
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