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22.7.21 - River Kennet - Hambridge

A bonus 75 mins fishing in the 6th continuous day of 30 degrees temps with searing sun.  I don't have waders, which limits me, I believe to just two swims, both adjacent, so with 15 mins of baiting up time, a half hour in each is probably about right. Not a lot around today, just half a dozen small roach and a chunky 8oz dace, but I did end with my favourite fish, the gudgeon. Not much to report about the fishing, so here's a few gudgeon facts: - As well as being the most characte

Bayleaf the Gardener

Bayleaf the Gardener in Hambridge

21.7.21 - Speen Moors and K&A Canal, Enborne

Well, that was a bit rubbish. A fifth consecutive day of temps around 30 degrees with unbroken sunshine has been truly horrible for temperate people like me and fish alike. Thinking that the lakes would be hard with the fish not bothered with feeding (my first mistake?) I headed for Speen Moors with 15ft rod, centrepin, a couple of pints of maggots and bags of enthusiasm. The river looked fab, though reasonably slow paced, and I appreciate todays conditions weren't conducive and it was s

18.7.21 - River Kennet - Hambridge

A bonus 2 hours on a stinking hot Sunday.  Totalled 9 dace to 8oz, 6 roach to 4 oz, 5 minnows and a beautiful gudgeon (aren't they all?) Fun, but last as many again were hooked but shook themselves off such was their determination to get free, abetted by the flow of the river. Frustrating, as this included several bigger ones. Keep trying, Martin.

Bayleaf the Gardener

Bayleaf the Gardener in Hambridge

16.7.21 - Willows and Greenham Mill Runoff

Blimey, what a scorcher. I was hot and bothered by 9am and deeply regretting not choosing one of the shady swims on the east bank. My tactics, unless you can tell me otherwise, I believed were sound: (i)  Method feeder into open water where I had seen bubble patches, until the first carp appeared cruising under the surface, when I'd switch to: (ii) a bomb from with a length of floating line long enough to suspend a hook about 6 inches under the surface, concealed within, a hair-rigged

16 July

Alders Lake - Thatcham 1830 - 2300 Warm, sunny evening with a gentle breeze for much of it - which kept the mossies off for all but the last hour. 25ºC when I arrived - still 17ºC when I packed up. 3 Bream: 4lb 4oz, 3lb 14oz, 3lb 11oz. 1 Tench 3lb 13oz. 3 Carp; all ¾-1lb. 3 Perch - all 6-8oz. Productive evening which got off to a slow start. And whilst I had a perch first cast I'd have to wait 2 hours for my next bite. All the fish then came in a 90min spell around dusk. Agai

Christchurch trip 13-15 July

Despite much planning and useful advice from people on AN, tackle shop managers and anglers I met, my long awaited trip to the Bournemouth/Christchurch area yielded little in terms of fish. Tuesday evening: Royalty Fishery on the Avon. Wow, what a lovely river!  Trotting wasn't possible because the flow required being able to see the float further than my eyes will manage, but I tried double caster with a feeder. Several nice dace of about 5 oz, and then BANG!  At first I thought it was a m

14 July

River Kennet - Brimpton 1800 - 2200 (2½hrs trotting followed by 1½hrs on the lead) Warm, sunny evening. 24ºC when I arrived, 16ºC when I packed up. 1 Chub - small. 2 Dace. 4 Brownies; 2lb 12oz, a 'pounder' and a couple half that. An evening trotting for chub nearly ended chubless - for which I place the blame firmly at the door of Mr Trout! First bites in both my first 2 (out of 3) swims had an adipose and all of them chose to go airborne - the biggie repeatedly so which

13.7.21 - Alders & Willows

I've always intended to fish Alders on one of my weekly evening sessions, but the lure of the carp at Willows has always proved irresistible.  But arriving to find Willows very busy (l met a number of new members fishing for the first time there) including my preferred 'evening' swim, I decided tonight was the night. However, it was to be a disappointing evening, but with 2 noteworthy events. I Just one bite in 4 hours (a 3lb 12 tench) so crossed the causeway the by now nearly deserted Will

11.7.21 - River Kennet - Hambridge

A bonus hour-and-a-half session to use up some baits. A 15 foot rod, centrepin, 2SSG loafer float and a size 16 hook was great fun on the fast running water, and resulted in 4 chub (all between 8 and 12oz), 3 dace to 4oz, 6 small roach, my first fabulous gudgeon of the season and a minnow.  Home with a smile on my face and ready for the England v Italy final later.

9.7.21 - Alders and Greenham Mill runoff

Part 1: an early start in 'Dead Carp Corner' at Alders with the SW breeze blowing into my face. Had four tench between 3lb and 4lb 14 through the day on artificial corn/orange wafter (1 on float close in, the others on method feeder, all up against the lilies. Also had a hard-fighting bream, yes bream, of 5lb 8. This represents a par day at Alders - it seems impossible to peg down a shoal of the bream. I swapped to light float and maggot for an hour and caught 14 feisty perch (up to 6 ounces) an

9 July

Willows Lake - Thatcham 1800 - 0000 Warm, overcast with a southerly breeze to put a bit of ripple on the water - neigh on perfect conditions - pity no one told the fish! 2 Carp 12lb 14oz & 6 lb 7oz. 1 Tench c1lb & a Perch. Dismal evening on the float despite same tactics/baits and swim to my last trip here in June. No bites before 2030 - and precious few after that despite the odd fish rolling in my swim! Thankfully I had a Plan B. I'd thrown a couple of slices of bre

6.7.21 - Willows

A fun evening after having started with a spate of the heavy showers that had been forecast earlier in the day. One of the more torrential downpours started soon after I'd had my first bite and was playing a carp of maybe 6 or 7lbs. As it towed up-and-down it darkened and there was a loud rumble of thunder in the trees behind me. Not really wanting to be standing there with a rod acting as a lightning conductor, I more or less yanked the fish into the net through the rain-thrashed surface b

4.7.21 - Alders & Greenham Mill run-off

Well, that was a strange day. There were eight anglers on Willows when I arrived, enough to keep the fish quiet, so I crossed the causeway to the deserted Alders. For several hours I watched patches of Mr Crabtree-eque frothy tench bubbles rising near my float but could not tease a single bite.  The patches disappeared with sunshine, so before making my planned move to my local Greenham Mill, I thought I'd switch to a light float and small hook/ maggot combo with a view to winkling-out the

02.07.21 - Willows

Perhaps I should have expected it. After a week of vets bills, repeated hitting of my funny bone on the elbow with tendonitis, breakdown of my newly serviced hedge trimmers mid job, followed by multiple bee stings when disturbing a subterranean bee hive while clearing up the few leaves I'd severed, a second consecutive quiet session at Willows was almost inevitably on the cards. Knowing the carp would be in the upper levels, I experimented with a zig-based rig  once the morning winds had ea

2 July - Part 2 (pm)

River Kennet - Brimpton 1300 - 1530 Warm, mainly overcast - though with more sunshine than before lunch - very muggy. AT 20ºC and feeling particularly sticky after a longish walk through the undergrowth! River quite full! Think the weir at Colthrop has been opened up more than the one at Crookham - there was a LOT of water coming down the Aldershot - too much to wade out at the tail of the weirpool! 3 Chub; 4lb 5oz, 4lb 0oz, 2lb 11oz. 3 Dace, 1 Roach & 5 Brownies (½lb - 1¼lb)

2 July - Part 1 (am)

River Kennet - Thatcham 0900 - 1200 Warm, overcast and quite muggy. AT 20ºC but felt MUCH warmer. River low (but see part 2!) 3 Chub: 3lb 13oz, 2lb 7oz, 1lb 14oz. 2 Dace, 2 Roach & 2 Brownies - both around 8-10oz. Scratchy morning as most of my 'usual' swims here didn't have enough water in them. Fished 9 swims in total but only caught from a couple of them - nearly all fish came from the weirpool - apart from a couple of the chub which were extracted from one of their us

Rudd and Roach at Grove Pond 30.6.21

This was an experimental session, feeding hemp but trying different hook baits up in the water to see which worked best. My conclusion, at least today, was maggot for the rudd and double caster for the roach. My best fish were a rudd of 13oz on maggot and a roach of 14oz on double caster. The casters were dark red, and would therefore have floated except for the weight of the hook, and so would have sunk very slowly which may have appealed to the roach. As well as tares I also tried artific

29.6.21 - Willows

Fishing, or England v Germany in the Euros? A dilemma indeed, but I could always watch the highlights when I got home, so bankside I went. There were quite a few anglers when I arrived which meant I couldn't have he swim I wanted, but on an overcast evening with the wind in my face, it looked good. Nothing happened in the first hour except the gusty north wind leading to two unnecessary and spiteful reel tangles which had me breaking the line and retackling twice. But then at 5pm on th

26.6.21 - Greenham Mill canal run-off

When I rediscovered fishing last year after a 20-odd year hiatus, I had a couple of short sessions on this very shallow stretch of water about 250 yards from my front door. There is only one swim, two maybe when the weeds die down for winter, and I'd never seen anyone fish there in the 10 years or so I've lived nearby. Foolishly, I didn't pack my centrepin which would have been ideal, but in an hour and a half trotting an 18-inch deep rig, managed3 roach (to 4 ounces), 2 dace (similar), 7 b

25.6.21 - Alders and Brimpton

Started off in morning rain at Alders, the only one on the lake all day. Typical Alders, quite a few line bites and the method feeder being played with, but no takes. The only fish, two bream in the 5lb range who actually fought quite well, came on float-fished sweetcorn off the lilies in Dead-Carp-Corner. When the clouds cleared and the temperature shot up at midday, the bites stopped and I packed up for Brimpton, my first river Kennet session of the new season. Hmm, I loose fed maggots, a

25 June

Alders Lake - Thatcham 1800 - 2300 Warm and sunny evening - with cloud cover coming in at dusk which: a) kept temps up at around 14ºC and, b) kept the dew off which was nice! 3 Tench; 4lb 7oz, 2lb 3oz, 1lb 12oz. 1 Bream 3lb 8oz. 3 Carp (!) one 'handsized' the other 2 slightly bigger at around a lb a piece. 5 Perch. Very pleasant evening on the float - though the carp were an unwelcome sight - this was meant to be a carp free lake when it was restocked after the fish kill of 2

Grove Pond - Hemp and Tares 25.6.2021

5.15 - 7.15pm. I'd had a crack at the roach with hemp and tares a couple of days ago, but was frustrated by very few hook-ups. This time I did much better. I wondered if the tare was sliding round the hook and masking the point. Switching from size 16 to 14 helped a lot. They were still very fast, tricky bites but I managed 23 roach and one rudd up to half a pound or just over.

24 June

River Kennet, Bulls Lock 1330 - 1530 Overcast and muggy. AT 19ºC but felt much warmer. 8 Dace, 3 Roach & 2 Brownies (2lb+ and one of around 12oz) Had to restock the bait fridge so perfect excuse (not that I EVER need an excuse) to run a float through a new swim for a couple of hours. As ever Chub were the intended quarry though the only fish to put a serious bend in the rod had an adipose fin - also lost 2 troot to hook pulls - though trout being trout they were probably
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