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Big Fish Column: Couch lands monster 76lb catfish

INTRODUCTION

At last! It seems to have taken an eternity, but last weekend brought some genuinely warm temperatures and, with the forecast for the week ahead looking very promising indeed, I think we can safely say that the spring angling season is finally open for business!

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COMMERCIAL SUCCESS

The commercial pools have been the harbingers of spring as far as the local fishing scene is concerned and they have shown a steady improvement throughout the month and recent returns have confirmed this trend.

The fishing at New Farm Fishery remains particularly good with great results for match, pleasure and big fish anglers alike during the past week.

On the match front, the Slough Angling Society fished New Farm’s Match Lake last weekend and there were some excellent weights recorded with Lee Rose netting a mixed bag of 44lb 3oz to take the honours.

Rob Woodward was runner up with 30lb 1oz, Stan Robak was third with 29lb 14oz and Mark Quinn fourth with a mixed bag scaling 26lb 11oz.

As far as the bigger fish are concerned, Nathan Couch netted an absolute beast of a catfish last Friday night in the shape of a specimen weighing 76lb 2oz.

Head bailiff Alan Wolstencroft also tells me there have been plenty of smaller catfish up to 46lb banked and that the Carp Lake is fishing well too, with fish to the mid 20lb mark falling for solid bags of pellets and fluoro pop ups.

Carp were also showing in numbers at the Royal Berkshire Fishery last week and Maidenhead’s Dale Sharpe netted a fish of 18lb 8oz casting a flavoured pellet towards the island on Lake One.

Dale also netted a couple of smaller fish and beat them all with a size 10 barbless hook to 8lb line.

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BIG CARP

Onto larger carp and fishing on the day ticket Island Lake shifted into top gear last week too with Reading rod Phil Yeoman netting fish scaling 21lb 4oz and 28lb 12oz.

Phil presented cut down boilie hook baits tipped with a red maggot over a small bed of chopped boilies and maggots.

Phil fished an overnight session on the small venue and netted both fish during a brief early morning feeding spell with a size 9 hook to 30lb coated braid and a free running 3oz lead on 12lb main line the successful technique.

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TIME FOR TENCH – NEARLY

For the first time this spring numbers of tench have been beginning to show in catches and Jeff Adams reported that alternating between pole and light waggler tactics at Finch Farm Fishery brought a few tench to around the 4lb mark to his net, with maggot and corn hook baits proving successful.

It won’t be long before the bigger gravel pits begin to warm up sufficiently to really get the bigger fish on the move and May is now traditionally ‘the’ month for the species, although the delayed onset of spring this year could well shift the best of the tench fishing well into June.

I think the next week should bring some really excellent results from most local venues, so if you haven’t dusted off your tackle so far this year (and who can really blame you…) then now is definitely the time to do it.

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Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at ian@bigfistrail.com

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