Big Fish Column: Tench fishing begins to move through the gears after a slow start

It has been another excellent week around the local angling scene with the weather warm, but not too warm, and the light bright, but not too bright. Catches everywhere are on the up.

Time for tench

Tench fishing was very slow to start this year but has now started to move up the gears and anglers everywhere are now getting amongst the fish, on both float and feeder gear and commercial and gravel pit alike. The best local fish of the season to date fell to the rod of Big Fish Column regular Baz Matthews last week, who targeted the species in one of the Twyford gravel pits.

Baz took six fish to an impressive 8lb 14oz during a 24 -hour session on the water, presenting sweetcorn and red maggot cocktail baits on feeder gear comprising 8lb main line to a 6lb hook length and size 14 hook.


New Farm Fishery

Alan Wolstencroft has filed his weekly update and New Farm Fishery has continued its exceptional start to the spring with all lakes on the complex producing excellent fishing.

The Catfish Lake started to produce good fish well before the temperatures really picked up and it is now in full summer form with specimens to just under 60lb netted last week. Alan himself had a great catch of eight cats up to 47lb 4oz in 36 hours with meat, leeches and Stinky Singles all producing well. For those not in the know, Stinky Singles are high-attract hook baits packed with fish oil that are available in squid and crab and fish oil flavours, if you are targeting catfish it’s well worth popping a bag or two in your kit.

It’s not just the Catfish Lake that has been in form, the Carp Lake has been producing some excellent fish too with carp to 26lb 9oz on Robin Red pellets and fluoro dumbells. Pleasure anglers on the lake have been getting amongst some nice crucians and tench too.

Finally, the Match Lake has been in amazing form with bags of fish to 98lb coming out with carp, barbel, tench, roach and rudd all showing to pole fished pellet or corn with swims close to the island or in the margins producing the best results.


Finch Farm

The Catfish Lake at Finch Farm is also fishing well and Ray Brooker reports that numbers of fish in the 20, 30 and 40lb range are coming out, along with large carp and bream. Carp and bream are also showing well on Anaconda One Lake, with carp to low doubles along with bream in the 3 to 6lb bracket being caught. On the venue’s Main Lake good mixed bags are being caught on all baits with the evening producing the better fish.


Buzzers, buzzers, buzzers…

Local trout anglers have also enjoyed a marvellous week and fishing at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre has been superb, despite the occasional bright, sunny conditions.

Chris Hayward reports that the fish are totally focused on buzzers and almost every angler fishing one is catching but - and it’s a big but - only when they are fished totally static. Chris tells me that if you induce any sort of movement in your fly then the trout will probably ignore it! It is, in fact, almost like coarse fishing for trout with your fly literally suspended beneath a floating indicator!

The most notable bag of the week went to venue regular Martin Thumwood who took ten fish to 5lb in a great session, including a nice blue.  The biggest fish of the week were a 9lb rainbow and an 8lb blue with a good rod average of 4.2.

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at


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