Big Fish Column: Fishing remains patchy despite more consistent weather

Despite more consistent weather conditions, fishing around the local area continued to be somewhat patchy last week with few anglers really getting to grips with either the still or running waters.

The rivers

Most of the local rivers are back to ‘normal‘ levels and conditions following the early season deluge and the fishing is tough with few barbel of note showing, inconsistent chub fishing and few roach and perch. Indeed, if it wasn‘t for Thames bream there would be little to report at present!

As for Thames bream they continue to feed hard pretty much everywhere on the river at present. Settle into a swim  as the boat traffic is tailing off and the sun going down almost anywhere on the river and, if you put enough fishmeal groundbait or pellet out, you will eventually start to catch them, and keep on catching them until you run out of bait and they move on. It‘s great fun if you are actually targeting them but proving troublesome for some Thames carp and barbel anglers who currently can‘t seem to get past them.

The stillwaters

Fishing on the local lakes and commercials is just as patchy but there are still some good tench feeding, despite the fact they have now finished spawning and are beginning to slow down.

Taplow‘s Daz Bennett reported some nice tench to the Advertiser earlier in the season and has continued to get amongst fish regularly on one of the smaller reading and District pits. His latest 48–hour session brought eight fish to 7lb 2oz, all of the fish falling for caster hook baits fished on a size 14 hook in conjunction with a groundbait feeder.

Carp fishing has improved a little now that most fish have spawned a couple of times and are finally beginning to feed. The best reported last week was netted by Windsor‘s Dave Parkinson from one of the small Burghfield waters. Dave employed a simple running rig with two mini boilies topped with a piece of maize to score with a lovely mirror of 23lb 14oz.

Last knockings for trout

With a water temperature now north of 22 degrees Centigrade it is the beginning of the end of the trout fishing over at Haywards Farm Lake. Catch and release has now been stopped and ticket prices reduced for the last couple of weeks before the water shuts for the summer.

For those fishers who did get out on the cooler days, or fished early or late in cooler conditions, there were trout to 10lb to be caught, with buzzers, hoppers, diawl bachs and damsels the key patterns. Rod average for the week was down to 2.2.

The week ahead

We are moving into the summer ‘Doldrums‘ and fishing everywhere is likely to be tough. Look to well–oxygenated water, such as weirpools, on the rivers for the best of the sport and travel light and keep an eye on the surface if you are chasing carp.

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at

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