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Big Fish Column: Busy week for local anglers

The fishing may have been mostly quiet but it has been a busy news week around the local angling scene.

Justice at last for the Maidenhead Ditch

Justice can sometimes take a long time to be delivered and just last week Thames Water were ordered to pay £100,000 in costs for their pollution of the Maidenhead Ditch, a tributary of the River Thames, with raw sewage back in June 2014.

Environment Agency spokesman, Ben Govan, said:

“Our officers believe up to 30 million litres of sewage polluted the ditch, hundreds of fish died and the environment suffered as a result. This pollution could, and should, have been avoided had the many warnings and alerts leading up to the incident been dealt with properly.”

Rain brings a big Thames barbel

The rivers have not been in great shape for the last couple of weeks and at this time of year it can really be tough going on the flowing waters but, thankfully, rivers do respond quickly to changing conditions.

Last week‘s rain did much to perf things up and after a slow period Windsor‘s Romney Island burst into life almost as soon as the heavens opened with Mike Cranston netting a cracking barbel of 11lb 15oz. The forecast return to hot, dry conditions might well slow things up again this week though.

Record cat at Finch Farm

Catfish are, of course, one of the species that keep feeding throughout the summer, rain or shine, and Ray Brooker has been in touch to report that a new Finch Farm record was caught on the venue‘s Cat Lake with a specimen of 51lb 4oz falling to Lee Nowodny. Finch is in good shape for other species too with several carp to mid doubles showing with plenty of  quality roach and crucians for the pleasure anglers.

Any method at Haywards Farm

Just a reminder that next weekend, July 27 and 28 sees our top local trout fishery, Haywards Farm Lake, opens up for any method fishing to clear the remaining trout out ahead of its summer closure.

It‘s a great chance to have a bit of fun, bring a few trout home for the table and, perhaps, connect with one of the lake‘s huge pike or perch. I‘ll certainly be there with a light lure rod on Sunday if you want to say hello.

Tickets for the weekend must be booked in advance with 0118 930 3860 the number you need to call.

Calling all A4 match anglers

The A4 match team are one of the top outfits in the UK and, as many of you will know, they originated in Maidenhead, the name coming from the A4 road.

It seems incredible, but the team is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer and everyone with a squad connection is invited to join the celebrations in the lounge bar of Tilehurst‘s Royal British Legion from 6 to 9pm on Friday, August 23. There will be much reminiscing and fishing talk over drinks and a buffet before the celebration moves on to a local curry house.

Anyone who would like to attend and catch up with old fishing friends should RSVP to before July 31. Is it really 50 years, really…?

Anyone wishing to report catches may contact me at

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