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Big Fish Column: Low pressure and rain gives anglers plenty to carp on about

It was another mixed week around our local fisheries, although the low pressure weather system that delivered strong winds and lashings of rain gave anglers much to cheer about.

Island carp

A big, low pressure weather system moving across the country in the middle of summer is not welcomed by most, but the autumnal twist to conditions did much to boost local fishing last week, with carp in particular responding well to the conditions.

The Island Lake at Theale remains one of the more consistent of the local carp waters and Maidenhead‘s Denny Edwards made the most of the change in conditions to fish a 24–hour session on the venue.

Arriving to find he had the lake almost to himself, he set up in a swim in the teeth of the wind offering several different options. A PVA bag down the edge and a popped–up bait over a small bed of bait in open water where he had seen fish showing during an initial walk around the venue were his choices.

Despite signs of fish in the margin. it was the open water bait that was taken and after an early morning battle lasting some five minutes Den netted a mirror carp of 21lb 6oz. A strawberry flavoured fishmeal boilie to a size 6 hook, 30lb hook length and 10lb main line was the successful set up.

Royal carp

Carp were showing well at the Royal Berkshire Fishery last week too and Windsor‘s Terry Wood was one of many anglers who enjoyed a great session, netting three fish to 15lb from Lake One on the complex. A small section of seafood flavoured meat on a size 8 hook to 8lb line was the successful tactic.


Thames chub

It was tough going on most local beats of the River Thames last week but Cookham rod Pete Walker netted a cracking summer chub of 5lb 14oz fishing a chunk of luncheon meat to an area of far bank cover. Pete beat the fish with a size 8 hook straight through to 8lb line.

Our main river has certainly benefited from the rain and could well be in great shape for the next couple of weeks if you can get away from the summer boat traffic.


Pleasure bags

There have been several good reports in from Finch Farm, where pleasure anglers have been putting together some nice mixed bags of carp, tench, bream and silvers.

Maidenhead‘s Jay Foster took one of the better catches alternating between a waggler and a light lead to take tench to 5lb. bream to 3lb and roach to 12oz on corn and maggot hook baits.

I am told the catfishing at Finch is particularly good at the moment too, so it‘s well worth a look if you are hoping to do battle with a couple of big local specimens.

The week ahead

With a forecast suggesting a lot of rain and temperatures below average for the time of year the autumnal feel to the weather could well do all anglers a favour over the next week or so! Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at

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