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Big Fish Column: 'Stagnant' stretches of River Thames in need of a good flush through

It has been another mostly slow week around the local fisheries, with few captures of note reported and prospects for early September looking mixed at best.


River Thames

Local beats of the Thames look somewhat stagnant and it is clear that all our rivers are in need of a good flush through. That said, the Thames remains the best of a very mediocre bunch at present and there are a few fish to be found if you but in a little bit of time.

It probably goes without saying that the Thames bream are still feeding but those anglers looking for other species are finding a few between the bream and Windsor angler Jerry Briggs netted a nice Thames barbel of 9lb 4oz last weekend.

Jerry fished a 20mm boilie in an attempt to beat the bream but despite the size of the hook bait he did pick up three ‘slabs‘ before a barbel picked up the hook bait. Proof that persistence pays off and it really does pay to keep fishing through the bream. Jerry beat the fish on a size 8 hook to a 12lb fluorocarbon hook length and 12lb main line.

For those actively seeking the bream, Pangbourne is well worth a look and it was this beat that produced a dozen fish to 6lb for Twyford‘s Paul Hayward. Paul fished a heavy groundbait feeder with a soft pellet hook bait on a size 10 hook to a 6lb hook length and 8lb main line. My spies tell me there are a few good carp showing in this area at the moment, if you can wade through the bream shoals - or get lucky!


No change

Staying with the rivers and it was announced by the Environment Agency last week that, following a long consultation process, there will be no change to the current statutory close season dates of 15 March to 15 15 June inclusive. Rather like Brexit there was never likely to be a ‘one size fits all‘ answer to keep all anglers happy but at least, unlike Brexit, we now know exactly where we stand!


Autumn carp

The best of the autumn carp fishing tends to kick in during October but there are good fish to be caught at present and Burnham‘s Ed Anderson fished one of the Burghfield venues to land a cracking mirror of 24lb 12oz.

Ed fished a 24 hour session with a trimmed boilie over a small bed of particles and crushed boilies to take the fish from a gravel patch at the edge of a drop off from a small island. Ed hooked the fish just before first light and beat it with a size 10 hook to a 25lb coated braid hook length and 12lb main line.

There are some nice fish showing at Royal Berkshire too and Windsor rod Terry Wood took four fish to 16lb from Lake One on the complex last week. Terry fished a carp pellet wrapped with paste on a size 10 barbless hook to 8lb line to take the fish.


The week ahead

With the forecasters suggesting little in the way of rainfall, the local rivers are likely to remain below par for the week ahead but at least the consistency of conditions should make the fishing steady.

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at

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