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Big Fish Column: In-form big fish man Neil Wayte bags fabulous brace of chub

Ian Welch

Ian Welch

Rain, frost and snow flurries all conspired to make local angling decidedly tricky last week and it was tough going for the few who made the effort to get out and wet a line.

On the rivers chub were the key target species and once again it was the Thames which led the way with some cracking fish showing from the middle river, including a fabulous brace to in-form big fish man Neil Wayte.

Neil’s roving approach centres around bread and cheesepaste baits, the former tending to score best in clear water and the latter when the river is carrying a bit of colour. An hour to search a swim before moving on and a big feeder packed with liquidised bread is the method and last week it accounted for chub of 5lb 12oz and 6lb 3oz, both fish taking bread baits on a size 8 hook.

Also netting a big Thames chub last week was Cookham’s Sam Holmes who employed the bread and feeder approach to tempt a fish of 5lb 14oz from a backstream of the main river close to his home. A large ‘chunk’ of flake on a size 6 hook to 6lb line did the job for Sam.

As might be expected there were few reports from the stillwaters last week but there were a few pike anglers prepared to brave the conditions and Andy Turner netted a 14lb fish from one of the Reading and District pits on a pop-up smelt fished on size 8 semi-barbed trebles on 28lb wire and 12lb main line. Andy connected with the fish at the third attempt, following two dropped runs and banked it after what he described as a “short but lively scrap”.

Despite the cold weather local trout anglers have continue to enjoy some great sport at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre with Chris Williams taking the catch of the week in the shape of a superb brace comprising an 11lb 8oz brown trout with a rainbow of 8lb. A cat’s whisker pattern was the successful fly and both fish were returned alive on a catch and release ticket.

With the forecasters suggesting rising temperatures, prospects look a lot better for the week ahead and the rivers in particular should be in great form.

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at


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