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Big Fish Column: Chub or bust as anglers start to feel the chill of winter

INCONSISTENT weather conditions are never good for angling prospects and last week brought some of the toughest conditions of the season to date, it is finally beginning to look – and indeed feel -  as if winter has arrived!

Chub or bust

Falling temperatures certainly changed the dynamics of the local rivers and it was very much a case of ‘chub or bust’ on most of the local flowing venues last week.

We are fortunate to have some cracking chub venues locally and, on its day, St. Patrick’s Stream is the equal of any of them and it was from the small Twyford river that local rod Fred Greengrass netted the best chub reported locally last week.

Fred fished the traditional cage feeder and bread technique, with a large piece of flake presented on a size 6 hook direct to 6lb line, the one deviation from tradition was his flavouring the hook bait with a spray of cheese flavour before casting out. Roving the lower end of the fishery during the late afternoon Fred netted a small fish of around the 3lb mark early on, returning to the same swim at dusk to find a specimen of 6lb 2oz in residence.

Also scoring with a good coldwater chub was Bray’s Spencer Smith who also fished bread, but this time on the Thames, to bag fish of 4lb 12oz and 5lb 8oz. Spence told me he also lost a large roach close to the landing net, which he estimated to be ‘getting on for 2lb’.

 

Local tackle shops

With the relentless rise of online shopping and the long, slow death of the traditional high street it is little wonder that small fishing tackle shops are becoming increasingly rare.

Locally, Maidenhead Baits in Cookham has finally closed its doors for the last time and in the last Old Windsor Angling Club (OWAC) newsletter the club were keen to pass on their gratitude to owner Mick Hutt and his family for their years of service to local anglers. There is, however, some good news as long term Maidenhead Baits’ staffer, John, has teamed up with brother, Lee, to open Maidenhead Angling Supplies, based at New Farm Fishery, Hawthorn Hill. I’m told the kettle is ‘always on’ if you call in!

Staying with the OWAC, the club’s Christmas social will be held in the clubroom from 8pm on Wednesday 13th December and all members and friends of the club are welcome to attend. For further details check out the club website at www.oldwindsorac.webs.com or email them at OWAC@hotmail.com

 

Trout round up

After last week’s report of the great predator fishing currently on offer at Farmoor it is back to ‘business as usual’ with the trout returns from the two reservoirs.

On Farmoor One the bank average is currently 1.9 with 2.0 from the boats and on Farmoor Two it is also 1.9 from the bank with a return of 3.7 for those afloat. Intermediate lines with lures and fry patterns fished with varied retrieves have been the most successful tactics.

At the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre the cooling conditions did not deter the fish and on Haywards farm Lake there were plenty were rising to midges when I took a walk around midweek. Anglers were catching on dry patterns as well as snakes, cat’s whiskers and damsels, with the fish averaging some 3lb 8oz.

The week ahead looks as if it may be characterised by a decided cooling, expect sport to slow down as a consequence, at least in the short term.

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at ian@bigfishtrail.com

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