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Big Fish Column: River Loddon the best bet for barbel, but low water and high temperatures make for difficult fishing

It has been another tough week around the local angling scene, with most of us struggling to catch during the heat of the day but getting the odd result through the night and into the early hours of the morning.

 

River round up

It is another very short round up of local river catches this week as low water and high temperatures once again made for difficult fishing.

The Thames is beginning to look a little sluggish, dare I say stagnant, in places but the bream continue to feed hard and at present there are few sections of the river where you won’t be able to pick up a fish or two under cover of darkness. Marlow and Pangbourne are in particularly fine form, with pellet baits – and lots of them – the way to go.

Barbel can be tricky to tempt during daylight at the best of times but at present it really is a case of waiting until the lights are out, with the Loddon probably the best bet. Perch are proving a little more reliable with Bourne End producing an occasional nice fish to trotted minnow, including one of 1lb 12oz to 15-year-old Zack Adams who presented his bait on a size 10 hook to 4lb line under a chubber-style float.

 

Finch Farm results

Ray Brooker has been in touch with a round-up of results from Finch Farm, one of the local commercial pools which has continued to fish well despite the conditions, with carp cats and roach all featuring prominently in results.

The last monthly open match was won by Stan Robak with 57lb 2oz, followed by Kenny Stevens on 52lb 2oz and Dick Forty netting 48lb 1oz. Carp made up most weights, as you would expect, but one angler had over 25lb of silvers, an excellent summer weight, which is being repeated by anglers fishing the Main Lake who are finding the roach feeding well. There are plenty of roach in the 10 to 12oz range showing but the occasional fish between 1 to 2lb is being landed too.

Early and late is the key to catching on Finch Farm, just as it is on the rivers, and Ray tells me the best of the carp fishing is to be had very late in the day. For pleasure anglers, Anaconda Lake One is producing carp into double figures during the evening, along with the odd bream to 6lb.

On the Catfish Lake Ray reports that the larger fish are still being caught but anglers are finding smaller cats prepared to have a go during the daylight hours too, with a good number of fish in the 10 to 20lb range landed.

 

Trout returns

Chris Hayward reports that conditions on Haywards Farm Lake are becoming ever more challenging with water temperatures now north of 24C. The fishery aerators are in operation 24/7 to keep the water well oxygenated but trout are far less tolerant of low oxygen concentrations than many coarse species and the fishing is getting tricky. To ease the pressure on the fish, the fishery has now suspended catch and release fishing for the summer and standard tickets have all been reduced in price.

Despite the temperature, anglers fishing early or late, targeting the shady areas or getting out in a boat to work the deeper, cooler water are finding fish, with an 8lb 7oz rainbow the best fish of the week. The average weight for the week was 3lb 3oz with a rod average of 1.9.

The long range forecast still shows little sign of a respite from the heat and no likelihood of any significant rainfall in the near future so target your fishing accordingly and take great care of those fish you do catch and make sure they swim off strongly.

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

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