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Tony nets nice 24lb 6oz Mirror carp despite distraction of Six Nations rugby

Last week was another tough one for local anglers. River fishers experienced mixed fortunes with snow melt quickly being flushed through with warmer water, there was just a little too much of it though! The stillwaters fared a little better with a low pressure system coming from the south west bringing wind and warm rain - great conditions for winter carp fishing.


Island Lake Carp

Big carp, and by that I mean fish over 20lb, have been all too rare from local fisheries so far this season but Woodley carper, Tony Charles, took advantage of the warm and breezy conditions and booked himself a 48-hour session on the Island Lake last weekend accompanied, he tells me, by a portable TV so he could watch the rugby!

Fishing a popped up bunch of maggots in conjunction with a PVA bag of grubs at short range Tony missed a somewhat twitchy take on his first morning but made no mistake with his second chance late in the afternoon.

Not wishing to lose what would be his first carp since October Tony played the fish very gingerly but his size 10 hook to 20lb coated braid and 12lb main line held - as did his nerve - and he netted a nice mirror of 24lb 6oz.

There have been a few carp showing at the Royal Berkshire Fishery too with Maidenhead’s Alex Fowler netting a 14lb 8oz specimen on a maize hook bait fished on a size 8 hook to 8lb line. Alex fished Lake One on the three-lake complex and told me that he saw a few other anglers landing fish while he was there.


Trout prospects set to improve

Just across the Kennet and Avon Canal from the Island Lake, trout anglers also faced tough fishing last week, not helped by the fact the lake was frozen for a couple of days.

Chris Hayward reports that since the thaw the fish were quick to start moving again with fish to 11lb 2oz netted with an average weight of 4lb 8oz and a decent rod average of 4.1. The fishing is likely to keep improving this week.


The week ahead

Just as trout fishing is likely to improve for the week ahead, so it is for coarse fishing too and with temperatures forecast to start rising and a degree of consistency likely the rivers should be back on form. The stillwaters should continue to improve too, surprisingly, February can be a great month for carp.

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at


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