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Big Fish Column: Spring is in the air and there are plenty of fish to be caught

Image: Dave Gibson with his three rainbow trout for just over 21lb, taken on a team of two buzzers allowed to drift on the breeze.


With temperatures hitting from between 15 to 17 degrees Centigrade at times last week spring was definitely in the air and results from around the local fisheries showed signs of improvement.


Pleasure catches

Bright, sunny and very warm late winter / early spring conditions often mean cool overnight temperatures but with no hard frosts to set the fish back there were plenty to be caught last week with pleasure anglers beginning to find some good mixed bags.

Finch Farm was certainly beginning to find some cracking early season form last week and Maidenhead rod Steve Crocker fished the pole, alternating between sweetcorn, soft pellets, maggots and diced luncheon meat to take a super mixed bag that included carp to 6lb, bream and tench to 3lb and roach to around the 10 to 12oz mark. A very light trickle of feed over the top of his float rig and baits on a size 16 hook to 4lb main line and 3lb 12oz hook length did the trick for Steve.

The Royal Berkshire Fishery was also in good shape for both carp and pleasure anglers, the best pleasure catch a great haul of carp, roach and perch to Jon Miller who fished on the inside line on Lake Three fishing a worm and red maggot cocktail bait.

The top carp reported to me from the water scaled 15lb 8oz and fell to Windsor rod Derek Newton who fished a pellet hook bait in Lake One.


The end is in sight

At the time of writing there are just three weeks left before the end of the river season. It’s never my favourite time of year as it can be notoriously tricky, even in what seem to be ideal conditions, but it’s a time when a lot of anglers get out for a couple of sessions.

The local rivers are not in great shape at present but are likely to improve markedly during the next week or so with chub and perch, rather than barbel, likely to be the species willing to have a go. My tip for some good back end sport has to be the Thames, it has consistently out-performed all other local venues throughout the season and I see no reason why that should change as we approach the big shutdown.


What a week for trout

Jonno Randall started his trout fishing report to me with, ‘What a week it’s been!’

With temperatures creeping ever upwards, he went on to tell me that the fishing on Haywards Farm Lake really took off and there were a lot of great catches reported.  The most notable results included a 12lb 9oz rainbow trout caught by Barry Griffiths on a black buzzer and regular rod Dave Gibson, who took three cracking rainbows totalling just over 21lb. Dave, pictured with his catch, fished using his favourite tactic - a team of two buzzers presented almost static, just using the breeze to create a nice bow in the line, the current providing just enough movement to stimulate a take.

Onto the all-important stats and the lake average weight for the week was 3lb 4oz with a rod average of 4.8.

More good news from the site is that Hobby Lake is re-opening after a long break on March 1st. The lake is for private booking only with exclusive use for 4 rods with a bag limit of 16 fish. There is probably nowhere in the country where you have a better opportunity of catching tiger, brown, blue, golden and spartic trout. Call the fishery on 0118 930 3860 and speak to the team if you would like more details.


The week ahead

I’m sure winter hasn’t quite finished with us yet but the forecast for the week ahead suggests consistent conditions with warm days and overnight temperatures staying above freezing. At this time of year that should see most of us get a few bites.

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at


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