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Big Fish Column: Bites to be had with carp the reliable early spring feeders

IMAGE: Jonno Randall with one of the huge blue trout that were stocked into the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre last week.


As forecast, it was not the best of weeks for spring fishing with a little extreme weather upsetting the consistency that is so very important at this time of year. That said, the increase in day length and the need to feed ahead of spawning means there will always bites to be had at this time of year. And so there were.

Reliable carp

Carp are always reliable early spring feeders and so it proved with results from a number of local commercials last week.

One of the smaller Reading pits proved to be successful for Twyford carp angler, Paul Randall, who fished a 24 hour session with girlfriend Lucy Parsons. Paul presented one of his boilie hook baits at very close range over a small bed of pellets and chopped boilies and the other a short throw to deep water off the edge of a small island. Lucy, a novice carp fisher trying to catch her first carp over 10lb, positioned her one rod at close range with a small PVA bag offering the required attraction.

After a chilly night with no signs of fish, Paul struck into a run on his longer–range rod late the following morning and after a short fight netted a lovely mirror carp of 20lb 12oz. It is typical that when fish switch on they do so in numbers and Lucy had her only bite as Paul was dealing with his fish and, despite doing absolutely everything right, the hook pulled close to the net.

Losing a fish due to a hook pull is always a painful experience and we have all been there, most of us on several occasions, so don‘t worry Lucy, it will happen!

Early tench

Tench are not reliable feeders this early in the spring but Adam Green netted two, both weighing around the 4lb mark, during a session on Finch Farm last week. Maidenhead–based Adam fished a waggler outfit with a small cube of diced luncheon meat on a size 14 hook to 4lb line to net the fish along with a few small carp and bream.

Tench should start to show with increasing regularity from the smaller venues throughout this month but it will probably be well into May and early June before we start to see the big fish from the larger local gravel pits.

Trout prospects

Chris Hayward reports that it was been another action–packed week at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre, with some stunning new arrivals to announce too!

As far as fly life is concerned, buzzers were coming off both lakes in their droves last week and small black buzzers fished on floating lines worked very well indeed. That said, Chris advised that it‘s always good to have a ‘plan b‘ up your sleeve and suggests everyone visiting during the week ahead has a few blue flash damsels and Diawl Bachs in their box as they always produce a pull or two. As far as the weekly stats were concerned the biggest fish caught was a huge 16lb rainbow. The average weight was 3lb 6oz and the rod average an excellent 4.4.

Moving along to the new arrivals and the fishery has just stocked a large number of double figure blue, brown and rainbow trout up to 20lb into both Haywards Farm and Hobby Lakes. As you can see from the picture of one of the giant blue trout, these are fin–perfect specimens that will be providing some real rod–bending action throughout the spring months.

The week ahead

Temperatures are forecast to dip again before recovering, seeing pictures of those huge trout over at Haywards Farm Lake I think I‘ll be getting my fly rod out instead of my coarse ones.

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


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