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Big Fish Column: Much needed rain livens up the local rivers

Some much-needed rain livened up the local rivers last week and although the impact was relatively short lived it was enough to give a boost to catches.

The Loddon remains the top river as far as barbel are concerned and there were some good fish reported last week, topped by an 11lb 10oz specimen to Slough angler Peter Morgan. Peter presented a paste-wrapped mini boilie hook bait on a size 6 hook to a 15lb hook length and 12lb main line to take the fish after dark. Also bagging a Loddon double was local rod Chris Newton who weighed in a 10lb 8oz fish.

On the Thames, Big Fish Column regular Justin Briggs spend a night legering meat close to his Cookham home and scored with three nice chub to 4lb and a barbel of 9lb 4oz. Bream, however, are the mainstay of most Thames anglers and early and late sessions are producing good bags of fish from all the regular spots.

The Kennet has not fished well so far this season but there was some good news for anglers on the river last week with a lovely chub of 5lb 10oz to local angler Sam Walker. Sam fished the Reading and District Beat Two with a legered pellet to net the fish. I’m told there are some good chub catches coming from other reaches of the river too, but the barbel fishing remains challenging.

On the stillwaters the cooler conditions gave local carp fishing a much-needed lift with the Island Lake at Theale in particularly good form for big fish. Netting his first 20lb plus of the year from the intimate venue last week was Windsor angler Tim Reynolds, who scored with a cracking mirror of 26lb 3oz. Tim presented a small pop-up boilie on the de rigueur ‘chod rig’ to fool the specimen.

Commercial carping was much improved last week too with reports of rod-bending action at West End, Finch Farm and Royal Berkshire, the latter producing a four fish catch to 16lb to White Waltham rod Dean Smith who fished corn hook baits.

Onto the current local trout prospects and the rain and cooler conditions brought some excellent results to anglers fishing at Haywards Farm Lake with buzzers and Diawl Bach patterns catching particularly well. The good news is that in response to the cooler weather the fishery has now reinstated its catch and release ticket and at the time of writing anglers are netting up to 20 fish from the bank!

The forecast for the week ahead suggests little in the way of rain, but a gradual cooling off, is likely to benefit fishing prospects all round.

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at




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