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Big Fish Column: Right gear reaps rewards for local anglers

Bream, along with carp, are usually guaranteed to give some excellent early spring sport and double figure specimens are not uncommon on some of the larger local gravel pits. That said, many seriously large ‘slabs‘ are returned un–weighed by carp anglers, who tend to regard them as somewhat of a nuisance when they move in and pick up a carefully positioned and finely–honed rig…

However, on the right gear, big bream can be great fun and Twyford‘s Jez Evans enjoyed a highly successful night after them last weekend with fish of 11lb 6oz and 10lb 12oz crowning a ten fish catch from one of the Twyford pits.

Jez presented maggot and sweetcorn cocktail baits on feeder gear comprising 8lb main line with a 6lb hook length and a size 12 hook. This was fished over a large bed of fishmeal groundbait laced with trout pellets and corn to take the fish, which came to his net regularly throughout the hours of darkness. Jez also netted a single tench of 5lb as he was packing up after his overnight session.

Trout returns

Jonno Randall reports that catches on Haywards Farm Lake were down a little last week, although it did continue to fish well, particularly to those fishers who could present a buzzer well – the fish are on them big time – although last week it was red patterns taking the lion‘s share of the fish, rather than black as per the previous week.

Apart from buzzers small blue flash damsels were catching well and there were a good few pulls to pheasant tails and tadpoles too. The water clarity remains excellent, although there has been a little willow blowing onto the surface, as is typical for the time of year. Bank fishers are finding trout but once again this week the boats were most effective.

The best fish of the week was a 7lb rainbow to J. Rendell, the average weight 3lb 2oz and the rod average 3.1.

Jonno also wanted to advise that the fishery is closed for fishing over the weekend of 11th and 12th May for the annual Sportfish Show – further details of which are below.

Jeremy Wade at the Sportfish Show

Finally for this week, a reminder that iconic writer, TV presenter and extreme angler Jeremy Wade will be at the 2019 Sportfish Show at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre this coming weekend.

A biologist with a special interest in rivers and freshwater fish Jeremy has been travelling to the world's most remote rivers for 35 years and has starred in three classic fishing shows: Jungle Hooks, River Monsters and Mighty Rivers. He is also the author of two great books, the angling classic, Somewhere Down the Crazy River, co-authored with Paul Boote and River Monsters.

Jeremy will be present on both Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May and will be giving talks about his adventures, signing copies of his new book, How to Think Like a Fish and sitting on some of the question and answer panels with other leading fishing celebrities. Jeremy will also be giving fishing demonstrations on Haywards Farm Lake, well worth a visit!

Full details of the show can be found at:

The week ahead

With temperatures forecast to steadily creep upwards, a little rain due and (hopefully) no further sudden overnight dips in temperature, the spring season should REALLY kick off this week!

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at

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