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Big Fish Column: Tench dominate local fishing

Jonno Randall with one of the big new Haywards Farm Lake rainbow trout.


The Big Fish Column

Tench dominate the local fishing headlines once again this week with daytime temperatures just about cancelling out the low overnight temperatures and periodic torrential rainfall that did much to put the dampeners on an otherwise good week.

The tench fishing is going to continue to improve over the next month but there continue to be some good returns from around the local venues, including a 6lb 4oz specimen last weekend to High Wycombe angler Sam Adams, which topped a catch of three fish taken during an early morning session on a small, local gravel pit.

Sam offered caster hook baits on a size 14 hook to a 6lb hook length and 8lb main line to fool the fish with a caster and groundbait feed to pull them into his swim.

It‘s not just the specialist approach that is catching tench though,  pleasure anglers have been getting amongst them too with Andy Gough netting a couple of specimens around the 4lb during a floatfishing session on Finch Farm. Andy presented sweetcorn and maggots on waggler tactics to take the fish as part of a mixed bag that also included roach, bream and perch.

Surface carp

Warm, sunny days in mid–May always bring carp to the surface quickly with feeding as well as spawning on their minds. It has not quite been warm enough to stimulate any proper spawning activity yet but there have been a few fish caught off the top, including a cracking 18lb 14oz mirror to Taplow‘s Colin Thomson who presented a floating boilie on a size 10 hook to a 6ft low diameter hook length with a small controller float to hook the fish from the margins of one of the smaller Twyford venues.

Catching carp off the top was never a strong point of mine, my chances usually blown by impatience or incompetence (often both), but Colin showed extreme patience by waiting and baiting for some 20 minutes before starting to fish, then getting his cast just right at the first attempt.

Trout returns

Jonno Randall reports that last week, torrential downpours aside, the fish in Haywards Farm Lake were mostly up in the water with a few even beginning to take dry flies. That said, diawl bachs, cat‘s whiskers, buzzers and hot head damsels were the ‘go to‘ patterns for the week, with both bank and boat anglers catching fish up to 6lb. The rod average for the week was 3.4 and the best fish 6lb.

If you are looking to catch bigger fish, the good news is that some stunning fish were delivered to the fishery last week as part of the regular stocking programme. These included brown trout to around 18lb and blue and rainbow trout to 15lb.

The week ahead

A warm week ahead is forecast and fishing is likely to improve across the board with tench anglers in particular likely to find the fish really getting their heads down.

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me on



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