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  1. #1
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    Default river kennet [barton court fisheries]

    Hey folks, going to do the last day of the season down barton court stretch of the kennet. Has anyone got any tips on the best approach and swims?
    Would like to catch me first grayling so any advise would come in handy.


    Cheers, tinca

  2. #2
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    Tinca, I'm off there tomorrow, I'll report back how I got on.

    Lovely but much changed fishery over the years and the once thriving roach populations have had a tough time of it in the past few years, although I'm sure there are a few lumps around if you can find them.

    I fished it a few weeks back and had several grayling on trotted red maggot, I've had them all over the fishery from the fast shallow top sections to the bottom 'middle cut' section. One swim that I've found a banker for grayling is just above the green footbridge on the old river where a carrier flows in, trotting along the crease. Most people stay mobile and search out any likely looking areas and eventually you'll find some fish, often a greedy trout which are good fun on light tackle, but can disrupt your swim - one muscled in on a shoal of good dace I had found last time out and they didn't hang around.

  3. #3
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    Cheers stick, fished it last year and couldn't find a big roach anywhere! the grayling were elusive too but took too much gear to stay mobile. This year going light and gonna walk the whole venue! Did have loads of trout on cheese paste intended for chub which were good sport on light gear.
    it'll be nice to get a catch report before going cheers mate!

  4. #4
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    I heard that a lot of the big roach ended up in the lakes...only a rumour though.

    Just below the bridge was always good to me....either bank but LH side looking down for preference.Right on the bottom limit [RH side] can fish well on its day too.

    The trout are a nuisance but good sport on a difficult day.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinca taker View Post
    Cheers stick, fished it last year and couldn't find a big roach anywhere! the grayling were elusive too but took too much gear to stay mobile. This year going light and gonna walk the whole venue! Did have loads of trout on cheese paste intended for chub which were good sport on light gear.
    it'll be nice to get a catch report before going cheers mate!
    If I'm honest Tinca, I'd leave the cheese paste at home next time, I've fished BC since 2000 and have only seen one chub caught - It's a mystery but the chub (and Barbel) don't appear to show this far up which is not necessarily a bad thing.

    I generally use maggots trotting, sometimes bread and always take a tub of lobs for the perch. Tomorrow I'm going to give corn a go, to see if I can tempt a bigger grayling. I generally tackle up a float and quivertip set up when get there and wander round the place with a small rucksack on the back, BC really does lend itself to the mobile approach, and because of the gin clear, shallow water I try to be extra quiet and keep low as possible - although I do find the banks really slippery and due to my clumsy nature, have stacked it a few times trying to creep about!

    Quote Originally Posted by S-Kippy View Post
    I heard that a lot of the big roach ended up in the lakes...only a rumour though.

    Just below the bridge was always good to me....either bank but LH side looking down for preference.Right on the bottom limit [RH side] can fish well on its day too.

    The trout are a nuisance but good sport on a difficult day.
    I heard that rumour too. I've fished the lakes many times though and have only really caught the hordes of stunted roach and rudd that are in there now with a couple knocking on a 1lb and haven't heard of anyone catching anything bigger. There are some nice perch in there now, and it could easily chuck up a real biggie.

    It was more coloured than I have ever seen a few weeks back, so fish spotting for once wasn't possible but I didn't have a sniff of a roach, and my 1 trip last season only threw up a couple of small ones (encouraging all the same). I remember a few years back I often saw some huge roach when crouched on the green footbridge, and on the main bridge - but it takes a better angler than me to catch them.

    Lovely venue though, and always a pleasure to fish alongside the pheasants, hares and if you're lucky some deer. One of those places where just being there is enough.

  6. #6
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    The rumour I heard was that the river was netted to remove the bream and that a lot if not most of the big roach went with them into the lakes. I can believe that because when the water was low & clear you could see the bream shoals and sometimes tucked away at the back were two or three huge roach.It might explain why the big roach seemed to vanish all of a sudden.

    Lovely spot though...if a little crowded at times.I was never convinced that it could take as many angler as they let on.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick_Float View Post
    If I'm honest Tinca, I'd leave the cheese paste at home next time, I've fished BC since 2000 and have only seen one chub caught - It's a mystery but the chub (and Barbel) don't appear to show this far up which is not necessarily a bad thing.
    When I wrote that it was obvious that the story would proceed to write itself, yesterday at BC 5 chub were landed amongst the 10 of us that went, the biggest a clonker of 5.01, and a couple of 3lbers!! 10 years and I'd seen 1 chub then 1 day throws up 5, maybe they are beginning to establish themselves there now?

    All in all it was a tough day and I had to work hard for bites but I managed to catch a fair few dace and grayling with only 1 rogue trout and I had a couple of small roach at dusk. I spent a majority of the day trotting single red maggot and found some grayling in the faster flowing top sections early on but my solitary trout of the day inevitably sent the grayling packing with a typically thrashing fight testing my 2lb hooklink and 20 hook. Still, it was a lovely trout, as all BC trout are. It is also noticeable how bulk shotting to get the bait down on the bottom quickly produces more grayling than 'shirt button style' here.

    I then moved down to the bottom section and had some more grayling and a few dace, but the dace were a little finicky and could only take a few from each swim before they were off, although It was interesting that I could almost follow them downstream as they backed off when I caught a couple. Once more though, a trout intervened but this time my line broke.

    Later on I decided to change to a maggot feeder on a section where a shoal of bream were spotted moving and 2 possible clonking roach but I only had a few trembles and in hindsight I don't think dropping a maggot feeder into shallow water was the best idea and should have switched to bread and and a light link leger. I soon moved back on the float and I hooked into something massive which put an uncomfortable bend into my fairly stout float rod until it straightened out my hook - I can only guess it was one of BCs huge trout and it had almost reached Reading before I lost contact. After that I had the only roach caught all day, just 2 small ones at dusk and whilst it's encouraging that there are some small roach coming through, it's sad that they were the only roach caught in a fishery that was once famed for it's roach - they've certainly had a tough time of it.

    Overall it was a lovely day, and between the 10 of us we had dace, grayling, trout, roach, perch, chub and bream. Enjoy your visit Tinca, and let us know how you got on and feel free to ask any questions.

  8. #8
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    Thats interesting...I never had or even saw a chub caught at BC but I have seen the odd sea trout.As well as the big roach there were some huge dace at BC though I'm going back 7-8 years now

    Real shame about the roach.Even the smaller ones seem thin on the ground at BC now. Adds weight to the netting story IMO.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by S-Kippy View Post
    Thats interesting...I never had or even saw a chub caught at BC but I have seen the odd sea trout.As well as the big roach there were some huge dace at BC though I'm going back 7-8 years now

    Real shame about the roach.Even the smaller ones seem thin on the ground at BC now. Adds weight to the netting story IMO.
    The chub really surprised me, I'd told the guys I was with that there were no chub there and then they start catching them! Very strange after only seeing one in 10 years, but interesting to see how rivers change and adapt, maybe they will establish themselves there now. It always struck me weird they weren't there, especially as the stretch not far downstream where they filmed 'passion' held chub.

    There seems to be a fair head of dace there, I had them to about 5 ounces yesterday but I haven't seen the shoal of monsters for a while now. I remember seeing them a few years back, (always accompanied by a golden orfe!) and I have no doubt that they were pushing the record and soon after Ian Welch was in all the papers with dace to 1.04 from there. I didn't even bother fishing for them, as I was young and would have stood no chance with them but I enjoyed following them up and down the carrier they always seemed to be in.

    The roach have certainly pulled a huge disappearing act, and whilst I imagine there are a couple of monsters left there is certainly a lack of roach from all year classes present - not so long ago I could catch roach up to 6-8 ounces all day in good conditions. I'm not so sure of the netting rumour, and I think the combination of pressure and predation has done the most damage and don't really want to start making accusations tbh.

  10. #10
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    Know what you mean but I've heard the story from so many [well informed] sources now that I think there must be an element of truth in it. I cant think what else would explain the almost complete absence of all year classes of roach. I too knew where I could bag up all day long on quality roach at BC...wasn't where the big uns came from generally... but in the right conditions there were stretches that were stuffed with roach. Last few times we fished there we were lucky to see a roach at all. I can't believe thats all down to predation or natural causes.

    I never got one of the big dace but I did see one caught of [I think] 1-2 and I was also there one absolutely filthy day when a far better [and braver] angler than me had a dozen big roach. What a sight that was.Kept me going back for a couple more years but I never had the great good fortune to find them...by God I tried though !

    I was also a bit disturbed to see a number of roach/bream hybrids turning up. The best roach I ever managed from BC was 1-12 then one day I finally had my 2 pounder...2lb 6oz actually but no matter how much I tried to convince myself it was a true roach I knew it wasn't.

    That was the beginning of the end for me and I dont fish BC now because my hearts just not in the place anymore.

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