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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Great Coarse Fishing on The River Kennet

Over the past few weeks I have had several E-mailís from you the reader me asking for information on the Wasing Coarse Fishery Syndicate. The fishery with its extensive lakes and rivers on the Wasing Estate has been in the same family since 1760. The various waters are set in the delightful River Kennet Valley one of England's nicest rivers. Within the estate boundaries there is an abundance of bird and wildlife. A very comprehensive friendly and knowledgeable bailiffing system is operated, which supervises, protects, and maintains the fishery and its delightful rural charm. Many waters are of special scientific interest some are sited within the listed park of Wasing Place, others in unspoilt countryside. As a naturalist and an angler I donít just want to catch fish, the whole ambience is very important to me and that's the reason I donít fish the commercial hole in the ground fisheries. I do not have anything against these fisheries they serve a purpose but they are not for me. Recently on a fishing trip to the Wasing fishery I often had three or more robins around me seeking morsels of food. Pheasants, rabbits, the blue, great, coal and long tailed titís were around in profusion blackbirds, thrushes, woodpeckers, kingfishers, coots, moor hens and tree creepers were spotted. Not only do you get to see lots of bird and wildlife you have the chance of catching some big fish in delightful surroundings. When you join the syndicate you will receive a key for all the estate gates which are locked so keeping your care safe and the keys are replaced annually.
The River Kennet fishery comprises four very attractive beats of mixed single and double bank fishing amounting too nearly 4 miles. The bottom end beat of Aldermaston has been known for many years as a top stretch of the Kennet that often produces the big roach, chub, pike and barbel. Itís the stretch of river where I caught my first Kennet two pound roach when fishing with the late Len Head. This fishery also has two excellent car parks. Brimpton is the top beat on the fishery you will find a very attractive weir pool. Between the weir pool and the car park three disabled fishing platforms have been built in top swims. Its certainly nice to see the wheelchair bound the angler is given every help and encouragement where they can fish the top swims. Fishing the Kennet will offer various fishing spots to choose from in slow and fast water there will be shallow gravel runs so beloved of the dace. Undercut banks with over hanging trees. The roots often plunging deep into the water creating fishing spots that will harbour chub, barbel and perch. If you're lucky you might catch a 4lb perch. Other swims will have trees in the water creating those perfect creases and slacks. It's best described as the Crabtree River. Mr Crabtree who was Bernard Venables spent a lot of time fishing the Kennet that shows through in his writings and paintings.
Big carp, perch, tench, bream and pike are all available in the estate's lakes, Want a double figure bream or tench? Fishing the Oxlease or Cranwell Lakes will give you the chance of catching such a fish. Last summer despite the very hot weather I was able to catch tench of 6lbs plus using the float tackle and bread flake bait. Although I didnít catch any double figure bream of tench I did feel given god conditions and a large slice of luck I might have hooked one of the big tench I spotted rolling at dawn. During the middle of the day during that oppressive heat in August last year when I was fishing with Tony Farqharson a big bream slowly cruised through the swim. Having caught double figure bream I do know what they look like. That bream was a double digit fish. There are two lakes in Wasing Wood that were created in the 17th Century with tench carp and perch. If you want the chance of catching a twenty pound pike I suggest you fish the Rowney Lake which was featured in a recent Anglers Mail feature with Andy Little.
You can purchase a variety of tickets for fishing the various waters. River Kennet will cost you £250-00 that is far cheaper than the season permits for a shooting syndicate, golf club or Premiership soccer club. Carp and tench lakes only £150-00 Predator Lake £150-00. You can of course purchase a permit for the rivers and lakes permit varying in cost from £314-00 - £469-50 they beauty of fishing this syndicate water is having peace of mind and not having to worry about your vehicle. Which is a problem at many fisheries these days with break ins and damage being done by the slobs of this world? At Wasing syndicate you will be fishing with a very nice group of anglers. For further details write Wasing Estate Office Wasing Park Berkshire RG7 4NG Telephone Kevin Rolls Fisheries Manager 01189 714281 there is a website

Martin James Fishing