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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Fishing Reports

Rutland Water is going from strength to strength with the reservoir fishing extremely well. Plenty of limits are being taken by both boat and bank anglers with big fish showing up in many catch returns.Spare a thought for season ticket holder Roger Gill. Roger, from Billingham near Lincoln, was boat fishing the main basin on Saturday 30th and hooked a very big fish deep. For a while Roger thought it may be a pike, however, it turned out to be an out of season brown. This left Roger pleased but slightly deflated. The fish was quickly weighed and sent the scales down to 12lb before being returned safely to the water. Among the 106 browns caught before the close season, the best of the week was taken by Billesdon angler Bob Loughran, who netted a 5lb 8oz specimen.

Best rainbow of the week fell to well known match angler Rob Edmunds from Ringstead. Rob took to the bank and managed a fin perfect 5lb 14oz fish using a slow sink line and cats whisker booby. Mark Murkowski from Essex, took a 5lb 8oz rainbow, also from the bank along with two browns, the best at 3lb 15oz. Compliments on the fishing at Rutland have been numerous. Mansfield regular John Cook praised the fishery saying that the fishing this season has been outstanding "The quality stock fish are growing on well with the late season fish in cracking condition and fighting well." There are twenty boats available through to Sunday 28 November. Booking is advisable please call the lodge on 01780 686441 for details.

Rutland Water Pike News Some boat anglers have taken up to eight pike. Two fish over 20lb have been recorded - the best weighed 21lb. Much larger fish have been sighted following but have been reluctant to take, with fish estimated in the mid twenty to thirty lb bracket. Most fish have averaged mid to low doubles, and are in tremendous condition. Lures have taken the majority, with float fished dead baits taking the odd fish. The two main areas of the reservoir, the top of the north arm and the bottom of the south arm saw most of the action. The difficult weather, strong winds, and coloured water made for challenging conditions. Pike fishing at Rutland Water continues until Sunday 14 November. From 1 November no fishing is permitted past the sailing limits on either arms of the reservoir.

Grafham Water has continued to fish very well with the bank anglers yet again having the best of the sport with the majority of areas of bank producing good catches of fish with Plummer Park and south dam seeming to be the hot spots on the reservoir. The most successful method seems to be fishing small nymphs on floating lines in close to the margins. Boat anglers have also had some good sport mainly from fishing close into the margins around the south end of the dam and G buoy area on intermediate or floating lines with small nymphs or minkies and tubes. The biggest brown and also the biggest fish of the week was caught by Tony Holmeshaw from Cambridge. Tony caught a cracking 5lb 7oz brown by drifting in front of the nature reserve with an intermediate line and a gold tube.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir Top spot this week goes to Andrew Walker of Kettering with a 12lb 9oz rainbow from platform 4. Platform 4 also fished well for Neil Reilly with a 10lb 1oz fish on a silver cats whisker. Mark Bradbury fished nymphs off the Coton car park for a 9lb beauty.Nick Mead from Luton took 21 rainbows whilst boat fishing nymphs and lure. Ravensthorpe has produced some excellent catches this week from boats and bank with lures now beginning to dominate - fish are hunting fry around the margins above the dying weed beds and can be taken close to all banks. Ravensthorpe holds it Fur and Feather (boat) competition on Sunday 7 November. Anglers who have not yet confirmed their boat booking should ring Chris or Graham before the weekend on 01604 7708754. Best rainbow 12lb 9oz taken by Andrew Walker of Kettering from Platform 4 Best bank areas all areas Best boat areas all areas Best methods Cats whisker, black fritz, black and white peas and minkies are all taking quality fish using fairly slow retrieve on intermediate or slow sinking lines. GRHE, diawls and damsels should be fished on floating lines for best results.

Pitsford Water Former county cricketer Richard Williams of Woburn has been having some great sport from the bank at Pitsford. Fishing floating line with a floating fry on the point with green diawl bachs on the droppers he is catching his limit on most visits. Richard is also catching some good fish up to 4lb 12oz with most coming from Rigbys Point and the Cliffs. Boat anglers are still catching plenty of fish in the main bowl. The fish are feeding on the fry so minkies, tubes or floating fry are the order of the day on a floating or slow intermediate line. The season for brown trout has now ended so all browns must be returned. The small half is now closed to anglers

The final round of the Sunday Boat League was fished this weekend and ended on a high. The day went to Terry Mitchell with two fish for 11lb 8oz. Terry had a great rainbow of 8lb 15oz in his bag. Second was Charlie Watts with a total weight of 5lb 15oz, with Bev Perkins taking third place at 5lb 1oz. The overall result for the Sunday Boat Legue was decided in this final match with Charlie Watts taking the best three weights at 24lb 5oz. Well done Charlie. Mark Fountain, who had led right to the final match, ended in second place at 21lb 14oz. Graham Wiseman took the third slot at 20lb 9oz. Terry Mitchell's 8lb 15oz specimen, taken at the last match won the biggest fish overall. The Sunday boat league has been a great success enjoyed by both anglers and wardens. As one league ends another begins ....the bank league commences on 7 November.

Best methods Bank anglers floating line, floating fry and diawl bachs. Boat anglers fish feeding on fry so minkies, tubes or floating fry are the order of the day on a floating or slow intermediate line.Best rainbow 8lb 15oz taken by Terry Mitchell Best boat areas main bowl, narrows Best bank areas Rigbys Point,Sermans, Cliffs and pines

Coarse fishing Ardleigh Season permit holder Stephen Green has smashed the fishery carp record with a fantastic 36Żlb mirror! This beats the previous record by more than 2lb and follows a week in which Stephen also caught a 24Żlb mirror and a 12lb common. On the pike front there have been several good specimens caught this week with Steve Edey landing an 18lb and 15lb fish whilst dead baiting from the boats. Also from the boats, and using similar tactics, Wayne Jerbes had six pike to 15lb and several perch to 2lb.

River Kennet Barbel and chub being caught on pellets, some nice dace being caught on float fished maggot or caster bait feeding with hemp. A perch of 3-12-0 was caught be John White of Edgware London on float fished maggot bait. If the river gets a lift of water and some colour the fishing will get better.

River Loddon Good chub and barbel from Wokingham District council day ticket water. Surrey angler Brian Bevin had a good river carp of 22-6-0 on pellet bait. If your looking to catch a big chub or barbel I can recommend this river venue.

River Teme Mike Osborne of Cumbria made the long journey south to fish the river, fishing a two ounce weight with lobworms as bait Mike caught barbel to 9lbs plus and chub to 5-15-0 That's a big chub. I am surprised more anglers don't target the chub on this river. I feel it could well help you catch a six pounder perhaps a seven. Most anglers target the barbel but its also good for big perch and roach. Birmingham AA have several stretches on the river as do Prince Albert AS

River Ribble With no rain for a few days the river is now just a few inches above normal summer level and flowing clear with lots of leaves causing a build up on the line. Litter is a big problem on some stretches, especially at Elston down to Red Scar wood. The salmon fishing season ended on 31st October, it will go down as one of the best for several years. Its interesting to note that these salmon probably went to sea as smolts during the Foot and Mouth disease. We have also had a lot of rain this year which has greatly benefited the river. Another benefit from all the rain, was the salmon were not trapped at the bottom end of the river where they are at the mercy of people who chuck out lead weighted spinners trying to snag a fish. Though several anglers were seen taking two fish off the river, in fact one angler killed three salmon many more anglers were true sportsmen and not fishmongers returning all but one of their fish. At Dinkley some nice roach have been caught, Chorley angler Peter Gibson float fishing with caster bait had 15 roach averaging some 12 ounces Lots of dace and small chub being caught. Sadly there are a lot of cormorants on the river. In the upper reaches grayling fishing could prove a good alternative to you river brown trout anglers, now the brown trout season has ended.

River Aire Fishing has been poor despite the excellent water levels with a water temperature of 50 degrees F Even the water around Keighley has fished poor. It was noticeable last week that anglers were getting lots of rubbish on the line. It looked a bit like toilet paper. Could the rubbish in the river be the cause of poor fishing.

River Bain Richard Little of Louth told me the river Bain is well worth a visit chub bream and roach are being caught, top baits bread maggots and casters. If you plan on fishing this delightful river keep off the sky line and move from swim to swim. I cover a lot of water in a days fishing, and it does pay to move.

Martin James Fishing