As you will know my last trip down the Thames was accompanied by that perfectly formed Roach, this had got me thinking about what sizeable fish might reside along this stretch and attempting to succesfully target them now and in winter.
It was around 2pm as I made my way over to the river, I noted that the cattle were far away, now you're probably wondering why I even mention this, but this bovine mixed bag contains a couple of Bulls, sans horns and whilst they seem quite content, I don't have a death wish to get too close to them anytime soon, lest I be chased and I can safely say that this chaps not running anywhere at any kind of speed too soon.
Given that the heavy rains had only just abated, I was hopeful that water levels had still dropped somewhat and looking at the boathouse on the opposite bank I could see that it had dropped, the gravy colour replaced by one that looked akin to washed out tea and better clarity than on my prior trip, which was very welcoming.
There is so many alluring spots along the river that I could easily be tempted to try a different one on each trip, however I elected to fish the same spot as last time, what I really like about it, is that it is not a full slack and has a touch of current that intervenes at regular intervals, a nice depth close in and of course that big bush as coverage. I slowly setup deciding to start with a maggot approach despite having taken bread and lobworms with me as well.
It was an odd afternoon, the Thames was willingly throwing me one of its curve balls, the only bites forthcoming were ones accompanied by a clean hook and crinkled line, courtesy of the Crayfish along this stretch, admittedly I have not ever had that much problem with them and to that extent I don't feel there is that many, but it seemed a sure sign that either the fish were not about or not in a feeding mood.
I chopped and changed between baits most of the day but to no avail and as daylight had faded, I was beginning to think that I might be heading home with my tail tucked firmly between my legs. I had introduced the last of the liquidised bread to the swim and changed baits yet again, this time changing from bread back to maggot, the rod cast back out tight to the bush, a glance at my watch told me that time was of the essence, if this was a football match, then surely we was into injury time.
A faint pluck, it could have been debris, but it did not have the usual deliberate movement as debris. Tap, pluck, tap. I struck, the quiver responded as did my quarry at the other end of the hooklink. Thump thud thump, I eventually could see a nice bar of silver and red. "Don't you dare lose this fish" I said to myself. As the fish slipped into the waiting landing net, the hook slipped out.
A lovely looking Roach of 1 lb 12oz's, I was chuffed to bits, a blank saver and a new personal best. A perfect way to end what had been a very slow afternoon on the Thames, I now really believe that there is a good chance of a 2 pounder, perhaps even larger from this area of the river.