IT’S time for our must-read Sunday blog on this new-look Angler’s Mail website. Every Sunday we welcome coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell.
For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career.
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DEBUT SUCCESS WHEN I TRIED A NEW VENUE
AFTER a few weeks of fishing the same venues and catching mostly tench I needed a change. A new fishery and some different species was the order of the day.
Finch Farm is a place where my old mate Bill Rushmer often has a dabble but despite being just a short drive from home I’d never been.
I’d heard the fishery near Maidenhead, Berkshire, is a bit different but my travelling mate Mike Jardine and I were in for something a little special.
There are two lakes – one the Anaconda snake and the other a more normal lake, although dotted with islands and surrounded by reeds that give an otherwise pretty bland place some character.
We started on the snake but one perch and a few skimmers later for me and nothing for Mike except a few signs of interest saw him move to the other lake.
No sooner had he gone than I lost a good fish on meat – then I hooked another which, after an amazing scrap on the pole, turned out to be a catfish of around 7lb.
That fish alone made my day. I love catfish and that was my first on the pole.
I called Mike round to take a picture to be told he’d had two carp on his first two puts on the lake, the first a nice ghostie, and he had been smashed twice!
After a few more bream it was time for me to move off what we later discovered is a mostly big fish snake that contains mainly bream, barbel and catfish (oh and pike!).
The other lake was something else! A bite virtually every chuck and if you didn’t get a fish or a bite change the bait and your float went under!
Various small carp, some chunky goldfish, gudgeon and roach later Mike yelled out a shout from the next peg, hidden behind a tree. He’d landed a landing net-filling bream.
A nice fish in size but it would certainly have weighed double if it had not been wafer thin. It was probably a bit slow to any freebie feeds compared to the other fish in the lake.
Not long after the yell went up again and it was another bream, a bit bigger this time.
We’d both caught plenty of fish in between those bream, me on the pole at around seven metres to an island and Mike on a waggler down the edge.
Corn, pellet and paste all worked but the fish definitely liked a chunk luncheon meat – even a giant gudgeon that my mate had!
It was then my turn to shout to Mike: “If you thought your last bream was big come and look at this one.”
The fish looked massive but in all honesty it wasn’t that fat so probably weighed no more than 4lb. If it had been as chunky as other bream I have caught to that size in the past it would have been double that weight.
Finch isn’t a big fishery and it’s not the best looking but for a tenner a day it’s well worth a visit.
The atmosphere of the place is right, the rules are not ridiculous and bailiff/fishery manager Lech has some great patter.
And like most times I go fishing this trip proved a few more things to me.
The first is not to ignore waters virtually on your doorstep and the second was to make sure that meat is a more regular bait in my armoury.
We would have caught without meat but it was certainly the bait for the bigger fish and brought more bites than anything else.
Mind you, a few locals turned up later on armed with bread and started picking fishing up off the surface!
Check out the venue at finchfarmfishery.com
COLIN MITCHELL’S NEXT BLOG WILL APPEAR ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16.
MONDAY: Carp crews on rotation – Korda, Fox, Nash and ACE.
TUESDAY: Steve Collett, Mail contributor and ultimate all-rounder.
WEDNESDAY: Angler’s Mail HQ – yes, us!
THURSDAY: Specialists from Pike Anglers Club, Korum and Pallatrax, on rotation
FRIDAY: Carl & Alex, Angler’s Mail juniors and video diary makers.
SATURDAY: The Angling Trust – guys at the governing body.
SUNDAY: Colin Mitchell, veteran coarse angler and top journalist