Colin Mitchell, our Sunday blogger.

IT’S time for our must-read Sunday blog. 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.

He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.

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I LOVE going to new venues – even if you sometimes know that the first trip there is going to be a bit of a fact-finding mission.

Last week saw me make a trip that should have happened ages ago, to a commercial that’s just a short drive from home, the Royal Berkshire Fishery. It’s sort of in that triangle between Windsor, Bracknell and Slough where there appears to be many hidden day ticket gems. This one is no exception. Down a lane past a garden centre (avoiding the potholes) through big metal gates that looked a bit too narrow for comfort and into a nice hard standing car park with a café at the end.

Mike’s elastic stretcher

No bait or tackle stocked – except the rogues’ gallery of illegal rigs and other assorted gear retrieved by the staff. Giant barbed hooks, fixed rigs, carp set ups with a bung-type pike float…if the bailiff found who had been using these things he would have every right to ban them from angling, never mind this fishery!

Anyway, good patter from the bailiff and the guy in charge of the cooking and a finger pointed in the right direction of good pegs. I have to confess that Mike and I ignored the advice to go on Lake Two (of three) because we spotted fish movement on Lake One as we unpacked the gear.

Every peg on these lakes appears to have some sort of feature which makes swim selection pretty easy!

Having plumbed up left, right and a far line on the pole I discovered it was just over three feet everywhere and hardly any change in the depth. Shame, I would have liked a ledge, but at least it made fishing a bit easier.

Maggots, a few micro pellets, worms and prawns were in the armoury plus a few hooker pellets. Second put and a nice roach on double red and that was the pattern for the rest of the day: some nice roach and a few smaller fish for both of us. A really good day on the redfins, even if we didn’t get the big perch we had hoped for.

Roach fed best on the day – and there are lots in here!

Mike hooked a big carp on the pole which pulled off his small hook, I got a nice common near the end which sealed a very satisfactory day. I fed bits of prawn in one area for more than two hours before having a drop in. The float quivered, sank and a firm strike brought a positive pull on the elastic. Imagine my surprise when a big stripey didn’t come up…but a nice roach did!

I did have a good on a small feeder packed with maggots and blocked at either end with soft pellets. Amazing that I got a few roach on pull rounds – yet my pole float tip which was shotted down to a pin head had hardly been registering bites. It just goes to show that fish living away from the bank in colder conditions and not disturbed by any bank side activity, are a bit more confident.

A nice looking mirror was the highlight for Mail blogger Colin.

There were a few more carp caught by other anglers with meat scoring this day on a boilie-banned venue. We also saw some nice perch landed, between 2lb 8oz and 3lb. There are bigger perch here, obviously a good head of roach, tench and bream – one of 6lb was landed from Lake Three during our visit.

At £8 for one rod and £10 for two this was cash well spent and we will be back. We fished for around six and a half hours and it went so fast as we enjoyed our session. To be honest the day was overcast from the off and it just got colder and colder and anglers started drifting away from the bank, with us following the lead.

I am now dying to try this place when the water warms up, a few leaves spring up on the bushes and the rushes stand up in the water.



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