Big Fish Column: Wargrave angler hooks magnificent common carp from St Patrick's Stream in Twyford

Ian Welch

Big Fish Column: Wargrave angler hooks magnificent common carp from St Patrick's Stream in Twyford

Wargrave angler Chris Newton landed his 24lb8oz carp on St Patrick's Stream in Twyford

The ‘summer’ weather continued to thwart many anglers again last week but proof that our local rivers are in great shape despite the conditions was provided by the capture of three exceptional specimens.

First up is Wargrave angler Chris Newton, who told me he has read this column for years, but never thought he would actually catch anything worth featuring in it! Rather like the proverbial buses Chris waited for years only for two quite outstanding fish to come along at once!

Targeting barbel on St. Patrick’s Stream at Twyford, close to where it joins the River Loddon, Chris set up a simple rig fishing a ‘Craze’ shelf life boilie on a size 8 hook to 10lb main line with some 20 or so free offerings scattered around the hook bait. A solid take resulted in Chris hooking into a very powerful fish and he was totally convinced that he was attached to one of the stream’s monster barbel. As the fight finally neared its conclusion the fish that rolled at the net was not the expected barbel but a magnificent common carp of 24lb 8oz.

“I was expecting a huge barbel, but I wasn’t disappointed – it was a new personal best!” Chris told me.

A carp may seem a somewhat strange bedfellow for Pat’s, which has earned its premier place in local angling for the quality of its chub and barbel, but it does have a reputation for turning up the occasional big specimen, and usually early in the season after spawning. I’ve certainly reported on 20lb plus carp from the venue before but Chris’s fish is one of the best I have heard of in a very long time.

Not satisfied with netting one personal best Chris then went on to catch a second and again the fish caught him by surprise as it was not quite what he was expecting.

This time around Chris was eel fishing at the junction of the River Kennet with the Thames with a lobworm hook bait on a size 14 hook to a 4lb hook length and 6lb main line. A cage feeder packed with groundbait completed the set up and provided the attraction for a fish which, in Chris’s words, “took off like a rocket when I hooked it!”

Chris had no idea of what he had hooked until he netted it and opened the folds to reveal a superb trout of 6lb 5oz. As with the carp from St. Patrick’s Stream this was an unusual capture for so far downstream on the Kennet but there are increasing numbers of trout in the river, albeit few as large as this one.

Let’s hope Chris’s season continues the way it has started!

Moving onto the Thames proper and Cookham has turned up one of the largest Thames barbel of the season so far with a 14lb fish caught by Jake Lavender. Jake fished two 14mm halibut pellets over a bed of pellets and tuna and chilli flavoured boilies and landed the specimen at first light.

To finish off this week advance notice of a big charity event that will be taking place at Hawthorn Hill’s New Farm Fishery on Saturday 27th August 2016.

Everyone is welcome to attend, including non-anglers and novices, as there will be coaches from the Angling Trust on hand to help you to learn how to fish or to develop your technique. A BBQ and evening disco will complete the day but the highlight for many local anglers will undoubtedly be the 24-hour match on the venue’s catfish lake – the perfect (or should that be purr-fect) opportunity to test your skills against some of the biggest cats in the local area.

For further details, give the fishery a call on 01628 789564.

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at

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  • jasonbaylis


    08:52, 08 July 2016

    Great catch! I'm sure there are bigger out there...



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