The long awaited opening of the Royalty Fishery after the three month lay off finally arrived on the glorious 16th and, as has become something of a tradition, anglers started queuing up outside Davis Tackle in the early hours of the morning to ensure they were one of the first to obtain a ticket. By the time we opened at 7:30am the queue had swelled to over 40 anglers, both local and visiting from far and wide. A mad spell of about twenty minutes saw them all served and out onto the fishery where they could get down to the business of river fishing for the first time in ages.
Reports of the first barbel landed - around 8lbs from the Pipes - begain filtering through shortly after 8am and after that a steady stream of news was passed to us as anglers came back to the shop for more bait and tackle. A brace of doubles from the Gate Swim, a double from Watersmeet plenty of smaller barbel in the one to three pound bracket from around the fishery as well as a number of barbel between seven and nine pounds. 'Wigan Jeff' had a brace including a 7lb 10oz barbel whilst his friend Les Mamoaney had a 6lb 15oz barbel. Alby had three barbel all around 8lbs in weight including one on his fathers rod and Daniel Welch tempted a 10lb barbel from Trammels on halibut pellet.
Plenty of dace, roach and chub were also being caught to anglers fishing maggot along with some cracking perch of which a number hit dace being retrieved by unsuspecting anglers. All in all a great start to the season and only a hint of the sport that was to follow. The next day was even better with Dennis Nye landing a 12lb 8oz barbel from the Road Bridge whilst his fishing colleague Kevin landed three carp to twenty pounds, also from the Road Bridge area.
Local angler Pete Moores from Burton took a new PB with a 12lb 4oz fish which took at last knockings whilst another local Les Dwight landed a 10lb 6oz barbel along with a 5lb bream from below the Pipes on rolling meat. The smaller barbel also continued to feed with once again plenty taken from around the Fishery. Richard Booty had a great trip down landing barbel of 11lb 8oz, 10lb 10oz, 10lb 4oz and 8lbs along with a lovely chub weighing 6lbs. Successful areas for Richard included Trammels, Gate and Johnsons and pellet and boilie were the baits that worked for him.
Another angler who had a great session - or in his words "bloody brilliant" - was James Thomas of Minehead in Somerset. Having taken a couple of doubles earlier in the week on his first visit to the Royalty he decided to return and fish Greenbanks where he landed barbel of 5lb 4oz, 7lbs, 7lb 6oz, 9lb 5oz, 10lb 10oz and 12lb 8oz on ledgered halibut pellet. Eight barbel including three doubles to 12lb 8oz on his first two visits to the fishery is indeed something to remember. We also heard of a number of other doubles, along with carp to 11lbs, a catch of large bream to just under 10lbs from the Parlour, perch to 3lb 2oz, plenty of chub to 4lbs along with a few larger ones and most pleasingly a number of roach between 1lb - 1lb 12oz.
All in all one of the best starts to a season on the Royalty for many a year with the sheer number of small barbel being both seen and caught is extremely encouraging, as is the improvement in the head of chub which finally seem to be making a comeback on the lower Avon. Likewise the roach fishing continues to improve in terms of both quality and quantity. Indeed the Roach Club placed four artificial spawning boards in the Royalty as part of the Avon Roach Project and so successful was the spawing that only two boards were removed for the project, with the others being left to hatch in the river. Hopefully the eggs from the two boards removed, once hatched and grown on will go towards re-stocking the middle reaches of the Avon where the roach stocks are worryingly low.
The excellent sport anglers experienced in the opening week of the season continued throughout the second week of the season with quality fish of most species being landed by anglers fishing the Royalty. Quality barbel, chub, bream, roach, perch and pike were reported from all around the fishery although the majority of barbel caught came from above the Pipes and down through to Fiddlers. Having said that, the largest barbel reported to date came from the lower area of the fishery and was landed by local angler Stuart Andrews. It weighed 13lb 10oz and it fell to luncheon meat.
The Compound, which has had a fairly slow start barbel wise suddenly started to produce with one catch of four barbel to 11lbs 7oz whilst Fred Hampton landed a very clean barbel weighing 10lb 10oz on pellet from Jacks Corner. He then followed this up with a 5lb 6oz chub from the Lower Stile.
Another angler who had an enjoyable session in the Compound had a surprise when his worm bait was taken by a pike of 14lbs which he managed to land despite the lack of a wire trace. Mind you it wasn't half the surprise he got when he again had a take on a worm and it turned out to be another beautifully marked pike, this one weighing weighing a superb 27lbs 12oz. As can be seen from the photograph this fish had spawned and was certainly under its normal weight. I guess these pike didn't realise that they were out of season on the Royalty until October!
There have now been 46 double figure barbel reported from around the fishery since the season started, an incredible number considering there have been loads of smaller barbel taken as well. Gary Wordsworth fished the Parlour and caught three barbel to 10lb 10oz as well as a 12lb mirror carp. Peter Cronin of Bournemouth landed a 10lb 1oz barbel from the Pipes on ledgered pellet. Pierre Moroni of Leicester ledgered luncheon meat on Greenbanks to take a new personal best weighing 12lb 9oz. and from the comments he left on his catch return we can safely assume that he enjoyed himself. In his own words "This place is the best. My 1st. double, brilliant!"
Barry Garwood reported that he had "Just got back from five days on the royalty and I must say it was fishing really well! between the three of us we managed 28 barbel including 3 doubles of 10.9, 10.15, and a 12lb exactly for my nephew which is his pb, I also managed to catch a 15.14 koi carp!. Excellent weather and an excellent week."
Darrel Hughes fished Greenbanks last Thursday and managed to land four barbel to 11lb 12oz on ledgered pellet whilst local angler Hugh Goldsmith had a great session which saw him take a 12lb 3oz barbel on pellet and a 2lb 8oz perch trotting maggot. A nice brace on a hot and sunny day.
Mr D Howell also had a perch of 2lb 8oz which he caught from above the Pipes on feeder fished maggot. Another regular Greg Turner had a great days sport landing five barbel on the float and finished the day off with an 11lb 9oz beauty which fell to ledgered pellet. Rumour has it that Greg had a red letter patch last week as he followed this up with a double from a different Avon venue and some cracking chub from Throop.
RDAA member Khalid Salem made his first visit to the Royalty of the season and fished the Trammels area hooking four barbel, landing two, the best of which went 9lb 9oz. He also had a cracking chub weighing 5lb 10oz.
Another member, Pete Wilson from Southampton ledgered a boilie from Fiddlers West where he tempted a 9lb 14oz barbel.
Finally I have received some pictures from James Thomas who had a couple of excellent trips to the Royalty in the first week of the season. Unfortunately I don't know which picture is of which of the doubles he caught but they are all worthy of inclusion in this report.
Another angler who kindly sent in his photo's of his first week captures was Kevin Attwood who landed a 9lb 10oz barbel along with a 12lb mirror carp.
Finally a big thank you to everyone who has provided details and pictures of their Royalty catches, without which these reports would be far less interesting. Anyone who has pictures can send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We all knew that the stunning start to the season on the Royalty couldn't be sustained and the exceptionally hot weather we experienced last week finally slowed the barbel fishing on the Royalty although a number of good fish were still banked. With the lack of rainfall we've had it is hardly surprising that the flow has slowed considerably along the Hampshire Avon and this picture is reflected on the Royalty where the flow through Trammels has reduced considerably. This has resulted in some of the barbel moving up into the Compound whilst others have dropped down to below Watersmeet where the flow is signficantly higher due to the additional flow coming down from the Parlour. Consequently, as in early season, the most productive area for barbel is once again from Watersmeet down to Fiddlers East & West. There are loads of barbel showing once again throughout this area but they have wised up since the start of the season and, whilst they can be readily seen, persuading them to take a bait has become a touch harder. Back on Trammels there are plenty of good size bream taking advantage of the slower flows if catching river bream takes your fancy along with some cracking chub to over 6lbs. which are well worth targetting. Large perch are also coming out through Nelsons down to Watersmeet.
One of the anglers who did manage to winkle a barbel out of Trammels was Ahmed Salem who landed a really pretty barbel weighing 9lb 8oz along with a bream of 5lb 8oz.
A few anglers have actually started to check out the water below the Falls and have been rewarded with catches of chub, barbel and some cracking bream. Throop Fishery Manager Chris Allport had a day away from his beloved Stour and fished Telegraphs on the Royalty from where he landed a bream of 10lbs 6oz whilst his fishing companion for the day, Brian Willson (RDAA bailiff and writer of the Throop Reports on this website) had a nice clean barbel weighing 7lb 12oz. Pellet was the successful bait in both cases.
Large as Chris' bream was, it wasn't the largest taken that day. That accolade went to Gary Truelove who landed a superb 11lb 3oz bream from the Waterloo Pool which Ringwood Members can book and fish on Wednesdays from their clubs boat. Quality roach, dace and sea trout are the normal quarry in this pool but Gary showed that all sorts of quality fish inhabit this underutilised area of the fishery.
Adrian Mitchell of Yorkshire had a great day when he fished pellet above the Pipes and landed three barbel with the best weighing 12lb 7oz.
Local angler Greg Turner trotted Greenbanks for a mixed bag of dace, chub to 5lbs and a couple of grayling. He also landed a 9lb 8oz barbel on ledgered pellet from the same area. It is interesting that this season grayling are showing up in small numbers from all over the fishery as far down as Telegraphs. With their need for high quality water it is encouraging that their numbers are increasing year on year on the Royalty.
Ken Beech made the trip down from Stockport and had an enjoyable session with a catch that included a 5lb bream. On the same day the anglers in the Compound had four barbel including a brace of eight pounders along with bream to 6lb 6oz, chub to 2lbs and a 13oz specimen dace. Another angler reported four perch to 2lb 8oz although he didn't leave a name.
Firstly, apologies for the lateness of this report but, as I mentioned in the last report, I have been away for a week's fishing and have only now been able to collate all the information from Fishery Catch Returns, emails and phone calls into a semblence of a report. Not having been here speaking to anglers fishing the Royalty I am afraid that the report is consequently less detailed than normal.
The only place to start is in reporting the capture of the best barbel of the season from the Royalty by Bright*n based regular Jeff Edisbury. This beauty weighed 15lb 12oz and is I believe a new PB for Jeff and was caught from Greenbanks. Unsurprisingly for Jeff his bait was pellet and I would wager that he spent the entire day standing in the swim holding his rod for the duration. One can only wonder what weight this particular fish will weigh if it is caught when it is at its heaviest weight later on in the season! Our congratulations Jeff, our only surprise was that it was you that caught it and not Cat!
The next day he landed an 11lb 6oz barbel from the Pipes whilst his significantly better half Cat had two barbel to 7lb 10oz from the same area. On the Wednesday he returned to Greenbanks and landed a brace of doubles weighing 12lb 6oz and 10lb 11oz, all taken on pellet.
Jeff is obviously a man of many fishing talents having taken what I believe to be his first ever sea trout on the previous Saturday when trotting with his newly acquired centrepin on the Royalty.
Another regular Ken Clayton had a couple of excellent trips last week. On his first visit of the week he landed barbel weighing 4lb, 9lb 4oz, 9lb 12oz and a cracking specimen of 13lbs exactly. Ken fished just above the Pipes using imitation caster.
On his next visit Ken fished the same area and was rewarded this time with six barbel, two at 4lbs, one of 6lbs, a seven pounder, a 9lb 8oz and a superb fish of 13lbs 8oz!
Another angler who got amongst the barbel was Tom Collingridge from Cullompton in Devon. He also fished the Pipes area and used pellet to tempt four barbel, the largest weighing 10lb 4oz. In the comments on his Catch Return he said "My Second trip to the Royalty and my second double - Beginning to like it!!"
John Gooderham from Barnstaple ledgered a pellet in the Railway Pool and landed his first ever barbel weighing 7lb 5oz on what he described as a "great day out". Jason Parnell from Shipton-on-Stour in Warwickshire ledgered a 21mm pellet in the Pipes and was rewarded with a new PB weighing 13lb 2oz. He admitted to being a bit shocked - as well as being chuffed to bits - as his previous PB was 8lb 8oz. Jason has kindly agreed to send in some pictures for the website and i will publish them in the next report.
K. Rice fished the Roadbridge from the West bank using caster and landed a 13lb 6oz barbel.
Nick Hodges and James Shade took advantage of the limited night fishing available on the Royalty to land barbel including specimens of 13lb 10oz and 12lb 10oz along with chub to 3lbs.
Regular visitors Dave and Lorraine Pryor from Brighouse in West Yorkshire were down for a fortnights 'fishing' and I was gutted that I was away for half their trip and missed their excellent post fishing company in the Royalty (Inn). Scanning the returns I have only found one mentioning Dave and that was for a 9lb 8oz barbel pictured below. This fish took a halibut pellet ledgered in the Pipes swim.
Ahmed Salem seems to have developed the knack this season of managing to winkle out fish at last knockings on days when the fishing has been somewhat slow, confirmation that it is always worth fishing that last hour after the sun sets even when sport has been slow. Ahmed had a 9lb 8oz barbel and a six pound chub, both pictured below.
Other barbel reported include three barbel to 5lbs and two bream to 6lbs caught by Eddy Widdup who roved the fishery rolling meat. Terry Findlay having landed perch to 2lbs and a 10lb barbel earlier in the week returned and had three barbel to 7lb from the Pipes area whilst Andrew Dunk, more famous this season for his salmon fishing exploits, landed five barbel to 6lbs and a dozen chub to 3lb 8oz along with a seasons best 2lb flounder! Another angler only recorded as 'Rob' had an 11lb barbel from the Pipes. Regular visitor John Papadopoulas had a red letter day landing four barbel to 11lbs on Sunday and then followed it up later in the week with yet another brace of barbel - best 9lb 2oz - one of a number he has had this season. Sparsholt student Shaun Miller who undertook his work experience on the Royalty landed an 8lb barbel on a boilie from the Pipes. Fishing with Shaun was Brian Kneis who had a barbel of 5lbs. Local angler Pete White had four barbel in an evening's fishing after work rolling meat, whilst Les Dwight used the same method to land another couple of barbel as well as chub to 5lb 8oz. Another local Terry Croucher had a 10lb 15oz barbel on meat from below the Pipes.
Other than the barbel fishing the excellent chub fishing continues to surprise and please regular Royalty anglers who have had something of a lean time with chub on the Fishery. The number of 5lb + chub caught this year really as taken everyone by surprise as has several chub between 6lb & 6lb 8oz being landed. John Valentine was yet another angler to have an excellent catch of roach with a bag that included specimens between 1lb 8oz and 1lb 12oz fishing tares and corn over hemp. The perch fishing has slowed somewhat but there are still plenty of 2lb plus examples being caught. The bream have really been getting their heads down and catches of up to a dozen fish over 6lbs in a session have been recorded. One bream catch stood out by Alan Holmes, a Ringwood Member from New Milton, who fished above the Railway and had 10 Bream going to 8lb 4oz and two at 7lb 8oz all on sweetcorn freelined in the margin over a bed of small pellet and sweetcorn. Kirk Thompson and his fishing companion (sorry no name!) also got amongst the bream with the best going 6lbs.
Please click on the images to enlarge.
Finally Ken McArthur of Christchurch ledgered a boilie in Telegraphs and landed a new PB common carp from a river weighing 26lb 4oz. As Ken was fishing for barbel at the time using 8lb line this was a cracking piece of angling skill, especially when you consider the amount of streamer weed in the vicinity of the swim. Ken has kindly agreed to send me a photo for the website.
All in all a great weeks sport on the Royalty - shame I wasn't here to enjoy it!
Since the last report I am pleased to be able to say that the sea trout have arrived in good numbers with excellent sport being enjoyed in the Bridge Pool, Compound and on the main river itself. The biggest sea trout reported weighed 8lb 2oz and was taken by local angler John Stack from the Pipes.
Another regular Peter Dexter also had a good sea trout in the same week landing one of 7lbs from Johnsons.
This is the first Royalty report for a while due to the shop being so busy at this time of the year so I shall start by offering my apologies for the lack of updates. At least Brian Willson has kept the flag flying for Throop during this period with his excellent weekly reports on this site.
Since the last report the seasons best barbel has been taken but I have been asked to hold back on reporting it until next week when it will be appearing in the angling press. I have seen the photo's and it will be well worth the wait!
Strangely the barbel seem to have continued to be shoaled up between Watersmeet and Fiddlers with large numbers of anglers consequently focusing their efforts in this area. Usually you would expect them to have dispersed due to the angling pressure they have received but a number of them seem content to remain in this area. Perhaps it is due to the consistent level of bait that is going in this area. Having said that barbel have also been coming out from Telegraphs - a much underrated swim in my personal opinion - the Roadbridge, Trammels, Nelsons and below the Roadbridge. No doubt if more anglers spread around the Fishery then more barbel would come from those areas - a definite catch 22 situation.
Richard Booty with yet more Royalty caught barbel this season
Those anglers who seem to have had the most success are those who, at least during the day, are fishing small baits. Particularly successful has been the traditional hemp and caster tactics.
Although the numbers of barbel reported are down on the first six weeks of the season, plenty of barbel continue to come out with a number of barbel over 13lbs reported each week since the last report along with a couple over 15lb. The smaller barbel continue to feed well and one or two anglers have been filling their boots using trotted maggot, particularly in Fiddlers East and Foxes.
John Papadopoulos with a selection of some of the excellent Royalty barbel he has caught this season.
One final point before I move onto species other than barbel, local angler Joe Stanley has been giving me grief as I missed his first ever barbel out of one of the earlier reports this season. To make amends here he is with an 8lb beauty from Greenbanks. For those who don't know Joe, you may well know his grandfather Adrian who ran the excellent fishermen friendly Royalty Inn for many years before current landlord Don took over. Well done Joe, shame you are too young for us to buy you a congratulatory pint in the Royalty!
Plenty of chub up to six pounds continue to be caught with large numbers in the 2-3lb class - fish that have been virtually non-existent on the Royalty during the past few years. It certainly bodes well for the future for this species.
Another species that is bucking the trend and doing well on the Royalty are roach where not only are they appearing in good numbers to trotted baits but there have now been seven over the magic 2lb mark reported this season as well as loads in the 1lb 8oz - 1lb 12oz class. Successful baits, particularly when trotted, include maggot, caster and small pellets.
The perch fishing has continued to provide excellent sport with the largest reported weighing 4lb 8oz although it unfortunately fell to an angler fishing for sea trout. Unfortunately due to the inconsiderate actions of some anglers the Fishery has introduced a restriction limiting the live baits permitted for perch fishing to only dace and bleak. (From a personal perspective at least it means the gudgeon are safe from you perch anglers!)
The carp continue to show well, particularly around the Railway, Boat Pool and Roadbridge although few people have bothered to target them over the past couple of weeks. Below is the 26lb 4oz common carp landed by Ken McArthur that I mentioned in the last report but didn't, at the time, have a copy of the picture. Thanks to Ken for sending me a copy for inclusion in this report.
There are shoals of bream averaging 6-7lbs in the Railway Slack, Foxes, the mouth of the Clockhouse Stream (East Bank) and Fiddlers. They are coming out to pellet, sweetcorn and caster.
The bream above weighed 7lb 8oz and was taken by Matt Rye earlier in the season and I omitted it from the report in error. Its a great picture don't you think?
Mention must be made of a seven pound plus bream taken by young Ed Gulliver from Greenbanks who showed his father Nick how it should be done, catching this quality bream, along with chub and roach whilst Nick sat back and blanked!
Finally a big thank you to all those anglers who kindly sent us pictures of their Royalty catches, it is really appreciated. Anyone wishing to send us a picture can do so via email to email@example.com
There has certainly been a run of large specimen barbel from the Royalty recently with the best of the bunch being a sixteen pounder caught by Dave Treadwell. This fish won this weeks Drennan Cup award for Dave and is the largest reported Royalty barbel caught during August. This fish was one of a brace for Dave, the other fish was also a double weighing 11lb 4oz.
Dave has been in a rich vein of form on the Royalty this season having taken six doubles to 11lb 4oz in the last month before this latest capture put the icing on the cake.
Darrel Hughes is another angler who has reason to be pleased with his recent trip to the Royalty, landing a beautiful barbel weighing 15lb 3oz from Telegraphs last week. This fish was hooked at last knockings when Darrel's rod tip warpped round in a powerful bite. Unfortunately there was no-one on hand to take the photo so he had to rush a self timer picture, which is a shame for such a great fish. Also if you look closely there was an incredible sunset going on behind him so whilst the fish didn't get away, a great photo opportunity did! This fish was Darrel's tenth from the Royalty recently and his second double.
Another angler who also broke the fifteen pound barrier was Dave Berry with a lovely fish of exactly 15lbs. Dave kindly came in to the shop and dropped off a photo which is reproduced below.
Royalty regular, Lord Jez Brown, came down with two of his henchmen Alan Jakes and Phil Plant and they shared a great evenings fishing with all three landing double figure barbel. Best of the bunch was a 13lb 8oz barbel which fell to the Lord B. (no doubt he demanded first choice of swim), followed by a 13lb 5oz barbel for Alan and a 10lb 9oz barbel for Planty. Needless to say they all had huge smiles on their faces when they came in for their tickets the following day. One thing that struck them all was the awesome length of Alan's fish, causing them all to speculate just how heavy this fish will weigh if it is taken at its heaviest weight later in the season.
The smaller barbel are also still coming out but they have certainly become far more wary than they were earlier in the season and daytime sport with them is more patchy than it was, although those anglers staying to last knockings are being rewarded with some great sport.
Perch have also been showing well with a number of cracking examples being reported. I have managed to obtain a couple of great perch pictures, including Chris Carter with a three pound plus specimen from the House Pool and Lord Jez Brown with a two pound plus example from the Parlour.
With the end of the Summer holidays, the pressure on the Royalty has decreased and it is looking good for the coming weeks. It is raining as I type and the rivers could certainly do with a fresh influx of water, having suffered low flows for much of the Summer. Hopefully next weeks report will reflect the improving conditions.
After what seems like weeks since we had any rain we have finally had a couple of days of rain which have raised the river levels slightly and finally provided some colour in the water after a Summer of low, clear conditions. Unfortunately this has coincided with the weed dying and breaking off resulting in testing fishing conditions on occasions. Anglers who have opted to minimise this problem by trotting for the barbel have been well rewarded with fish to over 11lbs taken on the float, along with some cracking chub to 5lb 15oz and perch to around 3lbs.
Prior to this the barbel fishing was somewhat inconsistent with fishing becoming increasingly hard to tempt during the day, only really coming on the feed during the last couple of hours when the light levels dropped. Pellet proved a slow bait especially in the larger sizes and small baits were the order of the day with maggot and caster being the most successful options. The new Pallatrax Bloodworm boilies were the exception with a number of barbel to over 16lbs and carp to 20lbs falling for this bait fished in the smaller 14mm size.
One angler who managed to beat the conditions was Richard Booty who landed the biggest reported barbel from the Royalty this season at 16lb 2oz. Congratulations from all at Davis Tackle!
Plenty of double figure barbel have been reported since the last report with the stretch from Watersmeet, through the Pipes, down Greenbanks to Fiddlers has continued to provide the best sport with barbel. It seems that the reduced flows we have experienced all Summer have held the barbel below Watersmeet, where both sections of the river re-join after splitting at the Great Weir. Having said that there have been some cracking specimens reported from the Compound and Parlour, albeit not in great numbers. Likewise the Telegraphs and Roadbridge have also produced some real lumps between them.
Local angler Stu Andrews, after 8years of trying and having 7 x 13lb+ fish along the way,finally cracked the 14lb barrier with a fish of 14.15. He told us that "funnily it was my old friend which you may remember i had back in June at 13.10, it was the broken/repaired tail fish, it was as fat as a pig obviously been stacking on the weight last couple of months down there and from what I hear not just that fish a lot of the big ones have, this fish will def go 15lb+ by the winter my scales were filickering between 14.15 and 15 so should go 15 easily."
Please click on the images below to enlarge
Another unusual brace was taken by Richard Parkes who managed a lovely barbel weighing 14lbs 6oz along with one of the resident Royalty koi carp that weighed 17lb 7oz. Both fish came from the area of the Piles.
The perch fishing has continued to throw up plenty of specimens weighing over 3lbs, although none have beaten the 4lb 12oz specimen reported earlier in the year.
The biggest carp reported since the last Royalty update was caught by young Liam Fox who was fishing with Ed Gulliver and his father Nick. Apparently Liams father is a keen carp angler who I understand has never landed a 20lb plus river carp. Well Liam managed it, taking a 20lb 9oz common carp from the Pipes on a bloodworm boilie. Unfortunately the photo isn't very good, having been taken on a mobile phone at last knockings, but it is still definately worth including in this report. Nice one Liam!
Not to be outdone Nick himself has had a new PB off the Royalty, landing a 16lb 1oz barbel from the Stumps at last knockings. This is the second largest reported barbel from the fishery this year and it fell to ledgered bloodworm boilie.
The roach and dace fishing has offered consistent sport throughout the last couple of months, although the recent colder nights has slowed sport down somewhat. There are still plenty to be found below the Little Weir, particularly behind the Organics Building. A few anglers enjoyed excellent sport with large dace in Johnsons recently but, as mentioned earlier this sport has dried up somewhat.
The Royalty opened up for pike fishing on October 1st. and whilst there have been plenty of doubles taken, none over 20lbs have been taken yet to the best of my knowledge. Livebaiting has probably been the most successful method so far but plenty of good fish have fallen to both lures and deadbaits.
Hotspots have been the Piles, Railway and House Pool. As yet the mild weather has meant that the weed has not yet died off in the lagoon off the Clockhouse making fishing this area somewhat awkward. Mind you, water flows have been so reduced that the pike have not felt the need to get out of what would normally be heavy Autumn flows on the main river!
Special mention should go to Cat (for those of you who don't know, Cat is the significantly better half of the reprobate known as Jeff Edisbury and who occasionally accompanies him down to fish the Royalty. She would fish here more often if Jeff didn't get so upset at being outfished every time she comes to Christchurch!) who, on finding herself down on the Royalty with conditions far from ideal for barbel fishing, decided to try her hand at pike fishing. Unsurprisingly she outfished Jeff, managing a brace of pike the best of which went 11lb 6oz.
Another individual who deserves a special mention is Craig Scattergood who many of you would have met last month when he spent two weeks on work experience at Davis Tackle. Craig not only proved a great success in the shop but he also turned out to be pretty handy at fishing as well. During a period when anglers were moaning that conditions were pretty tough he went fishing after work and managed to catch three barbel in a single session. Whilst this is impressive enough it should also be pointed out that he hadn't ever fished the Royalty before! Congratulations and thanks go to Craig in equal measure.
Now that Summer is over and things have quietened down somewhat, hopefully the Royalty reports will once again be produced weekly just as Brian Willson has managed to do all season for Throop. If only I could find another Brian - but one who fishes the Royalty - my problems would be solved. Thinking about it, it would be nice if they also moaned a bit less than Brian does...
Since the last Report, barbel fishing on the Royalty has continued to be patchy although a number of excellent specimens have been landed including three over 15lbs.It actually seems that it is the larger fish that have been feeding whilst the smaller barbel have only been feeding in fits and starts. The biggest news is that the Royalty barbel record was equalled when visiting angler Brian Greed landed a 16lb 7oz specimen from the Pipes. This fish had clearly not read the right books as it was Brian's first ever barbel! and it chose to take ledgered bread. The fish was witnessed at 16lb 6oz but a subsequent check of the two sets of scales showed that they were both weighing 1oz light and that the fish actually went 16lb 7oz. Congratulations to Brian from everyone at Davis Tackle and the Royalty Fishery.
Brian with the new record barbel weighing 16lb 7oz
Another angler who nearly broke the 16lb barrier on the Royalty was Les Darlington from Worcester who on Saturday landed a new pb of 15lb 14oz from the Pipes. This fish took a ledgered hair rigged pellet and was thirteenth time lucky for Les who firsed fished the Royalty 37 years ago and has been hoping for a fish like this for just as long!
On the same day a 15lb 4oz barbel was caught from the Railway by an angler with his very first cast of the day on his first ever visit to the Fishery. Unfortunately, despite this fish being weighed and witnessed I don't have any further details. The same is true of two other good fish, one 14lb 8oz and the other 14lb 12oz, both were reported to the River Keeper but, as yet, I have no further details.
Ahmed Salem continued to show his ability to winkle out barbel from the Royalty - and indeed big chub from Throop - when conditions are difficult. On his last trip to the Royalty he managed to land a short, thickset barbel in excellent condition that weighed 11lb 1oz. He told us that, as it was a short fish which he thought might go ten pounds and he was surprised to see it register 11lb 1oz on his scales so another angler re-weighed it on their scales which recorded 11lb 2oz.
Regular visitor Jeff Edisbury was strugging with his preferred pellet approach and he finally bit the bullet and gave maggots a go, rolling them gently around over an area he had heavily fed with maggot prior to starting fishing. He ended up hooking and losing three barbel through hook pulls and then to cap it all he hooked a very large sea trout which took him all over the river for about twenty minutes before smashing him on a snag right at his feet when he went to land it. Having had a touch of 'success' using this method he gave it a go again the next day and he was rewarded with a superb brace of, er, gudgeon. Whilst I would have personally been delighted with such a tremendous catch, unfortunately Jeff doesn't hold these mini marvels in the same esteem as I do...
Talking of Jeff, today he was taken up the Itchen by a local angler as Jeff had never previously caught a grayling. Seeing as Jeff has been patiently targetting the larger barbel on the Royalty I bet he was over the moon to learn that a 16lb 7oz beauty had been landed today when he was fishing elsewhere. Poor Jeff, I dread to think how many phone calls were made to tell him.
The roach and dace fishing has quietened off as it so often does around this time of year but I saw some cracking roach priming above the Great Weir earlier this week so as soon as conditions are favourable I shall definately take a walk up there with my roach gear.
To close this report I am pleased to report that young Craig Scattergood is continuing to do well on the fishery. At the weekend he targetted pike and the best fish he landed weighed 11lb 9oz. Great photo Craig by the way.
This weeks Royalty report comes on the back of the recent welcome rain which has left us with a river that finally has some water and colour in it! Levels are back to what we traditionally expected, and more recently have hoped for, at this time of year and there have been some lovely fish landed from around the fishery despite the fishery being fairly quiet.
A pleasant surprise is that the best specimen of the week is actually a chub rather than the more usual barbel. Gary Truelove, who has had some cracking perch from the Royalty this season, had a session trotting at Watersmeet where he managed to amass a good bag of silvers including roach to 1lb 12oz and a brace of chub that went 5lb 8oz and 7lb 12oz. Yes that's right a 7lb 12oz chub from the Royalty!! (Beat that this week in yourThroop report Brian). Gary reported that the fish was in excellent condition and fought really well.
Amazingly this wasn't the only superb chub taken this week as another angler reported one weighing exactly 7lbs. Unfortunately I don't have any further details as it was another angler who witnessed the capture who came in and told us in the shop. Apparently the angler did say that he would be sending a report in so we may yet get further information on this fish.
A fair few barbel have been reported with the best fish reported weighing 13lb 12oz which was landed by local angler John Papadopulos who was using his new homemade bait.
Another angler who broke the 13lb barrier was Jim Siford who landed a new pb weighing 13lb 2oz from Greenbanks. This fish took trotted maggots and was landed on the new float rod that Jim had purchased the day before. Hopefully I will have a photo to put in next weeks report but in the meantime below is a picture of the 11lb 10oz barbel that Jim landed the previous day.
Another angler with a reason to smile is Jonathon Brownett who is down fishing with Jim and Mike and who landed his first ever barbel on the float weighing 7lb 8oz. Jonathon was fishing between the Pipes when he landed this fish.
Bright*n based Royalty Report Regular Jeff Edisbury, having got over the shock of being taken up the Itchen on the day that the Fishery barbel record was equalised, returned once more to his more familiar haunt of the Royalty banks where he managed to land several barbel to 11lb 2oz. Chatting to Jeff he had thouroughly enjoyed catching plenty of grayling and trout on the float at Gaters Mill. Indeed he said that he is sure that Cat would also love to be taken up the Itchen the next time she came to Christchurch; it certainly is a completely different experience to the usual fishing on the Avon or Stour.
I also received a report from Stafford Read who had an enjoyable day fishing on the Royalty, taking a nice brace of a 4lb chub and a 7lb 8z barbel, pictured below.
There have been a number of pike taken from around the fishery with plenty in the low doubles. There have been another two twenties this week, both weighing 23lbs. One was landed on a livebait by RDAA member Alan Holmes from the mouth of the Little Weir whilst I am still awaiting details of the other fish.
To close, we are now taking bookings for the Compound, Parlour and Bridge Pools for next season. Prices have been kept to the same as this season and bookings can be made by calling Davis Tackle on 01202 485169.
Since the last report on the Royalty there has been little to report as the dreadful weather has kept all but the hardiest anglers from venturing out. The heavy rain has resulted in the river breaking it banks on several occasions down by the bypass bridge and this has been exasperated on two seperate occasions by the heavy rains coincideding with Spring Tides which always cause the river to back up anyway. Surprisingly the colour dropped out quite quickly and there were a couple of days when conditions were ideal and those anglers who ventured out were rewarded by the barbel feeding well. Rolling meat was, unsurprisingly, the most effective tactic and plenty of smaller barbel were taken although, perhaps more surprisingly, only the smaller barbel in the 5 - 9lb class were landed with few exceptions.
One angler who did manage to land a better stamp of barbel was Joe Stanley who took a new PB of exactly 11lbs from Fiddlers West on rolling meat. Well done Joe!
The largest barbel reported was landed by Jeff Edisbury of Br*ghton, who I was actually standing next to when he hooked a 13lb 14oz from Greenbanks. Despite my helpful attempts to put him off he finally managed to land the fish after a superb fight in the heavy water. Unfortunately there was an additional reason for the strong resistance that this fish put up - it was foul hooked. Still I persuaded Jeff to let me have a photo as the fish was in exceptional condition.
As the days went by the water temperature which had remained pretty constant with little variation between day and nightime suddenly plummeted as we experienced the first frost of the season and expectations for the barbel fishing likewise dropped although the odd fish continued to be taken. Having remained low, the river temperature has been climbing strongly and is now at the same temperature as it was back at the beginning of November. Indeed as I write this the rain has stopped and it is incredibly mild for the time of year and the river looks spot on. The number of anglers on the Fishery? one....
The pike fishing has varied between excellent and a waste of time but on occasions it has been really on form. Local predator angler Shaun Miller landed three doubles weighing 18lb 10oz, 18lb 4oz and 14lb 8oz in an afternoon roving around the fishery. He had another double of 16lb 12oz the next day as well.
The largest pike reported was 20lb 2oz and was landed by Terry Findlay from the Lower Water on a lure. This is the seventh 'twenty' from the Royalty this season, the largest so far weighing a creditable 27lb 12oz.
With the mild spell predicted to continue, and the water carrying an ideal tinge of colour, prospects look good for the next week whether your target is barbel or pike.
Firstly may I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year from all of us at Davis Tackle down here in Christchurch.
When I last posted the Royalty Report all indications suggested that we were in for a mild spell with the water levels falling after all the recent flooding. Well it just goes to show that we are easily as good at predicting the weather as the Met Office are - we got it hopelessly wrong. Since then we have experienced continually falling temperatures until the point when Winter truly kicked in and large swathes of the country were blanketed in snow up to a foot deep. As usual we didn't actually get any snow in Christchurch but we did experience some pretty ferocious frosts and an amazing morning where the whole of Avon Buildings was covered in black ice causing both pedestrians and vehicles to skid all over the place. The unwanted side effect of all this cold weather is that the barbel simply 'shut shop' and refused to feed, with only a few smaller examples reported to us.
The plus side was that other species less suceptable to the cold did continue to feed and there have been some cracking pike and chub taken from around the fishery. There has now been a total of twelve different twenty pound plus pike landed and reported since the the pike season started on the Royalty back in October. The biggest of the bunch reported was landed by Gerry Carson and weighed exactly 28lbs and was reported to be in excellent condition but clearly not at its heaviest seasonal weight yet.
Gerry Carsons and 28lbs of prime Royalty Pike
Another angler who got amongst the larger pike was local angler Ryan Roberts who landed himself a new PB when he caught a 20lb 12oz pike from below the Little Weir. This was, I believe only Ryan's second pike and he had another local piker Shaun Miller with him at the time to weigh and witness his capture.
In addition to the big pike there have also been plenty of mid to upper doubles reported from the slacks around the fishery such as these below taken by Phil Brumhill and Dan Brown.
Chris Carter managed to go one better and landed nice examples of both chub and pike on a recent visit with the best pike weighing 13lb 4oz and the best chub going 6lb 9oz.
Chris Carter with a nice brace of willing Winter feeders from the Royalty
On the subject of big chub I must apologise to Rob Slater for omitting his excellent catch from the previous report. Rob, who fished the Railway using maggot swimfeeder, caught a really young, healthy looking 6lb 11oz chub which was landed and witnessed by Phillip Hughes. Once again, sorry for missing it out of the last report, especially as its such a great picture!
Rob Slater proudly displays his excellent 6lb 11oz chub
One tale that deserves publicising occurred earlier this week when Jason Lewis, MD of Southern Fisheries, invited a few of his rugby friends down for a days pike fishing earlier this week. One of his guests was Richard Hill MBE, England Rugby World Cup winner and ex-Saracens flanker, who managed to land a jack of around 7lbs in the morning which looks absolutely tiny against the 17 stone 6' 3" frame of the "Silent Assassin".
Richard Hill with Keeper John Dennis and his 7lb pike
Richards success was somewhat put into the shade later on in the day when his partner Claire, who had herself landed her first ever pike of about 4lbs in the morning, latched into one of the bigger specimens the Royalty holds and, after one hell of a fight, she finally landed a fantastic 22lb 9oz pike. Nice one Claire!
By the end of the day the small group had landed 9 pike to 22lb 9oz on a day when the weather was absolutely dreadful but it clearly didn't spoil their day.
Here's hoping to a break in the weather so that, in addition to the pike, chub and roach, the barbel once again get their heads down and feed heavily. I can't be the only person wondering just how big a certain barbel that came out from the Pipes as a 'big 16' will be if she gets caught before the end of the season.
Tight lines and a Happy New Year
Since the last report on the Royalty at least the freezing weather has ended but what with all the salt and meltwater fishing has continued to be somewhat challenging down here in Christchurch. Very few anglers have even been on the fishery and those that have braved the conditions only really found the pike willing to feed. Indeed there have now been sixteen pike over 20lbs reported with the best still standing at 28lbs.
During this quiet period the Keepers have been extremely busy working on the area of the Fishery from the Little Weir down to where it joins Trammels. The far bank has been sympathetically cleared back and all the sunken tree roots, snags etc. have been removed as well as the near bank being tidied up and opened up in places to allow better access for anglers. The result is a real improvement and there is so much more fishing available in this area now, particularly behind the - now empty - Organics building.
The day after the work was completed and this section of the fishery was re-opened to anglers Romey Necluliciu fished one of the new swims hoping to target pike and he enjoyed an amazing four hours sport, landing seven double figure pike the best of which weighed 22lb 2oz! All fish fell to livebait tactics and came from the same spot in the swim.
Fishing in an adjacent swim Joe Stanley managed a couple of jacks but was unable to latch into anything larger. Still he couldn't really complain as he had landed a lovely 12lb 8oz pike from the Piles earlier in the week.
The best pike reported since the last report was caught by Jon Perkins who took advantage of his day off from working in Davis Tackle to fish the Parlour Pool on Wednesday. After struggling to obtain any livebaits for around three hours his fishing companion Shaun appeared in the shop to buy a couple of frozen pike-packs but by the time he got back to the Parlour the silver fish had come on the feed and Jon had caught some livebaits. Shortly after lobbing out a livebait into the head of the Pool Jon had a run almost immediately and, after an excellent fight, he finally slipped the net under a lovely clean pike weighing 26lb 6oz. This is a new PB for Jon and, as anyone who has been in the shop this week will confirm, he is chuffed to bits with this fish!
One final point, last week an angler handed us two beautiful hand made rod rests that had been left on the Fishery in the Car Park. If anyone has lost these then please give the shop a call and we will arrange for them to be returned to you. I know that I would be gutted if I had lost these rests!
Writing this report, once again it is the poor weather that has dominated events more than anything else. The cold and wet weather has kept many anglers away from the banks and even when conditions have been tolerable few have ventured out unless pike were their target species. In fact during the 'milder' spells the odd small barbel has been caught along with some cracking bream captures of up to fourteen fish averaging around 6lbs apiece - great sport if you enjoy fishing for this particular species...
Taking the above into account, it is hardly surprising that, once again, it is pike that have dominated the catch returns. There have now been twenty-six pike caught since October 1st. including three over 28lbs! One of these was landed last week by the journalist and author Michael Daunt who is probably more famous as the proprietor of the Hugh Falkus School of Spey Casting. Having said that he is also an extremely keen coarse angler having caught virtually every species of coarse fish that exists on this island! Well the Royalty came up trumps and he landed a lovely new pb pike weighing exactly 28lbs from below the Little Weir.
An equally good catch was made by 14 year old Ollie Ethell who tempted a 16lb pike using a sliding float with a paternoster boom with a single smelt deadbait. I understand that this is Ollie's new PB which he landed from the Piles.
Another angler who got amongst the pike was Gary Banks from Chichester who fished the top end of the Royalty and had a brace of pike weighing 16lb 20z and 22lb precisely. I have been told that livebaiting was the successful method.
For the last week or so I have been bemoaning the lack of anglers who were even bothering to try for barbel despite an increase in the water temperature and a slightly coloured river. With conditions as they were there was a definate chance of a barbel or two especially for those who enjoy rolling meat. Indeed Throop produced a few barbel recently including a couple of doubles and, whilst the Stour is generally a degree warmer than the chalk fed Avon, it was certainly an indication that a trip after the barbel could well trow up the odd fish. Well local angler John Stack, defied yesterdays rain and had an afternoon rolling meat round the various creases and likely high water lies. He was rewarded with a lovely barbel that, at 13lb 14oz, equalled his personal best.
As if to confirm that the barbel are feeding, two different anglers have been into the shop whilst I have been writing this report to let us know that they have landed barbel today. For me it means that I can hopefully now stop writing bl**dy pike reports and once again tell you about barbel and chub catches from the Royalty!
With under three weeks to go before the rivers close for coarse angling I hope to see some of you back down here on the banks fishing for - and catching - some of the large barbel at their heaviest weights. I know there are a few people with an eye on one particular fish which, if it does get caught, will almost certainly weigh over 17lbs making it a new river record!
Since the last Royalty Report in which I suggested that it would be nice to write about something other than pike, I am pleased to say that I sat down to write this update safe in the knowledge that there had been plenty of barbel caught. However, it has also been pointed out to me that I had omitted to report yet another twenty pound plus pike which I had the details for. In fact it is even more embarassing than that as I was the person who witnessed and photographed the fish in the first place!
The angler involved was local predator specialist Shaun Miller who banked his season's best from the Royalty back at the end of last month. He was fishing the Stumps when his mackerel deadbait was picked up by a beautifully marked 21lb 12oz pike. Well done Shaun, and apologies for missing it out of that weeks Royalty Report. To make up I have included a couple of pictures in the report instead of the ususal one.
A lovely pike from a bank high Royalty, for Shaun Miller.
Having finally reported Shauns fish, I will hopefully get the full Royalty Report out shortly; suffice it to say that there have been plenty of barbel out since the last report and I am trying to sort out pictures etc. so that it is up on the web before the weekend.