HARD TO IMAG­INE A BET­TER RIVER THAN THE THAMES...

...and Tony’s huge early-sea­son bream haul proves why

Angling Times (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

OUNG matchman Tony Curd has now made a rit­ual of tak­ing his first casts of the sea­son on the bot­tom end of the non-tidal Thames.

This time round, in the first five hours from mid­night to dawn, he amassed an as­ton­ish­ing 70-plus bream for what must have been close to 400lb.

The Thames had its dace hey­day in the 1980s, and fol­low­ing their de­cline in num­bers from the early 1990s on­wards it was the turn of the bream.

Where they go for much of the sea­son I have no idea, be­cause there are so many it is al­most in­con­ceiv­able that a feeder could be thrown mid-river with­out land­ing near some. Yet when the river goes into sum­mer mode – still and clear – or in winter, when it clears with frost, it is vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to buy a bite.

These days the lower Thames is rammed with fish. The dace are back in abun­dance, and roach of many year groups, from ounce fish to the odd gi­ant over 2lb and thou­sands be­tween 4oz and 1lb, Tony Curd has made a habit of tak­ing huge bream hauls from the Thames. are plen­ti­ful too. Yet most an­glers present are in bivvies, fish­ing for carp or bar­bel.

The big­gest prob­lem is find­ing a spot to park, but when the Thames is in the form it is right now it’s dif­fi­cult to think of bet­ter, more var­ied fish­ing any­where.

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