Warm weather means fish have other things on their minds

Thanks to that fabulous weather, plenty of coarse fish have got a load off their minds - or at least their bellies.

I’ve witnessed fish spawning before, but never with the intensity of last weekend.
Driving home from TalkSport, my phone rang, hands-free of course, with John Gard telling me to: ‘...get down to the river by Hawkers - they’re going ballistic.’ The spot in question is a relic of the old British Aerospace company - its sports ground still exists, backing on to the Thames a few hundred yards above Teddington Lock.

I was there by 9am and after a couple of minutes saw my first swirl, right against the bank. There were bream simply everywhere.

Fish that looked from about 3lb to 8lb were dashing about, tearing the ‘cabbages’ to bits and attacking anything sticking out of the bank or river bed… striving to get their eggs laid and fertilised.

I called John to tell him I was watching it, but he’d walked half-a-mile further and he said that the fish were repeating the trick all the way along. Looking at the numbers of fish present - and there were swirls up to 20 yards from the bank - it is simply incredible that you don’t hit one on the head every time you cast a feeder! John also saw half-a-dozen carp to mid-20s and some big roach joining in.

Then on Sunday, another call, this time around 11am, from John and I was off to the Young Mariners Pit. This is an old sand pit, connected to the Thames by a lock gate that opens and closes with the tide.

One corner of the lake was alive with bream, stirring up the shallow water, but the rest of the pit was carp city! They were everywhere there was a snag, even lifting quite large sunken branches clear of the water.

One particular floozie - an orange koi certainly in the 20lb bracket - was being chased by a small army of common carp gigolos, so there may be some stunning fish for future generations to catch if any survive.

The trouble is, they have to run the gauntlet of mitten crabs, then other fish eating the spawn, before perch and zander get to the fry to stop them growing large enough for cormorants to eat.

Like every other year, in a few weeks the margins in every swim will be alive with small fry - it’s what happens next that beats me.

Maybe the fish are there but we can’t catch ‘em, because that is certainly the case with the fish I saw having a dirty weekend.