Gerald Stratford writes a  monthly  angling column for the Mail. Contact him on 01869 321610

IT’S that time of year when we fishermen look back over the past 12 months.

Last year finished the same as it started with widespread flooding curtailing our river fishing and pushing us onto lakes and, in my case, reservoirs.

There have been plenty of specimens caught, most of them from the Thames.

Carp over 30lb, pike the same, chub over 6lb, barbel over 14lb, 4lb perch, 2lb-plus roach and even 6lb-plus tench.

We are blessed to have the Thames running through Oxfordshire for us all to enjoy and this year we had some good match weights in excess of 80lb.

The three matches Paul Glenfield put on in September were very good, I hope they feature again this year.

Pleasure catches were good too.

In a two-week period, I had three individual bags of roach of 40, 30 and 38lb, including 26 roach between 1lb and 1lb 8oz. I'm hoping for a two-pounder from that swim before the season finishes.

Two weeks ago, I caught 14 bream for 90lb with a personal best of 9.12.0.

There were some fantastic carp catches on the Linear complex at Stanton Harcourt, with many 30lb-plus fish and also some 40s.

Nearby Lynch Hill has also produced some good fish, with Christchurch Lake turning up some big 30s.

I’ve heard on the grapevine that Stoneacres has produced some huge bream in excess of 18lb.

That is mega and if you fancy a 20lb-plus pike, Stoneacres is the place to try.

Finally, the last month of the year turned up a stunning pike from the tiny Castle Mill Stream in Oxford, which was said to be 36.3.0, although I understand that weight has been revised a little.

Neverthesless, it was still a huge predator.

A big thank-you to the fish that have graced my net over the last year and a very happy new year to all you anglers out there.


Oakfield: (Tuesday, Red Kite Lake, 11 fished) 1 C Davies (Dynamite Oakfield) 40.9.0, 2 G Thorpe (GOT Baits) 30.8.0, 3 R Makins (GOT Baits) 30.0.0.
Oakfield: (Saturday, Red Kite & Swallow Lakes, 19 fished) 1 M Stickley (Ernest Turner) 33.2.0, 2 G Thorpe (GOT Baits) 24.11.8, 3 J Brewster (Dynamite Oakfield) 16.13.0.
Oakfield: (Saturday, Red Kite & Swallow Lakes, 17 fished) 1 G Thorpe (GOT Baits) 58.1.8, 2 N Bryan (The Bull) 22.4.0, 3 P McLoughlin (Dynamite Oakfield) 19.1.8.


(Subject to river conditions)

North Oxford AS: Victory Cup, Cherwell. Draw 8.00, fishing 9-2.
Sutton Courtenay AC: Dawson Memorial Cup, Thames at Otneys. Draw 8am, fishing 9-2.
Littlemore AS: M Whipp Cup, Thames at Sandford. Draw 7.30, fishing 8.45-1.45.