Duncan’s monthly Blog – April 2014
Its been a strange month, usually one that I look forward too and relish as all fisheries wake up and their occupants go on a feeding frenzy, yet its had not only its high’s but its lows, the most life changing one being the loss of my good friend Richard Crimp. Richard was one of the founders of the TAC (Thames Anglers Conservancy), an avid Thames angler that loved the outside world, chasing monsters of the deep, namely carp but he also had a passion for perch. He was only 47 when he lost his fight against stomach cancer, an indiscriminate illness that once again took one of the nice guys. How do I describe Richard, charismatic, charming, a listener and one that was able to store information like no one I knew. He often helped me out when the hole was dug and was never condescending or offensive, explaining things in simple terms so that I understood. I will remember Richard for sleeping within his unhooking mat, at one with nature under a star filled sky, on the Thames in places we never should have been, the only sign giving him away was the smoke from his roll up, yet more than anything he was a gentleman and friend that will be dearly missed. RIP my friend.
April is normally an unsettled one, one of sunshine and showers, warm days and chilly nights, yet what’s been most noticeable this month is the ever changing wind. Rarely has the wind direction been the same on consecutive days and it’s for this reason why the fishing has been so inconsistent. Usually I end the month on a high with a couple of whackers to show for my efforts, yet a big silver bream just hasn’t happened and I just cant see it happening, why, I don’t quite know, its just a feeling and having to give up Westhampnett due to the cost, but more importantly due to it being a non-publicity water the massive bronze bream hasn’t happened and probably never will. Things could have been so different if my hook hadn’t pulled from the mouth of a very big eel, yet this would have been an accidental capture, so although upsetting it wasn’t the end of the world.
Looking at my diary inputs I’ve managed to get out on fourteen occasions, down on the last couple of months due to the rivers closing and short sessions being knocked on the head. In total these sessions have added up to 143 hours, an average of more than fourteen hours per session! Personal sessions (4) have been disappointing with guiding (6) days up and features (4) also up. My customers have all gone away happy, some with mega hauls of bream, crucians and tench and with at least one customer per week during May along with the weather warming up, and hopefully a wind that makes its mind up, things look good.
My weekly day ticket challenge hopefully has been working out and providing readers with a few new places to visit with the best being compiled into a knew feature that will soon be published within Coarse Angling Today. The four venues this month have been Mill Farm Fishery, Harris Lake, Goldsworth Park and River Farm Fishery. Sadly problems with the water quality at River Farm Fishery has seen the venue close but even sadder is the quality roach it once held are no longer!
The four personal sessions has seen me visit Mill Farm Fishery, fortunately before the doors open to the public due to my help with the fishery as a whole with features and catch reports, yet although over a couple of hundred pounds of fish were caught, the best silver bream taken was 2lb 3oz, one that I couldn’t count as my mate Chris took my rod whilst I played a carp. One day was spent with my father at Badshot Lea Big Pond were once again more than a hundred pound of fish were landed, all bream apart from two tench that dad landed. He enjoyed himself so much he even stayed on when I left! Another session was again spent on Badshot Lea targeting catfish, sadly without any joy and the other on a new tench venue that again was unproductive buts that’s all part of the learning curve.
1. Dad with a standard BLBP bream.
2. The best silver of the spring, shame I was playing a bloody carp.
3. Chris in action at dawn.
4. Young Tom with an old warrior. Watch out for this one, he’s good!
5. Alan in action at Goldsworth Park.
6. Its not all about fishing.