Thursday, 31 July 2014

Duncan's Monthly round-up - July 2014


Monthly round-up July 2014

Summers really here but did anyone get caught out like me whilst doing an overnighter on the 1st July? I actually checked the weather forecast and knew that it was going to be a cold night but never expected to be uncomfortably cold and shivering when the temperatures plummeted to just four degrees. I was fishing at Godalming Angling Societies Enton Lake and half expected to see frost on the umbrella, however luckily we escaped this, just! The fish didn’t seem to mind though and I actually had to wind the rods in at midnight as I had a customer arriving at 5am and needed some sleep. Amazingly come 10am the temperatures had risen some what, 25degrees in fact and to say I was struggling was an understatement, yet we continued to catch crucians and tench steadily and come midday all agreed that we just had to call it a day otherwise a touch of sun-stroke was on the cards.
That cold night was one of those freak occurrences and for the rest of the month we have had to put up with temperatures in the high teens at night and occasionally reaching 30 degrees during the day. The odd storm has momentarily cooled things off, the most noticeable was the one on the 17th when at 1am I found myself locked in battle with a catfish whilst fork lightning struck all around! Come the end of the month another freak weather system hit the south-east and left Worthing in Sussex cleaning up after a torrential downfall. Another factor I've noticed is how windy its been and its this that I feel has made some venues such as Enton fish well and others like Frensham Great Pond badly, well that is for the rudd.
A quick look at the amount of photographs in my diary input instantly tells me that it’s been a good month as no fewer than thirty-eight have been logged. It also shows that I have put in twenty sessions for the month totalling more than one-hundred and fifty hours split between guiding (4 sessions/27hrs), features (7/33), personal outings (3/28) and fortunately sessions where customers allow me to fish (6/64). These sessions have been varied, yet my love for rivers such as the Loddon and Kennet has disappeared so time spent on these has been far less than in past years.
Any month that includes the capture of a personal best has to be a good one and this month I have managed an incredible three! The first was a Golden Orfe of 4lb 7.5oz which was quickly followed by a rainbow trout of 6lb 10oz which was taken on a pellet intended for barbel and to cap the month off I increased my Orfe best with one weighing 4lb 10oz. Golden balls, or should I say my father, showed me the way though with the orfe and landed one weighing 5lb 9oz, not bad for an 83 year old!
Customers have also been rewarded especially those that ripped my hand off to catch them a catfish. Tim had the most with a three including two twenties weighing 23lb 12oz and 27lb 12oz, however with the kids breaking up for their holidays and the lake slowing down its time to leave these alone till next year. Unfortunately the Thames wasn’t so kind and an afternoon into evening session targeting bream with Ian at Walton drew a blank, however the odd canoe was hooked! My advise to any angler is steer clear of Walton late afternoon and early evening because the canoeist don’t give a s**t about other river users and totally ignore you. The two FAS barbel teach-ins on the river Loddon have been very rewarding with eight barbel landed along with the odd chub, however their seems to be a distinct shortage of doubles. I remember only a few years ago when every other barbel would be a double yet I’ve only heard of one being taken this season from the top stretch at Stanford!
Probably the most remarkable session was when myself and fellow Nash angler Chris Petter targeted a West Sussex venue for the first time with eels in mind. I managed a brace for just over eight pound whilst Chris lost count of his eels, I think it was sixteen!
So what has August have in store? Well I certainly have to slow down as at times I’ve struggled in the heat and need to plan days more carefully. With the catfish on the back burner a new challenge is needed and so I will be heading for the Thames to try and catch a barbel/carp or two. Experiencing the eels has also fired me up and without a doubt these need to be investigated more. I have also been offered to try and find out about the stock of tench in a venue; however it’s not really the time of year to do this but can’t turn an offer of the unknown. A couple of days are booked on the Wye and I have loads of features pending so need to knuckle down with these as I do with sorting my garden out which is a well overdue project. So all in all it’s going to be another hectic month, I just hope another three personal bests grace my landing net!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Charman’s Challenge no 14 – R Loddon Stanford End.



Charman’s Challenge – R Loddon Stanford End.

Date – Friday 25th July 2014

Venue fact file –
River Loddon, Stanford End Farm, RG7 1SY.

Season Tickets - Adult £94-00 with a one of £25 joining fee. Concessions for OAP, disabled and juniors. Available from The Creel, Aldershot 01252 320871.
Stock – Predominantly barbel and chub with most other river species including quality perch and occasional big rainbow and brown trout.

Conditions – As difficult as it gets with atmospheric pressure reading 1022mb, cloudless blue skies and temperatures soaring into the high twenties coupled with a low and gin clear river.

Arriving at 7am the early season session (I don’t really start thinking about barbel until September) was to meet up with a customer that had booked me last year in an attempt to catch his first barbel. Conditions on the day were diabolical and although we fished hard all day just one chub fell. It was as if Lee was destined not to catch as today was even worse yet as they say you’re not going to catch sitting at home and with just one other angler on the stretch we headed out into the countryside full of hope.
I decided to stick to the top field and leave Lee to work his way through the bottom two fields, areas that I feel are far better for barbel. Hopefully the other angler would be a static one, leaving a few swims to have settled over night, yet unfortunately he wasn’t as it was another of my customers, Mark who knows only too well that moving around bought with it a far better chance of catching.
The first swim I dropped into was what I call a banker swim, often saving a blank on a hard day even if its usually from a modest chub or as I found out a couple of weeks earlier a monstrous rainbow trout that had found its way down stream from the Dukes trout beat further upstream. Amazingly apart from one small pluck the swim seemed devoid of fish so I decided to bait a few spots with some 6mm pellets and rotate these every fifteen minutes or so. The reason the banker swim had failed to catch, as I later found out was that Mark had already fished it proving that unless you are the first angler in the swim then you’re up against it.
The pellet-lead has become so over used that I have been trying something different, encapsulating my pellet in a ball of smaller samples made possible with the new Nash Deliverance Ballmaker. It had shown its effectiveness during a couple of FAS barbel teach-ins so I was full of expectations, yet as the morning progressed and with the sun high and temperatures on the rise I started to feel somewhat deflated.
Its at times like this that you have to try a think like a fish and ask yourself, where would I go in such conditions and just like myself it had to be out of the sun so l started to look for shaded areas with cover and soon after flicking my bait into position the rod bent round. In fact I don’t think the bait hit bottom as I was taken by surprised, initially thinking, my god the currents stronger than I expected here, yet it was from a chub weighing around 4lb. I spent the last hour bumping a pellet around the bridge pool without success and with no call from Lee expected him to return home fishless. I decided to call it a day at midday however Lee stayed on a couple of extra hours and took my advise to find shelter from some trees, one that shadowed the river from the sun and later that day called to say that he had landed his first ever barbel, one weighing 5lb 15oz.
I have to admit that my love for the Loddon has been dwindling over the last few years as most stretches, especially Stanford End have seen a dramatic drop in the numbers of, not just barbel but chub and unless immediate action is taken I can only see it becoming worse. I should have made the decision last year when it was obvious that the numbers of anglers moving around meant fishing against the fish was almost impossible so apart from one more FAS barbel teach-in and the odd day guiding through the stretches I know like the back of my hand its without doubt time to move to pastures new.

Product review - Sterling Northolt Aerial Centrepin


Product review…

STERLING NORTHOLT AERIAL ‘STERLING’ MATCH CENTREPIN REEL £299

Reviewed by Duncan Charman
Trial period – 3 months

Coming from an engineering background I can spot quality craftsmanship instantly and as soon as I lifted this centrepin from its box it oozed quality, in fact it was literally dripping the stuff!
To the eye it’s stunning, set in black and beautifully engraved and serial numbered with superb nickel silver and stainless steel components. Built from aerospace aluminium and hard anodised ensures an exceptional high level of hardness and abrasion resistance, materials and processes that create a product designed to last a lifetime, yet what else would you expect from a product made in the UK!
Built to stringent quality standards inherent of all Sterling products and the high tech manufacturing used this traditionally crafted reel weighs in at a balanced 275grams and has a diameter of 4.5” along with a spool width of 0.56”.
Like all quality products this centrepin did need to bed in and after a few sessions turned effortlessly as I trotted a float downstream for shy biting dace. I was also tempted to put the centrepin through its paces at a local lake for big crucians, managing to take a couple on a difficult day to a shade over three pounds and can’t wait to tempt a float caught barbel using it and as for trotting a stick float for grayling, well roll on the autumn.
All in all this centrepin is exceptional, faultless, manufactured to the highest quality and with attention to detail that’s unquestionable.   

Anglers Mail Action Replay - Mastering the pellet waggler single handed!


Action Replay >>> This week: Disabled England International
Silhouetted against a stunning skyline, Alan makes his first cast.

Mastering the Pellet Waggler SINGLE HANDED!

Alan Chadbone was just like any other youngster with a love for fishing then at the tender age of 19 he was knocked of his motorbike in London. With life threatening injuries he unfortunately lost the use of his left arm and hand, yet he knows only to well that this accident could have been so far worse with the threat of complete paralysed looming.
Undeterred and with a will to continue fishing Alan found himself back to square one and had to lean the art of fishing all over again. Finding a solution to almost every problem and with what can only be described as extraordinary positive mental attitude slowly but surely he mastered the art and now is part of Team England’s disabled team. For more than five years Alan has travelled abroad to represent his country and this year will be fishing Italy’s River Tiber along with England’s ladies and veterans.
He also fishes for Adventure Angling Society and can be found competing against able bodied anglers on venues such as Willow, Gold and FLE. He is an inspiration to every angler in this country and has to be admired in overcoming what has to have been a truly traumatic experience.

Anglers Mail Rating: A strong cross wind will cause problems but work ethics and faith should prevail.

09:00
Everything looks as if it’s going to plan from across the lake with Alan already set up in per 37. His choice of swim is for two reasons, firstly there is a strong westerly wind, far too strong to be facing directly into and although it’s coming across the chosen swim it’s forecasted to ease as the day progresses. Secondly there is a gravel bar around thirty yards out rising to around six feet, a sure patrol route for any hungry carp.
Although things look calm things for couldn’t have started worse for Alan as he shows me the broken tip of his Diawa Spectrum Competition 12ft Pellet Waggler rod. ‘Its going to be one of those days’, comments Alan who openly admits to have broken more rods and poles than he cares to remember.

09:05 
A quick look at Alan’s bait tray shows that he has four options for the session, 8mm and 11mm Skretting Pellets, high-viz barrel pellets and good old sweetcorn. ‘Skretting Pellets are ideal when fishing the pellet waggler as their low oil content makes them sink slowly, they also breakdown slowly without splitting too easily so they withstand plenty of casts and often stay on after a capture. I’ve also bought some brightly coloured pellets and sweetcorn which are great if things go quiet and often a change to one of these during such a period can bring an immediate response’, Alan remarks.

09:07 
‘The key to catching on the pellet waggler is firstly to have faith in the tactic but more importantly to feed regularly. We’ve all heard of feeding ‘little and often’ and here little means maybe six pellets at the most, and often means landing these accurately around the float every few seconds’, he reveals.
Its all well and good an able bodied angler catapulting pellets accurately but how is Alan going to feed with only one hand, I'm intrigued however I needn’t have worried as Alan proceeds to place the handle of the pult in his mouth before placing a few pellets in the pouch. He then takes the pult out of his mouth, grabs the cup with his teeth before stretching the elastic and firing his loose feed within inches of his float.
‘One thing that I have had to overcome is the fear of the elastic breaking. It happens all to often and instead of getting sore knuckles I get stung in the face, oh for the day someone produces a catapult that doesn’t break’, he smiles.

09:17 
Expecting it to take maybe an hour to get the carp feeding Alan sets his float initially at five feet, just above the gravel bar and has the intension of maybe taking a couple of feet of this later in the day as the fish become confident. He is soon into a routine and is managing to land half a dozen 6mm pellets around his float every seven seconds! The wind is causing a few problems and the drift is making it more like trotting a river than fishing a lake even with the line sunk. Then unexpectedly after just ten minutes the float disappears and Alan instinctively strikes. ‘Well I didn’t expect that so quickly’, it must be what is known as a ‘mug-fish’, one that’s straight on the bait without any care in the world for being hooked. Hopefully it’s the sign that the pellets falling through the swim are doing their job’, he comments.

09:23 
Alan’s disability has obviously created many problems over the years with winding a reel being one of the most noticeable. ‘What I’ve had to do with all my reels is cut the handles off as they get caught on my fingers that I use to turn the handle when playing a fish or winding in. I also prefer to play a fish using the backwind facility as opposed to the clutch as I feel far more in control’, he explains.
Everything about Alan’s technique is smooth and controlled and it’s difficult to see at a glance that he has such a major disability. Casting out and with a flick of a finger he closes the bail arm, places the tip below the surface and with a sharp rise of the rod sinks the line, then picks up the catapults and resumes feeding whilst all the time anticipating a bite.

09:54 
Having only fished Watmore Farm once before, that being quite a few years ago, you can see that that first fish was a relief and Alan settles into a routine of feeding and casting yet although the float is showing signs that fish are responding to the feed, thirty minutes pass without a proper bite which gives us plenty of time to discuss Alan’s terminal tackle.
‘I’ve set up two similar rods today, the only difference is one has a 6gram Polywag float attached, the other a 15 gram and the mainline on both is Shimano 8lb Technium. Luckily I’m getting away with the 6gram set up, which allows me to cast past the 30yards I’m fishing, then sink the line, its also not far off my limit on catapulting distance for 8mm pellets. The float is attached to my mainline using a Mosella style attachment which allows me to change the depth very easily and I have no shot down the line as I want the pellet to look as natural as possible’, Alan reveals.

10:03
Alan has a unique way of grabbing the line, even in this strong side wind and that’s by catching it in his mouth and has now started to strike at the small dips and lifts of the float which soon pays off as the rod once again bends over.
‘These fish are in a strange mood today. Often the rod just bends round and the reel starts to spin during feeding, yet for some reason their just mouthing the pellet. This one feels like a better carp than the first five pounder, oh yes it’s a nice common, maybe scrapping ten pounds he comments.
All the time Alan has been playing around with the depth he fishing his hookbait, even taking it down to 6ft which is close to the bottom, yet most fish have come around 4ft showing that the stiff breeze is making them reluctant to come really shallow.

10:28 
Two more commons grace Alan’s net in the next twenty minutes, yet neither are the standard wrap-round bites often expected with the pellet waggler, just the float disappearing for a split second and a quick strike being required.
‘One thing that I struggle with is tying hooks, especially the knot-less knot and I rely on a friend to keep me supplied with plenty. My end tackle today consists of a 0.20mm hooklink with a barbless size 14 Preston PR36 hook along with a braided hair with a pellet band attached’, he explains.

11:58 
For the last hour or more carp have graced Alan’s net on a regular basis. Most carp have taken an 11mm pellet, even though its 8mm he has been feeding. The fish seem to be mainly hard fighting commons between 3lb and 5lb with the odd larger sample thrown in.
‘I’m amazed how few anglers know how a fish reacts when you slacken off, basically it simply slowly sinks which is great as it allows me to rest my landing net on the surface and draw the fish over. It’s another problem that needed overcoming and a couple of claw style pole supports attached to my seat box station allow the net to rest on the lakes surface then drawn backwards so the fish can be unhooked’, he remarks.

12:46 
‘For some unknown reason the swims has died over the forty minutes or so. The floats been lifting and dipping, it’s as if I have some other smaller species like roach within the swim. I’ve even tried fishing a bright coloured pellet and the ever faithful sweetcorn but the bites are the same’, Alan comments.
Then out of the blue the rod bends round and the reel starts to churn in proper pellet waggler style. This happens a couple of times before the forecasted storm clouds start to build on the distance horizon and Alan decides that his long overdue session to Watmore Farm needs to come to an end.
‘No need getting wet and ruining a wonderful, thought provoking session, now time for some rod rebuilding’, he grins.

The End Result– 
The session is over in less than four hours and its only when Alan tries to lift his keepnet out of the water that he realises just how bigger weight he has built up. With around a dozen or more carp landed Alan may well have under estimated the average weight of each fish and guesses that there is around 70lb of carp in the net.
‘It’s been a strange session, slow and frustrating at times but then hectic at others but by ringing the changes I’ve kept the fish coming. This method is certainly not for the lazy angler and the more you work at it then the more rewarding it will be. These carp really do hang-on in here and my arms now aching, I’m certainly going to sleep well tonight’, he comments smiling from ear to ear!

Ticket information – Watmore Farm Fishery is a day ticket water located at Fox Lane, Eversley Cross, Hampshire RG27 ONQ. Day tickets cost £10 for adults and concessions are available Mon-Fri only costing £8. Call 01252 876323 for up to date information or visit the website www.watmorefarmfishery.co.uk

Top tips -
1. Less is more. Five or six pellets every few seconds is far better than a big handful on a less frequent basis.
2. Make sure you take plenty of spare bait as on occasions you will need it.
3. During quiet spells try a bright coloured pellet or a piece of sweetcorn. It often catches a curious cagey fish.
4. Constant use can see the weighting text lost on a float so try writing this on using an indelible pen.
5. A little gizmo that will make placing a pellet on a band so much quicker and easier is a pellet-bander.




3LB TEST CURVE RODS UNDER £120 ON TEST


ANGLERS MAIL FEATURE SPRING 2014

THE BEST MID PRICED 12FT 3LB T/C CARP RODS UP TO £120
Tested by DUNCAN CHARMAN

Taking the ESP Paragon Plus to a local day ticket water Duncan didn’t have to wait long to test out the rods action on this stunning 15lb common.

KORUM CARP – RRP £49.99
This understated matt black carbon blank offering six quality guides ranging between 40 and 14mm. Its quality line clip and screw style reel seat, abbreviated handle and ergonomic rear grip offer great functionality. Great value for money and a rod that will appeal to those on a budget where multiple rods are required or as a first time carp rod. Its responsive, steely action is ideal for casting a method feeder to the horizon or taming big fish in weedy situations. A good all-round carp rod that will cope with most angling situations and having plenty of grunt in the blank will appeal to those targeting catfish.

GREYS PRODIGY GT3 - RRP £99.99
This slim modulus carbon blank certainly looks good, predominantly set in matt grey with stylish understated graphics and wove above handle and featuring six G-Lite TM SIC Guides ranging between 40 and 15mm. Well balanced with a progressive action, good for casting long distances, yet retaining a feel that’s enjoyable whilst playing a big fish close in. Full shrink wrap handle, reinforced joints, DPS reel seat and quality line clip create a great rod for carp of all sizes. A great all-round rod that will appeal too many, especially those progressing from their first rods, anglers that are looking for quality and reliability as well as the experienced carper.

JRC EXTREME XLR - RRP £109.99
Slim, lightweight 40T matt black carbon blank incorporating stylish abbreviated 1K wrap handle between butt and reel seat, understated graphics and six well spaced quality guides ranging between 50 and 18mm create a great casting rod. The responsive powerful blank feels well balanced and creates an enjoyable playing action and features a quality carbon line clip and screw style reel seat. A great all-round rod capable of targeting carp of all sizes and one that will appeal to most including those wishing to upgrade exciting rods as well as the experienced carper who needs complete trust in his equipment.

ESP PARAGON PLUS – RRP £79.95
A multi modulus carbon blank, smooth looking with a black gloss finish and understated graphics and certainly built for distance casting with its six oversized and SiC guides ranging between 50 and 16mm. Those wanting a top quality line clip will be happy and the quality screw style ergonomic reel seat and full length shrink rubber handle with flared casting grip and a subtle butt cap showing logo gives the rod a classy look. Having a steely, responsive action this rod creates loads of power, especially in the middle reaches which is ideal for distance casting and taming big carp and even cats. A nice touch are the rod protector sleeves it’s supplied with.

FOX WARRIOR S – RRP £69.99
This slim matt black low resin carbon blank comes with six SLIK guides ranging between 40 and 14mm which are spaced for long distance casting. Featuring a quality line clip, 18mm DPS reinforced steel headed reel seat for solid fitting as well as an abbreviated ergonomically tapered butt grip (full cork option available). This feels a rod that should have a much higher price tag, a great rod for anglers wanting to progress from their first rod and one that will last. Its feels well balanced and offers a progressive through action, ideal for distance casting, yet its soft tip is ideal for playing carp under the rod tip without fear of pulling the hook.

STILLWATER BPX – RRP £39.99
Popular matt black finish and understated graphics this slim high modulus carbon blank comes complete with six SIC double legged guides, well spaced and ranging between 40 and 15mm. Featuring a quality line clip as well as an 18mm screw style reel seat and Duplon abbreviated full length handle with a laser etched butt cap. Having such a low price tag this is a fantastic rod for the carper on a budget, especially if three rods are required or for a first time carp rod. Its progressive through action and soft tip creates a balanced rod which will cast a good distance, yet it retains an enjoyable feel when playing carp under the rod tip, ideal for bagging on commercials.

NASH ENTITY – RRP £131.99
Slightly outside of our mid priced RRP rods but one that can be picked up for around £110 is Nash Tackle’s Entity. Understated graphics and with a gorgeous 6th generation woven carbon throughout this low diameter blank offers six well spaced, top quality guides ranging between 50 and 18mm, ideal for distance casting, yet with a forgiving tip for playing fish under the rod top. Genuine Fuji reel seat, abbreviated handle (full shrink handle option available) and carbon line clip complete a rod of distinction, one that will appeal to a vast range of anglers especially the more specialist angler in search of big carp, ones that are looking for a rod that will last and not let them down.

SHIMANO TRIBAL VELOCITY - RRP £149.99
Another rod just outside our mid priced category, but one that can be picked up for around £110 is the Shimano Tribal. Classy looking HPC100 + Biofibre blank with strengthening 3K weave to butt and base of tip joint offering plenty of backbone as well as a forgiving tip great for playing big fish a close quarters . Offering six stainless steel Hardlite guides well spaced for casting distance and ranging between 50mm and 16mm (40mm available). Strong and secure 3K carbon machined reel seat, line clip and safety rod stopper on handle create a well balanced rod ideal for the intermediate and experienced carp angler where reliability and quality counts.

Fish of the Week




Fish of the Week

Eels – 4lb 5oz part of a sixteen fish catch!

West Sussex day ticket venue

Deadbait

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Floater fishing video.


Floater fishing with Duncan and Jake.

Please click the link below to view a short video created this weekend where myself and Jake Curry tried out the Nash Bolt Machines at Watmore Farm Fishery.



Thursday, 17 July 2014

FAS Barbel Teach-in - Stanford End – Tuesday July 15th



FAS Barbel Teach-in - Stanford End – Tuesday July 15th

The second Barbel teach-in of the season at Stanford End was another fantastic evening; however it was never going to fish as well as the first teach-in as it was bright and sunny with temperatures well into the twenties. Another factor was that the river had seen a number of other anglers fish the stretch earlier in the day and thankfully all left come 3pm, yet this only left a couple of hours rest, far from enough for the fish to settle and feed confidently.
All six anglers arrived and with no ‘no-shows’ so far this year the message has certainly filtered through that if you don’t attend then you wont be able to book on a future barbel teach-in. After the standard run through on rigs and bait and thankfully no broken rods this week the anglers headed downstream and selected a swim for the evening. I was hoping for a flurry of calls of fish caught, yet none came for at least an hour. The first barbel came from a swim that I personally struggle to catch from, especially during daylight so it just goes to show how some swims can be kind to certain anglers and unkind to others. The barbel weighed 8lb 13oz, slightly empty probably from spawning and one that showed a distinctive mark on one flank.
Come 9pm this looked as if it was going to be the only capture yet just as the light faded two anglers called at once with barbel to report. Amazingly the same angler that had earlier caught had once again caught from a swim I usually walk past and after taking a quick photograph and estimating its weight at around 7lb 8oz I headed down stream to John who was smiling like a Cheshire cat as he had just landed a barbel weighing 7lb 2oz.
There were a couple of other fish hooked but lost, one was definitely a barbel but with the fish in a finical mood it was never going to be easy.
All in all another successful evening with everyone learning a few lessons that will hopefully see them landing a few more fish in the future.

Words received…
HI Duncan,
First things first , thank you for a most enjoyable evening yesterday I am sure all six of us have benefited from the knowledge and expert advice you have passed on to us .I know I have and feel a lot more confident about the Loddon and sure I will land more fish .
Once again it’s been a pleasure,
John.


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Customer lands a brace of twenties!



Customer lands a brace of twenties!

Tim had never caught a catfish before and after reading how well myself, Jake and Chris were doing at my local Badshot Lea Big Pond decided to join us for an overnight session. The weather man had forecasted a pleasant dry evening, humid with lows of 16 degrees and at long last a nice south west wind that would ease around midnight, well the wind increased and with the odd shower it felt far from pleasant.
The session started at 7pm and once again our favoured area was taken so we headed for another are that gave access to the centre of the lake. Chris and Tim used the faithful pellet approach whilst I tried something different with a chod rig fished over a bed of particles, yet come midnight and with only a modest bream to show to the rods we feared that it was going to be a quiet night. Around midnight Chris connected with a big drop back but the suspected grass carp started ripping line from the reel and unfortunately shed the hook after around five minutes. It was a gutter but also a confidence boost that at least the odd fish was feeding. In the early hours Tim found himself locked in battle with a cat, a fight that was to last around fifteen minutes, finally ending with his first ever catfish, one weighing a pleasing 27lb 12oz. Soon after resetting the rod it ripped off again resulting in another catfish of 23lb 12oz and was soon followed by a small kitten of around 5lb.
It then went quiet for a while before Chris finally set the hook just as the light started to illuminate the lake, finally resulting in another small catfish, this time weighing around 12lb. My pop-up approach wasn’t faring so well but soon into light I received an aborted run followed by what can only be described as a screamer that resulted in a very angry common of around 15lb.
If you are interested in having a night under the stars targeting catfish then spaces are limited so give me a call or email me duncancharman@me.com or 07928 617006.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Fish of the Week




Fish of the Week

Personal best Rainbow Trout – 6lb 10oz.
Stanford End
Pellet intended for Barbel!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Last remaining river Wye barbel dates


 Last remaining River Wye Barbel dates.

Now that the river season has opened I have been constantly asked if I have any remaining dates left for my guided trips to the river Wye. Well the good news is yes, yet theirs not many left so if you are interested then you better call me soon.

The stretch that we will be fishing is on a private estate where Venetia Williams, the famous race horse trainer has her stables and this includes the famous swim called the whirlipool where catching a barbel is guaranteed. The stretch now includes the upper reaches that include the old railway stanchions at Aramstone, another popular and famous area so theirs plenty of river and countryside to explore and enjoy. Last year seven anglers, in four days landed no fewer than 100 barbel, well that’s not exactly true as I landed one on the float to make it 100, along with countless chub so its action all the way and with no other anglers in sight its should be music to every barbel anglers ears!

The dates that still are available are as follows and the price includes all bait, terminal tackle, permits for the venue, copulas amounts of tea and coffee all day plus supplying all photographs from your trip. Rods and reels can be supplied if needed at no extra charge but this needs to be arranged in advance.

Tuesday September 2nd – two places  
Wednesday September 3rd – one place
Thursday September 4th – three places
Tuesday 16th September – two places
Wednesday 17th September – two places
Thursday 18th September – three places
(If you are interested but these dates do not suit you, please let me know, as others can be arranged)

The cost per person is £125 per day and is based on a first come first served basis bookable by means of a £50 deposit.

Local accommodation is available and my recommendations are either The Falcon House 01989 740223 or Sink Green Farm 01432 870223 which are both just minutes away from where we will be fishing, however if you fancy a more rugged approach then you are allowed to camp right next to the river for a small charge.

FAS Barbel Teach-in


FAS Barbel Teach-in - Stanford End – Mon June 30th

The first Barbel teach-in of the season run by Duncan Charman got off to a flying start with no fewer than nine fish shared out between the five anglers.
Meeting at 5pm on a humid summers evening the teach-in couldn’t have got off to a worst start as whilst setting one anglers clutch Duncan accidentally snapped the tip of his rod, yet as you will see from the words received from young Dermot everything righted itself come the end of the night.
After a brief discussion on tactics and bait application along with an introduction to the stretch each angler choose their swim and settled down in anticipation. Reports were that the stretch was fishing hard due to both chub and barbel spawning late, yet with a slight tinge to the colouration of the water and sheer luck on picking a night when the fish were feeding it only took fifteen minutes for the first fish to be landed. It was taken by William who had never caught a barbel and weighed in at 8lb 7oz. Just as this was returned news came in that another had been landed this time by Steve who took a spawned out barbel weighing 8lb 12oz.
Things then went quiet for an hour or so but with the anglers moving stealthily around it was only time before the next capture came, this time from Terry who landed a 4lb plus chub. Another Steve was quietly targeting the lower end of the fishery and soon was reporting the biggest of the day an immaculate specimen of 9lb 10oz along with a late 3lb chub. The two anglers in the top field reported a couple more chub, the best 5lb 4oz yet it was Will who was next on the barbel score sheet with one weighing 5lb 7oz, yet after breaking Dermot’s rod in the car park it was him who I really wished for a fish and as darkness fell the rod ripped round and after an anxious few minutes when the fish found a snag he finally guided his first ever barbel to the net, one weighing 5lb 5oz.


Words received from Dermot the following day…
Hi Duncan 
Just wanted to say thank you so much for last night. It was probably the best fishing experience I've had so far and I enjoyed the evening from start to finish. It was run perfectly and I felt relaxed and comfortable the whole time (except trying to get a barbel out of the smallest swim I've ever seen.) 
I've been smiling all day and I can't get over the pure power of them.
Thank you for the rod too I'm sure now I'll catch plenty more fish on it. 
Didn't have any money on me last night but hopefully I'll catch you soon and get a copy of your book.
Thanks again Duncan, that evening will stay with me forever. 
Many thanks
Dermot

The next FAS barbel teach –in takes place on Tuesday 15th July (August 7th is fully booked) and there are still a few spaces left so if you are interested please call me on 01252 315271 or email me duncancharman@me.com with your name, permit number and telephone number.

Duncan’s book ‘Evolution of an Angler’ documents many FAS venues including the river Loddon and can be purchased at www.calmproductions.com and signed copies are also available direct from Duncan and at every FAS barbel teach-in.