Duncan’s Monthly round-up – September 2015
Although I was looking forward to September I have to say that it just didn’t feel so late in the year and although the fishing has improved immensely I think October and November are going to be the most rewarding in terms of fish on the bank. The nights have certainly got chillier but the river just seems to be in full foliage however the baiting has continued twice a week and although I would love to share with you what we have been catching it’s just too early into the campaign to draw attention to ourselves.
Something that really made me shake my head was the crayfish traps that have been set at Stanford End on the river Loddon. I fished this a couple of times with customers and couldn’t believe the amount of crays that were nibbling away on our baits. Then I noticed that crayfish traps had been placed right in each swim, obviously attracting them into the area that anglers place their baits. I’m sure that if this person doesn’t rethink his placement he may just find no traps along the river soon! It’s also noticeable just how difficult this stretch has become, don’t get me wrong the fish are still there, but just a quick walk will reveal numerous trees and snags that have now dropped into the river creating a safe haven for them. It’s about time that the club started to do something about this stretch or else we may start calling it ‘Little Carters’!
This month’s session have been split between Guiding (5), personal trips (11) and features (2) totalling 126hrs bankside which is a nice split. Some of my sessions have been on the river Thames, mainly roach fishing and the outlook is great as all areas seem to be thriving with roach. The odd predator has also fallen and one day was spent aboard ‘Fling Your Hook’, a guided charter boat run by Warwick and a day out that I highly recommend if you fancy something different as well as getting a bend in your rod. The day I spent with Warwick was as a photographer for Anglers Mail, so watch out for the feature that will be published very soon. Although I love the river Thames the disappointing point is the litter, its everywhere and much is from anglers (sorry they can’t be called anglers) staying overnight. Why they can’t take this home is just beyond me. One of my guiding days was with regular Ron who took me to a Newbury Angling Association stretch of the river Kennet at Brimpton. We didn’t catch which wasn’t surprising as it was towards the end of the warm spell towards the end of the month when conditions were all against us but I have to say that we had a lovely time chatting away on what has to be one of the best looking stretches of the Kennet I’ve come across. You never know, one day I may make it one of my regular venues.
Enton has been very kind to me this year and on most occasions has produced crucians over three pound. This month has been brilliant, not just for myself but also others as Chris, my angling mate set a target of 3lb 12oz and secured this a week or so ago. My brother also set a new personal best with one of 4lb 2oz and ‘shock horror’ received a weekly award (more than I’ve got this year!) as did my dad who managed one of 3lb 14oz. I had to smile on one occasion as a carp angler set up right next to me. He knew I was fishing quite close in so you would have thought he would have smashed his tent pegs in once I had left but no, he did it while I was there. Many will know that litter and mallets as well as dog shit are my hates on the bank, it was just fortunate that the day he decided to have no respect for those around him was a day when the fishing wasn’t very good. The laughing moment was when he turned around and was wearing a ‘Thinking Anglers’ top, he certainly was thinking!
It’s been a very busy month as you can see from my daily events and one that’s been very rewarding in as much as travelling to new venues and making new friends, however I now need to knuckle down to some serious barbel fishing
DAY TO DAY EVENTS
01/09/15 – Had a really productive day in the office completing an article for anglers Mail revealing my ‘Top tips’ as well as another on comparing landing nets. It was productive as most of the day stayed dry allowing me to get outside and take the images needed to go with these.
02/09/15 – A lay-in at last, well 7am as today I was meeting fellow Nash man Jake Curry for a roving barbel session. Unfortunately the weather was bright and the river fining down so apart from three missed chub bites we returned home empty handed, not surprising as we fished between 10.30am and 3pm, not exactly the best time. We did however manage to get some images taken and words completed for a Coarse Angling Today feature.
03/09/15 – Met customer at 2pm to fish the Loddon. Loads of other anglers around, seven in fact so always worried about covering, all ready covered ground. Decided to spend longer in one area as a big fish rolled late on but the three foot twitch never came.
04/09/15 – Today was always going to be a gamble, but my customer fancied a go at grass carp at Badshot Lea Big Pond. Arriving at 6am my first concern was the wind as although forecasted from a horrid north, what little there was seemed to be swinging all over the place, something the lake hates. I’ve always worked on the theory that if the wind can’t make its mind up then neither can the fish and after a few hours, working the swims hard, not a single bleep had come our way. In fact the few other anglers around were also experiencing no action so instead of banging our heads we decided to knock the session on the head early and return when the conditions are more favourable.
07/09/15 – The standard Monday in the office mostly completing articles for Anglers Mail.
08/09/15 – A morning in the office was followed by a visit to the river with Chris. I’m restraining myself from reporting too much from these sessions and will be simply classifying them from now on as ‘Big fish sessions’, ones that will be reported on in full when the campaign is complete, yet a fish did grace our nets.
09/09/15 – In the office early and getting my teeth into a Barbel rod feature for Anglers Mail.
10/09/15 – 4hr big fish morning session followed by an afternoon of feature writing.
11/09/15 – Having spent quite a few hours targeting big fish and with sport rather on the slow side today was all about getting a bend in the rod. Meeting Dad at 6.30am at Godalming’s Enton Lake we were amazed to find just one other angler fishing. It had been a cold night, down to 7degrees so although tempted to fish the shallows, headed for the railway bank. Things didn’t look good as their wasn’t a breath of air and with few fish moving knew this could be a difficult day. Two hours into the session my first bite came, however the fish shed the hook, however from then on through to 3pm the action for me was steady. In all I managed six crucians including four threes at 3lb 5oz, 3lb 8oz, 3lb 9oz and 3lb 10oz plus eight tench and a couple of rudd. Amazingly anglers around me, including dada struggled for just the odd tench. Obviously I was just on the fish and managed to make the most off it.
14/09/15 – Travelled up to Teddington to team up with Warwick and Lee aboard ‘Fling Your Hook’ for an afternoon targeting Thames predators. Can’t say too much as I was only the photographer for an Anglers Mail Action Replay, yet believe me it was a brilliant session and one you all need to look read. If you want to check these guys out then their website is www.flingyourhook.com, you won’t be disappointed!
15/09/15 – Spent the morning completing an article for Coarse Angling Today before heading to the river for a 5 hr Big Fish Session as well as baiting up.
16/09/15 – Spent the day writing the text for the Thames Predator Action Replay as well as sorting through images.
17/09/15 – The morning was spent proof reading the AM feature before sorting the roach tackle out and heading to the Thames. Arriving at 1pm and finding two of the better swims occupied, we set up on a concrete boat mooring and cast out a couple of feeder rods. Bait was 6mm banded pellet with a cage feeder fished helicopter style. First cast and a net roach fell and come the time darkness descended around 15lb of red fins had been taken, the best 1lb 4oz. strangely as darkness fell the action ceased and 2hrs later I hadn’t received another bite. Alan next to me was fishing slightly bigger baits and as well as some quality roach early on only managed two bites in darkness, one was missed the other was a 5lb bream.
18/09/15 – Today I had a regular booked in for a late session fishing the river Loddon. Meeting at midday we were pleasantly surprised to have the river to ourselves, probably as the weather forecast was for heavy showers, yet none materialised. Starting in a banker chub swim things didn’t look good when the usual chub bite failed to come. Heading downstream we then roved a number of swims for just a couple of chub bites, both of which were missed. Late afternoon we settled in a pool where we tried something different and offered small livebaits paternoster style for perch. Amazingly nothing happened for the first half an hour, so Barrie headed to the car and when he returned I had taken two modest perch. Half hour later and it seemed it wasn’t his day, then the float disappeared and a good perch was hooked momentarily before spitting the hook. Darkness was descending so we dropped in what we felt gave us the best opportunity of a barbel. Two bites were forthcoming but not from barbel but a couple of chub approaching 4lb before things went quiet. Heading back upstream for the last half an hour and dropping once again into the banker swim Barrie had to resist striking plenty of knocks before the tip pulled round and you’ve guessed it, another 4lb cub came to the net. To be honest, Barrie was more than happy with three chub as previous visits had proved unproductive, now with a winning method all he has to do is get the right bite.
21/09/15 – This was supposed to be the start of a week off, so after dropping the girlfriend off I headed to Enton to meet up with my brother and Father. They were set up on the railway bank which had fished poorly the previous day when I took a stroll around the lake. Although conditions looked great, Enton can be a moody place and with few fish moving it as obvious that things were going to be tough. My brother had decided to fish maggot and was catching steadily, albeit from rudd and small carp whilst Dad and I stuck to corn in the hope of targeting the odd big crucians. The weather was like the fishing, damp and dismal and come 4pm when we called it a day I had received just four bites, all of which were converted into one carp around 6lb, a 3lb tench and two crucians weighing 2lb 15oz and 3lb 5oz. Dad had around the same amount of bites but lost a few, taking just one crucian of 3lb 3oz and Kevin continued to catch more fish but in general smaller with just one tench and a 2lb crucian being the pick of the bunch.
22/09/15 – Dad decided to give a visit to the Thames a miss as the weather continued in the same manner as yesterday, wet. Missing the traffic we arrived around 1pm and again fished pellet for roach, however although conditions looked good the roach weren’t as responsive as the previous week and come dusk I had taken around 10lb of them, the biggest just over the pound. Kevin fished bigger pellet which made a major difference as he struggled for maybe 5lb of roach.
24/09/15 – The morning was spent writing an article for Anglers Mail before Alan picked me up and we headed to a different stretch of the Thames for a spot of roach fishing. This time I took along a pike rod as last year was plagued by them on the same stretch, however today they weren’t as problematic, although twice I was bitten off and did land two on the dedicated predator rod, the best around 9lb. The roach fishing was good, although things didn’t liven up after dark as it often does and in the few hours we were there we both caught roach to a pound and again around 10lb of them came to my rod.
25/09/15 – Once again spent a few hours in the morning writing for Anglers Mail before heading to the river to bait up and see if any big fish was willing to take my bait?
26/09/15 – Up well before first light and in The Oaks swim at Broadwater by 5.50am. A chilly start, down to zero in places and with a clear blue skies, an easterly wind and A/P on 1030mb it was never going to be easy. Today was all about making a video with fellow Nash angler Chris Petter who was going to fish PVA bags against my preferred method of ‘the method’. If you want to see how the session progressed then keep an eye out for the video coming soon.
28/09/15 – A day of two halves as the morning was spent at Enton, once again with Chris and our target was to try and get him a personal best crucian. Once again the weather was all wrong and with no fish showing at dawn we knew it would be a gruller; however we also agreed that if any bites came our way then there was a very good chance it could come from a crucian. We fished from 7am through to 2pm and both received a total of two bites each. I dropped the first fish, probably a small carp however the second was a crucian of 3lb 13oz. Chris converted both his bites and both were from crucians weighing 3lb 7oz and 3lb 12oz, both personal bests!
The reason for packing up was we then headed down to Nash HQ to attend a consultants Open Day where all the new products were on show. To say we were impressed is an understatement and many of the products will be slotting into our way of fishing very soon. Keep your eyes peeled as these will be hitting the marker soon.
29/09/15 – Back down to Essex this time to create an Anglers Mail Venue Expert at Churchgate Lakes. I left home at 9am and finally emailed the article to AM HQ come 9pm that evening!
30/09/15 – Today was to be spent with my good friend Ron Jackson on the banks of the river Kennet at Brimpton. The weather conditions were all against us, especially fishing through the middle of the day but we had a great time on what is a fantastic stretch controlled by Newbury Angling Association.