Duncan’s Monthly round-up – November 2015
Last month you will have noticed that I was trying to knock many of the short sessions on the head and replace these with longer, more static ones in the hope that a massive barbel would show up. This was for two reasons, firstly moving around after dark trying to find the fish wasn’t proving to be too successful, it was also doing my back in. The longer sessions seem to have been a good move as the odd good fish has graced my nets but revealing exactly what they have been isn’t possible at the moment as Chris, who has been putting in just as many hours as myself, has been struggling. This is often the way when you target big fish that are few and far between, when it’s all about quality not quantity but his persistence will eventually pay off, I’m sure of it.
In total I have been on the bank eleven times either fishing for myself (7), guiding other anglers (3) or creating features (1) which is a nice split. When I haven’t been fishing I’ve been baiting, writing articles or attending shows, so if the month seems somewhat lacking I can assure you it hasn’t been.
I was hoping to have had the centrepin turning by now but this unseasonal mild spell has given me little inspiration to head down south in search of the Lady of the Stream. I did give the river Test a go, nine hours into darkness in the hope of a massive roach but my efforts were unrewarded. Another day saw me on the Itchen with one of my regular customers who wanted an introduction to the centrepin. To say he took to it like a ‘duck to water’ is an understatement and caught steadily all day, mostly grayling which included a personal best plus the ever obliging trout and occasional salmon par. We did try for a big roach later in the day but with the river running clear we were always on a freak fish making a mistake. I was looking forward to a proper cold winter as I love trotting the southern chalk streams but this mild weather looks like it’s going to continue well in to December and if it does then Barbel will be my main concern, however the cold snap will eventually arrive, it always does and come Jan and Feb you can be certain the stick float will be making its way downstream once again.
Don’t forget that Christmas is coming and if you’re stuck for ideas then why not get the other half to treat you to a day out with myself, gift vouchers are available, all you need to do is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07928 617006. Here are a few popular ideas that might be of interest for the coming season, however if there is a specific species or personal best you would like to beat then just let me know and I will do my best to place you on a venue that can deliver.
Trotting for grayling using a centrepin on either the Test or Itchen.
A day’s pike fishing.
A day on the river Wye for barbel and chub.
A days roving on the Loddon in search of a few big chub.
Improving your carp fishing techniques at Broadwater.
A night spent under the stars targeting catfish and grass carp at Badshot Lea.
Bagging up with tench at Frensham Great Pond.
Another idea for Christmas is to buy my book ‘Evolution of an Angler’ which covers many years fishing loads of local water and is available at www.calmproductions.com
2/11/15 – Spent the day writing articles for European magazines.
3/11/15 – I was supposed to be out afloat on the river Thames with Warwick but the call never arrived so being at a loose end decided that I would, after numerous other jobs, head back to the river armed with a different approach in search of a monster barbel. As you are aware can’t say too much but let’s just say the plan is coming together.
4/11/15 - Spent the day writing articles for European magazines.
5/11/15 - Spent the day compiling images for European magazines.
6/11/15 – Another day writing and taking images before meeting Chris at 7pm for a night under the stars, sorry clouds for a spot of barbel fishing.
7/11/15 – Did it happen last night? Keep watching things will be revealed once our campaign is complete.
8/11/15 – Quite a lazy day around the house and office with plenty of fishy things being sorted.
9/11/15 – With a friend catching a few fish at Enton, thought it might be worth one more shot, so organised a morning with Dad and Mick my girlfriends dad. Fishing from 8am – 1pm things were quite slow. Dad took the honours with three crucians, the best maybe a scraper three, Mick never had a bite and I managed just one from a common around 5lb. Back at home it was a case of sorting the waggler kit for a day with BT Sports at Bowsaw after stillwater chub in the morning.
10/11/15 – One of those days that just didn’t go to plan. Firstly the camera crew got delayed due to M25 traffic and a puncture, the weather was just horrendous for float fishing due to a strong swirling wind and then when we did decide to try and do some short format work to camera a couple of Chinook Helicopters from RAF Odiham decided to spend two hours hovering above. It was also way too mild and all that happened was that I was constantly hooking carp which either smashed me up of just disrupted the swim too much. I did catch a couple of chub but when you know that a 30lb plus net is easily achievable in the depth of winter we decided that we might just have to do a retake in either December or January.
12/11/15 – 13/11/15 - Drained due to my first cold for ages however managed to get to the river and set up for the night. Started at 4pm and left at 6am. Chris was upstream and fished from 8pm to 6am. This is one of our Big Fish campaign sessions so you will have to keep an eye on things to find out just how we have been getting on.
16/11/15 – Spent the morning sorting a few fishy things in the office before heading to the Loddon at Stanford to meet Ian for a session after barbel. Surprisingly the river was low and clear yet the atmospherics were better than of late and with the air temperature still mild felt confident of a bite or two. The first swim after ninety minutes produced just that, a two foot twitch than strangely sprung back. A few minutes later the problem was revealed as a minnow had become impaled on the hook point. A few smaller knocks came Ian’s way but it seemed what must have been a barbel had spooked so we headed to the next swim and once again a few chubby knocks were forthcoming. Ian was determined to ignore these however one did hook itself yet as Ian picked the rod up the chub somehow had shed the hook. There were a few other anglers around, yet it seemed that the fish weren’t having it properly as after numerous rig/bait alterations and a move back into the original position the three-foot twitch failed to come. I was happy to sit it out and was confident that finally the right bite would come as the fish were constantly tapping at the rod tip but with a long drive home and work the next day Ian decided to call it a day come 8.30pm, however having learnt everything he needs to progress left confident that that all important bite wasn’t far away.
18/11/15 – Big Fish Session. Had to double up with my mate Chris last night due to one thing and another. Fished 7pm – 11.30pm.
20/11/15 – Today was all about heading down to Timsbury Fishery with my mate Alan in our quest to try and catch him a 2lb plus roach. The fishery has been in good form of late with the odd massive red fin showing, however as with all reports you only ever hear of the good catches and never the countless hours other anglers spend blanking or catching very little when targeting such an elusive fish. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to catch fish, Timsbury will supply an endless supply of hard fighting trout and grayling to the float and corn, yet when feeder fishing maggot for the roach in the deeper water it can be soul destroying. And that was the case with our session as we both stuck to our guns and fished maggot in the right area however with the sudden drop in air temperature and the river running clear saw the roach doing a disappearing act. Alan did try bread on the feeder but was beaten up by trout and all we caught between us on the maggot was one trout, one eel, one grayling and one minnow and that was from nine hours of angling!
23/11/15 – The standard early morning start in the office doing lots of fishy things in order to free up some time later in the week for more serious topics. Also sorted all the kit for a days guiding for grayling down at The Lower Itchen Fishery.
24/11/15 – Had a really enjoyable day with Tim, one of my regulars at the Lower Itchen Fishery trotting for grayling. Tim had never used a centrepin before and with no wind it was the ideal day to learn. He took to it like a duck-to-water and was soon bent into fish after fish. In fact we caught in every swim we fished, using corn in the morning with a shirt-button shotting pattern before spending the afternoon using maggots and a bulk shotting pattern. Our aim was to catch thirty fish but we soon surpassed this with numerous grayling, including a personal best for Tim, plus brown and sea trout and the odd salmon par. I wonder what he will be requesting for Christmas?
25/11/15 – Another day in the office as well as getting the barbel kit ready for another Big Fish Session tomorrow.
26/11/15 – Spent the morning getting a couple more CAT monthly articles uploaded to my website, before having a late lunch and heading to the river for a few hours to fish and bait up.
27/11/15 – Spent the morning writing an article for a European magazine before heading to the river and getting blown-off slightly earlier than expected.
28/11/15 – Up early as today I was attending the Carp Societies Carp Show at Sandown. By the crowds walking around it was well attended and was good to catch up with many of the Nash team as well as a few anglers that I hadn’t seen for a while.
30/11/15 – Another full day in the office and once again another European article to write as well as trying to get the remaining Coarse Angling Today articles uploaded to my website. I was hoping to get to the river for the evening but with the rain and wind forecasted to arrive around 4pm I’ve decided to leave it and arrive at first light tomorrow as this will hopefully be more comfortable and more rewarding.