Monthly Report June 2016
Well what a month, not great on the weather front but in terms of fish on the bank it doesn’t get much better, especially for my customers that have enjoyed some arm aching action. Looking at my diary inputs I have been out guiding seven times and many of my customers have recorded personal best fish. Frensham Great Pond has been extremely tough though whilst Enton has just been on fire. I’m guessing that this is simply down to spawning as Frensham’s tench have usually got this sorted before of right on opening, June 16th, yet I’m not sure if they have even got this sorted now and it’s the first week of July! Enton however saw the crucians spawn just before the lake opened, again June 16th, before going on a feeding frenzy to build up lost reserves, so the clubs decision to let these get on with it without interference certainly worked, let’s just hope that we start seeing some tiny crucians in the near future.
As for my sessions these have been limited to just five, but my decision to do less but put in the hours when I do fish seems to be working as these few sessions have totalled almost seventy hours. Most of these were tench sessions down in Kent and gradually I have started to get to know how the venue ticks, and with a few tench now falling let’s just hope that there is still time to see a really big girl slip up before the summer kicks in and they become that much more harder to tempt.
It’s also been a rewarding month in terms of new venues visited, mainly as a journalist for Anglers Mail and during these I have learnt some interesting and new tactics that will help me catch a few extra fish this season.
Day to day events.
01/06/16 – After a quick bite to eat in the local Cafe with today’s customer Lewis, we headed to FAS Badshot Lea as Lewis wanted to be shown just how deadly the Helicopter Rig is on this venue. Setting up in peg 58 on far from a summers day we cast out and within ten minutes Lewis was into his first fish, a bream around 5lb. This action continued and after just seven hours no less than 55 bream of a similar size had graced our nets along with a satisfying tench in a catch estimated around 250lb!
02/06/16 – Another dismally cold day outside so not surprising that I spent the day in the office along with drying and cleaning the tackle ready for another go at those Kent tench on Friday.
03/06/16 – 04/06/16 – Arrived at the lake in Kent at around 6pm so had time to have a look around and finally settle in the swim that Chris had a couple of tench from last week. I could write a book on this session but in brief I tried everything possible from pop-ups during the night to heli-rigs and bolt rigs but apart from an aborted take to a pop-up in the night and a lost eel all my efforts went unnoticed, again!
05/06/16 – Spent the morning tidying kit from the Kent session, getting bits organised for a guiding day on Monday plus writing a European Roach article along with the usual Sunday jobs around the house/garden.
06/06/16 – Arrived to meet Adrian, my customer at Badshot Lea Big Pond at 7am. Although Adrian was well aware of the effectiveness of the Helicopter rig, Badshot Lea is really a venue that it comes into its own, however instead of targeting bream he fancied the chance of catching a mixed bag so swim selection had to be made carefully. Setting up on the left hand side of the new pin we decided not to cast out as far in the hope of a few tench, however these were elusive on the day, but skimmers, big bream, roach, perch and a double figured carp did show, so the standard 100lb of fish was easily surpassed and in less than five hours!
08/06/16 – Another return to Badshot Lea Big Pond, yet today was all about fishing particles at range in the hope of a grass carp. Unfortunately the wind had dropped, and the Lea hates it still, however we proceeded with our plan, almost, but decided it was best to tone it down on the amount of bait used. Straight away the signs were good, but for some apparent reason, every time Martin hooked what was possibly a grass carp the hook fell out. It was obviously going to be one of those days and when the bites dried up it was a case of swapping the maize hookbaits over to small pop-ups in the hope of a few bites from other species. This seemed to do the trick and Martin managed to put a mid and an upper double figured carp in the net along with the occasional bream.
11/06/16 – 12/06/16 – With lots of things going on, including the manipulation of hundreds of wedding images, I was fortunate to put in the office hours and get everything sorted so I could head down to Kent for a spot of tench fishing. Arriving at around 7pm I decided to head to the swim that produced for a couple of other anglers last week and after having a lead, around and findingnothing obvious to go, bait a spot at around forty yards with the intension of seriously fishing come first light. I did cast the rods out shortly before dusk with the mindset that if they produced then I wouldn’t recast them, however the night passed uneventfully. Having set the alarm for 4am I was awoken by the middle rod roaring of and at last a tench graced my net, a male weighing 7lb 5oz. This was the signal to start working the rods as well as topping the swim up and come midday another four decent tench, three modest eels to 3lb 10oz and a small perch had been taken. Ironically it was the maggot that scored, not the worms, so I wasn’t doing anything wrong during the previous sessions, just obviously not in the right spot. Back at home I managed to clean all the kit up, head to the river to erect some signs for the forth coming barbel teach-ins, drop some wedding discs of, before frustratingly watch England play their first game over a cool beer.
16/06/16 – A busy day what with initially writing the words for a European magazine, then moving my brother into his new home then heading out to a restaurant as it’s my girlfriends birthday.
17/06/16 – Up early and at Enton come 5am. I thought things were going well as in the first couple of hours landed eight tench plus a crucain, however the young chap next to me who was set up over night, awoke at 7am and then gave me a right good showing how to catch fish, as over the next few hours doubled what I was catching on a method I had previously abandoned on the venue. I took everything on the chin, befriended the angler and learned loads, so thank you Will for keeping me on my toes and showing me not to get stereotyped on what I’m doing! I’m not exactly sure what I caught, three crucians, a dozen or more tench, plus the odd trout and rudd which most would have been happy with, yet my eyes had been opened!
18/06/16 – Today was spent creating a Lure Attacks feature for Anglers Mail on using spinners baited with ragworm for mullet. I even cast a line, had a couple of follows from sizeable mullet, but only caught a small bass.
19/06/16 – After every feature spent on the bank, time is needed writing them up and today was spent in the office writing the mullet feature up.
20/06/16 – Oh how I love the English weather as today was one of those that we all dread. Meeting at 4am we actually beat the weather, yet come 5am the rain was in full force and right into our faces. The venue was Frensham Great Pond and one of my regular customers wanted a session on the float yet with high winds and constant rain this was never going to happen so it was a case of casting out feeder’s n the hope of a few tench. Fortunately Barrie managed to get amongst the fish, which is more than many and was rewarded with fifteen red eyed beauties, the best a personal best weighing 7lbs 6oz, however mot were after I left as he stayed on and fished the night.
22/06/16 – I’ve been fishing all my life but I still have my eyes open as today spent it in the company of a meat rolling expert on the Hampshire Avon. Watch out for this feature in Anglers Mail coming soon!
24/06/16 – After every feature photo shoot comes time in the office writing things up, however once this was done I managed to get the tench kit sorted before heading down to Kent.
25/06/16 – Fortunately I was able, last night, to drop into the same swim as I had fished last week, bait up, and cast the rods out all with small wafter’s on. The night was quiet but the odd tench rolling lifted my confidence and just as light started to show in the sky, around 3am the middle rod rips off and a 7lb 8oz female finally comes to the net. I say finally as a couple of feet from the extended landing net it snags me and I’m left with what looks like a very big tench just out of reach. All I’m left to do is roll up the trouser legs and get in. With the water over my knees and dropping away quickly I somehow drop the rod and just about make out the cork handle in front of me, make a desperate lung to grab this and while doing so get soaked, but at least retrieve the rod and manage to net the tench. Thinking it maybe a nine, and retaining it for an hour until first light, I’m quite disappointed with the weight. Another rod rips off at 5am, again on the wafter, and again another seven before the maggot rods take over, producing a further four seven pound tench, the best 7lb 15oz. I think I would have caught more if it wasn’t for a shoal of annoying small perch that constantly picked up my bait, for a couple of hours, during probably the best period to catch. I also lost a good fish that was either a big eel or a foul hooked tench, so all in all a very rewarding session and proof that the jigsaw puzzle is slowly coming together.
26/06/16 – A day in the office writing up and manipulating images for the Royalty Anglers Mail feature.
27/06/16 – I always look forward to fishing Enton and today was aguiding/fishing day with on of my regulars Martin Farmer. Arriving around 6.30am we found the favoured swims taken with carp anglers, yet with a north wind blowing a couple of swims I knew produced looked even better. Placing Martin in what I felt the better swim and fishing contrasting methods, both for crucians, it was soon obvious that we had to swap swims, as in the first hour four crucians to 3lb 3oz graced my net whilst Martins swim produced tench. Whilst we were moving the kit and swapping rigs over another crucian was taken before Martin proceeded to catch a further eighteen between 2lb 8oz and 3lb 1oz, with many exactly 3lb along with six tench, three quality rudd and two trout. I managed just one in the other swim but this weighed around 12oz which is great to see, along with a carp and trout and maybe eight tench. Not a bad session and we called it a day well before the chance of hitting the rush hour traffic.
28/06/16 – After a couple of hours in the office I managed to get bait and rigs sorted for the first Farnham Angling Societies Barbel Teach-ins on the river Loddon at Stanford End. These teach-ins are very much educational evenings where anglers can learn everything I know about the stretch, the swims and how I fish it, if a fish or two is caught then it’s a bonus. Although the evening was very enjoyable the English weather did its best to dampen our spirits and come dusk, a time when things begin to liven up we had all had enough of the constant drizzle and strong wind so decided to take what was learnt away and return in more favourable conditions.
29/06/16 – With a week’s holiday to Tenerife looming I was by now hoping that things would be quietening down, yet a late guiding booking saw myself back at Enton. The wind had now swung to the south west and with the favoured swims available I reluctantly dropped my customer Ron into one of them. I say reluctantly as the swim that had produced would have been the obvious answer but with the wind all wrong it would have been a gamble. Soon after casting the rods out it was obvious that we were in the right swim as the new found wonder rig started to produce the goods with Ron taking an amazing sixteen crucians to 3lb 10oz, a dozen tench to 6lb, a few good rudd along with one small carp. Not a bad session seems we started at 7am and finished at 1pm! I would have loved to have stayed on when Ron left but had to take some photos for at my girlfriend’s sisters, son’s prom.
30/06/16 – This is the reason why this monthly blog is so late as today was all about getting things in the office sorted and packing the suitcase, yet with Enton fishing so well I just had to get back out there myself and capitalise on the situation. Fortunately the previous days swim was free and the six hour morning session produced the goods with twenty-one crucians to 3lb 10oz falling along with plenty of tench as well.