Monthly Report June and July 2017
Having missed my monthly blog last month you will see that I have incorporated the few times I fished in June into July giving a much longer blog for you to get your teeth into.
As you can see another busy month with ten guided sessions crammed in, some overnighters at Frensham. Frensham has been tough, not just for tench but rudd as well and contrary to what you may have read, multiple catches of either have been rare. Fortunately I don’t ‘big’ my catches up so when a customer books me they know that we are fishing for maybe one or two two-pound rudd, anymore and it’s classified as a bonus. The blue green algae once again is rife, however this doesn’t usually kill the fishing but I’m putting the difficult fishing down to two factors. The first is Frensham hates a changing windand every time I’ve fished the lake this season it’s been on different one. The second factor is the really hot spell a few weeks ago warmed the water quicker than in previous years and the small rudd that usually don’t bother us till well into August were problematic far sooner making catching by design (maggot fishing) really difficult. Fortunately I may have a solution to the problem but its early days.
I still haven’t spent much time on running water and the desire to do so seems’ a long way away. This is probably due to having lots of contacts that are reporting that they are struggling and that we needs some flow and colour. You may be thinking we have had lots of rain, yet when it comes, it comes in force making the small rivers I fish rise and fall quickly. Good if you have time to react but if like me you don’t then that brief feeding spell will be missed.
I was hoping to get a few carp sessions in but due to the water pump on the van going these were limited to just three, yet every time I went I did manage to hook a big fish, even if they weren’t all landed. I have to admit that the last Sunday in the month proved that I’m onto something regarding the rig and bait I’m using and can’t wait to get out again (tonight) and glide another scalley pest or two my way.
Getting out with new anglers and creating features has also been fun, such as a day on the Wandle with James Buckley, bream fishing at The Causeway Lake with my good friend Sam Meeuwissen and watching Tony Ashbolt take Broadwater apart on a method rarely used there. If you are catching loads and have a method that you have perfected, and this doesn’t have to be specimen fish orientated as a match/lure tactic will be welcomed, and fancy featuring in an Anglers Mail ‘Catch More’ feature then I would love to hear from you. Get in touch simply by emailing me at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Day to Day events.
1st – 7th / 06/17 – Basically working on a number of Anglers Mail articles to get finished before I head of to The Dominican Republic for two weeks.
9th – 24th /06/17 – Had a fantastic holiday in the Dominican Republic enjoying great food and plenty of sunshine, however on returning the girlfriends found she has a DVT so the expected rush to get out and spend loads of time fishing has had to take a backseat.
27/06/17 – Having heard about the great weather the UK had been enjoying whilst away I was hoping to top the tan up yet my first trip out, a guided session at Frensham Great Pond coincided with the first proper rain for weeks. Arriving around 3pm, earlier than planned, I managed to get set up before the heavens opened, which was more than I can say for brave Lewis who wasn’t so lucky. Apart from the rain things really did have ‘fish crawling up the rods’ written all over it, yet we had to wait around three hours for the first bite, then two came along at once. Both cane from tench, one of 5lb 6oz was landed, the other lost. Darkness fell and our hopes rose when what was thought to be a rudd was hooked but this turned out to be a perch. The rain by now even heavier but we braved it, got soaked and come midnight had landed a couple of rudd, ounces shot of two pound. Lewis was hoping to beat his 2lb 2oz rudd from last year but as they say ‘close but mo cigar’. Angling is a strange sport as we joked that when I returned from seeing Lewis to the car that such a fish would come along and after casting both rods out for a few minutes whilst I packed up they both went of producing a brace of rudd weighing 2lb 2oz and 2lb 3oz.
28/06/17 – Having managed to dry the kit out earlier in the day and with the conditions looking spot on for a fish or two I grabbed the opportunity of being able to do office work later in the week and head of to Johnsons for a few hours. Setting up awkward peg 29 and with fish fizzing everywhere it wasn’t long before the first crucian saw the bottom of the net followed by five more. Strangely the crucians this year seem to be spread out more this year with anglers catching maybe one or two, unlike the couple of dozen the previous year if you found yourself on top of them, so with six to my name in maybe an hour and a half I was somewhat enjoying myself. Unfortunately they drifted off and the tench moved in and come 6.30pm, four and a half hours after starting I hadn’t added to my tally of crucians but eleven tench had come unstuck. The best crucian went 2lb 14oz and all looked like they had been through a few wars, all lean, tattered a torn after spawning but as we know they will recover and hopefully with more weed around and being allowed to get on with things undisturbed we will see a new year class in time to come.
29/06/17 – Up at 5am and on the road come 6am, this time heading to SW London to meet up with a couple of enthusiastic young anglers on the tiny river Wandle to create an Anglers Mail ‘Catch More’ article. If you are into fishing tiny urban streams then keep an eye out for this article over the next few weeks.
30th – 2nd/ 07/17 – The best part of three days spent in the office getting up to date with my ‘Where To Fish’ Column, completing the Wandle article plus sorting the tackle out for a long week ahead, fortunately spent on one of my favourite venues, Frensham Great Pond.
03/07/17 – Up at 3.30am and fishing by 5am with my customer for the day Barrie. Setting up in what’s known as ‘The sun-trap’ swim and with the weather looking ideal for a bumper catch we had to wait over an hour for the first bite. The morning progressed in much the same way with just the odd tench showing and come midday and with four tench to 7lb 2oz we headed home. The session did allow us to experiment with different rigs and prove just what a leveller fishing and Frensham Great Pond is as all four tench fell to Barrie’s rods and mine remained motionless. Fortunately two of the tench came to a method I’m not that keen on but seeing this it’s time I persisted with it and hopefully if successful again will make distance fishing for tench at Frensham far easier.
04/07/17 – Up and in the office come 6.30am after a great night’s sleep and working hard to get my weekly ‘Where to Fish’ column sorted nice and early as well as getting the tackle ready for a nights carp fishing.
05/07/17 – Arrived at the lake yesterday evening around 7pm with the intension of fishing at least one rod on zig, a method that I rarely use but with the air pressure high and the fish in the upper layers it seems the right approach. The lake is rammed, so after a quick walk found everyone had followed the wind but a quick look off the back of it, in a shallow area full of wee found lots of carp so with some space around thought that I could intercept any carp moving out in the night and that the angling pressure elsewhere may just have pushed the fish here anyway. Tactics was to fish a zig near the surface and a bottom bait below whilst spodding some Nash Gyro BugLife over the top. An hour in and the zig rigs off producing a stunning mirror of 21lb 2oz. Things then went quiet, apart from a Mallard that had me dropping the zig down as must have been on, or close to the surface. Sadly that was it on the zig rig but the bottom bait ripped off twice in the early hours producing two mid-double zip linears, the best 16lb 8oz. Come 5.15am it was time to pack away and head home to get the lady to work but well happy with my first night targeting the carp at Johnson’s.
06/07/17 – Sometimes fishing is just so unpredictable it leaves us all scratching our heads as today I found myself on the banks of Newdigate Fisheries for a day’s guiding Ian Joyce hopefully to a few tench. Temperatures were soaring with 19degrees recorded at 7am and come 2pm it had passed 30! Clear blue skies also had us thinking we would be up against it but with a storm forecasted seeing atmospheric pressure dropping and a nice southerly wind saw the fish almost crawling up Ian’s rod. Certain methods failed to catch however after a few tweaks we finally cracked it and come 2pm when it was just too hot to continues Ian had taken at least fifteen fish including five orfe to 6lb 4oz, the only golden tench in the lake along with tench to exactly 7lb. Not bad for a day when many would have stayed at home!
07/07/17 – Spent the morning in the office before doing my best to locate some canal carp but three hours walking upstream of Fleet and not one carp spotted. Headed to a local lake to try and stalk one and got smashed up by one of the lakes biggest after having to place a bait in a rather dodgy position.
08/07/17 – First guiding session of the year on running water and it’s in the bid to catch a new customer his first barbel. Heading to the Loddon, in far from ideal conditions and on a river that had been given a facelift in the close season (Stanford End) we headed to a swim that had produced consistently in the past and after around fifteen minutes the tip flew round only for the line to part as if someone underwater had cut it with a pair of scissors! Not the best start but these things happen and at least David had discovered an instant method that he can take back with him to his local river. Two swims later and a repeat performance occurred only to see the hook pull on another barbel a few seconds into the fight. It was going to be one of those days! With the temperature rising we knew we were up against it and apart from a decent chub bite that was met with thin air we had to throw the towel in mid afternoon and declare it was 3-0 to the fish!
10/7/17 – With a WFT opener needed by the end of the week and the rivers and canals fishing badly in this hot weather headed to a local club water and took around thirty carp in not much more than three hours but unfortunately none made double figures.
11/7/17 – Can you believe it, just like last year and the first Farnham Angling Barbel Teach-in is set to be a washout with heavy rain forecasted from 4pm. Words can’t really express just how uncomfortable this turned out to be for myself and six unlucky anglers as it started as forecasted and never stopped with around two-inches falling whilst we were there. Waterproofs designed for angling proved useless and I might of well have been wearing a mankini as come 10pm I was soaked to the skin, shivering and in need of a hot bath. The river’s form didn’t even make up for such a miserable evening with just one fish hooked that decided to bite through the hooklink, a pike I guess. On a positive note I have received many thanks for the evening and the tips passed on and await a few catch reports from the anglers in due course.
12/07/17 – Spent the morning in the company of Tony Ashbolt at Broadwater Lake producing an Anglers Mail feature on the pellet waggler. If you are a regular and struggling to catch then you really need to keep an eye out for this feature as it will seriously increase your catch rate here!
13/07/17 – It’s all go and after getting the rudd tackle sorted headed to Frensham Great Pond to meet my customer for the day Tim McIntyre. Small rudd proved problematic but persistence paid off in the shape of two specimen rudd, late into the night weighing 2lb 3oz and 2lb 8oz.
14/07/17 – Having got back from the guiding session at around 2am I had a decent lie in before setting about getting a few features with pending deadlines underway.
15/07/17 – Mid afternoon headed to Weybridge to take some wedding images for my good friend Jake Lund, Congratulations!
16/07/17 – Spent most of the day in the office writing up my ‘Where to Fish’ column for AM.
17/07/06 – In the office early so that I can write up last week’s Pellet Waggler article before getting the tackle sorted for a nights guiding at Frensham. Arrived at 4.30pm to find an easterly wind blowing so took a chance and headed to an area that wasn’t very productive last season. Reports are that fish, albeit just a few fish and no big hits were coming from all areas so it seemed the perfect time to explore. Straight away it was once again obvious that the small rudd would make maggot drowning impossible until late into the night and so it was. I managed a 2lb 6oz ruddaround 11pm plus a tench at 1am which raised our hope but apart from a few sucked maggots this was all we had to show for our efforts come first light. Topping the swims up with bait the tench seemed to switch on around 7am and a quick flurry saw myself and John land five fish, the best maybe a scrapper six.
18/07/17 – I was hoping to be back at Frensham for another guided session tonight but with water dripping from the van I had to postpone the session and with a storm brewing might just have done the right thing, however I know just how well fishing can be when the atmospherics take a sudden drop. Managed to spend a couple of hours sorting the kit and doing a few tidying jobs in the fishing shed later in the day after a few hours sleep.
19/07/17 – Spent the day in the office getting my AM ‘where to fish’ column sorted.
20/7/17 - Another office day, this time manipulating Jake Lund’s wedding images along with nine holes of golf with my mum at Bowenhurst golf course. The five irons working a dream as is the putter but it was strangely my short game to the green that let me down.
21/07/17 – I did have a customer booked in for a day’s tench fishing however he had to cancel and reschedule it for next month. All in all this week’s gone from being a busy one to a complete nightmare, what with the van which is now fixed, I couldn’t even go fishing myself, however on the positive side at least I am ahead of myself for once in the office.
24/07/17 – Spent the morning getting the rods ready for rudd guiding session at Frensham. On the bank by 4pm and set up ready for my customer Scott come 6pm. Everything looked spot on with fish moving over our baited spots come dusk however the small rudd explosion made maggot fishing frustrating and come 2am, along with lots of small rudd the only sizeable fish were a couple of modest tench. I tried plastic, small pop-ups and then boilie bottom baits but apart from one more small tench it was obvious that it just wasn’t going to be. One thing that may have accounted for the difficult session was that the temperature dropped dramatically overnight to the extent that you could see your breath, usually meaning it’s as low as 7 degrees. This small rudd explosion is early this year; usually you can get away with maggot fishing till maybe the first week in August. Unfortunately these shitters (anglers keep saying these are good for the future, however with a dozen cormorants working the lake early morning it might not be as they won’t turn their nose up of a two pound plus rudd!) will now be with us till the first few frosts chill the waters so with one more guided session later this week, and if things turn out similar, I think it will be time to leave well alone for a few months.
26/07/17 – Spent the morning writing up most of my AM WTF column before heading back to Frensham Great Pond to guide my good friend Adrian in the hope of replicating the session with Paul Garner last year. After the eventful/uneventful night on Monday I decided to steer clear of the popular Oaks swim and head elsewhere and come 10pm thought I’d made the right decision when a rudd of 2lb 10oz graced my net, the biggest I’ve heard from the lake this season. Unfortunately that was my only bite, however it’s a step forward in catching my target fish without being kept awake all night with tiny rudd. Another major problem was my swim seemed to be covered in silk weed and every time I wound in had to stop at least twice to break this off my line and from around the tip eye. My rig was also covered in the stuff so another problem that needs to be addressed. Adrian, who obviously I spent most of the time with, fared somewhat better, even after reeling in his rods at 1am and casting out again at 5am. He managed a cracking rudd too plus four tench and didn’t suffer from the silk weed problems I had. Once again the session got off to a good start but the expected rush of tench as dawn broke never materialised, however it was a great session and one where lots was learnt ready to take into the next session. One thing we did noticed was the amount of natural food in the water as looking in the landing net found an abundance of life, most evidence were the amount of big fresh water shrimps! Why should a fish want our bait when they have these and evidence why the fishing has been hard this season.
29/07/17 – A day in the office doing fishy paperwork.
30/07/17 – After last night’s rain I wasn’t surprised that only six anglers were fishing Johnsons when I arrived at 8am. Apart from one angler who had landed a number of fish, everyone else had struggled and with few fish showing me and Chris headed to the middle of the railway bank. Chris unfortunately blanked but I managed four bites resulting in one lost carp, a suspected lost rudd plus a 4lb tench and 21lb 4oz carp. I was doing something completely different to Chris and most others on the lake and seem to have something working for me. It’s certainly not perfected but with nine bites in three sessions I’m getting close. Can’t wait to iron out all the creases and enjoy the rewards, it won’t be long!