Sunday, 28 July 2013

The search for a river carp continues - Weekly report starting Sat 20th July 2013

Saturday was spent backing up over a 1000 wedding images taken at the wedding on Friday. Having a Thai bride I was always going to be on the go clicking away more than usual yet the day went really well, despite the hot conditions and with the raw files now doubled up and placed on disc as well as on my desktop I can relax for a while, although with the couple going to live abroad in just three weeks it means I will be tapping away on the keyboard in all my spare time with fishing for myself being limited to overnight sessions on the Thames.
Sunday morning I arrived at Frensham Great Pond at 7.30am where I met Chris, normally a river angler who wanted to broaden his knowledge of FAS venues as well as brushing up on his Stillwater techniques. The first rods and method shown was, of course the deadly helicopter rigs and by 8.15am we had two in position. An hour past without any indications so I decided to introduce a few balls of groundbait at waggler distance and come fifteen minutes later the swim was like a Jacuzzi! A couple of bites were missed so Chris placed a heli-rig on top of the foaming area and within five minutes was into his first tench. Eight more followed including a new personal best weighing 6lb 7oz. I had a quick go on the float and lost a carp, the first I’ve hooked for years plus landed a tench. Come 3pm the action had slowed, yet still the odd fish came, however with the temperature reaching the high twenties and with no cover to protect us it was time to leave. I know Chris had his eyes opened and will be back enjoying this special venue very soon. Unfortunately during the session I pulled a muscle in my back which was slowly becoming increasingly painful.
Monday dawned with stormy weather forecasted. Knowing that I have caught well after a good downpour I headed to the Thames late in the day; however before doing so I had a freelance photography job booked in for Anglers Mail, a ‘What Selling Well’ feature at Experience Angling in Newbury. Still in pain, I met Chris at around 8pm and by 9pm we had the rods out. Thunder and lightning lit up the Chilterns and I fell asleep with great expectations. The standard dusk bream never showed and at midnight and again at 4am I found myself recasting in the hope of tempting a carp, but it wasn’t to be. Chris managed two bream, so at least he’s off the mark but come 5.30am we found ourselves leaving for home, carpless once more. The forecasted downpour which I was hoping for never materialised, nor did they on Tuesday, so with by back now killing me I decided not to push my luck come the night and after spending the day manipulating wedding images was happy to find the comfort of my bed.
Wednesday was spent once again keyboard tapping and come the end of the day I found myself on the better side of manipulating wedding images. I also managed to complete a question for CAT and sort out the tackle needed for another guiding day at Frensham on Thursday.
I was amazed to see that we had some rain overnight, yet it did little to cool things down and as I carried the kit out to the platform at Frensham sweat poured out of me. The back pain however had eased and come 8am my customers had arrived for what was intended to be an educational day on more modern rigs as Chris and Robby, keen fly anglers, were wanting to get to grip with these and with Chris living very close to Frensham, he wanted to know how to tackle such a daunting water. The wind had swung to the south, not good for this area, yet after casting the feeder rods out we didn’t have to wait long before one ripped of and Robby landed a new personal best tench of 6lb 2oz. Chris soon had one in the net so it was time to set the waggler rod up for a bit of traditional tench fishing. Although it fished hard come 1pm more than half a dozen tench had graced our net so it was time to move on to the river Loddon in the hope of a barbel or chub. Unfortunately no barbel bites came in our short session on the river, yet Chris did miss a good chub bite and both anglers soon realised just how cunning the chub can be as they watched the rod tip tap and pull round an inch or two before falling back. As mentioned earlier this wasn’t an all out fish catching day, more of getting to grips with modern tactics such as the pellet-lead and helicopter rig, both devastating tactics as well as getting to know two of FAS best venues. Money well spent if you ask me as I know both anglers will soon be enjoying rod bending action from Frensham’s tench and come the autumn I will expect to see a picture or two of there first ever barbel caught on tactics that just cant fail them.
Friday was another early one as Id promised to take my godson Max to the river in the hope of him catching his first ever barbel. We were fishing just after6.30am, both wet due to wearing shorts and there being a heavy dew. Unfortunately two anglers were already on the river, sign of the times, and although we had a couple of knocks in our short three hour session, Max’s first three foot twitch failed to materialise, however we will be back for revenge very soon. After getting a few things done I managed to pick my Thames fishing partner up at 6pm, however tonight was all about doing a bit of homework on another river with carp in mind. Talking to one angler we found out plenty about the river, saw a few good chub as well as knowing that although a few barbel do exist, they aren’t that prolific. We had walked the complete stretch come 8pm so cast a couple of rods out, however come 10pm just one small chub had found the bottom of my net.
With a wedding booked in on Saturday and lots of things piling up in the office I’m glad to have a couple of days free early next week to get on top of things before having a couple of guiding days booked later in the week. Once again if I get out for myself it looks as if it will be short overnight sessions, we will have to wait and see.

Saturday, 20 July 2013


A barometer is a scientific instrument used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure. It also plays a massive part in my angling as each day after taping the glass I can immediately see what’s happening. I have a banjo type barometer, quite an expensive one and the price can range from around £30 for a basic model to many hundreds of pounds. A basic model is all an angler needs really to see what the atmospheric pressure is, if its rising or falling and if a change means that we have a prolonged spell of high or low pressure pending or if a short storm is imminent. The duration of these spells is measured by the speed the pressure, seen by the needle on the front dial, drops of rises. I’m a firm believer that atmospheric affects makes a huge difference in the way fish feed, with a falling pressure best and a reading below 1000mb coinciding with cloudy humid conditions best, however get a low reading with bright sunshine and blue skies is one that’s not conducive for catching.

Winge of the Week - Packaging!

Some packaging is just unbelievable when it comes to safety. I fully understand that the last thing a manufacturer wants is for the packaging to come undone whilst in transit to the buyer or on route to the shop, or the product becoming damaged due to the packaging not being tough enough, yet when you find yourself getting annoyed trying to release the product, only to take a pair of braid scissors to get at it, it becomes a bit of a joke. This is when not only the product can get damaged but the risk of slicing your finger is hugely increased. If food was supplied like this then it would run a serious health risk to the consumer, health and safety packaging on food regulations guard against this, unfortunately it’s not so tight on non-consumable products such as fishing tackle. A bit more thought when it comes to product packaging and safety to the angler buying this wouldn’t go amiss.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Under a Blood Red Sky -Weekly Report starting 13th July 2013

 The weekend was spent enjoying the heat wave along with getting ready for a longish session at Frensham Great Pond with Paul Garner.

Arriving Monday mid morning I headed for a swim known as The Oaks as very little was happening on the tow path bank. It’s an area that produces during the day along with giving some shelter from the baking hot sun. Unfortunately it isn’t the best area for float fishing as its very shallow, so this session was all about distance feeder fishing. Setting a marker float at around 75yards I soon had a couple of dozen balls of dead maggot laced groundbait in position as well as two maggot baited heli-rigs. An hour past before an alarm screamed and the first of three quick 6lb tench graced my net. I was hoping for the flood gates to open but when Paul arrived around four three hours later I had failed to land anymore. Paul decided to fish slightly differently with flat bed feeders and plastic caster on a hair, fished over groundbait laced with casters. Come dusk I think it was three two to the plastic. We were expecting an eventful night due to the heat of the day, yet things slowed. Rudd were showing over our areas so Paul decided to change tactics and immediately landed one around 2lb, was this a coincidence? No, as two more came quickly. Not one to miss a trick I was soon helping myself to a few bits and bobs from Paul’s tackle box, however by the time I cast out things had quietened down with Paul taking just one more. After an amazing the sunset we settled down to what turned out to be a very slow night with just two rudd falling to my rods. Just before the alarm clock sounded at 4.40am Paul was once again landing a big rudd but it was to be our last as the sun rose the tench decided to feed. It was a strange session with no consistency as I would land a couple before the swim died, then Paul would land a couple. Come 10am and before it became to hot we decided to call it a day, both landing around a dozen quality fish each. Neither tactic seemed to have an edge, yet the effectiveness of plastic is beginning to take hold of me and I will certainly not be afraid to cast these out in the future. I think Paul was well impressed with the fishing and his words ‘well where else can you catch quality fish like this in these conditions’ my thoughts exactly.
Wednesday dawned once again hot and I was glad that my planned guiding session for the week was to start early. Meeting my good friend Mel at Badshot Lea Great pond our intensions were to try and catch grass carp using a particle approach. Mel had bought his bait boat and I had prepared the bait. With all rods in position we sat back and awaited events. We were fishing at around seventy yards and with the surface dead calm I noticed a big patch of bubbles over my right hand rod and said to Mel, that rods going to go. We had agreed to take turns in runs and moments later the expected rod produced a bite which saw Mel land a grass carp of 12lb 2oz. My turn came soon after yet this turned out to be a bream. An hour later and Mel was into his second fish a 7lb mirror and soon after re-baiting and whilst I was on the phone took another weighing 12lb. That s was to be our lot and with the heat rising every carp in the lake took to the surface. Happy with our results and knowing that catching lots of grass carp was just a matter of time we decided to call it a day and return as soon as the weather changes. Watch this space…
Thursday I was expecting to head to Oxfordshire, as a photographer for one of the Nash Peg One consultants with a tench feature in mind. Fortunately the consultant requested that I called before leaving as the lake was fishing hard and although he started at dawn, come 8am just one 6lb tench had fallen. Holding fire I awaited the call that more tench followed, yet although they did, they weren’t big enough to create a worthy feature. Tench can be tricky at best and once they have spawned they can become frustrating, almost impossible to catch and I know that if this consultant struggled then the likes of myself would have probably blanked. The weather had played its part once more and although most anglers look forward to the summer, sleeping under the stars in warm conditions, I hate it, as I go fishing to catch fish and this weather, when it comes to consistently catching is as bad as it gets. On a good note, holding fire for a phone call did me a big favour as I spent the day doing one of those, feel good jobs, cleaning the house and with a wedding booked in at Wotton House on Friday, at least I can come home, have a beer knowing that come Saturday I can have a well overdue lay in. Roll on Saturday!
I was hoping for a quiet week next week yet a quick look at the calendar shows no signs of letting up. Sunday sees another early morning start, guiding at Frensham which means tackle preparation come Saturday. This will be an instructional day explaining all that’s needed to tackle this venue come day or night and with feeder rods cast out, hopefully the odd tench will come along. A freelance photography job for Anglers Mail will take up most of Monday, but I’m hoping to get out on the Thames that evening. Tuesday will be a day key board tapping as the previous days photography needs words adding, around 2500 in fact and again my reward for completing these will be another night on the Thames. Wednesday is relatively free however I will need to pop down to Badshot Lea Small Pond to help out with a Nash/FAS Junior floater fishing evening. Thursday I have two customers’s booked in for a split day of explaining modern day tactics. The day will be split between Frensham Great Pond and the river Loddon, chub fishing. If the heat continues it certainly will be a sapping energy day, yet sometimes going that extra mile will reward you with a regular customer for the future and on Friday I will be having a relaxing day with my god son Max, hopefully catching a few fish and showing him that fishing comes miles before social media and computer games, oh and another wedding come Saturday!
The following week is also busy, one wedding appointment and three days guiding! Will I ever get my teeth into those Thames carp!  

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Barbel fishing on the Wye

Where else can you watch salmon leap clear of the water, see no other anglers, listen to the air filled with birdsong and constantly get your arm ripped of from hard fighting barbel? The river Wye of course and if you have never experienced fishing on this magical river then its time you did. I spent two weeks on the river last year, looking after a group of Wye virgins and during the first week they accounted for 65 barbel and countless chub. The weather was fantastic, hot and sunny, not quite barbel conditions, yet did this make any difference, no, as rod tips continuously pulled around and clutches screamed. The second week of October wasn’t as kind weather wise with the river rising to flood conditions on the last day, yet that day two anglers caught 28 barbel, truly amazing.
This year I have another two weeks booked. These are the weeks starting Monday 2nd of September and the week starting on the 30th September. The first week is all about catching barbel and chub and we even have permission to stay on the bank, so this will allow us to fish into darkness. The second week I will be targeting barbel and pike.
The river Wye is around two and a half hours drive from my Hampshire home, so although some anglers book two days, it is possible to drive up in the morning, fish the day, then drive back in the evening. There are loads of quality B&B surrounding the private stretch I have booked, which by the way is owned by Venetai Williams, a very successful race horse trainer, and detail of these are available on request. The stretch also has a most productive swim that I have booked, so barbel are guaranteed.
A few days have already been booked, yet I still have a couple free so if you are interested in experiencing the river Wye for the first time under my guidance then get in touch soon as I know this event will be completely booked very soon.

Dates available –
Week one
Monday 2nd September (2 spaces)
Tuesday 3rd September (2 spaces)
Wednesday 4th (1 space)
Friday 6th September (1 space)

Week two
Monday 30th September (2 spaces)
Tuesday 1st October (2 spaces) – pike or barbel
Wednesday 2nd October (1 space) – barbel
Friday 4th October (1 space) - Pike

Cost per day is just £125 per person and each day is limited to two anglers.
All bait and terminal tackle is provided. Rods and reel can also be supplied if needed.

Contact Duncan Charman
Telephone 01252 315271
Mobile 07928 617006

Signed copies available direct

Evolution of an Angler
I have a number of signed books that are available direct from myself, so if like me you don’t like buying on the internet you now have an alternative.

Cost £25 plus p&p

Telephone 01252 315271
Mobile 07928 617006

Also available from

Friday, 12 July 2013

Medi-Carp Ultra

We have all caught a fish that has thought hard to the end and inevitably sometimes these show signs of damage where the hook has penetrated. On occasions it’s not our hook hold that needs attention, past ones also need attention as do other areas on the fish’s body.
A couple of the carp at Broadlands showed signs of recent spawning and although these will heal naturally over time, it’s a good idea to gives these a helping hand if possible. We go to so much trouble to protect our stocks with large padded unhooking mats and large landing nets, yet unfortunately its these small areas that can easily become infected that go ignored. This is why every angler should carry a medi-kit within their tackle boxes and administrate first aid when needed.

Winge of the week - livebait

I for one am all for protecting and using our local tackle shops and will try my hardest to buy items of kit from them before using the internet. We might get an item slightly cheaper on the net, yet there is always the chance of credit card fraud in doing so. Another advantage of using a tackle shop is if something goes wrong they will either replace the item or give you your money back. In fact some tackle shops wont stock items that constantly need replacing, its just more work and cost to them, so usually when buying a product you can rest assured its not one that has a track issue with reliability.
Unfortunately some shops let themselves down with the quality of live bait, by this I mean maggots and worms. As a customer you have the right to look at your bait and refuse to buy this if it looks past its use by date. I for one have been caught on more than one occasion, usually when I’m in a rush, only to open up a tub of worms on the bank to find them dead or go to use the maggots that they have half turned to casters. It only takes one bad encounter for a customer to bypass buying bait from a shop, in fact even going to that shop, so there is a lesson for both parties here, stock only top quality bait and refuse it if it doesn’t look good!

Thames Jigsaw puzzle commences - Weekly report starting July 6th 2013

A hot and busy weekend as I was attending my first Nash Tackle Roadshow that was being held at Broadlands Fishery in Hampshire. With the temperatures reaching almost thirty degrees catching off the bottom during daylight was always going to prove hard so the floater gear was packed just in case they showed interest in the odd floater.
Arriving early Saturday morning, first job was to unload the tackle to be shown before setting up some gear so myself and Stuart Jupp could do a few tackle/tactic demonstrations. The bottom baits produced a few small bream early on but as the sun and temperatures rose so did the carp. Setting up a prototype Peg One lightweight carp combo rod, and with few if any snags nearby, a reel loaded with just 6lb mainline we scaled things right down with a small size 14mm barbless hook and low diameter 6lb hooklink along with a controller float. It wasn’t long before a few carp showed some interest and shortly afterwards the fist carp of around 10lb was landed. A couple more smaller carp followed before I hooked what felt like a much better fish and my instincts were right as a 21lb 8oz soon graced the net, however it was Stuart who stole the show with an immaculate dark mirror of 22lb 8oz. The carp boys also managed a few with the bailiff’s daughter, Sky managing a mid double; however the scaled down rigs proved superior in terms of size and numbers. Saturday proved to be the busiest day and coincided with a carp championship qualifier; however come Sunday it seemed that everyone had either headed to the seaside or stayed in to watch the final of Wimbledon.
I have to say a big thank you to the Nash guys who made me feel extremely welcome over the weekend and I’m looking forward to the next Roadshow. Keep an eye out for future dates and if you have a weekend free come down as it’s a great event with plenty going on.
Monday dawned hot again and I needed to get on top of things such as weekly blog, diary updates plus a host of other items, so it was well into the afternoon that I finally managed to get out of the office and sort out the Thames carp gear. I didn’t see any point in arriving till late as if any action was received it would surely be after dark. Targeting a different section to last week, below a lock cutting and weir we arrived to find people everywhere enjoying the sun and some jumping of the bridge that we had initially wanted to fish under. Finally we set up around two hundred yards downstream and with all rods out finally settled down for a comfortable night under the stars. My mate Chris had bought the bait for the trip and by the time I had finished spombing found my hands to be bright red due to loads of robin-red and colouring in the pellets, so if anyone catches a carp in the middle reaches of the Thames that looks as if its wearing lipstick, then you know why! Unfortunately, once again the carp weren’t anywhere to be found and just one spawned up bream came during the night.
I didn’t see the point of staying late and then fighting the traffic so come 6am I was away and back at home in double quick time which allowed for a couple of hours shut-eye before the phone started ringing. With a customer booked in for a spot of after dark waggler fishing at Frensham and a day with Roy Westwood to create some images for future Anglers Mail questions and answers the day was spent organising kit before heading of to Frensham. Arriving at 4pm I was surprised to see so few anglers around the lake, sixty acres almost to my self! Adrian arrived shortly afterwards and with an easterly wind blowing decided to fish the tow path bank. Our aim was to catch big rudd on the float and maggot but it soon became obvious we had a slight problem as there’s been an explosion of tiny perch, even at distance. Undeterred we soldiered on and finally Adrian connected with a good rudd which weighed 1lb 14oz. We fished till around 10.30pm when it was obvious that it wasn’t to be a red-letter day, yet in between the small perch and rudd the odd better fish came and our tally was three good rudd, three good perch and two lost tench.
It was gone midnight when I finally turned in and with the alarm set at 5.45am I awoke totally knackered. Today was to be spent creating a few new library images with Roy Westwood and Anglers Mail and although we had all day, luckily we both got on with the job in hand, Roy taking images and myself catching a few fish on bread under a stick float that consisted of trout, dace and chub and come 11am we had things sorted.
Thursday morning started with a round of golf with my mum and it looks like my games coming back as I finished the nine hole course in just 38 shots, that’s just seven shots over and taking into consideration I took seven on one hole it could have been so much better. Back at home I spent a few hours writing the words for the pictures taken on Wednesday before getting my tackle ready for another Thames trip and by 8pm myself and Chris were set up once more in a new area, one with a track record that produced a thirty for me some years ago. As darkness fell a couple of bream found my 15/10mm snowman bait so on went the 20/15mm baits which quietened things down. If you want to make fuss free perfect snowman bait setups along with a glug to match then The Nash Snowpots are the perfect solution. In fact it was so quiet that only two bleeps came my way with Chris hooking a loosing a fish in the night that felt like a bream. Next trip I am going to persist with the smaller baits, that is until six bream have found my baits then switch over if needed as well as recasting the baits every four hours, yet with hardly any weed and clean gravel in most swims I’m not sure this will make too much difference as all our baits have been coming back clean. Back at home the afternoon was spent creating a final article on tench fishing for CAT.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Winge of the Week

I have to admit that once the sun comes out and the nights are warmer I have to steer clear of commercial or popular club waters as I just cannot put up with tent pegs being hammered into hardcore swims. I remember a few years ago when set up for the night at a local club water. My shelter for the night was a simple oval with the groundsheet fixed to the Velcro’s attachments. No tent pegs were needed, in fact I rarely if ever use pegs to pin down my oval as a couple of good storm poles is nearly always all that are needed, screw ones that go in even the hardest of swim constructions easily with the use of a small twisting bar. I was looking forward to a relaxing night, with a few fish, however a group of anglers turned up ready for a 48hr session. With absolutely no respect to the other anglers around they proceeded to erect their shelters that took for ever and the constant malleting almost drew me to breaking point. I really should have moved to the opposite side of the lake as any fish within a few hundred yards would have headed that way, probably with metal hats on. That night no one caught a fish, which wasn’t surprising and almost certainly down to the building site construction work carried out that evening.
I can’t put all the blame on anglers as some just don’t realise what they are doing, more looking forward to a few days out in the open air than experiencing a red-letter day. Some blame has to be pointed towards the construction of the swims as these seem to be built with a few feet of hardcore beneath them, great in a way as these will last a lifetime, yet if a small square could be built into either side of these swims, large enough to insert banksticks easily much of the malleting could be avoided and if a specific area to the rear/side of the swim could be constructed of more penetrable material then shelters for long stay anglers could be erected without interfering with other anglers targeting the margins. If you have to use a mallet, then please use a rubber top one.
For now though and until the winter sets in and the hoards of carp campers retreat from my local venues it’s the Thames for me.

Product of the Week.

Coglans Mosquito coil holder and Gelert repellent coils.
Its that time of the year when if sleeping outside getting inside a sleeping bag due to the baking heat isn’t an option, however if mosquitoes are around this will only lead to an uncomfortable night under the stars.
I’m one of those people that insects seem to love to bite and can’t stand the buzz of midges around my head when trying to relax. Slapping insect repellent all over my body isn’t an option as this will taint my hookbait leading to confidence lost in bait presentation and inevitably a fishless night.
There is an answer though, Mosquito repellent slow burning coils. These are cheap, around a couple of quid for a packet of ten and although can be placed on the small metal holder that they come with, are best place in a coil holder which cost around £5. Simply set light to a coil, then blow the flame out, place in the holder and position in your swim, but beware, they don’t need to be positioned right under your bedchair as the vapour can make you very heady so place a few feet away.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Eels and the Thames - Weekly report starting June 29th 2013

The week started with a visit to a new day ticket water, basically because the ladies had planned a Pimms party so us lads had to make ourselves scarce. We wanted to try a carp water but arriving around midday found a few other anglers fishing and all the carp cruising on the surface so headed to an old trout lake that reputedly held carp to 28lb and perch to 6lb. In short the fishing would have been tough if it wasn’t for the rainbows and browns that constantly grabbed our meat and corn offering along with the occasional small carp.
Sunday, as always is about visiting the family and taking the girlfriends parents dog for a walk or should that be swim. This time we went to Wagners Wells a classic old ex-trout water, steeped in history and I watched as a few original lenney carp gracefully sunned themselves. In the evening I managed to get my monthly blog written up which freed a few hours up Monday morning for a round of golf.
Come midday it was time to start organising for the first of the FAS barbel teach-ins on the river Loddon. On route to the river Loddon I popped into Yateley Angling for a couple of items before arriving early. Only five of the booked in eight anglers showed, which is a little disappointing, however the remaining five were a great bunch of guys and were able to move around more than expected. As always a few anglers arrived without reading the car park sign or their handbook which is somewhat annoying as I hate having to ask people to leave, yet it has to be done. After going through rigs, bait, general tackle required and answering a few questions we headed to the river where I gave them a guided tour pointing out all the good swims, before they picked numbers and walked of to their chosen swim. It wasn’t long before the phone rang with Mike well down stream landing a barbel of around 5lb. Barrie at the upstream end then called as he had just landed his first ever barbel weighing 6lb 8oz. Things then went quiet as expected with the odd chub bite being missed. As darkness fell I called it a day, yet not before seeing Barrie loose a big fish that found a snag, in fact that was the second one he lost as earlier he suffered a hook pull. Driving home a couple of messages came in, both from Mike who went on to land two more barbel, estimated at around 11lb! Hopefully he will send me a picture. Surprisingly the fish that were caught came from swims that I wouldn’t have bet on with the banker swims failing to produce, but that’s fishing! Hopefully the guys learnt enough to return and land a few for themselves and I have to say a big thank you to them for making it such a great evening as well as helping each other out after I left. Cheers guys!
A quick visit to the dentist to rebuild my front teeth on Tuesday was well overdue and back at home the morning was spent sending images from the barbel teach-in to anglers and FAS as well as writing up blogs etc before sorting the eel tackle out. With the weather turning wet and windy thoughts were entirely on eels and with a few deadbaits in the freezer I headed for a lake that although hard had produced a few in the past. Chris was joining me and on finding the lake busy found ourselves split up; however it was never going to be a social night as at dusk the rain started and continued until the early hours. At around midnight the roll over indicator started to move and with line peeling of the open bail arm there was only one culprit, an eel weighing maybe 3lb 8oz. Another shortly after was missed which could well of been a big liner as some fish had started to spawn in the nearby weed. Chris failed to catch, yet an eel on a difficult lake was well rewarding and just the potion needed to get the bug again.
Wednesday was all about sorting out my other job, weddings as I have a number coming up and need to get on top of albums etc and with the girlfriend coming over in the evening all things fishing had to be forgotten.

Thursday was the start of the Thames carp campaign and the morning was taken up making rods up etc. Chris got round at midday so it was an early start, more to get into a swim that had been very productive in the past, albeit a few years ago. It wasn’t anglers that would tie up the swim but mooring boats as this was a free 24hr mooring zone and once the locks closed early evening these would be franticly heading for this area. Luckily it seems that there are far fewer boats navigating the river this year and although boats were around the swim was free. The weather was warm and it was a long wait for the sun to go down behind the trees and the shadow to fall on the water and with rods out and baiting done it was now all down to the carp, if they were around we would soon find out during the hours of darkness. All rods were baited with snowman rigs, another very successful past presentation, 20mm/15mm Nash Monster Squid boilies with small PVA bags of pellet boilies attached. Before casting out we had spombed out six kilos of 12mm pellets, old ones that needed using up in the bait shed along with two kilos of boilies. Bream started to show a couple of hours before darkness and with one hanging itself on my rods before dusk we had visions of being up all night, but it wasn’t to be, the bigger baits did their job and come dawn just one more bream and a chub had fallen, a rather spawned out one that would have been a big fish in its prime. Dawn saw a flurry of bites, all from bream and as the morning progressed thoughts of a Thames carp vanished and by 8am it was time to call it a day. I took Chris for a quick recce to a couple of other swims on another stretch, one that will be fished on Monday night as well as baiting our original position as its past form just cant be ignored. Back at home I worked around watching the Tennis as well as sorting out the big guns for a demonstration on fishing the method at distance at Broadlands on the weekends Nash Roadshow.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

FAS Barbel Teach-in

1st Farnham Angling Societies Barbel Teach-in.
Venue River Loddon – Stanford End – July 1st 2013
A fuller report will appear in my weekly blog but in short the first weekday barbel teach-in proved a real success. Their was some confusion around starting time as the handbook states that the river is closed from 3pm, however this is to give the river a rest before the teach-in starts at 6pm. Disappointingly only five of the booked in six anglers turned up, which wont happen next year as anyone that takes one of these limited spaces then fails to show without informing me will be blacklisted from future events! These events are very popular, so if you cant make it then please let ‘The Creel’ know as someone else can be found. Another annoying thing about these sessions is the anglers that fail to read their handbooks, newsletter and sign on the car park gate. I hate having to ask anglers to leave, yet it has to be done to allow the anglers on the teach-in to move around. Please read your handbooks before leaving home as there are two more teach-ins on the 6th and 29th of August.
On a good note the five anglers that attended were a smashing bunch of guys, all getting on, respecting each others bank side space as well as helping each other out after I left at around 10.30pm. The weather was great, the river had some colour and most had opportunities to put a fish on the bank, however hitting chub bites is something that comes with experience. Mike landed the first barbel of around 5lb around twenty minutes after casting in, before Barrie called to say he had one, his first ever which weighed 6lb 8oz. Unfortunately he went on to loose a couple, one from a hookpull, the other finally finding a snag, but in a way he learnt the hard way and will in future show a hooked fish who’s boss in future, that is after the initial run! After I left Mike sent me a text to say that he had another two barbel, the best estimated at 11lb, three barbel in a session, good angling!

Thanks to Chris, Authur, Mike, Barrie and Ross for a great evening and keep me informed on how you get on.

Anyone interested in attending one of these sessions needs to call Mick at 'The Creel' 01252 320871