Saturday, 27 September 2014

Charman’s Challenge – H&DAA Hunderton Rough No 17.

Charman’s Challenge – H&DAA Hunderton Rough No 17.

Date – Wednesday 24th September 2014

Venue fact file –
A Rural stretch not that pleasing to the eye compared to other stretches with the sewer works, railway bridge, new bridge and houses on the far bank.

Tickets - Season tickets around £50 for a year, amazing value as well as day tickets for just £7 available from Woody’s Angling Centre, HR4 0DQ – 01432 344644

Stock – This stretch has some big carp within as well as plenty of bream, big barbel and chub plus lots of silver fish and the odd big pike.

Conditions – The drought continues and the river gets lower and clearer and with the easterly still blowing and high atmospherics I wouldn’t be surprised if the barbel don’t want to play.

With the best swims taken on the Field Farm stretch plan B had to be taken and we headed upstream of the new cycle route bride to a couple of swims midway to the boundary. We knew that dad was somewhat worried about the steepness of the banks so Kevin doubled up with him whilst I dropped into a swim called the Pyramid.
Second cast and the tip wrapped round and I found myself attached to a stubborn barbel that just didn’t want to find my net. A few worrying moments progressed when it snagged me and I watched as it twisted and turned a few feet beyond the net so it was time to slip in and drop the net underneath it as I was sure it was a double. Sadly she tipped the scales just short at 9lb 5oz but it was still my best from the river and I recast awaiting the flood gates to open, they didn’t.
Dad and Kevin also struggled and with the earlier cloud clearing illuminating the river and every pebble within it every fish must have headed for cover as apart from a chub that shed the hook late in the day this was the only following action we received.

With the conditions proving so difficult we decided that it just wasn’t worth fishing the following day and headed back early so we could head to Johnsons and get some rods bending, which we did!

The time we decided to throw in the towel was when a couple of anglers stopped and said that they had fished almost a week without a bite and with others walking the banks with similar stories we almost felt good that we had all caught.

The last few sessions have been tough, certainly through no fault of our own and fishing after dark probably would have bought better results but a few things to help other if visiting the Wye follow.

Feeders – probably the best feeders on the market for tackling big rivers are Fisky’s Fantastic Feeders available from Paul Fisk who can be contacted on –

Woody’s Angling Centre – HR4 0DQ – 01432 344644

Sink Green Farm B&B 01432 870223

Hooklinks – If you like mono hooklinks then I tried using Gardner 6lb and 8lb HydroFlo which I found as good as any that I have used before yet Lewis at Gardner sent me some hydroflex and assured me it was the D.B and he is spot on as this stuff is as good as it gets.

Hereford and District Angling Association –

Bait – we found that small pellets scored yet just as good were Nash Instant Action boilies, especially 10mm.

Charman’s Challenge – H&ADAA Field Farm No 17.

Charman’s Challenge – H&ADAA Field Farm No 17.

Date – Tuesday 23rd September 2014

Venue fact file –
A lovely stretch that’s very good for pike as well as big barbel especially at the down stream end.

Tickets Season tickets around £50 for a year, amazing value as well as day tickets for just £7 available from Woody’s Angling Centre, HR4 0DQ – 01432 344644
Conditions – The drought continues and the river gets lower and clearer and with the easterly still blowing and high atmospherics I wouldn’t be surprised if the barbel don’t want to play.

I was put onto this stretch a few years ago by Paul at Woody’s in Hereford and every time I have fished it as well as placing customers on its banks it hasn’t let me down, especially one swim at the lower end of the fishery which I have to say is in a grey area to the H&DAA boundary. My dad and brother were joining me for three days on the river and luckily the swim was free when we arrived at 8am. With the river low they positioned themselves on dry land halfway out into the river casting to a small pool on the far side whilst I headed downstream to search other areas. Unfortunately with other anglers also wanting the swim and sky lining the far bank it was never going to be easy yet dad managed to hook three barbel and Kevin one. Two shed the hook for dad but luckily they both managed to land their first ever Wye barbel, both sizeable fish around 8lb.
I struggled and failed to get a proper bite but Mick from Manchester was fishing downstream up against a snag and although he had only taken one barbel struck it lucky with seven more falling in his final hour.
We hoped to get the swim the following day but with two cars in the bus stop they were sure to be taken so we headed upstream to another stretch Paul had mentioned.  

Charman’s Challenge – Aramstone Fishery No 16.

Charman’s Challenge – Aramstone Fishery No 16.

Date – 18th September 2014

Venue fact file –
Kings Caple near Hoarwithy Post code HR1 4TU (This may take you on the wrong side of the river!)
Tickets Adult £15-00 no concessions
Stock – Approximately 3 miles of amazing river Wye countryside where on most occasions you can drive the car along the banks and park behind each swim. A good stretch for small/medium sized barbel and chub along with the standard other species found within the river.

Conditions – As bad as it gets with extremely low clear water but making it worse is the Easterly wind and high atmospherics of 1029mb.

Unfortunately this challenge was sprung on myself last minute as on booking the best swim on the stretch, four months in advance Stan the estate manager told me that he was placing one of his regulars in the Whirlihole! This was on a Tuesday and with three customers looking forward to catching a few barbel on the Thursday I spent a couple of sleepless nights, one in the van in the local pub car park due to my predicament. Fortunately two of my customers were booked in on the Wednesday so they at least enjoyed hooking plenty of barbel, losing most and finally landing nine. The downside to their trip was that take the Whirlihole out of the equation and you’re left with a fairly standard stretch of river with very few other good swims so unfortunately blanked their second day in the Oaks Swim.
Lee was my main concern as he had travelled up from Bognor the night before and was staying at the highly recommended Sink Green Farm 01432 870223 nearby. I had to be on the river at first light to secure a swim under the crab apples, one that had produced two barbel between two anglers the day before. Yes that was the next best thing to the Whirlihole!
Securing the swim Lee cast out and amazingly the tip pulled over first cast and he landed a barbel of around 5lb. To say the fishing god was watching is an understatement, thank you! Working between Barrie, Vic and Lee it was obvious that the Oaks was devoid of fish and early afternoon they threw the towel in and departed, happy but somewhat frustrated due to not being allowed a couple of final casts in what they had considered a booked banker. Lee had taken another small barbel and a couple of chub come mid afternoon and just as I was leaving felt the swim was coming alive and it did as he carried on to take another couple of barbel and six more chub. Well done that man!
To be honest my Wye trips this year have been one of mixed memories and having a swim doubled booked and walking on egg shells for the best part of three days biting my lip at the same time means that my time on this beat has come to an end. What a shame some people don’t look at the big picture!

1 - David managed four from the whirlihole.
2 - Vic his first lip hooked barbel!
3 - Barrie knows all about the Whirihole.
4 - Lee enjoyed a day upstream.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Guided zander sessions to Old Bury Hill

Guided zander sessions to Old Bury Hill

The predator kicks off on the 1st October and I’m pleased to announce that I will be able to offer guided trips to the legendary Old Bury Hill once again. Sessions commence at midday and run to around 9pm with terminal tackle and bait provided as well as my knowledge and help throughout.

Many will be aware that October and the last two weeks of the season in March being incredibly productive so if you fancy getting your strings pulled and catching something different then email me – and I will forward cost and availability.

Get in quick as once it gets really cold things get difficult.

Fish of the Week – starting 22nd September 2014

Fish of the Week – 22nd September 2014

A three day trip to the river Wye became two due the low clear conditions and fishing proving to be almost impossible during the daylight hours. I fished two days, not during the best part of the day and could only manage one bite which came from the Hunderton Rough stretch but it did weigh 9lb 5oz my best from the river.  

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Charman’s Challenge – Holme Grange Fishery

Charman’s Challenge – Holme Grange Fishery (Nash Roadshow).

Date – Saturday September 6th 2014.

Venue fact file – 3 acre lake situated at Redlake Lane, Honey Hill Road, Finchampstead, Berks RG40 3BF.
Tel 01344 777411
Web –
Day Tickets – Adult 2 rod £10, Junior 15 and under, Disabled & over 65 £8. Night and 24hr tickets available.
Stock – Carp to 36lb and roach to 3lb with bream, tench, chub and crucians also present.

Conditions – Overcast and mild with temperature reaching 21degrees, A/P on 1018mb but unfortunately very little wind but at least its coming from the west.

This venue was forwarded by Andrew Hooper and the challenge was to see if I could catch the big roach that reside within. After checking the venue out it soon became apparent that targeting these is almost impossible and the ones that fall are usually accidental captures by carp anglers, well especially during the warmer months. If I were to target the roach then I would probably return in the depth of winter, January to March, well before the carp have woken up and target the centre of the lake with maggot and hemp, yet with a ruling that rigs need to be running this would rule out the helicopter rig which really makes targeting the big ones difficult. I will check with the fishery on the day about helicopter rigs and show how safe (if correctly tied) they are but doubt if they would agree for their use.
With a Nash Roadshow taking place it seemed the perfect time to get to know the venue and with the roach at the back of my mind rigs were scaled down enough to attract them but also needed to be strong enough to land the carp that would surely beat me up for the best part of the day. Both rods were set up using 1.1oz Nash Pear In-line leads with Quick-Change Beads protecting the knot to the hooklink. One rod was tied up using Nash 15lb Combi-Link to a length of eight inches along with a Nash size 10 barbless Uni-Fang hook tied knotless knot style. The bait would simply be a 10mm Instant Action Crab and Krill boilie with a small yellow buoyant sight stop added with Crab and Krill Ball Maker Method Mix around the lead. The second rod would be fishing a Nash 10mm Monster Squid Airball Pop-up fished tight to a size 10 barbless hook using Gardner 8lb Hydro Flex Mono hooklink and once again the same method mix would be compressed around the lead.
Rods were 9ft 2.75lb Scopes with the H-Gun reels loaded with Gardner 10lb HydroTuff line.
Arriving at 8am it soon became apparent that I would have to set up in a corner, far from ideal as the Nash carp lads had taken hold of the middle of the bank and were happily demonstrating zig rigs and floater tactics, something that’s not allowed on the venue but had been allowed for this day only. Their was also a match taking place along one bank and the last remaining bank, as the lake is triangular in shape was filled with day session anglers. Fellow Nah man Nick Watkins was already set up and with very few fish being landed it soon became apparent that the lake, due to the noise and activity was going to shut up shop and this it did. The standard carp hauling never happened and although the above rigs worked early on I soon had to scale every thing down finally catching the odd carp and roach by baiting the margins and using a hooker pellet under a pole float.
Although the fishing didn’t live up to the normal standards off the fishery the attendance by budding anglers, especially young ones was without a doubt the best turnout that I have witnessed so on the day the fishing took second place and the social side took priority.
Looking at the amount of small roach and carp targeting the big roach will never be easy. Its not really my type of venue yet its a great place to fish if you like to catch non-stop all day and has great facilities as well as being run by friendly staff that keep the venue extremely clean and tidy.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Fish of the week - 1st September 2014

Fish of the Week – 1st September 2014

Its been a busy week as most of it has been spent guiding on the river Wye but a few hours spent at Godalmings Enton Lake resulted in this 3lb 8oz Crucian that fell to a tiny hair-rigged piece of corn placed just a rod length out over some Nash Ballmaker pellets.