Monthly Report – January 2015
Well 2015 couldn’t have started worse as the night before a guided trip to Timsbury I awoke with a tickly throat. Fortunately the ‘man-flu’ hadn’t got hold of me come the morning as I found myself welcoming Rod to the banks of the river Test. Overnight the temperature had plummeted to -6 engulfing the countryside in a frosty carpet but with grayling are target I didn’t have anything to worry about. Rod wasn’t so sure, yet first trot down his confidence was lifted as the float buried and a lively sea trout headed skywards. Rods first encounter with the centrepin wasn’t made easy as all day long the rod eyes froze making trotting, let alone playing a fish difficult but he overcame the elements and enjoyed a fantastic day landing loads of fish including grayling, sea trout and brown trout to almost 5lb.
If you fancy an introduction to grayling fishing at Timsbury and need to be guided then just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a date. Alternatively if you want to head down yourself then dates must be pre-booked by calling Heidi on 07759 331385. More details about the fishery at www.timsburyfishing.co.uk
To be honest I never really realised that I had a cold until back in the car and come the following day, well it was feet up, wrap up and suffer. Even now as I write this report the cough is still with me, but thankfully its slowly going, yet it does reflect on why the amount of sessions for January are some what down. Although I decided to be sensible for once, all was not lost as feature writing, especially for the European magazines took over and with the weather all over the place I knew that even if I had ventured out things would have been far from easy.
I did however come up with a plan and this was to put in quite a few short sessions at a local lake for pike as well as pre-baiting a swim that had been productive in previous years. Sadly though catch images as they happened had to be held back in fear of other anglers reaping the rewards of my efforts, however I have now finished my short pike campaign on the water so hence the images shown. I did place a few on my face book page (Duncan Charman Angling) towards the end of the month and on my last session had an angler waiting to drop into the swim for the last two hours of the day along with another lingering suspiciously in the bushes close by. Good luck guys and to all that head there from now on.
In total I visited the bank on thirteen occasions split between guiding (3), personal (9) and features (1) all of which added up to just sixty hours, yet if I were to add up the time spent pre-baiting then it would have been a lot more. As they say effort equals rewards and it’s not all about having a line in the water.
This short pre-baiting exercise really opened my eyes to its effectiveness as on my last visit the first double was being released no more than nine minutes after casting out and the next double, the fifteen after a further ten! In fact I’m confident to say that the pre-bait concentrated every pike in the swim, and probably from a good fifty yards around to an area the size of a dinning table. They were literally lining up for the food, yet when repeats start happening, and knowing how pike don’t take to kindly to being caught, knew it was time to move on.
I did have one short session with my brother on the Loddon at Stanford End for chub using lumps of flake on a very cold day. Things up there haven’t changed much as we had already earmarked three swims that use to hold chub, ones that probably still would, and they did. Predictable or what, yet one thing that has certainly changed is the size of the chub. Five years ago the average size was probably 5lb plus with a six pounder a regular visitor to the bank, yet now its probably 4lb with a five big for the stretch and a six, not impossible but a rarity! A trip to a local stretch of the river Wey on another cold day when the river was well out of sorts provided me with just three fish, a bullhead, a 1oz roach and a minnow and to cap it of in style both myself and Chris got our cars stuck in the car park. Damp grass on sand and on a slope doesn’t mix yet we did manage to get them out eventually by placing the car mats under the wheels. We did have to laugh at ourselves as Chris is a vehicle recovery man and at one stage I had blood pouring from a cut on my hands and being a First Aider should have had some plasters!
Towards the end of the month I was fortunate to be asked to sit in the Bothy once again with Keith Arthur at Tight Lines as well as spending a day producing a video with the Online Fishing Team to go on BT Sports in a few weeks. Fortunately after cancelling the first date due to a frozen lake we arrived on probably the best day of the month. What was the fishing like and where did we go, well you will have to watch the programme (date will be shown on my face book page). I’m also writing this report up slightly earlier than normal as I’m fairly busy for the remainder of the month which includes a day’s pike fishing on a river tomorrow, a session that will be included next month.
So what has February got in store for me? Well I already have six days booked up with guiding so this is good. Species that customers are interested in at the moment are the ones featured in January, pike, chub and grayling. These are great targets for those cold days with sport almost guaranteed, that’s if you choose your location and swim carefully, yet my own personal sessions will see me focusing more on roach and perch as well as maybe boring it out on the odd occasion for a big pike.