Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Bucklands Revisited

Bucklands Revisited
Oh how I laughed out loud this week when I opened Anglers Mail and read that the rudd have gone missing at Bucklands!
I knew that some syndicate members weren’t happy with the running of the place; you just had to read between the lines of comments made in the press by some that they weren’t going back. I think that the fishing was so good last year that some anglers made a massive mistake by not looking at the bigger picture, forking out £500 then not striking when the iron was hot. The lake is some 50 acres in size and depths plummet to over 50ft in places, couple this with a vast majority of the banks being out of bounds to fishing and anyone with any sense would have known that these giants could just drift off, well out of reach of an anglers bait. Let’s face it those rudd didn’t get massive from feeding on anglers baits in the first place, they grew big on neglect and a rich diet of natural food, something that they are doing right now and may continue to do so for many years to come, so anyone that forks out £500 and expect the rudd to climb up their rods, like they did mine, needs to come to their senses.
I have fished Frensham Great Pond for probably three decades and know just how rudd can change their position from one year to another. Fortunately in most cases an angler just needs to keep his eyes opened, locate these fish and simply move into position to be able to place a bait at them, something that’s not possible at Bucklands.
I was fortunate to get a day’s fishing on the venue when Fred Healy was kind enough to put me onto the venue. I must admit that I very nearly didn’t go but his words that I would easily break my personal best rudd of 3lb 5oz couldn’t be forgotten. I teamed up with fellow Nash man Chris Petter and travelled down on a day when Storm Bertha was about to sweep across Kent. When it arrived late morning all I had to show for my efforts on the float were a few small rudd even though big ones were rolling. The wind increased and the rains came so it was time to cast out a Helicopter rig baited with a small pop-up. The feeder never reached bottom before the first big rudd intercepted this. It weighed 2lb 6oz and over the next few hours I caught a further fifteen bigger! This catch included seven over 3lb, the best two went 3lb 10oz and 3lb 12.8oz and came before 5pm when I slipped and fell on my kneecap and was unable to continue. Chris was the next swim down and managed a number of rudd as well including a personal best of 3lb 6oz. Just think what we could have achieved if we had been able to continue!
Before leaving we enquired about how we could get on the syndicate which was obviously full at the time and Scott said we had to put our names on the waiting list, however one hadn’t been started. With a new list started and our names in prime position we left thinking that no way any of the syndicate members would give up such a golden ticket for years. How wrong we were, but one thing we were right with was we knew that when a position became available that our phones wouldn’t ring, and they haven’t! Another thing that we were also right about was we knew how easy it would be for the rudd to disappear, and they have.
So as for Bucklands it seems it was a once in a lifetime experience, one that cost me all of £20 but it was certainly money well spent, certainly something I don’t think the syndicate members will be feeling right now.

Friday, 21 August 2015

An edge to Plastic Fantastic.

An edge to Plastic Fantastic.
If someone asked me twelve months ago, could I cast a rig out with just a piece of plastic as bait, I would have said no! Fast forward to the present day and the answer would be completely different (thanks Neil) as this year has seen plastic out fish traditional baits on not all but quite a few occasions.
I was always under the illusion that plastic only works when a big bed of bait had been deposited within the swim and the fish were slurping up everything in their paths, how wrong was I. I do still feel that plastic needs to have some nutritional value food right next to it rather than just on its own in the middle of nowhere, but as I’ve learnt this year, I might well be wrong on this one as well.
Without giving too many secrets away one product that has boosted my plastic confidence is Nash Plasti-Soak, especially for tench and crucians that seem to love a really sweet smelling bait.
This is how Nash describes Plasti-Soak –
The killer sweet infusion that gives all plastic baits extra bite. A creamy, lingering blend of attractors and taste enhancers designed to permeate the skin of rubber corn, maggots and other artificials. Just a few drops transforms any bait, the longer they are in contact with Plasti-Soak the better they become.
Resisting ingress of weed and silt smells, Plasti-soak transforms artificial into heavily loaded attractor packages that retain smell and taste no matter how long they are left out. Use neat as a dip/soak.

Could I disagree on the above words, no, and would I use plastic without soaking in this, no, it’s a simple as this.

Jake’s first Barbel.

Jake’s first Barbel.
I must admit that it’s rare for me to leave a venue after a days, or in this case mornings fishing and drive home with a smile from ear to ear but that’s exactly what I found myself doing today.
Did I catch a monster, a personal best you may well ask but no, well not me anyway as today I was once again looking after William and young Jake, our target to catch Jake his first ever barbel. Conditions couldn’t have been better as overnight rain had placed some extra water and colour into the river. Amazingly no other anglers were on the river which surprises me as Stanford End is a popular piece of river, it just seems that most fish evenings and don’t act on favourable weather conditions! Anyway with the banks deserted we had the best swims to explore and with just four hours to achieve our goal we headed downstream to the same swim that Jake caught his personal best chub on our first outing. I had left William upstream in a swim and had told him to lower his bait under a tree and wait. This he did and was duly rewarded with a nice four pound chub.
Unaware of this we settled in what’s been the most productive swim this season, however it’s a toss-up on what grabs the bait first. Will it be a chub, barbel or an unwanted crayfish that’s indicates no fish are around! First cast and just a couple of minutes later the rod taps as a chub tests the bait. Resisting further taps Jake suddenly reaches for the rod as it bends round further but unfortunately the crafty chub must have seem this and lets go a split second before Jake strikes. Ouch, as I know this could well have spoilt our chances of a barbel and half an hour later it’s confirmed as the rod tip fails to move.
Heading upstream we try two more swims without any signs of fish before another productive winter swim starts to show signs of fish. We both watch as the line tightens and the tip pulls round a couple of inches before staying there and after thirty seconds or so assume it’s a crayfish but just as we say this the tip whacks round and the smallest barbell in the river is momentarily hooked before the hook pulls. I can feel Jakes disappointment and try to ease the pain saying it was only a baby but with less than an hour to go know that the chances of catching are unlikely. This is the moment though that I believe there is a ‘fishing god’ as we decide to make a risky move back into the first swim and a few minutes after casting in Jakes finds himself attached to a barbel. The excitement Jake experienced whilst playing the fish was unreal and the joy of holding his first barbel was just a pure joy to witness.
Well done that man and now you know why I was grinning like a Cheshire cat all the way home.
If you’re going through a bit of a lean spell targeting barbel or like William and Jake would like a fast-track experience into how to tackle this infectious species then why not book me for a day’s guiding.
Tel – 07928 617006

For more stories and feature take a look at my website –

I have just received these words from William, thank you...

Professional and exciting Barbel fishing with Duncan Charman.
In June 2015 my grandson Jake (aged 11) and I had a fantastic day’s fishing with Duncan on the river Loddon. I caught my first ever barbel and Jake caught an excellent chub weighing over five pounds.
Duncan is an experienced and helpful guide and clearly has accumulated a great knowledge of the river and the habits of the barbel, chub and other species that reside there. He was happy to share all his skills and tackle with us on our trip which made the whole thing very worthwhile. Later on in that first visit the summer heat was becoming uncomfortable and Duncan decided to call it a day in the afternoon as the fish were unlikely to be feeding. However, he offered us an extra half- day’s fishing at no extra charge which was much appreciated.
Following our initial success Duncan generously provided some superb photographs of our catch on disc and also mounted and signed by an Angling Celebrity. Duncan also arranged for some of the photographs to feature in the Anglers Mail and in the Tight Lines Sky TV programme.
Naturally, Jake and I were keen to take up his offer of the extra half-day and we were soon back on the same river eager to locate some of its legendary barbel. It was on this second visit that Jake caught his first barbel – a fine six and a half pound fish in perfect condition which put up a momentous struggle with all the surging strength that only barbel are capable of. Jake and I stayed on when Duncan took his leave at mid-day and Jake went on to land another good barbel in the afternoon.
We are both now dedicated barbel anglers – largely thanks to Duncan’s inspiration and example.
William T. Heath and Jake Ouracov-Heath

Red letter session caught on camera!

 Red letter session caught on camera!
Just returned from a short session at Godalming Angling Societies Johnsons Lake. Strange how sometimes things can work against you but come the end of the day seem as if it was meant to be as arriving slightly later than wished I found a match to be on Harris Lake where I originally wanted to shoot a short video. Heading to Johnsons (Enton) I amazingly found a couple of my favourite swims free so resisted the urges to head where the wind was pushing (he railway bank) and drop into one of them. A closer look at the calm surface showed no fish rolling but what it did reveal was lots of bubbling which I assumed was from tench. Having rods already made up it was a simple case of baiting up and casting to them before making a reference mark on the line for future casts.
I didn’t feel that confident as Johnsons can be a very moody place, especially in August, yet my worries were calmed as five minutes later the left hand rod ripped off and a lovely double figured carp graced my net. Not bad on a size sixteen hook and a five pound hooklink! Three more small carp followed before the crucians appeared, seven in fact with the biggest weighing a shade over two and a half pounds. So much for the tench expected, however then these turned up, albeit small ones to slightly over 5lb along with a couple of rudd.
The weather was meant to take a turn for the worst come midday, yet this stayed off till around 3.30pm, something else that seemed to be working with me for once, especially when early into the session the wind direction swung with it pushing straight into my face. The earlier disappointment of finding Harris unfishable was soon forgotten due to the superb fishing when at times two fish were being played at once, yet it was the last two fish that really made the session special, crucians weighing 3lb 2.8oz and 3lb 5oz.
My good friend Tom is in the process of creating the video which will give a few of my secrets away, not all, and will soon be available to watch on my Face Book page and other social media sites so keep an eye out for this.

If you fancy a guided day learning a few new tricks to improve your catch rate then why not book me for a days guiding. Tel 07928 617006 or better still email me with your requirements and I will do the rest. Email

Thursday, 13 August 2015


One species that’s certainly gained popularity over the last few years is silver bream. Yes, many straight away think of their ‘so-called’ cousins, bronze bream which are slimy and fight like a sack of potatoes, yet silver bream are far from similar, in fact when you target silvers bream you are fishing for a totally new species and just like rudd and roach they need to be looked at differently.

Unlike bronze bream, roach and rudd that are fairly widespread, silver bream are rare and reside in only a few waters throughout the country. The most famous is Mill Farm Fishery in West Sussex that has long been the place to head for if you want a real big one, having constantly broken the British Record over the last few years. I remember when Mike Davidson broke the record which at the time was just 15oz, the day my girlfriends dad Mick caught the first ever brace of two pounders and the day when I caught seven two pound plus silvers along with two three pounders, the best 3lb 3oz, just 1oz of the record. Unfortunately these big ladies have become rarer of late, not because they are not still there but because an influx of small nuisance silver bream and roach have invaded the lakes over the past couple of seasons. Methods that once worked are now hopeless, so whatever you have read in the past is probably worth throwing out of the window as although this is still the place to be, methods need to be rethought!

One thing is for sure, the helicopter rig still reigns supreme, however the once maggot and worm cocktail, then sweetcorn and more lately 6mm pellets that scored so heavily rarely work and when they do its only to the angler who wants to wade through the small fish to catch his prize. The size 16 hooks are now 14’s and the five-pound hooklinks increased to 7lb just so they last a little longer as the carp in the Specimen Lake fight like hell and rarely does a lesser hooklink last more than a couple of fish.
As for rods and reels try and balance things out. Most of the carp here average double figures so you don’t have to use carp rods. I recommend rods (I use Nash 10ft 1.75lb Scopes) in the 1.25lb to 1.75lb t/c and reels loaded with 8lb mono and if you do hook one of the bigger carp, don’t panic, just take your time and that fish will grace your net.

For myself, who wants to catch by design, I would rather fish a bait that’s only going to be picked up by specimen fish and although I would love to find a bait that only the silver bream like, sadly there isn’t one. So it’s simply a case of upping the size of bait so that anything smaller than a pound struggles to eat it and the size of bait I now use is an 8mm pellet (Boilies are banned). Unfortunately this will not deter the carp, tench and bigger roach, however if it’s a big silver that I’m after I just have to live with these. I use to love Nash Squidgy Pellets but sadly these are no longer available so any 8mm pellets will do and the colour yellow seems to be best. I have also had great success on punched pieces of Pepperami however this does have its day and now usually start by punching one of the new Nash Boilie Pellet (these are only named Boilie and are not boilies but pellets) hookbaits into an 8mm barrel. These hookbaits are critically balance and needle friendly and it’s this which gives the bait an edge over others.
There is also a groundbait ban so to get around this I use the new Nash Pellet Mini Mix and Nash Salted Mini Mix as these can be dampened down and pressed into a cage feeder, just like groundbait. Some would classify this as groundbait but where the defining line?

Early in the season, April or when the fishery first opens (it’s closed from Jan 1st to Good Friday) I would recommend casting tight to either of the islands, however once the water warms up these just become a carp crunching experience, so try targeting open water. Yes you won’t catch as many fish but you will stack the odds in your favour of placing the net under your chosen species.
Accuracy is paramount and I simply cast one of my feeder rods to the area that I want to target, clip up and tie a stop knot made from pole elastic right next to the end ring of my rod. I then use a couple of Nash Spot On Sticks to mark out my second rod and spod rod so all three are fishing at the same distance. It’s very important to remove the line from the line clip after casting as if you don’t then expect to have the hook link broken on the bite or at worse your rod pulled in!
Having all three rods fishing at the same distance it’s a case of spodding out some feed, maybe six loads before filling the feeders and dropping these over the top.

Time of day.
Mill Farm fishery is very much a morning water, so arrive early (in summer the gates open around 6am even though it’s stated 7am on the website!) and make the most of the hours up until 11am as after this things toughen up. I always will arrive with all three rods made up as this just means I’m up and fishing as quickly as possible. When things get tough don’t just give up, get into a routine of casting every few minutes, rods and spod, as many a bite comes soon after casting out.

So there you have it, everything needed to go and possibly be the next British Record holder.

Tight lines and be lucky!
Duncan Charman

Venues Details –
Mill Farm Fishery
Bury Mill Farm, Bury, Pulborough, West Sussex RH20 1HF
Tel – 01798 874853

Images and sub titles
1 – Mill Farm Fishery, one of my favourite places.
2 – Big silver bream are there to be caught by everyone.
3 – The Helicopter Rig, devastating.
4 – Balanced tackle will land every fish hooked.
5 – Edges are what all anglers need.
6 – Ground bait, not in my book.
7 – Accuracy is ever so important.
8 – Don’t get lazy, keep spodding.
9 – If you were a fish, you wouldn’t say no!
10 – A red letter day, there for everyone.

Nash Baits Salted Mini Mix - The ultimate small seed spod mix

Nash Baits Salted Mini Mix - The ultimate small seed spod mix
If there is an edge this season when it comes to catching specimen rudd from Frensham Great Pond then it has to be down to using Salted Mini Mix. Small perch and rudd have become an absolute nightmare and seem to leave you with a bare hook just seconds after casting out. I’ve always worked on the principle that when my maggots are eaten then they are probably the last in the swim, so if these nuisance fish are literally hanging themselves just seconds after casting out just think what’s happening g to all those expensive freebies that are being spodded out?
When maggots become a non-starter then it’s time for a rethink and that’s exactly why l started spodding this mix out, something that would keep not just the small fish happy but leak enough attractants into the water to attract the bigger fish. Rudd struggle to pick a bait up of the bottom so by popping up my bait puts it in direct eye sight of any rudd and by using either rubber maggots or a small yellow pop-up I’ve been able to keep a bait in the water and when a bite does come, it’s usually from what I’m after, a big rudd.
Nash Baits Salted Mini Mix is a blend of Tares, Black Rapeseed, Red and White Dari, Sunflower Hearts, White and Red Millet and finest grade Hemp that’s been cooked with rock salt to enhance its natural attraction and encourage aggressive feeding not just from carp but rudd and other species. There are no additives, just pure freshness from the finest quality particles possible.
Supplied in sealed high strength 2.5kg bags this bait really does increase your catch rate and is an edge that all angers should have.
The full range consists off – Salted Mega Mix (£8.99), Salted Mini Mix (£8.99), Slicker Hemp (£8.99), Slicker Spiced Hemp (£8.99), Mixed Candy Tigers (£9.99) and Tiger Nut Slush (£10.99).

Friday, 7 August 2015

Farnham Angling Societies third Barbel Teach-in – Thursday August 6th

Farnham Angling Societies third Barbel Teach-in – Thursday August 6th
The river was once again carrying a little colour so expectations were high of a few fish gracing the angler’s nets. After the standard talk about tactics and bait we took a walk of the river before each angler choose a swim for the evening.
John, who had just recently got back into angling and the only angler in the top field was instantly into a fish which turned out to be a personal best chub of 3lb 11oz. The anglers in the bottom field, some who decided to move around and others to stay in one spot were experiencing quite a few steady pulls on the rod tops which unfortunately weren’t from fish but those dreaded crayfish. An hour of so passed before John called to say he had just landed his first ever barbel, a small one and one that could have possibly been stocked early this year at 3lb 8oz. A couple of the other anglers also mentioned that they too had caught small barbel, ones of around a pound so things are looking a bit brighter for the future of Stanford Ends barbel population. A small pike hooked fair and square in the lip was caught.
As dusk approached expectations rose and it was once again John who landed yet another chub, yet it was David who had also moved up into the top field who landed the best barbel of the evening, one weighing 9lb 1oz and another personal best. Amazingly when he told me where he had cast I informed him that he was only in around 2ft of water which just goes to show, sometimes making a mistake can produce the goods.
Although the fishing hasn’t been brilliant so far this year on the river, it’s not an isolated case as everyone; up and down the country has been struggling. June, July and August are usually difficult months as the fish have loads of natural food available and in Stanford’s case there has been many an angler treading its banks all of which have been depositing bait in the water. The fish are obviously aware of what’s going on so have become harder to tempt than previous years but they are still there and in numbers, just look above the bridge in to the water of the Wellington Estate’s PRIVATE trout section and you will see around twenty barbel, some well into double figures. Please note that this is a NO FISHING area and anyone found doing so will be dealt with by the Executive Committee. Another problem seems to be litter, mainly around the bridge and few swims below. This litter consists mainly of empty meat tins, coke cans and starlight wrappers. It’s obviously the same angler and one who’s probably not a member so please inform the bailiff if you see this angler, by the way he smokes and seems to have a constant cold due to the tissues that are also left. I also had to ask two young poachers who were spinning in the top pool to leave so could everyone be vigilant and if they see a problem please call one of the bailiffs in the handbook.

It seems that booking with myself has worked this year as I had no ‘no shows’ unlike previous years. Thanks to all the anglers that attended, I hope you have learnt a few tricks and go on to land more personal bests and I apologise to so many anglers that called me and couldn’t get a place this year.
Duncan Charman

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Duncan’s Monthly round-up – July 2015

Duncan’s Monthly round-up – July 2015

Well what can be said about July? Not a lot really, yet I have to admit that its one of those months, which include June and August, where often the fishing is far from brilliant, in fact I would happily swap these three months with January, Feb and March any day in terms of consistent angling. One difference however is the weather, usually warm and dry with plenty of sunshine, yet this month has been, to put it mildly, bloody awful! The month started in a mini heat wave with temperatures reaching 37degrees, however night time temperatures have dropped often to single figures making it feel more like April. I have to admit that I spent the last night of July under the stars hoping to get a good night sleep bankside ready for a dawn start but slept badly due to feeling cold all night. Should have taken the thermals or an over-wrap but you just don’t expect to have to take these measures in the middle of our summer, or do you?
Anyway enough about the weather, I think we are all cursing it in one way or another. Sadly the fishing has been poor also, especially the river that we have been baiting for a number of weeks. This isn’t because of anything apart from the time of the year; the river is just rammed with weed which is the home of millions of natural food items which the fish can happily feed on without having to search for our baits. Yes fish do get caught but this is probably more to an angler casting a bait and this falling on its nose more than the fish actively having to search it out and eat it. Come September though, once the weed starts to die away, the river temperature drop, the nights starting to draw in and the reduction of natural food, its another story as barbel and all other fish will know that they need to feed up for the winter and this is the time to make the most of it. You maybe questioning, so why go to the trouble of pre-baiting through the summer, why not start come autumn? It’s a good question, one which many would simply take the later option, but come September more serious barbel anglers will be starting their campaigns and if we can get the fish to accept our bait without to much caution and accept it almost as part of their natural diet then we will be one step ahead of the others and hopefully reap the rewards.
My statistics this month don’t reflect the time that myself and Chris spend pre-baiting. Twice a week this is done, a round trip that takes each of us around three hours but luckily we split this between us, myself baiting at the weekend and Chris mid week. Sadly this month has also been one to forget for a number of other reasons, however we all have bad ones from time to time, it’s part of life. My time on the bank has been split between personal sessions (11) and guiding (5) which is the sort of split that I look for. I have been out numerous other times creating articles for Anglers Mail but I don’t include these within the statistics. Hours on the bank totalled 109hrs, not the most but taking into consideration a few personal issues then I didn’t expect much more.
Looking forward to August? Not really as this is another month where the fishing is usually hard. Just looking at Frensham and the rudd fishing that was the highlight of July, well I can tell you it wont be in August as the small fish have become problematic, something that usually happens, so the standard maggot approach just wont work so if I’m to continue then it will be a more specialist tactic that will have to be implemented and this will probably mean less fish in the net. I will probably use this month to get ahead of myself in terms of features. I’ve already supplied the Nash E-Zine magazine with plenty of content so if I can get everything that I have pending sorted by the end of the month it will simply free me up to start concentrating on my barbel fishing. Time on the bank will also differ somewhat as every year I have things in my mind that I want to try, things like improving my bread punch fishing, exploring a water for a potential mini species British record, spending a couple of nights on a new eel venue and seeing if the old tactics that worked so well at Frensham still produce the goods. So don’t expect to many big fish as August isn’t the month to catch fish at their best weights, in fact its probably the worst!


02/7/15 – Today was spent producing a barbel article for the Nash E-Zine so if you want to know what’s going on in more details and the rigs, bait that I’m using then you better keep your eye out on the Nash website for the next issue.
Once this was completed it was time to get the eel kit sorted and head out for a night under the stars. Apart from one small pike no eels graced the net but Chris missed three belters.
03/7/15 – Back at home by 6am and time for a couple of hours shut eye before getting ready to head of to the Tight Lines studio for the last time and if time allows I will bait the river on my return and once again head to the lake in hope of a big eel, even if this means setting up in darkness.
Well if you thought stormy muggy nights was best for eels then think again as apart from one aborted run and a small pike to Chris the lake failed to produce again. Looking at the conditions this stormy night did coincide with a full moon as well as a wind that swung a complete 180degrees during the overnight session.
06/7/15 – An early start saw myself at Frensham before 5am setting up for the arrival of my customer at 6am. It was a chilly misty start at just 8 degrees and unfortunately one of those days when Frensham is just impossible. In fact for the past week the lake has fished very badly, probably because the tench are going into spawning however if this was the case the rudd should still be feeding? Anyway come midday we decided to knock the session on the head and save a few hours for a return visit in a week or so.
After lunch and catching up on some paperwork at home I grabbed the barbel rod and headed to the river for a few hours yet just one strange bite that failed to materialize was forth coming. I did see a big dorsal break surface in one swim, definitely from either a big bream or barbel so they are about. I would have stayed later than 10pm but the next day was once again another 4am start.
07/07/15 – Today was booked to complete the photos for an Anglers Mail feature at Todber Manor in Dorset. The best part of 4hrs on the road and six on the bank left me knackered, so the text for the Venue Expert will have to be completed later in the week.
08/07/15 – I popped over to Enton at 7.30am to catch up with my dad, brother and girlfriend’s dad who were all catching Crucians, tench and rudd so at least one local lake is fishing well.
09/07/15 – Met Chris at 7pm next to the river and fished through to midnight. Unfortunately neither of us experienced anything fishy, not even a good fish moved, but all the swims got baited again so it will happen but when?
10/07/15 – Completed the Venue Expert article for the Mail so headed to Enton for a few hours. Arriving at 4pm set up along the railway bank. A few tench were being caught but generally tough so started on the helicopter rigs and maggot, a tactic that worked earlier in the week but after two hours and just one lost tench switched to my normal methods and started catching straight away. With the banks getting busy with weekend anglers I found that casting long was the best tactic and although no crucians came, come 10pmten tench to 4lb had.
11/07/15 – Up at 5am and on the bank of the Loddon by 6am to meet a new customer for the day who was hoping to catch his first ever barbel. With a sunny day forecasted and temperatures reaching the mid twenties it was once again a day of targeting the shady feature swims. We knew bites would be few and far between but a barbel did come at 10.30am after moving around and rotating a few swims but unfortunately the hook pulled soon into the fight. Apart from a crayfish and a couple of chub knocks that was the end of the action yet Chris now has the confidence and rig to return and I know it wont be long before he manages his first barbel.
13/07/15 – Probably the worst day of my life so far as had to make the heart wrenching decision to say goodbye to my 23yr old cat. In no state to write an article that was my intension I made up rigs for Tuesday’s FAS barbel teach-in and headed to the river in hope of some excitement, yet all that happened was it rained.
14/07/15 – The morning was spent writing an article for Coarse Angling Today before heading to Stanford End for the second FAS Barbel Teach-in. The rain over the past days had given the river some colour and with overcast mild conditions the river should have fished well but just one 5lb chub was caught, however after I left at 10pm a 9lb 13oz barbel was taken along with one lost and another 5lb+ chub.
On the way home I stopped off at Farnham Golf Course and collected 60 lobs from the practice ground for some eel fishing later in the week.
16/07/15 – Having a couple of days fishing to look forward too I headed to GAS Broadwater arriving at 8am to join up with my brother and dad. 95% of the carp were acting strange, all up on the surface and it soon became apparent that we were fishing for the remaining 5%. In short the fishing was hard with six carp shared equally between us and come 1pm and having to get my kit sorted for a guiding session that night headed home. Kevin and dad stayed on for a few hours and managed a few more including a twenty plus some good roach that maybe need looking at soon.
Once the tackle was sorted I headed down to Winchester to pick young Tom up. Id promised to help catch him some new personal best and our first target was a two-pound rudd from Frensham. The lakes been tough of late but after spodding some Nash Salted Mini-Mix and maggots out we placed heli-rigs over the top. The weather wasn’t kind with thunder, lightning and heavy rain for most of the night but come the morning we had landed five two pound rudd, the best 2lb 4oz and 2lb 7oz.
17/07/15 – Absolutely knackered I managed a couple of hour’s kip to recharge the batteries before the daily duties were completed as well as sorting out the barbel kit. Chris had managed to bait the swims on our big fish venue before we met at another river, really just for a change of scenery. Rods out come 8pm, Chris with two barbel rods, myself one for barbel and the other for eels as the river was carrying some colour. 9.30pm I had my first bite which was from an 8lb bream before things went quiet till 5am when the rod slammed round from unfortunately a chub that didn’t even make 4lb. No call from Chris meant that no big fish had come his way, in fact his night passed without incident.
20/07/15 – Not a lot of fishing happening this week as having the week off, however did pop up to the Pitcher and Piano Pub at Richmond to meet up with the Tight Lines crew and say fair well. What with one thing and another its not been the best of months, a very sad one in fact, hopefully I will be able to stay in touch with many of the crew like Keith, Andy and Mick and that one day we will all be able to work together again and bring the millions of anglers a proper angling show on TV. Tight Lines, you will be sadly missed and I wish everyone involved the very best for the future.
27/07/15 – No fishing for a week and to say I’m missing it would be an understatement. I was hoping to get out last Friday but the weather was so bad that the social day with the dads was cancelled. I was also hoping to get out on the Saturday night but once again things went tits up and the few hours at Frensham were cancelled.
Most of today has been spent writing a feature for the Nash website E-Zine content about the golden orfe campaign earlier in the year. Once that was completed I obviously had lots of paperwork to sort before organising the kit and heading to the river for an overnight session.
28/07/15 – Unfortunately the night on the river failed to produce which was surprising seems the river was coloured, although fining down.
Come 3pm I was on my way to Frensham Pond for a guided rudd session with my good friend Lewis. Unable to get first choice swim we settled in one surrounded by rushes which gave us some respite from the strong S/W wind. Initially just small fish came; rudd and perch yet constant casting finally bought a bigger rudd, one that weighed exactly 2lb. A few fish were lost, probably tench due to kiting around the rushes plus another better rudd of 1lb 12oz however the full moon and high wind made things far harder than normal conditions and come midnight the swim seemed dead.
29/07/15 – A day spent getting another feature sorted for Nash E-zine, this time revealing a few of my secrets on catching crucians at Enton.
30/07/15 – The toothache continues and after an appointment I managed to spend a few hours at Waggoners Wells perfecting my bread punch fishing. The fishing was steady but their were no big roach, maybe 12oz biggest in a total weight of around 12lb, not bad for three hours work.
31/07/15 – 01/08/15 – After completing the photographs for a soon to be released Anglers Mail Venue Expert on Monks Lake in Kent I headed down to Mill Farm Fishery in West Sussex. My thoughts were having a go at the Silver Bream come first light and my mates Chris’s was to try for eels during the night. Unfortunately neither a big eel or silver came our way but plenty of fish did including lots of carp to around 14lb, loads of small silver bream plus the odd good roach and tench. Amazingly all I thought about during the night was just how cold it was, 5 degrees at the end of July, just stupid. The full moon didn’t help either!