Monday 2 November 2015

Duncan’s Monthly round-up – October 2015

 Duncan’s Monthly round-up – October 2015

Any month that see’s an all-round coarse magazine come to an end is a sad one, and this month Coarse Angling Today was unable to continue. What with Tight Lines a couple of months back and now CAT it really is a difficult time for coarse fishing as a whole. Younger anglers are far more interested in specific areas of fishing, mostly carp, and as the population of all-round coarse anglers get older, the need to promote this area of angling seems to be dying out. Yes we do have ‘The Worlds Wildest Waters’ but to me it’s more of a culture reality program and I have to admit that although I do record it, I certainly don’t rush to watch it, bring back another episode or something similar to ‘A Passion for Angling’ any day! It’s a worrying period and a sad one, but I know how hard the team at CAT worked to bring all us all-rounder’s some proper material and for this I thank them all.
Looking at my diary inputs the first thing that I noticed was the amount of images for the month, 32 in all which can only mean one thing, a brilliant October. This was really all down to just how well Godalming Angling’s Enton (Johnsons) fished. It certainly has been the year of the crucian, not just for myself but many others as well. In total I have been out either guiding (5) or fishing for myself (10) fifteen times and clocked up once again over one hundred hours. When I haven’t been actually fishing I’ve been either in the office writing numerous articles, many for Anglers Mail as well as visiting the river to continue the baiting campaign twice a week in the hope that a monster barbel will eventually turn up. It’s been hard going but the bream that were showing have now turned into chub, let’s just hope these are soon replaced with big barbel!
Although this mild weather seems to be continuing there comes a time when attentions need to turn from certain species to others and sadly the crucians campaign has now come to a close. I never expected to ever beat my old crucian best of 3lb 3.5oz or that Enton would produce so many big fish this year, that’s why both myself and fishing mate Chris set a realistic target of 3lb 12oz at the start of the season. We both managed to succeed with hitting this, Chris with a 3lb 12oz p.b and myself landing the big girl, spawned out at 4lb 4oz, so with both the orfe and crucian campaigns being a resounding success, let’s just hope come the end of the season we can say the same about the barbel one!
Another species that is high on our agenda is grayling. We are not looking at catching monsters, two-pounders on a regular basis would be nice, so instead of covering old ground, areas where two’s are rare we have decided to spread our wings and look further afield. This will involve less sessions but longer ones and it’s another adventure that I am looking forward to.
One area that I do need to address is to knock the numerous short sessions, especially for barbel, on the head as sitting on a cold bank and walking miles with tackle on my shoulders is doing my lower back no good. So instead of these sessions I’m going to replace them with single, longer session, even all night sessions as I think this is the way forward to catching that big barbel.

Don’t forget that Christmas is coming and if you’re stuck for ideas then why not get the other half to treat you to a day out with myself, gift vouchers are available, all you need to do is email me at or call 07928 617006. Here are a few popular ideas that might be of interest for the coming season, however if there is a specific species or personal best you would like to beat then just let me know and I will do my best to place you on a venue that can deliver.
Ideas -
Trotting for grayling using a centrepin on either the Test or Itchen.
A day’s pike fishing.
A day on the river Wye for barbel and chub.
A days roving on the Loddon in search of a few big chub.
Improving your carp fishing techniques at Broadwater.
A night spent under the stars targeting catfish and grass carp at Badshot Lea.
Bagging up with tench at Frensham Great Pond.

Another idea for Christmas is to buy my book ‘Evolution of an Angler’ which covers many years fishing loads of local water and is available at

01/10/15 – Another long day in Essex this time at A12 Cuton Lakes to create another Venue Expert for Anglers Mail.
02/10/15 – Up early and in the office to complete yesterday’s VE then grabbed the barbel kit and headed for the river. Unfortunately the Big Fish session was bought to an abrupt end due to river maintenance yet all the swims were once again baited.
05/10/15 – At last the weather has changed and a band of mild low pressure has finally bought some rain, great for catching but not great for fishing. After the standard Monday morning paperwork the barbel kit was once again put into action this time in torrential rain for the entirety of the session. Fishing from 3pm through to 11pm I really did feel I deserved a fish and after fishing five swims and baiting them on departure the bite finally came at 10.55pm! This again is part of an ongoing Big Fish campaign so details can’t be too informative but disaster happened when I went to do a self-take, the battery was flat. Ouch now that hurt!
06/10/15 – A day in the office as well as drying out the tackle from yesterday evening. The weathers spot on for the river but due to an early morning with Dad on Wednesday resisted the temptation, however in hindsight should have gone as jammed a disc in my Mac disc drive!
07/10/15 – Up at 5.30am and on the banks of Enton at 6.30am. It’s another wet day and made the mistake of heading for usually a banker swim but after two and a half hours, no bites and with the wind pushing into the shallows felt I had to move. Ten minutes after casting out the alarm sounded and a common around 3lb came, followed by two good tench to 6lb and a couple of cruians weighing 3lb 7oz and 3lb 12oz. Unfortunately the feeding spell was short, maybe an hour and a half and come mid afternoon the lake seemed dead.
08/10/15 – Spent the day in the office catching up on loads of angling related things as well as completing a pike article for a European magazine.
09/10/15 – Another early morning saw myself on the banks of the Kennet and Avon Canal at Hungerford to compile the images for an Anglers Mail article with Adam Kirby.
10/10/15 – Spent the morning and early part of both Sat and Sunday afternoon to complete the AM article as need to meet a pending deadline.
12/10/15 – All morning was used to get the fishing kit ready for a busy week ahead before heading to Old Bury Hill for the first zander session of the year. Although we had picked the date so that no moon would be seen, the skies cleared and the wind blew from the east yet the action was steady with eight zander landed along with a couple of sardine munching bream and a carp lost.
13/10/15 – Today was to be a full day targeting the crucians at Enton with my mate Chris. Unfortunately the wind was still blowing from the north east so we knew from the start things wouldn’t be easy. Working as a team we split up and fished different banks to try and locate the fish that seem to move on the wind here, however apart from a crucian of 3lb 5oz falling to my rod come midday we had nothing really to go on. My dad and girlfriend’s dad had also joined us and were also struggling so we decided to move to a swim that we had never fished before that had the cold wind pushing directly into it. It was a brave but wise decision as soon after casting out I had an aborted pick up. From then on the bites were steady but in no way fast and furious yet come dusk Chris had taken five carp including a stunning common weighing 22lb 6oz as well as losing a couple and my rods had produced two fish, a decent tench and a 3lb 7oz crucian.
14/10/15 – Yes you’ve guessed it, another dawn start this time on the banks of the river Loddon with a customer targeting barbel. Peter had never fished the stretch before but often thought about joining so it was to be an interesting day getting to know the producing swims and history of the venue, however with a grass frost, N/E wind, high pressure and gin clear water catching a fish wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. First job was to try and locate a fish, even if this was just from a liner or dropped pick-up from a chub. This we achieved in the second swim but thought’s were that it was from a clever chub so I headed back to the car and grabbed the 11ft float rod which was connected to a tiny feeder which we filled with liquidised bread as well as placing a big piece of flake on the hook. First cast saw another small pick-up yet the second bite caught us both by surprise as it came from a three-foot twitch which resulted in a tense battle with a barbel.
15/10/15 – Today was spent on the banks of Waggoners Wells with Chris Fox from Greyshott tackle creating an Anglers Mail Action Replay which went really well.
16/10/15 – Meeting a customer at midday we headed to Old Bury Hill to see if the zander were going to be in a better mood than on Monday. Conditions were far better and setting up slightly further up the long bank than normal it wasn’t long before the alarm sounded. Barrie from Monday and my other customer Mark met us on the bank and with two rods each spread out the action came at regular intervals throughout the session. Surprisingly no carp or bream showed to our sardine offerings but at least two dozen zander to 8lb 11oz kept us busy all evening.
17/10/15 – Managed to get up the river and bait the swims just before dusk so cast out a rod in one of the swims and within minutes the tip flew round. This is one of the Big Fish sessions so will reveal all soon.
19/10/15 – Needing to get ahead off myself with certain angling related jobs spent the day in the office, mostly writing up last week’s AM Action Replay.
20/10/15 – Another day in the office as well as organising the kit for a day’s guiding at Godalming’s Braodwater Lake.
21/10/15 – With a wet day forecast I wasn’t exactly looking forward to an early start but knowing how difficult Broadwater has fished this year I knew the importance of being on the lake before dawn in order to locate where the carp were. In truth we arrived an early and sat talking under the brolley, yet once the light allowed us to cast out it was action all the way with Neil landing thirteen of the fourteen carp hooked which included a common of 20lb 6oz.
22/10/15 – Having not cast a line myself for a few days I was looking forward to spending a few hours with my father at Broadwater. Conditions looked good with mild air and a nice breeze from the west and although bites were few and far between we managed six three pound crucians between us, three each and both recording one of 3lb 11oz. I also managed a tench and a common however it won’t be long before the crucians disappear and time will be called.
23/10/15 – Yet another early start this time at Frensham Big Pond however the weather still a bit mild for pike with just one small jack obliging which was unfortunately dropped at the net. We did enjoy nonstop action though from numerous tench, carp and rudd that were rolling and splashing all over the place. Oh how I should off had a couple of helicopter rigs and maggots with me.
24/10/15 – Big Fish Session.
25/10/15 – Spent the morning proof reading a couple of articles before emailing them to the publications.
26/10/15 – The morning was spent in the great company of Ian Russell at Thorpe Lea to produce an Anglers Mail Venue Expert before returning home and writing it up.
27/10/15 – Myself and Chris have been challenged to a friendly match at Johnson’s by my brother and father. We arrived at 7am and with the wind blowing into the railway bank headed there, although it has been somewhat inconsistent here this season. Kevin and dad arrived half an hour later and set up next to us. I was away first with a 3lb crucian, yet Kevin was doing his best to keep up and after a couple of hours we had three crucians apiece. I managed to keep a few fish coming, yet Kevin’s swim dies and Dad and Chris also started to catch. Come 4pm I had landed six crucians to 3lb 9oz plus a tench, Chris had three tench to 6lb 14oz, Kevin three crucians to 3lb 9oz plus a tench and dad three tench and a 3lb 12oz crucian. Not a bad session seems it nearly November!
28/10/15 – Big fish session.
29/10/15 – At long last a lay-in before a day in the office producing an AM article then finally getting in the tackle shed and giving it a good clean.
30/10/15 – After a day helping my brother moving a few items I was hoping to join him at Frensham to see if the big rudd were playing ball however he was unable to make it and I spent a few hours watching not only a wonderful sunset but loads of good fishing moving. The only problem that prevented me catching them was the small rudd that intercepted by maggot hookbait before the bigger fish were able to do. A frustrating few hours but something that’s plagued us all at the venue this season.

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