It’s been a really difficult month as much of my time has been helping the girlfriend sell here house so many days have seen me dealing with estate agents, solicitors, surveyors etc as well as tidying up the property and moving her belongings in to my house.
Getting into any fishing myself has had to be put on the back burner and trying to write when constantly having to stop-and-start just doesn’t work with me as I struggle to switch on and off when writing and prefer to just shut myself away in the office, far away from any distractions and get on with things. Hopefully come the end of the month things will start to slow down and come the end of April everything should be sorted, allowing myself to get back into some serious fishing.
Saying all this though I did still manage to put a few good fish on the bank and a quick look at the diary shows that I managed to get out on the bank a dozen times split between guiding days (7), personal sessions (1) and features (3). Obviously paid jobs come before pleasure trips so it’s not surprising that I had just one session to try and clear my mind. In fact it’s been so manic that I have on occasions done very little, if any fishing related stuff which you will see from my day-to-day record below. I’ve even forgot to keep my daily diary up to date and found myself trying to remember just what I have done and having to revert to my monthly calendar. I’m usually a very organised person so must apologise to everyone for the lack of information and on occasions forgetting to get back to them when promised.
Fortunately all this running around has happened during a couple of months when the weather hasn’t been very kind and although my personal sessions have suffered I don’t really think that I have missed too much. April is now with us, the days are getting longer and the water and air temperature rising slowly so I’m going to have to make a concerted effort to get out and when I do work that little bit harder to put a few extra fish on the bank, however the new month has continued in a similar manner to March as the planned early morning session tomorrow (Mon 4th) has had to be cancelled as I’ve just had a call from an engineer wanting to get an energy efficiency certificate done on the girlfriends house at 9am, joy!
02/03/16 – Having had a few days of no rain headed to the River Itchen at Winchester with a customer who wanted to christen a new centrepin which he did in style landed around forty fish including salmon par, brown trout and grayling to 1lb 8oz.
04/03/16 – Once again headed to the Itchen with another customer who dearly wants a 2lb plus grayling. Unfortunately these have been very rare beasts this year on all the southern chalk streams and it wasn’t surprising not to hit our target, however we did get a knee-trembling moment when a 2lb 9oz sea trout was hooked and twisted and turned just like a big ‘lady of the stream’. This sea trout was a personal best for Mel who worked hard in between the snow showers, so it was certainly a day to remember even if the desiredpersonal best didn’t show.
08/03/16 – It’s been a difficult winter for many and one of my regular customers Lewis just wanted to have a relaxing day catching a few fish so after a quick breakfast in the local cafe and after leaving his car at my house we headed down to a little lake that I discovered a week or so back which held some quality roach, a species that Lewis loves. The weather wasn’t great with early and late drizzle but far better than a few weeks earlier when Tom had managed 25lb of quality roach when the venue was 80% frozen. Fishing is strange as the unpredictable nature of this winter continued and although far from impossible the venue fished quite hard. I had a fish myself that was great and between us we took maybe two dozen roach, most around a pound to about 1lb 4oz, four carp to 8lb and fifteen or more fantails so a cold brain taxing but enjoyable session.
10/03/16 – On the banks of Badshot Lea Big pond come 7am to meet up with my brother and help out with one of his friends. After all the rain the day before we knew it could go either way, however two minutes after casting out the indicator danced and the first of more than twenty 5lb bream and over 100lb of fish came their way. Back at home shortly after midday so headed to the river but disappointingly couldn’t get to it due to it being in flood, pity as itlooked great. Headed to Stanford but busy so settled in top field. I blanked whilst Chris took a chub weighing 4lb 10oz.
11/03/16 – Headed back down to Golden Pond I the thick fog with another customer. Everything looked good with Alan catching on the pole and myself on the feeder, however once the sun broke through and the fog cleared it became almost impossible. I scaled right down to a size 20 hook and continued to land a few, mainly roach to 1lb 8oz and fantails. Decided to call it a day early so that Alan had time to get to the river.
15/03/16 – Really wanted to have one last go up the river but knowing that we were unable to get to it last week when not only was it in flood but also when it was a new moon almost could have stayed at home and written the result and as expected the six hour session moving around swims either side of dusk produced absolutely nothing. Chris was also on the river and fished from 7pm to 11pm but again returned home unrewarded.
16/03/16 – Back in November I tried to create a video at Bowsaw Lake fishing for stillwater chub on the waggler and maggot but found the conditions far too mild and got beaten up by the carp as well as having a couple of RAF Odiham Helicopters above for most of the afternoon. Today was our return and the lake seemed far more suitable for the method with hardly any wind and just after a cold spell. The fishing was OK, far from brilliant, but I managed around twenty chub t around 2lb 8oz plus a few carp and a bonus 2lb plus perch. There was a match also going on and some struggled to catch so although in what’s known as the flyer peg felt good that a nice net of fish was taken on what was obviously a difficult day.
17/03/16 – Today I was invited by Grayshott Angling Club to create a slideshow for the WVFCA held at Marsh Farm. This turned out to be a very enjoyable evening with other speakers discussing fish disease and improvement projects on Wey Valley Fisheries.
19/03/16 – On the Nash stand at The Big One all day today meeting fellow consultants and talking to the huge turnout of anglers that attended.
22/03/16 – It was nice to get out with one of my regular customers Martin Farmer and today we decided to head to a local lake in the hope that a few perch came our way. Unfortunately the day dawned frosty and bright, one of those days when there’s no wind, the skies and almost cloud free and you just know that you are on a loser, or almost. We decided to fish the sunny side of the lake as this was an area that had produced for me quite a few years ago. Although the sun was warm all we had for our efforts come the early afternoon was a few small carp to the lobs. Strangely the prawns went unnoticed so after snatching a few small lives we headed to the far bank and straight away Martin landed a 2lb 10oz perch on the worms. After a picture she was released and just five minutes later my live bait rod, four swims away signalled a bite. Another good perch was soon landed and we then realised it was the same perch that Martin had landed just minutes before, obviously hungry. The afternoon bought far more bites, mostly to Martin who managed another perch just shy of two-pounds and a dozen or more carp, so all in all not a bad session taking into the terrible conditions.
23/03/16 – With a tench campaign looming myself and Chris decided to head to Newdigate to see if the golden orfe had woken up. The morning dawned cloudy and relatively mild yet the lack of wind had us thinking it would be a hard day and that it proved with just four bites each during the eleven hour session. Chris managed a tench early on the two small orfe and one we didn’t recognise at maybe 4lb. I had four orfe, two small ones plus Crinkle Tail, usually around 4lb 8oz at exactly 5lb and the big one from last year, down in weight at 5lb 12oz. Tough but job done as they say!
30/03/16 – Headed to FAS Bagshot Lea Big Pond to create a You Tube video on bream fishing. Having a few things to do in the morning as well as picking Tom up from Alton we didn’t arrive till midday so it was always going to be a difficult one as this venue is very much a morning water. Things weren’t going to plan after two hours however constant casting finally bought a few bites and come 6pm we had competed what we wanted to do. Once the video has been edited I will inform you of the link needed to view this.
31/03/16 – Back to Newdigate with a customer today who had never caught a golden orfe and having the lake to ourselves on arrival I placed Martin in my usual spot. He cast out two feeders to the going spots and requested that I also fished so decided on just one rod which I cast up into the shallow end of the lake. Things were looking with both of us catching a small orfe on our first casts, then I hooked a bigger orfe that turned out to be the same one I had last week at 5lb 12oz, now an ounce lighter. Martin managed another couple of small orfe before once again my rod saw a bigger fish hooked which turned out to be an orfe weighing 6lb 4oz! I then decided to let Martin fish all three rods but although thinking he had hooked a big orfe four times, only to be frustrated as two tench and two bream, it wasn’t to be his day, yet at least he went home seeing a big one and landing a personal best. I’m sure he will be back knowing that the rigs work and reap the rewards very soon.