Monthly Report September 2017
I don’t have to keep saying it’s been another manic month as is everyone nowadays. Looking at my statistics I been on the bank thirteen times either fishing for myself (8), creating features (1) or guiding (4) which is the sort of mix that suits me. Most of my fishing has been based around short sessions either zigging for carp or targeting crucians and both have been extremely rewarding along with introducing Alan Blair to an urban hotspot. The one feature that I created was on the Thames in search of a zander but although one never showed the predator action was simply explosive. The four guiding sessions have all been on rivers, one for perch and the other three on the Wye for barbel. All were successful trips, yet driving to the Wye and back in a day does take some doing!
Day to Day events.
02/09/17 – Spent a few hours starting my weekly Anglers Mail ‘Where to Fish’ column.
03/09/17 – A wet windy day forecasted but after such a spell of hardly any wind and bright conditions just what’s needed to kick them into feeding. Fortunately when I arrived at Johnson’s to meet up with my dad we found very few other anglers fishing so headed to the railway bank as this is where the wind was pushing into. My good friend Mark was already there and had taken a personal best mirror of 26lb 8oz on his crucian gear (same carp I had the week before) along with a couple of crucians and with fish moving things looked good. Another mate, Barrie also joined us and with the rain not as hard as forecasted we all enjoyed catching a few fish. I seemed to be getting the lads back for taking the p... out of me on the Wye for loosing so many barbel and gave them a lesson in crucian fishing taking a dozen to 3lb 5oz along with the odd tench, carp, rudd and roach. Dad was struggling so early afternoon I wound my rods in to help him get his bobbins moving and he went on to take a couple of crucians including the best of the session at 3lb 11oz 8drams. Whilst helping him I couldn’t ignore that Barrie had borrowed one of my rods, inspected my rig and obviously learnt a trick or two as well as catching a few crucians to 3lb 6oz. Good angling mate! Mark seemed to be on a roll and caught steadily all day, maybe eight crucians to 3lb 10oz, another personal best! With the rain getting harder and the girlfriend to pick up it was time to wind the rods in come 3pm but what an enjoyable day.my kit and go and after dropping the lady of at work did just that. Arriving at an almost empty lake I dropped in the same swim fished the weekend before and soon had carp all over my baits. Didn’t
even have time to turn the second alarm on when a big drop back saw the first of four carp falling in just two
hours to my new found wonder rig. Unfortunately after the forth carp they seem to drift off and the next two hours saw absolutely nothing happen but once again I think I know the reason they left my swim. The four carp landed weighed 11lb, 18lb 2oz, 22lb 3oz, all commons and a 22lb 5oz mirror.
05/09/17 – Complete day in the office.
06/09/17 – Slipped out for a few hours carp fishing this morning. Cast out at 8am but found the fish to be somewhat cagey. Worked at it till 11am and managed just one bite but it did come from a real mint common weighing 25lb 6oz.
07/09/17 – So annoyed at one particular anglerwho didn’t read his Farnham Angling Society membership book regarding the third FAS barbel teach-in and then decided to ignore three signs clearly stating that the river was closed. The reason that the river is closed is to give time for the fish to settle and allow the six anglers the best possible chance in catching. Unfortunately one of my biggest edges that I explain to these anglers is the importance of being the first angler in a swim as once someone else has been there then the chances of catching are almost nil. Not only did this angler kill the bottom two fields but three poachers then killed the top field. Thanks!
08 & 09/09/17 – A couple of days in the office writing a European article, getting ahead of myself on my WFT Column plus sorting some kit for a carp session tomorrow.
10/09/17 – Headed to Johnsons at 8am to meet Chris for a spot of carp fishing. The weathers certainly not good for what we will be doing, zig fishing with a growing southerly, clouding over and rain forecast come mid afternoon. The lake busy so headed to a quietcorner but after a couple of hours just couldn’t see any fish, let alone get a bite. Barrie was fishing for crucians on another bank and reported that the fishing in general seemed slow. Dad called to say he was on his way to join us for a few hours, however somehow dropped his front wheel of the track around the lake and we had to get him towed out along with around half a dozen strong lads lifting the front to free the wheel. It was going to be one of those days! Back in the swim and after another fruitless hour’s one of Chris rods was away and he managed a lovely zip-liner of around 11lb which was quickly followed by a mirror of 18lb to myself. Happy with the result and enjoying the banter with Barrie we weren’t expecting anything else and with the rain imminent decided to call it a day at 3pm, however one fish had other ideas and shortly before leaving Chris awas away again and after a lengthy battle slid the net under The Big Dink at 32lb on the nose provided him with a new UK personal best. Happy days...
11/09/17 – The last lay-in before the lady has a run of early’s so made the most of it before getting my head down to the standard Monday chores which included around four hours organising the tackle room, returning emails etc and getting kit sorted for a busy few days on the bank.
12/09/17 – On the bank at 7.30am to have a few hours with my dad crucian fishing. Can’t understand why some days Johnson Lake is so busy and then others, like today are almost empty? After having such a productive session a week or so ago we headed to the Railway Bank and although the skies were bright and cloudless and the temperature was just seven degrees it didn’t take long for the first crucian to grace my net. This steady action continued till early afternoon and come 1pm when we headed home we had taken sixteen crucians to 3lb 10oz and two tench. I quickly popped into the Apollo Angling as I left and found some brilliant inline cage feeders made by Guru which I will be putting into action tomorrow on the Thames as well as buying a fishing rod, the first in probably twenty years, a 12ft Drennan Acolyte Carp Waggler rod which I’m hoping is going to be powerful enough to tame the odd Wye barbel next week? Fingers crossed!
13/09/17 – On the road come 7am, this time heading to the tidal Thames. An hour and a half later I arrived, 30 minutes to do 26 miles then an hour to do 4 and then to find the tide right down which was strange as high tide was meant to be at 8.18am! Think it might have been something to do with the dangerously strong westerly wind which we under estimated and saw white water and waves heading downstream towards Richmond! It would have been so easy to turn around but knowing rush hour was upon us we madly set up and fished till 1pm in which time we managed a handful of roach, mostly around 12oz, a small bream and one clonking dace.
14/09/17 – Another early this time to meet Ian Joyce one of my regular customers and one I always look forward to fishing with. Chilly, just slightly and with a strong wind still blowing we were aware that winters on its way. First chuck in with a lobworm and a good bite was missed yet the second saw the hook find some flesh and a 2lb perch graced his net followed by one slightly smaller before the swim died. Heading downstream we tried another swim without any signs before dropping a float paternoster and a small minnow live bait in another. That didn’t take long to see a 4lb pike in the net that got revenge by dragging its teeth across my fingers. A couple more swims were tried for just one small chub before casting out in a big pool and straight away the float disappeared and the first of around ten perch to 2lb graced his net.
15/09/17 – The alarm sounded at 4am, yes 4am and come 5.30am I was in the good company of Alan Blair standing in pitch darkness next to a normally productive barbel swim. It’s always difficult introducing someone to a new river, especially to a river that I’m not that familiar with but I was so confident that first run down with a piece of meat would see him battling a hard fighting beard on his 6ft Shot-Gun, however come an hour later and still the rod failed to bend. I headed upstream and fared the same before finding Alan someway downstream, well excited having found some carp but also somewhat frustrated at missing two chances off the top. It wasn’t long though before he staggered into my swim with the smile of a Cheshire cat as in the folds of his landing net lay the most beautiful zip lenear you could ever which to catch. Never one to slow down he soon had another in the net, this time a small kio before the carp backed off into an area difficult to fish, however Alan wasn’t fazed and was soon in the river, risking getting a right boot full and following them but even these extreme measures weren’t enough. Heading upstream we located more carp but no barbel and after I managed a chub around 4lb on the float we headed back to our original position only to see Alan lose the same linear at the net and myself finding a swim absolutely stacked full of silver fish.
16/09/17 – At last a lay-in before a few fishy hours in the office.
20/09/17 – Been looking forward to my office backdrop toady as I would be aboard a small boat floating about on the river Thames with Jason Vorster, a great lure angler in search of a few oversized predators. Jason certainly produced the goods but if you want to see just what we caught then you will have to keep buying your weekly Anglers Mail magazine as the feature will be appearing here soon. If you are an avid lure angler take a look at – www.lucklurebox.co.uk Amazingly back in the office I was able to write the article up and get it off my mind as the next couple of days are to be spent on the river Wye.
21/09/17 & 22/09/17 – The alarm sounded at 4am and come 5am I was on the road heading to the river Wye in Herefordshire. Meeting my two customers, John and John who were staying with Sue and David at the really nice Sink Green Farm B&B come 7.30am and after a cup of coffee we were on our way to give them anintroduction to this majestic river. We were hoping to catch a few on the float but the river was up a foot or more and rushing through so it was a case of standing in the river and feeder fishing, sadly in the rain and a howling wind. I think it was a bit of a wakeup call for both as it’s a far cry from the short walks and comfortable swims of our local venues but I’m imagining a real adventure for them. It didn’t take long for the first bite and fortunately a barbel found the bottom of the net, a personal best for John who had never caught a flowing water beard. Unfortunately a snag was proving problematic, something the Wye is known for and a few fish were lost, however come the end of the day and in far better conditions they had taken another five barbel and six chub.
The following day I introduced them to a new stretch, one I hadn’t even fished before, one that a previous customer who now fishes the river on a regular basis had directed me too. Having good information is vital if you are to put yourself on fish and something that takes years to achieve, so thanks Mark, I owe you a free days guiding! Fishing from the top of a bank in glorious sunshine we were all far more comfortable and first cast a barbel graced our net. The action then continued for a few hours before slowing early afternoon but still the odd barbel fell. In total I think thirteen were taken, the best two going 7lb 15oz and 8lb 7oz.
As an angler I think it’s only fair that I inform you off good products and bad products and if you are heading to the Wye and stocking up on feeders you have two options. You can either buy feeders that are made by Wye anglers or go to your local tackle shop and buy ones that are mass produce. I recommend getting specifically made Wye feeders as they will last and are cheaper than the crap ones that simply shatter or break after a couple of casts. Paul at Woody’s Angling Centre makes his own as does Paul who is behind the FFF feeders, both reliable and brilliant feeders.
Hereford and District Angling Association – wwhdaa.blogspot.co.uk – membership just £50 per season!
Woody’s Tackle Centre – 67 White Cross Road, Hereford, HR4 0DQ. Tel: 01432 344644 – www.woodysangling.co.uk
FFF Feeders – Fisky’s Fantastic Feeders Face book. Price list email Paul at - firstname.lastname@example.org
25/09/17 – Was hoping to head to the lake for a spot of carp fishing but due to heavy overnight rain thought I’d bring a trip to my publishers in Kent, Calm Productions forward to pick up some books that they have kindly offered me to sell? Was hoping they were by the door and that a fork lift would be able to load the two pallets into the hired Luton Van but sadly not as I had to load them two boxes at a time. Eight books in a box weighing 1.2kg each, nigh on ninety boxes, to say I was sweating come completion is an understatement but I did have someone to help one end and my poor dad the other end. I wasn’t that worried until I read that the Luton had a weight limit of 500kg, Ouch, work it out. As you can imagine it was a very slow drive home and missing the traffic each way was a blessing, but things were going too good, and a nightmare was about to hit me as after being distracted by my neighbour I forgot to lift the tailgate and crunch, yes it wasn’t pleasant as I drove out the drive. Fortunately the guy at the hire company needs to go to Speck Savers as he completely missed the scratches.
If you fancy a signed copy I can now offer them at reduced rate of just £10.99 plus P&P, (normally £25). If you are interested then simply email me at duncancharman.me.com
26/09/17 – A rough night meant that I never made it to the lake until 10.30am and with just three and a half hours to spare knew that I would be up against it but constant feeding eventually fed the birds off and a few carp started to show an interest. Unfortunately the first bite saw a good fish kiting into the shallows and with the lead not falling saw the hook pull. I wasn’t expecting anything else but shortly before having to call it a day managed another bite which resulted in a common weighing 22lb 9oz.
27/09/17 – Spent the day writing up my weekly Anglers Mail ‘where to fish’ column as well as getting the tackle ready for a long days guiding on the river Wye tomorrow.
28/09/17 – On the road come 5.20am in heavy rain. I just hope it doesn’t stay like this? Luckily when I arrived at The Falcon B&B come 7.30am to meet Steve and Nathan the weather was much better, in fact to good as the skies were now cloudless and the sun already high. After last week’s success on a new stretch it would have been stupid of me to go anywhere else and fortunately the swim was free as when we arrived shortly before 8.30am. An hour after casting out all looked good as my customers had landed a chub and a barbel along with losing a couple due to a snag, however things then slowed and with the sun on the water we assumed this was the reason. Mark who had put me onto the stretch arrived a couple of hours later and setting up in the swim just thirty Yards downstream took a while to get off the mark, but then started to haul! Checking his rigs I knew we were doing nothing different, the only difference was his swim had a tree casting a shadow across it. Mid afternoon the shadow covered our swim and I was hoping the action would commence but sadly it didn’t so come 4pm I made the brave decision to move downstream of Mark some thirty yards and within ten minutes the first barbel graced there net,followed by four more to 7lb and two chub! I had earlier mentioned to my customers about moving if no bites had come after a couple of hours but things are slightly different when you drop in a swim that’s produced the week before and then gets your customers off to a good start on the next trip. If we hadn’t got those early fish then I would have had no problem moving but I always thought the fish were in front of us, but they had moved. Lesson learnt but at least we didn’t sit in the swim all day. I just wish we had moved a couple of hours earlier. By the way Mark finished with thirteen barbel!
29/09/17 – Although it’s the Ladies day off, and tomorrow, I still managed to not only finish of this week’s AM column but also get well on the way with next week’s ‘where to fish’ piece. This is because I see another manic week approaching. Sunday I’m guiding, Monday and Tuesday on the bank with Carl & Alex producing another Nash video then on Wednesday heading off to the Kennet to produce an AM feature. This leaves Thursday and Friday to not only write up the Kennet feature, finish my ‘where to fish’ column along with feeing enough time up to see if the carp are still taking zigs and treating my mum to a well overdue 9 holes of golf before heading down to Christchurch on Saturday for a fishing treat. All will be revealed next month...