Saturday, 31 March 2018

Monthly Report March 2018

Monthly Report March 2018

 This month it’s all been about social media but more to the point getting set up to Instagram and starting to take some tentative steps into the modern world such as video coverage and how to bring it to anglers. This is going to be a steady learning curve, helped on the way by my good mate Paul Garner and encouraged by my boss Alan Blair. Over the next few months my fishing may well have to take a slight back seat, or should I say my work ethics whilst doing so as I delve into keeping up with the times. New equipment will have to be bought and even more time spent in the office teaching myself how things work but instead of staying still or slowly going backwards I’m looking forward to progressing, upping my profile and bringing you all, new ways of viewing my angling. The sad thing is that for many, if they want to keep in touch then they will have to sign up to Instagram or at least Face Book and keep an eye on You Tube. I will do my best to help those willing to stay in touch and if not continue to bring you my monthly blog and up-to-date post here as you are the only ones that view this, so in a way you know more about me than most in the modern world.

As you all can see it’s been a mega busy month and I had to check why I had only been out on the bank nine times for myself, and some of these were whilst creating videos or producing articles, but the answer is simple, the weather. Why keep heading out and struggling in the rain, wind and on occasion’s snow when I can buy loads of time, get ahead of myself and then use this time well when things improve. Some may remember me saying that I was limiting myself to two articles a week but read between the lines and I’ve been doing four or more some weeks! Knackered is an understatement and although I keep saying it, it’s about time for some serious fishing which will happen just as soon as the weather allows.

Oh and I nearly forgot! Any month that see’s a personal best fish caught has to be a good one, a one pound dace from the Test on the last day of the season!

Due to popular demand I have just received another batch of 100 copies of my book ‘Evolution of an Angler’ and although many are accounted for I still have a few that I can offer at the stupid price of £10.99 plus P&P. Email me – if you are interested.
Guiding vouchers are also popular as Birthday presents so why not treat your angling partner to a present with a difference. If you’re stuck for ideas then this maybe the solution. Again email me for more details –

Day to Day events.
 01/03/18 – 06/03/18 – Casting a line during this period has been severely restricted due to snow on the ground and a frozen lid across all stillwaters. Usually I would be the first on the river when there is snow but the wind chill has been dropping the air temperature so much that even I stayed at home and knowing that when this melted the river temp and salt from the roads would be flushing through the system knew things would be very tough. The lakes are still frozen but with a relatively mild spell now upon us these should be defrosted come Tuesday so most of this period has seen me getting all my kit sorted, such as re-spooling reels with new line and making up rods so I don’t have to keep breaking them down when a change of species takes my fancy. I have also written a couple of European articles so still ahead of myself and should be ready to get some extra fishing in from Thursday onwards.
07/03/18 – After writing up my weekly Anglers Mail column I decided as the stillwaters are free of ice that I would head of to Johnsons Lake just to get out and hopefully catch the odd fish. As I past the river Wey I thought that I had made the right decision as it looked horrid however on arrival at the lake all I could see was a covering of black decaying matter, often associated with other lakes in the spring when the water starts to increase. I then remembered that last winter the same thing happened yet certainly not as bad as this. I nearly, and should have, headed home but being there set up cast out and then found that trying to sink 6lb line through the scum was impossible. Looking at my line lying across the surface just didn’t look or feel right so feeling somewhat uncomfortable headed home.
08/03/18 – Really looking forward to the next couple of days as on the banks again and not just for a few hours. Alan picked me up at 7am and we headed down to Hordle Lakes in the New Forrest after a tip of about some big roach. Rods were cast out a little before 9am, Alan alongside an island and myself into open water. Tactics were similar but I decided on a cage feeder whilst Alan a maggot feeder and we didn’t have to wait long before the first pound plus roach was netted. The action was then steady all day, Alan taking roach to 1lb 12oz and perch to 2lb whilst I took nine modest bream and roach to 1lb 6oz and perch to 2lb. With around 75lb of fish taken between us we headed home at 5pm when the fishery closed happy anglers. I also had 'Ging' the cat to keep my legs warm!
09/03/18 – Pressures really on today as I was in the good company of Alan Blair who was looking to catch a decent river perch. Weather conditions were perfect, shame that the river was fast and carrying a little colour but knowing that these fish probably hadn’t eaten for a few days due to the snow melt and salt from the roads knew we had a chance. Heading to a usually productive swim little happened at first but a cast upstream saw Alan taking three fish in successive casts, first a 7lb pike followed by two big perch. Pressure off we headed upstream but the action was slow so Alan tried for a chub whilst I covered some slower water and was finally rewarded myself with a big perch. At 2pm and with the rain falling I headed home whilst Alan headed to another river for a spot of carp fishing.
11/03/18 – It’s been a difficult weekend with the passing of my cat that’s been with me for over 20years but who could complain at such a life! Keeping as busy as I can and spent the morning at Willow Park creating an Anglers Mail article with Jake Lund.
12/03/18 – Up early and on the banks of Twynersh Fishery to meet local angler Ryan Horner to create a Carp Catch More feature for AM before returning home to write this up. Keeping myself busy, for obvious reasons I then started my WTF column for next week as I have a hectic week in stall.
13/03/18 – Most of the day was spent sorting tackle and bait for the next three days.
14/03/18 – Lewis arrived at 7am and we headed down to the river Test on the Broadlands Estate. Being the last day of the season we weren’t surprised to see lots of other anglers already fishing so made our way downstream where it was slightly quieter. The wind began to howl across the flood plain and with the river fast along with me leaving some vital items of clothing at home found trotting difficult and after a couple of sea trout reluctantly switch to the feeder. Fortunately I found a bend out of the wind which was warm, comfortable and had lots of grayling in. After taking around twenty to 1lb 12oz I decided to spend the last two hours just upstream of a pool and first cast landed a personal best dace of exactly a pound followed by half a dozen more decent grayling. Lewis had a few fish too, the best being a 4lb chub.
15/03/18 – 6am start, this time heading down to Hordle Lakes in the New Forest with Paul Garner to create a video. Fishing was as always brilliant with plenty of decent roach, perch, bream and carp. The video should be available to view to all Facebook and Instagram viewers soon.
16/03/18 – Another early start, this time heading to Newdigate Lakes with my mate Chris. Conditions seemed good but it was a really difficult day with just two bleeps coming my way. Chris did slightly better with one bite which he converted into a personal best golden orfe.
17 & 18/03/18 – With Easter looming and the snow once again back thought it would be good to get ahead of myself and get a couple of weeks of my WTF column sorted.
19/03/18 – Another cold day outside so once again found myself office bound, this time writing an article for Anglers Mail on Zig fishing.
20/03/18 – Will I ever get out fishing as yet another day in the office, this time drumming up some business, organising a number of features for the coming weeks, taking a few images to finish the zig article of as well as writing a feature for the Farnham Angling Societies newsletter, that’s four article this week and four planned for next!
21/03/18 – Although I’m at home today, it’s all about getting the rods ready for the next couple of days on the bank, at last!
22/03/18 – Up early and looking forward to a full day golden orfe fishing on Lodge Lake on the Newdigate Fishery with Paul Garner. Arrived as the gates open and with two carpers heading for the left bank were happy to fish the right hand bank for a change. In brief it was tough and cold and the first bite came late in the day to Paul rod resulting in a tench. I waited eleven hours to get a bite and then two tench came along in quick succession with Paul losing a fish just as we packed up. Talking to everyone else its tough going this year with most struggling for a fish. If you want to keep up to date and view short videos as they happen then you need to sign up to integral.
23/03/18 – Another early one and once again with Paul, this time at Badshot Lea Big Pond to create a bream article. Bites again were at a premium and all but one came before 10am and all from bream. If you want to see the video then do a search on You Tube, key words – Paul Garner, bream on the feeder, Badshot Lea, Duncan Charman.
24 & 25/03/18 – Two enjoyable days spent on the Nash stand at The Big One.
26/03/18 – Strange getting up and it still being dark and once again another early start, this time teaming up with Korum backed Kevin Durman to create an Anglers Mail Catch More article which finally was a success but only having to switch venue after a difficult night. The weather was far from perfect with a bright blue sky and a northerly wind but he pulled it out of the bag with some quality fish. Keep buying your copy of the Anglers Mail every Tuesday to get some top tips from this first class angler. Fortunately I was home in time to start tapping away on the computer and get the article written up come 9pm.
26/03/18 – Certainly a bust period, just wish the weather was better as come 7am it was pissing down when I arrived at Willinghurst to meet top carp angler Glynn Gomersall to create another AM Catch More feature. Come 2pm the rain finally stopped, a few fish had graced his net, as well as my brothers who had joined us and we headed home to dry out. Managed to get all the images sorted as well but with a few pending deadlines probably won’t be able to get this completed till the Easter weekend.
27/03/18 – Today was spent writing up my ‘Where to Fish’ column which is needed well early due to the Easter break as well as organising the tackle for yet another AM feature on Friday.
29/03/18 – Dad arrived at 9am and we headed down to create an AM ’Where to Fish’ Opener which will be in Anglers Mail later on in April. If you want to know where we headed keep buying your copy of Anglers Mail but one thing’s for sure, we got wet!
30/03/18 – It’s raining again and looks like it’s not going to stop for days! Spent most of the day in the office writing up yesterdays WTF Opener before doing a quick overnighter for carp.
31/03/18 – Back at home nice and early with a twenty to show for my efforts and then spent the day in the office finalising the Catch More article taken earlier in the week before taking a quick walk around Enton to see if anything is happening?

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Not a bad end to the season

Personal best Dace.

Ever since the traditional close season on stillwaters was lifted anglers seem to have different dates regarding when their season starts and finishes. For me I end my season at midnight on March 14th, the close of the river season, and what a last day it turned out to be.

Fishing with my good friend Lewis Deeks, who had treated me to a day on the river Test on the Broadlands Estate, we arrived to find the river busy. I then released that I had forgotten my hoodie, hat and thermal socks, great as although it wasn't that cold, the wind that was wiping across the fields made it feel icy. Trying to trot a float, when cold in a fast river proved almost impossible and after a couple of sea trout I switched to the feeder. The switch produced a number of grayling whilst roving around before I found stacks of grayling on the inside of a bend that was fortunately sheltered from the wind. This swim produced around twenty grayling, mostly over the pound to around 1lb 12oz before I decided to head just upstream of a bend and switch back to the float. First fish hooked turned my legs to jelly as an angler had already mentioned taking a dace of a pound from this area a few days earlier. In the net she went and on the scales it weighed a pound exactly, beating my old best taken from Testwood Pools by two ounces. Half a dozen more grayling came afterwards but the chill and lack of clothes took its toll and we headed home slightly earlier than expected. Lewis caught a few himself, the best being a 4lb chub on the float. A personal best always gets rewarded with a decent bottle of red!

The river perch earlier in the week were still in an obliging mood with fish to 2lb 11oz gracing my net.

Dad managed to get out after not fishing for a while and was straight into the swing of things hauling bream to nearly 8lb along with a nice tench.

Although guiding for river species will have to wait for a few months its that time of year when stillwaters start kicking off so if you want to get out and learn a few tricks and place a few more fish in your net then why not send me an email with a brief description of the species that you want to target and I will come back to you with a game plan. -

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Big roach?

Big roach?

Last week I had a tip off from a good friend of a lake that had turned up loads of big roach during a recent netting. I just had to check this out, so with my mate Alan we descended on the venue and in far from ideal conditions and took around 75lb of quality roach, decent perch and bream.

If you fancy being guided to an action pack day like this then send me an email for more details -

Alan Blair bags stunning perch brace

Alan Blair bags stunning perch brace.

A last minute decision by Alan Blair to switch venues in search of a big river perch put me under pressure earlier this week.
Meeting at first light we found the swim I fancied already taken and with the river carrying more colour and far faster than I would have liked had to head to another swim that was producing a number of weeks back but had strangely gone quiet recently. I needn't had worried as within half an hour Alan managed a pike around 7lb then these two stunning perch.

If you fancy a guided day for perch or any other species then why not email me for further details -