Sunday, 18 September 2016

Guiding days on the Wye

I'm just testing the water after returning from a successful days guiding on the river Wye which saw two anglers share a catch of around twenty barbel to 9lb 10oz alternating between the feeder and the float.
Prices this year based on myself travelling to and forth from the venue on the same day, providing bait, terminal tackle, rods/reels if needed, ticket to the venue and images of all catches are as follows-
One-to-one session £150
Two anglers being guided £200

I am also looking at spending three days on the river in Aug/Sept and Oct next season and the cost based on two anglers per day will be £125 per angler.

If you are interested and require more information the
n please email me -

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Monthly Report - August 2016

Monthly Report August 2016
As from this month I’m going to try my best to write up this introduction on a daily basis as I seem to miss so much trying to remember things come the end of the month.

I’ve just chuckled at a statement made by an
angler in AT this week who states that he’s just found the new wonder rig at Godalming Angling Club’s Harris Lake. I’m not sure where this angler has been for the last two or three years as the widely used Pellet Cone has almost had its day, well it has with me because I’m on something else now that’s far more effective! Anyway it made me laugh as it probably has numerous others as we all know that the angler in question is far from the first, in fact he’s probably the last!

My next moan is regarding waders, not for the first time! I have to admit that there are lots on the market that state, they won’t let you down, however I have spoken to numerous anglers that have tried numerous manufacturers and to be honest, the slogan should be 'they will let you down!' I’ve just thrown my second pair of Greys GRXi in the dustbin. When I first purchased these I thought that spending that little bit more would give me a product that would last a lifetime, however on buying these I was in no way made aware that I would have to continuously treat with a waterproofing agent. Six months into using these they started to leak, not badly just a damp feeling that slowly got worse. Returning the product Greys were kind enough to supply a new pair but again they leaked soon after purchasing and only after looking into the product and questioning them was I then told about the problem. Would I have purchased these if I was made aware of the problem, no. However if they had been sold with a tube of waterproofing treatment, something that would have little if anything to the cost, then I probably would have. Looking at their website they now have discontinued these and offer just two styles, CT waders and CTX waders that seem to be far more expensive than the GRXi; however nowhere in the description does this state that they need to be treated! I just hope, and I would like to have some feedback if possible, in knowing that the product has been improved so that customer forking out a lot of money won’t be disappointed. In the meantime I’m sticking with Vass waders, yes your bum will look big in them, you won’t win any fashion shows and yes they aren’t QUITE as comfortable as the Greys but one thing is for sure, they cost far less and will last you a lifetime!

Moving on, a customer asked whilst bending into another tench at Frensham one weekend, why don’t you fish on weekends more. The answer was obvious as we were fishing a new swim for the first time this season, too many anglers, too many dog walkers, just too much noise and distractions. Soon after he left I decided to stay on for an hour and dry the nets and sling off. With rods out on sticks in the water I decided it was time for a snack, yet halfway through my sausage rolls I had a bite and soon found myself out in the water playing a tench. I was then confronted with some disturbance behind only to turn and see a dog with its head in my sausage roll bag and then departing with on in its mouth. Why don’t I fish on weekends, you now know!

Working as a freelance photo-journalist for Anglers Mail I’m fortunate to meet up with all sorts of anglers as well as meeting them on different venues and this month was no difference, however the highlight was spending a night eel fishing with my good friend Fred Healey. The fishing wasn’t that good, just one screamer that I missed (Fred fared somewhat better); yet just putting the angling world to rights was enough to make the long journey to the East Sussex coastline worthwhile. I also had a trip down to Swanage to meet up with an angling mate who wanted to show the amount of different species that can be caught of the pier in just a few hours. It a great way to get the whole family into fishing so keep an eye out for this over the next few months and next time you head to the seaside pack a couple of rods as you will be surprised what can be caught on tiny lures.

Welcome to autumn, yes the summer is now officially over and with the days drawing in and the nights not just getting cooler but damper as well there is a real feel that better fishing is just around the corner. In all honesty I think next year I will give fishing a miss in August as it’s that horrid end of summer month when the fishing can only be described as appalling. This year has been probably one of the worst ever, probably due to the weather, hot and humid most of the time and as for the wind it’s been almost non-existent. When the wind has blown it’s not been for any prolonged period and has often changed direction on a daily basis and the old saying ‘if the wind can’t make its mind up, the fish cant either’ has certainly rung true. Probably the best example of just how bad the fishing can be in August was a trip to Mill Farm Fishery in Sussex. I had a customer with me who wanted to catch a silver bream. Now over the years I have spent loads of time fishing this venue and seen the complex take a turn for the worst regarding the silver bream. Going back maybe five years you were able to fish a maggot/worm cocktail for the silver bream on the Specimen Lake and if you caught one the chances would be it was a two, now you have to fish pellets, sometimes 8mm pellets just to get through the small fish and play a numbers game with the carp, however even on such a prolific venue, the month of august showed just how bad things can get. I would have happily bet my house on my customer catching a silver however as hard as we both tried it just didn’t fish. In the best part of eight hours all we caught were five carp, a tench and one small roach. At first we just put it down to the weather, humid and still yet after a few hours the problem became noticeable as there was a massive algae bloom which turned parts of the lake almost black! I just hope they get some water pumping through the venue as it could be disastrous if this weather continues. Another disappearing act have been the crucians at Enton along with the rudd at Frensham. Again I don’t know the complete answer, algae could be partly to blame yet this month is when the natural food larder is at its fullest and these fish either have had a really good feed already or have simply switched onto this rich harvest and in doing so turned away from our baits. The weather forecasters are also bloody rubbish as just this weekend (27th/28th) they said that Sunday would be better than Saturday. Now I’ve become somewhat wise to these sorts of statements as Saturday was a reasonable day with plenty of sunshine and no rain. Making the most of this I did quite allot in the garden which was fortunate as come Sunday it rained nearly all day resulting in the food at the family BBQ being cooked in the oven. With technology nowadays you would have thought that they could be slightly more accurate, yet fearing a repeat performance of Michael Fish’s forecast some years ago they do seem to edge on the side of caution!

One last note is I’ve had my fair share of big rudd from Frensham over the years but this season can’t seem to get over 2lb 12oz, which is good as it is an increase from previous summers. I have also seen that quite a few of the fish being caught are recaptures which indicates that either the amount of big rudd is far less than I first thought or I’m just attracting the same shoal into my swims. I have actually started looking at each fish in more detail and making a data base as it seems that some anglers average weights seems to be slightly higher than mine which is concerning as most are using the same tactics I first started using many years ago and are fishing the same areas. Now I’m not saying that all the rudd anglers at Frensham are liars (well one angler that started he had caught a dozen three’s in a session is a liar as I’ve only caught two in 33 years of fishing the venue), most are as honest as the day is long, but I do know of the odd angler that is either dishonest, doesn’t know how to weight fish accurately or has a set of magic scales and has on more than one occasion in the last couple of seasons pulled the wool over the weekly magazines eyes with very distinctive fish caught on other waters I know inside out!  If it continues then maybe, just maybe I will have to step in and make a stand as it’s so unfair for all the honest anglers that put so much time in and then are only kicked in the balls by such bad practices.   
Just keeping you on your toes!

Day to Day events.
01/08/16 – Can’t believe it, after such a dry spell the rains once again is on its way, typical as this evening I’m off to the river Loddon to help six anglers try and catch a barbel. Although the evening was enjoyable the weather did make it a little uncomfortable and with the river running gin clear the fish certainly weren’t crawling up the angler’s rods which they probably would have been if the event was Tuesday morning! Back at home around 10.45pm I then had to sort some final bits out for a guiding day at Frensham the following morning.
02/08/16 – The alarms sounded at 4am, and come 5.30am I was on the banks of Frensham Great Pond with my customer. Fortunately the venue has been fishing badly all season and with no other anglers fishing dropped into one of my favourite swims. First job was to bait up and the second job was for my customer to start bagging up on tench, which he duly done with eleven red eyed beauties to 6lb 12oz which as a new personal best by 3pm.
03/08/16 – Another relatively early morning, this time 5.30am as I was meeting my good friend Paul Garner to help take some photos for him at BLBP. Amazingly once again the venue was relatively angler free and come noon I was walking through the front door after watching Paul land well over 100lb of fish. If you are interested in’ what he caught then keep your eyes peeled over the next few months in IYCF.
04/08/16 – Another early start this time due to meeting Alan Blair at the new Nash lakes just outside Royston in Cambridgeshire. Arriving at 7.30am it was great to spend a few hours interviewing him for a soon to be released Carp Crew Guest appearance in Anglers Mail and to be back home in double quick time, 1pm. This allowed for a couple of hours shut-eye before starting to get the tackle ready for a day’s guiding on Sunday plus backing up images and getting the camera equipment organised for a photo-shoot at Hollybush Lakes on Friday morning.
05/08/16 – At last a lay-in, well 6.45am and a breakfast at last, before heading to Hollybush to meet up with my good friend Jake Lund to create some images for his next technical Carp Crew piece in Anglers Mail. Keep an eye out for this one as first session on a new lake and he catches a whacker! Back at home it was straight into the office to start writing up the words for all the articles.
07/08/16 – I don’t normally fish or guide anglers on a weekend, however things have changed and although I can’t fish every weekend I can get out from time to time. Today was one of those rare occasions and another early morning as I was on the banks of Frensham Great pond before 6am to meet Adrian and Harry who was in need of a quick-fire introduction to the venue. The lake was strangely busy so after some thinking we dropped into a swim rarely fished. Out went the bait and in came the fish, around a dozen tench, the best setting a new personal best to Harry at 7lbs 3oz before we packed up at 1pm.

Words received from Harry – “Thanks for the photos – they’re great, and a big thanks too for the trip. I’d a great time, learnt a lot, and was thrilled to beat Ade’s personal best, alongside my own. I’m itching to get back to Frensham to have another crack, and reckon I and Ade may have a fair bit more success in the future thanks to your great techniques and advice. Hopefully see you again at Frensham sometime, maybe to show you a few tricks of my own, Harry”.
08/08/16 & 09/08/16 – The last couple of days have been quite relaxing and rewarding as Monday was started with 9 holes of golf with my mum, followed by helping my dad out with car problems before finding myself on my knees weeding for my mum. Things then got back to normal as I found myself in the office waiting for numerous articles to come in and in waiting sorted some long awaited paperwork duties.
10/08/16 – Up early again, 5.30am and after dropping the girlfriend at work headed to Badshot Lea Big Pond to meet my dad and girlfriend’s dad. Unfortunately twenty anglers were already camped around the pond so my tactics of casting a massive method feeder into the middle of the lake, probably wouldn’t have gone down to well so I decided to give the fishing a miss and catch up with the dads. Back at home it was a case of getting the eel kit sorted before the long drive to an East Sussex coastal destination to meet up with my good friend Fred Healy. The visit was to create an Anglers Mail OTB feature which we successfully secured. Keep an eye out for this in AM soon.
11/08/16 – After a restless night under the stars in hope of a monster eel I quickly completed the photographs with red Healey before hitting the road at 9am. Three hours later I was pulling up in the drive, completely shattered and in need of a few hours’ kip.

12/08/16 – A morning spent in the office completing Fred’s feature along with a few Carp Crew pieces also for AM, before heading to Frensham once again for an evening guiding Lewis in hope of a big rudd or two. Unfortunately the small rudd at Frensham are making catching a specimen difficult and apart from one decent fish that fell off the night past quietly. Chris who had joined us managed one rudd which was a repeat of a fish I caught a few weeks ago which proved the same shoal was in front of us. This fish weighed 2lb 7oz and showed three distinct dark scales on one side.
15/08/16 – Up early and at Frensham come 5am; however I’m not expecting too much for Neal and Neil as the temperatures are forecasted to rise to the high twenties by lunch and there’s a horrid easterly wind blowing. Fortunately half a dozen tench did come their way and the two anglers learned loads, so all in all a productive guiding session.  
17/08/16 – A morning in the office before heading to Winchester to team up with my friend Tom Aldous so we could get some images for an Anglers Mail Lure Attacks feature.
18/08/16 – The high pressure is still with us so I decided that as I was to guide two anglers for barbel on the river Loddon that we should start late and finish late, so come 1pm we were heading to the river in hope of a fish or two. It became an eventful session as late afternoon Mark hooked his first ever barbel, not a massive one, but one that decided to snag him in some weeds. Knowing it was his first ever I decided to take one for the team and jump into the river so it could be freed and landed. Later that evening, when it was completely dark and after Mark had landed a modest chub he found himself in a bit of difficulty as on hooking a decent chub he had somehow lost grip of his landing net that had headed down stream under a copse of trees. I was upstream with my other customer so had to head downstream, land the chub, which was a personal best at 5lb 8oz, before once again stripping off and heading under the trees, in the dark, to retrieve his net. Later that evening my other customer, also Mark managed to catch a modest chub along with missing a few chances. The naked guide is back on the scene!
19/08/16 – Today was supposed to be a day producing an article for the Nash E-Zine magazine but Colin has more than enough material for the next issue so I decided to meet up with my dad and have a fish, the first time we have done this in months. Chris joined us and we headed to Enton in the hope of a crucian or two. The weather looked and felt spot-on but strangely the fish had other ideas and we found really hard going. Chris managed three tench and a common, whilst myself and dad fished together using one rod each. I had a rudd and two tench whilst dad showed me how it was done with six tench, two crucians and a rudd. Now you know why I don’t take him that often!
21/08/16 – Spent the day in the office writing up a couple of AM features.
22/08/16 – After another day proof reading an AM article I headed back to Enton, in far from ideal conditions, as I wanted to try a swim I’d never fished before to see if the disappearing crucians were piled up in front of it. Unfortunately they weren’t and after a few good tench, one approaching 7lb I decided to pick Chris up and head south to find an eel water that a friend had put me onto which we hope to try out next week.
23/08/16 – Took me mum for a round of golf in the morning before sorting out the barbel tackle as tonight is the last FAS Barbel Teach-in of the year. Arriving at 5pm it was obvious that some anglers were either going to be late or not make it as the roads around Reading were just jammed up. The conditions, bright blue skies and humid, weren’t great, yet two barbel, the best maybe 10lb were landed along with another one lost, so all in all a productive evening.
24/08/16 – Spent the morning in the office, early afternoon sorting rudd kit before heading back to Frensham in hope of a few big rudd.
26/08/16 – We were the first into Mill Farm Fishery when the venues automatic gates opened at 6am, our target silver bream on the specimen lake. Much of August has seen little wind, high pressure and soaring humid temperatures and today was no exception. It wasn’t long after casting out that I knew there was a problem as two hours in neither myself or Neil had managed to get a response. The problem did show itself later as an algae bloom erupted in front of our eyes and having caught just a few carp, one tench and a single roach we decided it was not worth fishing, headed home to beat the Friday rush hour and promised to return in a month or so.
29/08/16 – Spent the day answering A&Q for Anglers Mail.
30/08/16 – After a tip off from a friend regarding a venue with some big eels and after locating it the previous week myself and Chris decided on giving it a go for a few hours. To be honest the kit, or should I say bite indication system weren’t the best as we had both agreed just getting a bite would be a result. As darkness fell we were just saying what the bites would be like, as the lake is really shallow, when one of my bobbins smacked against the rod blank dragging the rod forward. Unfortunately the fish dropped the bait, just as I struck and we were left almost speechless. Chris decided to slacken his baitrunners right off however any resistance isn’t good when eel fishing and the next two runs, although taking line from the reel for a split second, again came to nothing. Two more half chances came, but no eels were banked and come 11pm we headed home happy with our finding and planning next week’s return.

31/08/16 – A day spent in Swanage compiling an Anglers Mail Lure Attacks feature.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Frensham Video - now available to view

Last month you may remember that I promised a video of myself and Paul Garner fishing Frensham Great Pond and how successful it was. Well its now available to view by going to the Nash Tackle You Tube page. In less than 24 hrs its already received almost 5000 views so if you fish the venue or are thinking off heading that way then you would do worse than taking a look as it reveals many of the tactics needed to tackle the lake successfully.
Enjoy and please share it with your friends,

Friday, 5 August 2016

Who said Frensham Great Pond isn't fishing well?

Who said Frensham Great Pond isn't fishing well?
Readers will remember that one of my customers left his rods in the car park at Enton only for someone to steal them, well the bad news is they haven't turned up, yet, the good news was that a day spent with me at Frensham Great Pond went someway in putting a smile back on his face as the venues fishing god looked down on us and delivered a 9hr session that not only put a smile on our faces but also one we wouldn't forget in a hurry.
Starting at 6am I took a gamble and fished the lake in a totally new way, one that my good friend Paul Garner used in our soon to be released video with Carl and Alex. Straight away it worked as just ten minutes after casting out the first bite came. The bites then continued all day in which John broke his personal best tench best of 6lb three times, its now 6lb 12oz! The catch image shown is just part of his memorable haul and day with me.
If you fancy such a day then why not email m

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Customer catches for July

Customer catches for July.
Here's a selection of photographs taken of customer who spent a days fishing with me during July. They include rudd to 2lb 8oz, crucians to 3lb 3oz, quality bream and tench plus a customers first ever barbel.

If you fancy a days fishing under my guidance then why not send me an email with your requirements and I will do my very best to sort out a day to remember for you.

Cost of a days fishing on average costs just £125 and includes bait, terminal tackle, rods and reels if needed, tickets to venue plus lots more. and if you want to give the wife an idea for your bithday or even Christmas then vouchers are available.

Tight lines and look forward to seeing you on the bank,
Duuncan Charman

Duncan Charman's Monthly Report July 2016

Monthly Report July 2016

First question for the month is - who’s the dick head that stakes his bivvy down on the platform at Frensham with screws? Not a good idea at all, especially when they are left there for the next angler to either trip over or pierce the sole of his waders on, thanks!
 Looking at my diary inputs I have only fished for myself on four occasions this month, a total of 44 hrs, yet these few sessions saw a big hit of crucains, rudd and a few spawned out tench down in Kent. Shame I was too late to capitalize on the Thames carp tip off. Guiding sessions also totalled four and were all successful in the 36hrs spent bankside. As you can see from my day to day diary, it’s been a busy month producing features again, not just in the office but on the bank too and along with other fishy related projects such as a ‘barbel teach-in’ I haven’t really had time to relax.
Probably the most rewarding session was the last one of the month at my beloved Frensham Great Pond with good friend Paul Garner as we were there to produce a video for Nash on catching rudd and tench. The camera crew, Carl and Alex were there to record the events and what can I say, a very enjoyable, knackering yet
productive session, everything I expected of Frensham. Hopefully the guys will have time to edit the footage and get it up for everyone to view soon. I will let you know when it’s finished and where it will be available to view.

Day to Day events.
09/07/16 – After a week’s holiday in Tenerife I was hoping for a couple of days rest just to get unpacked and back into the swing of things, yet not so lucky as after arriving home in the early hours I was back up at 5am and heading to Royston in Cambridgeshire for a Nash work party. Fortunately we managed to get more than expected done by mid afternoon and back home by 5pm. No need to say what I did Sunday.....
11/07/16 – A day in the office catching up on things.
12/07/16 – Another day in the office completing European articles as well as getting stuck into more AM articles.
13/07/16 – On the road early, this time heading to East Sussex to produce an overnight AM feature at Wintons.
14/07/16 – Back home early from Wintons, then time spent getting stuff ready for the second FAS Barbel Teach-in on the River Loddon at Stanford End.
 15/07/16 – Spent the day sorting out a few river Tactical Briefing for the Anglers Mail.
17/07/16 to 18/07/16 – Headed to Kent in the hope that the tench hadn’t spawned and that the banks would be slightly less busy. Sadly the lake we fancied was choked with weed and after arriving late and only having an hour to set up headed to an adjacent lake that both Chris and myself new well. The weed was far better and after baiting up and setting up camp it was time to set the alarm for 3am and gets some sleep. Chris decided to fish and managed his only tench around 1am in the morning whilst I fished hard from 4am – 11am for three tench and loads of annoying perch. Unfortunately the tench had spawned and were out of condition and well down in weight, my best was a shade under 7lb. Come 11am the heat, 28 degrees was becoming slightly unbearable and with the chance of another fish unlikely we knocked the session on the head and were on our way home by midday.
19/07/16 – A tip of from a friend regarding some carp on the Thames needed following up but due to my holiday a couple of weeks had passed since he managed a low twenty of the top! Once again our timing was out and apart from two upper doubles, that seemed uninterested in our bait we knew we had once again missed our chance and with the hottest day of the year forecasted (35 degrees) we once again left empty handed, but with a promise to return next year.
20/07/16 – The busy week continues, this time at Badshot Lea big pond where I was guiding a new customer, Michael Nice. Unfortunately the weather was scorching, 33 degrees in fact, just what you don’t want when targeting bream,
however although tough Michael did manage a number of good bream to around 6lb along with lots of small fish that were a bit of a pain. Fortunately Michael objective for the day was not only to catch fish but to learn some new tactics which he did along with a few extra bits due to the lovely weather.
21/07/16 – I was on the lake come 5am with my customer John Merriman not too far behind. Setting up along the ‘chicken bank’ we started by spombing some bait out before casting over the top and waiting a response that took all of five minutes! You usually know when it’s going to be hectic as action comes quickly and fish can be seen moving and today was one of those as John proceeded to land numerous tench to over 5lb, the odd quality rudd to 1lb 12oz and maybe eight crucians, the best 3lb 3oz. My mate Chris had dropped into the swim next door and found himself right on top of the crucians taking fifteen to 3lb 4oz plus lots of tench.
On a sad note, John was hoping to remember the day for the fish he caught but unfortunately cant as after I left he decided to stay on till 11pm. Tired after a full day he left his rods in the car park, returned home and decided to unload the following morning which was when the heart sinking feeling set in knowing what he had done. The rods were found and rested against the sign but then disappeared. John said it was like losing his right arm when he found out so if the angler who found these is reading this then please take them to Apollo Angling and hand them in. It might be over a week now but no-one will think badly off you and I know John will be greatly appreciative of you. 
21/0716 – 22/07/16 – Guiding at Frensham Great Pond is never easy as the fishing is quite demanding so how I was going to keep going
after such an early morning was going to be tough, but as they say, no pin, no gain. Come 6pm Neal and I were set up and fishing, however a run of nuisance small rudd was just what we didn’t want. Tweaking our set ups to slow these down, yet still be in with a chance or f a big rudd or two was needed and just as the light was fading Neal found himself attached to a better fish. Now anyone who hasn’t seen a big rudd ( a two-pound plus fish) is usually shocked when one drops in the landing net and to say Neal wasn’t would be an understatement as his first words was what’s is it! Well it was the first of a brace of rudd, both weighing 2lb 8oz with myself taking one also of 2lb 8oz. I actually had to hit the sleeping bag at 12.30am and cast out small pop-ups which went unnoticed whilst Neal worked the rods all night. To many this may seem just too much effort, yet if you want to catch such magnificent fish then fishing right through the night is what’s required.
23/07/16 – The first of two full days in the office getting on top of things.
26/07/16 – Another full day in the office completing three articles for Anglers Mail, before sorting the tackle for a guiding day at Enton in the morning.
27/07/16 – Today I was once again guiding Ron at Enton. After our last session in-which he bagged himself numerous big crucian to 3lb 10oz he was in need of a morning practicing his casting, however a stiff westerly put paid to this and although the conditions looked fantastic the lake had other ideas as a friend
who had carp fished the night before said that very little was showing or being caught. Spombing some bait out we cast our rigs over the top and awaited a response but as told, it was long in coming. In fact after a couple of hours I decided to get Ron to cast a rig much further out and this seemed to work as the first of seven tench to 5lb graced Ron’s landing net. It just seemed that the fish didn’t want to move over a bed of bait and the tactic of fishing for one fish at a time worked far better. Early afternoon we call time on the session, promising to return when the lake was fishing better. On the way home I quickly popped into the Gardner Tackle office to sort a few things out before returning
home to start getting the tackle sorted for a night at Frensham with Paul Garner where we would be shooting a video for Nash with Carl and Alex.
28/07/16 – 29/07/16 – Arriving and meeting Paul, Carl and Alex at Frensham at 1pm we headed to what’s known as The Oaks swim as this was very social and usually good for a few fish. The target for the night was rudd and then tench from first light. Can’t say too much about what we caught but let’s say it was a resounding success with some quality fish caught. As soon as the video is available to view I will post a link so that you can watch.
30/07/16 – Office duties call.

August is usually one of those months when the fishing can be hard going, so although its already looking to be a busy month, I’m going to take the pedal of the gas as for my own fishing, get on top of a few other areas needed at home as well as get ahead of myself with features as when September comes, well it’s time to start thinking big fish again.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Monthly Report June 2016

Monthly Report June 2016

Well what a month, not great on the weather front but in terms of fish on the bank it doesn’t get much better, especially for my customers that have enjoyed some arm aching action. Looking at my diary inputs I have been out guiding seven times and many of my customers have recorded personal best fish. Frensham Great Pond has been extremely tough though whilst Enton has just been on fire. I’m guessing that this is simply down to spawning as Frensham’s tench have usually got this sorted before of right on opening, June 16th, yet I’m not sure if they have even got this sorted now and it’s the first week of July! Enton however saw the crucians spawn just before the lake opened, again June 16th, before going on a feeding frenzy to build up lost reserves, so the clubs decision to let these get on with it without interference certainly worked, let’s just hope that we start seeing some tiny crucians in the near future.
As for my sessions these have been limited to just five, but my decision to do less but put in the hours when I do fish seems to be working as these few sessions have totalled almost seventy hours. Most of these were tench sessions down in Kent and gradually I have started to get to know how the venue ticks, and with a few tench now falling let’s just hope that there is still time to see a really big girl slip up before the summer kicks in and they become that much more harder to tempt.
It’s also been a rewarding month in terms of new venues visited, mainly as a journalist for Anglers Mail and during these I have learnt some interesting and new tactics that will help me catch a few extra fish this season.

Day to day events.

01/06/16 – After a quick bite to eat in the local Cafe with today’s customer Lewis, we headed to FAS Badshot Lea as Lewis wanted to be shown just how deadly the Helicopter Rig is on this venue. Setting up in peg 58 on far from a summers day we cast out and within ten minutes Lewis was into his first fish, a bream around 5lb. This action continued and after just seven hours no less than 55 bream of a similar size had graced our nets along with a satisfying tench in a catch estimated around 250lb!
02/06/16 – Another dismally cold day outside so not surprising that I spent the day in the office along with drying and cleaning the tackle ready for another go at those Kent tench on Friday.
03/06/16 – 04/06/16 – Arrived at the lake in Kent at around 6pm so had time to have a look around and finally settle in the swim that Chris had a couple of tench from last week. I could write a book on this session but in brief I tried everything possible from pop-ups during the night to heli-rigs and bolt rigs but apart from an aborted take to a pop-up in the night and a lost eel all my efforts went unnoticed, again!
05/06/16 – Spent the morning tidying kit from the Kent session, getting bits organised for a guiding day on Monday plus writing a European Roach article along with the usual Sunday jobs around the house/garden.
06/06/16 – Arrived to meet Adrian, my customer at Badshot Lea Big Pond at 7am. Although Adrian was well aware of the effectiveness of the Helicopter rig, Badshot Lea is really a venue that it comes into its own, however instead of targeting bream he fancied the chance of catching a mixed bag so swim selection had to be made carefully. Setting up on the left hand side of the new pin we decided not to cast out as far in the hope of a few tench, however these were elusive on the day, but skimmers, big bream, roach, perch and a double figured carp did show, so the standard 100lb of fish was easily surpassed and in less than five hours!
08/06/16 – Another return to Badshot Lea Big Pond, yet today was all about fishing particles at range in the hope of a grass carp. Unfortunately the wind had dropped, and the Lea hates it still, however we proceeded with our plan, almost, but decided it was best to tone it down on the amount of bait used. Straight away the signs were good, but for some apparent reason, every time Martin hooked what was possibly a grass carp the hook fell out. It was obviously going to be one of those days and when the bites dried up it was a case of swapping the maize hookbaits over to small pop-ups in the hope of a few bites from other species. This seemed to do the trick and Martin managed to put a mid and an upper double figured carp in the net along with the occasional bream.
11/06/16 – 12/06/16 – With lots of things going on, including the manipulation of hundreds of wedding images, I was fortunate to put in the office hours and get everything sorted so I could head down to Kent for a spot of tench fishing. Arriving at around 7pm I decided to head to the swim that produced for a couple of other anglers last week and after having a lead, around and finding
nothing obvious to go, bait a spot at around forty yards with the intension of seriously fishing come first light. I did cast the rods out shortly before dusk with the mindset that if they produced then I wouldn’t recast them, however the night passed uneventfully. Having set the alarm for 4am I was awoken by the middle rod roaring of and at last a tench graced my net, a male weighing 7lb 5oz. This was the signal to start working the rods as well as topping the swim up and come midday another four decent tench, three modest eels to 3lb 10oz and a small perch had been taken. Ironically it was the maggot that scored, not the worms, so I wasn’t doing anything wrong during the previous sessions, just obviously not in the right spot. Back at home I managed to clean all the kit up, head to the river to erect some signs for the forth coming barbel teach-ins, drop some wedding discs of, before frustratingly watch England play their first game over a cool beer.
16/06/16 – A busy day what with initially writing the words for a European magazine, then moving my brother into his new home then heading out to a restaurant as it’s my girlfriends birthday.
17/06/16 – Up early and at Enton come 5am. I thought things were going well as in the first couple of hours landed eight tench plus a crucain, however the young chap next to me who was set up over night, awoke at 7am and then gave me a right good showing how to catch fish, as over the next few hours doubled what I was catching on a method I had previously abandoned on the venue. I took everything on the chin, befriended the angler and learned loads, so thank you Will for keeping me on my toes and showing me not to get stereotyped on what I’m doing! I’m not exactly sure what I caught, three crucians, a dozen or more tench, plus the odd trout and rudd which most would have been happy with, yet my eyes had been opened!
18/06/16 – Today was spent creating a Lure Attacks feature for Anglers Mail on using spinners baited with ragworm for mullet. I even cast a line, had a couple of follows from sizeable mullet, but only caught a small bass.

19/06/16 – After every feature spent on the bank, time is needed writing them up and today was spent in the office writing the mullet feature up.
20/06/16 – Oh how I love the English weather as today was one of those that we all dread. Meeting at 4am we actually beat the weather, yet come 5am the rain was in full force and right into our faces. The venue was Frensham Great Pond and one of my regular customers wanted a session on the float yet with high winds and constant rain this was never going to happen so it was a case of casting out feeder’s n the hope of a few tench. Fortunately  Barrie managed to get amongst the fish, which is more than many and was rewarded with fifteen red eyed beauties, the best a personal best weighing 7lbs 6oz, however mot were after I left as he stayed on and fished the night.
21/06/16 – After leaving Barrie I was back at Frensham come 7am the following morning and with
the weather so much better the banks were busy. It was another guiding day and we managed to set up in peg 16, a swim that gave me my first tench from the venue some thirty years ago. Unfortunately the lake seemed dead with most early arrivals leaving before us and recording a blank, yet Christian did manage a six pounder which was a personal best. We even moved to the Platform swim early afternoon but still couldn’t get any action!
22/06/16 – I’ve been fishing all my life but I still have my eyes open as today spent it in the company of a meat rolling expert on the Hampshire Avon. Watch out for this feature in Anglers Mail coming soon!
24/06/16 – After every feature photo shoot comes time in the office writing things up, however once this was done I managed to get the tench kit sorted  before heading down to Kent.
25/06/16 – Fortunately I was able, last night, to drop into the same swim as I had fished last week, bait up, and cast the rods out all with small wafter’s on. The night was quiet but the odd tench rolling lifted my confidence and just as light started to show in the sky, around 3am the middle rod rips off and a 7lb 8oz female finally comes to the net. I say finally as a couple of feet from the extended landing net it snags me and I’m left with what looks like a very big tench just out of reach. All I’m left to do is roll up the trouser legs and get in. With the water over my knees and dropping away quickly I somehow drop the rod and just about make out the cork handle in front of me, make a desperate lung to grab this and while doing so get soaked, but at least retrieve the rod and manage to net the tench. Thinking it maybe a nine, and retaining it for an hour until first light,  I’m quite disappointed with the weight. Another rod rips off at 5am, again on the wafter, and again another seven before the maggot rods take over, producing a further four seven pound tench, the best 7lb 15oz. I think I would have caught more if it wasn’t for a shoal of annoying small perch that constantly picked up my bait, for a couple of hours, during probably the best period to catch. I also lost a good fish that was either a big eel or a foul hooked tench, so all in all a very rewarding session and proof that the jigsaw puzzle is slowly coming together.
26/06/16 – A day in the office writing up and manipulating images for the Royalty Anglers Mail feature.
27/06/16 – I always look forward to fishing Enton and today was a
guiding/fishing day with on of my regulars Martin Farmer. Arriving around 6.30am we found the favoured swims taken with carp anglers, yet with a north wind blowing a couple of swims I knew produced looked even better. Placing Martin in what I felt the better swim and fishing contrasting methods, both for crucians, it was soon obvious that we had to swap swims, as in the first hour four crucians to 3lb 3oz graced my net whilst Martins swim produced tench. Whilst we were moving the kit and swapping rigs over another crucian was taken before Martin proceeded to catch a further eighteen between 2lb 8oz and 3lb 1oz, with many exactly 3lb along with six tench, three quality rudd and two trout. I managed just one in the other swim but this weighed around 12oz which is great to see, along with a carp and trout and maybe eight tench. Not a bad session and we called it a day well before the chance of hitting the rush hour traffic.
28/06/16 – After a couple of hours in the office I managed to get bait and rigs sorted for the first Farnham Angling Societies Barbel Teach-ins on the river Loddon at Stanford End. These teach-ins are very much educational evenings where anglers can learn everything I know about the stretch, the swims and how I fish it, if a fish or two is caught then it’s a bonus. Although the evening was very enjoyable the English weather did its best to dampen our spirits and come dusk, a time when things begin to liven up we had all had enough of the constant drizzle and strong wind so decided to take what was learnt away and return in more favourable conditions.
29/06/16 – With a week’s holiday to Tenerife looming I was by now hoping that things would be quietening down, yet a late guiding booking saw myself back at Enton. The wind had now swung to the south west and with the favoured swims available I reluctantly dropped my customer Ron into one of them. I say reluctantly as the swim that had produced would have been the obvious answer but with the wind all wrong it would have been a gamble. Soon after casting the rods out it was obvious that we were in the right swim as the new found wonder rig started to produce the goods with Ron taking an amazing sixteen crucians to 3lb 10oz, a dozen tench to 6lb, a few good rudd along with one small carp. Not a bad session seems we started at 7am and finished at 1pm! I would have loved to have stayed on when Ron left but had to take some photos for at my girlfriend’s sisters, son’s prom.

30/06/16 – This is the reason why this monthly blog is so late as today was all about getting things in the office sorted and packing the suitcase, yet with Enton fishing so well I just had to get back out there myself and capitalise on the situation. Fortunately the previous days swim was free and the six hour morning session produced the goods with twenty-one crucians to 3lb 10oz falling along with plenty of tench as well.