Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Sept starts in style

 September starts in style.
Just returned from a session at my local lake and my willingness to learn a new tactic is beginning to pay off as after just two hours managed to bank four carp including two twenties. 
Yesterday I also had a great session where me and my dad plus two mates took around two dozen crucians to 3lb 11oz 8drams along with carp to 26lb 8oz, tench to 6lb and rudd and roach over the pound. 
If your looking for a days guiding and catching a few fish then September is as good a month as any as the fish will start to feed up before the weather turns cold.
Email me for more details - duncancharman@me.com

Friday, 1 September 2017

Monthly blog - August 2017


Monthly Report August 2017

August, in my mind the worst month of the year for catching consistently and all I seem to hear from the anglers on the banks is, where have all the fish gone? If you think about it, it’s not difficult to work out. Firstly the water is at its richest in natural food and the fish can just gorge themselves on this high protein diet and totally ignore our baits. Another factor is the amount of bait that is dropped into the lake, which is probably at its highest due to the amount of anglers enjoying the sunshine, yet all this does is rot on the lake bed, deoxygenates and soar the water putting the fish in a somewhat uncooperative mood, but worst still is the weather. I might be wrong but when the wind has blown its seems to be on a daily swing and in my mind if the wind can’t make its mind up then the fish can’t make their minds if and where they want to feed. It’s a month that I could quite easily hang the rods up and get loads in the house or garden sorted, and although I have spent time doing this, in the small amount of hours I have been on the bank I have been learning the art of zig fishing. Believe me it’s quite technical but every session I have either learnt something or seen someone far better getting it right and can now say that I feel very confident that each session will see a fish or two grace my net. I’m going to keep at it through September and October but also need to start looking at other things, so it’s going to be a case of making more time to do more things and hopefully start to reap the rewards over the next few months. 

                                                Day to Day events.

01/08/17 – 02/08/17 Been looking forward to another carp session and arrived early to see if I could catch on zigs before dusk. Unfortunately I made the mistake of fishing a crowded railway bank and after three hours of feeling somewhat claustrophobic and only one tench on a 3ft zig to show for my efforts headed to the narrow swim on the end of the chicken bank. With carp showing all over the place felt that a few fish would fall, which they did, tench along with just one small common that may have scrapped 10lb. Chris fished in the board’s next door and took one tench and a 15lb mirror. Another mistake that I won’t be making again is fishing a zig through the night as this just doesn’t seem to produce.
03/08/17 – Long day in the office, 8am – 8pm getting ahead of myself on the WTF Column for Anglers Mail.
04/08/17 – Let’s be honest, August is probably the worst month in the year for an all year round angler so I can be excused for once again sitting behind the computer and tapping away on things that will free my time up for when the weather is ideal for fishing and I can just grab the gear and go.
05/08/17 – At last a lazy morning and come 1pm I found myself at Johnsons for a few hours carp fishing. Setting up half way along the railway things didn’t look great from the start as very few fish were showing. Casting a couple of zig rigs out and five hours later without a bleep decided enough was enough and headed home to get supper on and gain some brownie points. Looking back the reason it was so slow was the same old reason about the wind not making its mind up where it wanted to head and unsettling the fish. I also found myself sheltering under the brolly a couple of times as the heavens opened and unleashed hail, rain, thunder and lightning!
06/08/17 – Having such a slow day yesterday and the wind still not prominent from any direction decided fishing would be almost a waste of time (it’s never a waste of time, but sometimes you just know) so picked my mother up, gave here fourteen shots over 9 holes at Bowenhurst and gave a right good thrashing (she is 80)!
07/08/17 – Start off a busy week. On the road come 6am to meet up with a new customer Michael who had booked me for a spot of tench fishing. Meeting in Abinger Hammer at 6.30am we found ourselves on the banks of Lodge Lake (Newdigate Fisheries) come 7am. The weather looked good for a few fish but it took some time for the first fish to fall, a tench around 4lb. This was followed by four more, the best maybe 5lb plus five orfe to 4lb 14oz, however it was a frustrating session in the sense that maggots were being removed from the hook with ease from what I suspect were small orfe. My suspicions were 12oz orfe but if these were continually sucking maggots in on a two-inch hooklink then you would have thought one would be hooked however the smallest orfe was around 2lb 8oz! We did play around with our rigs and bait and finally found a solution, that’s why you hire a guide!
08/08/17 – Up at 5am and on the bank early, this time to give my good friend, and on occasion customer (this is what you get when you become a regular) an introduction to GAS Johnson’s Lake (FOC as I’m not allowed to guide on GAS waters).  His target was to beat his crucian best of 2lb 15oz from Harris so we headed to the railway bank, even though the wind was coming off our backs. In my experience, in August if you want a big crucian then head to the railway bank, it might mean less fish but the deeper water does seem to produce the odd big girl.  Two hours gone and I had taken two crucians of 3lb 10z and 3lb 3oz plus a tench and a small common whist Mark was still to get a bite! I had to leave due to an urgent call but I can’t have been out of the car park when Mark called saying he had just taken a crucian of 3lb, job done. When I managed to get back little had happened but things seem to liven up early afternoon with tench to 5lb, another good crucian for Mark, pesky rudd and a common of around 6lb. Come 5pm, and with little happening for a couple of hours and with rain in the air we decided to call it a day, well happy with our results as August can be a real head-banger on most lakes.

09/08/17 – The weather, or should I say the weather forecasters are once again doing my brain in! Today was supposed to be wet in the morning and then clearing early afternoon, so I rescheduled a morning guiding session to later in the week as I also had to attend a FAS barbel teach-in come 5pm and thought it might just be too much for one day, especially if it was wet. As I write this up, its 9pm and the rain is still lashing down outside. Luckily, after last month’s FAS Barbel teach-in’s washout I made the right decision and cancelled the event, albeit late in the day but mainly due to a couple of late cancellations! I’m certainly not a fair weather angler but running up and down a wet river bank for the best part of six hours in pouring rain isn’t fun and as I’m feeling somewhat chesty was definitely the right call. Sorry to the anglers that still would have attended but these events are supposed to be fun and in this sort of weather it would be the exact opposite. I will be rescheduling this event for later in the month or even late in Sept and will be in touch.
10/08/17 – On the bank of Richardson Lake at 6.15am to meet one of my regular’s Neal who wanted to see if he would like pole fishing. I still have a pole and a seat box and it was refreshing to dust everything down, re-elasticate etc and see that delicate float disappearing and the elastic stretching. Holding 8m of pole and not really knowing what to expect the bites came quickly which was surprising after the amount of rain that fell the day before. Meat over groundbait was are tactic as Neal wanted to hook big fish so when the first tench tore off, Neal was hooked and told me that the experience was going to cost him a few hundred quid due to having to buy a whole new outfit. A flurry of tench was followed by a lull in action mid morning and a switch to caster saw a few more fish landed. Having learnt loads and after having experienced a whole new side of fishing Neal left around 4pm which allowed me to have an hour and two bream and a tench followed along with a proper zoo creature that saw me struggling at 14m and elastic stretching to its max which finally saw the tiny size 18 pulling. Back at home it was once again a scramble to sort the feeder kit out for a session on Johnson Lake with another regular Adrian.
11/08/17 – On the bank come 6am this time to give Adrian a short morning session using the pellet cone on Johnson Lake. Things didn’t look or feel good on arrival as the temperature had dropped over night to an unseasonal seven degrees and very few fish were moving. Dropping in peg 27 it didn’t take long for the first bite which came from a 5lb plus tench. This was followed by three more to 6lb plus a roach around a pound and a small rudd before action slowed. Just before Adrian left at midday he landed another tench which gave me a couple of hours myself before having to leave. Action was steady with four more good tench falling, a crucian which might have made 3lb plus a number of small rudd.
12/08/17 – At long last a lay-in after an early night, bliss. No fishing today as I need the day to catch up on fishy paperwork and clean and organize kit for a much easier coming week.
13/08/17 – With a variable wind which was cold and high atmospherics should have stayed at home as Johnson Lake was just rubbish. A few fish were bubbling on arrival at 8am and we did manage two tench and a double figured common between us but come 10am it was just dead and nothing done could tempt so much as a bleep. Packed up at 2pm but knew we should have gone far sooner.
15/08/17 – A full day in the office getting back on track along with sorting the tackle for a day’s carp fishing and one barbel fishing on the Wye.
16/08/17 – Should have been up early and heading to the river Wye today but had to move this too tomorrow, so headed to Johnsons only to find a match was planned, so had to move to another lake, Tarn but watching the water for ages failed to see a sign of a carp and with the weather far from perfect headed to a stretch of the Wey just to hopefully get a bite or two. Managed to get a good bite on pellet but failed to make contact before switching to bread for a wild brownie. Even had a cormorant surface in my swim on a river I could jump over! What chance do we or the fish have?
17/08/17 – Up at 3am and on the road come 4am heading to the river Wye to create an AM feature. Absolutely chucking it down when we left but come 6.30 when we arrived it had passed. Good to see the weather forecast right for once! Barrie, a past customer but now good friend had fished the day before with another ex-customer Mark and between them had taken 17 barbel to over 8lb on the feeder, however today was all about catching on the float so without too much temptation we set about our task. All caught on the float throughout the day; however I had a right mare as everyone I hooked either saw the hook pulling of them hitting a snag. I think they all felt for me however it just goes to show we are all human and all have those days when things just don’t go right, however the day was more about all getting together and having a laugh.
18/08/17 – After a lay-in I met good friend Tom Aldous early afternoon to see if either of us could tempt a river carp. With only a few hours to spare in the afternoon and with thunder, lightning and heavy downpours all we had to show for our efforts was one modest chub, but I did have a couple of carp move through the swim.

20/08/17 – A full day in the office compiling my weekly Anglers Mail ‘Where to fish’ column along with making a start on a Catch More feature.
21/08/17 – Another day in the office, this time creating a European article, my first for a while.
22/08/17 - Kit sorted and on the Tidal Thames come 4pm. Rivers in the fields but still managed to get fish, albeit later than we would have liked but still caught loads of fish. Keep an eye out in Anglers Mail for a ‘Where to fish’ opener coming shortly.
23/08/17 – It doesn’t take much for a week to go ‘tits’ up. A feature deadline bought forward or a customer cancelling a guiding session at the last minute, but this week I’ve had both. Managed to get the feature sorted along with using the free time to take my mother for a game of golf.
24/08/17 – One of those days where I can’t decide what I fancied doing. Shall I go barbel fishing, crucian, no its carp fishing so headed to a local lake, however never cast a line as initially didn’t get the right vibes that it would produce then got chatting to an angler that literally was taking the place apart. I could have dropped in next to him, as my approach was very similar, but as he was so helpful didn’t want to crowd his space, so left feeling somewhat excited. Not a feeling I have had for some time. Popped in the tackle shop, bought a few bits then headed home to mimic what he was doing. The plan was to return nice and early the following morning, set up well away from him and drop a few in the net myself. In fact I was so excited I didn’t sleep much.
25/08/17 – On the lake come 6.15am and rods out before anyone else. Baited up and happy with my swim, now it was just a case of let the flood doors open! Unfortunately once the mist had cleared it was obvious that there wasn’t a lot of fish in front of me, in fact the whole lake looked dead. That was until I saw this angler I spoke to yesterday get his rods back out, bait up and then start hauling! It was simply that he had loads of fish in front of him and I had none. I don’t even think moving would have helped as a friend was on the opposite side and also said things weren’t happening. I was doing everything right, was happy with my rigs yet if they aren’t there you are not going to catch them. I did have three runs though, so all wasn’t lost. The first was from a duck, the second, a screamer saw nothing on the other end and just as I was calling it a day a double came along. It was a frustrating session but I’m close, oh so close and a few more tweaks to my set up and baiting and I know it won’t be long before I get the better of them. Roll on Sunday!
27/08/17 – On the banks of the Basingstoke Canal come 8am to meet up with Jake Lund once again to create a Catch More feature for AM. Keep an eye out for this one as it’s very interesting. Home come 11pm and on my way to a local lake for a spot of zig fishing all the time praying that the swim I wanted would be empty, it was. Chris was joining me and thoughts were on a red letter day as just ten minutes after casting out the alarm screamed and it was fish on. Ten seconds later I was reeling in a limp line as once again the hook had pulled and my run of dropping fish was to continue. You can imagine what I felt like when exactly the same happened an hour later and I was beginning to think that my luck was never going to change when the third carp hooked finally graced my net. On the scales she went 22lb 2oz and for the first time I felt contented. Later that afternoon Chris was away but bad luck was to strike him also as he too had a hook pull right next to the net. Thing s slowed and the fish seem to move as well as knowing what was going on, however I managed another one around 5pm, the biggest for me so far, an old leney of 26lb 4oz. That was the end of the action but certainly starting to put the pieces of the jigsaw together.
28/08/17 – Standard Monday in the office doing fishy related jobs.
29/08/17 - Tried to get out on Tuesday for another zig session but anglers in the area that I fancied and not wanting to bring attention to my tactics decided it was better not to fish. 30/08/17 - Wednesday I had a Farnham Barbel Teach-in that had been rescheduled in and once again it looked as if it was going to be wet, yet the rain cleared leaving an enjoyable evening, shame only two anglers made it!

31/08/17 – Another day in the office due to having a number of tradesmen booked in doing odd jobs around the house.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

This weeks guided sessions....

This weeks guided sessions

Its been a long week, especially with the weather constantly on the change but well worth the effort dodging the downpours and braving the cold mornings, 7 degrees on Thursday. More details of these can be read in my monthly blog that will be published early September but in brief Michael enjoyed a day at Newdigate Lodge Lake catching ten or more fish which included a personal best golden orfe weighing 4lb 14oz plus tench to around 5lb. 
Mark caught his target fish for the summer, a 3lb plus crucian when one of 3lb 2oz graced his net after maybe two-hours along with plenty of other fish. 
Neil wanted something different so the pole was dusted down and he's now well and truly hooked after catching some elastic stretching tench and bream and Adrian now knows how effective the pellet cone is having a short morning session interrupted by a number of tench to 6lb.
If you want a days guiding then just email me at - duncancharman@me.com

Shocked at what's been said.........

This weeks Anglers Mail article
As a journalist for a angling magazine's and constantly producing features for anglers to read I need to be well aware of the rules and regulations that clubs and day ticket venue lay down and then abide by these, however it seems that we all interpret these differently especially if they are written in a too complex way, lets face it this shouldn't be the case, as they should be written in a way that cannot be interpreted differently.
Last month I had an angler tell me that a bolt rig couldn't be cast into a lake and bought my attention to this rule - All rigs must be free-running - no fixed or semi-fixed rigs permitted. As always I was well aware of the rule and had to explain that nowhere in the rule was the words 'bolt-rig' mentioned and that I could easily achieve a bolt rig using a tight line from rod-tip to an inline free-running lead along with a short hooklink and hair-rigged bait.
I also had my hand slapped by a bailiff after using my net on a local lake to retain a perch (I thought I might be able to get a brace shot quickly for a feature needed). Not wanting to create a scene I apologized but once at home wanted to read the rule once again. It read as follows - No carp are to be retained in keep-nets or sacks whatsoever, at ..............Lake, other than in authorised competitions. Its a shame when I know the rules better than the bailiff!
So once again I was shocked at some comments when producing a pellet waggler article recently as after reading the rules before and after still cant see what all the fuss is about.
The rule reads as follows - No surface baits of any kind may be used. Buoyant bait (pop-ups) may be used at a maximum of 2 inches (50cm) from the lake bed.
In my mind it would be far easier to say the following -
All rigs must be free running.No keepnets apart from in authorised competitions.
All baits must be fished on the lake bed.

No confusion just plain and simple (black and white) rules that cant be misinterpreted!

French video now ready to view....

French Video now available to view - just click on link below.........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kPhGBJz4oU

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Monthly Report June and July 2017

Monthly Report June and July 2017

Having missed my monthly blog last month you will see that I have incorporated the few times I fished in June into July giving a much longer blog for you to get your teeth into.

As you can see another busy month with ten guided sessions crammed in, some overnighters at Frensham. Frensham has been tough, not just for tench but rudd as well and contrary to what you may have read, multiple catches of either have been rare. Fortunately I don’t ‘big’ my catches up so when a customer books me they know that we are fishing for maybe one or two two-pound rudd, anymore and it’s classified as a bonus. The blue green algae once again is rife, however this doesn’t usually kill the fishing but I’m putting the difficult fishing down to two factors. The first is Frensham hates a changing wind
and every time I’ve fished the lake this season it’s been on different one. The second factor is the really hot spell a few weeks ago warmed the water quicker than in previous years and the small rudd that usually don’t bother us till well into August were problematic far sooner making catching by design (maggot fishing) really difficult. Fortunately I may have a solution to the problem but its early days.
I still haven’t spent much time on running water and the desire to do so seems’ a long way away. This is probably due to having lots of contacts that are reporting that they are struggling and that we needs some flow and colour. You may be thinking we have had lots of rain, yet when it comes, it comes in force making the small rivers I fish rise and fall quickly. Good if you have time to react but if like me you don’t then that brief feeding spell will be missed.

I was hoping to get a few carp sessions in but due to the water pump on the van going these were limited to just three, yet every time I went I did manage to hook a big fish, even if they weren’t all landed. I have to admit that the last Sunday in the month proved that I’m onto something regarding the rig and bait I’m using and can’t wait to get out again (tonight) and glide another scalley pest or two my way.
Getting out with new anglers and creating features has also been fun, such as a day on the Wandle with James Buckley, bream fishing at The Causeway Lake with my good friend Sam Meeuwissen and watching Tony Ashbolt take Broadwater apart on a method rarely used there. If you are catching loads and have a method that you have perfected, and this doesn’t have to be specimen fish orientated as a match/lure tactic will be welcomed, and fancy featuring in an Anglers Mail ‘Catch More’ feature then I would love to hear from you. Get in touch simply by emailing me at – duncancharman@me.com

                                                Day to Day events.

1st – 7th / 06/17 Basically working on a number of Anglers Mail articles to get finished before I head of to The Dominican Republic for two weeks.
9th – 24th /06/17 Had a fantastic holiday in the Dominican Republic enjoying great food and plenty of sunshine, however on returning the girlfriends found she has a DVT so the expected rush to get out and spend loads of time fishing has had to take a backseat.
27/06/17 – Having heard about the great weather the UK had been enjoying whilst away I was hoping to top the tan up yet my first trip out, a guided session at Frensham Great Pond coincided with the first proper rain for weeks. Arriving around 3pm, earlier than planned, I managed to get set up before the heavens opened, which was more than I can say for brave Lewis who wasn’t so lucky. Apart from the rain things really did have ‘fish crawling up the rods’ written all over it, yet we had to wait around three hours for the first bite, then two came along at once. Both cane from tench, one of 5lb 6oz was landed, the other lost. Darkness fell and our hopes rose when what was thought to be a rudd was hooked but this turned out to be a perch. The rain by now even heavier but we braved it, got soaked and come midnight had landed a couple of rudd, ounces shot of two pound. Lewis was hoping to beat his 2lb 2oz rudd from last year but as they say ‘close but mo cigar’. Angling is a strange sport as we joked that when I returned from seeing Lewis to the car that such a fish would come along and after casting both rods out for a few minutes whilst I packed up they both went of producing a brace of rudd weighing 2lb 2oz and 2lb 3oz.
28/06/17 – Having managed to dry the kit out earlier in the day and with the conditions looking spot on for a fish or two I grabbed the opportunity of being able to do office work later in the week and head of to Johnsons for a few hours. Setting up awkward peg 29 and with fish fizzing everywhere it wasn’t long before the first crucian saw the bottom of the net followed by five more. Strangely the crucians this year seem to be spread out more this year with anglers catching maybe one or two, unlike the couple of dozen the previous year if you found yourself on top of them, so with six to my name in maybe an hour and a half I was somewhat enjoying myself. Unfortunately they drifted off and the tench moved in and come 6.30pm, four and a half hours after starting I hadn’t added to my tally of crucians but eleven tench had come unstuck. The best crucian went 2lb 14oz and all looked like they had been through a few wars, all lean, tattered a torn after spawning but as we know they will recover and hopefully with more weed around and being allowed to get on with things undisturbed we will see a new year class in time to come.
29/06/17 – Up at 5am and on the road come 6am, this time heading to SW London to meet up with a couple of enthusiastic young anglers on the tiny river Wandle to create an Anglers Mail ‘Catch More’ article. If you are into fishing tiny urban streams then keep an eye out for this article over the next few weeks.
30th – 2nd/ 07/17 – The best part of three days spent in the office getting up to date with my ‘Where To Fish’ Column, completing the Wandle article plus sorting the tackle out for a long week ahead, fortunately spent on one of my favourite venues, Frensham Great Pond.
03/07/17 – Up at 3.30am and fishing by 5am with my customer for the day Barrie.  Setting up in what’s known as ‘The sun-trap’ swim and with the weather looking ideal for a bumper catch we had to wait over an hour for the first bite. The morning progressed in much the same way with just the odd tench showing and come midday and with four tench to 7lb 2oz we headed home. The session did allow us to experiment with different rigs and prove just what a leveller fishing and Frensham Great Pond is as all four tench fell to Barrie’s rods and mine remained motionless. Fortunately two of the tench came to a method I’m not that keen on but seeing this it’s time I persisted with it and hopefully if successful again will make distance fishing for tench at Frensham far easier.
04/07/17 – Up and in the office come 6.30am after a great night’s sleep and working hard to get my weekly ‘Where to Fish’ column sorted nice and early as well as getting the tackle ready for a nights carp fishing.
05/07/17 – Arrived at the lake yesterday evening around 7pm with the intension of fishing at least one rod on zig, a method that I rarely use but with the air pressure high and the fish in the upper layers it seems the right approach. The lake is rammed, so after a quick walk found everyone had followed the wind but a quick look off the back of it, in a shallow area full of wee found lots of carp so with some space around thought that I could intercept any carp moving out in the night and that the angling pressure elsewhere may just have pushed the fish here anyway. Tactics was to fish a zig near the surface and a bottom bait below whilst spodding some Nash Gyro BugLife over the top. An hour in and the zig rigs off producing a stunning mirror of 21lb 2oz. Things then went quiet, apart from a Mallard that had me dropping the zig down as must have been on, or close to the surface. Sadly that was it on the zig rig but the bottom bait ripped off twice in the early hours producing two mid-double zip linears, the best 16lb 8oz. Come 5.15am it was time to pack away and head home to get the lady to work but well happy with my first night targeting the carp at Johnson’s.
06/07/17 – Sometimes fishing is just so unpredictable it leaves us all scratching our heads as today I found myself on the banks of Newdigate Fisheries for a day’s guiding Ian Joyce hopefully to a few tench. Temperatures were soaring with 19degrees recorded at 7am and come 2pm it had passed 30! Clear blue skies also had us thinking we would be up against it but with a storm forecasted seeing atmospheric pressure dropping and a nice southerly wind saw the fish almost crawling up Ian’s rod. Certain methods failed to catch however after a few tweaks we finally cracked it and come 2pm when it was just too hot to continues Ian had taken at least fifteen fish including five orfe to 6lb 4oz, the only golden tench in the lake along with tench to exactly 7lb. Not bad for a day when many would have stayed at home!
07/07/17 – Spent the morning in the office before doing my best to locate some canal carp but three hours walking upstream of Fleet and not one carp spotted. Headed to a local lake to try and stalk one and got smashed up by one of the lakes biggest after having to place a bait in a rather dodgy position.
08/07/17 – First guiding session of the year on running water and it’s in the bid to catch a new customer his first barbel. Heading to the Loddon, in far from ideal conditions and on a river that had been given a facelift in the close season (Stanford End) we headed to a swim that had produced consistently in the past and after around fifteen minutes the tip flew round only for the line to part as if someone underwater had cut it with a pair of scissors! Not the best start but these things happen and at least David had discovered an instant method that he can take back with him to his local river. Two swims later and a repeat performance occurred only to see the hook pull on another barbel a few seconds into the fight. It was going to be one of those days! With the temperature rising we knew we were up against it and apart from a decent chub bite that was met with thin air we had to throw the towel in mid afternoon and declare it was 3-0 to the fish!
10/7/17 – With a WFT opener needed by the end of the week and the rivers and canals fishing badly in this hot weather headed to a local club water and took around thirty carp in not much more than three hours but unfortunately none made double figures.
11/7/17 – Can you believe it, just like last year and the first Farnham Angling Barbel Teach-in is set to be a washout with heavy rain forecasted from 4pm. Words can’t really express just how uncomfortable this turned out to be for myself and six unlucky anglers as it started as forecasted and never stopped with around two-inches falling whilst we were there. Waterproofs designed for angling proved useless and I might of well have been wearing a mankini as come 10pm I was soaked to the skin, shivering and in need of a hot bath. The river’s form didn’t even make up for such a miserable evening with just one fish hooked that decided to bite through the hooklink, a pike I guess. On a positive note I have received many thanks for the evening and the tips passed on and await a few catch reports from the anglers in due course.
12/07/17 – Spent the morning in the company of Tony Ashbolt at Broadwater Lake producing an Anglers Mail feature on the pellet waggler. If you are a regular and struggling to catch then you really need to keep an eye out for this feature as it will seriously increase your catch rate here!
13/07/17 – It’s all go and after getting the rudd tackle sorted headed to Frensham Great Pond to meet my customer for the day Tim McIntyre. Small rudd proved problematic but persistence paid off in the shape of two specimen rudd, late into the night weighing 2lb 3oz and 2lb 8oz.
14/07/17 – Having got back from the guiding session at around 2am I had a decent lie in before setting about getting a few features with pending deadlines underway.
15/07/17 – Mid afternoon headed to Weybridge to take some wedding images for my good friend Jake Lund, Congratulations!
16/07/17 – Spent most of the day in the office writing up my ‘Where to Fish’ column for AM.
17/07/06  – In the office early so that I can write up last week’s Pellet Waggler article before getting the tackle sorted for a nights guiding at Frensham. Arrived at 4.30pm to find an easterly wind blowing so took a chance and headed to an area that wasn’t very productive last season. Reports are that fish, albeit just a few fish and no big hits were coming from all areas so it seemed the perfect time to explore. Straight away it was once again obvious that the small rudd would make maggot drowning impossible until late into the night and so it was. I managed a 2lb 6oz rudd
around 11pm plus a tench at 1am which raised our hope but apart from a few sucked maggots this was all we had to show for our efforts come first light. Topping the swims up with bait the tench seemed to switch on around 7am and a quick flurry saw myself and John land five fish, the best maybe a scrapper six.
18/07/17 – I was hoping to be back at Frensham for another guided session tonight but with water dripping from the van I had to postpone the session and with a storm brewing might just have done the right thing, however I know just how well fishing can be when the atmospherics take a sudden drop. Managed to spend a couple of hours sorting the kit and doing a few tidying jobs in the fishing shed later in the day after a few hours sleep.
19/07/17 – Spent the day in the office getting my AM ‘where to fish’ column sorted.
20/7/17 - Another office day, this time manipulating Jake Lund’s wedding images along with nine holes of golf with my mum at Bowenhurst golf course. The five irons working a dream as is the putter but it was strangely my short game to the green that let me down.
21/07/17 – I did have a customer booked in for a day’s tench fishing however he had to cancel and reschedule it for next month. All in all this week’s gone from being a busy one to a complete nightmare, what with the van which is now fixed, I couldn’t even go fishing myself, however on the positive side at least I am ahead of myself for once in the office.
24/07/17 – Spent the morning getting the rods ready for rudd guiding session at Frensham. On the bank by 4pm and set up ready for my customer Scott come 6pm. Everything looked spot on with fish moving over our baited spots come dusk however the small rudd explosion made maggot fishing frustrating and come 2am, along with lots of small rudd the only sizeable fish were a couple of modest tench. I tried plastic, small pop-ups and then boilie bottom baits but apart from one more small tench it was obvious that it just wasn’t going to be. One thing that may have accounted for the difficult session was that the temperature dropped dramatically overnight to the extent that you could see your breath, usually meaning it’s as low as 7 degrees. This small rudd explosion is early this year; usually you can get away with maggot fishing till maybe the first week in August. Unfortunately these shitters (anglers keep saying these are good for the future, however with a dozen cormorants working the lake early morning it might not be as they won’t turn their nose up of a two pound plus rudd!) will now be with us till the first few frosts chill the waters so with one more guided session later this week, and if things turn out similar, I think it will be time to leave well alone for a few months.
26/07/17 – Spent the morning writing up most of my AM WTF column before heading back to Frensham Great Pond to guide my good friend Adrian in the hope of replicating the session with Paul Garner last year. After the eventful/uneventful night on Monday I decided to steer clear of the popular Oaks swim and head elsewhere and come 10pm thought I’d made the right decision when a rudd of 2lb 10oz graced my net, the biggest I’ve heard from the lake this season. Unfortunately that was my only bite, however it’s a step forward in catching my target fish without being kept awake all night with tiny rudd. Another major problem was my swim seemed to be covered in silk weed and every time I wound in had to stop at least twice to break this off my line and from around the tip eye. My rig was also covered in the stuff so another problem that needs to be addressed. Adrian, who obviously I spent most of the time with, fared somewhat better, even after reeling in his rods at 1am and casting out again at 5am. He managed a cracking rudd too plus four tench and didn’t suffer from the silk weed problems I had. Once again the session got off to a good start but the expected rush of tench as dawn broke never materialised, however it was a great session and one where lots was learnt ready to take into the next session. One thing we did noticed was the amount of natural food in the water as looking in the landing net found an abundance of life, most evidence were the amount of big fresh water shrimps! Why should a fish want our bait when they have these and evidence why the fishing has been hard this season.
28/07/17 – Had a brilliant day guiding the dad’s at Lodge Lake Newdigate. Arriving just after 7am and having the lake to ourselves the guys fished just one feeder rod each and enjoyed a ten fish catch, shared out equally between them. Mick was off to a flyer with four fish quickly landed which included an orfe of 5lb 3oz (personal best) and three 4lb plus tench. Things then went quiet before adding another good orfe early afternoon. Dad seemed worried about the lack of fish but then an orfe and tench settled his nerves. Strangely things seemed to pick up just after lunch with three more fish including an orfe of 5lb 7oz and two tench, including the biggest I’ve seen from the venue and a personal best weighing 7lb 9oz. It could have been much better for him but two lost 5lb plus tench and an orfe managed to shed the hook. The reason for me guiding the dad’s was that they have had a bad run of late at more local venues and I just wanted to take them to a great venue with some stunning fish, sit with them and iron out a few small problems to put them back on track. Don’t get the wrong impression that Lodge Lake at Newdigate is easy, it’s far from it and if you arrive and fish thinking this then you will probably come unstuck. I’ve fished the lake for the past three, maybe four years and I do feel that I know how it ticks and if approached correctly can get the best from it. If you fancy a day here then why not book a guiding day? Just email me – duncancharman@me.com. The only downside to the day was to find ‘blind eye’ dead, an orfe that has given so many anglers a personal best. Unfortunately she seemed to be unable to get rid of her eggs back in the spring and I must admit I feared that she may become spawn bound which she did, however nothing ever lasts forever and with an influx of new orfe earlier in the year will provide us with plenty of sport in the future. 
29/07/17 – A day in the office doing fishy paperwork.

30/07/17 – After last night’s rain I wasn’t surprised that only six anglers were fishing Johnsons when I arrived at 8am. Apart from one angler who had landed a number of fish, everyone else had struggled and with few fish showing me and Chris headed to the middle of the railway bank. Chris unfortunately blanked but I managed four bites resulting in one lost carp, a suspected lost rudd plus a 4lb tench and 21lb 4oz carp. I was doing something completely different to Chris and most others on the lake and seem to have something working for me. It’s certainly not perfected but with nine bites in three sessions I’m getting close. Can’t wait to iron out all the creases and enjoy the rewards, it won’t be long! 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tough going but hugely rewarding!

Tough going but rewarding.Last night saw myself customer John heading to Frensham Great Pond, the scene of a mega tench catch taken by John last season that earn't him a free FAS permit.

This session was all about catching a 2lb plus rudd however hard as we tried, just one showed a 2lb 6oz fish on my rod. You maybe asking why l didn't let him take my rod but some anglers prefer to learn by association, watching myself then replicating what I do, my help comes in tying up rigs, baiting up and generally answering loads of questions. the next bite came to my rods, a tench then the tables turned as John went on to land four tench to around six pounds. Unfortunately the big rudd never came his way but he knows exactly what to do and I''m sure will be sending me a picture soon of a fish of a lifetime.

Guiding inquiries to - duncancharman@me.com