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,
Duncan.

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
e duncancharman@me.com

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 duncancharman@me.com 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.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Monthly Report May 2016

Monthly Report May 2016
I’m certainly far from superstitious but
the bloody magpie that seems to be following me around needs to disappear soon or I’m going to have to shot it! My good friend Lewis has been having slightly more luck than myself of late and managed four massive salmon from Loch Tay in Scotland, the biggest was estimated around 27lb!

I’ve be saying for a while now that I need to do less sessions on the bank but increase the hours fishing during these and this is what’s started to happen. Unfortunately I can’t say that it’s increased my catch rate as sometimes I find myself on a venue that’s just not fishing and that’s very much been the case of late. Obviously short sessions based around perfect conditions and being able to respond quickly to the weather is hugely important to keep the run of specimen fish coming but it just doesn’t lend itself to my lifestyle anymore so I will just have to keep at it and make the most of things when the fish are feeding and I happen to be on the bank when they are.
Looking at my diary inputs the guiding has been very popular this month and most customers have found themselves cradling a
personal best or two. Catfish have played a big part this month along with the odd grass carp that has gate crashed the party. The golden orfe have now spawned and have had time to start putting on the weight again and the one that’s blind in one eye has graced customer’s nets twice this month as well as other anglers visiting the venue, just look in Anglers Mail. I have to say that I have been surprised at the lack of interest in the Nash Guiding Packs on offer, £60 worth of kit for just £15 when you book a guided session with me, it’s an offer that’s still running and only applies to the larger species such as cats, carp, barbel etc and unfortunately not for species like crucians and orfe. The three, yes, just three sessions that I have been bankside fishing for myself have totalled 53 hours which is rewarding yet the tench campaign has been slow, yet Chris did catch a personal best last week of 8lb 6oz so things maybe looking up for June. Hopefully the weather will warm up and get the tench feeding, however as I write this up, it’s raining and only 11 degrees!
I’m not sure if many were out the night the ‘Supermoon’ showed itself? This is when the moon is closest to the earth and is 15% larger than normal and bright orange in colouration. I was fishing with customers for cats when it showed itself around midnight and when it did it simply switched the lake off, so my advice next time this phenomenon happens is, stay at home!


Day to day events.

01/05/16 – Today was a bit of an eye opener as I was meeting a couple of anglers on the River Wandle in South West London! Yes it is the close season, but these guys had other ideas. The reason for this was to produce a ‘Lure Attacks’ feature for Anglers Mail, something that I have been assigned too, so anyone who has something to offer and wants to appear in the magazine, well get in touch, as I would love some different ideas, especially on sea species such as mullet and bass! Arriving early afternoon, after Sat-Nav decided to take me up-and-down the A3, we headed to the river for a spot of fishing. Can’t say anymore but anyone that reads this will certainly finding it interesting!
02/05/16 – Although a bank holiday today was spent in the office writing up the Furnace ‘On the Bank’ feature as well as the ‘Lure Attacks’ Wandle feature.

03/05 – 05/05/16 – The girlfriends started a new job and as she doesn’t drive and it’s a couple of miles away have decided to earn some brownie points, give her lifts back and forth, stay at home and not only do some well needed household chores but also spend time creating some freelance work for the coming months.
06/05/16 – After dropping the lady at work its time to head to Godalming’s Harris Lake as I know my dad and girlfriends dad have planned to meet, so it will be a surprise for them that I have turned up. Fished peg 35 between 7am and 11am in far from ideal conditions and managed five fish, three tench and two crucians, whilst most others struggled for a single fish.
07/05/16 - A leisurely day travelling around Berkshire taking photos of a number of fisheries so I can sort out some Tactical Briefings for Anglers Mail.
09/05/16 – Having two customers booked in for a catfish guiding session I was down the lake by 5pm to get a couple of swims. Chris arrived with the boat at 6.30pm and come 7.30pm all six rods were out, well all most, as before sorted his out Neil was into his first cat, a small one of around 5lb! The standard confrontation with the local bailiff then proceeded, however I proved after a few words that we were fishing within the club rules and settled down. Soon after Chris had both his rods go almost together and after landing a catfish of 19lb had another weighing 15lb in the sling. After catching the small kitten, Neil slipped the net under a much bigger specimen of a shade over 25lb before the rain moved in and the lake fell silent. We decided that all the rods needed to be reset come 2am and whilst myself and Neil chatted, commenting on wouldn’t it be great if Neil (another Neil) could get off the mark, and as we spoke his rod sprung into life. Half a sleep he managed to pick the rod up, come to his senses and slowly play another good fish which upped his personal best from 26lb to a few ounces over 28lb. After a few photos we set all rods once again, however Neil, after landing a personal best, wanted more and was soon playing a big cat, or should I say the cat was playing Neil, that made his previous fish look like a kitten. Weighing just over 42lb it was the end of the action, apart from a couple of strange pick-ups that could have been grass carp.
11/05/16 – After such a great night on
Monday we were back with two new customers, Ian and Paul. Apart from the North wind conditions looked great, however apart from a 14lb carp to Ian the expected run of fish at dusk didn’t happen and we were left wondering if it was going to happen when out of the blue one of Chris’s rods went into overdrive from a 15lb cat. These were quickly followed by cats of 19lb, 23lb and a missed screamer before his swim went quiet. Ian’s swim then started to produce in the early hours, 2.30am to be precise with a cat of just over 20lb and two grass carp weighing 19lb 12oz and 23lb 12oz. Paul’s swim wasn’t so hectic yet he did chip in with a 26lb cat, so all in all a great but energy sapping night.
13/05/16 – After dropping the girlfriend of at work I met Chris shortly after 6.30am and we headed to Kent in hope of a tench or two.  Rods were out by 8.30am and with a tench rolling not too far from my baits I sat in hope.
Unfortunately twelve hours passed and as I wound my last rod in at 8.30pm another one rolled just to rub salt into the wound! I had started to get a few signs on the bobbins around 6pm yet unable to stay I had to leave knowing I was close. Chris was fishing differently to me with small pop-ups over particles, myself maggot on the hook and groundbait feeders with a few spods of bait emptied over the top every two hours or so, so it wasn’t through lack of trying or that the method didn’t work, it was just that we were fishing at the wrong time.
14/05/16 – Another relatively early morning, this time due to a Nash Roadshow at Linear in Oxfordshire. Apart from it being somewhat chilly when we arrived the day was really enjoyable with plenty of punters coming along for a chat.
16/05/16 – Another guiding day with one of my regulars, Peter who fancied some tench action on the waggler and with just the venue in mind we met at 7am. Feeding the swim a steady flow of maggot’s whist casting out a heli-rig soon bought the first tench weighing maybe 4lb. A couple more followed along with two small orfe before the waggler was cast out. Bites came at regular intervals and come 3pm we had taken maybe eight modest tench, three orfe to 5lb 6oz and a rare bream.
On the way home I dropped in to Papercourt to team up with Jake so that we could get some images for another AM article, which was handy as it meant I missed the A3 traffic.
17/05/16 – Today was spent at Badshot Lea big Pond with the hope that a few grass carp might be interested, yet apart from two bream on tiger nuts the lake fished well below par. Although conditions looked great, the wind had swung round to the S/W, great once it’s been in the same direction but sometimes when it changes it can kill a lake; well that’s my excuse anyway!
18/05/16 – Spent the day in the office writing up the words for the AM Tactical Briefings.
19/05/16 – Spent the day once again writing words for the
Tactical Briefings along with getting the tench kit sorted for a couple of nights in Kent.
19/05/16 – 21/05/16 Come 6.30pm I was on the road to Kent, however it wasn’t long before the traffic slowed on the A3 due to a number of accidents. I eventually arrived at around 8.30pm and with no time to look for showing fish I dropped into my second choice swim. Rods were eventually fishing just after 10pm, yet come some 35hrs later all that I had to show for my efforts were two modest eels. I nearly moved after the first night but after a walk and talking to other anglers it seemed that the whole lake was not producing. This is what specimen fishing is all about as when the targets are bigger and more elusive the pain and effort sometimes goes unrewarded. It also means that when the fish are on the feed it’s a case of catching as many as possible to compensate for the lean periods. My time will come, you wait and see. My mate Chris fished from Friday evening right through to Sunday morning and also found it hard going but after waiting some 30hrs did have two tench come along in the early hours of Sunday morning. He also said that a few tench had started to show, more than what I saw during my stay so obviously for some reason they had started to wake up.
24/05/16 – Today it’s time to get back in the office as the features are beginning to pile up and I need to get stuck into them.
25/05/16 – The morning was spent sorting the tackle for another
catfish guiding session however no one had re-warned me that there was to be the first ‘Supermoon’ of the year which obviously had an adverse effect on the fishing. If anyone missed it, it rose around midnight from the south east and looked massive, although just 15% bigger than normal and was bright orange. Six rods were out and repositioned every 4hrs and in total six runs came resulting in two grass carp of 16lb 4oz and 26lb 6oz, both personal best to the anglers along with a cat around 15lb. One very big cat managed to throw the hook after beating Chris up for quite a while and the other three runs mysteriously saw nothing hanging on the end. Once again at first light I awoke to the sight of one magpie looking straight at me, the same one I reckon that’s been following me around the last few weeks!
26/05/16 – After a couple of hours sleep I was in the office catching up on the article writing before sorting the tench kit out for a day’s guiding at Newdigate on Friday as well as heading to a local lake to take some images for one of the features.
27/05/16 – It’s always rewarding to return to a venue, especially with and get the upper hand on a species that failed to show on the first attempt. Last year Ron and myself headed to Newdigate in the hope of seeing Ron catch his first Golden Orfe, however we couldn’t have timed it worse as on arrival every orfe had other things on their minds. Knowing that the orfe had already spawned we planned our return carefully and arrived on a perfect late spring day and fishing towards the plateau Ron managed four orfe including Blind-Eye at an ever increasing weight of 5lb 12oz along with a tench that seemed reluctant to feed. Heading home mid afternoon allowed me time to get on with some feature writing material, so a rewarding day in all.

31/05/16 – A wedding over the weekend kept me away from fishing for the last few days and the planned trip to Kent was rescheduled once I realised it was a bank holiday so today was spent in the office trying to get a few articles for AM finalised.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Catting for Cancer 2016

Catting for Cancer 2016 is to be held at the stunning and prolific catfish venue Furnace Lakes on the West Sussex / Surrey border on June 6th - 9th.
The four day event will see 58 fanatical cat anglers go head to head in whats likely to be a fantastic and enjoyable event and its all for charity. 
There are still a few spaces left so if you are interested then take a look at wwwcattingforcancer.co.uk