A Mixed Bag Of Fish

I have to admit that I’m absolutely exhausted from the last month’s activities, yet I can’t complain at being so busy and with such a variety of work revolving around my passion, angling.

Looking at my diary input, a record that is part of each session and one that I update on return of each session, I managed to get out on the bank at least sixteen times during the month. These sessions were extremely contrasting, consisting of one Nash Roadshow at Broadland Fishery where myself and fellow Nash Peg One Consultant Stuart Jupp both enjoyed catching carp to over twenty pounds off the top, one FAS barbel teach-in, six guiding days, one feature as well as six days out fishing for myself. These sessions totalled more than 150hrs and throwing two weddings photography shots into the mix, plus a number of features that needed completing for Angler's Mail and Coarse Angling Today, it's not surprising that come the end of the month I find myself somewhat behind on paperwork.

Mirror Carp
Broadlands twenty, off the top during a Nash Road Show

The disappointing part of the month was the nights spent on the river Thames with my fishing companion Chris in search of carp. Well, these are proving to be elusive. We haven’t even seen or heard one crash, let alone catch one. It looks as if we have made a mistake by not getting the boat in working order, as this would have allowed us to cruise the middle reaches to find the fish that have surely got to be all shoaled up together in this heat and not moving much, then fish for them. What we have relied on is to fish past known producing areas, ones that were brilliant prior to the flood on July 19th 2007, yet since this they have obviously become no carp zones! We will continue, yet during August we aim to get the boat sorted for a proper Thames campaign next year and in the meantime will spread our efforts on other rivers where spotting fish from the bank is possible.

The first Farnham Angling Society’s barbel teach-in was a great success with most anglers catching. The group of guys were a joy to be with and even sent me a message on the way home to report they had just caught an eleven pounder!

Frensham rudd, difficult to beatThe guiding days have taken up more of my time than I would have liked, yet these can’t be turned down as I know come the winter they will even themselves out to my preferred balance of four days per month. Frensham Great Pond has been the most reliable venue with many newcomers, one which most consider a daunting venue, getting in amongst its vast shoals of tench and rudd. Many have since returned and caught plenty without my help and I’ve enjoyed receiving their emails showing catch reports.

I also had a morning session with a regular of mine, Mel Smethurst, where we targeted grass carp. The rewarding part of this session was that I knew that spombing bait out at distance spooked the fish, so with Mel’s bait boat being put into action we soon had our first grass carp in the net, which proved my theory.

Grass Carp
Bait boats do have their uses!

Another session was spent with a customer at Broadwater, where I proved the importance of regularly casting to the same spot and building a swim. The nine hour session produced around forty carp between 7lb and 17lb 12oz, not bad when we only saw two other carp landed on the lake. Barbel also featured in our catches, yet the rivers aren’t fishing that great in this heat and are in need of a good flush through to get them back into shape.

Broadwater can be hectic at times!
Broadwater can be hectic at times!

Another great session was spent with Paul Garner, again at Frensham, where we fished an overnight session and witnessed a fantastic sunset. The fishing was below par, yet we both caught around a dozen good fish including tench to over 7lb and rudd over 2lb. Paul also proved the point that even though I have fished the venue since childhood, there are still edges to be had on this venue. Unfortunately, these are not ones that I can reveal as; well, they just won’t be edges if I do.

A few will know that I have had a few car problems of late and have been driving the van knowing a fault would eventually raise its ugly head. Well, thinking that an injector was breaking down or that my turbo was on its way out and an expensive repair bill was looming, I was pleasantly pleased to find out that all it was, was a split hose on the turbo system and, with my brake discs also replaced, I can now, hopefully, enjoy a few months of carefree driving.

Another thing that I have noticed is the time that I have been allocating to my own fishing; not enough. So I need to readdress this situation and get it back on track, so have already left a week free so that myself and Chris can go and do some serious fishing.

If you want to keep up with what I’m up to on a weekly basis then visit my blog page on my personal website – www.duncancharman.co.uk

Duncan Charman

Fishing Under a blood red sky