Diary of a specimen angler. Carp and Coarse Angler

November 2010

Words Duncan Charman / Photography: Duncan Charman.

The day-by-day account of Duncan Charman’s unceasing quest for personal best.

As the mist slowly burns off.

Things on my mind this month are – Drennan Cup, fishing for second spot! The joy of fishing, is it all about big fish! Guiding, a great start, certain swims guarantee fish, feeding spells and the cost of day tickets.

Looking through the press this month and it seems that anyone hoping to win the Drennan Cup this season is going to have to catch some mighty fish over the next few months. If no one does then we are all fishing for second as Ken Browns bream brace and the perch, although I’ve been informed the big ones a repeat, are truly amazing.

I probably mentioned this before but maybe lm getting old as l find trying to catch big fish on a constant basis getting harder and harder. Looking at it from another direction l think maybe jumping into Frensham in November wearing chest waders may be a bit early as my body probably hasn’t got acclimatized to the cold just yet. The cold seems to be getting to me and where in the past l been quite happy to sleep under an oval when the temperature plummets below freezing, lm now thinking of a hot cup of chocolate and a warm bed come midnight, maybe its time for a bivvy! For now thou the thought of catching a massive rudd will inspire me to tolerate the weather, although catching a big one, winning a Drennan and being able to move on to more comfortable fishing is a nice thought.

The guiding has got of to a good start and as you can see my first customer found his day out rewarding as well as catching a few fish. Enquiries are coming in thick and fast with the odd angler wanting to spend a night at Frensham in freezing conditions however the dates that l do have booked for December may have to reorganized as if the temperature continues continues to drop then all the stillwaters will be iced over.

Roll on the spring!

Tuesday 2nd November – River Loddon (Guiding session).

Conditions – Perfect, mild with highs of 16 degrees, wind from the S/W and A/P at 1014mb, the rivers also coloring up slightly. 

Duration of session – 8am till dusk. 

Tactics – Roving around with the ‘Method Lead’.

Result – Three chub to 5lbs 8oz.

Thursday 4th November – Frensham Small Pond.

Conditions – Unseasonably warm with highs of 19 degrees, A/P at 1020mb, overcast with a strong S/W wind. 

Duration of session – 2-15pm till 5pm. 

Tactics – Sardines with heads removed for pike.

Result – Seven pike to 7lb.

Friday 5th November – River Loddon.

Conditions – Overcast and mild at 16 degrees with showers. A/P at 1018mb and a brisk S/W wind.

Duration of session – 6-30am to 12-30pm. 

Tactics – Roving around with the ‘Method Lead’.

Result – Three chub to 5lb 4oz.

Tuesday 9th November – FBP.

Conditions – Overcast and damp but clearing into darkness with temperatures dropping from 7 degrees to just 2 with a N/E wind and A/P dropping from 1066mb!

Duration of session – 5pm to 10pm. 

Tactics – Heli-rigs for rudd.

Result – Seven rudd, the best 2lb 4oz.

            Matt with a very near personal best. Three big rudd on a blistering cold night. What a strange trio for November!

Thursday 11th November – FBP.

Conditions – Gusty strong westerly and mild at 10 degrees with an A/P reading of 990mb, odd shower but clearing into darkness.

Duration of session – 5pm to 9pm. 

Tactics – Heli-rigs for rudd.

Result – One bite from a 1lb 12oz rudd.

Friday 12th November – FBP.

Conditions – Wet and mild at 12 degrees with an A/P reading of 990mb and a S/W wind.

Duration of session – 5pm to 10pm. 

Tactics – Heli-rigs for rudd.

Result – Two dropped rudd plus six landed to a best of 2lb 2oz.

Monday 15th November – FBP.

Conditions – Cold and still with lows of –1 degrees, A/P at 1020mb and extremely foggy.

Duration of session – 5pm to 11pm. 

Tactics – Heli-rigs for rudd.

Result – Four rudd to 1lb 14oz plus a tench and a perch.

Tuesday 16th November – FBP.

Conditions – A/P dropping rapidly to 1008mb although a calm evening, clear and mild at 6 degrees with a hint of a S/E wind late on.

Duration of session – 5pm to 11pm. 

Tactics – Heli-rigs for rudd.

Result – Fourteen rudd inc four two’s to 2lb 13oz!

Friday 19th November – MBK, Coloured Ponds.

Conditions – Frosty, misty morning giving way to bright warm sunshine, no wind, A/P at 1020mb and highs of 12 degrees!

Duration of session – 8am to midday. 

Tactics – Lobs and prawns for perch.

Result –Three perch of 4oz, 1lb 4oz and 3lb 1oz!

            A great start to my commercial perch campaign. Rudd don’t come much better looking than this bar of gold.

Friday 19th November – FBP.

Conditions – Clear, still with a hint of an easterly, A/P dropping to 1012mb, lows of 5 degrees and a bright full moon.

Duration of session – 5pm to 9-30pm. 

Tactics – Heli-rigs for rudd.

Result – one lost fish at dusk that was it!

Monday 22nd November – FBP.

Conditions – Overcast with a slight N/W wind, A/P at 1012mb and temperature ranging between 6 degrees and 2 overnight.

Duration of session – Overnight session. 

Tactics – Heli-rigs for rudd.

Result – Fifteen rudd to 2lb 12oz, five tench and a 3lb 5oz perch.

Wednesday 24th November – MBK, Coloured Ponds.

Conditions – A frosty start with the temperature reading –1.5 on arrival and just 2 degrees on departure. A/P on 1008mb and bright blue skies.

Duration of session – Dawn till dusk.

Tactics – Worms and prawns for perch.

Result – No perch, just a few skimmers and two carp.

Friday 26th November – FBP.

Conditions – Freezing. Clear skies, A/P on 1004mb, slight wind from the N/W and temp ranging between 1 and –2 degrees during the session, dropping to –4 overnight.

Duration of session – 4-30pm to 7pm.

Tactics – Heli-rigs for rudd.

Result – Just one perch, well what did l expect!

                                                                                  Just before the lake froze!

Whilst I’ve been at Frensham one obvious fact is how obvious feeding spells occur this time of year. After just a few visits it became standard that just into darkness the first bite would come and for maybe an hour and a half it would be quite frantic, then the swim would go quiet before another spell would happen at 9pm, albeit a much shorter one. I have only had one bite before dusk and that came from a perch and know of anglers fishing all day without the slightest touch.

Something else that’s becoming extremely repetitive is the swims that produce fish on the river Loddon. Basically over a stretch of around a mile there are only four swims that produce fish and although l have constantly tried to find new spots l have always come away without any form of indications from these. Great if you only have an hour and now if lm the first on the stretch will fish these swims quite quickly then move downstream to a length of river that l don’t know as well.

Another frightening thought is the price it cost to go fishing nowadays, especially on day ticket waters and l can fully understand why so many anglers head for carp puddles where they are almost guaranteed a bend or two throughout the day, however looking at the cost of a club ticket, to me these are far more cost effective in the long run, however most clubs value their waters and understand that over stocking can have deadly consequences, so in most cases you will find these waters slightly harder than the commercials.

                 My favorite fish by far and one l am so fortunate to fish for in without a doubt the best rudd water in the country.