Blog 021 | Duncan's Autumn Round Up - Decoy Angling

Blog 021 | Duncan's Autumn Round Up

Winter is well and truly with us and looking back on the last three months it’s been another hectic period.

Blog 021 | Duncan's Autumn Round Up

Wicked wind

September arrived and just when the zig fishing at Enton looked like it’s was going to go into overdrive that horrid north wind returned. If there’s one thing that I have learnt when zig fishing is you either want no wind, or better still, just a slight warm breeze as any more simply creates undertow and drift, which in turn makes keeping fish feeding in one spot difficult. Saying this the odd day did lend itself to this highly effective method and a number of carp to over twenty pounds were landed.

What might be?

The crucian fishing has been somewhat hit and miss this year, mainly down to the sheer number of anglers on the banks, but after trying something completely different I did turned what seemed a dead swim into a fish feast. It’s been a while since I have left this lake with a big fat smile on my face but this was one of those rare occasions and the use of Decoy’s medium buoyant artificial corn played a major part in this. Wondering if this was just a one of I did return and minutes after casting out saw a massive brace grace my net, yet not wanting to bring attention to myself quickly packed up knowing that next spring I might have just stumbled on a massive edge!

Blog 021 | Duncan's Autumn Round Up

Improve your Coarse Fishing

Cats, pike, perch and zander were also on my mind and although it was a successful month for all, no exceptional fish came my way. My favourite river, the Thames also produced the goods for an Improve Your Coarse Fishing bream article when over 60lb of slabs came my way during a morning session at Walton.

Thames double

October saw the start of a busy month guiding for zander at Bury Hill Fisheries and once again the Old Lake didn’t disappoint producing loads of fish, the best falling to one of my customers weighing 11lb 6oz. I’ve also been after a big zander myself for a couple of years from the mighty river Thames, yet after numerous launches of the boat, plus plenty of predator action coming my way, the big girl just hasn’t showed, yet there is still plenty of time left to achieve this ambition. 

Blog 021 | Duncan's Autumn Round Up

In the long run

The colder weather associated with November usually means the predators on the lakes slow down, so this is where I start to pre-bait for pike. It is a bit time consuming as I try and deposit some chopped fish into three swims, every three or four days for a few weeks, yet in the long run it saves time as short two hour morning sessions have so far produced between one and six fish!

Walking the stick

November also sees the start of the coarse fishing on the game beats of the river Test and this year has to be one of the best for numbers of fish caught. Most of these days are once again guided days but before bookings are taken I like to spend a day or two roving around and locating fish and a method that has seen a number of new areas discovered is what I call ‘walking the stick’. This is where I cast a stick float mid river and simply walk alongside it feeding every few yards. Sooner or later the float will bury, a fish landed before a more static approach reveals just how good the swim is. This method really does mean you have to travel light and the Decoy Khaki Shoulder Sling Bag is perfect as it carries just the right amount of terminal tackle needed but more importantly leaves my arms free to continue fishing unhindered (it’s also ideal for storing lures when I’m in the boat). This method also revealed what could be the best chub swim I’ve ever fished, one that I’m looking forward to exploring more in the coming days.

Blog 021 | Duncan's Autumn Round Up

My day will come!

Back to the Thames and I’m kicking myself as on the last trip to the tidal I thought I’d hooked bottom, something that happens occasionally especially in the weir pools. On lifting the rod a couple of taps signalled this was actually a fish, but instead of striking I simply bent into what was certainly a big fish only to see the hook not take hold. It all happened so quickly that it took me completely by surprised and knowing zander can be so gentle in the bite simply left me with my head in my hands. I have to admit that it’s difficult to draw myself away from bait fishing, yet every session I do cast a lure or two around, the odd fish has fallen to my somewhat erratic retrieve and on its day I’m sure it’s going to come in useful.   

Blog 021 | Duncan's Autumn Round Up

Losing leads

I mentioned earlier about hooking the bottom and have to admit that I hate losing tackle but weir pools can be tackle graves and although snaggy areas can be avoided they can also be the best areas to target. This is where using what’s known as a ‘rotten bottom’ comes into play, a length of line weaker than the main or hook length that attaches to the lead. If the lead gets snagged then the line will part, releasing the rig which is especially handy if you happen to be playing a big fish. Leads don’t come cheap but Decoy Leads are not just quality leads they are affordable, making any loses that more bearable! Check the huge range out, which start at just £1.20 and if you spend over £30 you will not only get an additional 10% off but also get free delivery.

About Duncan Charman:

As a capable and talented angler, Duncan is widely regarded as one of the most successful all-round anglers in the UK with personal bests including a 31lb pike, 16lb 5oz barbel and 140lb catfish alongside breaking two separate British Records (silver bream and pumpkinseed). 

In the public eye, Duncan is an Ambassador to the Angling Trust, a regular writer for the biggest magazines in both the United Kingdom and Europe (Anglers's Mail, Blinker etc) and has also made appearances on Sky Sports’ Tight Lines. Duncan is also an author having written his own book - Evolution of an Angler.

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