This month James Jenner recounts one of his more productive and certainly better-weather campaigns on the River Arun, to shake those winter blues and remind us of a time when the sun came out and the grass was green!


In June 2017 I embarked on a short river campaign, the goal being to try and bank at least one of the wild carp that were rumoured to inhabit the stretch.

The River Arun starts its journey near the town of Horsham, meandering through the beautiful West Sussex countryside as a fairly narrow and sluggish stretch until it reaches Pulborough, where it becomes tidal all the way down to its confluence with the sea at Littlehampton. South of Pulborough the tidal range can provide quite a challenge to even the hardiest of anglers, but there are great rewards to be had for those that are willing to persevere.

Having had limited success on the tidal stretches, banking two carp to just shy of 19lb over 20 or so nights, I decided to join a local club and try my hand on the upper, non-tidal river.

My membership came through in early April and I set off for my first look. The banks were generally very steep and overgrown, indicating that there seemed to be very little in the way of angling pressure as we see it on the local gravel pits and lakes.

It was obvious from the outset that a venue of this type would require a mobile approach with minimal kit, keeping quiet and aiming to snatch a fish or two from a spot before moving on. I walked for a good mile-and-a-half through some delightful scenery before I found what I was looking for; an old fallen tree across 90 per cent of the width of the river, among which a great deal of flotsam and weed had collected in the submerged branches, forming a ‘roof’ around the size of two dining tables.

Ten yards downstream of this snag was a small set of lily pads, with thick grass and occasional brambles along the sheer opposite bank, all of which sat in a slightly wider pool compared to the rest of the river. This seemed like just the sort of place that the carp would choose to visit time and again, essentially something of a ‘home’ for them. The idea was always to find a spot such as this to introduce bait on a regular basis.

With a river there are literally miles of water that the carp can choose to frequent at any given time, and while they may stop in certain areas to feed as they pass through, by baiting an area that they were likely to reside in the odds were hopefully going to be in my favour.

Three hundred yards further downstream I found another spot; a wider section with an inlet stream directly opposite and abundant marginal weed growth. By baiting two areas I would always have a backup option if I found my chosen spot occupied, although I suspected that few anglers would be likely to venture as far away from the nearest car parking as I had chosen to do. Spots chosen, I began to formulate a baiting plan.

The first few introductions of bait would be purely small particles such as pigeon conditioner, with 10kg spread generously over each spot two to three times a week for the first two weeks. The aim here was to encourage the smaller fish to feed heavily on the free bait, effectively clearing the bottom of any debris and/or light weed. The water is always coloured along this stretch and so I could never be 100 percent certain of the effect, but it certainly felt right.

I will digress slightly here just to reflect on how difficult it was for me to keep the bait going in regularly at times. Having spent the last four years working for the Ambulance Service, at the ripe old age of 38 I decided to embark on a journey to become a registered operating department practitioner, trading my ambulance greens for surgical scrubs in a busy hospital. This involves enrolling on a university course, passing several exams, and then working 40 hours per week (unpaid) getting hands-on training at the hospital. In order to pay the bills, any days that I am not working 12-hour shifts at the hospital, I am working 12-hour shifts with the ambulance service.

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Suffice to say that staying up cooking particles after a long shift, and driving down to the river to throw it in after the next long shift, took more than a little determination on my part!

So, after the initial two weeks of baiting with small particles, I switched to whole maize and maples, plus a handful or two of 24mm halibut pellets, Solar Chilli Club Mix boilies and tiger nuts. If there were any carp visiting my spots, it was time to give them something to eat.

Two to three times a week leading up to June I would bait up rain or shine, often employing the help of my fishing buddy Leigh and housemate Darren to help me carry the bait all the way to the swims, for which I will always be grateful.

The magical June 16th fell on a Friday, and by half killing myself pulling double shifts wherever I could I managed to secure a whopping three days off over the weekend. The club doesn’t allow night fishing so I planned to fish from 4am to 9pm each day, driving the 20 miles home for a couple of hours’ sleep between sessions.

For the last three baiting trips I switched to feeding solely boilies, tigers, and the 24mm pellets, and despite overwhelming exhaustion, the anticipation of the first session was really building.

Soon enough it was the evening of June 15th and the kit was packed, rigs tied, all ready to go by the front door for a 3am departure. Tackle and rigs were to be kept as simple and as strong as possible: 15lb Big Game main line, 6ft lead-core leaders, 3oz flat pear leads fished helicopter style, 25lb coated braid hook links and simple bottom bait rigs incorporating razor-sharp size 4 wide-gape hooks. Finesse was not required, but if I were lucky enough to hook a carp then I certainly wanted to give myself every chance of landing it.

I couldn’t get to sleep the night before the first session, and it was an incredibly warm night. I put the TV on and sat on the sofa at midnight, watching the clock tick by agonisingly slowly. Next thing I knew I awoke to a stiff neck and brilliant sunlight beaming in through the windows. No!

Yep, I’d fallen asleep and it was already 5am. Up in a flash and in the car within five minutes I soon pulled up at the car park to see two cars there, the first I’d seen other than my own since embarking on this campaign. The thought of my swims being occupied became a real worry as I hurriedly stormed past two lads at the first swim with a wave. A gallon of sweat and many nettle stings later I arrived at the first spot, and with immense relief noted that there were no anglers in sight. Tiptoeing down to the water’s edge I carefully inserted the banksticks and laid down the plastic sheeting I had brought to sit on (to save the weight of bringing a chair). The first rod was baited with an 18mm Chilli Club boilie tipped with a tiger nut, and before underarming the rig into place I paused for a second to take it all in.

It was a glorious summer’s day and the only sounds were those of nature all around me; the nearest road was over a mile away and I had this beautiful place all to myself. Without further delay the rig was cast alongside the snag tree to my left, followed by the second rod, baited with two tigers and cast just off the pads downstream.

Once the rods were settled I turned around and quietly walked the few metres to the rest of my kit, intending to bring my bits and pieces down to the swim quietly. I picked up my rucksack and turned to face the water just as the right-hand rod burst into life, taking me completely by surprise.

I was on the rod within three seconds, but on lifting into the fish I noticed the line angle and immediately realised something was wrong. The fished rolled on the surface opposite me and I could clearly see it was a scaly mirror, but the line was wrapped around a submerged branch from the tree raft to my left.

Gentle pressure resulted in nothing but a horrible grating sensation as the line rubbed against the branch, and though I could still feel the fish everything seemed to be becoming more and more solid. I couldn’t believe I had hooked a wild river carp so quickly, and had an even harder time believing that I was potentially about to lose it. Putting the rod down and opening the bail arm, I quickly put on my chest waders before slipping into the water. Even at the near margin the water was instantly up to the top of my chest, and still the margins sloped deeper.

Clambering back out of the water I wrestled out of the chesties and gave the rod another slow, firm pull but everything was solid. Everyone always says: “I’m a strong swimmer” and maybe they are. I am a certified Rescue Diver, but even so I would not advise anyone to do anything as foolhardy as what I was about to do. Stripping down to just my boxers, rod in hand (the carbon-fibre one, cheeky!), I entered the water and swam upstream to the fallen tree. For 10 minutes I desperately tried to free the snagged line from the submerged branch, but it was hopeless. Starting to get a little out of breath I held on to a branch and took a little rest, reflecting on how stupid it would be for me to drown in this situation, and questioning my sanity.

At that instant the carp swam straight into me, literally right into my chest, causing me to shout a few stunned obscenities before quickly locating the trailing line and wrapping it around my free hand. I then threw the rod on to the bank, bit through the line attached to the submerged branch, and found myself again treading water, this time holding onto a river carp like a dog on a lead-core leash.

What happened next might seem hard to believe but I’m sorry, it’s 100 per cent true. The fish slowly started to swim downstream away from me, taking my 15-stone bulk along for a leisurely ride! It towed me for a few feet before I guided it back towards the bank and the waiting landing net. With a scoop and a tricky climb out I finally stood there on the river bank, soaking wet, laughing, and looking down at prize in the net. I guess when your name’s on it…

I popped the chesties back on (nobody deserves to see me in boxers!) and a T-shirt, and set about the weighing and self-taking photos. The lovely scaly mirror carp weighed 16lb and a few ounces, but I honestly couldn’t have cared less if it was 10lb lighter or heavier – I’d done it! As is always the case I wish I could have admired my prize for longer, but it was a hot day and after a quick kiss and a thank you she was swimming away from me. I sat on the grass and dried out for a while before regaining my composure and getting the rods back out on the spots.

Image 02 16lb

I didn’t care if the buzzers remained silent for the rest of the day I was so happy, and anyway I was certain that the commotion caused by my morning swim would have been enough to send any fish in the vicinity running for the hills.

Imagine my surprise then when three minutes later the left-hand rod melted off, and I was once again attached to an angry carp! This fight was slower and more typical of a bigger fish, and sure enough a big ghostie was soon rolling over the net cord. At 23lb she was a real old warrior, and had clearly been through a lot over the course of her life in moving water.

I just couldn’t believe how lucky I’d been to catch a river ‘twenty’ on my first session, but I did have a little smile and remarked to myself that effort really did seem to equal reward. I sent Leigh a text and told him what had happened, and he told me I needed to get myself down to the second spot and bag another one.

Leigh has had plenty of carp from the tidal stretch in his youth and so I was keen to follow his advice, but told him I needed to sit down for a few minutes and compose myself. It seemed mad to not have the rod back out on the spot while I did so! Sure enough, 15 minutes later the right rod was away again with an absolute one-toner as an angry carp made its way downstream. Once I had it in front of me it stayed deep, but through the polaroids I could see a long, chestnut mirror twisting and turning. On the scales she went 18lb and was one of the most impressive looking carp I’ve ever seen, a long, lean torpedo.

Slipping her back it just didn’t seem to be possible, what an incredible way to open my campaign on the upper Arun.

It was midday by the time I got down to the second spot, dispatching two baits to likely looking areas before lying back to catch some sun and maybe a quick nap. The nap wasn’t to be, as unbelievably one of the rods was away again, this time resulting in a 14lb mirror. This fish looked younger and had a shape more synonymous with a lake escapee, but it was certainly very welcome and was clearly thriving in its new home.

Two hours passed before the same rod went again, with what looked like another low-double mirror unfortunately slipping the hook. On any other day I would have been distraught at such a loss but today I simply shrugged and smiled, for the river had already been more than kind enough to me.

I did actually manage a little nap after this capture before the same rod went once again, and an 11lb common was soon in the net. Slipping him back I decided that I’d had more than my fair share for the day, and headed home.

I celebrated with a hot bath to soothe the nettle stings and sunburn, followed by a few cold cans of beer to celebrate the best opening day I’d had in over 35 years of angling. Everything really had come together perfectly for me, and it had been worth every minute of the effort I put in. The next day was ridiculously hot, the hottest day of the year in fact, and not surprisingly I gave up soon after reaching the first swim as it just didn’t seem worth it. I did return at dawn on the Sunday though, managing a double-figure common from each spot and being back at home in the shower by 9am, ready for a day at the beach. Proper fishing.

A week went by before I returned to my beloved spots, but the session was memorable for all the wrong reasons. I saw the familiar sight of what I assumed to be the farmer’s white van in the opposite field and waved my customary hello. I didn’t receive a wave back this time, and two minutes later a Range Rover was steaming across the field towards me. I greeted the driver with a smile and a wave, but he didn’t look happy.

“What do you think you’re doing here?!”

“I’m fishing, here’s my membership card.”

“There’s no fishing allowed here, you’re too far downstream.”


To give the old boy credit he was actually pretty civil to me when he realised that I wasn’t a poacher and had just made an honest mistake with the boundary map, but that was that.

My river campaign was over as dramatically as it had started, but I’d had the good fortune to have managed a few captures before having to move on. I can’t have any regrets, and those two short sessions and the work that went into them beforehand will always be very special to me.

As I type this we are heading into December and I still have my ticket. Last week I found a couple of spots on a new stretch that look like they might be worthy of some attention, and they’re definitely not out of bounds, so watch this space!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed recounting the experiences, and would advise any of you to give the river carp a go if you haven’t already. It’s hard work, but when that first one comes along I guarantee that the smile won’t leave your face for a week.

Tight lines.

Many anglers believe carp move into open water with consistent depths come the colder months. With others targeting the same regions, accurately going the extra few yards can spell success!



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Like anything, you will only be as good as your foundations. Casting is no exception and a good solid platform will help you generate power and precisely channel it through your body, into your blank, and ultimately give you more power.

Mike Dagnall refers to his stance as his punching stance.

Lift your toes in the air and that will make you lean back naturally. Don't overstretch because this might throw you off balance and result in an inaccurate cast. Ensure the gap between your legs is comfortable for you. This will differ depending on your height and body shape.

Once comfortable and with your front-foot toes in the air, step into your front foot firmly and smoothly. As it lands and your back foot lifts, that is the critical point in when you want to cast.

Karl Pitchers prefers to begin with both feet firmly together. This helps him to line up his body and where he wants the lead to go. He will then step into the cast, transferring his weight as he does so.



Tip 02

This is key because you are transferring this weight and power into your rod blank. The weight transfer must come from back to the front foot and must be a smooth transition. Many anglers will drop their shoulders during this transition but this will instantly reduce your range.



Tip 03 b

Firstly, ensure you have a tight grip on the rod. See how Mike grips his with just his little finger behind the reel seat. This is as secure a hold as you will find.

Your arms can be either straight or slightly bent but the reel arm, which is the vital pivot point, must be straight and not collapse or falter throughout this transition. The pivot point must remain firm throughout the cast with all the effort to pull the hand on the rod butt into your body. The harder and faster the movement from your hand to your body, the further the lead will travel.

Tip 03

The butt arm moves, the pivot reel arm does not!



Tip 04

Itmay seem simple, but look where you are aiming. Ideally,you want the rod to stop at a 45-degree angle once cast.

Mike looks at his thumb on the rod because this is generally the right angle for the perfect trajectory, which will launch the lead on the cast under a tight arc.

Keep looking and the angle, until the lead hits the water.



Tip 05

Have the confidence to hit your rod; under normal casting practices, a rod should not falter or break. If it does, simply send it back and got it sorted. With the amount of money, testing and technology that goes into rod manufacture, you should not be able to break one merely by casting!

When positioned, gather yourself and pull the butt arm into your body hard and fast; keep the angles and your position until the finish to gain maximum results.



TIP 06

Yes, it has been done to death, but a fingerstall is vital for continuous use and distance casting. This simple device will give you the confidence to whack that rod without the fear of damaging your finger.

A fingerstall should ALWAYS be worn when using braided mainline or braided leaders.

Karl fishes with monofilament mainline even for spodding and he feels that when you are continuously baiting up or taking your time to get that cast right, a fingerstall will eliminate bruising or cuts, which can hinder performance, and also allows you to hone the feeling through the stall, which will buffer the sensation for your finger.



TIP 07

Like everything, practice makes perfect! Learn to relax and go through the motions. If you are tense and almost mechanical you will hinder the explosive power needed to harness that punch for the extra distance.

Don't ever set yourself up to cast immediately at 160 yards. Take the tips written above and get them right, rehearsing the motion at fishing 80 yards. Once you can continuously hit the clip accurately, increase the range in small steps.

Being fluent in your


The 2018 Product Release from Bait-Tech

The 2018 Product Release from Bait-Tech is here! It is a list of baits that perfectly fits into the Suffolk-based, family-run manufacturer's extensive portfolio. With one of the largest bait ranges on the market, there is something for every coarse angler to smile about. 

Adding to the exceptionally popular The Juice Range is a fabulous sweet fishmeal groundbait and Pellet wafters. Expanding on the famous and continually successful Special G Range they have added Special G Glug and Soft Hook Pellets to match the 3 groundbaits. 

A new Big Carp Method Mix with ingredients processed with ADF technology. This process maintains the high nutritional quality of the ingredients and makes them highly digestible. This is more efficient and effective than standard fishmeals and Bait-Tech's ADF fishmeals are from human grade quality fish.

Pro Natural Range has another addition: Fine Lake Dark. There is a perfectly formulated range of Stick Mix Liquids, the Bloodworm pellets are exceptional and there is a perfect addition to their infamous particles: Hemp & Sweetcorn.

With another stylish bucket on the list too - it's going to be a another great year for Bait-Tech.

Here is a taster of some of the new products:


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Big Carp Method Mix ADF Fishmeal
Contains real pungent fishmeals and fish that have been uniquely processed using ADF technology for instant chemo-sensory attraction.

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Special G Glug
For increased attraction and maximum reaction – this is Special G in a glug! You can use it for anything

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Stick Mix Liquids
Increase the attraction of any bait with this range of Stick Mix Liquids. Versatile and with the right amount of Stick!


In total there are 15 different bait items and 2 accessories for the 2018 product list which makes this year's release strong and focused. For the complete 2018 product list and more product information please click here.

"We're very happy with the products we are releasing into the market this year" says Managing Director Hayley Goldsmith, "the development work has been an exciting one as we've been working with ADF ingredients - a new way to process ingredients to retain their nutritional value for instant attraction."

Ian Hirst, Sales & Brand Manager comments "For 2018, we focussed on what was missing from the range and we have certainly filled the gap with some brilliant products".

Andy Neal "being involved with product development is a lot harder than you can imagine as there is so much testing and tweaking to be done. The 3 new groundbaits this year are complete winners and I've been testing the Special G Glug for months now and always have a bottle with me. I can't wait for people to start enjoying these products as much as I have been."

Tony Curd comments "For 2018, the brief was simple - fill the gaps and give anglers the baits they need to catch more fish and win more matches. I believe we have done just that - after a lot of testing I'm really excited to see the results these product will help to achieve!"

On Damsel, Paul Thistleton banked a 15lb carp. Drew Ogden landed a 20lb mirror on Cell, Andrew Ogden 2 to 13-08 on Pacific Tuna and Roy Ogden a 15lb on Cell. Trevor Ogden landed 4 bream and Nicky Rodgers banked 2 at 16lb and 18lb. Richard Saunders bagged a 23-15 PB common and a 17-14 from the margin.

On Becks, Ron Walden bagged 4 mirrors to 21lb, a common and 5 bream. Fishing The Beach Tom Chamberlain and Max Robinson bot broke their PB, a 20lb for Tom along with a 13lb and a 16lb and a 21-08 for Max. Richard banked 2 carp to 15lb and 4 good sized bream. Mike Butler had 2 commons to 18-04 and a 6-08 tench, Reece also had a tench and a 12lb common.

On Blunham Matt Dudley-Cave caught one of the ghosties and Vickie Dudley Cave caught 2 mirrors to 11-05 and a 10-13 common.

On Carp Lake, Charlie banked a 16lb, Paul, Lewis and David a 13lb each and Jayden a 13lb a 15lb and a 21lb. Steven caught a 12-11 common and a 5-11 tench. Dan Ackerman had a 14lb and Ed Clarke 2 mirrors to 18lb on solid bags, Connor Lydon picked up a 17-08 from the margin and Andrew Dawkes banked a 17lb common. Rob Lamont caught a 15lb common and a 5lb tench. Sam Lancaster had 2 commons at 19-02 and 20-07 and Paul Andrews had a brace of twenties to 21-05. Steven Freear bagged 8 fish including 3 twenties. Bas Moulding a 20-08 common.

On Booneys, Terry O'Dell caught a 17-08 common on Nutcracker. Lee Morgan caught 2 7lb tench and a 17-08 common and a 18-04 common, all on fake corn.

Lewis Webb Booneys Sep 241 tc

On Winters, Jordan Pashley banked 6 to 26-05, TwoTone, and another common at 23-12. Sean Pashley banked 65 to 21lb and Justin had 4 to 26-12. Matthew Wallace bagged 6 to 19-08 and Brad Hollidge a 15lb

The Match Canal hosted the 4th match in the Autumn Open Series and in 1st place was Paul Kyle on peg 7 with 97-04, 2nd was Ceri Bolitho on peg 12 with 73-13 and 3rd was Del Waite on peg 9 with 52-02. 


Fancy fishing Manor Farm? Click Here

Fewer anglers were hitting the bank at Manor Farm this week no doubt allowing things like summer holidays to get in the way of their fishing, those who decided against such frivolity were rewarded with some excellent fishing.

On Damsel Gary Robertson bagged 12 fish between 10lb and 17lb, 10 of them coming from the margin. Darryn Clark caught a 15lb mirror and Sam Burden banked 6 to 15lb including the orange koi. Simon caught a 5lb tench and some bream.

On Carp Lake, Debbie Lefort caught 5 to 16-14 using a PVA mesh bag. Kieran Pailing bagged 7 to 21-02, his PB in a 48-hour stay. David Hill caught a 24-10, a 17-04, a couple at 8lb as well as a 3lb tench. Harry Holt, aged 10, fishing with his dad caught his PB at 15-03 on a Cell dumbbell and PVA mesh in the margin then went on to smash it again with a 20-05, he also bagged a 16-07. Dan Orchard banked a 22lb mirror and Paul Reed two 13lb commons. Steven Freear back on Carp Lake banked 2 twenties to 21-06

Harry Holt 20 05 Carp Lake Aug 201

On Becks, Jack Rose bagged a 21-08 mirror to a Krill dumb bell topped with a piece of IB fake corn, and another 2 at 11-04 and 14-01. Martin Walker caught a 19lb common.

On Blunham Ray Renford was delighted to bag a 15lb carp

Luke Spencer 32 12 PB Winters Aug 181

On Winters Adam Pearce caught two at 18lb, a 19lb and a 20lb. Dan Jackosn a 17lb and a 18lb. Luke Spencer caught two thirties in one day, both commons at 30-08 and 32-12. a new PB, and finished off the weekend with a mid double mirror. Neil Conway caught a nice mid double scaley to Signature pop up presented in a gap in the heavy weed. Earlier in the week, Jordan Pashley banked 6 to 24-12 and Dan Gray bagged a 29-14 common.

Chris Hayward 29 04 Booneys Aug 201

On Booneys Jamie Fahey fishing the north end caught 3 to 20-02. Andy Morrison banked a 21lb common and Ryan Murphy 2 commons to 16-08. Chris Hayward picked a swim he had not fished before and caught 6 to 29-04.


Want to fish Manor Farm? - http://manorfarmfishing.com/

On Damsel, Paul Herron caught 2 to 15-07 and 2 bream. Roy Driver banked 3 to 21-07, Danny 7 to 23-05 and Damon 5 to 17lb all to Mainline Banoffee. Mike Lucas caught 5 to 18lb, Matthew Lucas 3 to 17lb and  Ben lucas 2 to 15-08. Kevin Burton bagged 5 to 20lb and 3 bream and James Wallace 4 to 22-08.

On Carp Lake, Finlay Shepherd caught 2 to 16lb. Martin Walker an 18-02 and 2 tench to 5lb using small solid bags a single fake corn. Steven Freear had 4 to 16-08. Steve Ginn caught 3 to 21lb Gareth Hancock 4 to 18lb and Ryan Hancock 2 to 16lb. Andy Uhl caught the black and white koi at 16-09. Stephen Chambers caught his PB at 23lb on his first night session on the lake

On Becks, Matthew Cornwall bagged 6 mid doubles and a 20-07 mirror on Pineapple boilies. Jake Balaan 3 mid doubles and a 24lb. Jack Chance 4 to 18lb and lots of bream around 6lb. Terry Benford fishing for bream or tench with a quiver tip and sweetcorn hooked and landed a 18lb common. Lee had a 20lb and some big bream. James McArdle 3 including a 17-08 and a 18-08. Chris Leader a 21-02

On Winters, Kevin Tingey had 5 including a 22-15 and a 24-07. Howard Carter caught a 22-04 common on a chod. Craig Daniels a 24-14 on a bottom bait over particles. Lee Turner banked 19lb common to a yellow pop up on a stiff hinged rig. Louis Andrews bagged four twenties to 27lb. A 21-10 mirror fell to Tom Wright and a 15-05 common to Stuart. Tony Pullen smashed his previous PB of 21lb with a 27-04 common. Tony Virgo bagged a 24-03 and Josh Virgo a 19-03 and Marcin Wozniak a 25lb common.

James Ingram 28 06 Booneys Aug 13 a1

Booneys is back on form after a lean spell. Kenny Langrish had two twenties to 22lb to Cell bottom bait. Darren Mullin 3 twenties to 24lb all commons. Tony James a 19-01 common and a 16-11 mirror. Phil White bagged 5 including a 21lb and a 27-04 using Denham Baits. Gabriel Prodan caught a 24lb mirror and James Ingram bagged a 18lb and a 28-06.

The first match of the Autumn Open Series saw Paul Kyle in first place with 81-12 on peg 9, Alan Laney second with 61-04 on peg 17 and Steve Hill third with 57-12 on peg 11.

With a new postcode and a new challenging venue to boot, Dan Whitford has signed a contract to join Wychwood, ensuring he can focus solely on outwitting the lakes residents.


Having fished for two decades now, Daniel Whitford landed his first 20lb carp at just 13 years old, and from that day his lifelong passion and obsession has just grown stronger. He’s worked various jobs in the trade from tackle shops to his current position at bait manufacturer CC Moore. Having lived in Essex until recently he’s banked some very sought-after carp from The Essex Manor, including George’s and The Peach, both fish well in excess of 45lb. And despite just nine nights on the venue throughout the season he landed a staggering four forties and two thirties from the ultra-tricky venue.

Now based in Dorset with his girlfriend, Dan’s recently got his hands on a 13-acre gravel pit ticket he dearly wanted, and with the backing of Wychwood he can now focus solely on targeting the somewhat elusive residents safe in the knowledge he has all the tackle support he needs. Several trips have yielded fish thus far and we’re excited to help Dan on his journey, as well as document his success and work closely with him on upcoming product development.

Here’s what Dan Whitford had to say, “I’m very excited and a little overwhelmed to be approached by such a large and respected tackle company, not only does this help to remove a large expense from my angling allowing me to concentrate on catching carp, but it also gives me the backing and support to improve and progress my angling. I’m looking forward to learning from the rest of the well-respected Wychwood team, helping out with testing and developing new products and enjoying my fishing surrounded by like-minded people.”

Here’s what Wychwood comms co-ordinator Karl Jenkinson had to say, “I’ve worked with Dan briefly in the past for Advanced Carp Fishing magazine and his passion for carp fishing was clear to see. Here at Wychwood we look for keen anglers to act as brand ambassadors to use, develop and advertise the entire catalogue of product, which has a reputation for being incredibly good value for money. We’re excited to see Dan’s campaign play out, as well as his video blogs which they will be bringing to Wychwood's Youtube and Facebook channels in the near future.”

Pewsey Vale children make a splash at Marlborough with Fishing 4 Schools

Pupils from Pewsey Vale School in Wiltshire have been learning to fly fish at Marlborough College’s fantastic angling facilities on the River Kennet this term, thanks to a collaboration between the two schools and the National Fishing 4 Schools (F4S) project.

Six key stage three pupils – Callum Dawson, Zak Awoodun, George Prout, Kahlan and Raye Colgate and Joe Long – visited the prestigious private school each Tuesday to take part in the six-week course, with professional angler and F4S founder, Charles Jardine, Colin Smith and Sean Dempster from the college and F4S instructors Lee Hooper, Rob Doyle and Julie Wicks.

The short course taught them about the anatomy of the fish; they surveyed the river’s aquatic insect life, using microscopes to inspect what they found and learnt to tie flies and cast.

Pewsey Vale 21

Marlborough College teacher Sean Dempster had the idea after meeting Charles Jardine at a country show. He said: “It can be difficult to gain access to fly fishing and it can be prohibitively expensive for children to take part, but it offers some very valuable skills. This F4S course is an opportunity to get children out in the great outdoors and offers a combination of maths, biology and ecology – all without them knowing they are doing it!”

Pewsey Vale student George Prout said; “The course was lots of fun. I caught one trout which was a big achievement!”

And a spokesman for Pewsey Vale School added: “Thank you to Marlborough College and Fishing 4 Schools for the fantastic opportunity our students were able to experience. We look forward to working with them all again in the future.”

Pewsey Vale 1

F4S is a charitable project administered by The Countryside Alliance Foundation that offers short fishing courses that fit into the school curriculum offering an alternative way of learning for children who struggle in a classroom environment.


On Carp Lake Martin Bochenek landed his PB at 25-08. Lee Piper bagged a common at 29lb, had 3 other 20’s to 22-10 and 6 others between 15-08 and 18-09, all to float fished luncheon meat over halibut pellets. Lee says it was the best days fishing he’s ever had. The Ferguson family had a great day; Steve catching a 17-06 mirror, Lucy a 20lb PB and Meggan, aged 14, a 29-08 PB all on Essentila Cell wafter. Aaron Jones landed 2 to 24-08. Liam Nash 3 to 19-13, Richard Saunders a 15-02 common to a white Manilla pop up. Francis Jervis an 18lb common to a chod rig, Carl Clark enjoyed another successful weekend bagging 12 to 25-06 using Hydrabits on a Ronnie Rig. Tommy Atkins netted 3 to 23-08

Over on Becks Lake Steve Ibbot caught 3 carp to 19-06, 4 bream to 8-08 and a tench. Tony Wilson had a 13lb common and a 6lb tench. Charlie Tokeley 2 commons at 14lb and 16lb. Kain landed one at just under 21lb. Brian Morgan netted 2 to 18-08 and 2 bream around 6lb.

On Booneys Ben Stockwell took a 19lb and a 20-08 common to a pink pop up. Paul Weston an 11-0 and a 16-08. Leigh Amer a chunky 13lb common. Dan Tuck 20-09 mirror, and Graham Simmonds an 18-12 common. Andy Stapleton bagged up with 3 to 28lbs

Earlier in the week on Winters Andy Baker had a good session taking a 28-08 common, a 29-05 common and a 30-08 scaley. Adam Calvert landed a 29-12 common to 2 grains of maize flicked to nearby marginal reeds. Lewis Waldren banked a 2 commons at 32-08 and 29lb to Spicy Crab pop up on a chod PVA mesh bag with 5 Manilla boilies.

Blunham held the 4th Open Match, coming 1st was Dennis Page on peg 1 with 44-08, 2nd was Darren Tait on peg 23 with 18-08, 3rd Paul Boltryk on peg 15 with 17-08, 4th Dave Carter on peg 11 with 16-08.

Did you know that just about anybody can learn to fish? Fishing really is a four-season leisure pastime, and one of its joys is that in each season there are different and exciting fish to catch.

Fishing transports you to the heart of nature and the many, intriguing plants and animals that live there. By attending an organised event this summer during the National Fishing Month Silver Jubilee, you could experience the joys of fishing yourself.

Angling takes you into the fresh, unpolluted air, promoting healthy lung function and a sense of well-being. Recent research clearly shows that getting out on the bank can be good for you and the family. These health benefits also extend to the mind, and angling is well-known for its therapeutic, mental effects.   It really is a perfect hobby to get you away from the daily stresses faced by both time-poor adults and children growing up in the twenty first century.

Dean 2017 TC news

Dean Macey, Olympian and Big Fish Off presenter has no doubt about why he is an enthusiastic angler: “I have been fishing for as long as I can remember and wherever I go in the world, I will always bump into someone who also loves fishing. It’s such a great hobby - you get to spend time outdoors, appreciate Mother Nature, meet some great people and, if you’re lucky, witness some marvellous creatures at close hand.”

Dean continued: “When I was a kid, I found it hard to get my head around school work or any kind of discipline. If it wasn’t for fishing and athletics I dread to think where I would be right now. Between them, they gave me something to focus on and kept me off the streets.

“Throughout my athletics career, fishing helped me unwind mentally and I’m sure without it, I would have burnt myself out. Whether it’s a day on a river, sleeping under the stars on a stillwater for a few days or jumping on a plane to fuel my passion abroad, I don’t mind, I love it all.  That’s why I support National Fishing Month and urge everyone to get involved and take part. Everyone I have ever taken fishing has fallen in love with the sport. Give it a go - you owe it to yourself!”

It doesn’t matter what age you start. Children can take part on equal terms with their grandparents. You can fish alone, with friends or in an organised group for an hour or two or for a whole day – you have the freedom to choose.

Enjoy yourself this summer, get outdoors and get healthy - take part in a National Fishing Month registered event and follow thousands of young people, parents, grandparents and friends who enjoy quality family time together at the waterside over the holiday period. Book your place now at www.nationalfishingmonth.com.

For 25 years now, National Fishing Month has helped introduce nearly 300,000 people into the incredible sport of angling. It’s a hugely satisfying way to strengthen relationships and get active together, and it often leads to lasting participation in and a passion for angling.


National Fishing Month 2017 runs between 21st July and 3rd September.

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