Back to the river – again!

I wasn’t planning on going back on the river this week.  The plan was to go Carp fishing for a couple of days but after the trip to Blagdon I had a few things I needed to do and I also felt like i’d gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson after battling with those Pike so I decided to chill out at home and then go down to the river for an evening.

Last week I heard a lot of fish boshing downstream from where I was fishing so that is where I headed.  First though I had to clear an area where I could get in and physically fish.  As is usual I got to the river a bit early but I cast in a few bags of fishy goodness to get a bed of bait down and sat back with a brew waiting for darkness.

Bags of fishy goodness.

I was hoping I might get the odd bite from a Chub or two while I was waiting but other than a few small fish splashing on the surface close in everything remained quiet.  I knew it was going to be another case of sitting it out in the dark in the hope of a bite.  The trouble is bites a few and far between with me only catching two fish Barbel in several trips.  The upside is they are generally a lot bigger than other areas where I fish so any fish that does come along has the chance of beating my pb or getting close to it at least.

As darkness fell some better fish started to crash out of the water but they were further downstream still and mid-river, whereas I had got my bait casts to the far side.  Hopefully the fish would move upstream during darkness and I would nab one.  As the evening wore on I started to have nagging doubts about whether I was going to catch.  It’s amazing how negative thoughts creep into your mind and as I sat there I started to think “if there was a fish near my bait it would have taken it by now” and ” what if the fish I heard were Pike hitting bait fish”.  All sorts of things entered my head and my confidence dropped like a stone, which is not something that happens very often.  I started to faff about and play with my phone rather than concentrate on the task in hand.  I had to snap myself out of this negative thought process so I put my phone in my bag on concentrated on the job in hand and tried to think positive thoughts.

It must have worked though because just after 10pm the right hand rod tip gave two sharp jags before the reel screamed off with a fish attached to the end.  It felt a good fish and I was saying to myself “please don’t come off” as it could be that all important pb.  This fish had been a long time coming after all those sessions sat there without a bite and when I saw it in the head torch it didn’t look very big at all despite the dogged fight.  It was only when I got it in the net did I realise that, actually it wasn’t a bad fish but it was nowhere near the size of fish I was after.  In fact when I lifted it out of the water I knew it was another eleven pounder.  What is it with eleven pound fish at the minute?  They seem to be everywhere I go.  I’m not complaining, well I am a little bit, but I would like something a bit different in size just for a bit of variety.  I put her on the scales and she was 11.0 on the nose.  If I really wanted to I could say 11.1 because the needle was flickering towards that way but I always settle on the lower weight if there is an element of doubt.

11.0 – I’m sure these eleven pounders are following me.

Once again though it was a pristine fish but I do wonder where the bigger fish are.  I’m wondering whether to leave the Barbel now and try for them again in Winter if we get some warm, mild weather and a bit of water on the river.  It’s getting close to Perching time and i’ve also got some deadbaits in the freezer that I could do with using for the Zander.  I don’t know why i’m saying that though because it won’t happen.  See you on the river again, same time, same place next week.

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