I mean it, that’s it now.

At the end of my last post I mentioned that after catching my pb Barbel I would move onto something else for the remainder of the river season.  Hmmm, didn’t quite work out unfortunately.

I did a couple of evenings the following week and despite a lost Chub, which actually felt like a decent one until it snagged me on some unseen, immovable object different to the one where the barbel snagged me, I never had a bite or even had a sniff of a Barbel.  I had decided after those two blanks that it really was it for Barbel for this season.  Time to try for that Zander.

Or at least that was the plan until we had all this rain.  I kept checking the river levels and thinking, where I would have my best chance at getting a zed?  I had options but they didn’t appeal to me so I sat at home and deliberated.  The obvious option would be to target the Barbel.  The rivers screamed it but after the last two blanks it was as if that was a sign to leave it be.  I really fancied a zed but as I sat there staring at the river levels I very nearly convinced myself to just stay at home, stick the telly on and drink tea all night.  In the end though I decided to have another crack at the Barbel even though I wasn’t really in the mood.

I arrived at the river with plenty of daylight left and rather than just plonking myself in the first swim that looked tasty, I had a proper Continue reading

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Barbel Bonanza

With the weather being mild and settled for the past week I decided to skip the Roach fishing this weekend and try and get a winter Barbel while they are at their highest weights.  I’ve made no bones about the fact that I want to break my pb that I caught back in 2010.  Getting over that 14lb barrier has become some sort of mental block that I feel that i’m not going to get over in a hurry.  In fairness though most of my Barbel fishing has been done in Summer and I had a break from it for several years only really getting back into it last season.  I’m not making excuses but, well actually I am making excuses.

Friday night saw me head to what has become a bit of a banker swim for me.  It’s nondescript and most people would walk past it but it’s done some of my bigger fish and I keep telling myself this is where i’ll get my pb.  I arrived on the river in glorious sunshine armed with a few pre-made pva bags.  I didn’t make too many because I didn’t want to go mad and put too much bait in.  Just a few little morsels and some paste wrapped around my bait.  I didn’t cast in straight away, preferring to wait until the sun had got lower and then I made Continue reading

Yep, you’ve guessed it.

I really didn’t fancy it last night.  The weather was due to change around 7pm with a mild southerly turning to a cold northerly and temperatures plummeting bringing rain with it.  I never feel confident with a sudden change of conditions but I was hoping I had a small window of opportunity.  Besides, I wanted to try out my new Drennan umbrella.  I’ve made a few purchases recently.   First impressions on the umbrella are reasonably good.  What I like about it is the fact that you can tilt it without unscrewing the pole and then screwing it back in again.  When i’m on the river the last thing I need is faff and this thing is simple.  It comes with a guy rope and a couple of tent pegs and has the ability to use storm poles with it if needs be.  The pole feels a bit flimsy though (hence the storm pole attachments I guess but more faff) and the fabric is a bit thin.  So not perfect, but better than the two i’ve just had.  I do wish I could find a good sturdy umbrella that can stands the winter elements though.  They just don’t make them like they used to.  It’s all about them being lightweight these days.  Balls to that though, give me something heavy duty any day of the week.

Another recent purchase was the Drennan Mega Carp net pole.  It sounds like i’m an advocate for Drennan but i’m not.  They do some things very well and i’ve always liked their landing net handles.  This thing is sturdy and has a 30cm detachable Continue reading

Legs 11 again – aaaaarggghhhh!!!!!

As previously mentioned I had plans to try a new area of river for my next Barbel trip and that’s exactly what I did last night.  Christ, it was a long walk though.  What made it worse is that every swim I looked at just didn’t seem right so I kept walking, knowing that I was getting further and further from the car and hotter and hotter in the process.  Eventually I found a spot that looked just about right.  The flow was on my near side for a change and with the river narrowing up in this area I didn’t really need to chuck very far.  A couple of underarm flicks and that was it.  The right hand rod was placed in the flow under an overhanging tree and the the left hand rod was placed just past the flow in the slacker water which is my favourite kind of area when targetting big Barbel.

Time was ticking on by the time I made my first cast, in fact it was almost dark.  Expectations were high and a Chub splashed just downstream of the left hand rod which is a sure fire indication that a bite would come in the next half an hour as the fish homed in on the bait.  Sure enough that’s exactly what happened although to be fair it fought more like a Barbel than a Chub.  It’s the first time that I can remember that Continue reading

Keep your eyes on the prize.

My Barbel head is well and truly on.  I can’t see me fishing for anything else now until the beginning of December, possibly later if the weather is mild.

After dealing with the M1 rush hour on Wednesday night I managed to get to the river at a reasonable time after a detour home to pick my stuff up.  The river was still falling which meant I could target an area that i’d got my eye on.  I lost a big fish from that spot last year and I really wanted to give it another go.

Putting one rod to the far bank and another upstream of me mid-river I sat back and waited for dark.  My cheese sarnies tasted particularly good that night for some reason.  I don’t know if it was the high expectations or that i’d got the thickness of the cheese just right but either way it felt good to be alive.  The good thing about this time of year is you have a good length of time fishing in the dark as the nights draw in.  It’s not like in the height of Summer when you’re waiting until after 10pm before it’s fully dark.

It was eerily quiet with the odd little fish splashing about in the edge but nothing of any note.  There wasn’t a breath of wind and I was regretting putting my bib and brace on as it was so warm.

I didn’t have to wait that long until I got a bite on the upstream rod which turned out to be a Chub.  Not a big one so I didn’t weigh it but it looked about four pounds.  I put the rod out again with another pva bag on and sat back and poured a coffee.  With my head back looking at the stars I spotted something I hadn’t seen before.  A bright light moving very quickly across the night sky followed by another light.   It was too high and fast for a plane Continue reading