Today it was a case of finding a shoal of fish to get stuck into before the season ends and try to add to my tally and maybe find a big one to sign off with, so I travelled to my chosen beat armed with my centre pin as usual and my light rod and within 5 minutes I had a take and a nice sized Barbel was on but as soon as I hooked it I had a bad feeling as to how well it was hooked, after the first initial run my fears were confirmed as the hook slipped out of its mouth, thus me ending up with no fish on the bank the first hook slip I've had all season.
So after losing that fish and feeling abit gutted, I packed up and moved on up river, by this time 2 hours had elapsed and still no fish on the bank, during the session I had bumped into a couple of other anglers, Stuart and Brian and neither had any joy themselves, so the day really wasn't going to plan, again.
Perseverance is always key to success and fishing is no different, I had moved from my normal beat and headed even further up river to a stretch that I've never had a Barbel from, but in all fairness I actually moved to this beat to have a go at the shoal of Carp and Chub that are present, but when I arrived at the swim that I saw these fish in, I happened to notice a small Barbel about 4-5lbs just holding bottom ahead of a...... shopping trolley!, so I baited my hook and cast it upstream of the Barbel and trundled it down towards the fish when the bottom moved and my bait vanished yet the Barbel was still sat there unmoved, with my rod wrenching down river it could only had been a Barbel but in the clear water I didn't see it sat there. The fish was very powerful and stayed close to the bottom for about 5 minutes until I managed to get the better of her and then my mouth dropped open at the size of the Barbel when it came to the surface, I thought to myself I need a better pair of glasses if I cant see that lump sat there yet I can see a small one clear as day, the camouflage that the Barbel have is so perfect for this river as you just don't see them even when the river is this low and clear, well anyways I did then land my prize and it was in the shape of this 9lbs 15oz Barbel, just 1 ounce (soooo close to another double).
Beasty, going to be a lovely 10lb + soon.
With that amazing Barbel returned fighting fit it was time for me to head back down river but unfortunately the rest of the session didn't produce anymore fish or bites, so it was time to go home.
Nearly over now.