For me it has been a fantastic season and probably one of my best to date with the capture of some specimen fish of a variety of species, the season starting on the Barbel front and after a slow start I started to get amongst them taking fish to 8lb +, I did have an early start on the Roach this season to try and locate the shoals I so desire with one Roach of 1lb + banked but they played tough early doors plus a couple of 5lb Chub also landed which was a bonus, because they must have been at bottom weight due to spawning.
July was spent chasing more Barbel around as we had a mixture of weather of rain and nice warm sun, again Barbel over 9lb were landed, August: After a nice break to Greece I got back to the fishing and started bagging up on the magnificent Roach that I craved so much, with 2 sessions within a fortnight bringing no less than three 2lb + Roach and a back up bag that would make the most ardent of Roach anglers bubble with joy, it certainly made me a very happy man, plus even more Barbel.
September I spent the first two weeks with plenty of sleepless nights with the impending trip to the Hampshire Avon Royalty Fishery for the first time and when it came around the trip was much more than I ever could have hoped for and in the great company of a few friends as well made the trip so much better, the week for me was dominated by the events of the first night that I fished, when I sat in the top of the Pipes swim after a long day of roving with the centre pin I got the best prize ever in the shape of a 14lb 6oz Barbel, the biggest Barbel I had ever seen physically, by far the best experience I've ever had in my piscatorial career, I had to battle the beast for 17 minutes before I'd even seen it, for me that put into perspective the sheer magnitude of the capture.
Also in September I did have another decent Roach at 1lb 14oz and a nice Thames Perch a shade under 2lb, October I did manage some good fish but nothing monstrous with Barbel to 10lb 8oz and a few other species of fish but the specimen's weren't playing much and November was much the same with again another double figure Barbel, plus a few Brown Trout around a couple of pounds, December a few more quality fish did show with a good bag of Roach being caught all just under the 2lb bracket to a 1lb and a half with an 11lb 1oz Barbel caught on my favourite tactic, rolling.
The new year brought some good fortune as the temperature took a dive, I got amongst the redfins and recorded a capture of the best bag of Roach I've ever had and to many of which may never catch, it is what makes it so special to me as the captor, three 2lb + Roach in one sitting plus a few pound Roach may be something I'll never do again, the sight of 3 large redfins in my hands is arguably in the top three of my all time angling memories, but I did also catch my share of Barbel from a couple of different rivers, a Wey 9lb+ and a Thames 11lb+ in which were both pretty good going considering the conditions I had to contend with, the start of the year also bought my youngest brother Chris a new pb Barbel of 9.10 whilst trotting breadflake.
Feburary was dominated by my quest to catch a 5lb Chub and I made a couple of trips to Buckinghamshire to the Wolverton stretch of the Great Ouse but even for all of it's big Chub credentials I only managed one Roach, plus I even tried closer to home and still no joy but that's fishing, so March soon came about and the season was only two weeks from closing so my efforts were stepped up and it paid off with two Chub, 5.4 and 5.7 coming to the net within an hour of each other, I guess it doesn't matter how hard you try, they will only feed when they are ready, everything else is either futile or practice, but the very next session I continued my quest for Chub but I was greeted by the large frame of a 12lb 6oz Barbel and a collection of smaller fish, the 12lb Barbel was something of a surprise and it was a true lump ( looking alot larger than it weighed ).
Overall a truly great season with some fantastic fish..... the weather though was atrocious, let's hope for something better this up and coming season weather wise eh! oh and the fish let's hope for another great season. Tight Lines....