With my mornings attempt at catching a Barbel turning out to be a blank I decided to head off out for dusk and just sit behind a rod in the company of Stuart, who had been victorious on his 3 day trip to the Middle River Severn catching two Barbel average sized on his first trip up there, my tactic was a simple rig that comprised of a 18mm Dynamite Baits Halibut Pellet on a hair and a short 7'' hook-length and held in place with a ounce and a half lead, I cast out and the wait began.
This stretch of river that I have chosen to tackle is notoriously tough and only holds a small head of fish and waiting 10-12 hours for a bite is very common and bearing in mind that a portion of the fish haven't finished spawning made it more testing, but Stu and I nagged away through the evening, it got about an hour and half through the session when I looked up at the quiver tip to see it starting to move about a little and then all of a sudden lurch down river, a typical 3 foot twitch of a take, straight away I knew it was a good fish as it stayed very close to the bottom and slowly dictated the fight to me as I couldn't turn it or anything and then disaster struck as it headed under a tree on the far bank I knew I was heading for trouble but there was nothing I could do and the inevitable happened when all of a sudden the weight vanished and massive clump of weed came skating across the surface of the river, damn it, I really dislike losing fish and that felt like a big fish too, it was too methodical to be a smaller fish, it knew exactly what it was doing.
After 5 minutes of cursing myself for not trying harder to stop it from doing it and Stu going through the reasons as to why I lost, the bait was prepared and out it went back out in the same spot and the wait commenced again, if there was one positive to that disappointment is that it didn't cause a commotion and came off upstream of the swim I hooked it in, hopefully if there was anymore in the swim they would be contrite to still feed, I wonder how big it was and what was it that I lost it on, the line grated and loads of crap on the line hook and lead.
By now the time was heading close to 2330 and I was thinking about calling it an night when Stu said he was going to have one last drink then he'd be ready to leave and no sooner I said I was thinking about packing up my quiver tip bounced and then the centre-pin started to have line torn off of it as a Barbel headed down river with my bait, after a good scrap for around five minutes I reached for the net a slid a long, lean Barbel in, a sigh of relief was breathed.
A long skinny and spawned out Barbel of 6lb 15ozs, a very welcome fish considering the facts that I touched on earlier on, after a couple of pictures taken by Stuart I slipped her back and off she went none the wiser, back to the Roach I think over the next week or two and also maybe a trip to the Royalty come this week, weather permitting.