After my trip on Tuesday it got me thinking as to how big do the Gudgeon in the river I've been fishing, the answer is I'm really not too sure but one thing I do know is that they are bloody big and "IF" I was to catch a Gudgeon over the current British Record then I would not be overwhelmingly surprised as the average stamp seem to be upwards of 2oz with a majority that I have managed to catch have been pushing 3oz and one bang on 4oz, these are extremely big and they have been the result of many miles of walking and many hours working out how and where to catch them, all of which now has come together.
I ventured out with my father ( James Snr ) this morning as we interrupted the dawn chorus with our crunching of feet on the frozen ground where we had probably our coldest night yet, -3c was the reading in the garden and that is cold enough!, before we reached our intended Gudgeon spot I decided to get my father his first Barbel of the season, not a species he fishes for much these days but the chance of locking into battle with powerful fish was enough, he needs no lessons on this as he was catching scores of Barbel off the Royalty, Kennet, Teme and various other rivers before I was even a thought of but the technique I use and find so devastatingly effective could not be overlooked and both donned the same approach. After an hour or so of walking we had found Barbel and a few of them but they weren't in a feeding mood so we gave them a swerve after 15-20 minutes of flogging the proverbial.
Our next swim was somewhat of a lottery, can fish it 20 times and not get a sniff yet you know the Barbel are home then all of a sudden one will slip up, today was that day, but not for the oldie....but for me, a precise cast to where it needed to be and two Barbel nosed down hard whilst the smaller of the two sucked my bait out of sight, this was followed by a swift strike and I was in, she fought well in the pacey water and after a few minutes a well fed Barbel was banked. At 8lb 1oz I'd take that any day - even more so considering the overnight temperature, a good quality pristine Barbel, the target was to get one for Snr.
|Pristine 8.1 Barbus.|
With Dad watching over me catching that Barbel I feel it spurred him on to pull out all the stops and when I put him on another spot he didn't disappoint as a long lean Barbel came storming out of it's lair to nail his bait first time, fishing perfection and a good looking fish too. Not a monster at 6lb 15oz but it was a good scrap from what I witnessed, take to laying in the net as a bystander which was nice.
|Dad's prize for persistence.|
By around 1pm we had pretty much reached our Gudgeon spot bar one swim and we both couldn't walk past it and we were right to as my Dad had about 6 rolls through with no joy but on my cast my finger nearly got torn off my hand, boy did this one want it or what!, as this fish battled out in the main river it spooked another fish off which was an easy double which neither us saw until it was too late, guesses were around 11lb or so, as so often this season a good quality Barbel lay in my net whilst we prepared the camera and scales, this was a good fish again and at 8lb 2oz, an ounce bigger than my first I was having a good day, time for the Gudgeon fishing.
|My second 8 of the morning.|
And did the Gudgeon fishing disappoint....not a drop, it was great from the get go with a decent Gudgeon of maybe 3oz, a fantastic way to start and things didn't die off from start to finish, a match was in the offing and a little competition was good fun, but unfortunately I lost both on quantity 14 to 10 and Dad also caught the largest at a smidgen over 4oz!, the second one in less than a week, a 5oz Gudgeon is surely in existence amongst the other large ones.
|My best two Gudgeon both well above average for anywhere.|
|The winning fish, caught by the "ol man" at 4oz 1dr, big girl.|
Well guys, its time to get my self ready for next expedition down to the pristine and bountiful River Test for Grayling and Pike, I'm very excited and lets hope the weather will be kind. Tight Lines.