Our unseasonably warm winter has many down sides to it, the flowering of buds in mid-December and the appearance of certain animals that should be in hibernation as well as many other things, though it's not necessarily a good thing the warm weather has provided me with sport I seldom enjoy after October. Knowing that with the milder weather staying around for a short while the Barbel would be feeding fairly well, my hunch was right on my last outing on the float for the Barbel and I hoped for similar results.
When tackling Barbel on the float it's easy to think that you'd have to set up the gear to withstand the sturdy fight's that you can be met with, in my opinion that couldn't be further from the truth, of course the watercourse that the angler is tackling may mean that the stepping up of gear is absolutely necessary due to snags and other obstacles, if however as is in my case then only the occasional snag may cause issue you can fish light, just as if you were trotting for Roach or Chub. One thing that is true for all Barbel is that they will seek clear runs and swift glides to fight where Chub will seek the nearest bush, tree or unseen snag to ditch the hook, so when targeting Barbel it simply is being able to overcome the power that they possess when in full battle mode.
I love to use a Grey's 12ft Specialist float rod and armed with either a spool of 4.4lb line or recently I have been using 3.6lb Drennan double strength line and it being ultra-low diameter is effective in being undetectable, just perfect for weary clear river Barbel.
|My typical trotting setup which has been deadly of late.|
On Monday morning I had a couple of hours in the morning to use and at first it was with Roach in mind, unfortunately where I wanted to go wasn't an option so I had to rethink my options and with the memory of that red letter day last week fresh in my mind I couldn't look no further than putting a loaf of Kingsmill to the sword. It didn't take long either! It's been a while since I had found Barbel feeding so amorously and these were not holding back, weary they were not. The pin sang within my first three trots and a perfectly proportioned Barbel of 6.07 was in the net, not a bad start at all and the next three hours was equally good fun as I took another four Barbel with the largest going 7lb 7oz.
|A perfectly conditioned winter Barbel. 7.07.|
As I moved about I popped into a tight swim where only a short trot was available, I had watched a shoal of large Chub drift into a slack off the main flow, the largest was probably six-pounds with the majority in the five-pound range, any one of them would have been nice I thought and it took well over an hour to finally tempt one, huge pieces of bread went ignored for trot after trot. A slight change to a tiny piece of flake on a size 16 did the trick first cast!
|Another good Chub, not the largest at 5lb 3oz but certainly happy with that!|
My GoPro got a good outing yesterday too as I got some lovely footage which I am going to edit soon but I have some snaps already prepared and I have been impressed at the quality, I have my missus to thank for that!