This afternoon at work I sat in the pre rush hour traffic pondering on what to do this evening, twenty minutes later I had moved around 100yrds but my decision was no closer to being made. After plenty of debating though I decided to go out in search of Barbel, I haven't been out for them for ages and fancied it with all the rivers up and chugging through. I'm a little out of touch with the rivers lately, as my previous four sessions for the Barbus have registered in two fish and two blanks, not easy going but fishing at night on a different river my chances would be slim but not non-existent.
Night fishing is something I rarely do but after tonight's session it's clear I should do it more often. My set-up was partner's granddad's split cane rod and the ever faithful Okuma "Sheffield", with a 8'' braided hooklink, the bait? Now that's a secret, I'd have to kill you if I divulged that information. With the river hammering through I simply couldn't cast out far as it would simply be swept away. I did use a healthy slab of "The Source" paste to hopefully add to the smell bait and draw something in for a snack, surely the Barbel were feeding?.
I was hoping to answer that question but after 30 minutes or so it wasn't looking likely as my rod lay motionless in the rest, another ten to fifteen minutes passed and then out of nothing the rod slammed over and then the centrepin screamed off as a fish took off, I sent the "stick" into action by bending into a decent fish, in the flow it felt very heavy and then all of a sudden it went very slack, the fish came upstream so quickly that I thought it had come off, once I had caught up to it the fish was hanging deep in the flow which wasn't surprising but holding fast very easily and I found it difficult to heave it off the bottom, minutes later a large frame broke the surface, in the beam of my head torch it was clearly a big fish. So here she is, all 10.15 of her.
|Very happy indeed, what a stunner.|
|That rod did creak but held firm.|
Absolutely pukka and the fight was what you'd expect off of a big Barbel. I thought to myself should I stay or move up river, after deciding on the latter it was a case of just putting a bait out and see if anything came about of it, having bagged myself a good'un I didn't mind going home but having made the effort on getting down I had to stay and make good of the time. Roughly half an hour passed without incident to then find out my bait was caught up on some debris that had come down river in the floodwater, not good but at least it came free. I cast back out off the main flow and awaited any inquiry, five minutes later the rod tip slightly nodded before again slamming towards the surface of the river, I was on it like a Greyhound, the little indication had me hovering over the rod before it went so I was as ready as possible.
|A joy to use old tackle, still work's brilliantly.|
The battle again was fantastic, in the strong flow the fish felt like the bottom was hooked, really strong and at times I struggled to move it. Plenty of muscle was used to get it moving but was abundantly clear it had no plans on getting banked, a few minutes sailed by before I got a glimpse of her, a decent shape was revealed in the light.
The closer she got to the net the bigger it got. A fish I thought looked seven pound at a distance was quickly becoming a double, two doubles in one session! something I've never achieved. Counting Chickens and all that I knew it was another big Barbus, a quick spin on the Avons revealed I had cracked it. 10.04. I was so happy with that and I have caught many thousands of Barbel with a lot of doubles for that matter but never had two in a single trip. Tonight was the night. Hooray!.
|Awesome stuff. What a belter.|