Sunday, 16 October 2016

Dawn on the River for Barbel.


 It's been a while since I last fished for Barbel during the early hours of the morning, years gone by it was something I did very often with high levels of success, since my work patterns changed and on the road by 645-7am those session's are but a memory. Today however I had no concrete plans and after hitting my snooze button numerous times I finally crawled out of my pit around 5:30am. A welcome lye-in :).  Lye in's are a rare feature in my life!.

I love being up before sunrise, absolute magic.

So tranquil, non-anglers will just never know.

 As I left the house I thought "Barbel should be a good shout", so Barbel it was, I had a few areas in mind all within a mile and half of each other which would make locating hopefully easier as I'd spend more time searching each swim more thoroughly, one unfortunate problem with that is where the river hasn't dropped in temperature much and the rains haven't affected the river much has meant that the weed growth is still present in vast runs, areas in which the Barbel can hide very efficiently, even though I know roughly where they're it still presents a hurdle.

 So having decided on all those factors all I had to work out was which bait shall I trot, I thought meat but to mix it up a little, bread was to be the order of the day, it's extremely underrated bait for Barbel and I proved that within three trots, the first two with no response, the third was met by a violent lurch of the rod tip as my float vanished below the surface, I had no need to strike as it was clear contact was made, the battle I was locked into was very strong and with 7ft of water to bear down on it made life fairly tough with my 12ft float rod creaking like a dead tree in the wind, fairly tough it may have been but equally enjoyable as those are the battles that I seek to encounter when I close the front door behind me whenever I go fishing.

The suspense is almost tangible at times.
 The frame was decent, a good heavy fish and after a good six, seven minutes she finally started to tire but the fight was by no means over, twice as I thought the battle maybe over she made a dive back for the river bed, so much was the power of the fight I had hesitations for once with my tackle selection, just this once had I really gone too light? After a tense couple more minutes my net was slipped out in haste and my prize was safe. What was surely a double figure specimen I wanted to get it weighed, photographed and returned as soon as possible. For what I thought was a certain double turned out to be 9.15, to say the least I was quite surprised as it felt pretty heavy but the scales don't lie, great start to the morning though.

An honest man's double.
 With the pressure off early doors to catch I went about my business, peering into every nook and cranny to winkle out another Barbel, the river was painfully low and clear but that benefited my tactic, any decent runs were likely to hold fish and I'd be able to run a bait straight to them. It took a while though to tempt another fish, a short run which tailed off into 6 inches of water held a nice Barbel which looked around 6½-7 pounds, once I spotted that fish I positioned myself at the very top of the run and trotted down, first trot and the float slipped straight away and a feisty Chub beat the Barbel to it, not big either at maybe 2lb. The appetite of the Chevin can not be put down, simply insatiable sometimes. But I didn't wait long for another Barbel, the very next trot through after the Chub I was away again, a solid fight of finished off with a strong dive for the bottom in typical fashion. 6½ was the outcome and very welcome too.

 By this point, 2 hours in, proceedings were looking good and after a couple of swims which didn't live up to expectation I found a good shoal of Barbel but they were in such a spot that it was impossible to land anything even if I could reach them, the nearest spot was on a blind bend upstream which was of no hope. I had to continue on up but as much as I tried to get another on the bank all I could manage was another Chub around the 4lb mark. It wasn't a bad trip but had to curtail it after learning some potentially very bad news so that was that. 

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