Barbel fishing for me of late hasn't been particularly easy, my previous three trips have resulted in just a Chub. The Barbel seem to have disappeared from the river but this baron spell has also coincided with the change in bait, since joining the Lone Angler team I have fancied giving their baits a go, so the previous three trips I have been chopping and changing between the Ocean Pride and the Sausage Sizzle dumbells. When starting again with a new bait it takes a little while to get the fish to feed confidently on it even if you know where they are!
On Tuesday evening I finally made it out and after a days work and got to the bank with a snippet of light left so I could get organised. The river was in good order, but tap water clear so I felt a longer hook-length might pay dividends as the fish may pick up the lead (within view) and didn't want them to realise they were being targeted. The first two swims I chose didn't produce anything but after twenty minutes in my third swim the Hamster wheel spun uncontrollably! The rod bounced up off the rod rest and down the bank, I had to react swiftly to grab the rod off the ground whilst the fish tore off downstream. Just before the rod slammed over I said to my mate who I was catching up with that I hadn't had a sniff and was thinking of moving and it's possible the Barbel weren't holding up in this particular swim, I was made to look rather silly with my comment.
Five minutes later I guided a decent frame into the waiting net. It looked good. But not a double, my guess of 9.8 was nearly right, 9lb 4oz the end result and one I was very happy with, Sausage Sizzle's first victim!
|Another "nine", had quite a few this season.|
So I was happy to put some more bait in before leaving and headed upstream to another swim that does produce the odd fish in the winter. A few minutes later I saw a slight touch on my quivertip but didn't think too much of it, ten minutes later again my rod came alive and good solid fish stayed deep and low to the bottom, the fight was much better than the first Barbel so I instinctively thought it was a much bigger fish! It took a little while to get it up off the bottom and in the pitch black I couldn't see the fish until it approached the net. It wasn't as big as we both thought but nice to get another one on the bank and two in two swims. The second victim to the SS weighed 8lb 1oz and we both actually didn't think it would do 7½lb let alone 8lb+. A good evening's fishing and glad I've broken my duck with the new bait.
|Short but really stocky "8".|