An Afternoon on the Float.
Given my recent difficulties in locating and catching Barbel I have decided to target other species until conditions are more conducive to catching. Having visited the dentist this morning and having an extraction at 940am I wasn't feeling up to much. But you can't put a good man down!
The fire still burns deep even with my mouth in absolute bits and the temps not predicted to go above 2c all day ( which for once they did get right ). I quickly shot home, grabbed a pint of maggots and the gear then headed out for an afternoons trotting.
The tackle I was using consisted of a Greys Prodigy specialist float 12ft 2-piece, Greys Bewick 4¾ inch centrepin loaded with 3lb Maxima Chameleon and a beautifully made drake quill trotting float rated at 6BB.
Swim selection on a cold day with cold water is always key and I thought I had hit the nail on the head from the beginning as my second trot resulted in a mint 7oz 3dr Dace. The next half hour was a complete waste of time. Was there just one Dace in that entire 40 yard trot? I am inclined to think not and that shoal just switched off immediately, even though I had fed the swim for 15 minutes before trotting it. I did however have another idea and that was that shoal pretty much ended where I had that Dace, so I packed the keepnet and everything up and moved another 25 yards upstream and began my feeding regime as before.
Bites again were instant, only difference this time is that they came almost every trot and plenty of quality Gudgeon came to the net, along with Chublet, Dace and a solitary Perch (which was a surprise - highest I've had one on this river). Once the bites dried up I weighed up my bag which totalled 4lb 6oz of hard worked fish, the Gudgeon came to around a pound with the best not far off 2ozs which is a very good fish.
|1oz 12dr. My best for some time.|
|An hour or so in the right spot, 4lb 6oz.|
|Awesome! Got to love a Gonk.|
Then I continued on upstream to try and find some bigger Gudgeon and maybe a Roach or two as they had been conspicuous in their absence, I normally pick up a few among Gudgeon shoals. Next up was a couple of fantastic looking trots on nice gentle bends where I have done well in the past. Bites once again weren't forthcoming, fifteen minutes spent trying I upped and moved, as I looked downstream to where my trots were roughly finishing I could see two lovely carp, both sifting through the sandy/gravel bottom and really looked like having a bait, so off came the maggots and pinch of Warburton's went on and no sooner did the bait get to the bottom the smaller of the two carp it took it. The bread vanished and with the float dipping simultaneously I struck and the rod slammed over as the carp charged off past me at a rate of knots, I simply couldn't touch the pin and allowed the pin to do its job, but bad luck crept into my game as I suffered yet another hook pull to a river carp, my third in five attempts this season.
For me, the gear was standing up to the task, albeit fairly outgunned given the fact the carp was around the 14-15lb mark ( not that its stopped me succeeding in the past ). Had my luck not evaded me on this occasion I felt quite confident that I would have eventually won that battle. But as said above, you can't put a good man down and I hoped that another chance would materialise which thankfully, it did and what a beauty it was too! In very similar fashion to the first attempt, the only difference was I would win this battle got the chance to marvel at what a stunning little creature it was, estimated at roughly 6lb I took a couple of snaps then let it head back into its watery world. Sometimes numbers matter not.