Monday, 4 January 2021

2021, Master Blanker.

 Since kicking off my Barbel fishing in mid October last year I had as most of you know a good start to the campaign, as November drew closer my rod has remained practically motionless, all manner of conditions have been fished, some I would really feel confident in. Alas I have only mustered a couple of bites in some 15 sessions in that time leading up to yesterday where I got back on to the Colne having been close for a prior commitment.

 With the mummers of another full nationwide lockdown I can count myself fairly lucky that as a mobile engineer within the M25 I have to be on the road regardless of what restrictions are in place, these callouts and jobs will often bring me close to waterways and with a selection of gear always in the van the opportunistic couple of hours can often be taken advantage of.

 Given the fact temperatures down here have struggled to push the mercury beyond a couple of degrees the river temps have also in turn been very sluggish and knowing Barbel in cold conditions their feeding spells are very short and I suspect will often go days without feeding as their bodies acclimatise to the cooler water before searching for food once again. Guessing it was going to be tough I thought what the hell, I'm here lets get on with it.

One rod either side of the river, targeting the margins.

 As usual I adopted a light roving approach and moved between swims on a 250m section (not to spread myself too thinly). One rod was fished with G.Nimrod 15mm hookbait shaved down to around 10mm and a small rounded off piece of Prince's luncheon meat (these are getting harder to find as time goes by).

 Any spots that looked worth while targeting I did, but as the swims changed and the hours ticked by I found myself looking at a very distinctive outcome, one I am hoping to change sooner rather than later. I know it's not really a good time to be on the Barbel but they have to feed at some point, I just hope to be there, in the right place at the right time as I am sure the areas I am targeting will provide me with what I am searching for.

 21 trips so far since mid-October and 19 blanks across 7 rivers, all of which I have never fished for Barbel and I am learning most of this in the dark with most of my visits being for just a few hours after work.


  1. Got to be in it to win it! keep trying.

    1. Thats the thought, learning rivers in the dark at winter isn't ideal, as spring and summer come along I'll certainly get a much better in depth look into the waters I've been targeting.

  2. I admire your determination. Sometimes a string of blanks develops a mindset of acceptance that is more than compensated for when the rod goes around, at least I used to think that. Now it's 'give me a warm fire and dry feet any day'.
    Your summer will be exciting though. I wish you the best of luck.
    The summer will

    1. I am pinning a lot of hopes on a successful summer/autumn campaign on this coming season. I have started to accrue a few books now and will concentrate on them this coming season, not spreading myself too thinly.

      I must admit the lure of a nice warm house has trumped my desire to escape into the bleak mid-winter nights, not that we can fish into the night at the moment from what I can gather.

  3. I thought I was good at blanking but it seems I'm just a novice.
    Keep up the good work James. That sure is a sobering list!

    1. Think I've recently earned my first stripe! let's hope I don't get a promotion anytime soon and my efforts will start to be translated into fish on the bank, but I can only hope.


A Change of Scenery.

   Finally we have a summer that everyone can be happy with! That said, the Barbel don't appear to be enjoying it much, in truth I haven...