Kentish Stour, Where are the Barbel?.
With this river being possibly the closest distance wise to my house that I haven't already done, I set about trying to check the Kentish Stour off the list and get my tenth river double under my belt and achieve my pre-season target, truth be told it was a target that I thought was ambitious, nevertheless I am nearly there and could potentially surpass it with a bit of luck and time.
Last night I decided to beat the rain and give it a few hours through dark. One area I choose to fish a static "Big Squid dumbbell with matching pellets as rolling was impossible owing to dense weed growth, so I setup a standard 12" hooklength and 1.5oz grippa lead into a gravel channel and fed with 4&6mm pellets in a PVA bag, this is a tactic that does work pretty well, however these Barbel don't seem to feed at all!
3 hours without more than a twitch I decided to hot foot it across Kent to another section that I hoped would bare fruit, what with the Great Stour as its also known as being 51.5 miles long there is a lot of water to go at! Luckily a mate of mine is pretty local and has some very good knowledge of the river which he has imparted on me, with that I made my way to another section he'd suggested a few months back, so it was time to give that a go.
Thankfully the weed in this short run wasn't as bad so I opted for a rolling approach, some may even think surely rolling meat at night is difficult, I grant you rolling meat at night is sometimes easier as your focus is solely on touch rather than sharing that sense with sight, I find my bite identification is much better at night and feel just as comfortable exploring with this technique day or night. Queue the savage Chub bite, normally pretty obvious with a Chub as you feel a few plucks before they commit and yes it didn't turn out to be a Barbel but I couldn't be disappointed with yet another six pound plus Chub and my first from the KS, she was a big old unit, just looking a little worse for wear.
|6lb 1oz on the scales, none too shabby.|
For me my task got a little harder and with any potential Barbel now on high alert I didn't think much else would happen and only one other bite materialised before the forecasted rain decided to come down in stair rods! That for me was to call a halt on proceedings and keep my gear as dry as possible. Not a terrible return and that is my best Chub off the Kentish Stour too. This was my 4th visit and not managed my target yet. Where are the Barbel??.