Showing posts from December, 2021

River Lea Double, That's a Wrap!!

   Well what can I say! It's been a tough few months on the Barbel front, eleven trips since my R.Ivel double back in late September has resulted in just the odd Chub and yesterday evening I thought it was going to be a case of deja vu as I slipped a solid looking 4lb 15oz Chevin into the net. With the Lea in flood, pumping through, looking like milky tea and along with the water temp up at 9.1c upon arrival it just had to produce a Barbel, end of December and unseasonably mild it was 'thee' perfect condition to fish for winter Bertie.  Moving around the river, I gave each peg forty minutes or so to get a bite, typically in these conditions I would expect to drop on fish getting out of the turbulent waters, where food would also collect in the eddy's making life a little easier for the fish. My tactic was to feeder fish worm with crushed hemp and micro pellet in the 5oz feeder to hold bottom, plenty of loose debris was coming down in the main flow so I opted to fish the

My Arch Nemesis.

   A river that is fast becoming a thorn in my side is the Kentish Stour, with eight trips now on the scorecard across 12 months and only four Barbel seen across all those visits ( all in one visit ) I am wondering whether this is going to be one of those rivers that will play very hard to get, much harder than it currently is.   With very little by way of action the question in my head is am I doing it all wrong? Chub do occasionally do come to the net and this was no different as I managed two on rolled meat through the extensive beds of weed that still exist. The first was after three hours of fishing, a very tentative tap on my finger and nothing more, I hit it and the rod whipped round! Fairly quickly it was obviously not a Barbel as I caught a glimpse of the silvery flanks, the second was one of a series of savage wraps on the tip and finger as I worked a superb looking pool, neither were monsters but with the Barbel nowhere to be seen its better to catch something rather than no

Chub Successes.

   Given all my effort on the Barbel front as I pursue my "Forty Rivers Challenge" I have also come across quite a few Chub on my travels up and down the country with a handful being what I consider to be of specimen proportions. Taken on a number of techniques I'd say the catch rate is pretty similar to my Barbel returns and quite often when I have had Chub or where I have had Chub I have also caught Barbel.  Given the amount of time I have spent out on the banks, the last couple of months have been very difficult and apart from the odd Grayling and Pike trips I have caught nothing, blanks are certainly order of the day!  The warmer months were certainly a lot kinder to me, now the trips to the rivers just seem to have become a blankfest.  Here are few photos from this season so far of Barbel bait robbing culprits, and also the odd targeted specimen. I suspect as the winter gives way to early spring before the season finishes that I will come across more, I just need to

No Pleasure Without Pain.

   I write todays blog nursing a sore head as a very good friend of mine proposed to his other half and went out to celebrate and it was someones brilliant idea to order a large bottle of Tequila to the table along with copious other tipples, problem was I was one of only three of the party that likes Tequila, good for me! Or maybe not......I'm a touch on the lite side today and will abstain from any other alcoholic beverages until next week I feel, at 34 it is beginning to catch up with me, I never used to get pumping headaches like this.  Kids, if any read this, consume alcohol in moderation, be sensible!  Anyway, let's talk fishing. Yesterday was my first proper trip out in search of Pike. The previous Saturday I spent the morning out with my brother Rich and Brian for a recce on a local lake but only two small jack' were caught before the sun heralded the end of the feeding spell that we clearly just hit as we arrived.  I arrived on the river having bullied my way throu

No Beginners Luck on the R.Severn.

   For about three weeks I planned my first trip to the Severn, a river after all these years I am very surprised I hadn't visited yet, I had to change that. What with the rivers impressive stocks of Barbel seemingly coming out in their hoards given a poor first few months of the season and the conditions ideal for an Autumn trip to hopefully break my Severn cherry it was a trip I had to make.  With a watchful eye on the forecast the temps were decreasing all the time and catches were slowing up as the weekend approached, it certainly wasn't looking good but me being me and very stubborn I decided to stick with the plan which was to drive up to Highley around 3am to arrive in Shropshire before sunrise.   I was met with some beautiful scenery along with a pretty low and an almost clear river, it was not what I wanted to see, turning back now was not an option, in the unlikeliest of conditions Barbel do come out and big ones at that. I chose to fish the Sidings Fishery as they al