Wednesday 22 December 2021

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 nothing!

Best of the two just under 5lb.

A pristine winter Chub.

 By the time we packed up the temps had dropped from +6c to -3c between 3pm and 6pm, the banks were crunchy and my fingers and toes felt like blocks of ice, the winter solstice will certainly herald one thing ( lengthening days, but another I'd love it to herald is a bloody Barbel....nearly three months since my last one).

Frozen eyes and crystal sheen to all the gear.

My drying sling frozen into shape of the tree it was hanging over.

One of hundreds of Otter paw prints, I'm not the only one fishing there.

 I think for me thats it on the KS until the new season where I have already hatched a cunning plan to feed up, gain confidence of said Barbel and then ambush them which I am desperately hoping will culminate in capturing my target fish of 10lb or more.

 The only thing I know is that the R.Colne took a hell of a lot longer to crack and after 1x 7lb+, 3x 8lb+ fish I finally got my double over 17 trips spanning one trip in 2019 and the last 12 months, so I know some rivers will not give up there treasures at the drop of a hat, just got to keep going. 

 Brian on the other hand managed a lovely 8lb+ Pike on the first time of asking on a new river and breaks his 2021 duck on the Pike front.....very very nearly a blank year which I think is something he's never managed in his angling career, glad to be of service!!! Pike Blog Top work mate, now get a 30+ off the R.Wye.

Trying a little something different here, via the link is a release shot of a smaller Chub, this is something I may do more often.

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  1. As we sat there in the dark, rod rings icing over and getting frozen to the riverbank - I realised there isn’t many brain cells between us!

    1. I’ve wondered that often over the years mate, god we’ve fished some awful conditions. But you never know when it’s going to happen and we’ll only say we can’t catch them at home, which is very true! That was cold though!

  2. Sounds like my local rivers !

    I’ll look forward to the challenge updates in the new year, tight lines for 2022.

    1. Yes they aren't giving up much, although last night that changed!

      Good luck to you too for the new year.


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