Every moment of the river season whilst conditions allow I will be in pursuit of Barbel as I restart my quest to achieve a feat completed by no man! For those that don't know, or aren't familiar with this blog then it's a quest to catch a double figure Barbel off of forty (40) rivers across England, Wales and Scotland. Yes it is an epic task, it's a task that might defeat me.
STOP! right lets nip that pessimistic mumbo jumbo right now! This is no place for failure and I will catch exactly what I am after and that begins on the Kentish Stour! 15th of June I was walking the banks in the heat armed with polaroids and cap, the mission was simply to find Barbel and get them to feed. Only one Barbel was found and annoyingly she was surrounded by a hoard of hungry Chub, yaaaaay. Just what I wanted to see.
|Such a beautiful river, but heavily weeded throughout.|
Midnight came after a few very long hours and within four minutes of the midnight gong the rod began to show signs of life, I prayed for a Barbel and got a Bream...hmmmmmmmm, not what I wanted to see! Then twenty minutes later a 2lbs 1oz Eel stormed the party, followed by another two Bream. Where were the damn Barbel?! In fact I don't expect to catch one when on the KS, its a tough river with a reputation for being just that.
|Funny looking Barbel.|
|Break of dawn at exactly 3am, |
complemented by a chorus of Tawny Owls.
By 5am it wasn't happening so I decided to pack away briefly and go for a walk with the glasses for an hour or so, just in the vein hope I would get a chance, just one. Again though a few hours passed without seeing anything more than Chub, that was until I decided to check out the location where I saw the Barbel the afternoon before and it was quickly apparent that there were now two! One about 6lb the other 8lb or so, not quite the double I seek but would get me off to flyer for sure. One problem I had to encounter though was the sentries that responded to anything hitting the water, my hookbait would be engulfed in seconds, everytime. The Barbel stood no chance and after 7 Chub from that one swim it was abundantly clear I was not going to manage one of those fish and soon after conceded defeat, the temps just got too high and thought better of it. 67 miles back home...no Barbel again...it's almost a case of cut and paste from my previous 9 trips.
|Best Chub was 4lb 5oz|
|A very dosile Red Admiral lapping up|
minerals off an ash pile.