Tuesday 14th July
The rain began in earnest today and once i got home from work and had some dinner i found myself itching to get out and have a go at catching a Barbel. Its the first time ive had the urge to fish for them this season so after clearing it with headquarters i grabbed a rod, a net and a bag of bait and bits and headed for a stretch of local river.
When i got there it was raining hard but the river, although flowing a bit more strongly , wasnt coloured in the slightest which surprised me a little considering the amount of rain wed had during the day. In hindsight i imagine most of it was soaked up into the ground after all the hot weather recently.
I set up a straight leger rig baited with double halibut pellet, cast it into a likely hole and sat back to await events from under my poncho. After about 20 minutes with no action i decided to change my bait to a cube of luncheon meat. By now the rain was really driving down and i was quite soaked even under the poncho.
Five minutes or so after recasting with the new hookbait the rod tip lurched over and the baitrunner started to scream, Fish on! As soon as i hit the run i had to lock everything up to stop the fish getting under the trees. The rod took on a savage curve and was literally bent to the cork as i prayed everything would hold, its times like that when i realise why i fish for Barbel. The power of the fish is awesome, the way they can hold station in the flow despite vain attemps to move them is incredible.
This fish was soon out in the open water and after some more hard bullying i had it in the net. It was around 6-7lb id estimate, the rain was so bad i never bothered weighing or photographing it. I was just nice to get the seasons first Barbel under my belt and after slipping it back i packed up the gear and headed back to the car having had my Barbel 'fix' for the day. All in all i had been out of the house no more than an hour, great stuff i should do these short sessions more often!
Thats probably gonna be it for a week or so now as im off to Devon next week on my hols. the sea fishing gear has been dusted off and im hoping to catch my first Bass!