We had a fair bit of rain yesterday and knowing what the river was carrying on sunday, i anticipated that the level and colour would be about right for a Barbel or two. I wanted to get out last night but never got chance so i made damn sure that i was able to get down tonight.
When i arrived i was a little surprised to see the river only carrying about 6 inches, i thought it would be a fair bit more than that but at least it had a nice colour to it. My tactics was to fish my big home-made feeders filled with a mixture of vitalin, swimstim and pellets with boilies and pellets for hookbaits.
No sooner had i got both rods out the downstream one was away and i struck into a heavy fish. It didnt do much till i got it under the rod tip whereupon it went berserk and after an arse-clenching few minutes where i got caught up in tree and the fish buried in some tree roots i finally slipped the net under it. At 10lb8oz it was the joint biggest id ever had from the river so i was well pleased.
After id done the pics, returned the fish and reset everything, it was about 20 minutes before i had another take which i promptly bumped off on the strike. After that the Chublets moved in with a vengeance and was getting bangs and pulls on the rod tips every 5 minutes. 3 managed to hang themselves despite lengthening the hair to try and keep them off a bit.
No more Barbel were forthcoming and all too soon the darkness began to close in and it was time to go. Once i got home i compared the photos of the 10lber with one i caught at the same weight from the same spot last season thinking it was the same fish. Both looked very similar but there were one or two very subtle differences which indicated both were different fish.