Sunday, 26 June 2011

Barbel, braid and the return of the dreaded weed

Wednesday 22nd June

I had Wednesday booked off work to go fishing, i was meant to have a few days off but an ultra heavy workload caused by everybody else going on holiday meant i could only get the one day so id have to make the most of it. I really wanted to get back on the Derwent to even the score after losing a couple of nice fish last time around so, after dropping the kids off at school, i pointed the car towards Derby.
The river was painfully low but it was quite overcast and there was rain in the air so i was hopeful of a bit of action, I had a spot in mind so i headed straight there. It didnt look like thered been many down and i took note of a couple of new snags that had appeared during my 12month absence from the stretch.
The swim was tight so a one rod approach was all that was required and after casting in it wasnt long before i started to get a few bangs and twitches on the tip. I peered over the bank and could clearly see three Barbel in the vicinity of my rig, one was twice the size of the other two and clearly a nice double. As i watched, the larger fish suddenly bolted across the river and my baitrunner screamed. I grabbed the rod and a brutal struggle ensued. There was a nasty snag upstream and i had to really bully the fish on a short line, i could see it twisting and shaking its head in the clear water midriver. It shot towards the snag and i was forced to lock up in a bid to turn it, unfortunately this was a bridge too far for my mainline and it parted a the knot leaving me gutted.
Obviously there was no more Barbs to be seen in that area so i moved on to another stretch. The carpark on the new stretch was deserted so i thought itd be a good opportunity to fish the known flier peg down there. Id not fished it before and when i got there i was a little disappointed to see there was hardly any flow on it. There was a lot more broken water downstream which looked more Barbelly but having heard of the swims reputation i stuck to my guns and got setup.
Within 30minutes i hit into a fish and after skulldragging it away from the snag opposite into midriver i soon had it in the net. At 9.2 it was a good start and my first Derwent Barbel of the new season. Another one of 6.12 followed shortly afterwards and my confidence in the peg was sky high, now i know why its so popular!



Unfortunately, things went a little downhill after this due to another angler showing up determined to fish the snag opposite me regardless of me being there or not. Despite me being the only other angler on the river for miles he setup upstream of me and cast down to my swim. A slight argument ensued and he went on his way somewhere downstream. After this i couldnt get any more action so i headed to the Trent for an evening session.
As soon as i saw the river and the clumps of drifting weed coming down i new it was going to be tough going, nevertheless i found a nice looking spot, droppered in a load of hemp and pellets and commenced fishing. Regular readers of this blog will know how i detest the dreadful stringy weed which seems to blight the Trent every summer, fortunately it wasnt as bad as it looked on this occasion and i was able to keep the bait in the water for a decent amount of time for a change. The Barbel didnt want to play ball though and one Chub of 4.2 was all i had to show for my efforts by the time i packed up.

Saturday 25th June

I had planned an evening of Barbelling on the Trent with Keith this evening but i found myself at a loose end in the morning so i headed to the Trent to do a spot of trotting for some Roach. Some good bags had been reported over the previous week so i fancied a bit of the action myself. It wasnt to be though and i struggled to get around a dozen fish in about 3 hours of fishing. A couple of other anglers nearby also really struggled too so it wasnt just me being crap (thats what i kept telling myself anyway!).
Keith picked me up in the afternoon and i soon found myself sat next to the Trent once again. Conditions were pretty good, warm, overcast and extremely muggy with very little wind. After losing a few barbs lately ive decided to switch my mainline from 12lb mono to 30lb braid and this was to be my first session with it. I use braid for all my lure fishing but ive not used it for bait fishing before so this was a totally new experience for me. At 0.1mm diameter its less than half the thickness of the mono ive been on so it should offer a lot less drag in the water too.
The weed wasnt too bad again but it was definately worse than weds and i was getting around half an hour to fortyfive minutes inbetween casts. The Barbel didnt show at-all, in fact nothing showed not even a Chub to either of us and we were both left scratching our heads by the end of the session. You win some you lose some i guess! 

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