Saturday, 24 September 2011

Keeping em coming

Wednesday 21st September

As i hinted in my last entry ive not had much chance to get out lately due to other commitments and its been over a week since my last trip. I decided upon an evening session on Wednesday though and headed down the river with a mind to catch some more Barbel. After catching a couple last time around and resting it for a week i headed back to the same swim.
The weather was cool and very cloudy with a brisk upstream breeze and although the river was still very low and clear, i fancied my chances. Luncheon meat was my bait of choice today seeing as all my fish of late have fallen to it and i had spiced it up a little with a liberal dusting of curry powder. You will see from the pic below that i use a paste coil on the hair when fishing meat as i find that once its screwed into the bait then it really isnt going anywhere and it stands up to being pecked at by small fish for a lot longer aswell .

It was around an hour after casting out that i began to recieve a few twitches before eventually the rod tip slammed over. After the initial run the fish didnt really do a great deal other than keep deep so i thought it might be a good one. When i saw it in the water it looked fairly long but after netting it turned out to be quite skinny. The fish was very lively on the bank and the needle on the scales flickered between 9.14 and 10.2 so i settled on 10lb exactly, nice.

All too soon the darkness began to descend, i was till get the odd knock and twitch from small fish but didnt get any more real bites until just before dark when i hit into something that felt very strange indeed. It was thumping like mad on the end of the line yet it felt heavy almost like it was snagged on something. After some steading pulling the culprit was soon revealed as a clonking great Eel. At 3lb5oz it was a good fish too and after it covered me and all my kit in foul smelling slime i decided to call it a day and headed for home.

Friday 23rd September

Todays trip was on a stretch of my local river Soar, the scene of my 11lb barbel capture the other week. It was T-shirt weather when i arrived and although the action was very slow it was nice just to be out, might as well make the most of the good weather whilst it lasts!
Nothing was forthcoming for the first couple of hours and the river looked pretty dead . This couldve been down to the number of boats on the river today of which there was loads. Eventually though, just as i was passing the time of day with a chap off one of the aformentioned boats my upstream rod rattled off and after a typically hectic scrap a small Barbel of 7lb6oz was landed .

After that, i stayed on until dark for no more action whatsoever with barely even a tap on the rod-tips and i packed up pleased at not blanking. At least i seem to be catching fairly consistently at the minute .

Saturday 24th September

Today i hit the grand old age of 35 and after a hearty breakfast i decided to head out to a spot of bailiffing and have a chuck about with the lure-rod for a couple of hours. During my rounds pretty much everybodys ticket was in order and i only had to ask one chap to leave for having no ticket. Its amazing how people open up to you when your out checking tickets and i had a couple of very interesting conversations with regards to some future Barbel areas to try.
So what of the fishing? well, i dropped in on several swims but it was very slow indeed, no follows or taps on the lure whatsoever . I persevered and did eventually manage to get a hit in the end and from a nice fish too. It wasnt as heavy as i initially thought when i first saw it but at 2lb8oz it was a good Perch and most welcome.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Rolling into Autumn

The weather continues to cool off with strong winds and showers indicating that Autumn is pretty much upon us. My fishing of late has been a hotch-potch of mixed fortunes really since the 11lb Barbel of my last entry but stay with me cos it comes good in the end.

Friday 9th September
I had an afternoon of fly fishing on the river Dove at Eaton Dovedale planned for today . It is something ive never done on a river before and i was keen to give it a bash. My pal Rob, an experienced fly fisher, was on hand to show me the ropes and after some patient tuiton on his part i was soon able to roughly put a fly where i wanted it.
The weather didnt lend itself to fly fishing being quite windy and with it going overcast too, the fish werent rising much. Nevertheless i was enjoying myself even though i hadnt caught anything yet. One or two tiny fish got the heart racing a bit as they swirled at my fly but i couldnt connect with anything. Rob fared better and managed a small Trout and a Grayling after much searching.
The only real chance i got was when i miscast short due to the flyline getting stuck on some nettles at my feet and a decent Trout took the fly as i angrily untangled myself catching me completely off guard. I panicked, tightened down to the fish, completely forgetting to set the hook and unsurprisingly it managed to shake itself free!
After this i borrowed Robs float rod and some maggots to extract a couple of nice Grayling and save a blank! Fly fishing the rivers is definately something i will be doing more of when i get a chance ........

Saturday 10th September
A real grueller of a Barbel session ensued when i popped down to the Trent for a short evening trip. I arrived to find some sizeable rafts of weed coming down and after casting in it was soon obvious the dreaded green stuff was at all levels of the water column. I was getting wiped out by the stuff every few minutes. Despite this i managed to hook a large fish which had me backwinding from the off. It powered off downstream and although i managed to turn it and gain some line, i could suddenly feel the line grating on an unseen snag. Everything then went solid and despite trying to pull from both upstream and downstream of the snag the hooklink eventually parted.
After this i had to cower under my unhooking mat as i was subjected to some pretty fearsome rain showers during which i was still battling the weed every 10-20minutes. Not surprisingly, once the showers had subsided, id had enough and headed for home, very wet and very dejected.

Sunday 11th September
I was amazed to get another pass out for an evening session tonight and, after mobilising Keith, we headed for the Trent once again. After a walk along the stretch it became apparent that the river was carrying a little extra water but the weed still looked bad so we settled on swims where we could fish the margins and hopefully stay out of the weeds way a bit.
To cut a long story short the ploy didnt work very well although i did manage to hook a couple of Chub, losing one and landing another of about 4lb. Keith lost a very big fish after having his braid cutoff on yet another unseen snag .
The Trent is a proper tackle eater and is hard work at the minute with all that weed but he who dares and all that ........

Tuesday 13th September
I headed to the river again for some more punishment after work tonight and although there was a nasty upstream wind i was greeted by a rolling fish as soon as i arrived at my chosen swim which was encouraging. I got setup and after about half an hour of fishing i recieved a savage pull on my right hander before everything went slack. I quickly realised the fish was swimming towards me and i reconnected with it mid-river where it put up a great account of itself. Once banked i weighed the fish in at 8lb14oz, a tidy start and the night was still young!

Obviously it all went a bit quiet after that one for a while but soon enough i began to get a few twitches and bangs on the rod-tips again as small Chub pecked away at the baits. Suddenly i recieved another fast take which had the baitrunner hissing yet when i struck there was absolutely nothing there, how does that happen?
After recasting i continued to recieve plenty of enquiries and really had to sit on my hands to stop myself striking at some of the knocks. I was amazed at the amount of fish activity tonight and found myself having to recast more due to fish stealing my luncheon meat as opposed to the usual weed wrapups.
Just as it got dark i had another proper take which resulted in another Barbel . This one went 8lb8oz and seeing as id forgotten my head torch it rounded the evening off nicely!
Thats all the fishing ill be doing for the next week as i have a lot of other stuff on, typical, just when id found a few aswell!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Aahhh, thats better!

Tuesday 6th September

The weather turned decidedly inclement today, overcast with strong winds and showery rain. All day at work i was itching to be down by the river and as soon as i finished i grabbed my kit and headed down. Im a little short on time but without going into great detail it turned out to be well worth the effort!
A seasons best Barbel of 11lb2oz was duly landed after falling to a Spam stringer on a 3ft hooklink. My duck is well and truly broken!


Monday, 5 September 2011

Back on the road to er ...... no Barbel?

As the title of this entry might suggest i am now fully mobile once again after purchasing a shiny black Ford Focus last week. Its not shiny any more though as ive pressed it into hard service already, driving down dusty farm tracks and across some pretty rugged fields in pursuit of scaley slimy things.
I finished August with an evening Zander trip on the Trent and a bumped fish as the only action i had . A few lads i know turned up with the same idea to catch the Zeds and despite the lack of action we had a good chinwag so it wasnt all bad.
My next trip was another evening, this time in pursuit of a Barbel from the Soar. I had to clear a swim as nobody had been down to the area for while and after seeing a couple of Barbs roll in the spot early on i was confident of some action. I had a couple of good pulls  just before dark which resulted in no hookups and when the rod screamed off just into dark i really thought it was Barbel time! Nobody had told the 2lb Chub which had hung itself on my line though and i packed up soon after with nothing else to show for my efforts. Since that session ive found out that another lad fished the same swim the following evening and had a 12.8! Always the the bridesmaid and all that .....
The weekend arrived and on the Saturday morning i headed to the Trent to do my Bailiff rounds. Ive started to take a lure rod with me when checking tickets just to drop in a few likely spots whilst on my travels and on this occasion it proved quite effective. 5 Perch to around a pound and a couple of bonus Chub in the 3lb class all put a nice bend in the rod.

A late evening Barbel session on the Trent rounded the day off and although i stopped till around midnight all i could manage was two Chub. The best of the two was comfortably in the 4-5lb range and might have gone bigger but it was dark and i couldnt be bothered with the rigmarole of weighing especially seeing as it wasnt a Barbel! Phil, my fishing companion certainly fared better though. He stayed on all night and tempted Barbel of 10.14 and 10.4 amongst other fish . That Bridesmaid job is becoming a fulltime thing for me!
I was down the Trent again on Sunday evening for a spot of Carbelling as id seen a few Carp whilst doing the bailiff thing the previous day. A veritable banquet of vitalin, boilies, hemp and corn was carefully laid out for the Carps inspection . Several fish head and shouldered over the bait during the course of the evening but my indicators remained motionless right up until i packed up at about 10.30. Prior to when the drizzle started after dark It was a lovely evening to be out and i feel we wont be getting too many more like it this year.