I was hoping to continue yesterdays form with a full day at it today. I had plans to hit the Derwent and spend a bit of time roving about dropping in likely looking spots. Unfortunately with me, things rarely go to plan and after a late night of fireworks, bonfires and drinking with friends it was gone 8 oclock before i even got out of bed. To make matters worse i opened the curtains to be greeted with clear skies and very bright sunshine, not good!
I very nearly didnt bother going, especially when my better half started cooking some bacon up! i had quick look on the net to check the river levels and was pleased to find they hadnt changed a great deal on yesterday, there might be a chance after all .......
My kit was still ready from yesterday so i threw some clothes on, packed the car and headed down to a local stretch of the Soar about 5 minutes away from my house. The river looked extremely Autumnal bathed in the morning sunshine. The golden leaves shimmering on the trees, the dying beds of reeds and the slightly swollen river combined to create a real sense that summer is well and truly gone now and everything now readies itself for winter.
As expected there was nobody else down there save for the odd dog walker and it wasnt long before i settled in a likely looking swim. Once again, curried Spam was the bait of choice, its a bait ive gained real confidence in of late and i now prefer it over the usual pellets and boilies. Im convinced thats its a lot more instant than the others and if theres a Barbel in a swim it wont be ignored for long!
And so it proved, after 10 minutes of fishing the upstream rod tip pulled around and after a brief tussle a chunky Barbel of 8lb12oz was landed . This turned out to be a repeat capture of a fish i caught on bread back in February . The fish has very curious shape to it and was instantly recognisable even though on this occasion it was quite a way upstream of where i caught it before . The conditions obviously werent that bad after all!
After returning that one i recast and sat back to see if anything else would come along. I was just catapulting some freebies around the upstream rod when the downstreamer suddenly signalled a vicious take. I struck into the fish and almost straight away i could feel it grating through something. Whatever my line was caught on though was moving and steady pressure kept me gaining line on the fish. After an anxious couple of minutes a large clump of weed hit the surface with what looked like a very good Barbel trailing about 3ft behind it. At this point the Barbel woke up an decided to go mad under the rod tip, the clump of weed making things very tricky. Braid isnt great for playing fish on a short line due to its lack of stretch and ive learnt to my cost in the past that a properly set clutch is absolutely essential in these situations. The reel performed exeptionally on this occasion and it wasnt long before a big lump of Barbel was lying on the mat.
At 12lb6oz it was a new Personal best and i was well chuffed!
A big, solid lump of Barbel
After walking all those miles along the Trent, Derwent and Soar this season i finally get the 12lber ive been after within spitting distance of my front door! After returning the fish safely i had that lovely mission accomplished feeling, i didnt have the desire to fish on any longer even though there seemed to be a few feeding so i got packed up and headed for home.