My first trip out was Sunday and i had arranged a trip to the Trent with Phil targetting some Chub . We both decided upon a roving approach fishing with bread . The sun was extremely bright and i really struggled for bites, i missed a couple early on but my sum total for the entire mornings work was a solitary Chub of about 10oz. Phil fared slightly better taking three fish between 3-4lb and losing one in a snag.
The sunny weather certainly brought out the ticketless masses and we had to eject three different groups of foreign nationals off the clubs water over the course of the morning, a new club record i believe!
Monday morning and i was up and making my way to the river before first light, it was much cooler and cloudier today and the river upon my arrival was eerily enshrouded in mist. After yesterdays failure with the bread i decided upon a luncheon meat approach today with the hope of possibly attracting a Barbel or two aswell as the Chub. I didnt have to wait long for a pull and i was soon bending into what felt like a small Barbel by the way it was swimming upstream. The fish surfaced midriver and i could see it was a half decent Chub, by the time i had it in the net however it had become a very decent Chub!
"This has gotta be as big as the one i had the other week" i was thinking as the scales took the weight and at 6lb5oz it wasnt far off! This fish was much more compact but equally as impressive, i was over the moon!
Within minutes of returning the Chub i had another bite and hit into a small Barbel . It put up a spirited scrap both in the water and on the bank, i did attempt a couple of quick snaps but it wouldnt keep still so they turned out crap. The scales registered 7lb2oz anyway.
As it got light proper a cold wind got up and the action slowed right down, over the the next three hours i managed to lose a fish to a hookpull and miss two other bites . After such a great start i was looking to carry on the success but the sun was starting to break through the cloud cover and even the small fish topping on the surface were much less active. I tried one last spot before the homeward journey and was pleased to see the tip buckle over as a fish tried to make good its escape. A brief tussle ensued and i soon had another decent looking Chub in the net. At 4.14 it wasnt as big as id thought but it was still a nice fish and it rounded off the session nicely.
Tuesday was to be split into two sessions, the morning would be spent Perching with Rob on the Derwent and the evening would be Barbel time in my favourite swim on the Soar. As we headed to our Perch swims at first light I was hoping that some of that luck that helped Rob catch his mega Roach of late would rub off on me and result in an end of season whacker.
Conditions looked good, dull, mild and overcast with no wind, we had the stretch to ourselves too so we had the pick of the swims. Its a tough area to catch from but when a fish does bite its usually a goodun so i was a little disappointed when after a while the tip slowly pulled around in classic big Perch fashion and resulted in a small fish of just over a pound. It was an encouraging start but that was to be the only action i had, Rob had a Tench from his only bite of the trip and we headed back scratching our heads a little as to why none of the big girls showed in such seemingly good conditions.
Later that afternoon i headed out to do battle with the Barbel on my local stretch of the Soar and although the weather had brightened up a little i was confident of some action. In the event however, other than a few Chubby knocks and a hookpull from what im certain was a Chub, my last session of the season resulted in a total blank.
Well, that wraps up another river season! looking back id say its probably been my best Barbel season ever having broken my PB twice and maintaining a size average of well over 8lb. I devoted more time to Barbel this time around than i have done in the past and ive learned a lot which will hopefully stand me in good stead for next season.
Although ive not caught Chub in overly great numbers this season, the average size has been well up with most fish being 4lb plus. To end the season with two fish of over 6lb was beyond all my expectations and really turned my winter fortunes around.
The river Predator fishing didnt really go according to plan mostly because i was too distracted by the Barbel and Chub for much of the season but Perch to over 3lb and Pike to nearly 20lb kept my eye in somewhat.
As far as next season goes im already making plans, Barbel will be high on the agenda as i will be looking to build on last seasons success. In between the Barbs im hoping to find a bit more predator action and one of my burning ambitions this year is to catch a Zander on a lure. In the meantime the Tench are starting to beckon once again so its time to dust down the method feeders and bolt-rigs!