Sunday, 29 July 2012

Trent 'Carbelling'

After my Zander session the other night I was fired up for doing a full night for them on my next trip out. My old mate Phil was also keen to have a bash for them so we arranged to hit the river on Saturday night. By the time Saturday morning came around the Zander bug had waned somewhat and we decided to try a different stretch of Trent with Carp and Barbel in mind instead, fickle or what!

We got to the river at around 5.30pm and set about baiting our chosen swims and getting the camps put up. The stretch in question very rarely produces during daylight hours and you could be forgiven for thinking there are no decent fish to be had there whatsoever. After dark though it's a completely different story and the river literally comes to life in a way that I've never seen anywhere else. My swim, although very wide, had no more than 3ft of water anywhere in front of it and a clean gravel bottom. I'd not fished it before myself but it's noted spot for river Carp amongst the regulars down there so it had to be worth a go. Phils swim upstream was around 6ft deep and a little slower paced.

As expected neither of us had any indications up until dark when suddenly my upstream rod tip started banging around. It was a very Chubby bite but I bumped it off on the strike so I'll never know for sure. A similar bite occurred around half an hour later and I struck at thin air. By now it was properly dark and fish could be heard splashing all over the place, the atmosphere was electric and we both felt that a proper take was imminent. Nothing happened though and at 11.30 I decided to turn in for the night. I'd just made myself comfy and was gently nodding off when suddenly my downstream rod was nearly pulled into the river! The rod took the strain as I desperately tried to pull the fish away from the snags downstream and fortunately I managed to turn it. Phil had heard the take and he suddenly materialised next to me with the landing net in hand. The fish surfaced in the torchlight and turned out to be a nice Barbel which was soon netted. At 9lb12oz it wasn't quite the double we both thought it might be but still a very nice fish anyway, I was certainly pleased!

 After that I was buzzing and really struggled to sleep, in fact by the time my next bite came at 2am I don't even think I'd actually slept a wink. Another rod wrenching tug had me thinking I might be on for another Barbel but upon picking it up I was instantly disappointed. The strange jagging on the other end meant only one thing, Eel! I really wasn't looking forward to getting the thing on the bank and wrestling with it in the dark but it had to be done. Five minutes and 2lb of writhing slimy mess later, the offending creature was back in its watery home leaving me with the angling equivalent of a car crash to sort out, nice. Once sorted I was just drifting off to sleep when I heard Phils buzzer go. I could hear splashing and sounded fairly sizeable so I headed up to assist. I got there just in time to net a nice double figure common, a good result from what was another new swim to us.

By the time that was done and dusted it was gone 3am and I was dead on my feet. I hit the sack and once again my rod signalled a bite as I was drifting off. I hit into something decent for a few seconds before it came off, I reeled in to find a couple of large barbel scales on the hook and I cursed my luck. After recasting I heard Phils alarm shrieking again but I was too tired to care, I finally went to sleep. My slumber was broken a little by a couple of knocks that didn't develop into anything further and it was around 8.45 when Phil eventually came round and woke me up. He'd had a Bream and a Barbel of around 7lb just before first light and nothing since. The sun was shining as I had breakfast and once again the river looked dead. Darkness is definitely the key factor when it comes to catching on that stretch and i will certainly plan future trips accordingly.

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