Since the first week of the season I've not been out much due to work but I've still managed to snatch a couple of quick trips here and there. An afternoon on the Dove proved to be quite a disappointment as the area I chose appeared to have had an awful lot of pressure in the short time it had been open. Swims were worn to bare earth and several anglers were already roaming the banks when I arrived. Finding a quiet unfished swim was definately not on the cards but seeing I'd driven so far I had to make the best of a bad lot.
I actually managed two bites over the course of the session and landed just one chub of around 4lb for my efforts. More anglers had turned up to replace the afternoon shift as I packed up and I made a mental note to avoid the area like the plague until later on in the year when it becomes a bit quieter.
A Saturday morning lure session on my local river soar was my next bankside adventure and once again it was a little disappointing. I expected the fish to be queuing up seeing as the weather was overcast with a slight drizzle but after failing to tempt a bite in my first couple of swims I was a little puzzled. The area looked like it had seen some serious angling pressure of the wrong kind with empty trace and dead bait packets littering the bank not to mention the beer cans everywhere aswell.
I did find a few perch in the end however but I had to scale down to a tiny mepps no2 to even get a pull. It was pretty tough going but a nice fish of well over a pound brightened things up no end.
A night chasing barbel on the Trent was my next port of call and I headed to a new swim which I'd already been and cleared with the strimmer a couple of weeks previously. It's a spot I've had my eye on for a couple of years but the impenetrable foliage always made it a tough proposition. I was in the area clearing swims the other week so I seized my chance to clear it out and now I was ready to try it out.
The recent rain had brought out the flies and mozzies en-mass and just setting up was proving to be a most uncomfortable experience indeed, the bloody things were all over me. A liberal dose of jungle juice seemed to beat them back a bit and soon enough I was settled in for the night.
A massive firework display at a nearby hotel didn't help my cause and it was nearly midnight before I had my first proper bite of the session, a bream of around 6lb.
I drifted in and out of consciousness over the next three hours and had all but given up hope of a barbel. Phil, fishing upstream, had caught a couple so there was a few feeding out there somewhere just not in front of me!
At exactly 3.30am I was jolted into action when my upstreamer suddenly burst into life. This was certainly no bream and after a few dicey minutes I was soon slipping the net under a nice barbel of 9lb2oz.
It was already starting to get light by now and my hopes of another barbel were fast fading. My downstreamer gave me another bream just as the sun was rising and I headed to bed to try and get a couple of hours kip before packup time.
At around 6.30am I had a fast bite on my downstreamer and hit into something unstoppable. Despite my best efforts to make an impression it headed around the corner downstream of me with the power of a truck and the hooklink parted. God knows what it was but it was big and I was gutted at losing it! Soon enough it was time to pack up and I headed home satisfied at finally catching a barbel from the spot I'd drooled over for so long!