Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Monsters under a full moon

My most recent night session on the Trent started just like any other, no indications till dusk and then the river came alive. Phil rang me to let me know he'd just taken an early doors barbel from his spot a mile upstream of me and as we talked I noticed a couple of taps on my downstreamer. Within seconds of hanging up, the rod went into meltdown and my first barbel of the evening was duly landed. It was still nearly daylight and the barbel were feeding already, surely this boded well?


Darkness soon descended properly, well as properly as it could with the moon being as bright as what it was. If it wasn't a full moon it was near as dammit and I didn't even need my head torch to bait my hook and tie up pva mesh bags. A short while later I had another three foot twitch on the downstreamer and found myself playing another barbel. My chosen swim had no snags or weed so the fish gave me few problems and a nice 9.12 was soon posing for a pic.

Two fish landed within the first hour of darkness was a good result and I started to think I could be on for a good nights fishing. Past experience told me that early action generally means lots of action in the area of Trent that I fish and hopefully that theory would be proven out as the night progressed!

It was around 11.30pm when I received the next bite and upon hitting it I knew it was a good fish. It chugged off downstream on a powerful run and then stopped abruptly and held itself in the powerful current like a dead weight. I almost thought it had picked up a load of weed because it wasn't doing a great deal as I pumped it back upstream towards me. The big nods on the rod tip as it shook its head gave me a few tense moments as I was expecting the hook to pull at any time. I've been using fox ssc hooks and so far I've not had a single hookpull with them but there's always a first time and you can bet your life that time will be when you've got a monster on the line!

Back to the battle and eventually I had the fish underneath the rod tip, I was amazed to see there was no weed on the line whatsoever and that the dead weight was purely the fish! The fish had really woken up now and made a series of short powerful runs, I'd had a good look at it by now and was fully aware of what I was dealing with and I gotta say my heart was in my mouth! The relief of getting the net under it was immense and I paused for a moment to compose myself.

The net felt snagged as I lifted it out of the water due to the weight of the barbel within and there was no doubt in my mind that this was a new PB, the fish was colossal! It's mouth was big enough to swallow a tennis ball and the size 8 hook embedded in its bottom lip looked tiny. I was shaking like a leaf as I hoisted it up on the scales and I wasn't surprised at all when the needle sailed past the 14lb mark. After three weighs to be sure I settled on 14.8, a new PB and a very good fish indeed for the upper Trent, I was over the moon!

I almost never bothered recasting after that as I really didn't feel the need to but seeing as it wasn't even midnight yet I decided to drop it down the edge. It took an age to calm down and get into a sleepy frame of mind but just as I was nodding off my recast rod was away again. A turbo charged 8lber was soon thrashing it's way into the net to give me barbel number 4.

Unbelievably barbel number 5 came to the same rod in the same spot within 10minutes of recasting and was near-on identical in size aswell. Both went 8.10 and 8.12 respectively and after that I decided not to recast that rod as I badly needed sleep!

I must've drifted off eventually because it was starting to get light as I was awoken sharply when my other rod registered a blistering take. This fish pulled in a very similar fashion to the the lump I'd landed earlier and I was tempted to think that maybe , just maybe, lightning had struck twice? I soon got a look at the fish and it was clearly another big one so I began to play it a little more gingerly. A few heartstopping moments later and the landing net did it's job. I was gobsmacked to record a weight of 13.2 which made for easily my biggest brace of barbel ever, what a blinding session!

After that fish I literally packed my rods away and hit the sack as I was too tired to carry on. A few hours later I packed up proper and headed upstream to pick Phil up. Turns out he'd had a good night too landing four barbel including two 11lbers. The fish had certainly fed well, not 100% sure why though? maybe the full moon had something to do with it?



  1. That was a stonking session Leo and some absolutely fin perfect barbel, congratulations on the new personal best.

  2. Congratulations on the PB and what a brace. Nice one

  3. Fantastic session Leo, some proper lumps there.

  4. Cheers guys, been a long time coming that biggun has!

  5. Superb Leo, what a brace, get back and beat that then :)