Monday 17 November 2014

A long overdue Barbel....

With my head still a bit fuzzy after bouncing around with the Wife at a Levellers gig on Friday, Sunday was most welcome, peace, solitude and fresh air. The previous week’s rain meant the rivers were up, tea coloured and the air still mild the Barbel might be on the feed. The rivers have been incredibly low this season so I haven’t really targeted them anger. When I got to the river conditions seemed ideal, it was proper tanking it through so I found a nice easy to reach slack area just of the main flow where they might be holding out.

The smaller parts of the Avon I fish I tend to use one rod but as its much wider here I decided to use two rods with identical set-up. Big lumps of garlic spam on the hair with the 3oz lead on a running set-up plugged with some smelly paste. One rod cast upstream the other downstream to hopefully provide a scent trail. I bought a job lot of garlic spam from the supermarket a few months ago and this was my last remaining can so when you see it for a quid a tin, please let me know. For a coloured it’s a great bait and I’ve such confidence in it I don’t bother bringing anything else.

The whacker of a bite came within an hour, I lifted in to it but there was nothing on the end, I do tend to fish longish hairs so probably a Chub mouthing and plucking the sizeable bait. The same thing happened again 20 minutes later or so, hmmm maybe this wasn’t to be my day. I refreshed the baits for the last hour and sure enough the downstream rod slammed over and line was being ripped from the spool this was no Chub. Whatever you do when your Barbel fishing is use a bait runner, centre pin ratchet or set a light drag. They give savage bites so if you’re not careful you can easily have a rod in the river and a tethered fish.

The fish was hugging bottom and making use of the rivers flow, and was trying to reach some overhanging cover. A powerful fight that bent the rod double and made my arm ache. It eventually had enough and it was in the net. I let it rest in the net before weighing and photographing it. Not the biggest at 7lb 4oz but in stunning condition, muscular and tough as old boots. The fish was rested again and then safely returned. Not a rattle in the last half hour but a long overdue Barbe meant I went home happy. Zander on a new venue next weekend, rods at the ready.


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