Thursday, 19 June 2014

We're off and running.....

The first session of the new season was sadly going to be a short one. It’s the same every year around the time, I’m busier than a one legged man in an arse kicking contest and which means not enough time on the bank. I’m lucky though as my favourite venue on the Warwickshire Avon is just down the road and with my rod already made up I can be fishing within 15 minutes.

The plan for this evening was simple, I was after an early season Barbel. I didn’t really have the time to rove around as I do like trotting so I ventured to a swim where I have caught Barbel before. A simple bait and wait approach, a couple of bait droppers full of mixed pellets and hemp and a couple of sausage sizzle squabs as bait.

I’ve changed my rig for this season, an inline stonze, a short coated braid hooklink with some coating removed an inch before the size 12 hook. I use a centrepin which tends to restrict my casting and I found a longer hooklength was a hindrance, I just couldn’t place the bait as accurate as I’d liked. The stonze looks less obtrusive on the river bed than a lead so hopefully less likely to spook the fish.

I like to travel light when I’m river fishing as most sessions I cover lots of ground and quite a few swims so I usually have a rod, a landing net, an unhooking mat and a rucksack. My rucksack was a bit worse for wear so I’ve bought a Wychwood solace bait bucket as it doubles up as a seats as well as holding all my bait, rig bits, scales etc.

It took a good couple of hours before any decent indications on the rod tip and sure enough a whacking bite a fish was on. Even though the river is low as it narrows towards the end of the swim the fish was putting up a decent fight and was trying to get itself in the far bank cover. A characteristic Chub fight. It was a decent length and obviously been in the wars but a nice looking fish. It weighed 3lb 13oz, not a bad start to the new season.

I stopped for another half an hour and the rod tip remained motionless so called it a day before the bats came out. I joined a couple of others anglers and headed back to the carpark. They didn’t have any Barbel either but caught Chub. I'm so glad to be back on running water.


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