An angler's journal

Sunday, 16 December 2012

A fish at last!

Following three consecutive blanks, I visited the Warwickshire Avon hoping to put an end to my fishless run. With the frosty weather and clearing water I had planned a Pike session but then it rained heavily on Friday and brought the river up about a metre. With a coloured river and a slight increase in water temperature it mean only one thing, Barbel! The plan was to fish meat in a few spots until I found a fish. I was confident that if I could locate the Barbel then they would be catchable.

The first unproductive swim
The productive swim
The first peg I tried was a slack over a gravel bed that is usually exposed at normal level. I fished here for about 45 minutes with no result so I opted to move about 100 yards downstream. Here the main flow was on the far side of the river with a much calmer flow on the nearside. Here I altered my tactics and decided to fish my own blend of paste which I presented around a boilie and moulded some more around my weight. I only fished here for about 25 minutes because it just didn't feel right. Sometimes you have to trust your instinct so I wondered off downstream to an area that had produced for me before. I opted for a swim that had a bush upstream that deflected the flow out and another bush at the downstream end. I cast my paste bait together with a small PVA bag of pellets and sat and waited, listening to Aston Villa putting Liverpool to the sword in the process and feeding a pair of ducks that often frequent the stretch but I'm unable to recognise.

Not sure what these are. Can anyone help?


Almost out of the blue the rod tip shot round and I was into a fish which was undoubtedly a Barbel. The fish put up a good scrap making for the downstream bush on several occasions. The two ducks also decided to take to the water just to make things more interesting. But I wasn't to be beaten and soon had the net under what looked a reasonable fish. The scales showed 8lb 6oz, which was a decent result considering my recent lack of success and was most welcome as the sky cleared and brought a chill to the air. I fished on hoping another fish may put in an appearance but it wasn't to be. Not a bad afternoon with Villa doing the business too so I trudged back to the car a content man.

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