An angler's journal

Sunday, 6 January 2013

A blank and another winter Barbel


Since my last post I’ve had two trips: a Piking session on the Gloucester Canal and an afternoon on the Warks Avon hoping for Barbel.

If you read my previous post you will know that my wife’s brother-in-law was visiting and I promised him a fishing trip. Since he’d never caught a Pike before the aim was to put that right. With the rivers high and coloured I was forced to look for an alternative venue to snare a predator. With a lack of stillwaters containing Pike in the immediate area a bit of spade work identified the Gloucester Canal as a viable venue. Investigations showed that if you could find the prey fish then the Pike and Zander would not be far away so off we went with high hopes, especially given the mild conditions. We arrived late morning, and having not fished the venue before walked the towpath looking for signs or fishy spots. Within 50 yards we came across a dead arm that had dozens of small fish dimpling the surface. Bingo, surely a good spot for a predator? Well, despite fishing ledgered and float fished deadbaits and lure fishing we didn’t get a sniff, neither did the local who was fishing three rods 30 yards away. With five baits in the water between us I’d like to say the fish weren’t there or simply not interested rather than us fishing like plonkers. Even a move resulted in nothing and I must admit it was rather disappointing.

A nice winter Warks Avon Barbel
Looking to put things right, today saw me back on the Warks Avon. With me back at work tomorrow I was determined to get one last trip in and with the Barbel conditions seemingly perfect surely a fish would grace the net? With my homemade paste doing the business on the last few trips it made sense to start with that as bait. The river had dropped considerably although it had that ‘milky’ colour to it. It had also risen by 1°C so was around 7°C; perfect! However, sport was slow despite half an hour in another swim where I was too hasty with a Chub bite and missed out. I returned to my main swim but after about 10 minutes I just had a nagging feeling that I should change to meat. I did, and within 5 minutes I was playing a Barbel, which gave a ponderous fight preferring to stay deep and rarely taking line until the net. I didn’t weigh it accurately preferring to just hook the scales on to the landing net for a rough check. After a few calculations to deduct the net, it meant  7 ½lb. Although an average fish, it was in pristine winter condition as have all the Barbel I have caught recently.

As I said earlier, work beckons tomorrow which will no doubt curtail my angling activities. It’s a shame since the Avon is well worth a Barbel or two in its current state. However, with no rain the river will continue to drop and clear so things may get tougher on the Barbel front. That said, Chub and Pike prospects should improve. Happy angling!

1 comment:

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