An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

First session and fish of 2013

I’ve actually have two trips on the Warwickshire Avon to report. The first was on New Year’s Eve and I found the river, unsurprisingly, just about in its banks. I had mulled about whether to go all day and in the end thought I’d have a better chance on the bank than sat at home wondering. A quick temperature check found the river at 5°C, a bit cooler than I had hoped but there was a chance and I’d caught a Barbel at this temperature a couple of weeks previous. Anyway, to cut a long story short there were no fireworks for me and I left just after dark had set in without so much as a sniff to report.

Today, was a new month and a new year and I arrived on the same stretch with renewed hope. The river had dropped some 3 foot although the temperature was still stuck on 5°C. Given the last two nights had been chilly I was thankful this hadn’t changed. The air temperature on the other hand was a mild feeling 9°C so it was pretty pleasant sitting out there with the river to myself.

Tactics were identical to my previous failed session. Two rods, one cast downstream and baited with meat while the other rigged up with a boilie wrapped in my own paste. I moulded the same paste around the weights of each rig as an added attractor and cast out with anticipation. Just over an hour passed with nothing to report and my earlier enthusiasm had started to wane. I decided to go on a wander with the paste rod and gave another swim about 30 minutes, but again without success. By now it was 3.45pm so I returned to my original spot and recast both rods. Almost immediately, the paste rod indicated a bite and my strike was met with solid resistance. However, the fish didn’t bomb off in typical style with perhaps the chilly water accounting for its lethargy. It had me thinking I’d hooked a Chub at first, but as the battle continued I knew a Barbel was attached to the other end and this was confirmed as I drew the fish over the net. This act triggered a mad splashing fit as the Barbel finally found some energy. The scales registered 8lb 12oz so it was a reasonable result given the conditions. I decided to fish on into dark and just before 6pm another bite resulted in another Barbel, albeit much smaller at around 4lb. I carried on for another 45 minutes and despite a few rattles that failed to materialise there were no more fish.

8lb 12oz - More than welcome in January
This 4 pounder likes my paste too
So my first session of 2013 resulted in two mid-winter Barbel, both on my paste bait, which is fast becoming the most productive Barbel bait for me during the cooler months. I have the brother-in-law visiting tomorrow so I’m planning a predator session for us both, which will give me a chance to change tactics and venue. Wish me luck!


  1. Nice one Lee, I've not had a Barbel for yonks. However as the weather hasn't gone properly cold yet and the Avon fishable after the recent floods, I'm planning to dangle a line the weekend.

  2. Definitely worth a go the moment. If they're present they seem like they're willing to having a nibble. I'll probably have another go on Sunday.