An angler's journal

Monday, 24 August 2015

Barbel: On a roll

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you'll know that my last session resulted in a last minute double [here]. Therefore, Sunday evening saw me return to the same venue. Last time, the stretch was busy but I was delighted to see I was the only visitor on this occasion. As a result, I made straight for the swim that had rewarded me a few days earlier.

I set two rods up and they were both in the water just after 5pm. I didn't expect much action until dusk and apart from a few chub raps I was proved correct. I wasn't too concerned though, My main aim was building up an area with some bait so that when dusk arrived any roving barbel would visit my swim. I was especially confident given my bait was the only offering on the stretch.

As the light faded, I ensured both baits were spot on. The upstream rod was baited with a pellet wrap and cast over the bed of feed. The other rod was baited with meat and cast a little further downstream with a few lumps of meat thrown in to get the fish rooting around. I've noticed that more experienced Avon barbel can be wary of baited areas, especially in clear water and often hang a little downstream.

With autumn now less than a month away, it was noticeably cooler and the light seemed to
My second double in as many sessions - 10lb 8oz
fade far more quickly. A half moon reflected on the still river surface; the scene was set. Then it happened. The meat was picked up and the size 2 hook was set. It didn't have the speed of the fish from the previous session and for a while I thought it would be of average size. I then suspected differently as it began to stubbornly hug the river bed. As it neared the bank, a glimpse in the moonlight confirmed it was a decent barbel. It made several bids for the haven of mid river before it was safely netted. Another double was lying in the net. The weight was 10lb 8oz and confirmed my second double in as many sessions.

It appears I have located some fish of reasonable size. The challenge now is to see if they can pack on more weight as the year progresses or if they have any larger relatives lurking just behind. I'm really keen to beat my PB this season so I am quietly optimistic that this season might be the one.

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