An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Avon Barbel: The doubles keep on coming

I found myself sat reading a copy of Elite Barbel by Tony Miles this week as I entered the final days of my paternity leave. Reading Tony's escapades of his first ventures at Adam's Mill really whet the appetite to get myself back on the barbel trail. Of course, that is easier said than done when you have a new born in the house. So with plenty of errands completed and hopefully enough credit in the bank, I was brave enough to broach the possibility of an evening session. Thankfully, I was successful albeit it meant setting up in dark, which is something I try to avoid but beggars cannot be choosers.

Both rods were in place by 8.30pm. A boilie wrap on the upstream rod over six droppers of hemp and a few pellets. Hopefully, just enough to attract some attention in the area. Downstream was a lump of meat with a few morsels thrown in to encourage any feeding fish to mooch about and look for more. I've been experimenting this year with feeding and have found that the Warwickshire Avon barbel population can be suspicious of heavy deposits of bait. This was illustrated perfectly earlier this season when my upstream rod over a couple of pints of bait was ignored yet my downstream rod attracted lots of attention. I have summised that the fed bait does attract fish to the swim but they have learned to associate large quantities with being caught so hang back. This is where the downstream rod can pick up those finicky fish, which are quite often larger specimens.

I could hear plenty of fish topping and the local tawny owls and foxes were in active as I gazed at the clear night sky. The rods sat motionless but I was confident. About an hour in and the
The run of doubles continues
downstream rod was away. A barbel was hooked. It held station for a while as the better fish tend to do before I was able to ease it upstream. Twice it ran for the far bank. One of those runs saw me applying pressure to the spool to slow the fish down. Every time it surfaced and I reached for the net, the fish made another bid for mid-river. Eventually, it was netted and a thick set double was lying in the folds of my landing net. The scales registered 10lb 12oz. It had some distinctive marks on its right flank proving it was a recapture of the 10lb 3oz I had caught a few weeks ago. Although I have not caught as many barbel as usual from the Avon this season, that was my fourth double out of that last six barbel I have caught. This has been the first recapture meaning there are group of reasonable fish and a real chance of something much bigger as the season progresses and the fish pile on their winter weight. Perhaps my PB will be beaten? As far as the rest of my session panned out - a couple of line bites on the upstream rod was all I could muster in the next hour and I was back home by 11pm to recommence daddy duties.

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  1. Glad to see my tax payments are being put to good use financing the British education system Lee.

    Mother Hen

  2. Whilst my 3 year pay freeze pays for the banks' mistakes ;) See you soon.