An angler's journal

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Barbel in the mist

The weekend brought some foggy weather to the Midlands. I had decided that I could fit a quick session in and as it happened it turned out to be less than three hours. The upstream rod was baited with boilie and a PVA bag while the downstream rod saw trusty Spam over a few droppers of hemp and pellet. With both rods in place by 4.30 it wasn't long before darkness fell and the fog began to linger. By 6pm it was so thick that the far bank had vanished. I can't remember a night so dark. I have never been confident of fishing in foggy conditions and with both rods remaining motionless bar a chub stealing the meat, prospects were looking pretty grim. I had rebaited the downstream rod with a large lump of Spam to prevent a repeat but by 6.50 I had decided enough was enough and I'd give it another 15 minutes and go home. Moments later the baitrunner on the downstream rod started to click and pay line. This was no searing run, instead the fish appeared to be oblivious as it casually moved away. Since the bait was large, I allowed it to run a little longer than usual before striking into what was obviously a Barbel. It fought with the characteristics of a decent fish, staying low with several powerful runs as it neared the bank. A solid fish came into view. A huge girth made me think it was 11+ but amazingly, the scales only settled on 10lb 11oz. The huge stomach was a little hollow so the fish has plenty of potential but I have to admit to being surprised on this occasion. With an unlikely capture secured, I then braved the murky conditions in an attempt to locate the car and the route home.

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