An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Barbel: Planned to perfection

If you have been following my blog then you'll know that my last offering [here] discussed the possibility of catching barbel on the Warks Avon from venues that had little form. With several venues attracting the majority of anglers I have grown tired of the crowds especially when all this pressure undoubtedly affects the fishing prospects. So with a new venue chosen I set off on the evening of the 16th June full of optimism. In my mind's eye I had imagery of picking up barbel in my carefully chosen pegs. My first cast saw some viscous chub pulls but none materialised into a fish. I stayed mobile but by 11pm a number of chub pulls was all I could muster. Nothing like crashing back to earth with a bump. Another visit a few days later saw slightly better results. I didn't blank courtesy of a 3lb chub but fishing new swims still failed to find the barbel.

Finally beaten 
I must admit it, my confidence did wane for moment. But this wasn't meant to be easy. After all, I was fishing a stretch that no one else targets for barbel. On Thursday evening, I drove near to a popular BAA stretch. With over a dozen cars crammed into the car park, it was a timely reminder of why I had decided to seek pastures new.

By 8pm I was ready to make my first cast on the newly discovered stretch of the Avon. With the swims I'd fished to date failing to produce I had decided to continue searching by fishing a new area on the stretch. I used a bait dropper to deposit a mix of pellets and hemp upstream of my position and decided two rods would be the plan of action. One upstream over the bait with another 20 yards or so downstream. Both were baited with boilie. Within ten minutes the downstream rod wrapped around and contact with a barbel was made. A fish of just under 7lb lay in the folds of the net. A sense of relief flooded through me. Barbel were here and I had finally found them. Next cast brought a 3lb chub to the net. Over the course of the next two hours a further three barbel found their way to the bank. All in the 6-7lb range although I did lose a slightly larger one as it approached the net. All gave great battles in the low, clear water but they were feeding without inhibition. Had I caught them on a good day or was the lack of previous pressure pivotal? I assume I will find out during the course of the next few months.

With four barbel caught in less than three hours I felt it vindicated my plan and opinions. Not only had I caught barbel, I had seemingly found them in reasonable numbers on a stretch that no one else seems to bother with. So next time you arrive at a venue with a packed car park try somewhere new as you might find the river has a few untapped gems.

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