An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Slow start eventually bears fruit

The opening of the river season seems to have been an anti-climax for many of the anglers I know. Despite several rivers being fished by some good anglers, the results have been the same - very little to write about.

My opening day saw me fish the Avon after work with a solitary 3lb chub saving a blank. A few days later saw me out again in what looked reasonable conditions. A bit of extra water had coloured the river up but I didn't get so much as a tap. I did get a to watch a family of foxes with an excitable cub, two roe deer and a barn owl all in the space of about 15 minutes, which is all I can say about a pretty uneventful session. 

I changed tactics altogether on my next trip, going lure fishing with my son on a completely different stretch. He christened his new spinning rod with a pike and managed to lose one that spectacularly leapt to freedom. I managed a couple of my own and a small perch. It was just nice to find some fish on a deserted BAA stretch of the river. 

Another blank followed that week and it seemed that the chance of an early season barbel was disappearing fast. As the end of June approached, I went out determined to put that right and set about hatching a plan to see a barbel grace the net. 

I baited up a likely looking spot and then fished some rolling meat to see if anything was lurking. I managed to get the bait moving nicely with just enough plasticine to get the bait down to the bottom. Two chub were caught quite quickly before the shoal spooked. That was the signal to get a bait out and sit it out for what I hoped would be a plan coming to fruition. I had a small chub before all went quiet. Then at about 9pm the rod wrapped around in unmistakable fashion. A barbel was on although it didn't put up too much of a battle. A couple of short runs and it was safely netted where it then proceeded to put up more of a fight than it had at any point in the water. It was a nice fish though. I hoped it might be a scraper double but suspected it would fall short with the scales settling at 9lb 9oz to confirm this. It was a great looking specimen and a fitting fish for my first barbel. 

A lovely conditioned barbel


  1. It don’t think it’s just the midlands, my local rivers have given up very little of more, even my trip to the Fens was saved by an early doors decent Rudd, spent the rest of the day scratching my head. Maybe with this drop in temps and a little extra water things may perk up a little bit.

    Good luck out there.