Thursday, 1 August 2013

River Derwent barbel fishing - double trouble

It seemed that all hope of me leaving the barbel alone this summer had gone out of the window. A few nice fish in the net soon shelved that idea and I was once again captivated by the species. A few days after catching the brace in my last blog and after taking an hour to negotiate the horror that is rush hour traffic I was back in the same swim. Once again "le van" was to be home for the night and I would be up to get to work in the morning. I must say I'm finding the bigger van very useful in that respect. Previously my evening sessions tended to get short by me wanting to get home before 'er indoors was asleep so as not to disturb her, now my only concern is that I make myself go to sleep early enough so as not to feel like death warmed up the next day, a great improvement!

Tactics wise I was sticking with my normal small river routine of keeping the disturbance to a minimum. That means that each rig is positioned with a small pva mesh bag of free offerings attached and is then left alone. Typically in those circumstances I may risk a recast, though cast tends to be an over-exaggeration as the rig is usually just swung out gently, every hour at the very most and often I'm happy to leave the rig for longer depending on the small fish activity which is displayed on the rod top. On this occasion I only left the rig in the water for half an hour at the most as something fishy attempted to drag it to the Trent at 30mph. A battle royal commenced in the turbulent streamer weed festooned water as I tried to bring the fish up beyond my netting point in order to set up a controlled drift into the net. Each time I thought I had it beat another flick of the tail sent it back into the depths and I had to pull the sagging net head on to dry land to save it being dragged in. My in water guesstimate was about 7lb's odd, I was miles out, I find that when I switch species I invariably have to reset my fish appraisal clock and I needed to add four pounds on this time, useless! Eleven pounds four ounces were the scores on the doors, you can't grumble at that can you. The stress of being stuck in traffic was forgotten in an instant.

11lb 4oz

Once everything had been re-organised I sat back and enjoyed the stunning evening, there can't be a better place to be on a warm summer's night than beside flowing water. I was day dreaming away when one of the rod tips started to knock a bit. Now I never strike at knocks and pulls when I'm barbelling, I'm of the opinion that striking at those indications which tend to result in missed bites or hooked chub, either meaning a disturbed swim and potentially spooked barbel. Well this knocking started to get a bit persistent and it became obvious that something was hooked so I picked up the rod expecting to reel in a small chub. It came as something of a surprise to see a spikey dorsal cutting through the water and it looked to belong to a good sized perch too though it buried itself in the streamer weed and left me a bit stuck, 11lb barbel no bother, perch, snookered! After a bit of manouevring and pulling from downstream I managed to extract it and scoop it into the net, a fine looking stripe of 2 1/2lbs, on a boilie! Wonders never cease eh.

The next bite came at half past ten and I can't say that I was surprised to be honest. Though I catch most of my barbel in daylight you can't deny that dusk coincides with a great increase in their likelihood to make a mistake for one reason or another, possibly decreased awareness of the surroundings. This barbel couldn't be bothered to do a great deal at all and was soon having its picture taken, you can't blame it really in those temperatures. And that rounded off the evening, I sat out for another hour or two but there were no more indications and eventually my eyelids told me that it was time to retreat.

9lb 4oz

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