Dan text me this morning to see if I fancied a bit of barbel fishing this evening, what could I say? He didn't know what time he'd be there, sometime around about 4.30, maybe earlier, and as I had the net and the bait I thought I'd arrive an hour earlier and try and catch a chub.
First cast a chub of 2lb 11oz, which as I took it's photo crapped all down my leg! Lucky? Then I found a parakeet feather. Lucky? I met Dan and the first swim we tried I had another chub about 10oz before we moved on in search of a barbel. Next swim produced a 1lb 15oz barbel, again to me, and we thought we'd found our spot. We fished on for a couple of hours with only a few half hearted bites and decided to head to the pub... There was one last swim I fancied and it was on route to the pub.
First cast I had a great bite and connected to a nice fish, it looked about three and a half or four pounds (a new Wandte personal best for me) until it spat the hook at the net. Next cast produced a barbel of exactly 2lb which fought well above it's weight. Next up Dan hooked into a good fish, unfortunately it broke him off just above the hook before we could see it. The night of lost Wandte monsters?
Ten minutes later I had another bite, I struck and all went solid, then it moved, then all went solid again. Me and Dan wondered if this was a good fish or a snag, I kept pressure on it until after a few minutes it moved, nice fish on!
I've had some nice barbel before in the river Wye, including a couple of nine pounders, but this was the best barbel fight I've ever had. We eventually netted it about 50 yards downstream - Dan went above and beyond the call of duty, netting it while hanging from a tree! 6lb 6oz, our new Wandte record. Fantastic. And then we went to the pub for a celebratory pint.
And hello to Darren. Whom we met down the river and recognised me and Dan from the blog - hope to see you fishing next season. You wished us luck and we had it - thanks.