Myself and Dan were on the riverbank, with everything set up, trying to kill half an hour before the season started - it's been a long closed season, but that last half an hour dragged on and on. Eventually the alarm on my phone sounded one minute past twelve - we could fish!
We both had bites on our first casts, and in true out-of-practice style we both missed them. My next cast resulted in our first Wandte barbel of the season 12oz - yay! Next cast produced a second 12oz barbel to me before Dan had a 10oz fish. Three fish in five minutes, things were going to plan... Then it slowed right down.
Over the next two hours I had a 10oz barbel followed by a 14oz one before Dan tipped us over the pound mark with a 1lb 4oz fish. I then managed an eel of about a pound and a half before it went quiet.
A move soon saw me in again, this time it was a proper fish, it didn't want to show itself and soon found a snag right beneath my feet. About 10 agonising minutes later, after trying every trick in the book, I admitted defeat - the line snapped just above the hook. Was this the Wandte double we are after?
Another move and I landed two more fish, 2lb 1oz and 2lb 3oz before tiredness took hold and we headed for home about 5am.
So the barbel challenge stands at 9lb 2oz (8 fish) with the biggest being 2lb 3oz, not bad for the opening few hours. The bigger barbel will have to wait for another day.