I haven't been to the Wandte for a week now and I was starting to get withdraw symptoms. So I worked out if I got up early and worked fast I could probably fit in a 3 hour lunch break - half an hour there, 2 hours fishing, half an hour travel back.
My plan was to fish 3 or 4 swims close together for maximum fishing time. First swim, first cast, cracking bite - don't know how I missed it. I was on about my third cast in the second swim when the rod ripped round without me having time to put it in the rests - barbel on! Tough fight, including getting the fish snagged, but eventually I got the net under it - 6lb 7oz, top photo. The trip was already more than worth it!
Next swim, bite within seconds and landed the chub above, about 2lb. As with the barbel, once I'd had a fish I moved. Last swim, and the one I thought would be the best - no bites.
With only a few minutes left on the clock I headed back to the first swim, it was starting to rain but I decided to give it one cast - I'm glad I did. The bait wasn't in the water for 10 seconds before I had a bite, a fight which went right up and down the river and eventually I got the net under what I thought must be close to a double - it went 9lb 7oz, my second nine pounder from the river, what a fantastic fish.
An after a couple of quick photos and making sure the barbel swam back strongly I ran for the train, getting soaked through on route. Made it!
So that's the first half of the barbel challenge in-the-bag, 100lb of Wandte barbel. But the quest for the double continues...
<- In the rain and my haste to get the fish back, I accidentally knocked the camera onto video, shame really - I think this would have made quite a good self take!