Afternoon session, this time joined by Dan (who was ill yesterday). And a change of plan, instead of searching for barbel we baited a swim and waited for them to come to us. Kit was also scaled down as light as we dared - wasn't sure if they were on to me yesterday.
After about an hour I got completely distracted and was returning James' rod rest and having a chat a little way from my rod, I glanced round to see my rod hammer away - time to demonstrate the running strike! Fortune smiled on me the fish was still there and after a delicate fight on light line the first fish was in the net.
Dan held the barbel in the net while I quickly set out the unhooking mat, scales and camera. Then he hosted the net to the bank - the barbel was gone!! Fortune smiled on me once again, the barbel hadn't spat the barbless hook and was still connected, a brief fight before it was re-netted, 6lb 3oz, a cracking start!
We were listening to the football on the radio and at half time Dan decided to pop off and get some chicken and chips, while he was away I had a bite that tried to rip the rod into the water, he was back for net duties and a long skinny 7lb 5oz barbel was added to the challenge.
Next up Dan had his first rod smashing bite of the season, and hooked a fish that shot downstream and expertly transplanted the hook from its mouth to a snag... I was really hoping he wasn't going to repeat his run of bad luck from the start of last season!
We sat it out but pack-up time of 10.30 arrived (work tomorrow). Net, unhooking mat, scales and camera were packed up just in time for Dan to have another rod ripping bite, a fantastic fight and a 5lb 9oz barbel - he does seem to leave these things to the last minute...