I didn't manage to get out fishing last night but Darren did. And had a cracking few hours sport, landing three fish; 9lb 1oz, 6lb 0oz and 4lb 10oz. Top stuff! But here comes the worrying bit:
"I had the 9lb 1oz from the same spot as your double on Saturday, and... I think it might be the same fish..."
A barbel can't lose 1lb 5oz in 48 hours, alarm bells started to ring! We couldn't have messed up weighing it by that much?! Could we?
I had a couple of hours to think about it before I received the photos. One - I was caught up in the excitement of potentially my first double. Two - We used Darren's scales (unfamiliar ones to me, even though mine were in my bag). And three - my first take of the weight was 10lb 6oz minus the 1lb (exactly) weigh sling, I didn't realize Darren had zeroed the scales.
I always have the same two worries on the walk home after catching a big fish (pike up until now). One - the scales are broken (they are always tested after a big fish). And two - the photo is going to be out of focus / deleted (I've been pretty lucky so far).
Surely the photos would confirm or reject my worst fears? At least pike are easy to tell apart.
The heads appear to be different shapes, good. And there seems to be a line of dark scales half way along the left side of Darren's fish, could be dirt or shadows. But the dorsal fins and tails look pretty similar.
Comparing the left side of the fish.
And the right side.
I'm sure someone who reads this is a barbel spot-the-difference expert, but until I'm told different I'm sticking with the weight I walked away with. If I can't ascertain its weight when it is in front of me, I stand no chance now!
The fact I even worry about stuff like this means I'm taking fishing far too seriously - I should really chuck the scales away...
But just to be on the safe side I'm going to go back out and catch another double, perhaps a twelve this time to put my membership of the Double Club beyond doubt!