James phoned on Saturday - did I fancy an afternoon stalking roach on the local river? Still on my roach buzz from the previous day the answer was of course yeah. But I'd also take my rolling gear as I was one fish away from my barbel target.
We made our way down the river spotting roach and dace, but they were easily spooked, until I spotted a small shoal of barbel, out came the rolling gear and the fish were keen.
The biggest of the bunch nailed it about 8lb, shook it's head and came off, then same story with one about 6lb, finally the smallest of the shoal, about 2¾lb, was landed. You can tell from my smile I hadn't worked out I was about 2oz short of my target yet - I was going to need another.
We carried on down the river stalking roach, neither of us having any success although James did land a surprise bonus fish, I'll leave that story to his blog.
I did spot an overhanging tree that screamed barbel, and second roll through - fish on. A great fight and my 300lb target was beat! A fat 6lb 15oz barbel to crack the challenge - looked bigger than it weighed.
On down the river and I had time for one more, 6lb 1oz to wrap the barbel fishing up. A season total of 65 barbel for 312lb 14oz - brilliant!
No roach for me, and roach-man James only managed a couple of small fish, they weren't playing today. We wrapped things up with James catching gudgeon while I was weighing and measuring them for the gudgeon graph - more stats in the book, although we need a lot more before we plot them.
Hopefully I'll get another session or two in before end of season, and I still need to find some pike and a 3oz gudgeon, barbel challenge cracked but we're running out of time...