I've had my fill of barbel for the time being, so today I grabbed the pin, a loaf of bread and a set of small weight scales and hit the local river in search of roach. I've been after a pound plus fish for a few seasons now and I thought I'd try the spot where I caught the two (unweighed) ones on the opening day.
It wasn't easy fishing and the first hour produced only one bite, the float shot under and I missed. I kept the mashed bread going in and after another 20 minutes I hit bite number two, great fight on light line - I thought it was a chub. And after getting my net tangled up I handed the fish in. A beautiful 1lb 2½oz roach - made my day - made my week!
I could have quit then and there but decided to try and find another, eventually I got them feeding and over the next 2 hours I probably had a dozen or so, no more over a pound but all between 8-14oz, a brilliant morning's fishing. I will be back - but perhaps it's time to crack on with the predator challenge - time for a perch...
Still making hay! Quick couple of hours on the river after work and I've really brought my average weight down - but nine barbel so not complaining. I will try and find some bigger fish later in the season but right now I'm just happy to have fish pulling on the line!
The barbel went 1¼lb, 1½lb, 4¾lb, 6lb 2oz, 1½lb , 2lb, 1lb, 2lb and 1½lb.
*Talking of averages, I'm averaging 8 barbel a session at the moment (64 in 8 trips), a stat that will soon drop when I start looking for bigger fish - but it's nice right now.
Make hay while the sun shines! I decided at lunch time I'd shoot off after work, grab my gear as it was still packed from Saturday and hit the river for an hour this evening. And for once the tube, train and bus were on my side - I arrived at the river with about 1½ hours of daylight left.
And I was soon into the barbel adding five to my season - 3lb, 3¾lb, 6lb 13oz (top photo), 4½lb and 1¾lb - brilliant stuff! I also managed a couple of small chub about 12oz a piece, great way to finish a busy day at work.
BTW, I haven't got one small leg, one massive leg and no body. I didn't use the flash on the camera and in the low light and slow shutter speed I moved - at least I kept the barbel (fairly) still. Love that photo!
I really didn't have time to go fishing on Saturday, but I grabbed the gear and jumped on the bus. Traffic was bad and I arrived at the river just in time to leave (I had to meet my girlfriend when she finished work).
I had to have a cast, kit was quickly assembled and I headed down stream looking for a fish - and as you can tell from the photo - I found one! After a great fight for the size of the fish I made sure she when back well, chucked the kit in the bag and dashed off to the bus.
Cubes of luncheon meat used: 1
Barbel caught: 1
Minutes late: About 10 (I blamed the traffic not the fishing!)
I did manage to escape to Marsh Farm for 4 hours on Saturday, fishing into the evening. And was instantly into the small roach - but the crucians were showing all over the swim - just a question of time…
The roach managed some convincing crucian bite impressions and some passable tench bite impressions - but it was only small roach that wanted to play all evening, the only thing that was interested in my prawns was a wasp that managed to dissect and transport 2½ of them over a couple of hours.
But sat under one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen (with a flat battery in my phone and my camera still with the barbel gear from earlier) there was nowhere else I'd rather be.
It has been two long weeks since my opening week of fishing and I was gagging to get to the river. I was on the riverbank at 6am and due to the rain last night the water had coloured up, I couldn't go fish spotting as planned - I had to rely on swims I'd spotted them in before.
It was three or four swims before I had a hit on the rolled meat - a barbel, only about 1lb but that didn't matter I just wanted something to put a bend in the rod. Then they really went on the feed...
I stayed about 2 hours longer than I had planned. But they were up for it - including one barbel which nailed the bait as I wound it in and one that swirled at it as it hit the water. A grand total of 15 barbel and 4 chub. No monsters, the best going 6lb 7oz (above), but the action was hectic.
It didn't all go to plan - I lost 6 barbel to hook-pulls, two of them looked like bigger fish - can't really complain though.
Barbel went 1lb, 5lb, 1lb, 3lb, 6lb 7oz, 4lb, 3lb, 2lb, 1lb, 3lb, 3½lb, 1lb, 4½lb, 1½lb and 1¾lb. Total of 41lb 11oz for the records.
Quick report today - time to escape to the farm...