On the weekend I headed out in search of a roach, I’m aiming to get 10 pound plus fish this season before starting my quest for a magic two. But in the bright daylight they didn’t want to play - so my back up plan was to search out a barbel.
Long story short I caught 4, no monsters but they did include the curious fish above. I named him Boomerang Bob, I’ve seen a few with scoliosis before (here’s a Wye fish caught by Roger), but not one quite this bent.
It was in great condition and fought well, I didn’t realise it was different until it slipped over the net. I’ve done a quick Google search but I’m having trouble finding out more about the condition - so if anyone in Blog Land has any links please add them in the comments - thanks.
As evening approached I went back to the roach fishing, landing three to 15½oz - so close to adding a second pounder to the target!
Squirreled away in a remote spot I rarely see anyone except the odd dog walker, druggy or teenagers looking for a secret shag spot. I heard crashing about in the bushes behind me and out walked two Pokémon hunters glued to their phones - and for the first time in history the fisherman asked the people walking past ‘have you caught anything?’
Coming down with man-flu I hit the river on Saturday afternoon incase it wiped me out for a week. I initially float fished bread - and over the course of an hour I had three roach and a monster gudgeon (no mini scales), but they weren't really playing, I think it was too hot for roach.
I had a tin of Spam left in my bag from fishing the Wye and I thought I knew what would be feeding. I added four chub to about 3lb and five barbel to 8lb 2oz to my afternoon - great fun on light gear - just what the doctor ordered!
Beetle Spin: Most of my week on The Wye was spent trying to catch a new PB perch, with fresh tails of three and four pounders in my head I covered as much water as possible with Mepps and Beetle Spins.
Although I had 30-40 perch I couldn't find one over a pound, perhaps their bigger brothers and sisters wanted bait? I did manage quite a few chub on the lures, although they were a smaller stamp than their bait-caught relatives. I have a few plans for a big stripy, and I'll be back to The Wye for a pike or three later in the year...
Chub Soup: Well the chub stayed on the feed, hitting the lures and beating the barbel to the bait.
I had an evening session on Thursday, mostly chasing perch but I couldn't resist rolling some meat about in the gravel shallow. Chub, chub, chub...
So today I was joined by Paulos and Roger and we were searching for a barbel - and we struggled, no bites - not even chub! Until after a couple of hours a static bait was hit and the rod nearly ripped into the water - Paulos was into a barbel, a new PB of 7lb 5oz - brilliant.
Then the chub suddenly woke up, Paulos managed a new PB of 3lb 7oz before heading off at lunch time. I headed back to the island and bagged up on chub with just one barbel making an appearance - a swing job!
Paulos' Barbel: He’s never caught one, so I made it my mission to put him on a fish. We arrived on Friday and the water was high and very red, not ideal as I like to spot the fish - but hopefully they would be feeding.
Paulos was suffering from man-flu which wiped out the weekend, but by Sunday afternoon I could resist no longer. With Paul sat firmly behind me in a deck chair - proper man-flu - I had a cast, it took about 10 seconds before I was attached to a barbel. Now the pressure was really on, it’s not this easy! 7lb 10oz.
On Monday I went out for a day’s perch fishing but I took a tin of meat and had a quick roll through any likely looking swims and landed a 7lb 6oz barbel above and a 6lb 4oz fish below, as well as a few chub.
This barbel had no anal fin, it hadn’t been bitten off, there wasn’t even a mark where it should have been - very odd. A mutant!
So today, with Paulos having made a partial recovery we hit the river and the pressure was on - would they play? Nope, after a few hours we hadn’t had a touch. Then Paul handed his rod to Roger and popped down to my swim to discuss tactics - and inevitably we heard a shout “Paul, I’ve got one”, 7lb 9oz to Roger!
Well it took the rest of the day, a hell of a lot of walking and a change of tactics before a static ledgered piece of meat was nailed on Paul’s rod, the classic rip-your-arms-off fight and his first barbel was in the net. 6lb 1oz, phew - mission accomplished!
We celebrated with some fish and chips, and then bagged up on chub and eels, including a new PB chub for Paul - no more barbel but almost constant action before it got too dark to fish. Barbel: sorted, now it’s time to find a bigger one!