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!