Having hit my summer target I had planned to leave the barbel alone for a while and target the carp in a fairly local pond - but a last minute job ate my morning - plus I had to get bait for the weekend...
Bait shop is fairly close to the river - I took the kit and had a quick blast before loading up with bait on my way back. And four barbel in the drizzle to 6lb 13oz (above) on floating crust - any excuse!
After walking to the river I had about 2½ hours of daylight left - I don't like fishing for barbel in the dark, I prefer to be able to see what I'm doing. Time was tight - but could I bank 3 more barbel?
A splasher first cast - result - but I'd like something a bit bigger to wrap up the 100 Barbel Challenge this summer. After a bit of a wander I spotted barbel number 99 - 6lb 0oz - going the right way.
And then a blind cast was nailed by barbel 100 - 6lb 3oz (above) - cracked it! And added another splasher on my way back down the river - barbel 101. Time for a celebratory pint (at home, not the pub).
More Covid cases today than yesterday, I’m hoping we’re not going to get locked in just as pike season kicks off! So another afternoon on the sunny river trying to crack this year’s Barbel Challenge...
Seven barbel to 7lb 6oz, four chub to about 3½lb, plus a bonus perch was a great result! Just need to sneak out for 3 more barbel to hit my 100 fish target. And I fancy an away day this month - just in case!
Is there going to be another lockdown? Winter is on it’s way and the C19 cases are on the rise - time to make hay while the sun shines - and the sun really has shone over the last few days.
An afternoon on the river - hot weather but the water is still fairly cool. And four barbel to 5lb 9oz plus about a dozen chub to 4lb 15oz found the net - so close to adding another 5+ chub to the season.
For me the most exciting thing in fishing is watching your pike float hammer under. Second has to be spotting a monster chub, floating a piece of crust down to it and watching those big white rubber lips suck the bait in - half a second pause, strike & all hell breaks loose!
They know where all the snags are and as you turn them from one they aim for another - it was a relief when this 6lb 3oz beauty slipped over the net! The first of two chub (the other was about 1½lb) and four small barbel on crust - loving this chub fishing at the moment!!
I hooked my second barbel on a lure - by design - and although I only had him on for 10-15 seconds it was long enough to prove the first wasn’t a fluke! It’s filled me full of confidence and I’ll be digging though the lure box and be back for round three very soon.
I did take some Spam as a backup & bagged the small barbel above. Blank saved - back to lure fishing - except... Another rod bites the dust! Can’t complain - I got my money’s worth out of that fishing rod! Another Rovex Lure Pro Quad ordered - £40 - should last 2-3 years?!
After catching that little perch on my last trip to the river I fancied a couple of hours trying to find his big brother. Once again the lure of choice was a yellow Beetle Spin. The only fish interested in attacking the lure were greedy little chub - still a lot of fun - but what was fascinating was watching other fish react to the lure.
In the clear water I watched perch, chub, barbel, a carp and even roach come and inspect the weird alien visitor to their world. It was a great way to locate fish - noted for future trips - especially the bigger perch which were shoaled up where I wasn't expecting them - I'll be back to see if they fancy worms as they wouldn’t grab a lure.
I switched lure to a Zoom Grub so I could fish a lot slower. And as I twitched the lure under a weedbed I had a slamming take and the reel screamed - it could only be one thing - but until I saw it I couldn't believe it. I was connected to a barbel about 7lb, and as I gained control I could see it was hooked fair and square in the mouth.
Unfortunately as I got the net off my back the hook pinged out (on examination the hook on the ultra fine jighead had straightened - I wasn't expecting to hook a barbel). So close to my first lure-caught barbel. Was it a fluke? I know people do target them on lures. Upgraded jigheads and Zoom Grubs added to the arsenal!
The best, and probably most exciting way of fooling chub in clear water is with floating crust. Chucking out a couple of free samples I followed them downstream waiting for the chub to reveal their location - then send one down with a hook in it - very simple fishing.
Watching the chub abandon their snaggy homes for a piece of crust I bagged 6 of them, the best two going 5lb 0oz and 4lb 5oz - great stuff - really should do it more often. And three barbel fancied a piece of floating crust - always great to pick barbel up off the surface!