Tuesday 16 June 2015

Glorious Sixteenth (And It Was)

Fishing Week: Day 2 (0530-1800)
Location: Local River
Target: Barbel (Roach Backup Plan)

The day we've all been waiting for has finally arrived - the river season is open! In what has become tradition I headed for the local river in search of a barbel. For the last few years this hasn't proved successful, but this year the barbel had already spawned and split up - would they play today?

I know I said yesterday I'd wait until after breakfast today, and I did, I got up at 4am (waking before my alarm), had a sausage sandwich on the bus and was on the riverbank at 5.30am. And my very first cast was nailed by a little barbel - mission accomplished! What could be better than a barbel first cast? A better barbel second cast - brilliant, they were on the feed...

In fact by 7am, an hour and a half later, I had landed seven barbel to 6lb 11oz, above. So I thought I break it up and decided to try and find a shoal of roach I'd seen the week before - but they weren't where I was expecting them...

After a bit of wandering about I found them, and they were mad for a bit of bread. Once I got the hang of float fishing with a fixed spool reel (it's been a while) it was nearly a fish a chuck, roach after roach. Over the next 3 hours I had 40-50 fish, nearly all over 8oz with the best two going about 1¼lb (I'll bring some more accurate small weight scales next time). My best bag of roach ever, interrupted only by one monster gudgeon. I could have sat there all day - but I fancied trying to find a chub...

I'd seen some big chub but they were a fair walk away - I had plenty of time. On route I had a few chucks for barbel, landing two more small ones - tally now at 9 barbel, with ten very much on my mind. I did a lot of walking and found chub landing three; 1lb, 2½lb and another 2½lb - great fun but not the monsters I was after...

I walked back down the river, I wanted 10 barbel and thought a recharge in a waterfront pub would do the trick! James phoned, he was sat on the roach shoal from earlier - but you'll probably read about that later on his blog. I made my way down to meet him - taking barbel number TEN on route! And number 11!! And number 12!!!

I sat down, we chewed the fat for a bit, had something to eat. Tired, I wished him luck (like he needs it, especially with roach) and made my way home...

As I walked away the light changed - that's enough of an excuse for one more cast isn't it? Bam - barbel number 13 was in the net.

Now, I didn't want to start my season on an unlucky 13, so I continued - finding number 14 then 15 and number sixteen - the best of the day, a 7lb 8oz barbel...

OK, twenty was on my mind as she slid over the net - after all, I still had six hours left until it was officially tomorrow. But as the Glorious Sixteenth found her way over the net it broke. My day was done. I was knackered. What a day!

2½lb, 5lb 9oz, 3lb, 6lb 11oz, 4lb 2oz, 2½lb, 4lb, 3½lb, 2lb, 2½lb, 4lb 12oz, 4½lb, 4lb 6oz, 4lb 3oz, 4lb 14oz & 7lb 8oz.

Right then, tomorrow was going to be spent in search of a perch - but I walked a lot of miles today in search of these fish (worth it) and even my blisters have blisters, I have to work tomorrow morning because I couldn't drag myself away today (worth it), and I have to go and buy a new net tomorrow (worth it), not sure what to do...

A relaxed afternoon on The Farm chasing crucians or heading to The Hook in search of predators..?


  1. It appears to be fish soup down South. Wow what a first day Brian :) I did ok too, post tomorrow, good to be back on flowing water isn't it.

    1. Right conditions, right timing - they had spawned 2-3 weeks ago and were on the feed, they had also forgotten about us anglers! They will be a bit more cautious today, and back to their normal frustrating selves by the end of the week.

      It is great to be back on flowing water - hopefully back out this afternoon.

  2. That's one hell of a tally for one day....top dangling Brian. Although, how did you manage to snap the net? or had it just had enough of the work involved?!

    1. Perfect conditions... You had rather a good day yourself I see.

      Net snapped as the last barbel went over it in the fast water, can't really complain - got my money's worth out of it over the past few years - getting the same model again.