Saturday 31 August 2019

Sausage Roll

I was fishing for carp and eating sausage rolls (as you do) and I thought: I wonder if carp like sausage rolls?

Turns out they do! Not really a big surprise, after all it’s food that fits in their mouth. Wonder why they’re so finicky sometimes?

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Monday 26 August 2019


A couple of very quick morning sessions and I’m closing in on my 100 barbel target - twenty needed, can I catch them before pike time?

For the records: 6lb 0oz, 4lb, 2¾lb, 2½lb & 1½lb (80)

Friday 23 August 2019

The Chub II

Sneaking about in the nettles (again) I spotted another monster chub - first cast the luncheon meat was hit by an unsigned barbel - landed, weighed and photographed - the chub was still there...

The next cast she nailed it - short fight before I was looking down on her in the net - I couldn’t believe it - another monster. But I recognised her as soon as I lifted her out of the water...

I did feel a bit guilty - she’d moved about half a mile, lost weight (5lb 14½oz) and who was there with a baited hook! Not a deliberate recapture - I don’t want to see you again until February or March!

For the barbel records: 6lb 9oz (75)

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Barbel On The Top

Probably not the most efficient way of catching bottom feeding fish but the takes are spectacular! Not the subtle way a carp sucks in bread off the top - barbel explode onto the surface, turn and then try and rip the rod out of your hand on their way back to the riverbed.

I think the trick is to not jump out of your skin and let go - especially if you’ve got them feeding directly under the rod tip. I had to have another blast at a surface barbel and after a couple of smaller fish I manage to tempt this 8lb 7oz barbel into it. Exciting stuff!

For the records: 8lb 7oz, 3lb & 2¾lb (74)

Sunday 18 August 2019

Twelve Hours

Twelve hours is about as long as I’ll spend doing anything, so when I headed off for a bait ‘n’ wait for carp with Richard that was my time limit. And I’m not night fishing - I want a daylight thirty...

Yeah, I’m making life difficult for myself! Twelve hours is a long time without a run - and I can’t wander far in case an alarm sounds - but this is my best chance to land a wise old carp...

To break up the day this monster of a carp swam in to say hello - estimated by Richard to be 38-42lb it was inspiring to see - but it didn’t want a bait. We’ll be back monster carp, we’ll be back...

Thursday 15 August 2019

Barney Rubble

On the river for the crack of dawn and while the world slept a battle ensued - and a beautiful double was swept up in the net - just hitting the magic mark at 10lb 0oz - well worth the early start!

I also managed two more, both caught on surface fished bread - my first barbel caught off the top (still aiming to get one on the fly when the nettles die back). And back home for breakfast and meddles!

For the records: 10lb 0oz, 5lb & 3lb (71)

Saturday 10 August 2019

The Chub

Last time I was on the river I spotted a monster chub, already over my time limit and packed up I was forced to leave it for another day (plus it was in an impossible spot to cast to). I was pretty excited and phoned James... “I think I’ve just spotted THE chub we’ve been searching for”... And told him exactly where I’d seen it...

James is on a bit of a chub mission himself at the moment, so I had to be the first to try and catch her - an early start - straight back to the spot - and it had bloody moved!! But after much searching back and forth (getting stung) I found her sunbathing about 20 yards downstream and flicked out a freelined piece of bread...

I watched the bread trundle down in the shallow water - the big girl moved across and nailed it - all hell broke loose as she tried to get in every snag going - a short dirty fight before she was safely in the net. What a fish! On the scales she went 6lb 2oz - a fabled six - my best from the river and second biggest chub ever - absolutely delighted!

And as my barbel tally from the river was standing at 698 I was keen to try and add two more to chip me over the seven hundred mark. I’d spotted a few on route and while on chub search. Retracing my steps I landed barbel number 699 and 700 (above) - and added four more barbel & a regular size chub for good measure!

For the barbel records: 4lb 7oz, 4lb, 3½lb, 2½lb, 1¾lb & 1½lb (68)

Thursday 8 August 2019

Efficiency Is Key

My barbel sessions tend to be quite short, 2-4 hours, so to maximise my catch rate I take a lot of notes. I’ve recorded the date, location, bait, weight, method and water conditions of every barbel I’ve ever caught from this little river (current total 698).

Obviously things change - floods alter the riverbed, barbel don’t always stick to the same areas etc - but it gives me a great jumping off point. Anyway, another morning mission and six barbel found the net - plus a surprise 1lb 2oz roach. All added to my notes!

For the records: 6lb 11oz, 5lb, 4lb, 3lb, 2¾lb & 1½lb (62)

Sunday 4 August 2019

Quick Mission

Well I had to check the river was still there! Very quick session - and a speedy result - two chub to 4lb+ and this 6lb 7oz barbel - splendid!