To the river for my weekly fishing fix, water was too dirty for perch - but I don’t mind the odd barbel! But to annihilate my nearly 8 year old PB made a rather familiar trip this season into a trip of dreams!!
Tiny pinch of breadflake about the size of my thumbnail, freelined in about 18 inches of water did the trick - and what a cracking fight - before my new PB was in the net - 14lb 2oz - get in!
A distinctive barbel - one I've caught once before - but she's been sat at the buffet cart since then! Backed up with barbel of 8lb 15oz and one about 3½lb. Fantastic. No mile count today - I floated home!
There aren't many perch in the small river - and as nobody targets them - is there a hidden monster lurking about? Neglect, lack of comptetion and plenty of baitfish - sounds perfect.
Perfect if I could find them! A three mile stretch thrashed to a foam as I put a varity of lures in any little gaps I could cast to - not even a follow! But I knew it wasn't going to be quick or easy. Next time?!
I had a few slices of bread left in my bag - so before I ran out of daylight I went back to some pacier water and bagged a couple of blank-saver barbel - too far to walk for a dreaded blank.
Edit: I removed the trebles and flattened the barb on the main hook on the lures shown before I used them.
To the river, armed with soft lures and a new reel to christen - and the target was a perch. On arrival the river was high, dirty and pushing through - perch fishing was out - but I had a bag of bread and a back-up plan - a January barbel or two...
I was soon into the barbel - conditions were perfect for them. Including a walk to my office to pick up the reel, walking too and from the river and wandering about on the riverbank I walked a total of 19.52 miles - and 7 barbel found the net - totally worth it!
I can't recommend the Mitchell Tanager reels as I broke them both in less than a year (but a hell of a lot of fish), the new ones are Shimano Sienna 2000 FG. They're heavy and don't come with a spare spool - but on the initial test they felt fantastic - let's see how long they last.
I'm hoping to get out once a week or so over the rest of the lockdown (unless they tighten restrictions). Conditions permitting I'll target the perch - and there are also roach, chub, carp and gudgeon to target - and always a barbel back-up plan!
Lockdown again, but the end is in sight - roll out that vaccine. A month or two watching TV is a small price to pay. And hopefully we'll get out again before the season ends - I'd love a few pike & grayling.
Plenty of great blogs to read (or re-read) on the right, scroll down a bit. And I'll go back and look through some past glories - the advantage of blogging for over a decade. Stay safe - nearly there...
Edit: The Angling Trust has just announced that fishing is allowed during Lockdown 3. Check their website for rules and restrictions. They changed it a few hours after I posted this - to the river...