Another season is in the history books. Once again it was light on pike, and once again the local barbel provided the main distraction. A few away days, roach, bream, a magnificent trout and even a few pike - so here it is - the traditional season review
, my thirteenth since I started the blog, written monthly as I went along...
I managed to hit the Small River
five times during the opening two weeks (one full day and 4 afternoons). Action was explosive with 62 barbel
landed - plus a small carp, a pound plus eel and about a dozen chub! The bigger barbel are eluding me but hopefully I'll track them down. Cracking start to the season!!
Extreme weather; a heatwave followed by storms and flooding. The barbel fishing was still hectic, small fish, but I cracked my Barbel Challenge
- 104 barbel
! And mission with the stick 'n' pin resulted in a mixed bag including some lovely gudgeon. With the 100 barbel target in the bag I really need to locate some bigger specimens...
Still trying to track down a bigger barbel - best of the month was a 7lb 3oz beauty. I did land a surprise new PB eel - on bread! As a break from the barbel, a trip to the Itchen resulted in a couple of pound plus roach and five bream. And a wander along a neglected chalk stream provided some cracking wild brown trout.
A return to the chalk stream produced the most stunning wild brown trout I've ever seen. A quick mission to the Small River saw a double figure barbel added to the season. And three days on the very low, clear River Wye produced some fantastic chub and barbel action. Small River
summer barbel count: 140
I was continuing to catch barbel - including a double. And landed barbel number 1,200 of the twelve seasons I've fished the Small River
- taking my season average to 100 barbel! The other highlight was a fantastic away-day stalking grayling in a little chalk stream - great stuff. But I need to catch a pike!
Started with a bit of prospecting - three trips searching for a pike in a new little river. Two runs, one lost pike but none landed - I will be back - the search for local(ish) pike continues. And a couple of quick barbel missions to get a bend in the rod rounded out the month. Oh, and I caught a fifty pound note!!
Not much fishing! A couple of trips chasing winter barbel resulted in 10 barbel and 3 chub. Almost out of time to land a 2021 pike - a trip to the Kentish Stour provided the run I needed. And a trip back to my home turf River Wye proved tough going, just one pike landed - but a Christmas cracker at 18lb 10oz.
A couple more Wye pike sessions saw Paulos bag a 19lb 4oz beauty and I added 2 more including a double. A wander down The Itchen saw grayling, trout and 15 stunning roach landed. Back to the Small River
saw four more barbel added to the count in cold conditions. And a new river, Bourne gudgeon for good measure!
A stormy month; gale force winds and most of the rivers in flood - plans to target pike were hatched and then foiled a few times! And the chalk stream dace proved elusive - but the chub, roach and trout were obliging! A couple of barbel trips also provided a welcome bend in the rod. Onto the final two weeks of the season...
An afternoon on the Small River
took my count up to 180
barbel (or 194 including the ones from The Wye). And a three day mission to some southern rivers added three jack pike, a stunning season's best 5lb 8oz chub and six more bream to the season. Looking back it was another cracker - roll on the next one...
Great year, enjoyed the recap probably as much as you!ReplyDelete
I find two photos and write a quick review at the end of every month - and it always surprises me when I see my season condensed down to a 2 minute read!Delete
Well done Brian, that’s a crazy amount of barbel, I don’t think some of my local rivers have that amount of barbel in them combined !ReplyDelete
Looking forward to next seasons updates.
Cheers Darren, I’m very lucky to have barbel a short walk away - as soon as I have 3 or 4 hours I shoot down to the river - really makes my season!Delete
Looking forward to finding some pike next season...
Proper good season that squire! Let's hope the following season is even kinder!ReplyDelete
Onwards and upwards..!Delete
We always seem to find fish even when the going is tough.Delete
Boom - and there drops the James curse :-)Delete
You know it! Touch wood we can get out and do some soon!Delete
Been far too long - I think the fish are missing us!!Delete