Friday 28 July 2023

Blackwater Gold

We had intended to fish The Severn after The Wye but it was set to rain all day, the Severn would rapidly become unfishable - so we opted to spend an afternoon/evening on the tiny Blackwater...

We walked a mile stretch, and it looked great - but there is a very low population of barbel and a lot of places for them to hide! So James opted to spend 30 minutes in each likely looking swim...

I'm not one for sitting still, so I opted to freeline meat while barbel spotting with polaroids. And bag a few chub while I was searching - I banked 5 chub, nearly six but a pike nicked one - I'll be back for her!

It look 7 hours to spot a barbel - I launched a cube of meat at her - then it took a further 45 minutes for her to pick up the bait - great fight before an 8lb 0oz Blackwater bar of gold found the net!

I fished on until dark, James stuck at it for a few more hours - but no more fish - the day was mine (he had won The Wye). A new river barbel, number five - hard earned fish in the horrible conditions!

Intimate little swims.

Absolutely pissing down all day.

The chub kept me entertained while searching the river.

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Wye: Scuppered

Day two on the River Wye and James stuck to his bait 'n' wait plan & swim, I wasn't really prepared to sit it out so went wandering and rolling. Which tactic would work today?

I was soon into the chub, and landed between 20-30 of them with most over 3lb - and I did convince three little barbel into taking rolled meat. If I had concentrated on chub I think I'd have had a lot more.

James stuck it out and landed 8 chub and 5 barbel - to a very respectable 8lb 4oz - not the double he was after but we'll be back for her. Not the trip I'd planned but a great couple of days anyway!

One of three 4lb 7oz chub (best of the day).

A little taste of what I was expecting.

Monday 24 July 2023

Wye: Plans

With James' 40 River Barbel Challenge progressing nicely he needed a River Wye double - my home turf. But first things first; he needed his first Wye barbel - I had a plan...

Base ourselves on Swan Shit Island, targeting the shoals there and then use the high banks to spot barbel in the clear water. Target: 40 barbel between us over the 2 days, hopefully including a double...

But after the recent rain the island was under water and the river was dirty - no fish spotting - this just got a lot harder! And we soon found out the barbel weren't feeding, although the chub were ravenous!

We rolled meat in every likely looking run but all we found were chub, about 5pm James opted to bait 'n' wait - which as it turned out was the right decision...

I stuck to rolling and bagged 17 chub and an eel. James had more luck; bagging 6 barbel, not the target size but he was off and running despite my help! Hopefully we could find more on day two...

Friday 14 July 2023

Bent & Screwed

My afternoon session was cut short when the reel seized - it has had a bit of stick over the past few years! Back home I disassembled it, one tiny bent screw seems to be the only issue...

Very tiny - one pence piece for scale. Should be easy to fix - but where do I find a replacement screw? Probably take ages for Shimano to send a new one - perhaps I can find a one somewhere else?

I was searching for monster chub, and I may have found one - but I could't tempt her - I'll be back. But I did manage seven barbel, including these 2 sixes, before it was an early bath!

Monday 10 July 2023

Pike Attack

I finally hit a pound plus rudd, and a pike swirrled up and grabbed it - it pulled the little boat around the river before spitting it out, but managed to transfer the hook into it's scissors. Epic fight on the light gear - and fortunately didn't bite through the line - excellent!

Was a lot harder finding the rudd than we had expected - but always fun to be in the boat. James managed a two, and I had my chance - loosing a big fish in a weedbed. Kicking myself we didn't go to it instead of trying to pull it through. Pike consolation prize though!

Ten rudd, the best two going 1lb 8oz and 1lb 4oz (above).

Messing about on the river!

Loads of wildlife to keep us entertained between fish.

And in case you missed it - James' new river double, number nineteen, is here. Nearly half way to his mad 40 rivers target!

Sunday 2 July 2023

Fifteen Hundred

Barbel number 1,500 - not a monster - but on floating crust on an afternoon when they were reluctant to come up for it.

A beautiful 4lb 3oz chub - my first over the four pound mark of the season - but I did see his big brother.

A 6lb 11oz barbel - who beached himself when I released him - had to take my shoes & socks off and wade across to free him!

And a recapture of the fat barbel - at 10lb 7oz she's lost almost half a pound - spawn bound? mutant? greedy? Still fought like stink!!

Right, must be time to track down a Thames barbel...

  • Barbel #1500 - July 2023
  Barbel #1000 - December 2020
  Barbel #500 - October 2017
  Barbel #1 - September 2010