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Archive for August 11th, 2011


The three musketeers arrived at the Kennet Tuesday afternoon full of anticipation.  We have found it tough going so far this season.  In 8 sessions I have only managed 5 barbel and lost 4.  Geoff and Kevin have taken 5 between them.  So not the best of starts.  I have tried altering my approach slightly this season and so far my results have been slightly better than the other two guys, but its only a very small difference.

The Kennet

Tuesday night saw me fishing 2 areas.  I opted for a open-end cage feeder (Andy Witham’s feeders) stuffed with barbel bomb and small pellets, all mixed in together.  I then used 2 of the medium sized elips pellets superglued to a hair on a size 12 hook.  Usual hooklink: 3 feet of Suffix camfusion.  I also incorporated a flying backlead a further 2 feet up the line from the feeder.  Its been difficult to use backleads this season on some parts of our Kennet, due to the amount of weed in the river this year.  There is more weed than I have seen over the past 5 years.  I suspect it was due to low river levels and the unseasonably high temperatures through April and May, which were obviously perfect for weed growth.  Its good to see it in the river in such abundance but we’re just not used to seeing on this part of the Kennet.

The only barbel during this part of the session came to me about 7.30pm, in a nice deep run over a thick ranunculus weed bed.  A spirited fight resulted in a barbel of around 5lbs.  I was just putting a few bits into my rucksack, as I was just preparing to move, when I turned around on my chair to check the rod and see the butt right up in the air and almost heading off into the river!  Luckily I fish with the rod often resting on my chair, but if not very, very close to me.  I managed to get my hand on the rod before it disappeared.  Never take your eye off the rod for a second.  I would normally put the bait runner on if I am going to be distracted for a few moments.  Anyway disaster averted.

A move proved futile as no further action came, nether did Kev or Geoff have any success.  Another tough day.

The following day saw us move beats. We headed to the Warren and Dalston sections.  I had decided to knock the barbel fishing on the head for today and concentrate on the quality dace and roach fishing to be had on these sections.  I set up a light quiver tip rod with 5lbs mainline and a small blockend feeder.  I used a 2 1/2 foot hooklink with a 16 hook and tied a small bait band to the hair rig.  I was using single small elips pellets as a bait, which I know these roach and dace love.  I filled the feeder with some large pellets (these are for flavour leakage) and some small micro pellets.

Action was steady.  A few nice dace took the bait but no sign of any roach.  I moved to a lovely shallow gravel run, with a deeper glide on the inside of a crease.  A few knocks resulted and then the tip pulled round.  The strike met with solid resistance followed by the steady pull of a decent fish.  This was either the biggest dace ever recorded or a barbel.  After a lovely fight on the lighter tackle a barbel going 7lb 6oz was returned to the river.  A little while later another barbel took the pellet and this time it went 7lb 7oz.  Like peas in a pod.  Maybe the smaller baits and lighter set-up made the difference with the barbel.  Both Geoff and Kev sadly blanked barbel wise although Kevin lost a fish in a snag.  Food for thought.

A very big dace!

I have certainly been toying with the idea of returning next time armed with hemp and casters.  Certainly the larger baits, perhaps in particular pellets, don’t appear to be working.  It’s time to re-think and change tactics again.

The roach sadly failed to materialise.  Another time perhaps.

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