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Archive for September 24th, 2011


It was time to set the Sat Nav to ‘oop north’ and head up the A1M to Nottingham.  Robin Hood had his merry men.  I was stuck with, er I mean in the company of me old (very) mates Geoff and Kev.  And I’m only pulling their legs. Well it’s a bit like pulling the leg on a Christmas Turkey but without the stuffing.  Anyways, I digress.  They are great company and I’m lucky that they put up with me to be honest.

We had decided to fish the mighty river Trent for a few days.  I fished it earlier on in the season with Geoff and we had a reasonable result.  Now we were in to late September and with the river low and clear, we weren’t sure quite what to expect. Still we were looking forward to it, it’s a great river and the rewards can be quite astonishing sometimes.

We arrived late afternoon and after sorting out the caravan, made our way to the river.  It was early evening when we finally got bankside and so had to select a few swims fairly quickly.  My tactics were to use large open end feeders (Andy Witham’s) which are perfect for the Trent.  They would allow me to deposit quite large amounts of bait into the swim.  Using a 3 foot hook length and a size 12 hook, I fished 2 medium elips on the hair.  The feeder was stuffed with groundbait and pellets.  I then set up a second rod.  This was a light quiver and this time I used a single medium-sized elips, on a hair rigged band.  It was at this point that Geoff proudly showed us his home made feeders.  They were made from a golf club tube.  They certainly looked the part.  He was extolling the virtues of these wonderfully pliable feeders when he gave us the squeeze test on the tube of the feeder.  One gentle squeeze and the feeder exploded like cemtex, pieces flying everywhere.  After several minutes of choking laughter, we decided it was best to keep buying them for the time being!

The evening proved slow for me.  Both Geoff and Kevin kept in constant contact via the walkie talkies.  They were doing reasonably well, catching fairly regularly.  I on the other hand, was struggling.  The first bite turned out to be on the quiver and a hard fighting barbel put up a great struggle on the light tackle.  Still, eventually I managed to get it in.  It turned out to be a nice fit barbel of about 6lbs.  Later I took a further 3 fish and 2 chub on the main rod.  Meanwhile Geoff was bagging up.   It was like fishing with Bob Nudd or Bill Nuddy as Dan would say!  He ended up with 10 fish including a stunning Trent barbel weighing in at 10lb 11oz.  Kevin managed 8 fish to well over 8lbs.

So the following afternoon, after a rather large lunch, we waddled down to the river again.  Fortunately the chair held out and the fishing commenced.  It was a very windy day, to say the least.  Still we stuck it out until about 11.30pm.  This time I managed to just pip the others, taking 6 barbel.  Geoff ended with 4 and Kevin just the one.  So it was an early night. Back to the caravan for a cuppa and a bowl of cereal.  Oh yes, we know how to live the big time!

Day 3 saw us arrive after yet another gut busting lunch.  I felt like the Cholesterol Kid.  Still a walk up river would burn off at least 3 calories, so all was not lost.  I like to maintain an athletic physique.  Well it’s hidden under several layers of fat obviously.  I selected a swim (I could walk no further) and first cast produced a very fit 6lb+ barbel.  Then I never had a another bite over the next 3 hours.  Geoff had headed to an area that I wanted to fish the night before with Kevin.  However age and unfitness got the better of us and we decided not to bother.  What a mistake.

Geoff had 7 barbel, whilst Kevin and I struggled.  I couldn’t get a bite, so decided to move to the swim I had fancied the previous evening, only to find Geoff ensconced in one just above it.  I checked to see if he minded me fishing below him.  He didn’t….well initially.  First cast and I was in.  Second cast and I was in.  Whilst reloading the feeder, the other rod went.  Then after re-casting both rods, they both went.  After sorting that mess out, one of the rods whacked over yet again.  That was six fish in what seemed like 5 minutes.  It wasn’t, obviously, but it sure did feel like it.

Shortly after I had another barbel and whilst playing it Geoff lost a big fish.  He was already cursing and mumbling and chuntering away as I kept hooking fish.  At this point it was getting dark and I felt compelled to move before Geoff re-enacted the Texas Chain Saw Massacre with his pen knife on me.  However there were no decent, accessible swims close by.  I offered to swap places with Geoff but he declined.  The fishing continued but luckily Geoff got in on the action too.  By now I had dispensed with the cage feeders and opted for a 70g blockend.  I filled this with a mixture of pellets, but mainly large ones.  The idea being that the scent would draw the fish in, rather than groundbait.  The problem with groundbait is it gets dispersed very easily, after being washed away out of your swim.  By using the blockend you are guaranteed a scent trail just a short distance from your hook bait.  It can be very effective.

It was at this time Kevin called to say he had a nice double in the net.  I popped down to do the old Lord Snowdon and the fish was a beaut at 10lb 6oz.  Well done Kevin.  I returned to my swim and by the end of the night I ended up with 18 barbel to about 8lbs and around 7/8 good-sized chub.  Geoff finished with 14 and Kevin 11.  All in all, not a bad nights fishing.  We headed back to the caravan feeling pretty satisfied.  Geoff felt a bit deprived as I had pinched a few of his fish.  Sorry mate.

We headed home on the Friday already looking forward to our next adventures in Robin Hood country.

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