Archive for September 18th, 2012

I’m very proud to be a part of the Barbel Fisher’s team (www.barbelfishers.com), which means I’m directly involved in the day to day running of the Association.  I’m proud because of the amount of charitable donations they make.  As part of the ABF’s constitution, fundraising for its various nominated charities, has become a very big part of the group and they raise large amounts of money for various Hospices and the MacMillan Cancer Support as well as Air Ambulance.  Sadly, cancer has affected many of our lives in way or another, so this is something the ABF’s members can do to fight back.

Recently we have just enjoyed a charity fish-in on the river Loddon near Wokingham and we have Simon Bartlett at Wokingham District Council to thank for his sterling efforts in allowing us to use this venue.  He wanted all profits raised by the event to go to MacMillan and we are more than happy to oblige.  The event ran from late afternoon on Friday  through to Sunday lunchtime and was held at Dinton Pastures Country Park.

The Loddon

The Loddon

The river loddon cuts through part of the park as it winds it’s way towards Twyford.  Its a beautiful clear river, with thick water cabbages and flowing ranunculus and a plethora of bankside cover.  Overhanging tress and bushes abound, along with numerous rafts and offers enticing cover  to the canny chub and barbel the stretch is famous for.

The Loddon

The Loddon

I arrived early to meet Simon Bartlett and Micky Holtom from the Barbel Angler website (barbelangler.co.uk) but prior to their arrival decided to enjoy the culinary delights of the on-site cafe.  After demolishing a full English breakfast (and jolly good it was too) I had a cuppa with Micky and enjoyed the sights of the park.  Lots of young mums to keep the brain active!

Simon arrived and he kindly offered to show us the whole stretch of river so we could start to gauge which swims we could fish.  A few of the guys had already arrived and so off we went for a recce.  It was a bit of a trek from the car park but without the gear hardly noticeable.  However once loaded up it was like trekking across America just to get to your swim!  We discovered lots of great looking swims that screamed barbel.  So we opted to list a dozen of the best looking ones and then have a draw for the pegs.  It worked well and everybody ended up with a peg they felt happy with.  In all there was 9 of us on that first night and we were joined by Paul Whiteing the following morning.

Fishing started in earnest as the light faded.  I think all of those leads and feeders being cast out in unison spooked the Hell out of the fish because only one bite came during the opening night to Crooky and he promptly lost whatever was on the end, although he felt it was only a chub.  The temperature dropped quite sharply overnight and so eventually I turned in for a decent nights sleep.

Early the next morning Micky was up and within a short space of time had his first barbel bite of the weekend.  A feisty 9 pounder being the culprit.  I felt this was a great result, for someone to catch a barbel in these conditions ( sweltering hot during the day with temperatures to upper 20s and bright sunshine to bloody freezing at night) was icing on the cake.

The following day was more of a social.  The cafe was the first port of call followed by the local pub and then back to the cafe for dinner.  It was an opportunity to chat, enjoy some banter and hear some great stories regaled in time honoured fashion whilst enjoying a pint or two.  I was also treated to a Wallis casting lesson from Paul Whiteing and with his guidance soon had something that almost passed as a Wallis cast.  Crooky on the other hand……well what can One say!!

Again as the light faded the serious fishing began.  Before long a call came through that Micky was in again.  This time it turned out to be an 11 pounder and really was icing on the cake.  What a great weekend for Micky and a good result for the ABF.  The only other bite was to Lee Sinfield who sadly lost a big fish on free lined luncheon meat.  Still it didn’t spoil what was a very enjoyable and very successful weekend.  The ABF raised another £150 for charity and we all got to meet both new and old friends alike.  That is the last of the planned fish-ins for this year but with more initiatives in the pipeline, we hope to raise far more over the coming months to support our nominated charities.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: