Archive for November 15th, 2012

After the recent spell of chilly weather, with the odd sharp frost, the weather this week took a change for the better with a warm front moving across the country.  With that warm front came some fairly significant rain and much higher temperatures, particularly overnight.  So after a couple of days of these improvements to the conditions, I thought it was worth a bash at a bit of barbel fishing on the Kennet.

We headed to a new stretch for Geoff and I (well actually I think Geoff has fished here once before).  On arrival conditions looked pretty good.  The river had a nice pace and colour to it and it was a beautiful mild day.  It started overcast but by early afternoon the skies cleared and the sun came out.  Although a stunning day, the cloud cover was keeping the warmth in and when it diminished, the temperature dropped quite sharply.

We set up in our chosen swims.  I fished a nice deep bend with a slack area on the inside.  I cast a lead around to check the depth and the structure of the riverbed.  It was deep (about 7 feet) and a good, clean gravel bottom.  There were quite a few leaves around, which is quite understandable for this time of the year but fortunately they didn’t cause me too much of a problem here.

Having had a very late night the night before, I was in no mood for moving around a lot today.  I’d had about 3 hours sleep and far too many G&Ts, whiskies and wine for my own good.  I’d been entertained at the rather swanky RAC club in Pall Mall, where we had lunch with wine, snooker, drinks, snooker, drinks, more drinks, food with drinks, snooker with more drinks, oh and some drinks to wash it all down!!  It’s a magnificent place and the sore head this morning was worth it….I think.  I got to play with a lovely young lady (snooker that is…filthy minds you lot) who is ranked 4th in the World.  She had a magnificent action oh and her snooker wasn’t bad either!  She was my partner in a fourball match and needless to say we won, which was primarily down to my considerable talents of course!

The RAC Club

The RAC Club

Anyway, I digress.  So I decided to fish two rods, as I was certain that the fishing wasn’t going to be hectic.  However the first rod was snagged solid when I pulled into what appeared to be a bite.  It wasn’t the usual savage three foot twitch but then at this time of the year they do tend to be a little more sedate.  Anyways, I decided to reel in the 2nd rod and use that downstream but cast a little further and to keep the rod just a bit higher.  Hopefully this would keep the line out of the unseen snag.  After tangling with the snag for a second time (I managed to retrieve everything this time though) I found the right area where I wasn’t affected by it.

I was fishing a fishy boilie with a real thick paste wrap ( no offence intended paste 🙂 ) and I cast this downstream and away from the danger area.  I called Geoff to see how he was getting on when the rod banged a bit and then slowly pulled round a bit and then a bit more.  Oops sorry Geoff I think that’s a bite…..wallop it was off.  Phone slung, rod grabbed, fish on.  After a really good, hard fight I finally netted my prize, a lovely fat Kennet barbel.  It weighed in at 9lb 13oz, so what a great start to the day and made the late night/early start worth it.

9lb 13oz

9lb 13oz

Geoff popped down and did his Lord Snowden impression and all was right with the World.  That afternoon the skies cleared and the sun came out.  Although the fishing was slow, with neither myself or Geoff having any more bites, I was able to concentrate on the wildlife.  A troop of long tailed tits kept me occupied for a while.  Later on from about 2pm onwards I watched a couple of bats feeding in the bright conditions.  That’s the first time I’ve seen this during the day and they remained out feeding all afternoon.  At one point I was nearly flattened by a Kingfisher.  It hurtled towards me from the far bank.  I’m certain it had intended to use my fishing rod as a perch to fish from but on seeing me flew straight past the rod and looked like an exocet missile heading straight for my face.  At the last minute it gained hight and just cleared my head.  It was a funny sort of day really because on several occasions throughout the afternoon a large flock of geese would fly overhead and each time they passed by there was a slight delay prior to being carpet bombed by their rather sloppy droppings.  Ah I love the smell of Napalm in the morning!

Anyway darkness was approaching and nothing had happened.  I began to pack away my bits and bobs when I looked round and the rod top pulled right round.  Fish on.  I initially thought it was a good chub, as it just didn’t fight.  However it was a Geoff special, you know one of those chub he hooks from time to time that morph into a barbel as they get near the net.  It was a lovely plump fish that was about 7-7 1/2 pounds and a nice end to what had been a lovely day.

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