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Archive for September, 2014


A two day trip to the Wye had been planned a month or two ago and I was due to take an old mate up for some autumnal barbel and chub fishing.  Sadly he had to cancel but I decided I’d go anyway, albeit alone.  The Wye really does look fabulous at this time of the year and this particular beat is spectacular anyway.  It’s also in the middle of nowhere and you can often feel like you the last man alive, such is the solitariness and remoteness of the stretch.  This of course makes it all the more special and when you’re taking in the beautiful scenery alone, it often seems more acute and one’s senses seem more attuned with nature.

The Wye

The Wye

I had decided to go back to some more simple fishing over the two days.  I’d stopped off at Woody’s and picked up some lob worms, maggots, groundbait and a few feeders.  The idea was to have a dabble with the float and therefore have an opportunity to test out the new reel; a Daiwa 125m with rear drag.  I was looking forward to this.  I’ve owned a few close faced reels but have never really taken to them.  I like to play fish off of a drag and I have found the ABU’s wanting in that department in all honesty.  I love a centrepin and if the fishing is close to you, they are superb.  However when casting a bit father I find a centrepin more restrictive.  So this should be fun to test out the reel.  I also intended to link leger with lob worms, hoping to tempt a few chub and maybe a perch or two.  With so many great spots to target on this stretch I was confident of a fish or two.

So I came armed with a float rod, a 12ft 1lb TC Avon and the usual barbel rods.  First up was the float rod.  Fishing the Ocean Pride squabs directly on a size 12 ‘the hook’ unusually didn’t produce a bite.  Unfortunately the wind had sprung up and was a very breezy downstream affair, which made presentation extremely difficult.  Normally this method scores exceptionally well here and big bags of good quality chub and barbel can be taken.  So a change of plan was in order.  Out came the Avon rod, close faced reel and a simple triple swan shot link leger, size 6 ‘the hook’ and a big, fat juicy lob worm.  The idea was to simply cast around the pools and runs, allowing the bait to bounce around with a small lift of the rod top.  I was hoping it would entice a big stripey but it seemed the barbel had other ideas!

The first three casts produced 3 lovely, golden barbel and oh boy did they fight!  On the light Avon rod and close faced reel the fish fought well but I was never under gunned I can assure you.  After that the chub put in an appearance.  I started to move around and I was picking up seriously good chub in pristine condition.  They were all 4lb plus fish and weighing a few put them close to 5lbs.  By the end of the day I’d taken 15 chub and 8 barbel.  As the afternoon wore on I decided a rest was needed and so swapped to the more familiar feeder tactics.  As always this season I opted for the Caviar Pellets and some of the LA groundbait.  They seem to be a pretty deadly combination and as ever produced the goods with 5 barbel to almost 9lbs being taken.

Cracking Wye Barbel

Cracking Wye Barbel

It had been a wonderful first day back on the Wye.  We’d had quite a bit of overnight rain on the Tuesday and maybe this had helped a little.  The nighttime temperature was up and the rain had maybe breathed some life back into the river.  The following day was another story though.  I was joined by Danny Collins and Pete Robinson for the day.  Having had such a productive day yesterday, I was hopeful they would have a  few fish.  Sadly the fish didn’t comply.  We tried a number of swims and numerous methods and baits.  I took a number of big chub to worm again, including three fish on the bounce going 4lb 10oz, 4lb 12oz and 5lb 1oz.  However there was no sign of any barbel.  However I did tempt a couple of nice perch with the biggest touching 1lb 8oz.  Meanwhile Danny and Pete were struggling.

5lb 1oz

5lb 1oz

They moved swims after lunch and feeder fished a deep run with lots of bankside cover opposite.  Eventually their perseverance paid off and they had a barbel each plus a chub or two.  I ended up with 5 good chub all on worms.  I’d had a lovely couple of days on this wonderful river and in all honesty its a privilege to be able to fish here in these amazing surroundings.  I think the two guys enjoyed the visit albeit in one of it’s less productive moods.  Still I’m sure we’ll be back at some point over the winter for the quality of the chub fishing if nothing else.

4lb 10oz

4lb 10oz

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Perhaps September is one of the greatest fishing months in the barbel angler’s calender.  It often produces bigger than average fish, as they start to pack on weight ready for winter.  Added to that are the array of colours on the trees that can make a beautiful place into a simply stunning, breathtaking place.  I don’t think there’s a better time to be on a river for the sheer, dare I say, cornucopia of colours of varying hues and shades.  You just can’t get bored of it.

I had arranged with Geoff to pop up to the Trent for a couple of days fishing.  We wanted to try a couple of day ticket venues, one of which has produced a number of very large barbel.  The first stretch is well known to us but the word on the fishy grapevine was that the fishing was very slow.  The Trent, like many other rivers, was suffering with low water levels and flow.  The river was as low as I’ve ever seen it, which didn’t bode well.

The Trent

The Trent

I headed upstream and found a suitable looking spot.  I like this area of the stretch as it’s a long walk from the car park and therefore lightly fished.  I’ve had some memorable captures here and it rarely fails to produce good numbers of fish along with the occasional double.  Nothing big mind you, they tend to be scrapper doubles to be fair.  I started off in one swim but after a few hours without so much as a twitch, I opted to move into another very productive spot.  I like to get some bait out, so two rods armed with big feeders are cast every few minutes to get some bait out into the swim.  I’ll keep that up for about an hour and then recast every 15-20 minutes, depending on the action.

Well as the light started to fade so the rod top started dancing and soon the rod top whooped over and a nice feisty Trent barbel fought for freedom.  This action continued and I ended up with a number of chub and barbel.  I think 5 barbel in all to nearly 9lbs.  Not a particularly productive session but good fun and perhaps not a bad result considering.  I tried a few baits but the Lone Angler Caviar Pellets seemed to be working the best.  They have proven to be a very effective bait this season taking a large quantity of barbel and chub.  I must say I’m very impressed with them.

Meanwhile Geoff fared slightly less well, although he still took a couple of barbel and a chub or two, plus a few bream I think.  The next day we decided to try a different stretch famed for it’s very large barbel with fish to well over 17lbs reported.  On arrival we chatted to a couple of local guys who had been struggling recently.  Again the low level and lack of rainfall seemed to be the cause.  Perhaps the highlight of the day was seeing a couple of guys with swimming caps and goggles swimming up the river on the far bank.  I guess they were heading to the English Channel!!  Still that’s a new one on me.

It was pretty quiet when we arrived and the fishing was in the deep boat channel close in, just a couple of rod lengths out, which on the Trent makes a nice change.  Unfortunately as with all big fish venues, things started to change as the day wore on.  By late afternoon cars and vans started arriving and it felt like Custer’s Last Stand at the Little Big Horn.  We were slowly being surrounded on all sides by an army of barbel hunters and some didn’t seem to mind about fishing almost in our laps.  We were obviously in the popular swims.  One guy could have almost held hands with Geoff, had he been so inclined, as he was that close.  Geoff of course didn’t take too kindly to those intimidation tactics and simply cast right at the point the other guy was casting.  Eventually the bloke got fed up and moved blow me, luckily far enough away so as not to disturb my fishing.  Mind you not that it made any difference as I never had so much as a twitch.  With all of those anglers there, I think I heard of 1 bream being caught!

C’est La Vie!

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What a fine fine figure of a man he cuts!!  Ignore the spelling mistake….it’s me really. 🙂

Delighted to be on the front cover.  Thanks to Jez Brown for some superb photos.

 

Coarse Angling Today

Coarse Angling Today

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