Posts Tagged ‘The river Kennet’

I joined Geoff and Kevin on the banks of the river Kennet yesterday for an attempt at a barbel from a new stretch.  The forecast was for some mild weather approaching and this often stirs some life into the barbel population during the winter months.  The temperatures for Wednesday were into double figures with the previous couple of days seeing rising temperatures both day and night.  So it sounded like a good idea.

We arrived at the venue and had a quick recce, then grabbed the gear and wandered off down the bank.  The gear was dumped down and we decided to walk the length of the stretch.  Not a particularly long section but we found some interesting swims.  The river is down at least a foot but probably more like 18-24 inches, which dictated swim selection more so than normal.

Despite the forecast and the fact that the air temperature was a bout 10c, there was a very cold, strong wind and it was bloody freezing.  Thank God I bought the thermal underwear, as I almost didn’t bother.  We each found a likely looking swim and decided to stick it out all day and see what happens.  I started off with a boilie wrapped in paste.  During the first hour and a half I kept feeding maggots into the swim and then switched to a smaller hook and maggot hookbait.

Despite keeping the feed going in every few minutes I failed to pull in any fish.  It wasn’t a deep swim mind you, maybe 2ft 6in – 3ft but it did have lots of cover bankside and down stream.  It looked like it should have held a few fish but they failed to materialize.  I managed 1 or 2 knocks but that was all.

A call from Geoff informed me he had just caught a nice barbel of 6.8lb-7lb and later on Kevin struck gold with a beauty going 11.8lb. It was a short, stocky barbel that looked absolutely stunning.  So well done chaps.  Both of the fish were taken on maggots which are often a good winter bait in low and clear conditions.  We fished on until about 5.30 when the cold wind finally beat all three of us.   I’m sure we’ll be back soon if the mild weather holds.

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