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Posts Tagged ‘Trent Barbel’


Ah the long awaited ‘glorious 16th’ was finally upon us.  The delirium brought on by the closed season hiatus could at last be exorcised and a normal mental balance restored.  Well as much as possible.  Spring was not bad this year.  We had a good run of warm weather interspersed with warm sunshine and rain, as opposed to all of one or the other, as usual.  The fish were spawning with some vigour on the lakes and reports from our beautiful rivers were equally promising.  Lots of good healthy nookie was taking place across the width and breast er breadth of the country.  So it was fingers crossed that the barbel would have spawned and recovered from their amorous ardour and were on the munch!

Geoff and I fancied starting somewhere a bit different from our usual Berkshire opener and so looked farther afield.  It was to be Robin Hood country and so to Notts we headed.  Although the river here is slightly wider than the Kennet and so loses much of its intimacy, which both Geoff and I enjoy so much about places like the Kennet, we wanted to catch a few fish during the kick off to the new season.  We slum it at a local camp-site in a couple of pop up tents.  Oh yes, no expense spared.

The Trent

The Trent

Anyway we arrived bankside at around 7pm on the 17th.  We were the only ones in the car park, which was either great news or rather worrying and we couldn’t quite decide which.  So we loaded up like a couple of Sherpas and headed off to the river.  It was still very warm and overcast but no real rain was forecast, which was a blessing at least.  The river looked magnificent in its summer glory and we couldn’t wait to get started.

Nothing too fancy was the order of the day.  A medium sized open end feeder, 2′ 6″ hooklengths and I was going to use small hookbaits.  The fish haven’t seen an anglers bait for a few months (hopefully!) so rely on naturals and I don’t think big, clumsy looking baits quite cut it early on.  I wanted to use two small 10mm Ocean Pride squabs glued to a hair.  I also intended to use Sausage Sizzle and some matching paste for both rods on and off to see if it made a difference.  I opted for a 50/50 mixture of the Lone Angler groundbait (which contains all sorts of bits and pieces) plus a hemp and hali type groundbait for the oil content.   I find in the warmer months this leaks oil and bits float off and it really can pull in the fish.  Chuck a small ball of it into the margins and within seconds the fry are on it and it doesn’t take too long for some bigger dace and roach to find it either.

So pretty simple stuff really.  I always add some very small pellets into the groundbait to get the chub and barbel rooting around and this also works well.  It didn’t take long before the upstream rod bounced around in the rest and a chub was drawn into the waiting landing net.  First fish of the new season is always worth and whoop and a holler to celebrate.  Geoff was in before me with a bream then a barbel followed soon after.  Things were looking good.  I kept one rod on just plain squabs and the other with matching paste.  The rod tops were almost constantly knocking and twitching as fish fed in the baited area.  Constant casting early on got some bait out into the target area and the fish were responding with some gusto.

4lb 10oz

4lb 10oz

The rod tips just kept dancing all night.  I was getting chub, bream and barbel throughout the session.  I missed quite a few bites and had a few hook pulls (probably chub) which kept me busy.  They seemed to love the small squabs and I ended up with 11 chub with most of them over 4lbs to just under 5lbs, 4 barbel to 8lb 1oz and several decent bream.  My new Trefor West Torrix got a good work out and what a lovely through action rod it is.  It’s light and very sensitive, which I like in a barbel rod and playing any size fish on it is a real pleasure.  I can’t recommend them enough.

8lb 1oz

8lb 1oz

Meanwhile Geoff was really struggling.  He’d had 2 bream and a barbel early on and then nothing for hours.  He soon scrounged a few Ocean Pride squabs and the bugger promptly landed two 9lb barbel.  Git! 🙂  We called it a day at around 2.15am.  I could barely keep my eyes open and it was time for bed.

The following day we opted to try the lower extremity of the fishery.  It looked good but our gut instinct was telling us to head up to nearer the big weir at the very top of the fishery.  It made sense but we both felt that this area was seriously under fished and worth an exploratory session.  Sadly it didn’t pay off.  We both had a few fish but felt we could have caught more upstream.  I had a nice barbel, a couple of chub and a couple of bream.  Geoff had 5 or 6 bream/hybrids.  So a bit disappointing but perhaps not surprising really.  The water here is deeper and slower and after spawning most of the barbel will be seeking aerated shallower water.   Still it was worth a try.

All in all not a bad opening salvo for us.  I got to christen the new rod and put the 2 rod quiver through it paces.  All the Lone Angler equipment is made to the very highest standards and I’m delighted to be using their products.

Long Angler 2 Rod Sling

Long Angler 2 Rod Sling

12ft Trefor West LA Torrix Barbel

12ft Trefor West LA Torrix Barbel

 

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Sonnet I. To the River Trent

by Henry Kirke White

Once more, O Trent! along thy pebbly marge
A pensive invalid, reduced and pale,
From the close sick-room newly let at large,
Wooes to his wan-worn cheek the pleasant gale.
O! to his ear how musical the tale
Which fills with joy the throstle’s little throat:
And all the sounds which on the fresh breeze sail,
How wildly novel on his senses float!
It was on this that many a sleepless night,
As lone, he watch’d the taper’s sickly gleam,
And at his casement heard, with wild affright,
The owl’s dull wing and melancholy scream,
On this he thought, this, this his sole desire,
Thus once again to hear the warbling woodland choir.

Couldn’t have put it better myself, I must say!  Anyway the Association of Barbel Fishers were holding their annual AGM at Newark on Saturday 12th and as an Officer of the association I intended to attend.  It seemed pointless driving all of that way just for a meeting and so Geoff and I decided to go earlier in the week and do a spot of Trenting or more precisely; barbelling.  I booked some day tickets for Tuesday through to Saturday and hoped that the weather would hold.

We arrived on Tuesday evening.  During the afternoon it was an amazing 22c, however by the  following morning the temperature had dropped to a rather cool 14-15c and the wind was fresh to say the least.  A northerly had sprung up and it was blowing at 25mph and gusting to well over 35mph.  Wow what a difference and what a bloody shock to the system.  We’ve had a terrific summer really and September and early October have been outstanding.  So I won’t be complaining.  I might add the rain stayed off, at least whilst we were actually fishing.  And thank goodness for that.  Persistent rain and high winds really don’t do it for me I’m afraid.  That’s when its time to head to the pub. 🙂 and then things get really wet and windy, particularly after a few picked eggs……!!

Tuesday evening was very mild and so we decided to grab a couple of hours on the river.  Geoff and I shared a swim and Geoff was soon in.  The chub were active it seemed and Geoff ended up with a couple of nice fish.  I managed a bream and then a nice feisty barbel of 8lb 5oz.  We were both tired and the action was pretty slow to be honest, despite the seemingly ideal conditions and so we headed to our pits for some much needed sleep.

We don’t often start early if we are going to be fishing into darkness and these few days were not going to be any different.  By now the wind was blowing a hooley and the temperatures were dropping.  Still its nothing that a full English wouldn’t sort out.  We headed to Waitrose (we’re posh don’t you know)  and had the works in the restaurant (that’s cafe to you peasants) and grabbed a few provisions before heading back to the caravan to load the car and get off fishing.  Flasks made, food packed and we were on our way. After a good walk checking out a few spots Geoff and I finally decided on a couple of swims.  Although a bit cooler today the temperature seemed to have stabilised at around 15c, so not too bad considering the time of year.

The Bondi Beach of the Midlands

The Bondi Beach of the Midlands

Fortunately for me I seemed to find a swim with a few fish in.  By now it was around 3pm.  I had decided to fish two rods; one for barbel and the other a Drennan quiver tip and fish for roach or bream.  This was set up with 6lb mainline and a flurocarbon hooklink of 5lbs.  Bait was sweetcorn and maggots with maggots or hemp in the blockend feeder.  Regular casting of both rods would get a bed of bait down and hopefully attract some interest.  It was the barbel rod that hooped over first and a small barbel of around 3-4lbs was soon returned.  At this time of the year the barbel seem to fight particularly hard.  They really do give it their all, which is great fun.  Meanwhile the quiver rod registered the odd twitch but otherwise nothing much.

The barbel rod did the old three foot twitch routine again and a similar sized barbel was subdued.  The light was fading fast and I decided to change the bait on the quiver rod to a single banded elips pellet.  The theory being that the roach and bream are used to seeing pellets here and therefore that’s probably what they mainly feed on.  The plan worked but not for the aforementioned species.  As the quiver tip bent round at an alarming rate, it had to be barbus barbus on the other end.  After a great fight another fine barbel was returned and a short while later round it went again.  I ended up with 7 barbel to 9lbs and a few good bream to around 6lbs.  A pretty good result as far as I was concerned.  Geoff managed a couple of chub but couldn’t find the barbel.

The following morning (late of course) found us at the farm shop where the breakfast is first class.  The garden centre and shop are full of interesting bits and pieces and with a great selection of cakes, biscuits, sausage rolls and other consumable paraphernalia to keep you occupied.  Once again we headed to the river around 2-2.30pm and picked a couple of swims.  The wind seemed even stronger today and the sky was dark and foreboding.  Rain was a distinct possibility but we hoped that with such a strong wind it would keep pushing the rain away and so it turned out, as it remained dry throughout our session.

This time Geoff found the fish taking 4 barbel to 10lb 9oz and a few chub.  I only found one barbel, some chub and bream.  However one chub was probably over 5lbs and bream to around 6lb.  Eventually the temperatures dropped to just 7c and so at around 9pm we called it a day.  We returned for our last session the following day having tried out Morrison’s breakfast first of course.  Not at all bad by the way.  Plenty of food and good value.  The rain had put us off going too early but eventually we arrived at around 2.30.  It was still threatening rain and the forecast was pretty grim.  We decided to stay put until the rain started and then we’d beat a hasty retreat.  Luckily for us the rain never materialised and we remained dry but somewhat wind beaten.

Geoff's 10lb 9oz

Geoff’s 10lb 9oz

This time I enjoyed some really good action.  The rods were whacking round quite frequently and throughout the entire session.  There was the odd quiet moment but otherwise steady action from the barbel, chub and bream.  I ended up with 7 barbel to 10lb 7oz, 8-10 chub to over 5lb and a couple of nice bream (if such a thing is possible!).  Sadly Geoff struggled a little but I think had 1 barbel and some nice chub.  we ended the few days here with over 20 barbel between us and with two doubles and a bucket load of chub and bream, we felt pretty satisfied with events.  It’s been slow going this season so to get this much action was very rewarding I must say.  As ever thanks to Geoff for his company.

10lb 7oz

10lb 7oz

On the Saturday we attended the Association of Barbel Fisher’s AGM.  I guess there were around 16/17 of us there and we had a very good and worthwhile meeting.  After the usual formal procedures and votes we were able to discuss what the ABF should do next and this created a very positive and lively discussion.  Lots of sensible ideas were muted and some good action will result.  I am certain that over the next few years the ABF will go from strength to strength.  We have some great people on board now and with Steve Richardson as our new secretary, I personally feel we are in a very strong position indeed.

 

 

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