30 December 2009

A Short Barbel Fishing Session

A Short Barbel Fishing Session

Winter time with strong south-westerly winds and heavy rain I reckon is the time to get on the rivers and seek the barbel, that's just what I am doing as I have for many years. I usually leave my Lancashire home around 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning for the for the 250 mile long drive south, Once in Newbury I sort out my accommodation for a few days, then its off fishing the Wasing Estate waters on the Kennet or Enborne. For membership details Tel 01189-714-140. These following events are from one of my many winter trips. On this occasion I chose to fish the Kennet on the Woolhampton beat. My first swim was an area with lots of cabbage patches under my rod tip, an ideal area for perch and roach. A few feet out from the far bank was a dead tree, downstream I had a clear area of gravel, over hung by the far bank Alder and Willow trees and bushes. A good Wallis cast would drop the bait in the area I wished to fish. As the river was low and clear I felt the barbel would be tight to the far bank where they had some overhead cover,they certainly wouldn't be roaming all over the river until darkness. Tackle was a Grauvelle 12 foot barbel rod, in which I had every confidence, matched with a centre pin reel and 12lb bs line. Having tied on a size 4 barbless hook, I lightly pinched on 2 LG shot two foot from the hook. Bait was sausage meat paste.

In the first couple of hours I had three small twitches, I say small, more like a signal crayfish lightly touching the bait. Striking at all three I missed the first, connecting with the other two twitches, both barbel were about 7- 8lbs. No way would those fish have been caught with the rod in the rest. Some anglers tell me they couldn’t be bothered holding the rod all the time. That’s OK but I go too catch fish not watch a couple of motionless rod tips. Recently I was talking towell known big fish angler Len Arbery who also agreed with me that many fish are lost through anglers not holding the rod. I have often fished a dough bobbin when barbel fishing when I am getting tiny knocks. Remember not all barbel give three foot twitches.

A Powerful Adversary

An hour later
I felt a light tap as something gingerly picked up or moved the bait. A sixth sense told me to strike. Immediately the rod hooped over the reel grudgingly giving line. Something big and powerful was hooked up to my line, it went off downstream not wanting to stop, but eventually the pressure exerted by well balanced tackle had the fish slowing down. Suddenly it changed direction moving fast upstream I gained line as quickly as possible. Then the fish shot across the river diving towards the branches of a long dead tree in the margins. I thought “If it gets in that tangle of branches all will be lost”. Swinging the rod to my left I cramped on the pressure moving downstream at the same time which pulled the fish of course. Suddenly it was out in the open water. A minute later the prize was mine, as it went into my landing net. I dropped the rod, gripping the arms of the landing net I dragged the net and fish up the bank, then onto a sponge mat. I quickly realised it was a nice double. After couple of pictures I watched it swim off strongly, hopefully to grow into a fifteen pounder. Why don't you get out on your local river this weekend. If you don't have the gear, then take a look at Tackle Discounts or visit their new retail store, your certain of finding a bargain.

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