I ventured to a stretch close to home this afternoon in pursuit of a Barbel, the weather was grim and it tipped it down from start to (almost) the finish....
On reaching the peg it was obvious that it had not been fished for some time as the undergrowth had done it's upmost to cover it up! Fine with me I like the solitude.
I baited the shallow run with 3 handfulls of hemp and pellet then I sat on the mat to put on a fresh hooklength and add a backlead that was required in this peg. During that time I noticed that the Barbel & Chub were straight on the bait and were ripping the gravel up for it, great but hooking a Barbus first would be the issue in this peg but there were some very nice Chub in the swim also. It was with trembling hands the first cast with a 6mm pellet was made and within 30 seconds the tip is over and the fight is on, a good Barbel boiled on the surface and headed straight for a nearside root system, it obviously got there as the hook pulled much to my dismay (plus other verbal additions!)
Looking back into the run the fish were still there so the dilemma was do I go straight back in or wait a few minutes, I decided that if they were spooked now a cast would make no difference so I went back in again. I then went through a period of 30 minutes with only small knocks so I thought I had blown my chance but then the tip went over again and a good fish was hooked but it soon became apparent that it was a Chevin not a Barbus on my hook. The fish was landed quickly and was around 4lb in weight, great big head and shoulders but no real gut, a good fish some the late autumn time. When I returned the Chub it stayed right by the bank sulking in the nearside weed instead of swimming back into the swim so I was quite happy with that!
Next cast and I was thinking that the chances of a Barb had been blown after the lost fish earlier and then the Chub but just 10 minutes later I was off again and this was a Barb, after a brief but good scrap the fish was landed, at 7lb 14oz I wasn't complaining either, then the sun came out for the pictures.