Friday, 23 August 2013

Barbel double under the stars

With Josh and I on holiday a night session was in the mix, the target species would be Barbel and the venue the upper Trent, the weather forecast was OK and after the recent rain the river had fallen and the dreaded green stuff that   floats down and wipes out your rods had also subsided. It is almost as though the Trent becomes unfishable at least on the upper section when the river rises, huge clumps of weed appear and they can be a nightmare, wiping you out within seconds of casting in sometimes.........

We arrived fairly early so we could secure the chosen swim and that we achieved so we had a walk about the stretch having a look in a few nooks and crannies before starting to set up base camp, the bivvy was erected as Josh was with me (he likes a proper roof over his head at night!) and we also had a bite to eat before starting to assemble the rods, rigs and get some bait into the run. I bait dropped 2 & 1/2 pints of hemp plus 6 of pellet and around 40 crushed/split boilies in to get a decent bed of bed down and hopefully to start some whiskers twitching, the rods were in at 7.30PM and we sat back and enjoyed the evening and the accompanying wildlife that goes with it, swallows, swans, crows, magpies, buzzard and a kingfisher were all seen throughout the period leading up to dusk but the tips remained motionless. At 9PM I got the dropper out again and topped the run up and then it was sit back time as darkness descended upon us. It was the night after a full moon but there was ample cloud cover above us for the first few hours which I was glad of as I have never caught that much with a big bright moon lighting things up!
Josh retired to his bedchair/bivvy at 11PM and I remained outside by the rods staring intently at the red & green isotopes on the tips. At 11.55 the downstream rod keeled over and line was taken from the free spool, I lifted into the fish, felt a thump or two before the hook pulled....................some choice words were uttered before I checked the hook point (which looked OK) so I rebaited and dropped the rod back into the run. I then sat out for another hour praying that our only chance hadn't been spurned, at 1AM I too retired to the bivvy and although I remember it taking some time for me to get to sleep the next thing I remember was the Delkim on the downstream rod shrieking, I was straight up and on the rod and felt a good fish pulling back, I slowly pumped it back upstream and it then went mental under the tip, continually boring back into the middle of the river before finally giving up and in the net she went. I was continually shouting Josh during playing the fish and he eventually staggered out of the bivvy half asleep as I netted it, must do better Josh! I thought 8-9lb on the mat but the scales told us 10lb 1oz so happy days, first Trent Barbel and its a double.

Josh also got a picci, still wearing his Tiger onesie!

I was hopeful of further action as these fish are definitely night crawlers so topped up the bait again before casting back in but no further action came our way and we called it a day at 7.15AM.

We dropped into the Salt Box Café for a breakfast and then I took Josh onto the River Dove to see the plaque that we had erected earlier this year in memory of one of our fishing pals. All in all a good session and Josh is already chomping at the bit for the next 'under the star' session.


  1. Well done Danny nice fish, quite long & lean. I have never fished the Trent but have been thinking of giving it a go. I always tend to head South & West from Coventry, never North or East. Something I must change.

  2. Cheers Martin, some very big Barbel in the Upper T, nomadic creatures though, they can cover a fair few miles from day to day!