Thursday, 3 July 2014

Running again

Finally the close season has been put behind us and the running water venue's are open. My close season Tenching campaign has been a flop and I am already looking for different venues for next April, I really got myself keyed up for the Tinca's this year but my results were not great with just 6 fish over 7 sessions, not the best return and only one fish of 6lb.

Anyway, the 16th was here and I managed to get down on the Avon by just after 5PM, another member was trudging off the fishery and his return wasn't the best but there again the 16th is often a let down on the catch, but just being back besides running water on a river that is green and lush and overgrown is what it is all about, for this one day the catch isn't that important.
My plan was to fish on the stick & centerpin for a couple of hours then to drop a heavier set up in hope for a Barbel. I had recently received a new centrepin for Fathers Day, I already own a Browning Revolver and now I added an Okuma Aventa Pro to the collection, the latter was to be used for light float fishing and the Browning for the heavy stuff. I found my peg of choice free, a nicely paced run that is nice to trot on and offers the chance of a Barbus too. A 4AAA Avon was set up for the 6 foot deep run and caster and hemp was the bait, first run through after a 20 minute feeding period and the float dipped, first run through resulted in the first fish of the season, a decent Dace, happy days. The second run through saw another bite but this time the 13 foot carbon stayed round, the fish went straight for a far bank snag so it was obviously a Chevin, after a steady battle a fish of about 3 1/2lb was in the net, I was enjoying this!

The float session was steady sport and by 7PM I had over 20 fish, Chub & Dace, now was time to try for a June 16th Barbel. I had about a pint and a half of caster left so a pint went straight in via the bait dropper accompanied by a pint of hemp, the rod was set up and then I went for a mooch to look at some other swims, it was 45 minutes after the bait had been dropped by the time I cast out with a bunch of fake casters on a size 12 Drennan. A few taps were seen straight away but I was confident that the hair rigged rubber casters were still in place, something you do not get with the real deal. I recast at about 8.30 and five minutes later I had a couple of sharp Chubby looking raps before the tip hammered round and battle commenced, at first I thought that I was connected to a Chub but the second run saw me change my mind! A good tussle ensued and before long the first Barbus Barbus of the 14/15 season was in the net, not a huge fish at 6.13 but I didn't care!

My second trip to the Avon was a week later and this time I had the complete afternoon to fish, I had plans to float fish a fast water peg so the waders were donned (great in 23 deg C!) I fished the fast water peg for 2 hours but weed, snags & a lack of fish saw me make a move after only half a dozen Chub & Dace. The second swim was deeper and steadier but I thought the larger fish maybe sat in there due to the bright conditions, an hour in there without a bite saw me on the move again, back into the swim I fished on the 16th, I couldn't fail in here surely......... 

For 20 minutes I again couldn't buy a bite, this was unusual for this peg so I upped the feed and this did work to a degree with Chub, Dace, Perch and a Gonk being caught but very spasmodically, I couldn't build any rhythm up at all so it was at 6PM that again the bait dropper came out and a pint each of H & C went into the run, I sat back, had a bite to eat and chilled before casting in at 7PM, just after the first cast was made a Barb rolled in the peg, at least they were home!  It wasn't long before the 3 foot twitch came and the fight was on, a brief scrap and a 6LB Barb was safely bagged, rested, unhooked and returned and I was back in again. The second bite took it's time in arriving and came right out of the blue at  about 9PM, this fish was a complete headcase and time after time it seemed beaten on the surface only to give that tell-tale splash and slap of the tail as it headed back down towards sanctuary, eventually it was in the net and we both had 5 minutes to sort ourselves out! On the scales the fish went 7.12, not huge but welcome, a bent dorsal and blind in one eye, this fish had been through the mill but went back strongly. I cannot recommend the 5 minutes in the net before unhooking/weighing/pics enough, they really need it especially at this time of the year.

My third trip of the season was to the River Wye, I love this river and at only an hour's drive from home it is easily accessible. This Friday however the hour turned into almost 2 as the usual Friday afternoon rush plus roadworks slowed me down. However I was in the peg and fishing by 4.30PM , 2 rods today, both on feeders and 3 foot nylon hooklinks with size 12 hooks holding a single 8mm pellet. The first bite was after 5 minutes and a Chublet was landed, the second was a touch  bigger and a Barbel of about 7lb was landed. Action was steady and by 7PM I had landed 3 Barbel & 3 Chub, it was then the first rumble of thunder was heard in the black clouds heading my way, waterproofs were donned and the brolly pole was jammed into the bank so I could act quickly should the storm reach me ......
Of course it headed my way, there was no 'heads up' where the rain was concerned, just a sudden deluge like a tap being turned on full whack! The brolly was quickly erected, as much gear pulled underneath it as possible and it was hold on to your hat time. You can guess what happened next, the rod on the far bank wholloped over and stayed there, oh sheeeiiteee I thought as the first bolt of lightning cracked down, I attempted to get the Barb in as quickly as possible but that isn't a part of the Barbel fishing script that they read, I eventually landed it and left the fish in the margins in the net, the rod was left in the rest until the storm cleared.........  

Storm Barb

 The beautiful calm after the storm

As dusk approached the nylons links were replaced with braided links and size 8's for the glugged Prem Boilie's to be fished, always a winner after dark on here.
A quiet spell approaching dusk was had so a bit of bait went in and I sat back soaking up the gorgeous surroundings, at 9.15 we were away with the 5th Barb and it was pretty steady action after that with mainly Barbel and the occasional Chub. My plans were that I was to fish until 12PM, that would see me back home by about 1.30AM, it was now 11.40PM and I hadn't had a bite for 20 minutes.......
Had the continual stream of caught fish dropped the shoal back down the run or had the quiet spell signified a better stamp of fish in the swim, this was not an uncommon occurrence on the stretch so being the eternal optimist I cast out 3 feeders full of hemp, pellet and groundbait in quick succession and sat back to await proceedings. I had to wait until 11.55PM before the tip whacked over and straight away it was obvious that this fish was bigger than the 6-7lb stamp of fish I had been catching throughout the day. After an unspectacular but dour ruck the fish was in the bag, again she was rested for 5 minutes whilst I sorted myself out with scales, sling, camera etc. On the scales she went 9lb 6oz, a very long fish and in pristine condition.
It had been a heavy week at work so I will apologise now for the ugly beaten up mug holding the Barbel :)

That was that, final tally of 10 Barbel & 7 Chub, not a bad session at all. The drive home went pear shaped with problems on the M5 & M42 so I eventually rolled up outside the house in Coventry at 2.20AM, tired but grinning from ear to ear.......