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Chomping at the bit

After a very successful opening session the week before I let the rush hour traffic subside on the M6 and headed south arriving just as darkness fell. This was my second visit to the venue and I’d conceded and brought my barrow after making multiple trips back and forth with all the long session paraphernalia last week I thought it made sense to do it in one go.

With the barrow loaded I headed off across the farm yard not intending to fish the same swim as last week but as I was passing I discovered it occupied and stopped for a chat. The level and colour had dropped but fish had been coming out throughout the week which raised expectations as I headed off across the field into darkness.

Eventually I settled into a swim for the night and made the first cast around midnight, the setup remained the same the Hook Bait Co. Spicy Fish Pro 14mm dumbell on the hair with a block end feeder filled with six different types of micro pellet nothing bigger than 3mm.

It was a quiet night the alarms remaining silent so I reeled in to recast and was a little surprised to find a fingerling barbel attached to the size 8 hook, it must have just taken the bait because it was alive and kicking, a very positive sign of a healthy section of river.

In the daylight I was able to see where I’d ended up, it wasn’t too far from the peg I had last week and the evening occupant had long since gone. I could see one of the local lads trotting so wandered over for a chat and asked if my night spot was any good? No was the reply so we looked at the options and I upped sticks and moved lock, stock and barrow.

The new swim was much more promising with a deep hole in front of me and overhanging trees to my left even more encouraging was an almost instant take at 11am taking me straight into the aforementioned snags. I tried to coax the fish out but it had taken me over a low hanging branch and no amount of pulling at different angles could free him.

There comes a point where fish safety takes over from personal bests and selfish objectives so placing the rod tip low in the water and releasing the bail arm I retreated back to the brolly and put the kettle on, sure enough 5 minutes or so passed when the alarm let out a continuous squeal then stopped, I knew the fish had freed itself up and swam off safely. I even managed to retrieve the rig but notice the strain endured during the battle had opened the hook out, on the right below.

At 3pm I had the first of 3 chub all over the 4lb mark.

At 11pm the heavens opened and torrential rain had me huddled under the brolly actually hoping the alarms didn't signal a take, fortunately the rain subsided and just after midnight a chub type run turned into a proper barbel scrap once he got sight of the net. Duly rested it went 10lb exactly and was my third double in 2 weeks.

Another 4lb chub in the early hours and the at 4am just as dawn was breaking another powerful run from a barbel that ran straight into a snag but walking upstream I managed to free it and play it into the net, 8lb 12oz was what the scales settled on, a fine looking bar of Dove gold.

That was it apart from a run at 7am that ploughed straight into the same snag as the first one and needed the same bail arm off treatment to free it up and another run at 9am which resulted in the hook pulling.

A slow pack down and off I went, I was home by lunchtime and already looking forward to the next time.

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