It was this big...
I don't usually do stats on my fishing apart from my Chub Study Group returns which require anything 4lb or bigger to be photographed, weighed and measured by length and girth or if it's a new PB for me of any species but this season I started keeping a log of each fish caught on my phone. Now I've started I'm almost obliged to maintain them. One things certain I'll recall the stats at every opportunity in the bragging stakes!!
In two trips to the River Dove I've caught 9 barbel including 3 doubles to 11lb 10oz, a new PB, 12 chub all over 4lb to 4lb 15oz and 2 trout to 3lb 1oz which is also a new PB,
My third trip was supposed to be to the tidal Trent at Sutton but a last minute change of mind had me setting off for the river Dove early afternoon on the Friday. The traffic, as you'd expect, was busier than at the weekend and as a result it was 5pm by the time I made the first cast, the river was up and coloured which is an advantage during the day when targeting big barbel.
I was fishing the same beat as previously and had selected a new swim that I'd ear marked last weekend as potentially a 'good un' because my mate said he'd been smashed up whilst trotting the far bank tree line. At 6pm I had my first take which turned out to be a chub on the mid river rod, smaller than the previous weeks at 3lb 4oz.
An hour later and the near margin rod was bent double and I was convinced I'd be lifting into a big barbel but it came in too easily and started tail walking, an excitable trout had taken the Spicy Fish Pro dumbell fair and square and it was a new PB at 3lb 1oz, duly returned as I don't take game fish for the table.
All quiet then until just after midnight when a nice barbel of around 5lb reminded what the target species was then at 1:30am all hell let loose as a nearby train seemed to have derailed itself and headed off downstream at about 60mph. Fortunately it came back through open water and was soon resting in the bottom of the net.
Pleasingly she went 11lb 6oz, my 3rd eleven pounder in as many weeks and what a magnificent fish she was, calm and collected on the mat and posing for a photo before another rest and swimming away strongly.
As I continued to fish through the night news came in of a very respectable 14lb 1oz WAvon fish coming to my good friend Paul Floyd and an incredible 16lb 10oz river Trent fish to another good mate of mine so it seemed appropriate to watch the dawn arrive and feel very humbled to have been fishing on such a productive night.
The next day was less productive with only two chub of 3lb 8oz and 3lb 9oz providing the action but as darkness fell at just before midnight I was playing a hard fighting Dove mayhem machine that took me on a tour of the surrounding features before flopping into the waiting net. The scales settled on 10lb and 1oz so another double making it the fourth in three sessions.
The next morning I could see the river was rapidly rising so a leisurely breakfast and a slow pack down saw me leaving late morning, tired but very pleased with another good result I couldn't have wished for anything more.
All fish came to Hook Bait Co. Spicy Fish Pro 14mm dumbells, I tried the change bait on one rod which was the HBC 14mm salmon pellet but had no interest on this occasion although it's been used to great affect on the tidal Trent at Sutton so it's sometimes best to stick with what works time after time and have confidence in the bait you're using.