You may recall that back in March a group of us took part in the Lee Swords charity fish-in on the Trent and that due to extremely poor conditions (or angling ability) no fish of any worth were caught however we did manage to raise over £12K which helped towards sending a young leukemia patient called Iwan to the United States for a life saving operation.
For my part I offered an auction prize 'A Day on the Dove with Grazy' and this weekend the winner David Gough traveled all the way from Hereford to meet me at my stretch of the Dove where I've been having a few out of recently.
Once breakfast was done and dusted we set about making the most of the sunny conditions and tried a bit of trotting. Dave was using his own 15' float road and my Rapidex centre pin loaded with 5lb line. For bait we fed maggots, corn and hemp and it wasn't long before Dave was picking up some chublets of between 4" and 6" in length.
With a blank put behind we visited a few similar swims finding the far bank tree line to be the most productive. There seemed to be no escaping the scorching heat of the day so eventually we decided to try a static swim and see if we could sneak an unsuspecting barbel out before settling into our evening swim across the field. It wasn't long before the centre pin screamed but a feisty trout had decided to give Dave a good scrap in the afternoon heat.
Deciding the trout had most likely spooked everything within 100 yards we returned to our base swim and settled in for the evening. A mate had fished the same swim the evening before and lost a fish to a well known snag in the nearside bushes so it was going to be a hit and hold session to try and avoid the same fate.
We ran through the rigs earlier and Dave learnt how I've been fishing based on braided hook link and back leading to pin everything down hopefully avoiding the barbel dropping back and spooking on the main line.
The tried and tested block end feeder and micro pellet approach was deployed on both rods and The Hook Bait Co. Spicy Fish Pro 14mm dumbell which has landed me numerous good fish this season was duly dispatched into a very boily deep hole right in front of us, the second rod was walked upstream and an under arm flick placed it just on the crease.
It wasn't long before a few plucks indicated the chub had found the bait and within a minute the rod out in front made Dave's new alarm burst into life. On my advice Dave was sitting on top of his rods so immediately lent into the fish which on the first run felt like a barbel but as it approached the net we both shouted 'big chub'.
With a gob big enough to swallow an orange it tipped the scales around to 4lb 7oz and a new PB chub for my very happy guest.
It was time for our evening meal which had been carefully planned, 2 very nice looking steaks with new potatoes cooked in a beef and ale cooking sauce, absolutely divine even if I do say so myself.
Once the evening meal was slowly digesting we talked about a range of fishing related topics whilst sharing the washing up. A recast of the rods around 8:30pm saw us settling in for the night and hopefully 'barbel o'clock'
At just gone 9pm when the same rod out in front sprung into life with a screaming run that saw Dave leap to his feet and start to walk backwards, I'd suggested this technique earlier as an attempt to keep the fish out of the roots of the trees to our left, it worked a treat and soon the barbel was plodding around in open water.
It seemed to come in quite quickly and we both let out a jubilant cry once I'd scooped it up in the net, Dave kept an eye on it resting whilst I prepared the scales and we both willed the needle round, please be a double and it was, bang on 10lb. One very happy angler and one very relieved guide, the Dove delivered the goods once again.
That was the perfect end to a difficult days fishing the weather was unbearably hot at times and the river was low and clear in the shallows but we pressed on regardless and had a very good day.
We did recast one rod but it remained motionless all night and in the morning it was obvious we'd be lucky to get another run so we cooked our breakfast consisting of the finest back bacon and sausages made with black pepper and slowly packed everything away for a late morning departure.
All that remained was to present Dave with a kilo of the good stuff the 14mm Spicy Fish Pro boilies which I hoped would catch him some Wye barbel the next time he ventures out.
What a rewarding weekend with great company, some stunning river, a few good fish and all for a great cause which incidentally we learnt young Iwan was making very good progress with his treatment showing his last bone marrow results as all clear, keep it going young man your courage and determination is inspirational.