Barbel Fish-In 13th September 2014
The clubs barbel fish-in is a bi-annual event and one I really look forward to. The September event was well attended by both mentors and students and with the start time brought forward to 12 noon by 9:30am I was on my way to meet the lads at a cafe about half an hour from my clubs stretch at Atcham on the River Severn. Due to heavy traffic and a ‘Tough Mudder’ event I was almost an hour late arriving at the cafe but apparently two coach loads of hungry passengers had just been in consuming almost a hundred breakfasts so it didn’t make much difference to my unforeseen delay anyway.
After a full English the three of us headed off for Atcham arriving fashionably late at 12:20pm by which time Bill had paired up the eager barbel newbies with their mentors and they’d made their way to their swims for the day. I waited for an even later arrival named John and after the introductions we headed off into the right hand field setting up on the next peg to ‘Duffers’ were I’d enjoyed some success at the August event with Swifty. the river had dropped by 8″ compared to last month and the weed was beached in some places so with the river very low and clear it was going to be a difficult afternoon.
After showing John the rigs we’d be using we started off on banded pellet once again dipped in the Laguna Banana SAC Juice which worked very well at the last event. Fishing one rod each we edged our bets and fed DINNERBell ground bait into both swims recasting every 15 minutes, to compound the poor conditions the cloud parted and the sun beamed down making our chances of catching during the day even slimmer.
Bill, along with his student Colin, had found the conditions in Duffers were not to their liking so they moved swims into the left hand field and knowing he’d bait dropped a gallon of caster and hemp I jumped into the now vacated peg to see if it’d switch on for the run up to teatime, the plan being to get the fish feeding and move John in to have his first river fish.
The first few casts on pellet proved fruitless so a change of hook to a size 6 and a big lump of free lined meat, again coated in the banana juice, was cast out and bounced around the swim under the very shallow streamer weed, this is usually a good method if heavy cage feeders are being snagged and lost on the retrieve as, with the hook buried inside, the meat skates across the top and rarely comes off.
First cast and the meat stayed put in front of me so I started to reel in the slack line and a bang bang on the rod tip signified the first fish of the day, I shouted for John to join me and a few seconds later passed him my rod, he played the fish in without a fuss and his first river fish, a chub of around 3lb, was soon in the net.
I left John on the peg with a selection of baits and made my way back to the car park to get the kettle on for afternoon tea and of course cake. Tiffin was a very civilised affair and as usual 3 or 4 pots of tea were made along with a selection of cake whilst our barbel newbies discussed how there afternoon had gone, one other chub had been caught and everyone looked forward to a more productive evening session. With the group photo taken we drifted back to our swim and settled in for the night.
Soon after dusk a text from Phil indicated the first barbel of the day had been landed along with a couple of chub and so it continued with most catching a fish or two as darkness arrived around 8:30pm.
The next few hours proved difficult and although occasionally I could feel vibrations through the line I didn’t have another fish, perhaps I should have moved when John left after tea but sometimes there’s a niggling voice in your head telling you to stay put however on this occasion I shouldn’t have listened and as midnight arrived I packed up and headed home.
If you want to follow Bob aka Grazy and his mates on their fishing exploits as they unfold I usually put a post up on Facebook when I’m out so click the button below.