A week into 2013 I decided to brave the floods and try for a winter barbel. After studying the EA river levels I decided to fish the tidal stretch of river. The middle river was returning to it’s normal levels, yet the tidal was still 6ft up, perfect for barbel. I met a guy I knew in the car park and he told me it had fished well for the last 2 days with a few lumps landed.
When I walked the river I started to feel uneasy. The banks were so soft after being under water for days and I knew I had to be very careful with my movements. I looked for places to get out of the river if I fell in and the only spot was about 80 yards down stream. That’s where the other anglers on the stretch were fishing. They had used their sense, unlike me!.
The fishing was very slow with no bites, but I did see camera flashes going off as darkness fell. That probably meant something was feeding so I sat back in anticipation. Not long after that the upstream rod was away. The fight felt strange and then my line snapped without too much pressure being applied. As I looked at the limp line drifting on the breeze my other rod was away. The rod hooped right over, but again the fight felt strange. I looked out into the river and could make out a very large shape on the top of the water. It was a bloomin tree, or big tree branch. Again, this snapped my line after a short stalemate. With the conditions a little too dangerous for my liking and both rods wiped out, I headed for home.
A blank start to the year, but I reckon it’s best to get them out of the way early!
The next day I headed to the middle Trent to fish for chub. I fished from mid day into dark and it took a couple of hours for my first bite. This was missed, as were the next 5! I struck at the bites as soon as the tip lurched round, but I suspect these chub are getting weary of steak hook baits. That’s my standard bait these days, with a little minced beef for the feeder.
I changed to a lobworm which provided an instant bite. This time a fish was on, but almost straight away it found a snag and it was game over. A couple more bites were missed before I landed my first chub, my first fish of 2013. It wasn’t big, but was weighed to get my eye in. It went exactly 4lbs, not big, but a start.
The next bite saw me connect again, but I knew from the fight it wasn’t a chub. I saw silver flanks in the head torch and hoped I’d connected with one of the large roach that get landed by barbel anglers. When I peered into the net I was unsure what it was. I’m pretty sure it was an ide, I’ve heard of a few being caught all over the river.
That’s the trouble with letting some lakes stock all kinds of species. Eventually they end up in our natural waterways. Lets hope they don’t ‘interbreed’ with our native species or colonise the waters instead of other fish. We’ve already got roach, rudd, bream, silver bream, tench, crucians, carp, pike, dace, chub, bleak, perch, gudgeon, barbel and the now increasingly common zander. Why do we need more species of fish like catfish and ide? Why create ‘new’ species such as the f1 in their hundreds of thousands, just to satisfy certain fishery owners and anglers? Haven’t we got enough to be going at?
Anyway, rant over. It’s nice to be on the board again, even though I never caught anything else.