Autumn barbel and chub

I haven’t fished too well over the last few weeks and my poor rewards reflect that. My time off work is scarce and I feel I’ve chosen the wrong venue at the wrong time.

My worst decision has been a few barbel sessions in the flooded waters of the River Trent, when I’d probably have been better fishing for roach on the Hampshire Avon. I caught just one average sized fish in 3 days while constantly having to re cast because of debris being washed down stream. When I compared these efforts to some friends who’ve caught some splendid roach and dace on the Avon, I must admit to feeling a tad jealous! Still, if I’d caught a lump or two my thoughts may have been different.

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I tried fishing in my normal swims with extra heavy feeders. This is where I caught my only fish. After that I fished behind trees, hoping they would snag most of the weed and leaves that were fouling my line. I suppose the trees did their job, but my tips remained still.

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Frustrated with the barbel, I tried for some canal chub. A few weeks earlier I’d had a decent morning after them, catching fish of 3lbs+ 4lb 2oz and 4lb 14oz. These are decent chub for a canal and I’ve caught them over 5lbs in the past, despite hardly fishing for them. There was a reported 7lb+ fish in the angling press a year ago, so maybe they deserve more attention.

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My first session ended early thanks to some torrential rain. After I’d taken the chub out of my keepnet for a quick pic, before putting them back, I was puzzled about all the debris in the bottom of it. Id not been fishing under any trees so I had a closer look. It was a load of dark red mess. I looked over to the far bank and saw what it was. There was a large hawthorn tree laden with its fruits. Talk about a natural holding spot. Judging by the remains in my net, they must gorge themselves on them. This lead to a plan. I went back with no bait, just picking some berries on my way to the swim. I thought I couldn’t fail. How wrong I was. There was probably nothing wrong with my plan, except I couldn’t cast the berries to the far bank. They just kept coming off the hook. The worst thing was I almost took my pole instead which would have been perfect. I went back home and haven’t been back since. Maybe it’s a plan for next autumn now. The days and nights are getting colder, and I’ve just sorted my pike gear out!