Monday, 17 August 2015

Perfect timing......

With the heavy rain on Friday I was keeping an eye on the river levels, hoping that I would get an opportunity for a few hours barbel fishing over the weekend. I would be targeting them on my local river which isn't know as a barbel river, they are there but they are very few and far between, many blanks are expected and some anglers have spent many a season without landing one. My only barbel from this river came about 15 years ago and probably only weighed a couple of ounces.

Well my opportunity came sooner than I hoped it would, plans for Saturday night and a day trip to the lakes on Sunday meant it was Saturday morning or nothing. I was a bit worried that the river still would still be rising and checking the levels online overnight did nothing to convince me otherwise.

My gear was sorted from my previous outing, but I decided to drop down to the one rod and swap the tip from a 1.75lb to a 2.2lb section, a few heavier leads were also added to the bag.

I arrived just after first light and I had convinced myself that the river would be an unfishable raging torrent, however it looked spot on, high (about 6ft up), coloured, pushing through fast but fishable. I put a marker stick in the margin whilst setting up and within a few minutes it was obvious the level was falling.

Tactics were a cast to the marginal slacks, then 30 to 40 minutes later a cast slightly further out, if no  interest move to the next peg. No interest from the first two pegs, the third had a crease a couple of rod lengths out so I cast the double boilie bait there.

Within 5 minutes the rod went, a brutal fight in the strong current, even with the heavy tip on the rod was bent double and I knew it was a good fish. The fish went on many runs downstream and made it to the now submerged backside himalayan balsam, but some firm pressure soon had it open water again. It was a good 10 minutes before I managed to get the lead to the surface, the fish soon followed, instantly I knew it was a good one.

Netted at the first attempt, a definite new p.b -

11lb 3oz - beats my previous best (which was less than a week old) by over 3lb and my previous best from this river by over 11lb!

Chuffed to bits with this fish, needless to say I had a few beers over the weekend to celebrate.


  1. Congratulations Darren - a fabulous barbel and well deserved.

  2. Brilliant bit of angling Darren, one to remember

  3. Congrats Darren, I hope you manage a few more too!

  4. Thanks lads, as always your comments are very much appreciated.

    Although not a species I spend a lot of time targeting they are becoming a firm favourite, the fight these fish put up is definitely becoming addictive!