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It's a Bar fight; RECORD ANGLING.


I WAS working in England last week and got to chat with some keen anglers counting down to the Glorious 16th and the reopening of the rivers for coarse fish there.

The close season has been in effect since 1858 and there's still debate on its timing and validity but it's certain that for fishermen, the reopening of the rivers is a summer highlight.

Over the weekend, some of the lads I spoke to put up impressive hauls on social media from famous rivers like the Trent and Severn.

On a previous run, my friend and I picked out the Ribble for a Barbel raid, the Nursery stretch was picked, rod licences were bought and the route mapped out.

Fresh as a daisy when my alarm went off at about 2.30am, I considered selling all my gear but with enough coffee, I was blearily on the road, car packed.

Pulling up outside his house the curtains twitched, he's always enthusiastic but this morning he was yappy dog keen. By the time I got out of the car, he was bouncing down the drive with welcome rolls and sausage.

It might have been the food but enthusiasm was infectious, so with a spring in my step we loaded even more gear into the car.

Barbel feeder fishing means specialist gear and lots of bait. You can cast out a large pellet and wait for a bite that in many cases is unmissable but like most things in angling, putting a bit of thought into your bait and tackle selection can make a massive difference.

Picking a swim and making up groundbait to get a bed of pellets and scent down is always a buzz on a new river, with the small particles giving them something to grub around on hopefully drawing them in to your hookbait. First drop, first bite, first fish and the yappy dog enthusiasm was back as the fish tore around the swim.

Barbel fight hard but this one was landed safely.

Thankfully, it was photographed so we'd have something to remind us of what the target was as we sat biteless for an eight-hour shift.

At last knockings, one of the rods almost ripped into the water as a big Barbel shot off and didn't stop until it snapped the hook, broke our spirit and sent us packing.

There's a stereotype about the one that gets away. This one got bigger on the long drive home and bigger again since then, so much so, that I think the time's right for another long day out to the rivers.


HEAVY LIFTING Barbel. That's the fish, not the gym equipment

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 22, 2018
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