Date fished 29/8/2022
10.30 am until 3pm
Jar (Alan) had seen enough yesterday to give it another try. We had a leisurely bacon sandwich before getting the kit together and heading out for another try. We took one rod this time, deciding we could share it and just fish a few specific swims where yesterday we fished a few but with no luck.
We got the bus to the other end of the river and decided to walk through a park to get to where we wanted to fish. I think there is no fishing allowed in the park, this may have been evident due to huge shoal of chub, some definitely 4lb plus and a large barbel we saw sitting under a bridge. Amazing how the fish know where they cant be fished for!
We walked on and came to where we started yesterday ( but from the upstream end today). There were a few more anglers today, some targeting a large bush that was sure to be hiding fish. We saw a nice ghost koi come out from the bush, and left the anglers trying to catch it. Some other fish of interest, carp, koi and chub caught our attention as we fed some bread and watched. We didn't fish here, we were just passing, we had decided to fish the area we saw lots of chub yesterday and then head straight to the area with the six barbel.
This area was urban fishing at its best, we fished over some railings with parked cars and houses at our backs. We picked swims that we could safely net any caught fish, unfortunately these came with added ducks! I soon got the chub feeding on bread and bits of meat, loosing about 20% to the feathered friends. We saw a large barbel here too, but it went under the streamer weed and we never saw it come out again.
Our free offerings were being taken, so we baited up the rod and started to fish. I very much wanted Jar to catch a fish, so put on my best guiding hat and set to it. I needn't of worried because in next to no time, the rod was bending and he was playing his first chub.
We returned the fish and I thought I would try for one too. My exploits resulted in over wanted duck attention and after a brief hooking ( it got off), we decided to walk on.
We walked with more purpose today, finding the correct path too. We looked at sections of river but mostly walked direct to those barbel. The highlight of the stroll was stumbling on a geocache, this was promptly returned for those seeking it and off we went.
We arrived at the swim and sure enough the barbel were still there. We saw them in the crystal clear water, just drifting in and out from the streamer weed. There was at least six of them and several carp too. This truly was an opportunity not to be missed! I threw some meat in upstream and it drifted down towards them, unlike yesterday these bits were taken. They were on the munch today. We got ready and hatched a plan. Free lining meat was difficult as the current was not going exactly where we wanted, so I put on a small weight. Not sure how many casts I made, but I tried hard to catch one, but unfortunately it was not to be. The fish moved upstream, returned, moved again. I was doing everything right but they were just too clever.
I decided to change tact, I fed about 3 good handfuls of 12mm pellets and we sat back and ate our own lunch. The barbel initially swam off, but soon we noticed the flashes of their flanks. Quite soon the water was no longer crystal clear, the feeding barbel stirring up sediment. I fished on but nothing. As we were sharing the rod and I had been hogging it since seeing the barbel, I offered it to Jar.........yes, you all know what happened next.
Second cast, he said "its pulling".
"Pull back" I offered but don't fight it. A short battle later and an awesome barbel lay in the net!
It was amazing to have succeeded, yes I didn't actually catch it, but my methods are instruction helped, I felt rewarded all the same. We gave it a good rest and gave it a number and took some pics. Jar asked me what weight I thought. I said Six and a half. Not a bad guess as it went 6lb 7oz!
We celebrated by getting an uber and not having to public transport it home. I was thankful for the rest, although a six hour drive lay ahead but at least I had a smile on face as I battled through London.
It's been a great few days away, with plenty of fishing trips. As I look at the pile of kit and dirty clothes, I cant help think that getting dirty was worth it. I was going to christen Jar's PB in the customary way, but didn't wanna make him to clean! As I left him at 4pm hoovering the pile of mud off my shoes in his lounge, I chuckled at how muddying it up today had helped us!