17/07/2011 - River Trent

Had a text from my friend Stuart. He'd been fishing muddy puddles the last few weekends with his father-in-law and fancied a change, so I suggested we try the LEVAS section of the Trent near Long Eaton. Got there about 6.30 pm to find it grey, blustery, wet and cold. Our wisdom on going fishing that evening was further called into question shortly after casting out. The weed situation was horrendous! Even with a 3 ounce lead and a big bow in the line, it was about 15 minutes before everything started to drag out of position, with line coming back in festooned with green snot that gave absolutely no confidence in bait presentation. Amazingly, we'd been there about an hour when Stuart appeared at the top of the bank with an absolute lump, a new PB of 12lb 12oz, which had taken a 21mm halibut pellet out in mid-river. Unfortunately, both of us had forgotten our cameras, so it was a quick snap on the Blackberry that really didn't do it justice.

Happy man!

Fished on with renewed enthusiasm, but the weed situation didn't improve and we packed up about 10.30 pm. Taking everything into account, it was a miracle that one fish decided to pick up a bait. Stuart's going to be buying my Euromillions ticket for me this week!

River Soar - 13/07/2011

Finally twigged after scrutinising some photographs and doing some legwork that most, if not all, the barbel caught on this section have come from one particular swim. Needless to say, I haven't been fishing it! Made me feel better in one respect, but a bit stupid for not realising earlier. It is pretty obvious when you think about it......low water levels, high temperature?

I therefore set off to Kegworth with one thing in mind, only to find that somebody else'd had the same idea! Luckily they were just about packing up, so I was able to drop in the swim and was fishing by 8 pm. Dropped the first rod down the side, but then went to re-position it to find that it was snagged. A bit of pressure and the snag moved and the end of what looked like a wooden fence post appeared above the water. Unfortunately, at this point there was a loud "crack" and the rod snapped cleanly just above the first ring on the top section. "Oh dear", I said. I glumly postioned my other rod and sat down to await proceedings.

Lee, the bailiff, turned up and wasn't really suprised that I'd sussed out "the" swim. He was confident I was going to catch and hung on as long as he could just in case. He'd actually been gone about half an hour when the rod top finally banged over and I was into a scrap with a fish that just dogged around under my feet. It looked like a double in the net, but I had to settle for 9lb 12oz on the scales. Not that I was complaining about my first River Soar barbel!

Pressure's off!

Bits and Bobs - 12/07/2011

Hopefully going eel fishing with my friend Dai in the not too distant future. Thought it would be a good idea to bone up a bit on the subject, so reached for my copy of "Coarse Fishing for Beginners" by Kenneth Mansfield.

Gold dust!

Ignoring the picture on the cover of a surly youth (wearing a velvet jacket??) with two dead 1lb + roach at his feet, I turned to the chapter on eels. Two passages immediately jumped out at me.

"When you deliberately set out to catch eels you must forget most of the rules that govern ordinary fishing. Tackle must be strong, and there is no question of playing an eel gently: it must be brought to land as quickly as possible. Nor are there any ethics about putting them back. The more eels you kill the more everyone with any interest in the water will be pleased".


"As soon as you feel a fish reel in as quickly as possible without pause. Drag the eel up the bank on to level ground and put the sole of your shoe on it an inch or two behind the head. Keep the line taut. With your knife (which should be ready to hand) cut through the backbone just behind the head but do not sever the head completely".

How times have changed. Now where did I put that knife.....?

River Soar - 06/07/2011

Think I'll rename this blog "Breamland". You can guess what's coming....

Third short evening session after my first River Soar barbel. Nobody on the section, so fished downstream of the weir again. Came this time armed with boilies to try and avoid the chub and bream. Worked in one respect, but not the other. Had one rod out in the flow and the other down the side under a tree. It was this one that shot off first. Picked up the rod to feel the fish briefly before it all went slack. Wound in to find that the boilie had flipped over the top of the hook on the cast. Oh, for the want of a small piece of silicon tubing! Wound in the other rod and re-tied the rigs before sending the baits out again. Was still getting chubby rattles, but was confident that the little beggars at least couldn't pull the boilie off. However, had to wait until it was almost dark for the next "proper" bite, this time a stuttering take that meant one thing.....bream. Had another one on the same rod before it went too dark to see (I had forgotten my torch!). At least they're getting bigger.

YOU'VE got the hump?

Farm Pond - 01/07/2011

Had promised to take my lad, James, fishing on his Inset Day. A farmer I know had said that I could go fishing on his pond, promising carp, bream and "millions" of tench, so it seemed a good opportunity to have a recce. Got down there for about 9 am to find a couple of locals already there. Fishing was reported as slow, put down to the drop in temperature overnight. However, undaunted, I set James up with the float rod and got him fishing on the bottom of the marginal shelf, a couple of rod lengths out.

Fish on!

I had intended to fish myself, but it didn't really pan out that way as fishing with an excitable 11 year old is a bit of a full on experience! Apart from me having to continuously re-bait, spray maggots, untangle knots and retrieve hooks from bankside vegetation, he had a bite a cast. Mini perch followed mini perch, with the occasional mini rudd thrown in for variety.
It was mid-afternoon before the float buried and he found himself attached to something more substantial, a nice little common carp.

Best of the day.

Two more followed before we had to pack up. A good day for the lad, but don't know where those "millions" of tench got to!