Friday 22 September 2023

Social Session

I awoke to a distinctly nippy morning. Heavy dew, mist rising off the river and a cloud free sky.

Time for breakfast, a leisurely five minute walk along the lane to the cafe. Full English ? Small, medium or large sir ? I think you all know the answer to that.

It was as good as it looked.

Back at the van new hook lengths were tied, the tackle bag given a token tidy and I was ready to go. I had another smallish barbel of 4-5 lb in front of the campsite, taking it easy and lazing in the autumn sun, before moving downstream to meet up with Chris.

He had a tiny chub first cast on a large, rock hard boilie and even made me net it. Swing it in man ! 

Just before dusk my upstream rod took off and after a long fight a nice fish of 9lb 9oz was landed. Lovely.

Sorry about the hat.

Not long after that, as we stood chatting, sharing out mutual loathing of Manchester United FC , Chris was away again, which resulted in a cracking, beautifully conditioned fish 10lb 2oz.

We packed in as the temperature dropped and went our separate ways.

Lovely social session and a great way to end the trip.

Lucky again with the weather, good company and with the best four barbel going a total of 44lb 2oz, excellent fishing.

On A Roll


I decided on something different and set up the rolling rod for a go at a very nice looking stretch downstream.

It's got terrible road access, poor bank access and a massively annoying herd of bullocks, so unsurprisingly there were no signs that anyone had been fishing recently. 

The rolling meat method is absolutely deadly if you get it right and on only the second cast the forty year old Sportex hooped over as a big barbel surged downstream.

The old rod creaked and groaned and with the braid ( which I'm not at all keen on ) it made every crash and surge feel as if I was near to disaster. It took ages to get in but proved to be a right pig of a fish weighing 11lb 10oz. Fantastic fish and even better to get it on that method.

Back to base for a snack and coffee and then a quick chuck out in front of the campsite where I nabbed a small barbel of around 4lb and then  on to meet Chris, a very knowledgeable local, who took me to a spot he fishes regularly. 

What a beautiful spot and two minutes from his house. Lucky bloke.

When your luck is in its in and ten minutes after mindlessly chucking a boilie and pva bag out the Sportex was in action again and after a long and savage fight Chris netted it.

"Getting on for a double" he said.

It seemed a bit short to make double figures to me, but when he lifted it from the water it seemed to grow in size.

A clonking fish of 12lb 4oz, well chuffed as they say. Or I do.

No other bites were forthcoming but we chewed the fat and made plans for the next day. 

Ooh I love it when you're on a roll.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Still At It

Lots going on at the mo, the olds are not too good, bless 'em. I got a chance to have a few days fishing this week, might be last chance for a while, so I pointed the camper in the direction of the Trent.

Extremely high winds were forecast and they were right. Somewhere along the A1 the toilet vent was ripped off and presumably dumped on some poor unfortunate in  vehicle somewhere behind me.

First time I realised was when I arrived at the river and needed the loo. Oh well, now I know what it's like to have an outdoor bog. On the plus side it gets rid of the stink very quickly. 

Worse things happen at sea.

It peed down this afternoon, but as soon as it relented I got the gear out and mindlessly cast out two rods and huddled under the brolly.

Nobody else about and after an hour or so I heard the baitrunner screaming. Loooooovely. The rod hooped over and something unseen roared off. I had visions of something huge. Well, it wasn't huge but it was a very nice fish.

It turned out to be a very long, but very slim, barbel of 10lb 11oz. Great start.

As soon as it got dark the mitten crabs became a pain and after landing a hefty bream I packed up, keen to feast on cheese and biscuits and listen to 5Live to witness the latest Man Utd humiliation.  

The cheese was fantastic, as was yet another Utd defeat.

So, roof vent destroyed, my old fishing chair also damaged ( its been repaired loads of times and it owes me nothing ), loads of traces ruined by crabs, but a couple of decent fish , some lobworms picked up on the wet lawn on the way back and a damn fine glass of red wine before bed.

A good day. And I'm fishing again tomorrow.  Its a good life much of the time boiiiiiiiiiiiii.

Friday 8 September 2023

Bully's Redemption

I arrived at the Riverside campsite in glorious September sunshine with not a breath of wind.

Parked up fifty yards from the river, I put the kettle on just as Bully turned up.

The very big tides had put some colour in the river, along with loads of floating bankside detritus which proved to be a pain at certain times.

We've fished the tidal Trent this season on six or seven days and Bully, through a combination of mistakes and bad luck, was yet to catch a barbel. 

He's only ever caught one before, a litlun of a pound or so in the days when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister.  Or it might have even been McMillan. It wasn't Atlee, he's not that old. 

It was in the days when a thrupney ( its not in the Oxford dictionary so Im guessing ) bit would buy you a pint of mild and a packet of Woodbines. Along while ago. 

The bream, hybrids, roach and silver bream are about in huge quantities on this stretch. I was baiting up using a big feeder with just a bait band on the hook when a silver bream took the band ! To prove it wasn't a fluke it happened the next cast too.

The barbel fishing was a bit slow, but there were a few fish showing, not many but of a good average size

On the second day we started fishing mid afternoon after a morning drinking tea, chatting and farting about. Bully fished close in on slightly lighter gear and was rewarded the getting on for a dozen bream to 5lb, plus other bits and pieces.

Just to be clear the above style crime is not me.

After a break around tea time we returned ( a massive fifty yards walk ) for the evening session. Bully obviously had a plan. No sounds of the bait dropper being cast out, just two "plops" as both feeders were cast out.

About an hour later I looked along the bank and saw him laughing and doing a weird kind of jig. 

"What you laughing at ?" I said.

"I've got one ! I've got one !"

And he had. A clonker of 10lb 10oz.

Never has a man looked so happy.

A short while later he was in again. Another lump of 11lb 2oz

Returning to my swim my double 11 mm pellet was taken by a monster silver bream of 2lb 5oz. When I was weighing it the other rod shot off as a barbel headed towards the Humber. It was chaos. The barbel was eventually landed, a slim fish of around 8lb.

A short while later I heard splashing downstream and what do you know, The Barbel Master was in again. 9lb 11 oz this time and too small for him to bother with a photo.

We packed up after that and sat outside the van on a perfectly still, warm night and got through two bottles of red wine as Bully reflected on a glorious session where the ghosts of the the last two trips were firmly put to rest.

Well deserved and couldn't happen to a nicer bloke.

The next evening was slightly messed up by water skiers going up and down through the swim at fifty miles an hour but once they packed up I managed to wangle out a beauty of 10lb 2oz, before leaving for home.

Yet another great trip. We're so lucky to be able to do this.

Saturday 2 September 2023

Road Trip ( Again )

It's always exciting packing the van for a road trip, whether it's twenty minutes down the road or a thousand plus miles away.

Me and Bully are after Barbel again and hopefully some decent roach and silver bream on a quiet stretch of the tidal Trent.

Three gallons of mixed seed and hemp cooked this morning. 

Five kg of pellets, sweetcorn, luncheon meat and for the first time in years I even bought a pack of boilies. 

Bit pot of veggie curry in the camper fridge, cured meats, a veritable feast of various cheeses, the essential licquorice allsorts, those kids cola sour strip thingys, sweet chilli crisps, cider, wine and some nice ales. Love it.

Forecast is for sunshine and light winds, so that probably means loafing in the middle of the day and fishing early and late.

The river is apparantly low and clear, very different to last time, so who knows how it will fish but we'll see soon. Wahooooo!