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.