Words and pictures by Pat Gillett:
I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe the end of the ‘river season’ has come around so quickly!
Looking back on the season it has been a bit of a strange one really and I can’t recall ever spending less time on the river bank. The season started with a month of flooding which saw some of my local rivers peaking at record high levels. Because of work commitments and the timing of the high levels only one trip was possible during the first 4 weeks of the season.
July proved to a very productive month for me on the River Dove, but only because I fished an ‘unfancied’ area that other anglers very rarely bother with. I believe that due to the fact that the early summer was so wet and at times cold, the barbel were very late in spawning and as such many of the usually productive early season spots were devoid of fish. The area I found was very shallow but absolutely full of streamer weed, ideal barbel spawning grounds. Five short afternoon / evenings (total 30 hours) produced 14 good sized barbel which included 10 doubles, during which time the guys fishing the usual spots had next to nothing (it always amazes me how anglers continuously go back to their ‘favourite swims’, even if the fish aren’t there). An invaluable
lesson learn’t about barbel location for future seasons if we have a cold / wet early summer. Interestingly as well, nearly all of the bigger fish fell to the ever faithful Special Crab boilies.
During August I tried ‘a new stretch’ on the Upper Trent, which again proved worthwhile and provided knowledge for the future, has I have now found a stretch where you can still fish reasonably comfortably when the river is carrying a bit of water and there is loads of the ‘dreaded Trent weed coming down’. Special Crab again produced some fish. Some nice fish were again caught from the Dove including a very rare full moon capture of 12lb 6oz. continue reading…