I am often asked what baits I would use on a venue I had not been to for a long while, or a new venue I know little about. What would be my starting point in terms of bait and presentation?
Once again, nature and in particular the frogs, gave me a clue as to where to go and angle.
In my last end tackle blog, https://www.questbaits.com/blog/pb-products-hit-and-run-system/ I explained why I like small or running lead set ups which then prompted quite a lot of people to contact me asking my advice on other rig aspects. During the rapidly developing years of rig evolution in the early to mid ‘80’s I was really into rigs. Tweaking, testing and developing different ideas. I was rig mad and was convinced (still am) that some of the things we were doing back then, (we being Baz Varney and myself) gave us one hell of an edge on the waters we fished. Baz was the only one at the time I discussed rigs with. He had an incredibly ‘tuned in mind’ back then and came up with some pretty amazing ideas and between us down the ‘Bass House’ our favourite drinking joint, we would fine tune them after eventually finding the right bits to actually make these rigs up. One rig in particular, we were looking for the right sort of tubing for the best part of a year. It was worth it though when we were finally able to put the rig into action.
Yesterday I re-posted on social media a short video I did on the P.B. Products Hit and Run Safety Lead System https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2P-xrlYAak and overnight a couple more questions have come through to my inbox about them, so it only seems right to go into a little more detail about them.
I was first introduced to these brilliant bits of kit in March 2012 by John Caeyers, whilst we were out in France for a Free Spirit Fishing video shoot. It took me all my gentle charm and persuasion plus sad puppy eyes to convince him that he should let me have one to try.
Now then, what a journey these past few weeks have been in my life. Emotions leaving me feeling as low as I have ever felt in my life, but fortunately periods of total joy too. I have always been a big believer in Karma and Karma appears to have stepped in a couple of times along the way including a new PB U.K. common.
We are now just over 3 months into the 2019 river season and I have only just started my barbel fishing. For one reason or another, I had hardly wet a line for over 3 months (apart from the very odd float fishing trip), so was looking forward to getting out and having a go. Although reading the various forums (such has Barbel Adventures and BFW) concerning the Upper Trent (they were hardly inspiring), as it would appear in recent seasons most anglers are blanking more often than not. Looking at the size of the barbel on the Upper Trent (average 9lb+), I personally believe (that with virtually no small fish coming through, plus the increase in predation), we may have as little has 3 years before the Upper river becomes very much like the Dove and there are next to no barbel there (it will be a great chub river though).
It always makes me smile looking at the various social media forums and Angling press concerning the Trent, the catches from the Middle and Tidal Trent can be 'ridiculous' (such things as 8 doubles or more in a night etc), leading people to think the whole of the river is one big barbel swim!
This really is not the case, the Upper Trent may as well be a different river as it is nothing like the middle, with large area's that only hold the odd fish. I know of many an experienced angler that have had plenty of blanks on the Upper Trent and Dove, that have then had a go on the Middle or Tidal Trent and ended up 'bagging up' with 10 plus fish in a session. Personally if the fishing was such that you are almost always guaranteed to catch, I would soon get bored, after 45 years as an angler, it's more about the surroundings, the solitude and the sense of mystery that low stocked venues like the Upper Trent still have to offer. I do feel though that the current situation with some of the huge catches of barbel, from places like Collingham really do give a false impression as to the barbel fishing across the rest of the country.
Anyway enough of my ramblings!
Saturday I had landed a nice mirror during the morning whilst conditions appeared absolutely spot on with a big low which had moved in dropping the air pressure fast, whilst the wind blew strongly and boy did it rain. These were the conditions I had hoped for to get the fish down in the 19 feet of water I was fishing.
That evening three really nice commons were induced to feed.
What a month that one was!
At the start of the month I was in Italy chasing carp far larger than I usually get the chance to fish for and success was indeed sweet. I came back to catch up on work, caught 3 more nice fish back home, then got called out to France and managed to fit in a couple of days angling there with again a rather pleasing result. Finally the end of the month I was once again rewarded by the carp gods. The following blog covers some of those captures and the different bait approaches I used between Italy, France and the U.K. One baiting approach will never suit every situation.