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.
Pat Gillett has recently returned from a really difficult week in France but still managed to bank some fish by being observant as well as careful with his approach. Here he reveals what worked on this cold wet week.
Does your bait attract the naturals?
If someone asked you if you would like a few natural food items scattered around and over your hook baits, most would or should say yes please. Well, you can. here is Shaun's latest blog.
Here Carpology TV show a simple way of getting those mesh bags out there much further than normal utilising our Rahja Spice Micro Feed, crushed Rahja Spice boilies, Mini Mixed Pellet and Rahja Hemp, with other particle.
Once again, well worth just over a minute of your time watching this. It is so simple to do.
With the water temperatures now starting to rise, this is the time to start thinking about your spod mixes again. This is a great one for a good spread of attraction.Very easy to put together with minimal ingredients, yet because of the ingredients in the Rahja Spice, it is still quite a complex mix with lots going off. As it gets warmer you can safely increase the hemp and as the water cools back down at the back end decrease the hemp and increase the broken and crushed boilie content.
A minute spent watching the video could get those indicators moving a little more.
The frogs have returned in volumes to my garden, which always means that I no longer need to work so hard to catch carp and now is the time to start moving on from my various cold water winter approaches to the methods that have caught me so many spring fish in years gone by.
With the daylight hours stretching on so much longer and the sun rising so much higher, the carp increase their activity and start to cover a lot more ground than they perhaps have been doing these past 2 ½ months.
So, how do I approach spring fishing?
I’ve been preparing my session baits and in this blog I shall describe how and what I do to try and give myself a bit more of an edge.
My last diary type blog ended with…
“The following day I put a couple more nice fish on the bank, so August had started off sweet. Again the Spicy Spirulina has really opened my eyes this summer. During real hot conditions when I wouldn’t really have expected to catch on the bottom, they have still sailed away.”
Beginning of August since my last entry – I do apologise.
My feet don’t seem to have touched the floor, but then again, that tends to be quite normal for me during my favourite time of the year. If I could split the years into quarters, into my quarters, then September, October and November would be my favourite season bar none. I always feel an urgency to get out there and enjoy every last moment of it and now I’m seeing that time passing and the start of what I term as winter about to hit us, I’d better try and get caught back up.