Storm Barra is kicking off as I sit in my oak clad retreat, tapping these words out whilst reflecting upon my angling leading into this winter. The wind is roaring through the weeping willow that surrounds my hideaway, it is now mostly stripped of leaves, a few succulent ones still hold in there, but the wind is now able to funnel through so much easier than a few weeks back. Storm Arwen removed most of them and what a storm that was. I was out in it under my umbrella for the two days it battered the U.K. I enjoy the forces of nature, it helps to point home just how ferocious mother nature can be and the respect we need to give it. I chose my pitch carefully for Storm Arwen; knowing it was coming I made sure I was out of reach of any potential widow makers. For those of you not familiar with that phrase, it is a name given to trees that are likely to blow down – thus making another widow if some poor soul is unfortunate enough to have a large tree come down on them. Trees are a tad heavy!
I had a close call in the early to mid-80’s when one came down at the side of me one winter night. Since then, I have tried to be extra careful. As it happens, I had a large branch crash down just behind me during Storm Arwen. Had I set up taking advantage of the extra shelter from the mini copse, then it would have hit me. Instead, I had weighed the situation up and set up in the open but as close to the copse of trees for a little protection from the gusts as I dared. It turned out to be one of my better decisions.
As always, I have started off rambling on about things other than I had meant to start off with. Last month’s blog was a catch up of a few months where I had been very much out of action health wise. I ended it at the beginning of October, so that is where this one is going to continue from.
Another month passes and if the truth be told, it was a month I would rather forget.
I finished last month’s piece on a bit of a high after tracking down, stalking, hooking and landing a ridiculously long common on the float and centrepin reel. At the time it was a fish I had not personally seen before, which made it extra special.
So, June passed and into July I ventured with what I though was a back problem. Although I have suffered with a bad neck and shoulder for 25 years, my back has always remained strong. My bloke brain just told me to get on with it and to expect more aches and pains as I get older.
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?
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!
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.
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.
Having landed the largest carp in one of the syndicates I’m a member of, among a few other fish last week-end, I decided upon a change of scenery and a change of county this last week-end, so headed to Paradise Pit.
This is what happened, another successful weekend in poor moon phase conditions
Once in a while we all get lucky and hook into a fish we really wanted to catch. Occasionally someone has the presence of mind to grab a camera and rush round to take a few action shots. Rarely do the two situations join together. Thanks Dave for capturing those exciting moments for me.