The last time I wrote about my adventures with Questrami was back in the summer when the story was about catching 14 barbel, including 4 doubles, during a red hot sunny day in August this year. After then I continued to fish for barbel but moved to my autumn stretch, again on the middle Trent.
The stretch I was concentrating on was an area from where I had caught my personal best barbel, a stunner of 15.02 in 2014, which I recaptured 12 months later at an ounce lighter. It is also where I saw an otter with an enormous barbel in its maw, which may well have been the same fish. Who knows, maybe the stretch was now devoid of barbel and not worth targeting! Undaunted, I decided to have a campaign there, again using Questrami boilies and paste wrap.
It won't be long now until we can get back on the river's and enjoy some some lovely running water angling in some stunning unspoilt surroundings. But what will the coming season hold for us all. The weather has certainly been very up and down, and I as I write this piece it is well below the temperature that we should be seeing for the time of year (just 10 Deg. C in Wolverhampton!). If this keeps up, the barbel will probably end up spawning in July, as they seem to have done for the last few season's. This always makes the few first weeks of the season difficult, as you can have miles of river with very few fish because they will be 'shoaled' up in small area's.
From a conservation point of view, I would say it is now worth a review of the closed season dates to take this into account. How about moving it back a month, so it runs from April 15th to July 16th? (other species are also spawning later). I have always been a traditionalist but you have to be prepared for change. With the already delicate situation of a lot of our barbel rivers, do you really want angler's fishing for them during or just after spawning? They take a long time to recover properly as it is after capture in the summer, without the added stress of capture just after spawning. The majority of carp fisheries are flexible and will close during the spawning period, surely we should be flexible to the same degree, when it comes to our rivers!
A month that started on the rivers with prototype rods that needed putting through their paces and ended up on the still waters. Both running and still water were rather kind to me yet again.
I was up and about this morning far earlier than I needed or indeed, wanted to be. I had awoken in that comfortable snuggled state when you know you still have a good hour or so lounging time before the alarm clock will sound. But then my brain kicked in thinking back over this last week-end, for the gods of Sir Izaak had done so much more than smile upon me. They had rewarded me richly with a bumper crop of golden autumn barbel. I couldn’t turn my brain off so it was to be an early rise and soon the tea pot was mashing my favourite Assam/Earl Grey blend. I glanced at the pictures again and really couldn’t believe how incredibly fortunate I had been with my timing. If the truth be told it wasn’t really any sort of judged timing, it was pure fate and poor carp catching conditions mixed with a bit of idleness and lack of motivation that had me fishing for the barbel this weekend.
It is nice once in a while to be able to angle with people we haven’t or rarely get to fish with.
I guess I must have known Bob Brookes for 30 odd years now after swapping many a brown paper bag of fishing tackle for his hard earned, for many years before his retirement. I guess a lot of the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire based anglers used the tackle shop for a little lunchtime therapy after a gruelling morning at work.
I always enjoyed serving Bob, his cheerful face would brighten many a day and one of the minority you could enjoy a sensible relaxed conversation with.
Hang on a minute, time to change tract, it’s starting to sound like a obituary and after watch Bob stomp across the fields the other day with a full pack, shortly after a session in the gym, this is far from being a obituary.
Spurred on by watching Ron Key catching barbel on the Questrami I thought it about time I prised myself away from my two favourite barbel baits Rahja Spice and Absolute Seafood.
The Absolute Seafood came about from my want of a good fishy type bait in the Quest Baits range but not containing much in the way of bulk oils and fat. I wanted a bait that would leak out its attraction quickly and would be very easy for the fish to digest particularly during the cold.
The conditions on the river had been superb for catching Barbel on the Trent right from last week-end yet alas things conspired to keep me away. How I wanted to get out last Sunday after the long awaited rise in river levels but other things had to be done. I was desperate for a picture of a carp laying at the side of a bag of the new ‘Magnum Duo’ for something I was working on so Sunday saw me getting a bit of carp gear together and venturing over to a water I had not cast into for 10 years or so. It can be a tricky place but time wasn’t allowing me to travel too far so I took a gamble.
8 x mini Spombs and 6 x pouches of the Magnum Duo scattered loosely in the area in front turned out to be the right approach. I was lucky, my 3 hour session rewarded me with what I wanted and it was lovely to re-acquaint myself with one of the Rosehip Pool fish. It had fallen to a bait right on dark on the Sunday evening so a pleasant end to my week-end escape from the office.
It has become a daily question both in emails and phone calls about my feeder mix I have been using for the barbel I have been catching, so hopefully this will make things clearer.
I am not one for making new year resolutions but I guess deep down for a while now I have promised myself a little more time angling on my local patch and to try and not keep pestering the carp week in and week out. It is so easy to find yourself in a routine simply because it suits. For years now I have pointed my Land Rover bonnet south or west and driven for a couple of hours for most all of my angling and in doing so, I invariably pass so much incredible fishing along the way.