October ended with me landing some nice barbel on my simple Rahja Spice feeder mix as shown in my last blog. Hook links were around 5 ft with a whittled down 15 mm Rahja Spice hook bait, sometimes with a paste wrap and sometimes without. This month sees me catching a new P.B. Joining a new water,
catching carp, barbel and chub as well.
I must admit that I have only just noticed that I skipped October from my Diary Blogs, so a quick two month summary now…
It has very much been a mixed period of fish-in’s, guiding/tutorials, skipping from venue to venue as well as fish species, a new personal best and a new syndicate joined as well! No wonder I haven’t caught loads but I have caught quality and most importantly I have loved every moment of what is my favourite time of the year when finally the bugs stop biting quite as much and most anglers start to tail off whilst our green and pleasant land turns into a world of gold and red.
A few subjects crop up over and over again and I often find myself answering the same questions. One of these is why do I advocate using 2 different baits at the same time?
After my six month obsession with Paradise Pit which had culminated in me landing another lake record from there, I felt I was ready for a bit of a change of scenery and fresh challenges.
We are now just over 2 months into the 2016 river season, so I thought I would do a brief review of my own season so far. I have had 18 trips so far (which is around 110 hours fishing in total), and have fished 8 different stretches on 4 different rivers. Probably 'spreading myself too thin', really, but as I have said before, early season for me is very much about visiting a number of places to try and locate some barbel in the first place. Obviously when you can find a number of fish in a particular area, then it bodes well for later in the season if you want to concentrate on a particular stretch. Even better if you can find them on more than one river, because it gives you so many more options depending on levels etc, for later on.
Well, I saw another month out, another month that had yet again been kind to me. So, it’s time to scan back through my dairy as in previous months and pick out some of the highlights. Well, I need to show that I still angle. A lot in the trade don’t, yet they manage to come up with new must have’s that have turned their angling around – yeah right!
I stirred from my dream and was vaguely aware that daylight was creeping through my oak blinds. Suddenly, like a child on Christmas morning, I knew that I no longer needed to sleep for this morning was the morning I had waited so long and so patiently for. June the 16th and finally another 9 months of river angling available to me.
A quick wash, kettle on, a couple of slices of bread cut from the home baked loaf and toasted before being smeared with olive spread and Marmite and I was out the door, less than 15 minutes after opening my eyes.
June 1st has passed, so half way through yet another year and the time really is flying by. Old age and more aches and pains will be catching up much sooner than I want them to be at this rate.
Looking back over the few weeks of May I have again been rewarded with some lovely captures, so here are a few extracts from my daily jottings in my angling journal.
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!
I must apologize for the lateness of this April Blog. I had completed it and then discovered my close friend Jan Porter had sadly lost his brave and determined battle against cancer. It totally destroyed me and I held this piece back. I wanted to write about Jan but still I'm finding it hard to find the right words to say.
Strap your guitar on mate, find us some nice quiet water and if you see Brook, tell her I'll be back with you both one day.
So, here is what I wrote before I'd received the devastating news that one of the best had been taken early...