Barbel fishing with a paste wrapped Meat Beast squab

13lb 06oz

Barbel fishing with a paste wrapped Meat Beast squab

When I agreed to write an online diary for the site, I intended it to be an entirely factual, warts and all, account of my fishing, good or bad. Last week, it was definitely a warts occasion! Again because of hospital visits, I just had the one day to fish and decided once again on a short trip to my local Avon. I would be fishing only from midday until perhaps 10.00pm but thought the conditions certainly good enough to tempt a barbel if I could find the right swim. When I arrived it looked good, apart from the gale force wind which was smack in my face in the two swims I fancied and which have given me success before.

Because of my limited time I felt that freebies could be counterproductive, so just contented myself with a paste wrapped Meat Beast squab combined with a PVA bag of Match Midgets. The afternoon passed uneventfully, apart from tiny plucks on the tip as roach fry nibbled at the paste. After a couple of hours, drifting weed became annoying and I decided to wind in, clear the line of rubbish and rebait. And that is when the trouble really started. When I recast the strong wind took the line through bankside foliage and before I knew it an impressive tangle of line had tumbled off the spool to form several wind knots. So gusty were the conditions that unravelling the mess proved impossible; no sooner had I removed one wind knot when two others had appeared.

Eventually, I was forced to admit defeat and tackle up afresh. Before doing so, I hand lined in the terminal rig, or rather I tried to. I found that it was jammed solidly under bankside debris, resulting in the line breaking. I then found to my annoyance that I had brought the wrong tackle wallet with me and had no barbel hooklinks or sliding weight links with me. Eventually I had cobbled something together and just as dusk was drawing in cast out once again. Within two minutes, the rod bent right over as a huge mound of floating debris carried the line away. Once more I was eventually forced to hand line, this time retrieving the Stonze but losing the hooklink. Oh joy as I tackled up afresh in the near dark, when I discovered that my head torch batteries were nearly knackered! Luckily, I carry spare batteries so that problem was soon rectified, although I had to insert them by touch in the gloom.

At last I was fishing peacefully and so it remained for an uneventful hour. As I poured a welcome cup of tea, it was that precise moment that the rod chose to suddenly crash over. I promptly spilt a hot cup of tea over my hand, struck and missed. Probably a small bream, I consoled myself with. Having recast, I again spent an hour watching a motionless beta light and then again thought I’d risk a cup of tea. I was in the process of pouring it when again the rod banged round. Quickly putting the flask down I struck and connected. Yes, it was a small bream, but I don’t know precisely how big as it fell off in the margins. Then I discovered that the flask, which was still open, had fallen over at my feet and the entire contents had drained out into my tackle wallet.

What I said at that moment is unprintable! Ten minutes later, the rain started and as I’d left the umbrella in the van on the promise from the Met office of a dry evening, I was soaked in seconds. With the wind now gale force and the rain lashing into my face I said sod it and packed up much earlier than I’d planned. By the time I got back to the van I was well and truly drenched. As I drove home I started to laugh; what a catalogue of cock ups!!

The photograph I’ve attached to this piece is a nice double of 13-6 I caught two winters ago. No special reason, just to remind myself what a barbel looks like!13lb 06oz

All the best and tight lines.

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