Well readers, I haven't been fishing much of late and when I have been out, the fishing has been hard.
I have done some small stints on the local river will only a few small chublets, roach and dace to show for my jungle expeditions (memo to self, need a new hacking blade!!)
But I did travel down to the west county for a social fish in with some of the weird and wonderful members of the Pike Pit for a days fishing on a coloured river for the barbel.
For some, the fishing was secondary to the social, but for me the tempting prospects of catching a barbel was too much temptation to have a lot of sauce the night before at the social gathering of the year.
Its a fair drive from Suffolk to the west county, and I did feel very jaded on arrival at the meeting point. We drove off on a convey to the camping area and setup our bivvies for the night along with the social area.
After setting up we gather and chatted, mostly about fishing. We had the pleasure of a living legend coming along John Costello, whom is the only angler to caught a 20lb Zander and a 40lb+ Pike!!!!!! Even Uncle Nev's & Uncle Eddie haven't done that.
John's understanding of fishing is to say "enlightening". He's a regular bloke who has family and work commitments, but managed to caught the impossible, due to maximising his time when out fishing, whether on a vast reservoir or on his local rivers
It was great speaking to him and I really felt that after a walk of the river, I had a good understanding of the river and its character. I was feeling optimistic about the next day
Next morning, gloomy and early with the bird, bee's and snoozing anglers making there morning sounds as they rose from their sauce induced slumber. I awoke to a "where the hell am I" moment.
Soon I was up, washed (of a fashion) and out of the bivvy, where Marty was also ready up (after prebaiting his swim allegedly) and made a cuppa for me and some of the other waking beauties.
Soon I was tackled up and following the first two anglers along the bank to a swim I fancied, which had some slack water out of the main coloured water.
I decided to use the lightest rod I had with me which was a 11ft 6", 2.1/4tc carp rod. It would handed leads and feeder to 4oz if fishing within a couple of rod lengths out.
I started with a straight lead setup on a running rig similar to ones I'd seen on Dave Lumbs site for barbel. Simplicity is the key. Hook bait was 11mm or 20mm pre soaked halibut pellets, with a 11mm and micro pellets in a pva bag.
I also baited the general area with a few hand fulls of this mix and let the flow wash it down stream in order to get a scent trail going.
I did get the chub going and had a number of small chub/dace taps, but every so offered they would nick the bait so I would have to reeled in, re bait, added a new pva bag and dropped it back into the margin.
This I did several time before getting fed up with the constant tip activity and increased the pellet size to a 20mm.
After 15min of soaking the bait, it was away and the baitrunner was fizzing, I struck and hooked into a fish, felt it for a nano second before it all locked up in a snag some 15yds downstream.
I walked downstream beyond the snag trying to get another angle on it, but it was going nowhere fast.
With the rod bend over, and no signs of life, I opened the bail arm and released the pressure to see if the flow would dislodge the snagged fish or the rig. Sadly, neither happened and in the end I had to pull for a break.
I fish on for a number of hours, in between I did switch to a heavy feeder, but nothing was coming to my rod.
The end of the session for me was insight, then as I decided to have "one more cast", there was a snap. The last 4" of the rod tip disappeared down the line. Bugger!!!!
It had now gone midday, and I was tired though lack of sleep and hungry through lack for breakfast and now rod less due to god knows what.
So I packed up and head back to the bivvy for food and finally demobilisation of the site.