Been back to the tidal Trent today with my mate JD on the hunt for some barbel, it was an eye opening day and full of surprises.
We arrived at our chosen stretch only to find a club match just about to kick off, this put a big dent in our plans as we could not fish the known barbel pegs so we decided to chance it anyway and fish a couple of pegs where another water course comes into the river. We got settled just above the high tide mark feeling sure we would be fine there as high tide was not far off. How wrong could we be. What happened next I can only put down to the forcasted tidal bore that is due tomorrow, I think we may have seen a small one today!
The water level had reached the high tide mark and didn't look like stopping as it was still running hard and if anything looked to be getting faster. In half an hour the river rose another couple of feet forcing us to move the gear up the bank, it then dropped just as fast back down to the high tide mark, while still running upstream!!! And it was a good job I moved as soon after some total tool in a large pleasure cruiser thought he was in some kind of power boat race as he headed upstream towards us at full pelt. The 3 foot high waves narrowly avoided taking my gear for a swim but gave my chair a good soak, I could here the match lads shouting plenty of abuse at him as he passed them further up.
So, onto the fishing. I had no idea when the river would stop and start to run off again so I decided to chance it and chuck the rods out anyway but hold back on the feed. Today I was testing a groundbait mix I have made my self from some basic raw ingredients and a couple of flavours, I dropped a ball in the edge and filled my feeders and was pleased to see it look and feel like any I have used from the shops. A couple of nice bream came quickly to my rods before it finally started to run off. Another bream graced my net before JD appeared in my swim with his gear. This was his first trip to such a big powerful river and his gear was a bit under gunned so he decided to fish the next swim along to my right in some slower water and just catch what came along.
JD was catching the odd small fish but it was a while before I was in again. This time with the upstream rod tip been jagged back and forth violently by an angry fish. I picked up and wound down into a heavy fish that started to take line from the off. I managed to get it close in fairly quick and both my self and JD were shocked when a very large golden coloured fish rolled, I said this is one huge barbel but as I caught a glimpse of it under the water something didn't look quite right and so it proved, as it rolled clearly this time on the surface I realised it was a carp. Ironically my previous PB carp came from the Trent caught many years ago on the stick float at 14lb 11oz. This fish looked like it would beat that and I guesstimated it wouldn't be far off 20 but that was probably the excitement as on the scales it went 15lb 6oz.
I'm chuffed to bits with it and it's yet another PB this year making that number 5 so far and a great result on my new home made groundbait.
Things went a little quiet then with JD picking a few small fish up and my self adding another couple of nice bream before JD was into a better fish. Thinking it was another good bream we were both shocked to see yet another carp, this time around 4lb but JD's first from a river so he too was chuffed to bits. He had a few more small ones and I added a couple more bream before we decided to call it a day and headed home both shocked and happy anglers, roll on the next trip.