Yesterday, the 13th July saw me heading south for my first barbel and Trent session of the year. Here's a tip for you all, well two actually. Don't go fish on the 13th or on the hottest day of the year to date! Although that first bit could well be rubbish I didn't have much good luck but plenty of bad.
Firstly this crap weather we keep going on about, we ain't in Ibiza so please kindly do one. 20 - 23 degree will do me thanks and secondly could we have some rain and plenty at that although mid week whilst I'm at work, but not this one coming as I'm on holiday. The rivers are getting desperate.
So anyway, enough moaning. I headed to a stretch of the tidal I have not fished since about '97/98' when I still match fished, I was there in plenty of time to have a wander around and find a swim using the bit of inside info I had been given before high tide. The swim was not miles from the car but still a good walk and one I wasn't looking forward too in sweltering heat, the only bit of good look for the day happened right away though as one of the bailiffs with gate access turned up and offered me and my gear a lift back up.
With the river been low and clear I had opted for a two pronged attack, one line short with maggot and hemp and one further out with ground bait and pellets. As I started to unpack I realised I had failed to bring a catty with me, this would make maggot fishing hard work as it would mean constant casting with the feeder as it was quite shallow to where I could throw by hand. I needn't have worried though as I sound found out 90% of my maggots were dead. Cooked in the heat no doubt. I had checked them on arriving and left them with the lids off under the car while I went for a wander but by the time I got around to unpacking them again they looked spot on for tench fishing rather than barbel. Still with enough living to provide hook baits I decided to carry on with my plan anyway.
On with the fishing and what a pain that was, casting 6 foot hook links 3/4 of the way over with a high bank behind was proving more hassle than it was worth, but I stuck at it and soon perfected some kind of odd pendulum type effort that hit the spot but made the feeder land like a house brick. When using pellets I like to glue them to the hair, this enables different sizes to be used and give the fish something they are not used to being hooked on all the time. The curse of the 13th was soon to strike again though as the lid on my tube of superglue refused to budge meaning I had to unscrew the hole thing only for this to also get stuck. I was now loosing patience with it and was determined to get it off only for the whole tube to explode.
Never fear I though, I can always band them instead and reached for my rig wallet only to find I had left it in the sun. Whats the issue there you may ask? Well I had quite a number of ready tied rigs ready to go only it seems the brown drennan latex pellet bands melt when its 30 degrees and all the ones on my pre tied rigs had turned into something like the dog fires out when he's polished a curry off. I could go on but I won't...........
Any way my dead maggot line soon produced the first bream of the day as expected before a savage bite resulted in a barbel of around 2lb, nice to see but sadly the only one of the day as it was followed by more bream. 6 or 7 in total. TBH I couldn't get into it, I don't know if it was the troubles I had at the start or the heat but I just didn't fancy putting much effort in and it was clear it was going to be hard going.
My mission this week, as I'm off work is to catch my first Calder barbel. I have only tried twice before so watch this space.