Yesterday I was on the banks of The River Stour, just outside Canterbury, before 04.00hrs and this morning by 04.30hrs. Two sessions and I have yet to get a bite! This has nothing to do with the state of the river or the lack of fish; I am simply not good enough - yet!!
I am specifically targeting Barbel and have yet to see one in the river. They are certainly in there, a guy I met with yesterday had just landed a specimen of 12lbs 3oz (he showed me a photo) and told me of other successes he'd had along this section of the river. He had spent the entire close season period looking for swims and fish - his efforts being rewarded. I, on the other hand, have not spent a minute of my time wandering the banks, so my lack of fish is easily explained. I haven't put in the effort to locate my quarry, thus blanking will be something I will have to live with. I have found a few swims which look like they should produce fish, so now I have to see if any of these are actually holding areas or just "fishy looking"
|My "joint" PB Barbel (9lbs 2oz) taken from The River Thames (Mapledurham, Berks) in September 1985.|
The other fish was from "The Royalty Fishery" on The Hampshire Avon under the watchful eye of Fred Crouch.
|My swim choice this morning. Only room for a single rod and that being|
paired with an ABU Cardinal 66X
Just like Fred, the guy I met yesterday was equally forthcoming with snippets of advice which will aid my cause. He showed me a few areas where he had previously taken fish and even pointed me towards the swim where he had just taken the 12lbs 3oz fish. Very welcome input; let's hope that I'm able to use it to best effect. It might be that he just felt sorry for me as I was equipped with two 1lbs 12oz TC rods sporting two Matt Hayes centre-pins. He had just one rod fitted with a fixed spool/bait runner type reel. I clocked his rig and noted the semi-fixed lead set up (no good getting old if you don't get artful?) plus the 18mm pellet attached to his hook. Whatever the outcome, I am looking forward to this challenge with the same enthusiasm I had for the pike in that small drain out on the Worth Marshes.