The chosen swim was one where I'd seen barbel in the previous weeks, but had been unable to do anything about it due to work/time restraints. I got set up in heavy rain; I had an umbrella with me for the first time since Feb 2012! I went through the usual routine of laying down a carpet of 4,6 & 8mm pellets, using pva bags and a bait dropper. My confidence being 100% with this approach. A Wood Mouse kept me company, for a while, as it devoured a few spilled pellets - this photo is with my 18-55mm lens; so it was very close!
Eels were, once again, a major headache - rod wrenching pulls on the 18mm hookbait resulting in nothing. Every now and again, one would hang on long enough to give a few tell tale thumps on the rod before letting go of the pellet. I had used up most of my pva bags and was in the early stages of packing up when the alarm sounded (again) and I hit a fish which wasn't particularly amused. At long last, my first R. Stour barbel - on one of my 1.75lbs t.c, 12ft "Specialist Barbel" rods fitted with a Cardinal 66x reel - the same kit as I'd used in the R. Severn. I was a fantastic experience, quickly shared with Benno as soon as I had it safely in the folds of my landing net.
|It's been a long time coming - my first barbel from the R. Stour|
At 7lbs 14oz, it isn't a monster, but it is a fish that should aid my confidence and help in my quest for a PB from this water. Being on my own, the photos were never destined to be much better than record shots; the usual routine of a fish laid on my sling with a rod & reel for comparison.