I have just got back home after my final barbel session on the R. Stour for the 2013/14 season - those words were never more appropriate?
Then I find myself confronted by the challenge of the barbel of the Kentish R. Stour! Nothing, I have previously experienced, could have prepared me for this. It is not about my ability to use my tackle - how to cast, or where to present a bait - how to tie a specific rig; oh no, the lessons were far more basic than that. Where are they!!!???? I found myself at a loss (with the exception of one swim) as to where these fish would be, and why. Bait and presentation is a pointless exercise if you have no idea where the fish are - that's my barbel season, in a nutshell. I have failed to get to grips with location - my two 13lbs+ fish being the result of intercepting nomadic individuals as they paused on their travels between holding areas.
I am looking forward to the winter pike fishing and my quest for a "centre-pin" PB pike. The RMC is a 27 mile long pike swim - will my water craft be enough to discover the location of my quarry? Of one thing I'm sure - I won't catch it because I've accidentally dropped in on it; my insight into pike angling should allow me to take some pleasure from any success - I was in the right place because I felt it would be productive, thus the complete opposite of my R. Stour barbel exploits.