But no, I've chosen to turn my back on chasing yesterday's news in order to test myself, my watercraft and angling prowess in situations that are, as yet, unknown to me. My pike angling exploits have taken me to some very un-fashionable venues yet, produced the goods without having to compete with hoards of other anglers. It is true that my results haven't sent shock waves through the angling world - but my captures have been as enjoyable as any I've ever experienced.
Barbel fishing on the R. Stour is a similar exercise. I am aware of Ian McDonald, and his captures, although we have never met. He is a local legend and many of the anglers, I do meet, claim to know him and tell stories about the various captures he's made. If he's anywhere near as good as the hype - he's one very good angler! I'm sure that he's a very nice guy, who doesn't require this PR stuff; there is no way any individual can have caught every fish in a river - fact!
|Playing a seven on the R. Severn - a bent barbel rod.|
How I hope to repeat this before November
Now I don't know if Ian and I are anywhere close to the skill levels of Ritchie and Alan, but as we've never found ourselves competing for the same swim suggests that there is so much more that I have to learn about R. Stour barbel. Maybe one day?
At the moment I am really struggling to get to grips with these fish - I would have taken two 13lbs+ barbel for the season, yet now seek more of an understanding as to why I was able to achieve these captures in an area where I've (we've) never seen a barbel during daylight hours? November is fast approaching and thus, my desire to add to my tally of R. Stour barbel is becoming even more pressurised. In my head, I have created a "bogey situation" by wishing to capture a Stour barbel on the Match Aerial centre pin - the one that I've not managed yet (both the 13's came out on Matt Haye's Limited Edition centre pins)
Answers on a postcard - please!