Plough AS, 10.3.09
Since catching that Tench at Ryton last Sunday my mind has been adjusting to the slim possibility that I'm not destined to catch just Chub for the rest of my life.
Hearing reports of good Barbel from the Avon on the grapevine and in the local press I decided that tonight would be an all out push to try and nick a Barbel before the curtain closes on the season and in particular the Plough (pronounced Pluff :).
I started upstream of where I eventually ended up. The peg is just upstream of my first ever Barbel from the stretch and where I caught a fish on the last day of last season.
The sun was out upon my arrival and everything felt right.
I fed small balls of groundbait into the run against the reeds on the far side and fished a pellet on a hair. After half an hour I had a pluck, but no more after that.
I moved downstream to a swim I have fished recently and where I have seen and hooked Barbel in the warmer months.
Within a few minutes of sitting down a Robin came to see if I could provide him with tea. After I'd shared some of my groundbait with him he sat upon my rod and started reciting the works of Shakespeare. Quickly realising I'd overdone the hallucinogens again I pulled myself together to concentrate on the matter in hand.
Concentrating on the pacy midstream water I again fished a pellet on a hair. After half an hour I had a pull round and felt the weight of a sturdy fish. It stayed low in the strong current and I thought I had connected with a Barbel. After some steady persuasion I drew the fish into the slack water on the near bank. I could now see it was a good Chub.
The fish pulled the scales round to 6lb 3ozs! A new Pb!
Unlike my previous Pb from this stretch this fish was in great nick, with hardly a mark on it.
I backed this fish up with one other of 3lb 15ozs, took a photo of the moon rising and retired to the pub.
Although I have still not regained my early lead, the scores on the doors on this years fishing challenge between me and my mate are looking more respectable tonight!