Sunday, 12 September 2010

Bearded Barney Rubble from the Avon

After a midweek chat with Dan we decided to meet on the Avon for an early session on Sunday...if fact we over estimated the time of first light by about an hour.

We had a conversation whilst waiting for the sun to rise about the different approaches that we aimed to employ for the morning. I had decided to try a new rig that was focused around making a "barbel bomb" which included moulding a stiff halibut mix around my gripper lead with the long fluro hook link of around 3 ft included (much like a method feeder). I had also decided to change my hook bait to the Sonu baits ellipse shape pellets superglued together onto the hair. Another slight change that I made was to use a metre of lead core prior to the quick link swivel and bead which allow the lead to run but would not damage the line whilst also ensuring the line was nailed down to the river bed and perhaps assisting with any snags that I may encounter!
Dan was that excited about my chance that he sat with me for the first 10 minutes as he was anticipating some immediate action, but unfortunately this did not appear. So Dan set up 50m downstream to begin his barbel attack.

After about 25 mins though some action did arrive with my tip bending round and the baitrunner rolling off line. After a short fight it was clear to me that this was not my targeted quarry pulling my line, but a nice sized chub of around 4 1/2 lb.

Fin perfect chub.

During the fight I noticed that my drag system on my baitrunner was not working effectively, in fact not at all as the fish was unable to run after the baitrunner had engaged. So a quick change of reel bodies was required as I am sure if I had hit a barbel it would had caused an issue. It appears that there could have been some grit it the rear drag system as after a play it seemed to work fine , though I was unaware that the tension that the runner is set at effects the drag once engaged, something I will remember in future.

Anyway I digress! The bomb was cast back into my target zone and the trap was set once more...roughly 30 minutes past before all hell broke out on the tranquil banks of the Avon. Through the morning chorus of birds singing and the odd sound of a Buzzard came a shout of "I'm in!", as my tip slammed round to 90 degrees and line started to strip quickly of my reel. By the time I had engaged the drag the fish had made it deep into the roots on the far bank, just as Dan arrived from his 50 metre early morning sprint! Though I felt that my chance had gone, a bit of movement downstream and side strain released the fish for the snags and into a small area of open water, which is very rare on this stretch of river! Perhaps the addition of the lead core might have helped me? Keeping the pressure on the fish I could see that it was a barbel but was not convinced that it was my target fish of 10lb!

Dan kindly jumped down to the waters edge and the fish after a couple of minutes was safely in the net. As Dan past the net to me I changed my mind on the fishes weight, but how big was it? What a cracking looking fish! We made our way back to my swim and to the safety of the unhooking matt, Dan collected his sling and the scales which held my fate! I unhooked the fish and slipped her into the sling, hoisting the sling up Dan kept its weight a secret for a couple of seconds but I noticed his face changed as he focused on the needle. Inviting me round we could not believe that the fish registered 10lb on the dot! Though it was my first ever double figure barbel, there is no way it could have been any closer!
Happy bunney- 10lb on the nail!

You cna see she had some disticntive features have a piece of top ray missing on her tail, and also she had two black spots on the top of her head. Beauty!

Pictures were taken and the fish was walked further downstream into the shallows and given tine to recover, until she blew some oxygen through her gills, reliving her exhaustion and giving her the energy back to allow her to return home. At this time the adrenaline was slowing down and I managed to compose myself to shake Dans hand and giving a shout of satisfaction that my target had been reached (sorry to the local residents that my have been still sleeping), another boxed ticked in my angling adventures!
I settled myself back down I changed my link and put the bomb back out. A while past before my next bite with the tip firstly moving back with a drop back before bending round. It was evident almost immediately that this was again not a barbel with a small chub of around 2lb surfacing quickly from under the cover and gliding effortlessly across the current and into my landing net.

By 11 o'clock the sun had risen and was shining directly into the area that I had focused on so I decided enough was enough and packed away. Overall I well stoked with catching the barbel and has shown me again why some people focus all their efforts on the truly beautiful fish.

Thanks to Dan for his help.
Tight Lines

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