I can truly admit that the opening day of the 2013/14 season was a huge disappointment. Not only did I only catch two chub (for which I’m eternally grateful), I lost two barbel. The first to a hook pull and the second (which was a very good size – a certain ‘double’) to a break at the hook link swivel. It was the main line braid that gave way, sadly. I’m currently using 20lb bs Spiderwire, and haven’t experienced a similar break before. I’ll now be re-spooling with a new batch of braid.
On the positive side, I guess I can be happy about hooking such a fish. The negative is that, until the fish sheds the hook, there’s a 12″ hooklink trailing from the fish’s mouth.
For bait I was using the Meteor boilies.
The following day I drove down to Tutbury, for my first look at the river Dove. What an impressive river it is, with the abundant streamer weed and natural cover, in the form of bank side trees and bushes. It reminds me greatly of the Dorset Stour, though in size it’s more like my beloved river Goyt. The river looked low and clear; in many of the pegs it would have been a struggle to reach the water with my 6′ landing net handle. I’ve recently joined the Burton Mutual Angling Association and thus started from one of the allocated parking areas (No 3, as it’s pretty well the middle of the 9 mile stretch).
Having parked up I assembled my tackle (not a lot, as I travel light nowadays); an army style belt with extra pouches to hold my bits and pieces and bait, quiver with two made-up rods and landing net handle, landing net, lightweight chair (with carrying strap) and some sandwiches.
I had an hour and a half in one swim and was lucky enough to meet the local bailiff (Andy) who was checking cards. Pretty free with advice, he said where I was would be as good as anywhere, unless I was chasing the legendary big girls (which I wasn’t at the time). I tried super-glued pellets and a Meteor, to no avail. Moving downstream I came across the ‘pillars’ peg but didn’t fancy it with all the cows roundabout, so I walked for a few minutes further downstream but didn’t fancy any of the pegs. I’ll save them for another day. I had a quick walk around the top end of the stretch and fished a couple of swims, half-heartedly it must be said as I just had a feeling the barbel just weren’t feeding. Still spawning I think.
I’m down on the Dove again at the end of the month so will post any successes then……..