Well, according to the Barbel Catchers Club catch returns I have so far had nine sessions this season, and have caught seven fish. Not a bad return I guess, particularly as I mainly fish the Goyt, and occasionally the Dove. The river’s have been low recently, however my last session on the Goyt on the 13th August yielded two fish – the latter not quite a double at 9lb 8oz. Still, my return for the whole of last season was only nine fish – thus at two months into the season I think I’m doing well enough.
The smaller fish – just over six pounds – came from another swim and using a hair-rigged boilie: The first this season on anything other than pellet. I was beginning to lose faith in boilies, generally, so it was good timing.
This is particularly true given that AC Baits have stopped making bait and I’m going to have to find a new supplier.
Getting back to the day itself; well, I wasn’t hugely optimistic as the river was very low for the time of year and the weather was sunny and hot, around 24 degrees. I arrived at the river at around 2.30pm and, to my surprise, there were no other anglers. I settled into a spot Bill and I refer to as the Bacon Butty #2 peg and baited up with a few of the Quest Special Crab boilies. Although, again, I wasn’t that optimistic I was determined to give boilies a good go, for the aforementioned reason. I cast to a deep section just about halfway across the river and waited no longer than 45 minutes before the rod crashed round. I was into a fish. After a good battle the smaller of the two fish was landed. What a triumph!
Having disturbed the swim to the extent that I doubted if another fish could be tempted I moved to a different swim – one not far from a weir and just downstream of a section of f
aster water. I remember reading, Trefor West I think, that a swim adjacent to a fast stretch, particularly when the flow slows right down will be an area where natural food collects and, thus, a good spot for fishing. There aren’t any obvious features above the water but there is at least one deeper hole, and this is where I cast.
Using glued salmon pellets on the hair I waited for a good hour before the bait was snaffled. A terrific fight ensued and, when I saw the fish, I was hopeful that it might reach the magical 10lb mark. At 9lb 8oz it didn’t quite. But no matter – a lovely fish in tip top condition graced my net.
My other session have been a mixture of staying local on the Goyt, or driving further afield to the Dove. The latter give more of a chance of a fish, though this is entirely dependent on conditions.