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Fish and Fish

After clocking up a few silly hours, and hand forking many tons of pond weed over the last week, a lazy start to Saturday was in order, that was until 7am when the phone rings and my good mate Scott is on the other end gibbering about a double figure Barbel and a load of Chub, fair play! I will let him carry on with his “last day of the season story”.

Well are we sitting comfortably, … then I shall begin!

I had decided that I really needed to catch a big Bristol Avon barbel and time was running out! The weather was forecast to be overcast with light rain for the last day of the river season and as I left the house at 4.15am there was a light drizzle, Ideal I thought as I drove the truck through the twisty roads to Limpley Stoke.

As I parked up I was glad to see that I was the first to get to the river. On arriving at my chosen swim I decided to attach a small PVA bag of crushed boilies and small pellets to each paste wrapped hookbait rather than get busy with the bait dropper. I could always fill it in during daylight if this failed to produce but i had confidence in my bait and felt that if fish were already in the swim I might spook them.

As I sat back and poured a coffee the right hand rod banged round and I knew that a small chub had found my bait. After releasing the small chub I noticed some chaffing on the hook link next to the hook so I decided to change it. Another small PVA bag nicked to the hook and out it went, and sat down in my chair to finish my coffee.

At about 5.45am the same rod signaled a different kind of take, the isotope had gone round and stayed round accompanied by the sound of my trusty baitrunner as the fish took off downstream. I managed to get the second rod cleared as the fish fought doggedly in mid river. I was hoping this was the big girl that I had been waiting for and that she didn’t find any unseen snags.

As the fish began to succumb to heavy side strain it moved up level with my position and broke the surface and dived again. The steep banks make netting fish difficult but slowly she began to tire and slipped over the drawstring. At this point I heard a voice in the darkness behind me, ” That’s worth getting out of bed for!” he said.

I had better ring my mate….


My new friend Alan, helped me weigh my new personal best and only my second Barb from the BA at 12lbs exactly, with the photos done I slipped the fish into the landing net to recover before returning her to the river. As the morning sun began to light the Avon valley I sat grinning on my fishing chair at what had happened, finally finishing my coffee and casting the rod back out into position.

I had some more chub activity when the the same rod whacked round as another fish took line, after short but spirited fight the fish was in the net and I realised that it might be another double and only the scales would tell. As I lifted the sling from the ground it wasn’t to be at 9.2lbs. An few photos were taken of the fish on the mat and then as I returned it I realised that it had only just turned 7 o’clock.


I stuck to the same method but apart from the odd suicide chub no more barbel came my way, the weather turned sunny and although waiting until last knockings not much else happened. Maybe the double double will have to wait until next season.

The last day for grayling fishing on the Frome also resulted in a fish of a life time for a guest angler Ian a cracking fish of 3lb 10oz as seen in this weeks Angling Times, well done Ian, can you send me a picture…..

Today was a fantastic spring day, and to mark it the Grannon started to hatch, as did a few Olives, the King Cups are out and the Frome looks as good as she always looks in the early spring, only a few days to go now folks……

Better mend the zip on my boot.

I love the spring!

Time to purchase a new rod licence, make some plans for this comming season, and stick to them….