Please forgive the naff title, I struggled to think of something more imaginative tonight as it's nearly midnight, I'm tired and I have just returned from another successful trip on the Trent. The session ending with me catching a hard fighting 9lb 15 oz Barbel. Which means I have now caught fish in all the weight classes from 3lb up to 11 lb.
I started off the session by trying out my new crank bait plugs in an attempt at catching a nice Perch or two. This failed to provoke any reaction, despite trying three new plugs in the best looking swims - maybe I didn't give it long enough? I could have waited until the magic twilight spell but had to abandon this when someone else turned up wanting to fish. This promted me to quickly move to the barbel peg I had planned on fishing, in case it was taken by this interloper ! (how very dare he).
I have been used to having the stretch all to myself most of the time so far, and being that there's only a handful of fishable pegs; I didn't want to risk losing my choice of peg.
Saying all that though, when he came round to walk the stretch, he turned out to be quite helpful really. I even ended up taking a photo of an 11lb 12oz fish for him that he caught just an hour later.
The fish had a deformed spine which gave it a twisted body. He said he thought he had caught it before 2 years ago at 11.2lb, but I wonder how accurate this would be ?This type of deformity can occur from time to time and can be caused by various means. Extreme fluctuations of temperature whilst the embryo is still forming in the egg, a lack of vitamin C in early life, or fish T.B. and other such parasites can all be a cause of this condition and other fish/siblings might be affected in the stretch too?
After photographing his fish for him, we chatted for a little while about the stretch. He has been fishing it for four years or more and thought the river was stuffed with barbel, lots of them doubles. Now fired up again by this statement (as you do !) I soon returned to my peg gagging to get the rods back in the water and I hoped my recent success wouldn't be just a lucky one off.
The chap had noted how there had been barbel rolling in his swim when he had arrived which had given him a bit of confidence boost. I had never seen this happen on the Trent yet, but had heard of it before, and was hoping to witness it for myself.
Not long after settling back into my fishing I heard a splash out in the river, two thirds of the way across were a group of about three or four fish rolling intermittently like porpoises in a single file line 20 - 30 ft in length, amazing. My confidence now rocketed as I got that anticipation you get when you just expect the bite to come. Sure enough not long after casting in a pellet the rod tip started rattling and jabbing downwards in that " fish on " kind of way. I was soon battling with the 9lber that scrapped really hard, making my arm seriously ache by the time I got her safely in the net. It had put up much more of a fight than the 10lber I had caught the week before.
When I lifted the net I assumed it would be a heavier fish. It certainly looked the part, however the scales told a different story and bounced from 9.8 to 10.5 then just kept settling on 9lb 15oz. I re lifted the weight of the fish several times to be sure, and although it did stay on 10.1 once then it finally dropped to 9.15 again. So 9lb 15oz was accepted and my first fish in the 9lb bracket. Another cracking fish from this brilliant stretch of river.
The water temp remained steady all evening, around 9.5 to 10 deg c and the air from 10 dropping to 8 deg c.