I love a good night out (barbel article and video, entry 426)


Click images above to enlarge

I love a good night out – words which to most people conjure up pubs, clubs, bars, food or drink, either a combination of, or all five in one go! However as someone who is teetotal, isn’t interested in social entertainment venues, and goes for a lunchtime meal with his wife because it’s cheaper, when nightlife is mentioned I immediately think of an overnighter by the side of some water. Not simply to sit or lie there of course, but to fish. When I talk about having a good night out, although I may use the same words as many other people, in fact what we are talking about are two entirely different things.

On this occasion the object of my attention was the River Severn, and in particular the middle reaches and that’s the section that you can see in the photographs above. With the river being slow and sluggish due to the prolonged dry spell that we have had, I chose a deeper part to have a go at. Some of the shallows were very low indeed and in sections the rocks on the bed of the river broke surface from one side to the other.

As I so often write, and I make no apologies for repeating myself, if you are going night fishing then safety is the number one issue and even more so when you fish alone as I do. In this case my swim was such that even a fall in the night would have resulted in no more than a wet leg to the knee at the most. Arriving at the river late afternoon, the sun was up and I saw six sand martins feeding in the area. It could well have been June and the height of the summer, as opposed to September and the beginning of autumn.

Fishing two rods, apart from the rods themselves, everything was identical. Rod number one was a Harrison’s Interceptor 1lb 10oz test curve and number two was a Wychwood Barbel rod 1lb 8oz test curve. The reels were Daiwa Regal 3500 with the line being Sufix Synergy 10lb. Hooklengths were about 2 feet of Drennan Double Strength, size 6 Drennan boilie hook and 3oz leads fixed between 5mm and 8mm beads by a powergum knot.

And in case you are thinking I overdo the SBS Baits case each week because I have an association, all of the above products I bought myself and have no link whatsoever with any of those companies. Regarding SBS, having been involved for some time now, we’ve now moved on to the next level and it’s official that I now have two bosses – God and Des Taylor. They are two different ‘people’ by the way, even though they may be regarded as one and the same by some. Well mostly Des.

Anyway joking aside, I’m really pleased that I’m now working for SBS. I’m still doing all my other stuff as well, which in case you weren’t aware I have two main roles outside of angling. Firstly I am the pastor of a church and secondly I am the director of a charity that works mostly in Africa. And before you think I must be rich, let me tell you that in reality I’m nothing more than a paid volunteer really. I give my time pretty freely to the causes I work for.

I go through my bait approach in the video so there’s no need to repeat myself there. But on the subject of bait let me say that I was so confident in M2 boilies that I didn’t take a back-up bait. That’s the thing with SBS, my involvement has naturally developed for me personally as I genuinely have total belief in the entire range of products. And of course in the video I cover the issues of sponsorship and association.

One of the great things about this time of the year is that it gets dark so much earlier than in the middle of June, yet the water temperature is still excellent for barbel. Dawn and dusk and more hours of darkness in between means greater chance of connecting with fish. My first one came into dark and the isotope shot forward like a shooting star, as the rod lurched over suddenly and without any warning whatsoever. Striking into the fish it really didn’t want to come to the net quietly, but after a decent fight it eventually surrendered.

That’s the fish in photograph 1 above. One thing with small barbel is that they are very different to bigger ones and to the inexperienced barbel angler who maybe has a hook-pull from one of the former, will be convinced from the express train run that he definitely had one of the latter on.

The session itself produced only a few fish, but it was a case of quality over quantity, which is where I am coming from anyway in my angling. I would sooner catch one 10lb barbel than 30 fish in the 5lb shoal bracket. And talking of double-figure barbel my best was a scraper double, which means I have had doubles this season from both the lower and middle sections of the river. I just need to head into Wales to complete the hat-trick, but as that’s not on the agenda I guess I will have to settle for a Meatloaf. Two out of three ain’t bad.

If you follow my angling exploits on a regular basis you will know that in the last couple of weeks I have started featuring photographs of other anglers. These are all people that I connect with through my facebook page and if you want to be on a future video then go and ‘like’ the page – the link is below. Then from there you can find an album in ‘Photos’ called ‘Fishy facebook Friends’ where the details can be found. Send me a photograph and not only will it make the album but it will find its way into a video as well.

I do like facebook and genuinely look forward to networking with people on there, and as most of the people liked the page because of my fishing, then I’m on safe ground when I post a lot of angling-related stuff. It may look like I’m on facebook a lot but I actually tweet from my phone, which is no more than sending a text. As my twitter and facebook are linked, the former automatically appears on the latter. I know a lot of people read my Angling Journal each week and I do reply to any posts that appear on my facebook page, so if you want to contact me then that’s the place to do it. I look forward to communicating with you. (September 10 20110)

This week’s video that accompanies the article:

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