GEE, BUT IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK HOME (River Severn barbel) – Blog entry 572

I had been looking forward very much to the start of the new river season and when I arrived late on the evening of June 15, a certain song came into my mind. The opening line from the lyrics is the title of this week’s blog. I wonder if you know it? Without the help of a search engine of course. For those of us that do love our river fishing, I think there is definitely a sense of homecoming as we kick off our opening session of the new season.

The very first fish of the new season, a small chub
The very first fish of the new season, a small chub

Anyway, session one saw me on a venue I have called in the past ‘My secret river’, and for good reason I play my cards close to my chest. It’s always a massive challenge to bank a barbel, but at least I had a chub in the net so I wasn’t a blanker on opening night. The venue is one of those that most anglers would be gobsmacked by if they knew there were barbel in there. It’s not run by a club and I’ve never seen anyone else on there. I found it by doing some legwork a few years back.

Pellet soaked and ready to go
Pellet soaked and ready to go

The next few sessions were all to a traditional barbel venue, the River Severn, with an evening on the middle and a couple of nights on the lower. However, even though I caught a wide variety of fish – chub, roach, bream and eel all on hair-rigged baits- my target species remained very elusive as the week drew to an end. But with no blank to show for four outings I wasn’t hitting the panic button. It’s when you’re not catching at all that you need to be really concerned.

The sun sets on the lower Severn
The sun sets on the lower Severn

Although my blog is weekly and it’s published every Saturday, I’m not tied legalistically to a seven-day cycle. Therefore I had some flexibility to spill over a little and get a barbel, which for an entry dedicated to the species would be a good idea. So, heading south-bound on the M5 I was full of hope and confidence that I would finally get a fish on the bank. And even before darkness set, my faith was rewarded with my first barbel of the new season.

Watching and waiting 'below Worcester'
Watching and waiting ‘below Worcester’

The great thing about the fish was that it was caught on a budget boilie, that at present exchange rates costs £4.97 per kilo. Now that’s cheap, and as I say in the video, dispels the myth that you have to invest in lots of expensive bait in order to catch good fish. So if you want a cheap, but very effective product, then look no further than the new Flumino boilie range from SBS. I caught on the 20mm squid and octopus by the way.

Just one barbel this week, but quality over quantity for sure
Just one barbel this week, but quality over quantity for sure

Although I’ve enjoyed opening week on the rivers so much, next week I’m after stillwater bream. Well, as an all-rounder variety truly is the spice of life. I’m not saying I would get bored with just one species or venue, far from it, but I do get a genuine pleasure from everything. My boat is well and truly floated by lots of things in angling. Finally, if you’ve enjoyed this blog why not share using the Facebook and/or Twitter buttons below. Thanks if you do. (Published June 28 2014)