I GOT THERE IN THE END (BARBEL) – Blog entry 647

Although my passion for angling hasn’t diminished at all, the enthusiasm that surrounds June 16 and the start of the river season has definitely eased off. In fact I would say that for me personally, canals are the new rivers. Therefore it came as no surprise that it was well into July before I made my first visit to flowing water.

A July barbel, back in t-shirt weather
A July barbel, back in t-shirt weather

Nevertheless it was definitely good to be back. What has happened in recent years is that I’ve just become more of an all-rounder as far as venues are concerned, whereas one time I would have said I was first and foremost a river angler. I’m still as dedicated as before though, just that I’m spreading the love a lot more widely.

The Severn prior to the heavy rain
The Severn prior to the heavy rain

And talking of spreading, arriving at the middle Severn, I realised that the spreader block was missing from the pole. I thought initially I had picked up the wrong one, but when getting back home, my other landing net poles were also minus the vital attachment. At least I had a net and the plan was to get in the water and secure and net it that way. As it worked out I blanked on barbel but chub rescued the day.

The sun sets on the upper Severn
The sun sets on the upper Severn

Bringing things up to date though, I set aside a number of sessions pursuing my first barbel of the season. It’s a good job as well that I had allocated numerous outings, as I barbel-blanked on the first seven (although I did catch chub) and it wasn’t until right at the end that it came good. In fact it was just as I was getting ready to pack away. I think it’s important to  know when to move on but also when we need to stick at things.

At last, a barbel, it came good in the end
At last, a barbel, it came good in the end

Call it an angling sixth sense if you like but I just knew in this case that it would come good in the end. The river was dead, hardly even a roach topping at dusk, but I was always confident that I’d catch something decent. Sometimes angling is like that, the fish aren’t exactly queuing up to be caught. In addition, the wind and rain were horrendous in the final session. With my umbrella in danger of being trashed by the gusts I packed it away and sat there in the driving rain.

Frankfurter sausage boilies did the business
Frankfurter sausage boilies did the business

I’ve got my barbel bait approach worked out until the end of the season and that consists of SBS frankfurter sausage boilies (16mm) fished over loose boilies and Multimix Proactive pellets. Although I struggled in this blog entry, I had total confidence in my bait and that’s a massive part of angling success. Now that my barbel angling has kicked off I’ve got the taste again, so as they say, watch this space. (Published December 5 2015)