Des Taylor’s Diary of a Countryman
My two guests play barbel at the same time – proper storming Severn sport...
YET another busy week for me and a bit of a scary moment when out fishing in a thunderstorm a few days ago. More of that later…
Tried out a new stretch of the Severn for barbel and chub. It’s not noted for specimens but it’s a nice-looking venue with plenty of fish. My mate Ray Cutler and I were saying earlier in the year that we will have to spend more sessions just catching fish rather than sitting it out for a big one.
Don’t get me wrong, no-one likes catching big fish more than I do, but one cast a day and one fish a month can make fishing pretty boring. Days out with plenty of action can recharge the batteries!
Today we enjoyed plenty of takes from chub to 4lb and barbel to 8lb – nothing huge, but great fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that! We fed balls of soaked Nash Krill pellets with loosefed boilies over the top.
By the end of the session every barbel we caught was passing liquid boilies from their vent – just couldn’t get enough of them, and that was on a stretch where they had never seen the bait before.
For some reason anglers think you have to prebait with boilies before fish will eat them. Nothing could be further from the truth. All species love them instantly.
We walked away from the water in a great mood and arms aching from barbel battles!
Took Dean and Matt on a guide day and we enjoyed another ‘double hit’, one angler playing a fish while the other rod bent over to another barbel. It’s great to see the faces of anglers who want to catch a barbel for the first time and, here they were, playing fish simultaneously. The river is on fire at the moment and don’t let anyone tell you different.
More of the same with three anglers, one from Devon, a Brummie and a Cheshire lad, all feeling the power of barbel on the Severn. More river converts, that’s for sure!
Off to to sunny Pattingham, just outside Wolverhampton, to meet up with Steve Greenway and Paul Richards who each year run a fishing match on Steve’s pool to raise money for the fight against cancer.
It was a proper family event with mums, dads and children fishing in teams against each other.
Steve and Paul. along with their army of helpers, have put a lot of effort into this, and I was only too willing to help in a small way by presenting the prizes at the end of the day back at the social club in the village.
My wife Maggie came along with me and we both had a great day on the pool and in the social club, having a pint and a chip butty!
It was good to see angling being used as a vehicle to help raise money for cancer.
To all concerned, give yourself a pat on the back – you’ve earned it!
Back on the river for a few bites and a bend in my rod with chub to over 5lb and barbel to 9lb-plus. I even caught a 1lb roach on a boilie!
I have a few big-fish trips booked for next month on both rivers and stillwaters when my guide days slow down, so I am enjoying having my string pulled in preparation for a few slow days when one take is a result.
But casting a lot, feeding plenty and playing fish keep your skills in trim for the day you have the chance of fishing for a monster!
Again I caught on a boilie but for some reason the fish were a bit cagey, so I fished two small 10mm boilies on a long hair instead of a single larger one – and it worked!
The chub I landed were choking up mashed boilies and the barbel
were again passing them from their vents. When the fish are eating quality bait like this they will grow big. Certainly I have noticed on swims I fish regularly that the fish are quickly putting on weight. Instead of topping out at mid-fives, chub are now going over 6lb and lots of the old 9lb barbel are now going over 10lb – a good thing for Severn anglers !
Took Paul Newman, his son Ryan and his mate Chris Cole on the Severn after barbel and chub. They bagged up, which was exactly what I expected as the river had a little colour and was dropping after an injection of fresh rain from Wales.
Ryan caught a 6lb chub – my second this year on guide days and a special fish for the Severn, that’s for sure! There are a few swims on a few rivers that produce monster 7lb and 8lb chub but for the rest of the country a 4lb chub is a specimen fish and a 6lb chub is what dreams are made of!
The session finished a little short of time when we had a massive thunderstorm with lighting that was too close for comfort. We were barbel fishing with carbon rods stuck up in the air, so we decided to leave the water quickly!
All three of them stayed overnight in Bewdley and we met at a riverside pub that evening, talking about our day and supping good ale. The sun was hot, the ale flowed and the company was good!
Double-take time again for Dean and Matt.
Sunday, and a great family day raising money for cancer charities.