Dave Har­rell

Switch to a thick top Trun­cheon Wag­gler keeps Dave Har­rell on top of the league

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

We fol­low Dave through the lat­est River Sev­ern Float Champs match – and he has a re­sult!

YOU may re­call that on the last River Sev­ern Float Champs match I landed two late barbel that kept up my chal­lenge for the ti­tle.

Those two fish, both taken in the last half-an-hour, boosted my score from around 5lb to 16-12-0 to give me third place in the match.

The fifth and penul­ti­mate round saw me draw peg 77, a much shal­lower swim on the Win­ter­dyne sec­tion, just a short walk be­low the car park.

With the river back to 0.75m it was a draw I re­ally fan­cied, de­spite it not hav­ing pro­duced much in the se­ries so far.

Like most of the com­peti­tors I had plenty of room, which is im­por­tant on fast-flow­ing rivers as loose­feed car­ries a long way and fish need a good length of space be­tween you and the next man to stay set­tled and hope­fully feed­ing. The peg 78 swim was a good 50 yards be­low me, so I could fish my own match and feed the swim ex­actly how I wanted to.

Af­ter sur­vey­ing the swim for a few min­utes, I de­cided to keep things re­ally sim­ple as I felt that was the best way to go about it. It’s easy to over­com­pli­cate swims like this one, so I set up just two rods – both Daiwa Tour­na­ment RS 13F mod­els – with TDR 2508 reels loaded with 4lb (0.16mm) Pro Float line. This set-up would al­low me to use hook­lengths from 0.12mm to 0.16mm and hooks from size 18 up to 12 if re­quired.

I care­fully plumbed the depth to find about 4ft of wa­ter up to the mid­dle. This would be as far as I would fish, as I wouldn’t be able to loose­feed any fur­ther.

On the one rod I set up a DH 4No4 Dome Top Lignum Stick with strung-out No4s and No6s, while on the other I opted for a DH No.1 (Thin) Speci Wag­gler with just four No6 shot down the line.

Start­ing hook­length was 0.12mm Pro Rig line tied to a size 18 medium wire hook. I felt this was right for roach and dace, and would also give me a good chance with any chub I might hook. If I hooked a barbel I’d also have a fair chance of land­ing it, as the riverbed here is pretty snag-free.

I started off by feed­ing 10 to 20 mag­gots ev­ery cast but the first hour was poor, with only the odd small roach and dace tak­ing my sin­gle or dou­ble mag­got. I was hon­estly ex­pect­ing much more, and the longer I fished the swim, the more I felt cer­tain that I would catch chub as the match went on.

“A big barbel – and I played it re­ally care­fully to en­sure that I landed it”

With just over half-an-hour gone, I hooked into some­thing big about 20 yards down the swim. I was hop­ing it was a chub, but as the line tight­ened and the fish started to swim in the op­po­site di­rec­tion I soon re­alised that I was at­tached to a big barbel. I hadn’t got much bar­gain­ing power in terms of line strength but I was pre­pared for a lengthy bat­tle, as I wasn’t catch­ing much and I had plenty of time left.

Af­ter a 15-minute run around, the fish was close to the far bank when we parted com­pany. I felt gut­ted –that one fish, which felt at least 6lb to 8lb, would have given me a lot of breath­ing space. As it was, I was back to a few small fish!

I scaled my ter­mi­nal tackle up to 0.14mm Pro Rig line tied to a medium wire size 16 hook with two big mag­gots on board and de­cided to stay on this for a while in pur­suit of bet­ter fish.

The float was changed to a DH 5AAA No.1 Trun­cheon Wag­gler to give me more buoy­ancy up top and al­low me to drag the hook­bait along the bot­tom more.

I was re­warded af­ter 90 min­utes with a 2lb 8oz chub, which was a much-needed fish as I still wasn’t get­ting many roach or dace. Sadly, no more bites fol­lowed and with three-and-a-half hours gone, de­spite a change back down on hook­length, I still couldn’t catch.

I de­cided that I had to go for it and try to catch a barbel. I also needed to en­sure that I landed it if I did hook one. The hook­length was changed again, this time to 0.16mm and a size 12 with three big mag­gots as hook­bait.

I also changed the float to a DH 4SSG No.2 Trun­cheon Wag­gler and left this un­der­shot­ted in order to re­v­erse-drag the bait hard along the bot­tom to slow it down.

I’d love to re­port that the change brought me fish af­ter fish, but it didn’t, and bites were still at a premium. With just 45 min­utes to go I was al­most at the point of think­ing this would def­i­nitely be the match that I had to drop (every­one’s worst re­sult is dropped at the end) when the float shot un­der and I found my­self at­tached to a real pres­sure fish!

Clearly a big barbel was at the other end of the line and I played it re­ally care­fully to en­sure that I landed it. Fif­teen min­utes later, I put the net un­der a great look­ing fish be­tween 7lb and 8lb.

At that point in the match it was a real bonus and I was so glad that I’d changed my rig over. I don’t think I’d have caught that fish with­out the float change and a lighter hook­length might well have re­sulted in an­other dis­as­ter!

More than half the field had dou­ble fig­ures at this lat­est Sev­ern Float Cham­pi­onship match. Top weight fell to Mark Black­burn with 25-11-0 and 10-2-0 was needed for 23rd place.

With every­one drop­ping their worst re­sults af­ter the last match, there will be a lot of move­ment at the top when the fi­nal scores are tal­lied up.

With just the one match to go, I’m ly­ing in pole po­si­tion, which I’m de­lighted about. I’m not tak­ing any­thing for granted, though, and the fi­nal match draw is go­ing to be so im­por­tant!

MATCH RE­SULT: 1 Mark Black­burn (peg GM2) 25-11-0; 2 Dave Hol­lands (peg 4) 22-6-0; 3 Tom Sc­ho­ley (peg 21) 22-5-0; 4 Tony More­ton 20-5-0 (peg 66) 20-5-0; 5 Si­mon Chris­tian (peg 86) 18-14-0; 6 David Roberts (peg 32) 18-4-0.


1 Dave Har­rell, 230 pts; 2 Steve Pier­point, 218; 3 Jor­dan Hol­loway, 202; 4 Si­mon Chris­tian, 200; 5 Jim Wil­son, 195; 6 Brian Rigby, 191; 7 Jim Wilt­shire, 189; 8t Chris Jones, 185; jt9 Pete Ed­wards and Pete Morris, both 180.

From zero to hero, thanks to this late barbel.

A 4SSG No.2 Trun­cheon Wag­gler got me the re­sult I wanted.

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