Bruce Springsteen's River Tour hit my local arena a couple of weeks ago. Another top class effort from The Boss and I consider myself lucky to have been able to amble down along my local cut and roll in to such an amazing show. I pretty much had to be rolled out of the adjacent casino post show though. It was a long day!
I haven't fished much in the closed season - just half a dozen times. The estate lake was dire in the cooler early part of spring and I backed off. I briefly turned to the canal for a couple of sessions and actually enjoyed it. I managed to find an area that suits my need for peace and found plenty of fish. I didn't catch anything special, but I fancy a few more sessions next closed season.
In recent weeks, bank work for one of my clubs has been the focus. It's something I enjoy doing and with a bit of investment from the club, coupled with some helping hands, it's gone reasonably well this year. I'm looking forward to hearing results from the newly installed pegs.
The 16th actually seemed to roll around quite quickly in the end. With it being the back end of the week I decided to work the week out and start from the Friday evening. A plan that soon backfired when the heavens opened several times over the week.
The plan was to hit the Anker for bream or tench straight after work, fishing into dark. With the river level heading into the amber warning zone and rising, I put my feet up instead! Thoughts now turned to Saturday.
I couldn't start early, as I had to drop my wife off at the station. She had a date with some Hairy Bikers at the NEC's Good Food show. My remit was to go fishing and wait for the request to be picked up. I was hoping the food was good!
The Avon was looking pretty decent considering the recent weather. 1.37m and falling, with plenty of colour. Fishing a fairly new stretch to me, I settled for a peg that caught my eye on a pre season recce. Mind you, most pegs looked bloody good in all honesty! I look forward to trying more of those when conditions improve.
I bounced a lead around to check for snags and variations in depth. Nothing to note really so I balled in some bait along the crease line down to an overhanging tree and chilled out for 45 minutes to get set up properly.
The plan was a smelly bait on the downstream rod for chub or barbel. Upstream I would fish a maggot feeder just to test the water really. I had an indication quite quickly on meat, but missed the bite. Although, I think the culprit turned up later...
While rebaiting the meat, my maggot rod banged around and I felt solid resistance. It wasn't a mental fight and I started to think a pb chub was on the cards, but it was a fairly placid barbel. At 7lb 4oz it got my season off to an unexpected start, but I really wish they'd read the script and fall to the rod with the heavier gear!
The meat eventually produced a fish after a series of missed bites, but only an eel that had clearly been gorging on the stuff at my expense.
A switch to double boilie threw up a 2lb chub and next cast saw me into something quite substantial. This fish went tearing off on a series of runs, but fortunately never went anywhere near a snag. After a patient battle I slipped the net under it and rested it for a while.
I dropped a text to a fellow angler further upstream and said I thought I had a near double in the net. With my pb at 9lb 8oz I fancied it would be close, judging the fish on length alone. That all changed when I lifted the net and saw the fish had a reasonable belly on it. Much meatier than the lean one I'd caught earlier, this was clearly a double.
On to the scales and they went up to 12lb 6oz (with the net). Minus the net, the verdict was 11lb 1oz. Thanks to Martin Roberts for venturing several pegs downstream to take some photos.
A new pb for me and one of a series of season targets ticked straight off. Targets (all from rivers) include a 3lb perch, 5lb chub, 8lb bream, 6lb tench, 10lb carp and a 20lb pike. The barbel target was 10lb. Let's see how many of those seven I can achieve...
Hopefully with a few days off work planned for this week, I'll nick another target pretty quickly. It's good to be back on flowing water. Nothing else comes close.