Sunday, 26 February 2017

Seeking Redemption

Last week's mishap left a bitter taste in the mouth. There was little doubt in my mind that I had to attempt to seek some form of redemption on my next outing. 

Tactics would be similar, but I wanted less distractions. The second rod was banished from the quiver, leaving just my 10ft Shakespeare Sigma Specialist as the lone option. I bought this rod a couple of years ago, purely because it has a threaded top section to take a swing tip. 

I briefly dabbled with the swing tip in the summer, but it struck me that the rod might be quite suited to barbel or chub fishing. Bites aren't usually delicate, so I figured that the rod tip would be fine on its own. No need for a more delicate quiver tip really.

I contemplated painting the tip, but I decided to try out some luminous tape instead. Secured in place with a bit of whipping and a layer of yacht varnish, it does the job nicely. Should come in useful for those evening sessions.

By day

By night

I've since bought a second of these rods when I spotted a great deal on eBay recently. I have some other (crackpot?!) ideas for expanding its uses. More to follow on that in due course, but for now this cheap little rod is proving more versatile than I originally expected.

Back to this week's fishing and the rig was once again a simple running leger. Luncheon meat cubes about one inch in size were fished on a short hair. Most of the hook was embedded in the meat, which had the corners roughly shaved off to give a more rugged appearance.

Another lazy midday start. I prepped the swim with a few handfuls of groundbait. It was mainly liquidised bread, but with a bit of added meat. Three hours later and it was looking bleak. Just a couple of taps on the tip to show for my efforts. An obligatory eel, perfectly lip hooked for once, was all I'd banked.

With the wind blowing and rain threatening I decided to call it off at 4pm if prospects didn't pick up. An extension was called for though, when I had a proper pull on the rod tip in the last half hour. I didn't connect, but it gave me renewed confidence. An hour's extra time was ordered and I'd have to put up with a spot of rain.

Shortly after 4pm I got the indication I'd been waiting for. A proper tug on the tip and line was soon peeling off the reel as the fish made a powerful downstream run. Once I'd managed to apply the brakes and turn it, the rest of the battle went without incident. No mysterious snags this time! 

I thought on length alone that it was a scraper double, but when I placed it on the mat for unhooking, it was a very deep bodied fish.

The Avons returned a verdict of 11lb 13oz. A new PB and last week's failure firmly put to bed.

 A few extra points for my challenge scorecard, which now reads:

Barbel (11lb 13oz - Warks Avon) - 118.13% of target - pb
Bream (8lb 2oz - Anker) - 101.36% - pb
Zander (6lb 0oz  - Warks Avon) - 100% -pb
Pike (19lb 3oz - Warks Avon) - 95.94%
Chub (4lb 3oz - Warks Avon) - 83.75%
Carp (8lb 0oz - Warks Avon) - 80% - river pb
Perch (1lb 6oz - Anker) - 45.83%
Total - 625.21 (Target 700)

That's now nine personal bests from rivers this year (zander x4, barbel x2, bream x2, roach/bream hybrid). Three weeks to hopefully push it into double figures...


  1. Nice one Sean, I'd have loved that being stuck on 11lb 11oz's. Looks a proper fatty.

  2. Cheers Mick. It certainly was a fat 'un. Caught me by surprise when I lifted it. Mind you, I'm generally pessimistic when estimating weights.

  3. What a fat fish, you're feeding them too much. Another PB, keep at it there are bigger ones there.

    1. Cheers Martin. Still a way to go to match your standard!

  4. Cracking fish Sean.

    You've certainly had a great river campaign this time round and, as you say, time for more yet!

    1. Don't believe it. You have done well. It's been very hit and miss this year. With some luck the next 2 weeks will see some good fish come out.

  5. Thanks George. Indifferent, with occasional highlights might be closer to the mark though - but I'll take it! Just ordered a bit of kit for weighing the micro species for next season's challenge. Will report on it once tested in case it helps others.

  6. I've just dug out my mini scales, look forward to doing something different.

  7. Whats this ? Will I have use for a 10 troy oz spring balance then ? Tell me more !

    1. Russell is going to be reviewing some scales for the smaller challenge species soon so look out for that and we'll be doing a proper splash about it all in the next 2 weeks.

      Try to contain the excitement Martin ;)

  8. I like the look of that tape. do you need to charge it, like the paint with light from a torch and then it fades over time, or is long lasting. might have to scrounge some off you.

    1. You just expose it to a light source briefly and it does the trick. I haven't fully tested it yet, so I don't know how long it will glow for or how it will perform when used on the bank. It certainly glows nicely in my garage when I've had the light on!

      I have some left over, so if you want any, you're welcome.

  9. Super barbel, Sean.

    I think you are already aware, but details of new blogger's challenge are here:

    Please ask any questions in the comments section on the page above, so that we can share answers.

    Hope you're keeping well.


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