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...

14 comments:

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

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  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.

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

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

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  4. Cracking fish Sean.

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

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    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.

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  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.

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

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

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    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 ;)

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  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.

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    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.

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  9. Super barbel, Sean.

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

    https://russellhiltonfishing.blogspot.co.uk/p/bloggers-challenge.html

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

    Hope you're keeping well.

    Russell

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  10. You must check out https://woodburysupplies.com/ for their outdoor gadgets and gears.

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