A Double Record? Cant be bad!

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05/10/01 - 18/10/02
In Memoriam
Oct 5, 2001
August 10th/11th

The hair on my neck stood up as I swung around the Brush corner.

It was past this old factory, some 25 years ago, that I used to bring my 2 boys to the River Soar, to fish the Eleven Arches!
Under this old viaduct (free fishing then) we used to happily Gudgeon bash, nearly every summer night and most weekends.

It all started at a picnic at Proctors Park, when for some reason I had thrown the old cane rod that I had moved from flat to house-to-house etc, for some 12 years, into the car.
Unused in all that time, its accompanying tackle box was filled with cheap Woolworths tackle, outdated when bought and prehistoric now!

During the picnic, I set up the rod, put a bomb on it, a hook baited with a piece of bread torn from a sandwich and cast (threw) it across the river, whereupon it lay unheeded, whilst a succession of boats and barges trundled over it
Picnic over and time for a walk, I reeled in to discover a nice 8 oz Roach had decided to take the bait!
The look of wonder on my 2 oldest lads faces, is what has brought me here today!
Within weeks, fishing was all we did!
The kit I had to buy!!!
The searching for suitable areas to fish!
The help we received from Ivan Marks, Roy Marlow and all at Marks and Marlows, Tudor Road tackle shop in Leicester!
Particularly the manager, Graham Barry, who kindly took us on a visit to Gunthorpe Bridge and showed us how to stick float the river that I now have returned to, the mighty Trent!

But, my companions grew up, formed lives of their own and I ceased to fish under the pressures of growing a business.
When they 1st learned of my illness in 1999 and the fact that I could no longer work, they came over from Ireland and Germany for Xmas.
Greg brought an old rod for me and supported by Simon, they got me back to the water, where we had spent so much time together and so all these boring stories are their fault!

All of these times passed through my mind as just before 7.00 I took a right at Cotes Mill, for the short journey left to TJs Angling stretch, less than a mile from my memoried stretch of the Soar.

On arriving, I was met with warm welcome by my regular Fish-in companion Geoff, who was bubbling excitedly about his 1st river fishing experiences!

Scott Johnson (SFK as we know him) brewed up in the caravan and we yarned for a happy hour.
Dave Tipping (the Ferret 1959 version) joined us, as did Joe King, but sadly, no one else had been able to come.
To my joy, both the boys know Graham Barry, Ivan, Roy and were able to fill me in on up to date details.
And boy! Did you miss a great stretch of River!

I fished lower down for years!
11 Arches as mentioned, The Zouch Rose and Crown Match section and the confluence with the Trent at Thrumpton section 3!
BUT nowhere does the river resemble this lovely stretch.

Wider, steadier, with a lovely glide, perfect for stick float fishing and the variety!
The place is an Aquarium!

The boys have done magnificently in constructing 14 pegs, most platformed and hacking back vegetation.
Leaving flowers, grass and the reeds between each peg has given secluded fishing and each peg can be driven up to, a real bonus for people like me who cannot carry kit too far.

The guys had all set up in the 1st meadow and I did not want to be unsociable, BUT they told me that Barbel had been caught in the 2nd meadow, so regretfully! Im Gone!
Barbel in the Soar? I had never experienced any.
Furthermore, on peg 12, 2 young carp fanatics had set up a bivvy and 4 buzzer rods, hoping to catch one of the 20lb carp that regularly turn up in this area!
And we were happy with Gudgeon!

The only downside according to Scott was the rise in the river level! he was disappointed in this, but optimistically forecast a fall.
As you can see, Peg 10, which was where Ferret had recently caught a Barbel, was already just under water, but with the platform sound, I opted to fish here.

And here is the lovely gliding river


I immediately set up my Barbel rod, baited with meat, fed a pint of hemp/groats/caster mix and tried a couple of casts.
Again, like most venues, weed was going to be a problem, but if I could only find the gaps!

The scenery was beautiful, Scott told me of the 4 resident Kingfishers, Snipe spun up and down the river and Yes! even the Damsel Flies were here again!

Incidentally, I did spot one of the Dun coloured, matt finished Dragonflies, so unlike the iridescent Purple and Green Metallic ones!
It had a large yellow cheek spot, but I was too slow with the Camera!

I then happily set up an 8BB Stick and passed this through the swim.
I had even brought out a bait apron, to ensure correct feeding levels, but 2 things were against me!
Firstly, I had a small Island to my right and this bisected the current at the swollen level.
I had 2 glides, 1 2-rod lengths out and 1 just 9feet from the bank! Difficult to guide with a 14ft rod!
Secondly, Its hard work for a fit person, after an hour, casting and feeding repetitively, I was Bushed!
BUT I caught!
A succession of small Roach, Bream, Perch, Dace, Bleak and my old pals the Gudgeon, all came to the net (although I dropped of them off my size 17 barbless hook!)

I decided to relax and set up a Waggler. The break caused by the reed island, gave me practically still water between the 2 flows, just a rod length out in front!
AND still I caught, but the fish were all small, the best were Perch around the 6/7 oz mark.

Then, early afternoon, room service called!!
A land rover drew up and a nice hot coffee was brought down! This happened 3 times over the weekend and I was amazed at the kindness and thought of my two new friends!

Well, I was more than content catching on the float, resting when I needed and glad that yesterdays rain seemed so far away, but where was my Barbel?
I had been having small fish indications on worm, still cant sit it out on sweetcorn, but nothing on my flavoured, Dove special meat!

Until just before 4.00!
Zap! I had just recast, placed the rod high on the rest, picked up my float rod, when the butt of the Barbel rod came up to meet me as the tip dived riverwards, despite the baitrunner being engaged!

Unmistakeably a Barbel bite and confirmed by the clutch screaming as she ran!
Now, strange swim, where were the snags?
I must not lose this one,
I knew of the reed island to my left and the clump of outgrowing vegetation to my nearside right bank, but underwater?
Wish I had seen the peg at ordinary water level!

Laying the rod tip upstream just under the water, I bullied the fish against the current,
She came reluctantly, some times diving and stripping line from the clutch, but I then gently braked it by hand.
A sudden slackness meant that she had decided to try and make for the Island, so I whipped the rod back downstream and she swerved and actually made the weeds to my right!
Praying, I went back out into the mainstream and felt the line lock up!
I thought she had snagged me, but slowly she came out into the swim in front of me and I was then able to fight the dives until eventually, I was able to slide the net under her!
My shout of sheer joy brought Geoff running, (probably thought Id fallen in) and he helped me weigh her, took this photo and watched as I held her on the submerged platform for a full minute, before she swam off with never a backward look!

7 lbs 4 ounces, turned out to be the largest Barbel caught from TJs stretch since they have owned it!
So, I had caught my Barbel and set a record! however fleeting it may be.
There may be something in this moon stuff.

Geoff left, swearing undying hatred and I sat, smoked and thought what a wonderful Soar return this had turned out to be!

Going back on the stick and waggler, I decided on a break and wandered up for a chat with the lads.
All, of them had been catching quality Bream as well as bits and were well content.
Unfortunately, I have no record of their fish, but I am sure they will post their own reports.

Scott had told me briefly of Daves affliction, being similar to my own and now Dave and I swapped surgical horror stories happily, whilst the others fished!
You always meet someone worse off in life and a better fighter!
If anyone deserves to win Dave Tipping does!

I was now in a quandary, the water was still rising, although very slowly!
My peg was fishable once I was on the platform, but the pool in front was now so deep, that I was splashing water into my Wellingtons with ever increasing frequency.
I could move up with them, but I was loath to undertake the effort and move away from my Barbel!!
Practical Geoff solved the problem!

Adding a Bridge Pallet, using rope from his car to bind it, he gave me access!

So impressed were TJ in the morning that they decided to strengthen it in the future and make it a permanent feature!

Back happily fishing, I was soon on the Stick again and around 9.00 hit a nice one.
The landing net lifted a Bream of 2 to 3lbs out and then everything went wrong!
I used my specimen net to land her and she shed the hook through 2 layers of the net!
Swearing, I picked her up for the Photocall! Only to drop her in the pool behind the platform!
Quick as a flash, she swam around the edge to freedom, leaving me with a hook that proved untangleable and a whole new set up to undertake, as dusk was approaching!
Still, I quickly got over that as the mobile fish van, in the shape of Geoff arrived, bearing a fresh piece of cod!
Thanks mate, although sadly I couldnt retain it!

And so into the night!
Clipping a beta light on to my tip, I carefully set out my stall and prepared for the dark.
I sat contentedly on the chair and reviewed my record Barbel day, my seasons PB from last nights carp and wondered what other surprises would happen!

Dave brought another coffee at around 10 and chatted whilst I drank it.
Leaving me, he admonished me to ring the mobile should I need help!
I did just after 11.00 and heres why.

Around then, the tip arced across the night sky in a typical Chub/Roach series of knocks.
Leaping onto the platform, as best as I was able, I struck into a good fish, but a non-Barbel type.
Not heavy or powerful enough to strip line, nonetheless, it fought very strongly!
Visions of a PB chub crossed my mind, as the fish made for every snag available and strove for the bank!
The light was insufficient to make out the fish on the 1st few surfacings and my head torch had blown its bulb on Thursday night, so it wasnt truly, until I reached out with the net, that I was able to identify it.

When it swam from the net BACKWARDS, I realised I had an eel!
In the dark (or light) Eels I do not like!
In the net, stumble off the floating platform, carrying the landing net one way and the rod the other, is it any wonder I got a boot full of water?
Here it is


And size-wise, well comparing it against my towel, it was nearly 3 feet long!
3lb at a guess, but no way was I handling it to weigh it!

Phoning Dave to ask for the waters policy, I said, Do you want it to eat?
No way he replied, Cut the hook-length and put it back. By the way, thats another record, as no one has caught an eel before!

So thats what I did!

By 12.30, I was nodding on the chair, so I reeled in and went for a half hours snooze in the car.
I awoke at 8.30!

Slowly got back to fishing and felt so tired still that it was only for short spells on the float, whereupon I caught small fish after small fish.
The Barbel rod was static.

I joined the others and we chatted for a while and then I returned with the intention of slowly and methodically breaking down my kit, leaving the Barbel rod until last.

Geoff left at about 20 minutes to 3 and do you think he was pleased with his weekend or the platform he had built me?


Yeah! I think so too.

About 3.30, I was packed and moved down to say the final farewells and Thank yous to 2 Great Guys, who gave me a superb weekend.
This is the pair at Scotts peg and if you EVER get the chance to visit them, do so and you will appreciate just what a job they have done.


Geoff is trying to get back on the 6th September and I today have wriggled out of a family commitment to join him, all being well!
Well, I am a member after all!

In a gesture, that I really appreciate, Scott and Dave drove down to see if I was OK after Geoff left and kindly presented me with a season ticket to their water!
I think they got as much pleasure from my catches as I did and it was a really great weekend, fishing a superb river under adverse rising conditions AND catching loads!
What will it be like under better times?
Heres my Special Ticket!

Thanks again guys and I cant wait to join you again and show you my stretch of the Trent!



Ziptrev pug.gif Shouldn't happen to a DOG!

Edited by - Ziptrev on 12 August 2002 03:21:09 AM


Regular member
Aug 11, 2001
There's no stopping you now Trev,

Venue best Barbel & Eel on your first visit and by the sound of it in the best of company.

Sounds like Dave & Scott have got a cracking piece of water and are now reaping the rewards from their hard toil.

Well done hope to get a day there in the not to distant future.

Fish with Friends @ MaggotDrowning.com


Regular member
Jul 25, 2002
Nice report Trev,

any chance of a few lessons if you can fit me in? icon_smile_big.gificon_smile_big.gificon_smile_big.gif

Tight Lines



Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
What can i say??????????
After 14 hrs driving round Central London,to just sit down and read another of your exploits,well the stress and strain of the day just melt away.
As i've said before,it's as if i'm sitting behind you on the bankside taking it all in,sharing the disasters and the good times.
Keep it up mate,and did you hear a noise behind you as you landed that eel? It was me rolling around and laughing at your antics.
Keep up the good work mate,and heres to many more PB's


Make Friends,Go Maggotdrowning.


12/04/02 - 10/01/19
In Memoriam
Apr 12, 2002
Trev, EXELLENT you barbel bagger you.

Mark take that rod back will you!

Geoff glad you enjoyed your river exploits.(ready for the Trent)

Well done to Dave & Scott i'm only sorry i could'nt make it. maybe next time.



Account Locked
Jan 24, 2002
well done trev
i knew about it sun eve when we spoke on the phone but your report on here is brill it brings it to life.
ill get my barbel one day

tight lines.
talk fishing flip football
Feb 25, 2002
As ive just said to Geoff i'm put our reports on our web site under the heading fisherman's tale's hope you don't mind. Sure you won't well stuff if you do as it's going to be on there tomorrow all being well.icon_smile_tongue.gif



Jan 22, 2002
icon_smile_big.gificon_smile_big.gificon_smile_big.gificon_smile_big.gificon_smile_big.gif Hi Trev great report mate,as per usual !!!!! nice whisker and a nice eel too !!!! my eel from the tees was about 3ft long too and was 3lb 4oz.so you were spot on.....

Looking forward to meeting you again and my ol mate Geoff at one of the fishins ..... when l dont know might be Elvington again next year if the fishins on again.....
Might even be driving by then !!!!! yes Geoff l know what you said !!!!...... gotta drive to these fish an drinkins !!!!! its the only way......




Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Aug 8, 2001
Hi Trev,

You might find this advice from the SAA regarding un-hooking and handling of eels handy, lol Click Here

.... or failing that you could always give Stu a shout,,icon_smile_big.gif

Several years ago I worked for Rank Hovis McDougal nearby Drax Power Station on an Eel Farm of all places. The eels were raised in long raceways fed by the warm waters of the power station outlets and were fed a granular feed that was the waste product of the flour producing side of their business.
For anyone with a phobia of handling eels - When it came to 'harvesting' time we used to drain the raceway until all the eels sat in the bottom of it and then had to catch them by net initially and then by hand, about 2-3 tons at a time icon_smile_big.gif - talk about a baptism of fire lol - and exit any phobias icon_smile_big.gif

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