Nearly There!

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05/10/01 - 18/10/02
In Memoriam
Oct 5, 2001
Aug 22nd/23rd

Sitting staring at queues of traffic on the M1 is not my idea of fun!

I was making my way home from the PAD Trent after another nights fishing and had intended to be home by 10.00 am, allowing me 5 hours of rest, preparation and a good bath, before setting off to Wales.

It was now 12.30!!!

Several things had conspired to make me so late.
The rain had obviously brought slippery conditions that had probably caused this delay,
I had faithfully kept alert all night, only to succumb to sleep as I was packing up my kit!
I was far weaker than I thought, following an unsuccessful course of anti-biotics, that had failed to clear my lungs, but also seemingly had not only cleared, but also emptied the rest of my systems!

I thought back to my arrival last night at 5.00 pm.

The day was fine and I quickly fed the swim with a bucket of groundbait containing hemp, groats, corn, dead maggot and casters
I had intended fishing a Stick float over this whilst light, but, as this can be tiring, decided to start with a maggot feeder and a 16 hook, which should tell me what was feeding and may take a bonus Chub or Barbel

I set up the 1st rod and was fishing by 6.00.
II started on the 2nd, but quickly abandoned it, as bites on the feeder were continuous.
I caught a small Roach 1st and then this Perch of 6-8 ozs


This was followed by 6 to 8 of a similar stamp and then I decided to rest the maggot feeder, make up the second rod and start with more selective baits.

This done, I was soon fishing with the Boilies mentioned in my earlier post on Rod 1 and Hot Dog sausage chunks, flavoured, on Rod 2.

Dusk came with no takes and I added beta light clip ons, set out all my required tackle and prepared for the night session.

At approximately 9.45, a violent take on the Boilie rod and I struck in to an obvious Chub!

Immediately swimming for the Bankside snags, I was able to guide him quite easily away from trouble and soon had him in the net,
Unfortunately, it is hard for chub to provide their normal great sport, when outgunned on Barbel Tackle
However, to lighten up here, would cause, to me anyway, unacceptable Barbel smashes!

At 3lb 6ozs, he was a fine fish indeed!


Whilst playing the Chub, by sods law, the mobile rang.
Returning to it, I found Mark had rung to tell me of his successful match and to check how I was doing.
He was pleased to learn that the Boilie had scored with Chub too!

Tonight was the Full Moon, and as she soared overhead, I was conscious that. with no cloud cover, it had turned quite chilly.
The cloud came across after midnight and redressed the balance, resulting in a very pleasant temperature.

At about 10 to midnight, I pulled in the 2nd rod and re-baited this with a squid boilie.and so of course I had a run on the 1st rod while I was thus engaged!
Moving quickly to the rod, I picked it up and retrieved nothing but line!!
No sudden jerk, no pull, no bend in the rod! Just total slackness.
All the end tackle had gone, and by torchlight, I could see no reason why the 20lb braid had parted!
Answers on a postcard, please, as the man said!

Setting up again, hair rigging the boilie, even by the strong light of the head torch, proved a slow operation.
Cast out at last, I started to prepare some boilie hooks, ready rigged, so that I could just change over for speed, so of course at around 1.00, the alarm sounded another run!

I reached the rod in zilch plus 1, lifted it and was pleased to feel a typical Barbel surge
However, my pleasure was short lived, as the dreaded slack came on again!

Lifting the rod high, I felt it twitch again, quickly wound in slack and was rewarded with another screaming clutch as my Barbel plunged again.
She must have made the initial surge and then, at top speed, swam straight for me as opposed to the normal downstream dash!

Playing her, now away from the bank, now left and now right, I began to be excited over her size.

Netting is not easy on a low river from over the platforms edge, but when I felt her ready, I lowered the net, dropped to my knees and succeeded 1st time in bringing her to the net
She was immaculate!

In fact, as well as being in superb condition, she was very muscular and solid and I was hoping for a double, but she proved to weigh just 8lb 11 ozs, 2 short of my Dove record, but still my now heaviest Trent fish!
The eyes of a Barbel always appear to me to contain watchful intelligence and I took this shot, to see if you agree?


Re-setting both rods (I always knock the other down low into the water on a take, to avoid tangles) I settled back down in my chair to wait.

Shortly afterwards, I thought of Teepee, as 8 swans noiselessly glided into my swim.
The 1st 6 and the eighth were swimming normally, but the 7th had wings arched and head extended and was swimming sideways!
The resident? Protecting his territory?
They all disappeared around the river bend and didnt reappear for some 2 hours, in the exact same echelon!
I had sat patiently all this time, but had no further bites and that was how it proved to stay until dawn came.
The cloud cover meant that true light was not apparent until nearly 6.00 am, reminding me forcefully that we are only a matter of 9 weeks away from the dreaded reversion of British Summer Time.
How I am going to miss these daylight hours and short nights!

Packing away leisurely, I finished off my coffee, with my morning tablet ritual and sat in the chair for a final cigarette by the river.
I awoke at 10.30!!!
Even the missed phone call from Mark, checking on my progress had failed to wake me!
Calling him and then packing in haste, I managed to drop and break my new Scales!

Then the M1 nightmare as I came upon the hold-up caused by the accident!

I finally decided, that in view of the circumstances, I would regretfully, but I hope sensibly, miss Wales and hopefully recover more strength for the next one.

What with that loss and my scales! generally feeling unwell and the fear that time is ever shorter, combined with a low catch rate today and an unexplained breakage! The outsider may be given to ask, Why do you do it?

Perhaps this final photo of my new Trent PB Barbel, will go some way to explaining?

Good Luck in Wales All,



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


Regular member
Mar 17, 2002
excellent read

hope to join ya with my first decent river barbel saturday night



Regular member
Jul 25, 2002
Trev, Nice report mate and also nice fish, "well done" on your best Trent Barbel, if you keep this up I'm afraid I will be invoicing you for my cosultation fee's
Which in view of your recent catches is getting bigger by the minute. img](sorry again Martin)

Tight Lines


Edited by - angler-mark on 23 August 2002 6:39:29 PM


12/04/02 - 10/01/19
In Memoriam
Apr 12, 2002
Hi Trev, excellent read as usual, and congratulations on a new Trent P/B Barbel,

nice to see the swans came to say hello! and the thought of me, and that caption with the swan talking to you at Drayton will forever be with you,{LOL}.

catchya later Trev and take care.



Regular member
Aug 11, 2001

Well done on a new Trent PB Barbel.

Sorry to hear about the scales (but it would not be complete without an incident)

Speedy recovery

Fish with Friends @


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
That look on your face in the final picture,exceeds even your eloquent prose.


Make Friends,Go Maggotdrowning.
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