Russell Brook - Specimen angling at Collingham Weir

Russell Brook - Specimen angling at Collingham Weir

After a very busy work load over the last 9 months, I finally managed to get out fishing.


I dusted off the old Free Spirits and headed off for a pre-booked session (over a year in advance!) on the ever faithful Collingham Weir with 3 friends.


Upon arrival, the levels were still a little low and reports suggested the Trent had not been fishing well up until then. I was somewhat optimistic as there had been a large amount of rain further up north and was heading our way, hopefully improving the odds. The first few hours looked good, but it turned out that this inclement weather was also in tow and 3 days of rain, hour followed by hour was endured.


1st thing off the barrow before anything else, marker rod set up, a "Foxy Leads" gripper was cast around looking for any of the previous years snags. It appeared that following the heavy floods of winter, it had given us a new blank canvas. 2 spots that I've fished before were checked with solid thumps and clear gravel.


I eventually got set up and managed to get the wet gear on and do some baiting up. 4 kilos of "Dynamite Baits - Big River Shrimp and Krill" groundbait went out, laced with "CC Moore 6mm Krill, 6mm Bloodworm and 6mm Pacific Tuna" pellets on 2 spots heading up to the face of the weir, with 2 kilos of Future Fishing's "Noble Baits OP31" in 14mm went over the top to hopefully get the fish grubbing around. This was repeated every morning.


Approach was fairly simple, 5oz Feeder on 30lb braided mainline, to aid with bite indication and due to its low diameter it reduces drag from the flow, with a 6ft 50lb fluorocarbon leader to act as a shock leader and to aid with abrasion resistance. 3ft "Fox Edges - Camotex Soft" hooklink with the last few inches stripped to aid with a more natural presentation and increase hooking potential. Size 6 "Fox Edges - Wide Gape Beaked" hooks were order of the day, with short hairs. I prefer a shorter hair as I have found on occasion in the heavier flow, a longer hair can wrap itself back round the hook overtime and can turn the hook the wrong way round. I have so much more confidence in presentation with the shorter hair that’s its my go to. If I'm getting a lot of chub bites, then I may extend the hair slightly.

Recasting on a regular basis to try and keep the fish interested.

The 1st rod went out with a match the hatch 18mm OP31 boilie. It didn't take long to get the 1st bite, I'd not even managed to get the 2nd rod out. A very dogged ploddy fight ensued as the fish got into the main flow. When I eventually got her in the net, I realised that I was not expecting what I saw. At 14lb14 she was a new PB by over a pound and a half.


The rod rebaited, a recast was due and a 5oz feeder of matching groundbait recast to the same spot. Again, the rod went before the 2nd was out. Flying out the blocks, it felt like I'd hooked one of the pleasure cruisers speeding off downstream. Eventually in the net, another species to tick off the list, and another river PB, a small common carp of 10lb7.


Eventually both rods went out and some sit down ensued. However, this was broken by an altogether different bite. Rod tip swung sharply back and line dropped slack to the river in front of me. An almighty drop back, and one which I thought had been the result of a cut off until I'd got 20yds of line back on the spool and it went shooting into the flow. A totally different fight again, jagged, darting pulls, but with less power to them was order of play this time. Fish resting in the net, time to get the rod recast. Rod out it was now time to reveal the prize what i can only describe as, the biggest Chub I've ever seen. I'd also never caught one from the Trent in the 3 years I've now been fishing it. 7lb4 (another PB) of gut busting fish lay in front of me on the mat.


After this fluster of early fish, things slowed down dramatically. With regular casting and feed going in, we managed to winkle a few more fish over the 72hr session. But the river began to drastically rise on the last evening leading to a move and making the fishing somewhat more difficult. And with the river rising, everyone was sleeping with 1 eye open.


Most of the fish came during the day with the odd fish picked up after dark.


In all I managed 16 fish with a few select fish, photos taken.

Friday morning came and the long haul back to Ash in Hampshire was upon us. A quick glance back at probably the greatest fishing spot for Barbel of current times and preparation for the next session begins.

Posted by George