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
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
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,
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