WELCOME to our Friday blog. Every Friday we hand over to Carl and Alex Smith – known online as simply Carl & Alex.
These super keen youngsters have a passion for making a variety of fishing videos, and provide a youth dimension to our new blogging mix.
We hope you enjoy the blog, written by Alex, and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons above.
HAPPY ENDING TO A TRICKY TRIP
WE HAVE now reached the end of our week on the River Wye and boy was it tricky!
Last year’s trip was about as perfect as it could get; the temperature high, river low but slightly coloured and the barbel very willing to take our baits!
But this year it was a completely different story. There was major flooding the week before we arrived so we were lucky to even be able to fish. Our week was extremely cold, even frosty on some nights.
Our first couple of sessions we fished big feeders and a mix of Bait-Tech halibut pellets, but unlike last year, the pellet approach was just not working. We did finally manage a chub each on pellets but we felt their must be a more effective technique for the barbel.
We visited Woody’s Tackle Shop in Hereford and asked if he had any advice on the barbel fishing. It turned out that he did! Not only did he give us information on the baits and tackle to try but he also told us about how the small fish migrate into the town when it gets cold. This was the reason we were not catching dace, minnows or small chub.
Because of the fish migration, Woody advised we concentrate on maggots, hemp, and small pellets. Before we left the shop he mentioned that if we were to walk a little further from our cottage we would find a deep margin where the barbel often held up.
Full of confidence and vital information, we returned from shopping in Hereford and walked straight to the new swim. We laid down our gear just as the sun began to set.
We only had an hour or two before we had to return to the cottage. Alex and I stayed ultra quiet, knowing that the barbel would be spooked in the crystal clear water, especially as we were only fishing a couple of rod lengths from the bank.
Once my size 16 Korum Expert Power Hook was full of white maggots I un-clipped the black cap of my Kamasan maggot feeder and scooped up some flavoured Hemp and more of the white wriggly fellas.
I cast my feeder downstream where a willow tree hung over the deep margin while Alex swung his feeder just in front of him. Nothing happened for about five minutes so we reeled in and recast to the same places with fresh hookbaits and more freebies in the feeder.
Finally a bigger fish takes the bait!
By this point we were soaked and the rain was only getting heavier. This time Alex’s rod tip became agitated and plucked a couple of times. Probably leaves touching the line we thought. But then the tip started to vibrate, I perked up and Alex sat forward with his hands on the rod.
Bang, the tip flew round and a burst of line was pulled from the reel. “Yes, that’s a bigger fish,” Alex shouted to me as I scrambled into the bag to find the camera.
I flicked off the lens cap and pressed the record button. I glanced up and saw Alex’s rod bent round. An image of a strong lean barbel popped into my head, awesome!
Alex strained to lift the fish from the river bed, by using its pectorals the fish hugged the bottom. I began to think that Alex’s fish had become snagged but then it took another few yards of line. Both Alex and I were ecstatic.
There we were on the muddy banks of the Wye in the pouring rain, me with an unhooking mat on my head keeping the camera dry and Alex attempting to net a big barbel which refused to succumb to his landing net. Eventually Alex lifted the net around his prize. I filmed his smiling face as he told the camera how pleased he was.
We filmed a clip of Alex holding the barbel which turned out to weigh 8lb 8oz. He was delighted to have finally landed a barbel after almost a week of fishing for them!
We rested the fish in our new Nash weigh sling and once it was fully revived we let it swim back into its chilly home.
There were no more fish that evening but it was certainly cold!
We finished the week with the fish tally at: 5 chub, 2 dace, 1 trout, 2 grayling and 1 fantastic barbel. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Wye this year however I was disappointed to miss out on any barbel action for myself.
You do however know that a trip has been enjoyable when before you have even reached home you are planning next year’s trip! Thanks to Paul Garner we have a couple of ideas for campsites near the river where we hope to go next summer.
Thanks for reading this week’s blog. I’m not sure what we are doing next, perhaps some pike fishing now that it’s getting cold. We will have to see…
CARL & ALEX WILL BE BACK WITH ANOTHER BLOG NEXT FRIDAY.
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