Saturday morning and another match on the Avon at Barford near Warwick.
This area of the river is a good winter venue for Chub and Barbel.
After a couple of wins and a third in the previous matches I was looking forward to the draw, and hopefully another good peg. However I was disheartened to pull out peg 66 a peg with poor recent form. Peg 66 is in a very shallow area of the river and with a very clear river and no cover looked a poor bet for a good net of Chub. Looked like I would have to target the Barbel.
I had asked a few of my friends about the peg, as I knew in the past it had produced some good nets of barbel, I was told to fish no more than a couple of rod lengths out as there was a bit of deeper water where the barbel liked to lie.
I set up just two rods, a mach 3 13ft with a 2AA Waggler with just a couple of 8s down to a 19 hook to 0.12 hooklength.
The other a real favourite of mine a mach 2 Barbel 12ft, a real through actioned rod which was rigged up with 10lbs main line and a size 16 animal hook tied to 0.20 hook length. A medium blackcap feeder completed the rig.
On the whistle I loaded my large baitdropper with hemp and maggots and laid down a bed of about 2 pints of hemp and a pint of maggots on the close in line. Barbel are easy to catch once they are in a feeding frenzy so it pays to give them some bait!
I started to fish the waggler picking up a few small chub and roach whilst I let the main swim settle. After about 40 minutes things started to slow on the waggler, it was time for a look for a Barbel. I baited the hook with 3 maggots, filled the feeder with hemp and maggots and swung the rig underarm into the swim. Almost at once the rod tip started to flicker and move about as a Barbel fed near the feeder, its vital to stay calm and wait for the tip to pull right round before lifting in to the fish. Sure enough a savage bite and I was into a good Barbel that powered upstream. A few minutes later the fish was in the net and at around 8lb a great start. I soon had another fish a cracker of 10lb 12oz before things went quiet.
I topped up the swim with the baitdropper and went back on the waggler for a while for a couple more Chub before returning to the feeder to catch two more barbel before the final whistle.
I was pleased to weigh 32lbs for second in the match just short of the 34lb winning catch of barbel and Chub taken by Kieth Wynne on the stickfloat from peg 69 above the road bridge.
A lovely days fishing topped off with a cool beer and the usual banter in the pub, life doesent get much better.