Variety is indeed the spice of life and my lack of update here is principally due to the fact I've been doing the same thing over and over again for some time now whilst wildly expecting different results. You can read this as either the very definition of stupidity, or as I prefer to think of it the angling equivalent of edging, in which the gratification is now delayed by almost a calendar year!
To clarify the above and in case you weren't aware I am trying with great earnest to catch a river anker barbel. However what I repeatedly keep doing is catching ever larger river Anker chub.
My summer excuses whilst still holding to some degree are now beginning to wane. These are; it's been terrible summer conditions for barbel fishing and it stays light too late to fish into dusk and sometimes dark. I'm pretty much fishing just one evening a week after work so as the nights draw in I'm relishing those hours of last light and just beyond.
On a positive note I have at least seen an Anker barbel flash in a swim I was fishing and I'm pretty sure I've hooked one too, albeit briefly. I have lost very few fish this year. Once hooked I usually land them and I can remember only three fish over the course of this season that have come off. This includes fish diving into all manner of obstacles such as streamer weed, reeds and the like.
The fish I think was a barbel was hooked in early September and was during one my most productive sessions of the year in which I caught six chub, four of which were four-pounders. Amongst these chub was a funny bite which when the rod was picked up rather than the fish bolting for the nearest cover as chub have a habit of doing the fish moved upstream with some gusto whilst I could see the line zig-zagging and making a slicing sound where it met the water. After just a second or two the fish was off. My compadre Ade was sat next to me at the time and speculated that if it were a barbel it might have been foul hooked in the pectoral, so it probably did me a favour in getting off as that's not how I would have wished to open my account.
Here are a few Anker chub for your delectation;
All of that pre-amble was not really what I wanted to say. What I really wanted to say was that whilst my other half was away last weekend I had a holiday from Anker barbel fishing and spent both Saturday and Sunday doing something completely different.
On Saturday I spent the day trotting maggots under a stick float on the river at Tamworth and was so busy fishing I took no photos. I caught, chub, dace, gudgeon, perch and pike. All signs of a healthy river. I caught the pike on my beefed up float rod on a hastily prepared approximation of a predator rig using materials I had to hand after it started to haunt me and the silvers I was bringing to the bank. A cracking days sport without a whiff of disappointment.
On Sunday I fished a new pool to me, quite recently stocked with tench and crucian carp. I'd joined this small fishing group not really knowing much other than what someone had told me about the place. Soon after joining I was added to the pool's WhatsApp group, the title of which is WBAS..... I thought 'I knew those initials from somewhere', but couldn't place it.
Whilst fishing the pool at the weekend and after seeing signs around with the same insignia denoting it's angling control I asked a fellow member what they stood for. After various stabs, stopping at stations like 'Warwickshire Wombles' etc. it was I who suggested 'Warwickshire Bloggers' for the first two letters which he confirmed was correct.
Now given I've been wearing the paint thin on keyboards for over a decade trying to write about fishing in a semi-entertaining way (always set your sights low), it came as a great surprise to me that I was now fishing a water controlled by the merry band of nonsense dribblers I've been metaphorically hanging about with for the last ten years - some of whom I've actually met in person which is such a rarity nowadays.
I pinged an email to the king-pin of the organisation when home on Sunday evening to which he replied, "I was wondering when the penny would drop Keith". The penny George, has a long way to fall in my mind (I refer you to my first paragraph).
Although the fishing on the pool was slower than usual according to the guy I met I managed to winkle a few out and left happy with my brace of tench, a thirteen ounce roach and bonus barbel amongst a backdrop of smaller roach, rudd and perch.