26 September 2011
Medway Barbel 2011
This year one of my ultimate targets was to catch a barbel. My chosen destination was the upper reaches of the River Medway. The stock of barbel in these known stretches are fairly low but a double figure fish is possible, in fact the record for this particular stretch is 16lb. Don't be fooled into thinking these fish are easy to catch as the big Medway barbel are known to be elusive and clever fish.I arrived at my chosen swim in the weir and to my surprise I was the only fisherman on the stretch. Usually the upper reaches of the Medway are extremely pressured and so I fish during the week when possible. Both rods were set up with 8lb line, one rod was hair rigged with a mono hook link incorporating a method feeder and the other a standard bolt rig. The rod with the hair was fished with a 22mm halibut pellet and the feeder crammed with trout pellet paste. The other rod was fished with peperoni fire stick (HOT!!!).
I arrived early morning at the break of dawn and set up for a long day. The morning temperature was low and I was extremely cold which was strange as when mid day arrived my t-shirt came of as it was so hot!!!
The day passed quickly when at 2pm in 28 degrees heat my delkim sounded waking me up from a deep sleep in which I had caught a 10+ barbel. I instantly knew I was into a barbel by the shear power. The fish stayed deep and then powered away every time she was near the surface. By its strength I was sure the fish was 8lb + but to my amazement when she surfaced she was not the monster I expected but, it was a barbel. The fish weighed 4lb 1oz, was in immaculate condition and is a new PB. I was extremely happy to have caught my first barbel. Next year I will have my night ticket to fish the stretch and so will aim for that elusive double that all anglers dream of.