Thursday, 10 July 2014

A Pellet Deviation

The mainstay of my Barbel attack over the past couple of seasons has been luncheon meat on the hook and trotting gear but I felt I was getting into a rut and on a whim I purchased a couple of bags of pellets from the local tackle shop. I think seeing a lot of recent captures coming to a pellet approach had made me think it might make a nice change to sit back, chill out and have an easy session for a change. No waders and standing in the river for hours. Turned out to be a excellent decision.
As always the local Warwickshire Avon was the venue of choice, well it is on my doorstep and it does contain an excellent stock of hard fighting Barbel.
Upon arrival I went for a wander to see what swims were available and got chatting to the bloke on the island peg. I know it is 'good to talk' but this bloke wouldn't let me go, he could natter for England and I also helped him land a small Barbel while he was gabbing on.
Eventually I got away and was just unloading my gear from the car itching to wet a line when the bloke in the swim next to the car park landed an eleven pounder. He shouted across for some assistance which I couldn't refuse and it was well over an hour after my arrival when I finally started setting up!
It didn't matter though it was still well before witching hour.
Two rods were ultimately cast out, pellet on the downstream one and Luncheon meat just above. Obviously I didn't have total confidence in pellet as a hook bait but I think my mind may be now changed on that score.

First cast and in no time at all the pellet rod did that big twitchy thing and after a spirited battle I slipped the net under a 6 pound fish. A reasonable start.

A half hour or so later and the pellet rod signalled another bite, this time the fish kited across stream instead of flying down so I knew that a Chub was the culprit. It was no match for the stout Barbel tackle and I netted it easily, probably weighing about three pound.
A period of inactivity followed until the sun had totally dropped below the horizon then the pellet rod screamed off for a third time and I knew this was the fish I had hoped for. It ran and ran and ran leaving me helpless against its power in the strong current. Gradually it started coming towards me and at first glance I thought this is a good fish. The usual prayers for a strong hook hold were answered and after a few hair raising thrashes in front of the net it was mine. I lifted the net to see a solid stunning Barbel and knew straight away it was a double. I was even more elated when the scales registered 12lb 6oz. The pellet rod had completely out fished the meat by a resounding three to nil.

The nice chap in the next peg helped me out with photographs but he also wanted to chat away but this time I was in no rush to fish, in fact I didn't even bother recasting. I just packed up and went home to bore the misses with my evenings tale.


  1. well done joe. nice to see a few coming out.

  2. A lovely specimen there Joe, them tussles that Barbel put up never get old and I love your last paragraph - especially the last part i think my lady just nods and smiles in agreement, well better than nothing I guess.

  3. Thanks James and Lee, they will never understand will they??