Barbel into Autumn: Baldwin’s Blog
For Lewis Baldwin it's rapidly approaching the time of year he most looks forward to but before autumn 'proper' arrives there are barbel to be caught.
It looks like summer is on the wane and the slight nip in the air of a morning is a sure fire sign that autumn is almost upon us. With the leaves on the trees starting to turn all shades of red, orange and brown we are almost at the time of year many specimen anglers look forward to. Before we get there though what have I been up to since my last blog entry?
Well, life has been busy: work, moving house and fishing has left me with very little time to sit back and take in the hot couple of months we’ve just enjoyed - but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Living where I do I’m very lucky to be surrounded by countryside in every direction and there are many occasions when, either driving to work or fishing, I see foxes, badgers, birds of prey and all manner of other wildlife going about their daily business. Over the years I’ve been fortunate to see quite a few Fallow Deer and Muntjacks here and there but never a stag – but that changed recently.
I’d seen the odd one at distance whilst doing my daily commute to work so decided to keep my camera in the car should a photo opportunity arise – it did – and here are a couple of pictures of these magnificent animals that I took as they grazed by the roadside as I drove past one afternoon.
I’ve been doing plenty of my own fishing throughout the past six weeks, catching plenty of barbel and I’ve also had a couple of guiding days to fulfil. I’ll leave the stories of my personal fishing for now as they’ve been written about elsewhere however my guiding days have been pleasantly successful.
One of these days was with an angler named Ben Griffiths from Leicester. Ben had seen a couple of YouTube video’s I’d done and was keen to improve his fishing so asked if I’d take him out for a day’s barbel fishing. Ben had already caught some good fish on his local river so knew the basics and had an approach he was confident with.
We met mid-morning, not far from the stretch of river we were to spend the day on, and after a quick introduction we headed off to the river. I gave Ben the option of quizzing me on anything he wanted to know and how he wanted to approach the day and he gave me free reign to approach the river how I would if I have been alone, and that suited me perfectly.
Starting at the top of the stretch we walked the venue and I explained the hows and whys of watercraft and what to look for on a new stretch of water and we bait-droppered some pellets and hemp into five swims along the venue in preparation for the fishing ahead.
After a couple of hours of chatting all things fishing and doing some bait and rig work we were ready to fish. When I’m guiding I don’t fish myself instead focusing all my efforts on making sure the client has a good day and hopefully catches a few fish. It took a while and we’d already fished the baited swims once before a fish put in an appearance. It was probably the smallest barbel in the stretch at about 1lb in weight but at least we were off the mark.
By late afternoon we’d fished each swim twice so I decided it was time to focus our attentions on just one particular area for the period into dusk. I re-baited the swim and left it an hour whilst we had a quick bite to eat. Upon casting out the rod top was barely still so there were obviously fish in the swim but could Ben catch one?
It wasn’t long until the rod took on a life of its own and barbel number two was being played towards the net. Thankfully it was bigger than the last one, but only just at about 3lbs, it’s not all about the size of the fish when you’re guiding though, it’s more that the methods and application work and Ben was over the moon with his captures as he’d never caught a barbel in daylight before and the two barbel he caught were his first ones off this particular river.
Dusk was soon upon us and it was time to go our separate ways having had a good day’s fishing in good company.
Until next time tight lines!
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