14/03/11, River Trent. Phase 1st Q+2. Water temp 46f.

Rick and myself met up again above Burton for a few hours float fishing to kick off the last session of this season. The overnight frost had as I suspected knocked a degree of the water temperature, but the warm sunshine was counter acting the fresh breeze making it a real pleasure to be out. We fished just 3 pegs for 3 hours which we know can throw up a mixture of fish, and managed 4 good chub, a grayling and a couple of lost fish, as well as a nosy pike.
Late afternoon we headed downstream to Twyford to sit out the last few hours, but the wind was pretty nippy and although the water temperature rose slightly during the day, we noticed it was also dropping surprisingly quickly after the sun had set. By 9.30 we'd both had enough and nothing more than a few taps between us, so we called time on this season and headed home. Roll on June... 

13/03/11, River Trent at Twyford. Phase 1st Q+1, water temp 47f.

Rick and myself headed out for an evening session on a stretch that is still very much an unknown to us. Rick dropped in to the peg where I had my PB chub from, and I dropped below him in a peg that I had never fished before. The new bait trial was still very much on for me, with just Friday's chub to show for it capture wise. By 9pm it was very cold, and we were talking about giving it till 9.30 as everything was covered in frost, but at 9.13, a barb grabbed the 14mm boilie, and after a short thumping fight I had a 10lb 8 on the bank.

We fished on till 10.30 without any further action, apart from having to scrape the thick frost of everything as we packed up.

11/03/11, River Trent near Walton. Phase 1st Q-1, water temp 47f.

A lunch time meet for Rick and myself to have a float session first before swapping over to the heavy stuff, because previous visits had shown us that the area we were targetting held a lot of unknown small fish. But after 3 hours of trotting maggots, in conjunction with a maggot feeder down the side, we hadn't had a thing, so we swapped over to the heavier gear and sat back.
As darkness fell the smaller fish put in an appearence and could be heard topping all around us, as well as several good fish surfacing and then slapping their tails as they went back down.
For the nine hours of fishing time that we both put in, there was just one chub caught, and we called it a day just before 10pm. Our last two sessions will be Sunday and Monday, and at least the weather will be holding up. 

10/03/11, River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase 1st Q-2, water temp 46f.

Rick and myself met up for a few hours after work with a rather chilly wind blowing across at us. The water temp look ok, so we fished a couple of favourite spots that looked pretty good and the lowest that we had seen them all winter. Through darkness, we heard and saw a few fish topping/rolling, but we couldn't muster a bite between us and packed up at 10pm. With plenty of sessions planned to see in the close, we just need a bit of luck, although some good fish are coming out locally.   

05/03/11, River Derwent. The BA Cup Match.

After an incredibly long and funny chat between us on the forum about what was banned, what should be banned, and everything not mentioned or omitted was also banned, 17 of us met up for the second BA Cup match to have a light hearted competition in not the best of conditions. Whilst barbel were the target, we knew we were looking for chub as a back up or even as a match winner, and with our own rules, 34 rods were cast in for a six hour match.

For some of us it was tough going, and I found myself trying to scoop up a two inch perch with my landing net just to say that I had landed something, but along with 11 others it was a blank for me resulting in joint 5th place. ( Sounds much better than last place )

The winner was Ant with 3 chub for a total weight of 17lb 4 which included 2 PB's for him. The first fish was exactly 6lb's but his 3rd went an amazing 7lb 2.......

With the last week upon us now, its looking like a finish off two halves, improving for a few days, before looking like a cold and possibly snowy finish, and with days booked off its going to be hard to decide what to do. 

11/02/11, River Trent near Walton. Phase 1st Q. Water temp 48f.

A new stretch for me to try out on the back of Rick having sneaked in a short hour long session the day before, and he had managed a 6lb 1 chub. The stretch looked like a good winter area and there were plenty of reasonable sized silvers topping all around us, meaning we will also have to hit it with float tackle before the season ends. 
We both had nice looking pegs, but it was Rick with the spoils again, as he first lost a decent fish and then landed a new Trent PB of 12lb 9. As much as I tried, I couldn't get a tap or anything and wished I'd got a float rod with fish topping virtually at my feet.

09/02/11, River Dove at Tutbury. Phase 1st Q -3. water temp 44f.

Rick and myself headed back to the same stretch to try out another couple of pegs with the river running just a little coloured and above normal, but a lot cooler than our last session. We decided to only give it till 9.30pm because of the drop in water temperature, as we didn't think a lot would happen and we were both planning on heading out Friday night too. We were not wrong about nothing happening, and with the  start of a cold for me, I was glad to be heading back at a reasonable time. 

06/02/11, River Dove at Tutbury. Phase 1st Q -5. Water temp 48f.

Rick and myself met up for a late one, with a new approach that has been catching quite a few fish from several rivers over the last few weeks. The stretch that we headed for was tough on a good day, and we found the river virtually bank high, boily, and a lot of rubbish coming through. Finding a reasonable spot was the first challenge, but with the river beginning to drop, we were hopeful of things improving as the session went on.

About 7.25pm, Rick lost yet another fish to a hook pull, making it three on the trot, and turned out to be the only action of the night. At 11pm we packed up and headed home with the river just starting to look nice having dropped by about six inches. The new bait testing will have to continue through the rest of the season, and that will hopefully mean we will have something better to write about with just five weeks of the season left.

14/01/11, River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase 1st Q +1. Water temp 45f.

Fancying a few hours after work, Rick and myself headed back to try the opposite bank where we thought the fish may well be hiding. The river was up a little more than the day before, but still within its banks, and the area that we chose looked very promising. With less flow and decent depth, it looked a good area if the fish had moved from the other side, but three hours later we hadn't had a sniff and called it a night. The barbs just didn't want to play ball, or may be its a case of them not wanting what we were offering, and so may be a change of tactics will be the way forward.

Some of the forum guys have had a few over the last couple of days from stretches quite a way downstream of where we have been fishing, showing that if you can get on top of then you are in with a chance.

13/01/11, River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase 1st Q +1. Water temp 44f. 

Rick and myself met up late morning for a lengthy session. With a couple of feet of extra water and a temperature of 44f, things were looking better than they had since the middle of November. A very mild day in prospect had us eager to get started and hope for a bit of luck, and so we began to work our way through a very varied selection of hook baits. But again it turned out to be a very frustrating session for both of us. As well as losing several hooks and feeders between us, Rick also lost the only fish of the day during daylight hours. It gave us a boost as darkness was falling, but the river still seemed very quiet and I only heard one fish roll about 5pm during the whole session. By 7.30pm, we'd had enough and headed home defeated. Although the water temp was quite decent compared to the last few weeks, it was still at a level that I consider to be on the iffy side.
06/01/11, River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase New +2. Water temp 38f.

Although I wasn't sure if the river would be in a generous mood, I needed some fresh air and so I decided to head out just for a few hours after work. I had both rods in for 6.50pm and then sat down to spend what really turned out to be a look and listen session. There weren't any indications on the rod tips during the couple of hours that I sat there, nor where there any signs of fish moving or topping in the dark. At just over 38f, the river had again become too cold, so I decided to pack up a little earlier at 9pm rather than prolong the agony.

At least next week is looking very mild and we should see water temps rise significantly, which I hope will bring the first barb of the new year. Not too long to find out. 

30/12/10, River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase LQ+2, Water temp 40f.

With the latest thaw in progress and the river having warmed up by 6f, Rick and myself headed out for some fresh air and a barb session, although it was still looking like a 5 hour blank was on the cards. With some extra water and colour, the river looked good, and we settled down just as the sun set to see what happened.
Some what surpisingly, fish were topping in the dark and that was all the interest we neaded to give us a boost and go for it till 9pm, but for whatever reason, the barbs didn't want to play although Rick did manage a chub of 3lb 12 on flavoured meat. Hopefully the weather now will be kinder to us and we can start getting out more, and find some of those better specimens that live in this stretch. Happy New Year to all. 

With the recent cold weather, Rick and myself have been out with the float rods, mainly after any bites, with grayling the main target. And its been cold. Temperatures down to -10C and not rising above -2C in the day, have meant that our lines were freezing up all day long, and we have found the going very tough in deed. However, the two cold snowy sessions that we have put in haven't been blanks and our efforts have been rewarded from both the Dove and the Trent with a few nice fish between us, because we kept mobile seeking them out.

Rick also had a few hours on the Trent last night, for a big blank, and even well known angler Phil Smith is struggling at the moment for any species. Hopefully the weather will warm up in the new year as something a lot milder creeps in, but for the moment the cold air and snow are back again with more on the way.   

13/11/10, River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase 1stQ. Water temp 46f.

Rick and myself were to meet up on the bank, but found three other forum members already on the bank, two of which were definitely out to poach our spots!!!!!!!!!!! So we decided to head on to a new area for a look where we knew there was some deep water, and try our luck. The river looked good with little weed coming down, but by 6pm without any cover and a cool breeze blowing it was looking iffy to say the least even though I had one of Archie Braddocks spells to work too. By 7.30, we'd had enough, so I popped down to see Danny before I headed home and ended up staying longer than I expected, just in time to see him hook in to one at 8.40pm. Having weighed and photographed it, I headed home, but at least I got to see one being poached.  

06/11/10. River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase New Moon. Water temp 52f.

Rick and myself met up for a 4pm start with the river carrying a little extra water and colour. We had to wait until 5.45 for the first fish to turn up, and it was Ricks first off this particular stretch and went 9lb's. As I'm walking up the bank with his netted fish, we suddenly hear one of my alarms sound so I run back to my peg and find one on the end within minutes of Rick hooking up. It was an unbelievable shape and had obviously been 'eating all the pies' and went 10lb 2.

Rick then lost another fish just after 7pm, but I was still hopeful of another fish each, and when it came it was another event that had us rushing around in the misty dark.

My alarm went about 10 minutes after I thought we might see another fish, and the fish put up a good scrap making several good runs, but it managed to go round an overhanging branch that went into the water. I tried pulling it up with a rod rest with Rick hanging on to me, and we saw the fish right under the overhanging grass and nettles, but the fish managed to slip the hook and get away, but we both reckon it was another double, and then Ricks alarm started sounding again so he ran back to his peg, and he's into fish number two which went 10lb 1. We packed up about 10.20pm with the air temp down to just 4C and went home happy.

A great result with 3 landed and 2 lost, although a chilly night, and the water temp fell from 52f to 50f, but we saw a barn owl fly up river just after 5pm, and the fish were topping till nearly 10pm.

04/11/10. River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase New-2 Water temp 55f.

Again I virtually raced to the river to get fishing, but once parked up I realised I hadn't bought a coat or a fleece out, so I was going to have to sit there in my jumper and hope for the best. I also noticed that I'd somehow managed to break both isotopes and neither would be any use to me, ( another £25 quids worth down the drain ).
I knew time was short as I was already close to the end of a better spell, so I got both rods in quickly and rang Danny for a chat, as one of my rods twitched 2ft and back without a hookup within about 10 minutes......
Over an hour later and I hadn't had a thing, and I'd worked out that a certain point had passed, and I was now hoping for some luck, rather than expecting a fish, but at 7.42 the boilie rods away and I landed a nice 8lb 11, followed up at 8.51 with a take on pellets which pulled when I knocked the baitrunner off.

I packed in at 10pm as the rain started again, but it was still very warm and I hadn't missed not having a coat with me.

01/11/10. River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase LQ+2. Water temp 52f.

I rushed to get to the bank and set up as I knew rain was on its way in, and by about 6.15pm I was fishing and settled. For the next 90 minutes nothing happened apart from a few fish topping, so I rang Danny to see how he was getting on, as he was fishing around Burton. It was just after 8pm as we were chatting, and my downstream rod started bouncing about so I said gotta go Danny, ring you back.

Whatever it was didn't run but kept on tapping away so I struck to find a decent weight on that just came towards me. I was just thinking that it might be another big bream when it set off across the river. At last a barb, and with it heading up stream I decided to get the other rod out of the way..........BIG mistake, as the fish turned and headed back towards me and found a snag. To cut a long story short I lost the lot and I was annoyed with myself for letting the fish find a snag at my feet, and then I lost another feeder after, in a peg I hadn't lost a thing in before, but at least there are barbs there to be caught. I packed up just before 10pm, and gave them a few free boilies to get used to that I'll be using through the winter. Surprisingly, Danny had a fish of 10lb 2 out, which grabbed his boilie within seconds of the fish I hooked in to. A time to note for my records.

30/10/10. River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase LQ. Water temp 51f.

Rick and myself met up at 4.30pm to try out what is a bit of a banker swim through the winter months, especially when its at flood levels. The river was at normal level, clear and still a decent temperature, and with something to work to we were hopeful to say the least. Once dark, a few fish started to roll around us, but when the magic hour approached, we didn't have so much as a knock. Personally I'd like to see a serious flood with the river over its banks which will flush out a lot of debris that must be building up, as well as make the fish have to move around to areas I know that they will head for. And this mild spell won't last forever.  

28/10/10. River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase LQ-2. Water temp 51f.

With the weather very mild, Rick and myself headed out for a few hours to have another session on a newish stretch which owes us a fish or two. The plan was to give it till 10.15pm and see in what is a reliable timeslot, and hope we might break our duck on the stretch. As it was we gave it till 10.30pm, but the barbel didn't want to oblige. The water temp was up by a couple of degree's but something else was obviously missing, and apart from a few bits topping, there were no signs of anything decent. There's still some streamer weed coming down and a seriously big flush is needed on the Dove and the Trent to reduce it back to a 'no problem' level, but its a stretch that will be worth visiting through to the close season.

24/10/10. River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase Full+1.

After checking my previous results, it looked like we had a chance of a fish, so Rick and myself headed out for a few hours to try our luck. Again groundbait feeders were the choice, and will be now for the rest of the season as well as the same bait choice. The river was obviously up a little and the streamer weed being brought down was a bit of a pain, but we sat back to see what happens. And again it was another blank, probably because of the sharp frost the night before, as well as some cold water entering the river from Friday nights rain. Although we packed up at 9pm, a frost had already formed by 8.30pm and we will need some milder weather and warm rain to bring the river back on. 

22/10/10. River Trent at Willington. Phase Full-1.

Rick and myself headed to a stretch for a change of scenery and somewhere else that he hadn't seen before, hoping for some sort of luck. As the year is now moving on towards winter, I opted for a complete change of tactics and set up with my groundbait filters with boilies on one rod and meat on the other. Rick also set up similarly and I hoped we would get something for our efforts. As it was, we didn't even get a chub, although I think the sea trout that move through the Trent to the Dove were showing in the normal area.

14/10/10. River Trent.

Rick and myself met up for a few hours trotting still buzzing after the Itchen trip and still chuckling at the video footage that we shot on the day.
After a slow start, we dropped in to a peg which surprised us last time, and it surprised us again as different species turned up. We managed to catch a few chub to 3lb 1, a few grayling to 1lb 5 as well as quite a lot of dace again to make it a nice few hours on the river, but our catch rate was poor compared to that of the Itchen and we wish it was a lot closer.
Looks like we will be out somewhere on Friday after the barbel.

12/10/10. River Itchen.

Ten of us made our way down to Southampton to meet up for a day out on this famous chalk stream, and what a day it turned out to be. Jeff, Keith, Alan Booth, Alan Jones, Leyton, Darren, Danny, Sash, Rick and myself were all geared up for some serious float fishing with grayling the main target, and as always the 'bonus species'.
The weather and the river were spot on, and we all caught a tremendous amount of fish between us as well as a hell of a lot of lost fish, ( enevitable where grayling are concerned ). 
Hundreds of grayling to 1lb 14 were caught, as well as dozens of brownies to 3lb 14, sea trout to 3lb 15, several chub to about 4lb's, a fair few salmon parr, roach to 1lb 9, a 4lb bream, an 8lb carp, and some pesky minnows. Even a couple of salmon were hooked and lost, and for those amongst us who had never been before, it was a real treat, and we've already booked again for next year. 

11/10/10. River Trent near Burton.

Just a few hours trotting to get in the mood for the Itchen, and again it wasn't easy going. Rick had caught some good grayling from the stretch previously, but they weren't in a playful mood and he managed just one from the same peg this time. Mind you, it too was just over the pound mark and they certainly are a good size.
I ended up finding a few dace to round off the afternoon, and my 2nd trot down one peg produced one which may well have gone just over 8oz and was a real beauty. Looks like we will be returning quite regularly through the winter months and hopefully find them a bit hungrier.

09/10/10. River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase New +2.

The idea was to have a few hours float fishing and then to swap over to the heavy stuff on a stretch that we hadn't fished before on yet another very mild day.
The river was still carrying a little colour and water, and looked as though it should fish well, but it turned in to a difficult few hours floating in which we only caught a few small roach and bleak.
By 6pm the heavy gear was out, and we sat back to see if they would produce anything, and they did for myself. A chub of about 3lb's was first, followed by a new PB Bream of exactly 8lb's. By 10pm we'd had enough and packed in, but Danny did manage a barb of 10lb 11 from further upstream.

07/10/10. River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase New Moon.

After the previous nights success we went back to the same pegs to see if anything else fancied slipping up, as it was obvious that there were quite a few fish around us, which should now stay there right through to the end of the season.
We fished the same pegs, and it was Rick's turn to have some success as he latched in to a fish which turned in to his first ever trent double at 11lb 14.
Overall it was a much quieter night as we only saw a few fish roll compared to the previous night, but it proved that there are some good fish which now witer it out and not stray far.
I did manage a small and somewhat oddly shaped chub, but these last  two sessions have been far more pleasurable than most that we have had in the last two months.

A busy spell for us from Saturday onwards, plus I'm off work next week, and we are both on the Itchen on Tuesday. The forecast is certainly good so we hope the fish will still be willing too. 

06/10/10. River Trent at Swarkestone. Phase  New -1.

With Rick having had an ankle op and the fishing so poor of late, this was the first barbel session I had put in due to my not being bothered for the last two weeks!!!!!!!!!!. I let Rick have the easiest swim as the banks were steep, overgrown and quite slippery, but wasn't too happy with mine as my feeders were rolling around all the time and not because of weed as there was very little to trouble us. The extra water and colour looked great, and it was nice to back on the bank with some renewed ooomph.

Fish were rolling all around us, but I didn't expect a thing from my peg as its normally better with another 7ft on, so I'd virtually settled down to an expected blank by about 7.30, but at ten past eight I found myself into a heavy fish that didn't wake up till I'd wound it in about 30 yards, which went 10lb 3. That fish was then followed up with another one at 9.25pm which went 8 & 1/2lbs. Although Rick had some good raps, he was unlucky not to get a thing, but its an area which we will keep on returning to through the winter if its a kinder one than last year.

26/09/10. River Trent.

I Headed out early doors this morning with just a float rod, hemp, maggots and casters to look for some mainly roach sport and whatever else came along.

The area I wanted was free, and some decent sized roach were already topping as I set up for a 7am start. 2nd trot down and I'm into a nice fish of about 5oz so things were looking good.
The early fish proved to be a bit deceptive as it turned into a pleasurable but not easy session, and I had to regularly change both hook sizes and hook length diameters to find the fish as the morning went on and bites became tougher to get. During the best of the session, it was a bite a chuck on caster, but I was struggling to hook up even on a size 14 well and truly buried. Surprisingly there were also a lot of bleak about which were really frustrating, but I ended up with a mixed bag of gudgeon, dace, chub, bleak and roach topped off by a beauty that would probably have gone over a 1lb, and that fish alone made the 6hrs well worth the effort.

Surprisingly no pike showed, but then they seem to prefer more roach activity to really feed, and some of those red eye beauties showed recent signs of lucky encounters.

Back to barbel blanking no doubt next week, but a few of us will also be on the Itchen in 16 days time for some early grayling fishing.

22/09/10, River Dove at Marston. Full-1.

Surprisingly, the stretch that we wanted to fish seemed very busy in the car park, so we switched to another area that would give us a couple of pegs to go at
and may be throw something up, rather than another frustrating biteless session which seems to have become the norm. A very mild night with fish certainly topping in Ricks swim, didn't break the habit for us, and when we packed up at 11.15pm we were both wondering what we have to do have some success.

Time for a change I think, looks like I will be heading out with the float rod over the weekend to actually have some fun for a change.  

20/09/10, River Dove at Tutbury. Full -3.

Rick and myself headed to a tough stretch for the first time this season, seeing as some decent fish had been coming out. Expecting to blank, we weren't surprised that we didn't even have any signs by the time that we packed in at midnight, although one lucky angler did have a bit of luck with a fish over 13lb early on. 

17/09/10, River Dove near Burton. Phase 1stQ+2.

RIck and myself met up for a late session on a newish but now familiar stretch, with the river carrying a bit of colour and extra water. It looked good and we were hopeful that it might just throw up a fish or two for us, but again it proved to be an uneventful session and when we packed up just before 1am, we were both disappointed and some what frustrated as the last few weeks on the dove haven't been good to say the least, and its not just ourselves feeling it.  

15/09/10, River Trent at Willington. Phase 1stQ.

Rick and myself met up for a session in an area that is rather frustrating to say the least, and it managed to keep up its reputation for both of us. Although we saw a few reasonable fish topping in the dark around us, none of them fancied risking being caught by us during the four hours that we put in. By 11.35pm we'd had enough and packed in, but we will be back out again Friday night. Somewhere.  

13/09/10, River Trent near Weston. Phase 1stQ-2.

Choosing a spot when its rather breezy is tricky, but I remembered an area that would be perfect, especially as I had forgotten my umbrella. A stretch that I hadn't visited this season, but one that does produce some decent fish, looked as good as ever and also like it hadn't been particularly busy through the summer months due to the awful weed.

I didn't find the weed a problem, but bites were and I only ended up with one small chub for my efforts. Both the Trent and the Dove are playing very hard at the moment, although a few fish are still coming out, but not in the numbers that they were back in early August.  

10/09/10, River Dove at Marston. Phase New+2.

I hit Marston last night, and as I got out the car Rick rang me and said he'd be down later and join me having just back from his week away. I chose a spot on a stretch thats been good to us, particularly Rick, fed it up and sat back. 30 minutes later Rick turns up and drops in to a peg just above me.

I'd said to him that I reckoned that the rain would reach us about 8.30pm, and as if by magic it duly obliged right on time. Again for the god knows how manyieth time of this season, Rick is the first one in about 9.40 pm with a fish of 6lb 13, but my turn was just waiting.

At 10.40 one of my rods is away with a plodding heavy feeling fish, which was twisting and turning all over the place. Once in the net we find the hook is in its right pec, so I don't know if it was fouled from the start or it slipped it in the fight which has happened to me before on the trent. It went 9lb 6 and just like a trent fish last week, it had a prominent bulbous growth over its right eye and was obviously blind.

We gave it till 12.30 am before packing in, and surprisingly those two fish are the smallest we have had from that stretch so far.

A very warm night to be out and we didn't mind getting a little wet for it.

07/09/10, River Trent at Ingleby. Phase New-1.

An unbelievably short session this one. The river looked good with some colour, but a lot of surface debris showing all over after the previous nights rain. I gave it just 90 minutes befors packing in as I couldn't hold out for more than 10 minutes even with my back leads on. At least its getting another good flush through.

03/09/10, River Trent near Burton. Phase LQ+2.

Matt, Rick and myself met up on an un-familiar stretch for a change to the norm, and for two of us it was a tough session. Rick and myself fished close together with Matt quite a way upstream of us, and it was Matt who was obviously on top of the fish. All that Rick and myself managed was a small chub of about 2lb's, whereas Matt managed a chub and 5 barbel up to 8lb's. Some nights it just beggars belief.

01/09/10, River Trent at Willington. Phase LQ.

Another change of stretch for Rick and myself and a rather late start as it was already getting dark as we set up, but we didn't have to wait long as Rick had a stop start run which resulted in his first river Bream at 6lb 15. The next few hours were very quite bitewise so we sat it out waiting and chatting and all was looking not good as the only signs were fish topping in the dark, but at 11.43pm one of my rods went off resulting in a small barb of about 5lb's. We gave it till nearly 11 30pm before packing in on what turned out to be another rather slow session. 

30/08/10 River Trent at Barrow. Phase LQ-2.

With the trent very fishable, we headed to another new stretch for Rick to try to carry on the variation of his Trent introduction. Even better I had something to work to, so it was a bit of a bonus when one of Rick's rod went off early resulting in a fish of about 5lb's. The weed was again no problem and the stretch looked great, although it had obviously changed quite a bit and will change significantly in the next few years due to erosion. I had a very good idea that we would see a fish around 10.35pm from the off, and I was getting rather worried that we would be denied another by 10.39, but at 10.40 one of Rick's rods went again resulting in a fish of 8lb's, and although we carried on till 11.30pm, we never had anything else. 

27/08/10, River Trent at Twyford. Phase LQ-5.

After talking about it for a while, we decided to take a gamble and try the Trent hoping that the weed would not be too bad as it had some extra water on.  A stretch that I'm not familiar with and a river that Rick had never had a barbel from laid the table for an interesting session. We chose a couple of swims which turned out to have about 10 feet of water under the rod tips and got the rods in quickly, because having checked my book I found that we could have an early one hour spell to our advantage, and it turned out correct. Rick had his first fish out of the Trent at 8.45 pm weighing 7lb 5 and then hooked and lost another at 9.20pm, and just as my records showed, that was it for the night. I didn't have a thing although I did see a barb top below me in the dark, and when we packed up at 11.30pm it had turned quite chilly in a freshening breeze.

As for the weed, it wasn't a problem. Most of what we picked up was streamer, and never enough to wipe you out. There was very little in the way of the normal green weed which normally clogs everything up and it made it an enjoyable session. I hope things stay like it so that we can really start to put some sessions in.  

24/08/10, River Dove at Marston. Phase Full Moon.

Rick and myself headed back to a stretch that has been kind to us this season, hoping for that run of luck to continue, but found the river rather quite and the fish very unresponsive. We gave it till about 11.30pm before packing up without so much as a knock between us. This month is turning into a bit of a grueller for me, and its high time for a few changes me thinks.

20/08/10, River Dove at Marston. Phase Full -4.

Not a good one on the charts, but after Thursday night's rain we fancied that there might be a bit more on the river. How wrong we were. There wasn't any noticable difference or colour and after having looked at spots for about 40 minutes we finally settled in to a couple of new spots just as the rain began again. Rick was at least getting some signs whilst my rods were motionless through out, and at 11.05pm Rick had a screaming run off a fish that went 10lb 7. Although we fished on till 1.15am, we never had another thing.

Looks like we will now see enough rain over the next 10 days to make a dent in the trent weed, and hopefully soon we will be able to start putting in some sessions on a river that I've really missed this season. 

18/08/10, River Dove near Burton. Phase 1st Q+2.

And this session turned in to a repeat performance of Monday nights, although I don't think we had a single knock between us. My guess is that the fish had fed well whilst I've been away with the river carrying nearly a couple of feet of extra water, and were letting it settle. I now have some new bait ideas to try out, and todays delivery will make its first appearance this Friday.

16/08/10, River Dove at Tutbury. Phase 1st Q.

Rick and myself went back to a stretch that has been good to both ourselves and one or two other anglers that we know,  and for me it was nice to be back on the rivers after a week away. Unfortunately it ended up a blank night for both of us made even more frustrating by the fact that the only knocks came early on. The river was back to its low old self after some rain, but its looking like we should see a change in our weather from here on in and maybe I'll finally get back to the trent once the weed has subsided a bit. 

04/08/10, River Dove at Marston. Phase LQ+1.

Rick and myself walked to an are that I certainly hadn't fished for a few seasons, and again it was one which had changed quite a bit. Some of the pegs were now quite overgrown, but obviously anglers had visibly been all over the stretch and it certainly looked good. We gave it until nearly 1am before packing in, and we hadn't had a thing between us which was rather disappointing, but it will be worth several more trips just to re-familiarise ourselves with the area and see what we can winkle out.

My last session now until I'm back off holiday and I have to say that I am ready for a break, but then I'll also be ready to get back to it as soon as I can. 

02/08/10, River Dove at Marston. Phase LQ-1. 

I headed back to a stretch to try out a fresh peg for this season, and Rick joined me on the bank around 10pm so we were both in first time pegs.
The river was still very low and clear but we had a time in mind when the fish might just put in an appearance meaning a late night for sure. Surprisingly we could see plenty of satellites and meteorites overhead to keep us entertained in the dark, but the rod tips weren't moving at all, until 11.45pm when one of Ricks rods went over. 
After a great scrap, we were both looking at a very good fish which went 13lb 11. I was close to packing up, but Rick said give it another 30 minutes and it turned out to be well worth it.
At 12.20am, I found myself in to another double confirmed by scales at 10lb 11, and having weighed it and photographed it, we called it a night as it was now past 1am.

Were out again on Wednesday evening, which will be my last session for a week as I'm off to Scotland on Saturday. I'm ready for a break from the late nights, but then I actually have a fortnight off so some late sessions will definitely be on the cards once I'm back.

31/07/10, River Dove near Burton. Phase LQ-3.

Rick and myself headed to a stretch that I haven't seen in many years let alone fished. There were very obvious signs that the area does receive a lot of attention including left over rubbish from the less caring, but the stretch itself looking cracking considering how low the river looked. I fed two pints of hemp in to two areas, put my feeders on and sat back to wait for moonrise. 
Rick had fished his peg the night before and lost a good fish at a particular time, and we were both expecting some action with the later rise although a flurry of fish was looking unlikely.
Just before 10.30pm, one of my rods started bouncing around, so I waited for it to properly pull round but I was watching the wrong rod. I'd lost an isotope before setting up, and in the dark it was that rod causing the other to bounce as I suddenly saw it was lopped round. Having picked it up, I found myself in to a good fish which went 11lb 1, and by the time we packed up at 12.30 am it was the only fish of the night, thought we did have several taps and bangs between us. 

28/07/10, River Dove  at Tutbury. Phase Full+2.

I was surprised to find no-one fishing the stretch I headed for, giving me the pick of the pegs. I chose one that I've only fished once this season, bait-dropped two areas and set up with a lead on one rod and one of my feeders on the other. Rick turned up at 10.30pm, on what was a chillier evening than of late. And we both blanked, obviously one of those nights that they just didn't want to play ball, even though we know there is a good head of fish with plenty of doubles amongst them.  

26/07/10, River Dove at Tutbury. Phase Full Moon.

Rick and myself headed to a stretch and a peg that I haven't managed to fish yet this season. Another cracking sunset was taking place as we set up, and then we sat back to wait. I didn't have to wait all that long, as one of the rods went over about 9.30pm resulting in a small barb which was probably less than 4lb's in weight. The only thing I could say to Rick was, " there goes my average then", and to add  insult to injury I latched in to another fish of the same size at about 10.20pm. My comment at landing that fish is un-printable, but Rick agreed with it totally.

The pain of the evening was the swan rivalry meaning they were up and down the river all through the session. They bumped into my lines at least half a dozen times, even they I lowered or raised them to try to avoid having to move my feeders. The fish certainly weren't bothered by them, and it was the first session this season that both rods had been tapping and banging away from start to finish.

24/07/10. River Dove near Burton. Phase Full-2.

Again Rick and myself headed back to a stretch that really does owe us a fish, and started off by bait dropping a couple of areas where the chub at least were showing, but as others have found, the fish were very spooky and moved off the area as soon as a rig was dropped in. I did manage to winkle out a chub free-lining a piece of meat, but the fish completely disappeared so we settled in to a deeper run for the rest of the evening.
What looked like a good area for chub and hopefully a barb or two never produced a thing for either of us, and we packed in at rather perplexed at 12.30am. 

21/07/10. River Dove at Tutbury. Phase  Full-5.

Rick and myself headed back to Tutbury to find the river carrying a couple of extra inches of water and a tinge of colour. It turned in to both a late and eventful night, and both of us going home with big grins.

The fun started just after 10pm with Rick having swan trouble and then falling in up to his chin. I would have thought that he'd killed his peg off for the night, but at 11.35pm he found himself in to a lively fish that went 10lb 9. Apart from a few taps, I hadn't had anything to get excited about, but I had seen some decent fish top around me and a re-cast to the area that they had been coming from resulted in a fish at 12.20am, and I'm sure it is the same 10lb 9 that I had the week before. After weighing and photographing it we packed up and headed back to the cars as it was now 1am.     

19/07/10. River Dove near Burton. Phase 1st Q+1.

Rick and myself headed back to the same stretch to try some different pegs and slightly different tactics to the previous session. Hopes were raised of a decent session when I latched in to a small chub of about a pound with in a couple of minutes of my first cast. Rick also found himself in to a lively fish, but the jack managed to bite him off, and after that we never had a another sign between us. There must be barbel there, but they don't want to submit to us easily. 

16/07/10. River Dove near Burton. Phase 1st Q-2.

Rick and myself headed to a stretch that not too many fish, for a change of scenery, and found a likely looking run to try. Again we started later than I would normally with the intention of stating till the early hours. As the sun began to set the river was the most alive that we have seen the Dove this season with fish topping all around us. Unfortunately the barbel weren't interested and we hadn't had a thing between us when we packed up at 12.30am, but for a stretch to wander around with a fly rod, it looked perfect for a bit of other fun. 

14/07/10. River Dove at Tutbury. Phase 1st Q-4.

One of those nights that I could have just sat in front of the telly vegging, but Rick rang to see if I fancied heading out somewhere so I set off to meet him on the bank. The rain had passed leaving a pleasant evening and the river still untouched and low, and adding in a poor phase to the equation meant it was looking like a tough one. Boy were we surprised.....

We set up in two spots neither of us had fished before, and had all our rods in for about 8.30pm. With nothing to work to that may have given us hope, we sat back to wait, but didn't have to wait long. At 9.35pm one of Rick's rods was away resulting in a fish of 10lb 7, and I was again thinking it just wouldn't be my night, but at 9.50 one of my rods started nodding and then my line started heading downstream, so I picked the rod up and found myself in to a decent barb which went 10lb 9 and certainly made me feel much happier after the recent tough sessions where Rick had managed to catch.
We fished on till 11.30pm before packing up and heading home happy. And the added bonus for me is I may well have found yet another 15 minute window to work too.

10/07/10. River Dove at Rolleston. Phase New-1.

Matt, Rick and myself headed to another stretch that neither had seen before expecting that the results of the previous night would be repeated. On another cracking evening it was quite a surpise to see how much the stretch has changed, aided by the very low water conditions. We chose deeper water pegs with some cover, but when we packed up at 12.30am we hadn't had a thing between us. A few other anglers had picked up a few fish, again from deeper water, but its becoming more of a struggle and some rain is deperately needed to get the fish feeding en-mass. 

09/07/10. River Dove at Marston. Phase New-2.

Rick and myself headed to a stretch that I know quite well and I was surprised at just how low the rivers are now looking. Flat calm and steady rather than boils and creases meant that good spots were now looking decidedly 'average', but we still set up in a reliable stretch with the rods in for 8.30pm and sat around chatting on a very lifeless looking river. And we did have to wait quite a while for the first bit of action as a fish of 9lb 7 picked up one of Rick's baits at midnight. A second fish turned up for him at 12.30am and went 10lb 9. ( Its funny how he always in pegs I would normally fish ) We packed up at 1am as we would also be out later that day!!!!!.

Interestingly, I know of 3 anglers who all caught at midnight. Obviously a time slot to remember.

05/0710. River Trent at Swarkestone Phase LQ+1.

Rick and myself went for a few hours to show Rick somewhere a bit different as he doesn't spend a lot of time on the Trent, and to see how bad the weed problem had become before committing to a weekend session. And it was awful. Even using my backleading method, we both struggled to  stay out for just 15 minutes a cast, although I did have one cast that lasted nearly half an hour. After just 3 hours we called it a night  as the weed was never ending, but we did manage a few knocks each. Until we get some serious water in to the river, its not going to be an easy prospect, and fishing right down the side will be the only way forward.

02/07/10. River Dove at Tutbury. Phase LQ-2.

Rick and myself met up again and found the stretch extremely busy with a total of 13 anglers on, including a few peg poachers' from the forum so we headed even further upstream to a stretch which I thought would be spot on, but found it to be very weeded up. We had a run to fish and were also able to put out our four rods as the sun began to set. Rick started getting taps straight away, and as darkness fell the taps increased in frequency making us think that the bats may have been part of the problem. After about two hours the rod finally screamed off and he had a small fish at only 7lb 5, but one which had an extremely large paddle on it. We never had anything else between us and finally packed up at 1am to seek out the other guys and find out how they had got on. Danny, Kirks and myself had blanked, John had caught a couple and Rick the one. Looks like thirteen anglers had caught 6 fish for definite, and the river weed at the moment is providing plenty of cover for them as well as possibly pushing them in to new areas to find somewhere to be able to feed.

28/06/10. River Dove at Tutbury.  Phase Full+2.

Rick and myself headed to one of my favourite pegs to show him a new run, and also ran in to fellow forum member Kirks who was being pestered by two inch taps for 20 minutes before an 8lb fish made off with his bait. I put Rick into the area that I thought would definitely produce, and settled downstream of him. I t was 9.30 before we were both fishing, and we didn't have to wait too long before one of Rick's rods went over resulting in a fish of 9lb 4. I had high hopes that we would get another fish out, but by 12.05am, it was looking bleak so we called it a night as the rain started to fall.  

25/06/10. River Dove at Tutbury. Phase Full-1.

Not wanting to rush, I arrived around 7.30pm on another cracking warm evening, but I was a little surprised to find someone fishing a bit too close to where I had headed to, to be able to 'get in', so I set off for another swim to find that one also occupied. Swim choice number three was free, but having only fished it once before and not had a thing out of it myself, it was looking like a suck it and see session. For the first couple of hours the only knocks came from bats swooping around, ( one nearly hit me in the face ) and then something bumped into one of my lines leaving tell tale rings as it moved away from it in the failing light. Rick had also turned up, funnily enough to find myself in the peg he was heading for, so he dropped in below me. 

It turned in to another one bite session, as at 11.10pm one of the rods started tapping then stopped, and then started again. Thinking that the fish was rolling the feeder I lifted into a heavy weight which turned out to be the first double of the season at 12lb 1. Although we fished on till 12.30am, neither of us had anything else, but it was a lovely night to be out with that near Full moon blazing down.  

23/06/10. River Dove at Marston. Phase Full-3.

After 12 days of 'pond problems', which have cost quite a lot in both time and money, I finally found myself back on track and headed out to meet up with Danny for my first session on the Dove, in a couple pegs that do produce. The river looked spot on in the warm evening sunshine, yet we knew it wouldn't be easy. I opted for sweetcorn on one rod with just a 2oz lead, whilst the other rod went out with the usual pellet feeder and pellets on the hair, and if anyone has seen Volume III of Barbel Days and Ways by Bob Roberts and Stuart Walker, you will be able to see just how much pulling power they have.

Danny was trying to sit on his hands most of the night, due to the constant tapping away of his rods which were just too quick to strike at. On the other hand I hadn't had a sign of a fish, until 8.30pm when the feeder rod slowly started to pull round, resulting in a fish of 9lb 4. I was certainly pleased as its been a difficult start to the season and now should settle down into full swing.

Danny ended up without a fish of any description, and I never had another bite for the rest of the evening, but the reason was clear as fish began spawning about 10pm and were still at it when we walked of the bank. 

15/06/10. River Trent at Weston. Phase 1stQ -4

Well a great evening to be out waiting turned into a very frustrating one. I landed on the bank just after 9pm to sit and wait for the midnight chimes to ring out heralding the start of the new season.
A poor one on the charts was shown by the lack of activity from any decent sized fish. I started in a far bank shallow gravel run which went deeper from where I was set up and ended up moving about 1.30am after not even having a tap from anything.
The second known swim produced one chub and probably a bream bite which managed to get the two 10mm boilies off without a hook up.

At 4.45am I packed up and headed home to see two guys just arriving, obviously eager to back on the rivers as well.

It was a cracking misty morning sunrise and quite chilly at just 6C, a family of swans with 8 cygnets, roach topping and even what I would assume was this years fry, but the river was quite dead barbel wise which isn't unusual on a poor phase, but at least the weed is not a problem, at the moment. I'll be back out somewhere again tomorrow. 

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