Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘rolling meat for barbel’


The last few weeks haven’t produced much opportunity to fish due to work commitments.  So I’ve had to do the work thing and the family thing, visiting numerous family members (which is certainly no hardship) and basically be Mr Grumps due to the lack of fishing.

I did manage an afternoon and evening trip a couple of weeks backs on the Kennet, which produced just the one bite and resulted in a small barbel of about 5lbs.  After that I did a short evening session on the Lea and despite the river looking very good and the swim also giving me those vibes that make you think you’re definitely going to catch, I only managed one bite which turned out to be a chub of about 4-41/2lbs, a small one for the Lea.

Again this week I found my usual two day session truncated and only managed to get out on the Wednesday.  I had planned a trip with Kevin and we decided on route to try Rainsford Farm on the Kennet.  As we pulled into the car park we realised we had a problem.  There were already 8 or 9 cars present.  We decided however to at least go for a recce and see where people were fishing.  The river looked stunning it’s summer finery.  Rich colours adorned the banks, as thick foliage offered an abundance of cover to wary fish.  The river was relatively clear and through the flowing ranunculus  we could see lovely, enticing gravel runs.  This was the first time we had seen this section in it’s summer regalia and we were very impressed.

However having walked the banks and discovered around a dozen people fishing, we felt a move elsewhere would be better and so we headed off to the Reading and District Angling Association’s controlled section of the Benyons.  We arrived around 2.30-3.00pm and so I decided to fore-go the meat rolling and find a couple of swims to feeder fish. Kevin found a nice spot quite quickly but I carried on downstream for some distance.  Oh for a pack horse in these circumstances, especially with this hot, sticky weather at the moment.  The sweat was pouring from my brow and stinging my eyes as I headed off to an area I had seen previously.  Luckily Kevin had offered to help, otherwise I might still be there in a heap on the banks.

I found a lovely swim on a bend.  The river flowed in from my right and under an overhanging tree and cut a deep marginal gulley right through in front of me and as the bend straightened out it ran under numerous overhanging trees down to my left.  There was a good flow and depth and I felt very confident.

The Kennet

The Kennet

I decided initially to cast downstream and let the bait swing in under the tress.  I used a light feeder and hoped that this would present the bait where and how I wanted it, or more importantly how the fish wanted it.  As I pushed in the rod rests I started to feel stinging on my legs.  I brushed the feeling aside but the stings were getting worse. “Bloody stinging nettles” I thought.  As I looked at the swim I started to realise two things.  Firstly there were no stinging nettles and secondly my legs felt like they were on fire.  It then dawned on my what it probably was and yes there they were-red ants.  I was covered in them and the ground was swarming with the little red blighters.  I had to whip my trousers off to get rid of them (fortunately no women were present, otherwise they may have swooned beyond the point of recovery) and move right back out of the way.  Eventually they calmed down and by moving across I manged to avoid them for the remainder of the day.  My legs were a constant reminder for some time that red ants are not to be messed with!

The downstream rod never produced so much as a twitch, so throughout the remainder of the day I tried numerous positions in the swim.  At one point I dispensed with the feeder and put on some swan shot and flicked the bait upstream of a huge overhanging tree opposite me.  The bait swung right under it and I thought this would give me a good chance of a fish.  However it was not to be and despite trying several other things, I seemed unable to tempt so much as a rattle on the rod top, let alone anything resembling a barbel bite.

As usual I found myself captivated by the scenery and wildlife.  I heard and then spotted a beautiful Red Kite soaring overhead and an array of other bird life.  Then a scrambling sound in the tall grass to my right drew my attention and out popped a stoat.  It stopped to look at me and with total disinterest carried on with it’s foraging.  A few minutes later more sounds of a similar nature pulled my attention to the left and I spotted two stoats running up the path about 4 feet from me.  They were squabbling in the way stoats do and springing into the air as they squealed and screeched at each other before disappearing into the thick tall grass of the adjacent meadow, never to be seen again.  Well by me at least.

Coxless Fours?

Coxless Fours?

Several times throughout the afternoon I was treated to the spectacle of swans plowing through my swim at breakneck speed, as they seemingly chased each other up and down the river.  I was amazed at just how fast they would swim upstream, let alone downstream.  Then a mother and 5 cygnets passed by.  I was convinced in the end they had been watching the BBc’s coverage of the Olympics with Claire Balding (I know how she feels!) and were all fired up for some canoing or kayaking of their own.  Still we have all gone Olympic mad, so why not I say?

As the evening arrived the familiar sound of a hot air balloon being fired up could be heard somewhere behind me.  Eventually the culprit appeared larger than life and steadily rose silently into the sky.  Just the occasional burst from the burners could be heard as the balloon soared high into the evening sky.  With barely a breath of wind it made slow progress through the still evening sky but eventually disappeared from my viewpoint.

Up, up and away

Up, up and away

Earlier on Kevin had contacted me with that delighted sound in his voice that indicated some action and indeed it was.  He had just caught his first Kennet fish of the season, a lovely 8lb+ barbel in near mint condition.  He was overjoyed and I was delighted for him. I wish I had been a bit closer to Kevin, so I could have seen the fish.  Nothing else happened and we had to depart by 9.30pm and head for home.

Read Full Post »


Yes rumour has it that Tina Turner dedicated this song to Ray Walton and I can well believe it.  Geoff and I headed to the Kennet for the afternoon and evening and I was hoping to try out my latest acquisition:  the new RW rolling pin MKII.

Ray Walton Rolling Pin MKII

Ray Walton Rolling Pin MKII

It was a very pleasant day, overcast and with maybe an outside chance of some rain.  I tackled up the Torrix with the pin which was loaded with 20lb Power Pro braid and tied directly to this was a size 2 Korda hook.  I had molded some extra heavy tungsten putty onto the shank and covered it with some shrink tube.  This would hopefully mean that less plasticine would be required.

So off I went fully of expectancy, the mad fool that I am!  I tried numerous swims and failed in all of them.  For those that haven’t tried this method I shall try and explain.  Basically you put on a large piece of luncheon meat, by simply pushing the hook right through and then turning the hook and pulling it back into the meat.  You then cast upstream and put a large bow into the line.  This means that the bait can then trundle downstream, bouncing along the bottom, in a straight line.  If you keep the line too tight to the bait, it will obviously pull it off line and create an unnatural path down the river.

The beauty of the rolling pin is that you can turn the spool and cast out normally and then return the spool to it’s normal position and keep paying off line.  The idea is that that you feel the meat bouncing along the gravel bottom.  You just keep allowing the pin to turn to give line and allow the bait to travel downstream, under tree and bushes and between weed (if there is any).  If you feel the meat is going through the swim too quickly, then add a little plasticine 5 or 6 inches from the hook to slow its progress down.  Bites are often quite gentle plucks but you’ll know it’s different to the normal gravel bumps that you get.  If in doubt strike and strike hard.

The Kennet

The Kennet

Well as I said after a few bite less hours I decided to move into a swim for the evening.  I had found an area of shallow water but with a deeper margin flanked by reeds and heading upstream to a large bridge.  This seemed a good interception point.  So about 7pm I swung out a feeder and a couple of super glued Elips pellets.  10 minutes later the rod top slammed round and a feisty little barbel fought for freedom on the other end.  It was a nice conditioned fish of about 6lbs.  Thirty minutes later and the rod top did it’s thing again and this time it felt a better fish.  After a good scrap I weighed this one and she went 9lb 1oz on the scales and was a stunning barbel.

9lb 1oz

9lb 1oz

That was pretty much the end of the action for me fish wise at least.  I was treated to a rare sight though.  A barn owl swooped down at the back of my swim, no more that 8 feet or so from me, to grab a mouse.  The only sound I heard was as the owl’s talons as they grabbed at the tall grass.  Then it lifted off silently, empty taloned and worked it’s way along the water line in search of another tasty meal.    I also saw what I think were a pair of plovers in the field behind me.  They walked a bit like an upright pigeon and made a funny sort of call.  Having checked the RSPB book I’m fairly certain they were Plovers.

So, all in all a reasonably successful session.  I will persevere with the meat rolling but it may take some time to become even half decent at it.  Practice is the key.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 587 other followers

%d bloggers like this: