Making The Most Of The Mild Autumn Weather

Recent rainfall prompted Tom Aldous to head to the banks of the Kennet, in hope of catching a big barbel.

Toms Barbel

“As I expected, the river was carrying a bit of extra water and colour from the recent rain. I cast out the rods just before darkness, and then down came the rain. Sadly no bites came during the night, so I decided to try a moving bait.” Tom explained.

Tom switched to a simple setup consisting of just a couple of shot and a size 6 Super Specialist hook, to which a big piece of meat was threaded on using a long baiting needle.

“I cast slightly upstream and trundled the meat down to a spot I expected to find barbel. The meat suddenly came to  a stop, then I felt a good pluck. I lowered the rod and payed out a bit of line, then line tightened up and I struck. The fish took off downstream and all I could do was cup the spool and hope the fish wouldn’t find a snag. The barbel eventually surfaced and I guided the fish to the net. I was so over the moon. I gave it a few well earned minutes rest in the net. The scales swung around to 9lb 2oz, an equal personal best. Not huge, but I was absolutely over the moon!”

alloy_stickA couple of days later, Tom headed out again, this time to the banks of a small Thames tributary to trot for dace.

“My trotting setup consisted of an Alloy Stick float with a shirt-button shotting pattern and a Red Maggot Hooks To Nylon in size 18. I started to trickle out maggots, little and often, and it wasn’t long until dace were flashing. The first couple of trots through resulted in minnows, but then the dace moved in. Nothing huge but with none under 5oz it was great sport.”