With an opportunity to fish the River Trent Jamie leapt at the chance and was soon heading north in search of barbel.
Jamie arrived early morning on the famous stretch of the Trent and initially cast out his rods with single baits and catapulted a handful of matching boilies over the top before setting his shelter up as heavy rain was due any minute.
Once the rain had eased off, Jamie then got to work and set up his spod rod with a 5oz gripper style lead to which he attached a 200mm re-usable cable tie. The idea of this being to attach palm-sized PVA bags of 3-foot Twitch’s Lamprey and Smoked Herring flavoured boilies and feed pellets. This would then be cast out onto the spot and left for 30 seconds for the PVA to dissolve, giving a relatively tight area of feed, much more accurate than catapulting boilies and pellets out.
“I opted to fish a 14mm boilie on one rod, and a 22mm on the other to avoid the attentions of the bream. To ensure each of my hookbaits laid flat on the bottom I cut a slither off of each allowing them to do so.
“I managed to land four barbel during my session, and every one of the barbel fell to the smaller bait fished on top of the bed of feed I had put out, rather than the big bait fished just downstream of it. The biggest two weighed 10lb 10oz and 9lb 6oz, with the other two estimated around 7lb.
“My 12ft 2.25 Martin Bowler Big River Barbel rods were tested to the limit, and they came through in far better shape than I did! Chucking 8oz leads, 60 yards, sounds a doddle in theory but repeatedly doing it, and with accuracy key, it really took its toll on my arms. I opted to use 15lb ESP Syncro XT Loaded for my mainline and 30 inches of 20lb semi-stiff Tungsten Loaded for my hooklink, both chosen for their abrasion resistant qualities. My hook choice was also chosen with strength in mind and I opted for either a size 6 or 8 ESP Cryogen Gripper hook depending on the size of the bait.
“I certainly saw enough to lure me back and try for a bigger fish over the coming months,” Jamie added.