“A River to Fish”

It was a real hot day in the making, it was 20 Celsius and only 7am, and breakfast was cooking, after a sound sleep in the car and a few barbel the night before in a different area, the plan was to walk the whole stretch of river in search of feeding barbel. So armed with the polarised glasses and a some bait to draw the fish, I would travel light and drop into several swims.
My usual approach, is to feed a little free offering of hemp and put it somewhere in the swim where I can clearly see the bottom and make out fish if they should arrive. After doing this in 3 or 4 usual Barbel swims and not seeing one, I began to wonder what was afoot…
But my suspicions were answered when upon arriving at some shallows, fish were “flashing” and this meant there was probably lots of fish and they were still gathered here from spawning. Watching closely you could count them as they came out from far cover and dropped down from the swim avove, 6 fish were feeding well within 10 minutes or so. Lowering my set-up gently above the fish, they twitched and then fed on with confidence until one of the group sucked in my hookbait and bolted for the far cover!!
The morning was as warm as can be and the fish were happy to feed, the fun had begun. Watching the area where the fish had been before the 6lb fish had spooked them, I made sure to pin everything down and out of sight on the gravel before throwing in some lose feed again. The fish arrived with the sound of the hemp and pellet splashing and landing near their resting area, not so confident this time and hanging back a lot, it took a few more minutes for another Barbel to make the same mistake!

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