Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Barbel for August

Well that's the summer holidays out of the way - a trip to Gay Paree for Mrs Edwards and me. Just time to slip in a couple of barbel sessions now before autumn is upon us and other species take over. I've been up to the Ribble twice in the last week or so and had a total of fifteen barbel along with a number of chub and eels.

On the whole, I've been rather disappointed with the average size of both chub and barbel so far. The chub in particular have been very small, without even a fish over four pounds. that's pretty rare for the Ribble, where five pound plus chub are normally quite common.

There were two seals in the river early in the year. A common seal lived for about four months around Ribchester while a grey seal was camped out just above Church Deeps. Seals can do enormous damage when they get into freshwater. They are big and fast and have no trouble catching and eating coarse fish of any size. They eat a lot too, and it is starting to look like these seals have taken a lot of the river's larger chub and barbel. Several friends are reporting poor catches and smaller than average fish.

Things didn't go too badly yesterday though. I fished from about three in the afternoon until midnight on a river that was around two feet up and thickly coloured. Weather was dry, warm and with heavy cloud cover - perfect conditions really and the fish responded. Nine barbel were caught in all with the best ones going 8lbs 1oz, 9lbs 7oz and this one of 10lbs 10oz. Several of the others were over 7lbs so perhaps all is not as black as it's being painted on the Ribble.

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