My focus for today's fishing was to try and catch a barbel from one of the far downstream swims. Bait was a mix two types of boilie fished over hemp. Arriving at about 2:00pm, I baited four spots, including two that have produced chub in the last couple of weeks. Then I settled in a swim opposite a large raft and fished this for the next hour or so. No touches at all.
A second round of baiting at about 4:00, then a walk to the downstream limit of the fishery for the first time in ages. Three of four very promising chub swim by nearside rafts, and some static bays on the far side - the sort where Thames carp might hang out if you wanted to fish for such things. Another fishless hour spent in one of the swims while I waited for the bait to do its magic - or not.
More baiting, then a move to one of the chub swims. First cast, after just five minutes wait and with no preliminary indications, the rod slammed round. My first thought was that this would far more like a barbel bite than a chub bite. The fish had taken the bait from the top end of a raft and gone downstream so far that it was well under the raft by the time I had struck and got contact. I few hard pulls but then everything went rather solid. Some heaving from several angles at least confirmed the fish was still on. After a minute or so more, I was beginning to think the fish was too well snagged, but then to my surprise, it came free. This also confirmed that it was a chub, not the hoped for barbel, but it was a nice fish of 4-10. Still, now I know that the chub on this stretch will take 14mm seafood flavoured boilies.
No more bites tonight in any of the baited spots, though I fished on till 9:00pm, so the wait for a barbel continues.