I rather messed up today's planned fishing trip. After the rain on Sunday I had been pondering a day targeted at just barbel. Two rods, lots of hemp, pellets on one rod, boilies on the other, and so on. Three swims primed for this, fished from 2:00pm till 10:00pm in 30 minute rotation.
But overnight, there has been a heavy frost. My immediate thought was that this would not be good for barbel and that I should target chub again. So I topped up the mashed bread mix I had left over from a few day's ago - a most beautiful mix of mashed white bread, crumbed white and brown bread, the water from previous hemp boiling, and about 4 pints of hemp. Off to the river with that and a bag of crust, some flavoured with a sweet nectar syrup that I got from a health food shop over the weekend.
However I had forgotten that the river would probably be up from the previous rain. Indeed it was up about 3 inches and the sort of lovely brown colour that barbel anglers love. As expected, the temperature was down a little on Sunday, so it probably wouldn't have been the best for barbel, but the coloured water also suggested that chub might not go for standard bread mash and crust. Instead I should have luncheon meat, or lobworms or cheese paste - but not crust (even super duper flavoured crust)
I did have a single half full bait box of spam and hot dog sausage left over from a week or so ago but this had gone into a rather gooey mix. But that was all I had that might be suitable, so from 2:00 until 6:00 I fished with that in a number of swims without a single bite. By then I had decided I might as well bait a couple of swims with some mashed bread and so I finished the evening like that. The result? One chub that might have scrapped 3 lbs from my single bite (and on plain bread, not the flavoured).
So not good. I am now looking towards Thursday when I might aim to stay till well into the evening. And I might plan for that on Monday and Tuesday next week when I actually plan to stay till midnight both nights. Weather forecast is for more rain, so perhaps barbel will come back into consideration. Perhaps a fining down river on Monday and Tuesday will turn out to be perfect?