The Guardian did an article on the polluted rivers around the UK. The Trent was not on the list, in fact in the last decade or so it’s been getting cleaner. This is both good and bad for the angler like myself. I want my local river to be clean, its best for me and the fish, but it has it’s unforeseen consequences, like impossible clarity.
Yesterday the river was so clear I could see the bottom in eight feet of water. Not good for trotting tares to shy roach. It’s also had a big effect of the ease of predators to rape the river of its natural silver fish and barbel. But that’s not my remit to discuss river policy, and I should be pleased the Trent is as it is.
When you fish in such clear conditions, you must change your habits and how you fish. I still see people casting massive leads in places a one ounce lead will hold now the river is so low and clear. Naturally you have to fish a good size bow in the line, but so what if you do? Those that like to tighten up to the lead will always need three or fours times the weight if thats how you fish.
I managed to get 50 grams to hold the opposite bank last week, yes, a large bow was needed and the boats were a bloody pain, but I proved it worked. An ounce lead will hold directly downstream, you just have to try it. I’d also advise these everyday barbel anglers to drop down to an 8lb main line and 6lb hook-link now. Provided there are no snags and the rod is through action, double figure barbel should easily be landed on such gear. Anglers such as myself have landed many doubles trotting on much lighter gear, it works.
Sitting in the car does not catch barbel either, and yet those that sit away from their rods, still moan the sport is slow. Speak to people that fish the Trent often like Match-Ace Rob Wootton, they will tell you how important it is to watch the tip of the rod for indications so you know what’s going on in the swim?You may have attracted bream or roach if using big baits, has your rig been moved, has the bait gone? You need to work at the fishing now its so clear! Barbel will often take two maggots on a size 16s when a big bait is often ignored.
I had a cracking days roach fishing this week, landing around 50/60 small roach to six ounces. All during the day-time when nothing was doing, often when fishing like this with small baits the barbel turn up. I always have another Acolyte set up, but this time the Plus version with stepped up tackle just in case?I caught on ultra-light tackle trotted on a 4×4 stick float shirt button style shotting. 2lb hook-link on 2.5 main line old school stuff, great fun. I wanted to stay late just to see if the better roach would turn up, but I was on a promise of home made curry and jam home made jam tarts, so not contest really.