Well Sunday's fishing trip was supposed to be on the Avon around the Bideford area, but when I was picked up, my fishing buddy wasn't keen to try there as he thought the water is still low, so with a quick change of plan, and a change of postcode in the sat nav, it was off to Hampton Loade on the severn.
When we arrived the signs didn't look good, as we were getting our kit out of the car, another angler came into the car park, when questioned about his day, his response was 'not even a bite all day mate'. We set off anyway asking other anglers along the way, who pretty much gave us a similar response to the first?
Anyway after choosing a couple of pegs, that had a lot of weed in front of us but what appeared deeper water beyond behind them, we set up?
My choice of setup was to use my feeder rod with the heavy tip, fished down to a 6lb bottom? Terminal tackle was a oval swimfeeder with an additional lead weight to hold bottom, Bait was 16mm halibut pellet, the swimfeeder was packed with hemp & red maggot? Loose fed pellets were fed over the top of the swim.
The swim was dead for the first few hours, only small fish knocking the swim feeder I suspect to get the maggots out quicker? At about 5:45 the action started in what was to be a hectic few hours? My buddy Mark was first to get off the mark, a hard fighting Barbel of 6lb dead. Soon after it was my turn to get a fish, the rod tip bouncing twice then doubling over, after a decent fight the fish was landed, a baby at 3lb 4oz. Fish landed, and rod recast out, Marks rod bent into action again, this time a similar size fish to mine landed and released safely. My turn again, this time no indication on the tip, it just bent double, fish on and landed at 5lb 4 oz. The swim then suddenly died and the bites had finished.
We carried on fishing, with neither of us having any indications, just me still getting small fish knocking the swimfeeder, then out of the blue and with an hour to go before we were going to leave the rod bent over once more, and the fish had a good go at ripping it off the rest, but I was on it and into my third fish? This fish powered off on a couple of runs and took line, but it was safely netted and weighed a new PB for me at 6lb 10oz. Then came the surprise, a roach of 12oz hooked cleanly in the top lip on a 16mm pellet, how the how it got hooked I will never know as the pellet was on a hair rig, but a welcome bonus for the challenge?
The light faded and we headed back, with me arriving back in Coventry at 10:45, tired, but very chuffed?