Floodwater Success - Ash Morton
After a lot of recent rubbish weather and struggling to catch a few decent pike this winter it’s had me thinking about getting back on the river for a "BIG" Barbel as time is running out and they're piling the weight on. The only problem was that the Trent was in the fields in places and well flooded, I’ve not really done much floodwater fishing as usually at that time of the year I’m oten fishing for other species. By midweek the water level had peaked and I thought about driving over and having an evening session after work on the Friday which would also help me decide what to do fishing-wise over the weekend. Upon arriving at the stretch, it looked massively different to how it would normally, most ofthe pegs were still well under water and it looked un-fishable as I would be situated in the undergrowth for the evening and set-up on the steep muudy bank of which the water had very recently receded from. I had just enough time to have a good walk and scope out a nice swim which was still accessible and so I headed to go grab the tackle from the car. The swim looked absolutely prime as I found a nice looking area which was a fair walk down the stretch and i'd never taken any notice of it in the past, but with the extra water it looked very inviting as an overhanging tree was creating a decent sized slack upto about 2-3 rod lengths out where it met the crease. Upon feeling a lead down, it had some good depth at around 8-10ft and the bonus was that it felt clear of snags. I went in with good sized leads, just in case there was any debris coming down river, so my rods consisted of a 6oz grippa lead. I opted for a lead rather than a feeder because I expected the water to still be really cold due to a lot of snow melt going in the river at the start of the week, so I didn’t want to over-feed by using my usal feeder tactic, along with a long braided hook length, a strong hook and a glugged 20mm The Source boilie wrapped in a matching paste as well as a little PVA bag which completed a simple running rig set-up. I dropped one rod in close in the really slack water by the overhang and the other one was situated on the crease. The water had a bit of colour to it, so I was hoping my smelly paste-wrapped baits would draw something in. I had to wait around 2 hours for the first bite and it was the rod off the edge of the crease, the fish put up a great account for itself in the fast water trying to get downstream and upon netting it I was happy to see that it was a good one, and a January floodwater barbel was very welcome, weighing in at 12lb 2oz it was a chunky fella. At around 8pm my close in rod was away and it felt like a good, heavy fish. Once it was in the net in the darkness I peered in with my headtorch to see a real chunk of a barbel and it took the needle on the scales around to a very pleasing 13lb 6oz, making it my it my 4th 13lb plus barbel of the season. By now it had dropped cold too and I was just sitting out by my rods and was really starting to feel the cold, the unhooking mat was icing over and so I decided to give it until 10pm and then i'd be off home, as usual I packed up a little later than the scheduled 10pm after getting a few knocks on the tips just before it was time, so I gave it another hour, I drove home very happy though with a brace of good doubles out of a flooded very un-inviting looking River Trent.