A bit of a change
My choice of venue was easy. Scunthorpe Police Angling Club control the fishing on a stretch of River Trent at Lady Pitt Farm. It is a lovely spot, with a stunning weir pool that holds a large head of barbel. A quick phone call to the club secretary sorted out the necessary permission to go ahead with the feature and we were in business. We arrived, just after first light, unlocked the padlock and slowly made our way down the track across the field, disturbing the Lady Pitt sheep that stared at us sleepily, not taking kindly to having to move. The Trent was running low and clear, but the weir looked lovely in the early morning sun. We had arranged to meet Simon Mattison who has extensive knowledge of Lady Pitt and the weir in particular, he was confident we would catch.
What were we waiting for? Time to get the gear out of the car and get fishing. If you mainly carp fish, then I can thoroughly recommend a bit of barbel fishing, and you don’t need to worry about tactics either, because on lots of rivers you can easily modify your carp fishing gear/rigs to cope with a lot of river barbelling situations. For the weir we were fishing, we were advised by Simon that 2oz leads would hold, but that there were snags close under the weir so strong line would be essential. I set up my two Infinity Barbel rods with 12lb Sensor Clear mainline and 10lb Korda IQ Soft hook-lengths. Leads were attached using Korda lead clips and the hooks were size 10 Wide-Gape barbless. Baits were either Ellipse pellets or glugged Trigga Ice 14mm boilies. To get the fish hunting out our banded pellet hook-baits or hair rigged boilies we made up some PVA funnel web bags which were simply hooked onto our hook-baits. As the sun began to warm the ground and dry off the early morning dew our first casts landed in the turbulent water just off the weir sill. The 2oz leads were holding easily as the rod tips nodded gently, when one of Graham’s rods wrenched over …. our first barbel of the day was on, and angry, very angry, as it powered off through the streamer weed not far from the weir. By now James had arrived and he got busy with the camera as we got on with the business of catching barbel, plus some lovely chub, and even a bonus carp. It didn’t take him long to get all the pictures he wanted. It was time to relax and just enjoy the fishing.
It was a fabulous day, our tally of barbel and chub steadily increased. Fabulous, hard fighting fish that wrenched the rods over, and tested our gear to the limit. All too soon the sun started to set over the weir, creating wonderful shimmering swirls of orange and silver water. We reluctantly packed away, and steered the car back up the track waiting once again for the sheep to decide to get out of our way. No bivvies, bed-chairs or rod-pods, but a day's fishing we will remember for a long time. If you fancy a bit of a change, I can think of two anglers who would thoroughly recommend it!