The Glorious 16th Part2 … Simply Unreal!

I hadn’t intended to spend much time on the River Trent early season, but Bob Roberts, Alfie Naylor and myself had had such a great June 16th that as I drove away any thoughts of getting onto my carp syndicate lake were being overtaken by when could I get back on the Trent? Alfie’s hard work and local knowledge had produced the goods, it seemed daft to not make the most of the opportunity we had, a second visit to the pre-baited area was called for, writes Daiwa Consultant Brian Skoyles.

After several phone calls a second date was fixed. Bob was not able to make it as he was already filling his boots with big Trent chub, but Alfie and I had a plan. Our second trip would concentrate on an evening session. I would get down mid-afternoon, to get some bait in the swims and Alfie would come straight from work as soon as he could get finished. In-between times Alfie would continue to pop down to the swims and keep a bit of bait going in.

The day before our planned second visit the weather was awful, with torrential rain all day, I kept an anxious eye on the river levels website. The river was rising, but not to worrying levels, the trip was on. As I arrived and gently drove along the muddy track, parked up, got out of the car and slipped over in the mud I wasn’t sure this trip was a good idea. It was still raining hard, but the river looked great and common sense was never one of my strong points so it was on with the waterproofs and out with the gear. 

It took several trips down the very steep and slippery path, using spare bank sticks as pitons, to get my gear into the swim, but eventually I was sorted and spent a while with the bait dropper rod getting a mix of hemp, maize, pellets and boilies into the swim. I sat down under the brollie, I was wet, muddy and sweating buckets, once again I doubted whether fishing was a sensible hobby for an OAP, but what was to happen over the next few hours was to convince me it certainly was!

As I sat recovering from my exertions I was able to sit and take in the conditions. Despite the rain, the river looked awesome and I had fish in the swim. I’d seen several top, and there had been several sharp taps on the rod tops. There were no longer any questions about why I was there, it was just perfect, especially when I got the classic three-foot twitch as a powerful fish shot off down river. Over the next hour or so I had two good barbel and two chub, it was obvious that there were a lot of fish in the swim.

I had just recast, when another good bite had me connected to another powerful fish and I was in complete control until my second rod also bent over as the reel spool started to spin. From total calm and control to total panic and chaos in a second …. magic!

Somehow, I managed to land both fish in the one net and stood there in total amazement, I had a brace of stunning double figure River Trent common carp, I was over the moon and at that point my phone went. It was Alfie, he was on his way from work and did I want fish and chips bringing down.

“Forget the fish and chips, and get yourself here as soon as you can” I said. “The fish are feeding like mad and you need to get fishing”

With Alfie only a few minutes away I popped my two carp into retention slings and got reorganised. I’d only just got a rod recast, when it was off again. I soon realized I was playing my third Trent carp of the trip as I turned to see Alfie coming down the path behind me.

“This is simply unreal”, he said.

We did some pics and Alfie got sorted, surely this sort of action couldn’t continue, and for a while it did quieten down, but it gave us time to catch our breath and reflect on what had just happened.

“Simply unreal”, said Alfie.

Over the next couple of hours between us we had several chub plus a second barbel to myself and a specimen bream to Alfie. Dusk wasn’t far off, we had little time left, when my right-hand rod lurched over. I grabbed the rod and in truth couldn’t do anything with it as a powerful fish headed down stream. This was a very special fish as I very carefully tightened the clutch in an attempt to slow it down. I have no idea how much line that fish took but by the time I had slowed it down I had serious doubts I would get it back in front of me.

“Simply unreal”, said Alfie.

Gradually I made ground and eventually I had the fish back in front of me. I was by this point praying to the God of hook-holds especially after we got our first glimpse, not a barbel but a big carp. For a second time it powered off downstream, my legs turned to jelly! It seemed an age till it was back in front of me, but it just wouldn’t get its head up. Alfie, stretched out and got close with the net but again it went off, but it was tiring, surely third time lucky and it was in the net.

We stood, just staring into the net, when Alfie’s buzzer sounded. I grabbed the net from Alfie and he grabbed the rod. Another epic fight and this time a superb barbel. We both burst into laughter!

“Simply unreal” said Alfie.

By now the light was rapidly failing.

“Let’s take some pics and call it a day”, I said, when Alfie’s other rod lurched over. Another tense fight, this time a seriously big chub, which turned the scales to exactly 6lbs. What a session!

“Simply unreal” said Alfie.

It was the early hours of the morning when I drove onto my driveway. The car had that wet slime smell that only an angler can appreciate, but did I care, not a bit. It had been a session I will never forget. A River Trent twenty and some stunning back up fish for both myself and Alfie. I owe Alfie a big thank you for all his organisation and prebaiting, it had been brilliant to share the session with him.

Brian Skoyles (June 17)

Ps. In case you’re wondering why this part two is called “Simply Unreal”, well it’s the number of times Alfie said “Simply Unreal” during the evening