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First Fish of 2013

January 8, 2013

chub01I took my first river trip of the year today in the hope of a barbel or two. With the very mild conditions we’ve been enjoying, if somewhat wet, the fish have definitely been on the feed.
Carp have been coming out of the lakes, even if I’ve yet to get one, but reports from my English mates catching barbel on the Trent, made me want to get out today to see if I could get one on the Marne.
The problem of late here has been the very high water levels… flooded fields where you can’t get within 500m of the water’s edge. Not easy to fish!!!
chub02But looking on the net the rivers all seemed to be back in their banks.. So I headed off to the Marne with my mate Lolo to see what was what.
We arrived at the river around 9.45 to see the level as low as I’ve ever seen it… at least 1.5m under its usual height… A real paradox in view of all the rain we’ve had. It was clear the barrages had been left fully open and all the flood water was running run off.
The other curious phenomena was that the current was stronger than I’ve ever fished .. 6oz of lead just got washed away on our regular 25m line. We were able to just hold bottom at 5m-10m from the edge.
No doubt they were releasing water from the Lac du Der as well in case we get more floods in the coming weeks.. Ho Hum!! Such is life on regulated rivers.
Our large feeders were filled with aSEMC 3MP DSC mix of ground pellets; soaked mixed pellets, and ground up Quest Baits Crab boilies. Hook baits were 14mm halibut pellets and 15mm Crab boilies with a paste wrap.
Once we were fishing on our first swim I sat back and poured a cup of coffee from my flask. All of a sudden Laurent shouted ‘Bite’ and I looked up to see the right hand rod bouncing. I struck and felt a fish. The combination of the strong flow and my heavy feeder made the fight a bit of a winch affair but soon I netted a nice chub just under 4lb. I also christened my new Korum Barbel landing net.
We continued for another couple of hours on this peg with no more fish, and then after a quick lunch break we moved downstream a mile or so to another swim. Here unfortunately the current was even stronger and after 3 hours with no sign of fish or a bite we called it a day.
Perhaps we should have stayed in the first area; certainly there were more signs of fish.
Anyway I banked my first fish of 2013.

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