June Diary

June 30, 2013

14th June

Following the success with tench the previous weekend, I was keen to get back on to peg 6 and catch a few more large tincas. As the mobile home was now booked solid till September my window of opportunity was narrowing.


Waiting for the Tench to bite


As I’m not really a morning person I didn’t manage to get myself to the lake until 9am. I started by firing out several Spomb loads of hemp and sweet corn to my respective spots.

I took my time setting up, pruning a few willow branches to make casting easier. I placed two Method feeders as I had on the previous occasion, baited with balanced fake corn. I quickly started to receive single bleeps and the swinger moved a centimetre two.  This carried on for a while until it finally gave a positive bite and I banked a crucian of just over 4lb. Less than an hour later the same rod produced a slightly bigger fish of 5lb 2oz.


First tench of 7lb 3oz… Well pleased!


Next the buzzer on my distance rod…(all of 30m) sounded and a different species had found my groundbait. I then had three large slabs on the trot.. 7lb 5oz; 7lb 04oz and 6lb 9oz.


Second Tinca, curiously at exactly the same weight, but definitely not the same fish.


Then the margin rod erupted into action giving me a full blown run. I lifted the rod and the fish made a bee-line for the overhanging trees. Side strain was successful in preventing it snagging up. I moved as far left as I could to get better pressure. I was pleased to have kept the 12lb line I use for barbel on the rod as well as the 15lb braided hook link. I felt the fish coming up in the water under the pressure and finally is boiled on the surface freeing itself from the straggly branches. It had been touch and go whether it reached sanctuary. Except for a disaster now the battle was won. A cracking tench rolled into the net. At 7lb 3oz I was delighted.

I managed a couple more large bream, one was a real lump of 8lb 8oz…. I even took a photo of it.


A big nobbly Slab at 8lb 8oz


The day was drawing on and I slowly started to pack up my gear. This was just when the margin rod once again ripped off. This turned out to be my second big tench, which strangely weighed exactly the same as the previous one 7lb 3oz, but was definitely a different fish.

20th June

After a morning of persistent and heavy rain, I was getting really bored stuck indoors. Around midday I looked outside and things looked to be clearing up a bit. So I chucked the tackle in the car and shot off to my local river that’s only about 6 miles from home. Its been very frustrating not being able to get out on the Meuse, but as its over 100kms from me I don’t want to go up for a wasted journey. The local river Aisne is therefore a good fall back. I don’t really know its potential either, but I’ve had a few nice fish.
Anyway it gave me a chance to try out the new Fox Warrior S barbell rods I got for my birthday.


A small barbel … but the first from the stretch.


The first peg I chose was one my mate Séb had shown me a few weeks before. There seemed to be some activity so I cast out with pellets on one rod and a paste wrapped Rahja Spice boilie on the other. My friend Shaun Harrison has been having some great results on the Rahja so I was hoping it would do the trick here too.
The first bite came when I was on the phone with Laurent, and turned out to be a small chub of 2lb 4oz. After a quiet hour or so I had a bite on the pellet, but it got off… probably another chub. I cast back out with pellets on both rods and right away I had another small chub of 2lb 9oz. After an hour of more the activity seemed to have dried up and I was getting no more knocks on the rod tips.

I decided to try another swim about 50 yards up stream. Out went the rods with the pellet and boilie hookbaits to see which they preferred in this swim. Quickly after a few knocks, I had a third small chub of just over 2lb.
After about 30 minutes the same rod produced a slightly better chub of 3lb 2oz. No barbel though. I could feel a thunder storm brewing, so not wanting to get caught in it, I quickly packed up and managed to get back to the car just as the first heavy drops of rain fell.

21st June

Our weekend on the Meuse had to be cancelled as the river had gone into an unseasonal flood, bursting its banks in several places. This summer is decidedly wet, and the rivers have been high and coloured since before the winter.
I therefore knew I’d not be able fish at the weekend. The following day however, as my wife was working I decided I’d go back and try the Aisne where I’d fished the day before.  I was tied up for the morning looking after my daughter.. a trip to the riding club and then to the station so she could go up to see her friend. And finally I had to make a trip to the lakes to welcome a group of Dutch anglers for a few days.

By 2pm I had finally finished all my obligations and was able to head out to the river for a few hours. My aim was to look for a new swim to try. But after a bumpy ride down the track as far as my 4×4 would go, I could not find a fishable swim… it would have taken a few hours with a strimmer & chain saw to cut back enough vegetation to fish.  This was not possible, or probably allowed, so I turned around and made my way backup stream to see if I could find anywhere promising.
After a further 30 minutes of looking I decided to cut my losses and to go back to the second swim I’d fished the day before. I wasn’t set up till nearly 3pm. The same baits as the previous day were cast out and I quickly had a bream of about 2lb. I recast both rods and the boilie rod pulled round and line started to strip of the reel. I was into my first barbel from the stretch. Not a big fish at just over 4lb, but a welcome one. I took a couple of quick photos, and recast both rods.


A pristine Common


My phone rang and it was Laurent. Now almost every time he calls when I’m fishing I get a bite, and this time was no exception. I had just said ‘Hello!” when the boilie rod tore off. The fish set off downstream at a rate of knots. I put on side strain and it boiled on the surface about 30m from me. It hen turned and started to swim upstream towards me. Soon I had it zigzagging in front of me. It gave a great scrap on the rods despite the 2.25lb test curve. It finally went into the net. Not a barbel but a pristine river common of 14lb 6oz. I can only imagine how a barbel of this size would fight.

I cast back out but other than a few chub knock I had no more action, but it had been a productive short session.

28th June

As I said above the Meuse weekend had to be cancelled, but Laurent and Yanou went to the Marne instead. They did quite well, not for the barbel but for carp, banking a few nice fish. Another angler we know had had some barbel though from the area to over 7lb.
I still wasn’t sure If I’d go back the Aisne or head for the Marne. Finally my radar took me to the Marne on an area I last fished in September. This time I dropped in on the opposite bank, as the beach I’d fished last year was still flooded.


A small Marne Barbel


9am and I put out half a dozen bait droppers of hemp, pellet and crushed boilie. Both rods were baited with Rahja and paste wrap. There were loads of fish moving the area really seemed to be crawling with them. As I was reading a book to pass the time My reel screamed and I was into my first barbel. Not a big fish again at just over 5lb.
The second bite on the same rod was a small chub of 3lb 6oz. After a few recasts of the feeders to keep the bait going in, the same left hand rod ripped off very fast. The fish hit the flow and stripped a load of line off the spool. With this power I doubted it was a barbel. It did cross my mind it could be a catfish, but then I gained some line and when it broke the surface I saw from its colour it was a carp. I had a few anxious moments on the very steep and slippery bank, wut it eventually went into the net. It was a fairly long (for its size) and thin mirror. It went 12lb 5oz and was a great bit of sport on the barbel rods.


A lean hard fighting river carp


Things went quiet after the carp, so I tried alternating pellets and boilies. Eventually I had two more small barbel of 4lb & 2lb and a small chub again around the 3lb mark.

Well July is nearly on us and I still can’t believe how high and fast the rivers are. I’m hoping with the drier weather forecast for the coming days they’ll start to reach some kind of normality.

Tight Lines



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