God’s Own Bite Alarm…


…That’s the sound of a centrepin ratchet clicking furiously when a barbel takes the bait. It’s something I hadn’t experienced until yesterday. I’ve caught a few barbel over the years when trotting using a ‘pin, but until this season had never used one to leger with. Given the slow start to the barbel season that seems to be affecting rivers across the country, it probably wasn’t the best time to start out using one. Two leger sessions in the first week of the season saw just the one bite, from a carp, and that was a bite where the fish came upstream towards me, so no screaming ratchet for that one.

Things took a turn for the better yesterday, as at last I found feeding barbel. The first fish fell in the early evening, taking a pair of Teme Severn Sausage boilies, and weighed around 4 pounds. Although only a small fish, it was very welcome all the same and fun to play on the ‘pin. I did however have a problem getting it in, as my line managed to get caught up in some other line that was fixed fast to something. Eventually I managed to pull my own line free from the other line and land the fish. I’d reacted to the bite quickly enough that the fish had not started to take line off the reel before I’d hit it, so at this point had still not experienced that scream of the ratchet.

First Barbel Legering a Pin

First Barbel Caught Legering a Pin

Things went quiet after that, until dusk. I’d switched baits to a robin red boilie and a few minutes into the first cast, a fish made off with the bait so fast that the ratchet was chattering away before I had a chance to react. What a lovely sound! This fish was a bigger one at a few ounces short of 7 pounds.

Not sure how a tit got into the photo!

Not sure how a tit got into the photo!

So now my duck is broken, I’m hoping that the fishing can pick up from here. The warmer weather this weekend should help get the fish moving again. One thing was noticeable again though, which was that I had no interference on the baits from crayfish – very, very unusual for this stretch.

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