Friday, 26 November 2010

Hunting Barbel On The Seine

On the way home from Carping on the river in southern France we made an overnight stop just outside Paris so as to break up the journey prior to catching the ferry home.

As it happens we were right next to the river Seine, Robert was far too tired to consider fishing as it was only an overnight stop, I however just had to have a go and as I had an afternoon in front of me I got out my Extremis Barbel rods and decided to search out some likely looking spots for a chance of a Seine Barbel.

I have never fished this river before and it is certainly a shock to the system compared to the other french rivers I have angled on. I have fished the Thames regularly and I'm used to the boat traffic on there, but the size of boats on the Seine make Thames boat traffic look like toys compared,massive  container carrying vessels, some with control towers like aircraft carriers,creating wash and waves like I have never seen on a river.

After two hours of looking about,I decided on fishing next to an overhanging tree, not too far out,more or less tight alongside it,trying to get some protection from the boat traffic and their drag and wash.

Opting to fish 12lb daiwa Sensor with a 5oz gripper lead, so I could maintain some stability with the drag of the boats as they came through and hook link would be the ever faithful Drennan sink braid and a size 6 Talon Tip.

I was considering what baits to use and knowing of the head of Bream in the Seine I did nearly consider a 20mm bait, but decided instead to grab a bag of Spicey shrimp and prawn boilies in 15mm and fish these with some paste of the same wrapped round it.

The bottom was rocky with a nice gravel area that sloped out around the side of the tree and felt a rather good area to get a whisker from,whether it would produce was another matter.

Not having much in the way of bait left I was going to feed in some loose boilies as well as re-cast every hour using mesh bags filled with a mixture of crushed old boilies as well as some shrimp and prawn boilies.

I must admit that the Seine looked indomitable,I don't think I have been more intrigued with a river and despite feeling way out of my comfort zone the challenge felt a good one, one I would love to repeat again at some point to understand and learn this river more.

Late afternoon passed me by as did the many barges and container vessels, it was quiet and there was a very cool wind blowing, looking down at my margins I could see many leaves strewn about making me consider checking my bait to see if it was getting covered up, however all remained still, not so much as a pluck.

As light faded the isotope on my rod shimmered across the watery backdrop and it started to rain heavily,I did consider calling it a day at around 9pm when something looking like an mini ocean liner steamed past me, the waves carrying over the bank and on to the tips of my shoes, but I decided to carry on for at least a couple more hours,why not? I was wet anyway and the conditions weren't far off being what I like, I was not going to give up and carried on recasting and feeding the spot lightly.

At 11pm I could have sworn the rod tip plucked,the isotope playing havoc with my eyesight,I would have prefered to had my bite alarms instead,but they were all packed away, I looked again yes a subtle pluck, but from what?

The answer became evident in the next five minutes,with an all to common three foot twitch.
I was into a fish that took a long powerful run and hugged the bottom,"yes!" I said to myself, the fish carried running out into the main water,I felt the weight bouncing across the rocky bottom, this was not for the feint of heart as yet another long run followed, but gradually and tentatively I played it slowly to my margins, eventually the head of a nice looking Seine Barbel broke the surface,"not bad not bad at all" I said to myself.

As I slipped the landing net  under it I was very happy as I did think I might fall flat on my face in catching one from this river.Whilst not a double at 9lb 7oz I couldn't care less,it was a nicely formed and fighting fit Seine Barbel, I was absolutely made up, this was a lovely way to round things off.

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