This is the story of my first barbel for about 25 years and my first ever from the River Dove. Yesterday I did family duties all day to secure an evening pass out and headed off to Scropton. Fishing the same swim I did on Wednesday I began to wonder if I was fishing the right bit of the Dove for barbel as through the evening I caught five chub. These fish were not in good condition like the brace I caught last week though and the majority were quite tatty which could have been the rigours of spawning. They were between two and five pounds.
My pass had been secured on the basis of returning with chocolate for Mrs Squire and I was starting to get a bit twitchy about the closing time of Tesco Express as the clock passed 2200. One last cast I thought as I launched my feeder into the gloaming at about 2210. By this time the rod was up against what light was left to see the tip. No mistaking this bite however as the rod went hard over. Straight from the off this was a different stamp of fish and initiallY I just held on struggling to recover line. Slowly I worked the fish upstream hoping the hook would hold. The line was singing as the fish stayed close to the bottom. There was a big weedbed in front of me and I knew I must have the fish beaten to net over this. By now I was in the river but did not notice the water seeping over the top of my wellies. The fish rolled on the surface and my jaw dropped. Taking full advantage of this there then came a run of such power that the Mitchell's clutch screamed and the rod was nearly pulled flat against the water. Round the fish came eventually and in it went at first attempt. It had seemed an age but was over in minutes. It wasnt until I went to pick up the net that I realised what a specimen this was. Up onto the bank and quickly un-hooked it pulled Little Samson down to 8lb 12oz. After the fish was safely returned it was now dark and I was running round the bank whooping as if Frank Lampard's goal had been allowed. I made Tesco's and got the chocolate but it was too late for the Sunday license to allow me to purchase a celabratory Speckled Hen. The final twist came as I was unpacking my basket; Little Samson was malfunctioning and became progressively more difficult to deflect. I know he is not the most accurate measure and in some respects the weight is irrelevant but the net is 20" across so any other guesstimates are welcome. What a night, as Arnie said "I'll be back".
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