Opening season sees record numbers of anglers line the river banks

The river season got off to a flyer last week, with anglers lining the banks in record numbers to take advantage of running water sport.

One of the most dedicated was Doncaster-based Stuart Walker who travelled south to the River Dove for a midnight start.

Stu’s dedication was soon rewarded with a 6lb 5oz chub – a huge specimen for the river – followed by a number of other chub and several barbel to 10lb 6oz.

“It was worth the early start,” said Stuart. “All the fish were caught on single pellets, legered over a mix of baitdropped mini pellets developed with the help of Mistral Baits. We’ve observed a better feeding response from barbel using smaller pellets with varying breakdown rates.”

Elsewhere, on the Warks Avon, Lewis Baldwin had a ‘change of heart’ while driving to the river, and a last-minute switch of venues resulted in a mixed bag of specimens taken on just 2kg of Teme-Severn pellets and 10 boilie hookbaits.

The Midlands rod finished his six-hour session with 13 chub to 5lb 8oz, four barbel, three of which were doubles topped by a 12lb 12oz specimen, and two common carp, including a 16lb 1oz river pb.

“I was driving to a different stretch, but another spot was nagging away in the back of my mind, so I turned the car around – I’m glad I did,” said Lewis.

And on the River Bure in Norfolk Rich Keeble tempted two big chub weighing 6lb 4oz and 6lb on bolt-rigged boilie tactics, part of a 10-fish catch he shared with friend Gareth Goldson. Gareth then switched to perch and, after offering livebaits, took a 3lb 6oz stripey, with five others over 2lb.