Jack Roden enjoyed a phenomenal session on the River Nene, taking a haul of barbel, topped by a stunning 12lb 1oz specimen.
In a recent issue of Angling Times, he shared the story of how his trip unfolded...
“At this time of year, roving is a very popular approach on the rivers, but on a recent session I had a great result by staying in one swim all afternoon and making the absolute most of it.
“Arriving at the River Nene around midday, I walked the stretch in the dazzling sunshine but all I spotted were a few chub and dace, as well as members of the public swimming in the river.
“I decided roving was going to be hot, hard work so picked a likely-looking swim out of the way that held an enticing submerged tree and lots of other little areas to target.
“Tackle for snag fishing has to be stout. A strong hook, coated braid hooklink and a leadcore leader were the order of the day to prevent cut-offs and help conceal the rig. I also sat right on the rod with the clutch tightened, because I knew I couldn’t afford the barbel to take an inch of line if I got a take.
“My opening gambit was a cast upstream of the submerged tree with a boilie hookbait. I allowed the current to take my feeder close to the cover, and 40 minutes in I connected with hard-fighting barbel of around 7lb, following it with another similarly-sized fish shortly after.
“The swim then went quiet for an hour or so, but rather than move somewhere new, I decided to fish the downstream side of the snag. I had a small chub straight away, before hooking something that launched my rod clean out of the rests! It was much bigger, hugging the bottom and stripping line as it charged around the peg.
“A barbel that I could clearly see was into double figures was on the end, and after finally getting it into the net I let it recover in the margins before lifting it out. Weighing 11lb, it was a great result, but the best was yet to come.
“The action quietened after this for a few hours, with only a few knocks from chub to show for my efforts. Again, I contemplated moving, but reasoned that there were probably still fish in the swim – I just needed to be patient.
“I decided to fish the original, upstream side of the snag again, but this time with a longer hooklink and much smaller feeder. The long hooklink allowed my hookbait to reach even further beneath the canopy, while the smaller feeder caused less disturbance on the cast.
“Shortly after making the changes, I started getting knocks on the tip, but with no proper bite forthcoming I had another cast to get a bit more bait into the swim.
“No sooner had I put the rod down than the tip slammed round 90 degrees! It was another big fish – even bigger than the previous barbel – and this one weighed 12lb 1oz. As the evening drew on, I had another barbel of around 7lb and a good chub before the sun began to set and the road home began beckoning me.
“With our rivers busier than ever, if you find yourself in a good swim where the action suddenly dies, don’t move right away. There’s a good chance that there will still be fish there – you just have to tweak your approach to keep them coming.”