The Glorious Sixteenth....

Bob Roberts and I were stood on the Daiwa stand at the Northern Angling Show. During a lull in talking about rods and reels we got into conversation with an angler, Alfie Naylor, about his catches on the River Trent. Very big chub were mentioned which immediately got Bob’s undivided attention, followed by tales of hard fighting carp which did exactly the same for me, writes Daiwa consultant Brian Skoyles.

Over the years I’ve caught the odd carp or two, from ponds, lakes, rivers, in various countries, but River Trent carp have been my nemesis, despite several attempts, major baiting schemes etc. I had still never had a River Trent Carp, could this be the chance I had been waiting for? We exchanged telephone details and agreed to get in touch over the coming weeks, we had a plan.

Basically, the plan was to fish together on the 16th June (What better way to start the river season?), with Alfie doing all the work. We met up in mid-April and walked areas of the river to check out fancied spots. I contacted Hull Particles to arrange for 8 large bags of Hemp and Maize to be ready for 1st June, which were to go to Alfie for a week’s prebaiting prior to the 16th. Alfie also contacted the club (Newark and District Piscatorial Federation) to sort out chosen swims, it was just a case of waiting for the 16th and keep our fingers crossed re the weather and the river conditions.  As we stood early morning, on the 16th, looking at the river our prayers had been answered, the weather was overcast but warm with just a gentle breeze blowing, and more importantly the river looked fantastic, time to get fishing. As I sat watching the two rod tops gently reacting to the flow, it was easy to understand why it is called the Glorious 16th.

We had all been looking forward to this day for several weeks, all we needed was a fish or two to complete the perfect picture and we didn’t have long to wait. I was first away with a decent chub, not our target species but I was happy to get off the mark. Soon after I heard a shout from Bob, he was into something much bigger. His rod cast across to the far side had been set up to target the carp, the pads lining the margin looked perfect, but this wasn’t a big carp but a big barbel. We weren’t complaining, it was a stunning fish a shade under 12lbs. Alfie was next, this time is was our target species, as he managed our first carp of the day, then Bob was in again, with another double figure barbel. As Alfie said to me, this could turn out to be a real red-letter day, and he was to be proved right!

In actual fact for a while things went quiet, not a problem, it gave Bob chance to display his on the bank cooking prowess. MasterChef does bacon and egg butties!  With the morning coming to a close, we thought our chances were over till later in the day, but we were wrong as a gentle tap on my left-hand rod, developed into a proper bite and I was playing what was obviously a good fish. Bob got on the camera, Alfie on the net, and after some anxious moments I had my River Trent carp... pure magic!

Later in the day I had my first barbel of the season, Bob had also had some hard fighting bream and Alfie some more chub action. We’d put a lot of thought and planning into this trip, what with the preseason visits, the prebaiting, and the very early start, but it had all come together and it had paid off. All from a chance meeting at the Northern Angling Show.  Alfie had done us proud, I suspect it won’t be the last time we get together for a fishing trip, but will it be as good as this one? Only time will tell but I’m sure we’ll have fun trying!

Bob, Alfie and Brian have been back and had even more success, watch this space for part 2.