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Pelamid

Best end rig for upstream fishing....

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.......over rocky ground.

Fished a couple of different swims on the river Lot, France recently for barbel. One was clearly a bouldery swim, the other looked quite clear apart from light streamer weed.

River is low and clear, normal summer conditions here. The barbel spooky and keeping out of sight - but will venture out for a smelly bait! I have found cooked, peeled crevettes great baits, preferably a few days past their best!

Both swims I could only approach the barbel by casting upstream.

Anyway, good barbel lost in both swims. One to a cut trace, the second to the mainline being cut. Trace in both cases 15lb fluorocarbon, not sure of the brand. Mainline just 10lb Shimano mono, it has been adequate most places as the barbel seem to top around 6 lb. I have tried coated braid hook lengths but the barbel seem very wary of these.

When the barbel here finally decide to take a bait they run off with the bait like pike. Missed one 10 metre "run"when I was having a pee! The next bite I hammered and bullied the fish downstream to keep out of the weed. It kited towards the opposite bank and cut my mainline on an unseen rock edge! Clean cut, not dragged and roughened.

I only fish short sessions and two or three fish is enough for me. Blew my chances these last two trips on new swims, want to be better prepared when I go back!

Normally I get my fish to the bank, but these swims need a re-think of my terminal gear and mainline. Maybe my fishing tactics need refined as well.

Any suggestions?

IMG_20190821_174207082.jpg

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In sea fishing there is a technique called uptide casting where a wired lead holds bottom against the tide and a good bend shows at the rod tip. When a fish takes the bait the wires are released, the rod straightens and you strike. Obviously not suitable on the Lot BUT ….

 

5 years ago I posted a video of a technique I use to fish a very tight line. A conventional steel collar is jammed on an inline bomb. The collar catches on the bottom and I wind tight against the lead putting a bend in the rod. When a carp takes the bait, the rod tip straightens and I strike. It works perfectly for me on lakes.

 

I have never tried this on the Lot or any other river but it seems to me worth trying. What do you think?

 

Here is a demo I did in my swimming pool. Watch the rod tip top left. Why I think it works so well is that the small movement frightens the carp and they bolt but it comes up immiediately against the lead and hooks itself.

 

 

 

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I know the uptide technique very well, was there off the Suffolk/Essex coasts when it was being developed. Your idea looks sound to me and I will give it a try soon.

Sorted through the gear I have stored in the garage and found a spool for my Shimano Ultegra 5500 xtb that is loaded with 20lb P line. It's hard and wiry but not too bad casting off a largish diameter spool, don't like using thick line but even more I hate leaving a fish with a hook, trace, swivel and a couple of feet of mainline to tow around!

Also found some Seaguar hard fluorocarbon trace line in 19lb. Hope this does not spook these fish!

Plan on trying a semi-fixed lead (with your uptide mod), more like a carp rig but a slightly longer hook length. It is just possible the fish I hooked last night was a carp as they can turn up anywhere. If it was a barbel it must have been a good one! My Shimano 50-100gr travel rod was bent as much as I have ever seen it, that rod has had plenty of barracuda, stingrays and small sharks in Florida waters.

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2 hours ago, Pelamid said:

My Shimano 50-100gr travel rod was bent as much as I have ever seen it, that rod has had plenty of barracuda, stingrays and small sharks in Florida waters.

Wow it seems that your fishing experiences parallel my own!

I fortunately had a job that meant I had to travel to many different countries. In 1983, not wanting to miss a fishing opportunity, I had a travel rod made for me. It was based on a powerful Zipplex blank that people were using for bass at that time. It is not telescopic like yours but is four sections kept in a length of plastic drainpipe.

It has caught me many many fish including a hammer head shark well into three figures taken using uptide casting methods.

 Although it is 36 years old, it is still being used. It makes a good spod rod and is just about to come into use on a new lake I have found where there are lots of submerged fallen trees. It has the muscle to bully a big fish away soon enough.

 

 

travel rod low res.jpg

 

I have attached a photo of the only souvenir I have of those days. The photo witnesses a fish that was bigger than the one caught by the “Extreme Fishing” chap who set out to catch one in one of his TV programs. I know on a carp forum people are squeamish about killing fish but this one fed several hungry Africans

 

saw fish bill.jpg

Edited by carpepecheur

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3 hours ago, carpepecheur said:

Wow it seems that your fishing experiences parallel my own!

I fortunately had a job that meant I had to travel to many different countries. In 1983, not wanting to miss a fishing opportunity, I had a travel rod made for me. It was based on a powerful Zipplex blank that people were using for bass at that time. It is not telescopic like yours but is four sections kept in a length of plastic drainpipe.

It has caught me many many fish including a hammer head shark well into three figures taken using uptide casting methods.

 Although it is 36 years old, it is still being used. It makes a good spod rod and is just about to come into use on a new lake I have found where there are lots of submerged fallen trees. It has the muscle to bully a big fish away soon enough.

 

 

travel rod low res.jpg

 

I have attached a photo of the only souvenir I have of those days. The photo witnesses a fish that was bigger than the one caught by the “Extreme Fishing” chap who set out to catch one in one of his TV programs. I know on a carp forum people are squeamish about killing fish but this one fed several hungry Africans

 

saw fish bill.jpg

Sounds like you have had some fun on your travels!

Biggest fish I have lost was from an anchored RN frigate off Belize. A tarpon in the 200 lb class took my livebait and gave me the run-around for about 40 minutes. It jumped many times and, in the ships floodlights, was an awesome sight! Plenty of noise as well as they seem to rattle their gills when they jump.

I was using the tip from a Conoflex Cod 5 that Nigel Forrest had cut and spigoted for me, a Fuji snaplock whipped on so I could use the tip as an uptider or add the glass butt to make a beach rod. An ABU 7000 and 20 lb line completed the outfit.

Looking back I honestly think that the tarpon kept forgetting he was hooked. After short runs with several jumps he would return to the ship, most likely to continue feeding on the baitfish attracted by the lights and gash from the galley. 

Eventually he went under the ships shadow and my trace frayed through!

Now I have a Conoflex Safari 45 3-piece as my travel rod and do not go anywhere! Where I live in France satisfies my "fishing soul" quite well!

I brought a few decent carp rods to France - but they are too long for the river! So many trees, the banks are a jungle! A ten foot rod seems optimum, often less is best. Anyway, enjoying the barbel and chub whilst I learn about this wonderful river. Eventually I will get serious about a carp attack - probably!

 

 

IMG_20190523_162615798_HDR_2.jpg

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The similarities between us Pelamid continue. I too have a “Tarpon that got away” story relating to a visit to the Republique de Guinea. I have copied and pasted the story from a book I am writing (but will probably never publish). Like you, I am no longer inclined to travel and look forward to making the best of the opportunities which surround me here near the Pyrenees SW of Toulouse. If you are ever down this way, make contact, and I will buy you une pression. As this is really a carp forum perhaps we should keep other hair raising fishing stories for then.

 

My story:-

 

One day, we found it very hard to catch any bait in our net. We went to the market but, because of bad weather conditions, there were no fish for sale. Someone at the fish market suggested we might ask at a fishing village a little way down the coast.

We set off for that village and beached our modern survey launch alongside a motley collection of dugout canoes. We were taken to the head man and we explained, in the best French we could muster, that we needed some bait for fishing.

Before getting into a discussion about fishing, we were offered some food which it would have been impolite to refuse. Their main sustenance was of course fish. This was preserved by smoking it on a wooden platform covered with banana leaves under which a fire was lit. The fish were smoked whole, complete with eyes and teeth and fins etc and served whole. The smoking process turned the skin a black brown oily colour and it looked most unappetising. The fish did not resemble any edible species we were familiar with. However we had very little chance of refusing what had been placed before us. The fish is eaten cold and pulled off the bone with the fingers but to our complete surprise, that fish was the best tasting food I have ever eaten, before or since.

The head man said that all we had to do to catch fish was to make a lure out of a banana leaf. He then showed us how it was made. The final result was something that resembled a small imitation squid. In fact I had some plastic imitation squid in my tackle box and showed them to him asking if they were any good. He made a big joke of it and insisted that we must be professional fishermen to have such classy tackle and we would have no problem catching fish. I felt this was said in a rather tongue in cheek fashion but my linguistic skills were not up to the occasion.

He told us how to use the imitation squid and where to go to get fish. We thanked him profusely, repaid his hospitality with some cold cokes from our cool box and started to take our leave. Before we did, he said he was sending one of his men with us just to make sure we understood what to do. He was so delighted with the gift of a large supply ice cold cokes that he wanted to offer us something more and apologised for being so poor. I asked him if I could take one of the many turtle shells that were lying discarded around the village. The contents had long since been eaten and there are just so many that you can use as utensils.  I did think that it would polish up well and look rather nice on the wall at home. I was in for a shock as I will explain later!

We set off with his man and followed his rather dubious instructions. Instead of heading out to sea, he insisted on sticking close to the shore at a steady pace. We were to let our lines out behind the boat and let the imitation squid just flap along the surface of the water. I remarked that it was a very unlikely way to catch mackerel or whatever bait fish it was we were supposed to be catching. My suspicions were confirmed when the motor of the outdrive started banging against rocks showing that we were only fishing in a few feet of water. I pulled a face and grimaced at our guide shaking my head. He returned with a grin and nodding of his head urging us to continue.

It happened in a split second. A fish, that was much bigger than me, attacked the lure at speed. It jumped clear of the water and turned a graceful somersault before falling back on my line and breaking it immediately before getting away. When I recovered the power of speech, I asked him what type of fish it was. The answer was a Tarpon, a member of the herring family.  Some herring!

 When I got back to the fishing village I asked my new friend, the head man, if that was the type of fish he normally catches and if so how does he go about it. He confirmed it was their preferred catch and showed me his equipment. It was simply a long piece of very strong monofilament wound around a piece of wood. At one end of the line was his lure made from banana leaf and at the other a simple loop.

His fishing method was to paddle along in his dugout canoe with the loop of the line hooked around his elbow and the line streaming out behind with the lure flapping on the surface. As he paddled, this gave a certain jerking movement to the lure which proves extremely attractive to other fish.

I asked him how big the Tarpon were that he caught.

“Between 60 and 80 kilo” was the reply.

“But surely catching a fish that size on a length of line looped round your elbow must be very painful” I suggested.

“Oh yes” he replied and rolled up his sleeve to show deep scars etched into his skin!

 

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