So begins a new chapter for me over the next week or two, a lot of questions about myself and where I will be heading as an angler will be answered. 

Monday 30th July is the day where I’ll find most of these answers as my feature with ‘Improve Your Coarse Fishing’ draws ever closer, I approach it with optimism, enthusiasm but also with an air of nervousness.

I have never been in a position to further my angling career via magazine features or anything like that before, so the notion that 40,000+ readers could see my antics on the river bank scares, but at the same time excites me to be fair.

My feature will include a very under-used method that I really rate for barbel fishing, I employ a lot of my own ideas when fishing, and this is just one of them. I hope, of course providing I do well enough that I’ll be in September issue of ‘Improve Your Coarse Fishing’ whilst getting some great memories and photos taken on the day.

Not forgetting also that the 3-F-T’s are being sent to the ‘field testers’ next week (Tuesday and Wednesday) for review, indeed it’s a very exciting time and one I look forward too immensely, the future is certainly bright, people catching on my baits and a feature that is abundant with barbel will certainly make my week. This is a pivotal week for me and what I do, and profess to do well so the pressure is very much on, however I do approach everything with an ‘err’ of caution, sometimes fishing can have a way of biting you in the bum.

I will also be out fishing every day before that and I hope to take some pictures for another feature for the ‘My Quest For Barbel’ blog and maybe some video content for the video section of my new site.

That brings me neatly onto the subject actually. 

Things are really moving in the right direction, although there’s been a large amount of hurdles to overcome, such as a vast amount of pictures that I aim to really crack on with when I’m back also. 

Many new sections, including guiding or coaching days with one of the ‘My Quest For Barbel‘ team, acting as an agent I will employ people from around the country to take the novices who want to learn how to fish for barbel and the many techniques and enjoyable ways of fishing for them. This service and team will be known as the “Green Coats”.

My new logo for 3-F-T is also about to be designed, and the range of groundbait and boilies initially, leading onto the liquids and pellets in the future are set to be launched with this new site.

Many of the baits, groundbaits or methods I will use to catch these hard fighting barbel will include a feature of me actually fishing with them to prove that they work, so whilst it’s taking an awful long time to launch and be out into the public domain it will definitely be something worth waiting for, for me and most importantly for you the followers.

The content is relevant, current and informative as possible. I am also looking forward to trying to conjure my days fishing on a feature or for diary updates in the best possible way, so first everyone can understand it (For novice angler’s who ‘follow’, this is important) and secondly trying to capture the magical surrounds and what makes us anglers to get up out of bed at the crack of dawn or leave the house in the dead of the night to sample the delights of barbel fishing. The object to make you feel like you’re there, experiencing it all with me. Lastly and most importantly to learn something new (no matter how small) and enjoy it.

I arrive on the 26th July, starting a session on the Trent through Friday and perhaps giving it a night until Saturday. I aim to fish the Derwent also and producing a feature on this location as I’ve been asked to do by the club, so my diary is pretty much full and I’m looking forward to getting back and catching some barbel again.

Since the start of the season my sessions have been staggered with little sessions here and there. Whilst on a business meeting in Shrewsbury, Myself, Patrick Oliver (Three Rivers Angling Adventures) and Chris Martin sampled the upper river Severn (a first for me) and travelling light and using a method that Patrick Oliver has actually made his own over the last year or so, ‘rolling meat’. I have used this method before, many years ago when fishing the river Derwent, however not in the way that Patrick uses it, which I must admit, is simplicity itself and works very, very well on the small to medium rivers such as the Derwent, Dove and Severn as he’s proved with magnificent captures on this method.

I have however (which I guess is a shame really) been guilty of neglecting this great method, almost forgetting of its existence, until now. I have seldom used it on the Trent for a variety or reasons, namely the stretches I fish do not lend itself to this approach due to space restrictions and snags that are abundant on some areas of the Trent. I did however enjoy the way Patrick told me to fish and use the method and will certainly use it again in areas that will allow me to do so, particularly on the smaller rivers.

The method helped me to produce four barbel, three chub and one pike which took a liking to my meat for some reason.

It really wasn’t about the size of the fish, that wasn’t the reason while we were there, the reason one day will surely come out but for now I’ll not disclose it as it really has no relevance to this post.  

Here’s a couple of pics of the barbel I caught.

Beauty in miniature, a barbel of around 5lbs. 

And the last one (Pictures only of two of the fish), which I think was slightly bigger, the other two were the same size as above so no reason for photos. 

A lovely conditioned Upper Severn barbel of around 6lbs (shame about the pug nose), thanks to Patrick Oliver for the pictures on the day!

I then ventured out onto the Trent for a few hours (I had my daughter with me so I had limited bank time) and had this Five pounder on my rubby dubby boilies (tried everything else to no avail), not a big fish but very welcome on a hard day that I must admit had me worried for a blank, lost one other and had this last knockings.

Saved me from a blank!

So the next time I talk to you will be after the most important week in my fishing career to date, wish me luck!

I’ll talk to you all soon of how it all went, hopefully so well that I won’t have to say too much, as the magazine will be printing it!

I will however be putting up more features, and I will indeed be posting of how my other sessions had gone on here though. 

Until then tight lines and stay safe,