September Success - Jim Mathews

September is good month for a wide range of species, as Jim Mathews proved with a stunning 12lbs 6oz barbel from a recent trip to a Derbyshire river. The Essex all-rounder decided to concentrate on rivers after a brief campaign for eels came to an end during August. Jim explains,

“Targeting various species throughout the year is both rewarding and frustrating in equal measure. Sometimes you pick the right venue at the wrong time, or the species you’re aiming for the conditions you’re faced with simply don’t suit. Consistent success is about matching all three. It was evident this summer that the lack rain meant the barbel rods barely left their place in the garage, but those hot days and sultry nights were perfect for anguila anguila. Some of you might feel that I need my head read to fish for eels and up until this summer, I would have agreed with you, but it’s amazing how much you can get into it. My biggest piece of advice would be to use barbless hooks to help in the unhooking process and I used both the Guru MWGs and Korda Wide Gape B depending on bait size. They fight really hard and you need a hook that won’t let you down. In short, I had reasonable success fishing either worms or small roach heads for fish to 4lbs 6oz. In short, I’m definitely going to have another go next year.

With a trip to Derbyshire pre booked for a barbell trip in mid-September, I was hoping for cooler days, a bit of rain and therefore some colour to get those whiskers really feeding hard. It wasn’t to be, but focusing on an overhanging bush in a deeper section of the river, I baited with a mixture of hemp, sweetcorn, pellets and Baitworks Kingfish boilies. The business end was a dumbbell wrapped in matching paste and due to the weed, I went for a Korda inline lead set-up that helps minimise the chances of the barbel getting their head in green stuff. I was more than happy with a rare daylight appearance from one of its residents and I can’t wait for an opportunity to return.”