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Ade Kiddell Blog- January 2019

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Ade Kiddell Blog- January 2019

After a relatively mild winter so far with only an odd frost, winter has arrived in the form of a good few inches of snow! No problem, the larder is well stocked and the log store is still half full, we will be fine for a few days that’s for sure. Here in the Ardennes it's well possible to be snowed in, so we keep well stocked up.

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Granddaughter Florence visited over the new year period and as always wanted to go fishing, so wrapped up warm we ventured out into the garden for a few hours. Basic feeder fishing; I had hoped for a few bites and we weren't disappointed, with a few skimmers and an odd better bream. Unfortunately we lost a much better fish, I suspect a big carp picked up our bunch of maggots and was unstoppable as it powered off, a hook pull ending the action.

Early in the new year with the river looking spot on I decided to try for a barbel, this time of year it’s about attraction rather than feeding, so I set out with a barbel groundbait mix heavily scented with monster crab, but with very little feed content. My favourite hookbait in these conditions is small pellet, 8mm is perfect, the cold water means they will last 30 minutes or so on the hook.

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First cast resulted in a nice chub, whilst I was returning that the other rod had an indication that resulted in a rod wrencher and a hooked barbel. A spirited scrap ended up with a nice winter barbel of over 6lb, in cracking condition. I managed two more barbel and another chub, nice rewards for the effort.

That barbel was another important fish as it’s the 24th consecutive month I have landed a barbel, once seen as a fair weather only fish the barbel is actually catchable all year providing you pick your conditions and alter your tactics to suit. As I said it's often about attraction rather than feeding and definitely hook-baits to suit the conditions, small hook-baits in colder clear conditions and larger high attraction baits in flooded, coloured rivers. Next month could be the toughest yet but with it being the 25th consecutive month, rest assured I will be giving it my best shot to reach the silver milestone.

The Environment Agency are currently running a consultation on the future of the close season, I am a firm believer that the rivers should be open to fishing all year. Whilst I appreciate some will say the fish and wildlife need a rest, I think the anglers’ presence on the river bank will have a positive effect, making it harder for illegal fishing and predators to decimate river fish stocks.

Should you wish to partake in the survey its available online here

https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/fisheries/consultation-on-the-review-of-the-close-season/?dm_i=3O4M,I0XS,51ZR1R,1Z07T,1

Fishing wise I last wet a line a couple of days ago; with the snow forecast I thought I might make the most of it and decided on an afternoon after roach in the local canal basin. I decided to fish a pole with a simple 1gram rig and, with a little colour in the water, maggot on the hook. Interestingly I am still using maggots I picked up at Angling Direct Norwich in early December.

To start the session I fed five orange-size balls of a dark groundbait mix consisting of Sonubaits Super Feeder Dark mixed with brown bread crumb, added to the mix was a can of hemp and half a pint of dead red maggots.

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The first half an hour was fairly slow with only an odd fish but I could sense the swim was building in the tell tale signs of the oil from the groundbait rising and disturbing the surface. It soon became a fish a chuck and in the end I had a cracking net of winter roach, over a hundred fish averaging 3-4 oz with the odd better fish. A great way to spend a winter Sunday afternoon, along with a large flask of tea - what could be better?!

I am looking forward to the coming  fishing year, and have just renewed my fishing license for France and Holland, My French license costing over 100 Euros for the year seems expensive but in reality it’s good value. I can fish all over France and night fish where it’s allowed; up to 4 rods is possible and the license allows me to fish most rivers without paying any day or season ticket costs.

As always I have set a few targets for this year, the 40lb river carp is high on the list as is a double figure barbel from my own garden, also there is a stretch of river in Holland that for now will remain secret but I firstly want to catch barbel from and secondly believe I could beat the Dutch record again from, watch this space for updates.

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