Posts Tagged ‘Trotting’

Two Days on the Barrow

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Yours truly is new to this coarse fishing lark and it shows. Last Tuesday Gary and I met in Athy, Co. Kildare with a view to repeating our successes of last year where we bagged up on two occasions, firstly on a cold February in the marina followed by an early April session in the main channel. Recent catch reports gave hope of a repeat performance, well we were brought down to earth with a bang.

Casting the feeder, Athy, Co. Kildare.

On arrival the Barrow looked in perfect condition, setting up below the bridge Gary and I intended to feeder fish switching over to trotting a float if things were slow. Paul McLaughlin, who knows a thing or two about coarse fishing, showed up with similar aspirations and regaled catching 60.lb of fish from our chosen stretch only the day before. Chalk and cheese comes to mind, yes we struggled, feeder fishing maggot and caster not a fish showed.

Paul McLaughlin winkles out roach fom the Barrow at Athy, Co. Kildare.

Paul set up above us and trotting started to winkle out a few roach and dace. Gary switched over and utilising his Adcock Stanton centrepin connected also with a few silvers. After a couple of hours we decided on a move, Paul went upstream and I believe started connecting with prime roach, while Gary and I drove downstream a piece only to repeat our performance, however Gar’ saved the day with about 5.lb of roach, the less said about me the better.

A Barrow dace for Gary Robinson.

With bait left over I decided to fish a Co. Carlow mark the following day. On both occasions the weather was bright and dry with a steady crisp north west wind, cold but bearable. This time my faith was restored, if not a fish a chuck it was certainly a bite. Again using the feeder in a deep backwater swim dace, roach, and small perch kept the tip nodding. Dace giving their customary quick fire rattles, roach showing their presence with a purposeful tap tap type bite, while the perch just hit with a thump. Four maggot or two and two maggot/caster did the job on a busy fun afternoon. I’ll be back there soon with a ledgered minnow or lobworm, there’s a big Barrow perch loitering with my name on it….

Coarse Fishing in Ireland, River Barrow.

Friday, February 4th, 2011

A relative newcomer to coarse angling and keen to unlock any secrets that the River Barrow might hold, I was happy to accompany Gary for a days fishing on a favoured section of his between Carlow and Athy. The Barrow is navigable from New Ross in Co. Wexford to Monasterevin in Co. Kildare, shallow areas bye passed by a system of canals which in the past served a number of milling operations. Today many are derelict although some have been restored for private use. Waterways Ireland maintain the canals and manage the lock gates enabling private pleasure craft and narrow boat hire companies to avail of this wonderful resource.

Gary Robinson trotting a float down a River Barrow canal section.

Overnight rain had rendered the main channel unfishable so Gary and I turned our attention to a canal section. Fish seek shelter in these waters during times of flood, and with water fairly pushing through Gary decided to try out his new Adcock Stanton centrepin reel. I on the other hand stuck to the game plan of feeder fishing with red maggot. Employing a light coloured groundbait mix of crumb, sweetcorn, and various particles we set to work. Bites were fairly immediate mainly from quicksilver dace and small roach.

A beautiful red finned River Barrow roach.

Missing a lot of bites, those dace are quick, Gary advised me to step down from using four maggots on the hook to just one or two, the result was three roach on the bounce and a couple of small hybrids. My efforts would have put a match fisherman to shame, but hey I was having fun. The Adcock Stanton reel was performing well, Gary trotting a quill float down his swim winkling out small dace supplemented with a few silver bream, roach, and hybrids.

Gary Robinson with a bag of roach, silver bream, and hybrids from the River Barrow, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

The day had been cold throughout, sunny interspersed with a number of heavy showers. A constant breeze from the south west hinting at worse to come. By 16.00pm with bites becoming less frequent we decided to call it a day. Gary had a mixed bag of 10.lb+, the less said about mine the better although I was happy to have caught all four species mentioned above. A feature was their good condition and how cold they were to touch. We did not connect with any perch or notice evidence of pike although they are definitely present. The day though was positive, a steady stream of fish to christen Gary’s new reel and one or two of the Barrow’s fishy secrets revealed.