Now on day 6 of the trip and the unseasonably cold weather continues to effect the fishing in Holland, today its only around 9 degrees with a cold north westerly wind and rain showers off and on all day, with the Kribs on Waal like a skating ring and the wind blowing down the river making it feel like its the middle of winter, nothing like what we would expect for May thats for sure.
The River Ijssel near to Zutphen is the venue today, with the temperature so low and the water temperature dropping barbel are going to hard to come by today so we have chosen a venue with a chance of a barbel but also a good chance of catching some back up fish.
Many of the rivers and fish for that matter never get to see a pellet, with, maize, cheese and maggot the main baits and only a few anglers using pellet and boilies on the rivers. With that I mind I leave the pellets in the car buy a couple of litres of maggots, its white only in Holland as coloured maggots are banned, like normal I give the maggots a good helping of curry powder to spice things up a bit.
First cast ends in a bad result as the feeder tangles in the rocks that line the river and is wedged firm and lost, after retying my rig the second cast hardly hits the river when the rod is almost ripped from my hands by a savage bite, the fish makes off downstream and I feel sure I have hooked a barbel only for the fish to come to the surface and end up tight to the bank 15 or so metres below me, this is definitely not a barbel and a Dutch friend sitting behind me watching the action unfolds suspects I have hooked a roofblei more commonly known as an asp, often called the toothless predator the asp is more common to eastern Europe but is slowly spreading through the Dutch river system. I have caught much smaller asp in Holland but this one when I finally landed it after some airborne acrobatics weighed in at 4.06. The asp preys on small fish and crustaceans and in shape and features is not unlike a mini freshwater tarpon, in eastern Europe they are caught up to 120cm in length this one then was a mere baby at around 60cm but nonetheless an exciting fish to catch.
After a greats days sport I finish with 7 asp a couple of decent bream and some nice hybrids, but its been a costly day with half a dozen feeders lost to the rocks, all the same I have had a great days sport with the asp providing some great scraps, I had a feeling the barbel wouldn’t show and I wasn’t wrong, the weather this week has been against us but the forecast is a bit better for the weekend.