First the water seemed even clearer, one friend I know swears you simply need some colour in the river. I'm sure that's true in part. But as I mentioned before, I think these fish are more nomadic than we think, and there are few outstanding barbel swims on the whole beat. They seem to turn up in most swims that get well fished. Clearly when trotting your looking for certain types of swims, with good depth and flow close in. Then your trying to get the fish to come to you by baiting with a constant stream of food.
I few swims up from me a angler ledgering with two rods also blanked. I could hear the constant splash of the big leads hitting the water, then the buzzers being set. The more I think about this style of fishing ( in particular during such low clear conditions ) the more I think trotting offers the best choice, providing your on fish. And that's the key, finding fish, it's difficult on the Trent as you simply cannot see fish in this part of the river.
What Float Should I Use?
In the past all my trotting has been done on small rivers with Loafer style floats, or simple peacock wagglers. When you first fish the river Trent, it seems daunting. Parts are very deep and quick, others deep and slow, I've yet to find any shallow swims, they do exist, but not on the club waters I fish currently. The barbel seem to prefer fast water to hold and feed in, I'm told they don't lay in slacks or eddies unless the river is in full spate.
The Trent has been famously known in the past for it's stick float fishing, mainly for silver fish like roach, bream, and bleak. It's anglers being some of the best in the country. Wind is a big factor on the river, it's wide so the wind can howl across it at times. I've tried the stick, but it's much more difficult fishing it effectively than I thought. The waggler is much easier to use, and stays on track in an almost constant wind the Trent seems to suffer.
On floats I cannot recommend those sold by Dave Harrell. (www.daveharrellangling.com) not only is the choice outstanding, but all come with a paragraph on what their for, and how to fish them. You can find a lot of interesting clips on YouTube done by Dave, and it's clear as well as being an innovator in float design, he is also a very creditable angler.
Two of his floats that stand out for me are his Wire stem stick floats, and Speci wagglers. They cover 90% of my Trent fishing. I only have to add a selection of his large top shallow sticks, and I'll be 100% sorted.
Float design by Dave Harrell.See you on the bank.