Dan O’Neill reports on a coarse fishing adventure to the River Barrow…

The Easter break now in the past and with the sight of chocolate giving me flashbacks it was time to get to the canals and lakes and give them a try. The River Barrow was our first port of call where I wanted to try for some Roach and Anthony possibly a perch or two. We both decided to set up to target bigger species so prepared for a long day and possibly a blank.

Firstly, to Gowran to hear some of his grandads’ words of wisdom and tales of perch that would take a small Jack Russell. This of course all takes place while I carry out the digging. Anthony sat firmly in the executive box, more commonly known as Grandad’s shed, spectating. Full of stories, chocolate and tea, it was time for Anthony to bid farewell and begin his next angling adventure.

Getting to the river, a familiar sight greeted us, a very angry river. Not in the slightest bit phased we unpacked the car and made our way to the spot we had decided on the night before. Arriving at the spot we first plumbed the depth looking for drop offs and deep holes. We had decided to fish a little closer, just under the rod tip really. Today’s rods were a pair of Cadence 12ft 1 pound test curve specimen rods. We needed to be able to play the fish out of snags, so these rods are perfect for that.

We fished waggler floats and went up a couple of hook sizes. Lots of little knocks and shudders of the float indicated there were some small fish present. A couple of large ground bait balls soon fed them off and the shudders stopped. Our first proper bite came to my float, which is very unusual. Striking the take resulted in our first roach which was exactly what I wanted. It wasn’t long before Anthony hit a couple of roach also and the trip was under way.



Anthony came to me holding his hook and said he wanted to try something different. We decided to put a bigger barbless hook on and let a large lobworm through the run and see if anything would respond. On the second run through the float stopped, turned and headed off. We struck early as didn’t want to risk a deep hook. The rod instantly flexed deeper and there was more weight there. Anthony looked at me and said, “This is bigger.” And it was. It came to the net and was a beautiful perch. Carefully netting the fish we took the hook out got a quick picture and away the fish went to hopefully be even bigger next year.

The swim went a little quiet for about 1.5-2hrs then picked back up again to produce some hybrids, roach and some lovely perch. We fed the swim constantly with free offerings as well as some small ground bait lumps. As we were targeting roach mostly I used the following mix.

  • 2kg layers pellets (soak in water fully submerged for about 15mins)
  • 250g of hemp seed “cooked”
  • 300g crushed sweetcorn
  • Handful of crumbly soil
Anthony got some nice perch on the worm

The evening ended quite well with plenty of good-sized roach, hybrids and perch. Delighted with our catch today it was time to pack up and head for home.

Go fishing – Parent and child day

I will be holding a parent and child day in the coming weeks. On this day we will learn a bit about course fishing, check out some of my homemade ground bait recipes, float rigs and methods when targeting course species.

This course is aimed at beginners and improvers. It’s also a great way to introduce your child to fishing and see what’s involved in the first steps of buying their first rod or upgrading their existing one.

Of course Anthony will be there to and will pass on any little tips he has picked up so far on his journey.

South East Casting

Address Thomastown Kilkenny Ireland Mobile Phone: +353857652751