Guest fishing bloggers – get in touch! Overcoming the strong runs or the dogged riverbed hugging to bring a double figure barbel to the net needs a strong hook. The often hushed-up River Taff is renowned for producing surprisingly large barbel. Prologic Quick-Change Bankstick Adapter DIY Hack Video: Make Old & New Versions Fit Each Other! ... and which has accounted for 26 double-figure fish from the river for me this season. Barbel angler numbers drop off significantly in November, but the arrival of a warm flood at this time has often produced some of the biggest fish reported each year. For those who do use a thermometer I will say not to get too hung up on what it says at the particular time it’s in use. A double figure fish is a fish of a lifetime for many on the Wye, so it’s the numbers of fish that attracts anglers. were identified during a four years sampling of barbel from the Bulgarian part of the river Danube (for details see []).Due to lower prevalence of the nematodes (between 17 and 24%) compared to 98 – 100% prevalence for P. laevis, 16 double infected barbel were selected. The River Wensum is a prolific barbel river, producing double-figure fish on a regular basis. When I was seventeen years old, I caught a 9lb 12oz barbel, and a week later I lost a certain double-figure barbel right at the net, after an epic fight going through several weed beds. New PB Grayling! Each year fish well into double figures are banked, and there are numerous record claims, the latest being 18lb 1oz in 2014 which broke the former 17lb 2oz record specimen caught in 2007. This has been the first recapture meaning there are group of reasonable fish and a real chance of something much bigger as the season progresses and the fish pile on their winter weight. This whole stretch is known for large shoals of specimen Barbel running to double figures, Chub abound with Pike, Roach and Perch together with Carp. Eventually it made it in to the net and it was my first ever Thames double at 11lb 4oz. At first I thought it was a chub, as it shook its head and thumped about, but it soon realized what was happening and screamed off downstream and convinced me it was no mere chub. Come the beginning of January there was a sign of the weather starting to improve for just a few days and with this a possible opportunity for some barbel action. Therefore, it could potentially be a hidden gem for the barbel angler willing to put some work into finding them. 3 pouches of maggots per trot is ideal, with a pouch of hemp every half a dozen runs through, and even a pouch of corn every dozen trots just to mix it up. These particle baits shouldn’t be ignored as the other baits start to work however, and hemp is always a recommended loose feed to hold barbel in a swim. This is an ongoing project. Like all freshwater species, barbel are cold blooded so therefore the lower the water temperature the slower their natural metabolism. In the winter months barbel will lie up torpid for long periods of time, conserving their energy and only feeding should a morsel of food come within a small distance or right past their nose. First barbel, first double. Further down on the Algarve we have the Southern Barbel, a beautiful fish which fights double what you might be used to with English fish of the same size, only last week in middle of winter we had over 50 fish to 11lbs in one day. Who knows what potential could be found here for somebody willing to put the hours in? As more fish are taken, the bait is used almost exclusively, which results in the barbel in a particular location becoming completely preoccupied with it. Catching a barbel is not out of the question whatever the conditions, except perhaps for snow melt – the kiss of death whatever you’re fishing for! There’s the Welsh Dee which holds barbel in its lower reaches from Bangor on Dee, plus the Severn, a famous barbel river and the Vrynwy. Contact: 01798 831525. With a warm flood being infrequent, this is no doubt welcomed by the barbel and they are renowned for taking the opportunity and “switch on”. As a result, these days game and coarse anglers co-exist on the river. In 1956 the Angling Times introduced 509 barbel to the River Severn, and at the same time a few barbel were also introduced to the River Wye, as well as numerous other rivers in the UK – they have thrived in all. Get it right and fish when conditions are great then the results can be spectacular but if the conditions are poor (which is the case more often than not) then unless you put your hookbait on the nose of a barbel then a blank session is highly likely. It is little known, but the river also has a head of barbel, which are found in the lower reaches from Draethen downstream on Caerphilly angling association water. In the last 10 years barbel fishing popularity has escalated to a point where it is arguably, after carp, the most fished for species in the UK. Barbel are only found in the Taff from Radyr weir down to the Principality stadium in Cardiff, although a new fish pass at the weir constructed in 2019 may allow them to increase their range. Catchable all year round, on a variety of methods, and with dozens of small fish around 1lb caught every year, the Wye will likely be the premier UK barbel destination for years to come. New bait lands double figure barbel November 20, 2018 Sam Curtis Alfie Naylor and Brian Skoyles have enjoyed some incredible barbel sport of late whilst testing a new bait from Nutrabaits, which is designed specifically for the species. A large river, the Dee is rightly famous for its game fishing and also for its prolific grayling, but is also contains specimen pike, chub and barbel in the middle and lower reaches, with stretches around Holt being particularly well known as barbel hotspots, with good numbers of fish recorded to 13lb 5oz on the Warrington Anglers Association water. This can really help build a picture of what’s happening in the coming days and help you to plan a session so you’re on the banks at the best times. The tidal stretch at Stopham is deep and fast flowing but holds plenty of double-figure barbel as well as enough smaller specimens to keep you interested. The River Wye (Afon Gwy) is the fifth-longest river in the UK, stretching some 134 miles from its source on Plynlimon in mid Wales to the Severn estuary at Chepstow. This can be antisocial for many anglers, and the good news is if you are prepared to fish the float, or rove around trundling meat, day time sport can be as good as anytime, especially on rivers like the Wye. From there, it flows northeast to Corwen, goes eastwards past Llangollen, and continues east through Chester on its way to the sea. The huge Thames barbel came when Buckinghamshire-based self-employed plaster Ryan Pevy tackled the middle reaches of the mighty river. Barbel also fight hard, very hard…. Thanks to booking schemes and savvy individuals, miles of barbel fishing became available by convincing what were declining salmon fisheries, into letting coarse fishing during the summer months as well as the winter. Fishing. In laymans terms this basically means the higher the water temperature the more active the fish will be therefore the more they will need to eat as they expend their energy then as the water temperature drops the reverse to this scenario is the case. The golden-line barbel was once endemic to Lake Dianchi in China's Yunnan province, but now the fish is thought to only survive in about 20 spring ponds and one lake tributary. How the swim is fed and the hookbait fished probably being the variation required to turn the odd fish into steady catching. The river around this area available when much of the river downstream was still only accessible after the salmon season from October 18th. This whole stretch is known for large shoals of specimen Barbel running to double figures, Chub abound with Pike, Roach and Perch together with Carp. This was the only mild spell for another 7 weeks, once again when the weather turned I made the most of the opportunity, changing a few shifts at work around I was back on the bank at what I felt was the optimum time. There’s nothing to say barbel can’t be caught during a prolonged cold spell as they can and do by anglers every winter. My favourite barbel bugs are tied either on Dohiku jig hooks, which are formed from heavy wire and have a nice incurved point, or on Guru QM1 hooks, which are … Mark Doherty reported a 17 lb 9 oz giant in 2015. There’s a lot written and said about the exact water temperatures that are good for winter barbel fishing, I carry a digital thermometer with me everywhere when I’m fishing,  taking water temperatures regularly. Fish infected simultaneously with P. laevis and larval nematodes of the genus Eustrongylides sp. Now I must own up to losing a fish or two on this light gear – not due to breakages but due to hook pulls and I put this down to foul hooking fish. There may not be as many stillwater fisheries around the UK as there once were but what we do have…, What tackle do you need for bass fishing?? It should never be enough to put an angler off, as being by running water is enough for most, that combined with generally decent chub sport early on. This is due to a number of factors – for the rivers in Wales it’s that fishing for them has become more accessible due to clubs and booking schemes opening up previously unfishable waters, those that in the past were reserved only for salmon gentry. Pete, a highly respected expert on Hampshire Avon barbel, was amazed by his historic capture. Today barbel can be found from Boughrood all the way through to Tintern. Perhaps with environmental changes heading warmer, then numbers will pick up even more so. I found myself fishing exactly the same swim I’d caught from in January and my efforts to get on the bank were richly rewarded with a stunning barbel of 12lbs 12oz. When it wasn’t icy cold or snowing it was raining heavily filling the nation’s rivers to the brim with freezing cold water, a recipe for a blank where winter barbel are concerned. Here, the angling history runs deep, and you’re never far from a “Severn angler” who’ll gladly recollect stories of bus loads of anglers of all ages turning up to fish. In general, the first couple of weeks after June 16th are slow – the fishing can be frustratingly hit and miss, most likely due to expectations running high after 3 months away from the river! Their origin is not confirmed, but however introduced, it’s clear the population of barbel, albeit with a distinct lack of smaller fish, are doing very well. I’d normally leave the river alone during the first 24-36 hours of a rise in temperatures simply due to the fact that whilst a barbels body will need to acclimatise in dropping temperatures the exact same is true for a rise. Heavy feeding is required to get enough bait through the silver fish and chub that occupy the upper water column, but achieve that and they’ve been known to take hookbaits some 3 foot off the bottom. The key word in this scenario is stabilised. You can read more on float fishing for barbel in this article…. Although the guarded element of fishing the Taff for monsters is exciting, recruitment is crucial for the future. Considering that our fishing has been restricted to during daylight hours only, we have enjoyed some cracking Barbel fishing. Then past Bedwas, Trethomas, Machen, Draethen, Llanrumney and Rumney and with its estuary to the east of Cardiff. The River Severn (Afon Hafren), at 220 miles (354 km) long, is the longest river in Great Britain. Another bream just under 6lb is the last fish of the session and then it goes quite and the bites stop completely. The Wye has never been renowned for big fish, certainly not rivalling other rivers in the country, and although the barbel record was broken in 2019, at 14-12, the previous record at 14-9 stood for over 20 years. It fought well but not in the same league as the fish of the previous evening. A fine example of this would be the scenario I found myself in when I caught the 12lb 12oz fish mentioned. But officially, in records kept by the Barbel Society, the river best stands at 16 lb 11 oz by Kevin Gittins in 2014. In the late 90’s, the middle Wye around Bredwardine became notorious as the first real barbel hotspot. Are the temps rising or falling? Once the water temperatures have stabilised there is every chance of catching one, providing they can be located. Fish samples. The use of a PVA bag of pellets attached to the lead (leaving your hookbait amongst the free offerings), has been the method to reproduce the steady catches. The river then flows through three different counties before becoming the Severn Estuary. I watched the weather like a hawk and come the second week of January everything was looking perfect, the wind was turning round to come from the south west and there were air temperatures into double figures day and night for 3 nights but the potential window for a bite was still very small. The mighty Welsh Dee is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in north Wales. Once the water temperatures have lowered however and become constant barbel will feed, although it’s highly likely it’ll be for a very short, defined period each day so being on the banks at the right time is essential and even then there’s no guarantees. On the float, maggots are generally an absolute winner. Scattering pellets across a swim and only fishing a lead has always been a favourite, the fish having to kite across the channel to grub around for baits, this perhaps more natural than following a line of scent upstream to a feeder. If you’ve got a low water temp reading BUT the temps rising then time your session right and a few barbel could be yours. As most will remember the winter of 2012/13 was a very cold/wet one. The upper reaches of the Severn are renowned for big grayling, and although the river heads out of Wales as barbel come into the equation they are worth fishing for in the border area, being found in the river as far upstream as Welshpool. I'm convinced Avon barbel spook when presented with beds of bait so I like to put a bed upstream to pull fish in but make sure a bait is presented further away to pick up wary fish. I was on the bank for a total of 1 ½ hours and home for 8pm. Fish are abundant, especially coarse fish such as pike, perch, roach, dace and barbel. A Severn tributary, the stunning river Vrynwy rises in mid Wales near Llyn Vrynwy reservoir, and whilst the upper part is home to some great trout and grayling fishing, the middle and lower river has coarse fish species including barbel. ... Saying that when you hook a double figure barbel … Barbel fishing throughout the winter months can be a very hit and miss affair. A 12lb barbel taken during a very short feeding spell. There is much information on barbel handling, and a good general code of conduct can be found here. If popularity is allowed to increase in fishing, and if new areas open up on this otherwise difficult to access river, then the future could be very bright for the Taff. However as time passed, and always seeking new challenges, my thoughts once again returned to the subject with renewed interest. The Wye is especially important for nature conservation, with numerous designations – the lower valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with the entire system designated as both a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Only 20 minutes after casting in I was in to a fish which once landed came in at a very healthy 12lbs. Vaughan Thomas talks about…, Rising in the mountains of mid Wales, the river Wye offers some of the most diverse fishing in the…, Your continued use of this website implies consent for usage of cookies. The Wye used to be considered one of the best salmon rivers in the UK (outside Scotland), and was particularly famous for its large “spring” salmon that reached weights of over 50 pounds (23 kg), the largest recorded being 59 lb 8 oz (27.0 kg) landed after a long fight by Miss Doreen Davey from the Cowpond Pool at Winforton on 13 March 1923. The river runs south from its source near Rhymney high in the Welsh valleys through New Tredegar, Bargoed, Ystrad Mynach, Llanbradach to Caerphilly at the southern end of the Rhymney Valley. Yes this may have been carp, and there are the odd reports today of this still happening, but it may also have been salmon – they are often hooked by coarse anglers as a lump of flake, meat or a feeder, flutters and dances as it sinks through the water column, the enticing action too much for a salmon to resist. Once they’ve acclimatised though it can be fill your boots time with some fantastic winter fishing. Angling Direct – Sutton-in-Ashfield Store; Kids – Learn to Fish for Free around Nottingham, Derby & Chesterfield! Most famously, in 1997, a River Severn barbel briefly beat and held the British record. A good double figure fish on a very short winter session Digital Thermometer, an essential piece of the winter barbel anglers armoury There’s a lot written and said about the exact water temperatures that are good for winter barbel fishing, I carry a digital thermometer with me everywhere when I’m fishing, taking water temperatures regularly. A small river, the Rhymney has a glowing reputation as a good grayling venue, with the odd chub to boot. The torch light said it was another double but the scales disagreed refusing to go those couple of extra notches. The Taff attracts a good number of anglers who focus on the barbel fishing and are known to keep the most productive swims a closely guarded secret. 25 minutes later and the double pellet is working it's magic again and another barbel is on, and this one goes 9lb exactly. If you read any angling book, barbel are said best to be fooled at dusk into the dark. The previous day though the temps had been 5.5 degrees which just goes to show that a rise of only 1 degree overnight was all that was needed to trigger a feeding spell. The fishing is anything but easy with many stretches banning night fishing, limited swims and some rather precarious areas that the fish inhabit. October is much the same as long as a cold snap holds off, and a warm day can be as productive as a summer day. I put only 2 boilies in as freebies which I’d broken in half and these were flicked in down the margin a half at a time, I didn’t want to concentrate the food offerings to tightly, hopefully spreading them out a little would see a barbel or 2 move around searching the food source out. Day 3 and I was working until 4pm, rushing around I was on the river and fishing for 6pm, fishing just a single hookbait in the first of 4 swims I’d identified. Whilst traditional baits such as luncheon meat and sweetcorn always work at some point the season, pellets have undoubtedly been the most consistent bait all season in recent years. Outside of these conditions many chance their arm using maggots in a clear winter river, and often just an hour or so of midwinter sun on the water can trigger fish to feed. Losing that fish hurt me, having seen it a couple of times and particularly at the net, was even worse than not knowing how big it was. Swim feeder with groundbait, and pellet on the hook is first port of call for many – varying the hooklength from a foot up to 4 foot being the most useful variation for many years. Then there’s the Wye, and whilst running through Wales for much of it’s length, the majority of the barbel are found as it runs along the border with England – The Wye is arguably the premier barbel destination in the UK. A twelve pound barbel is a nice way to start the season in terms of double figure fish, and this fish was a longish, lean and probably fairly old fish, but it fought like a tiger despite its age. Wensum is derived from 'Wandsum', an Old English word which means winding, which describes this beautiful river perfectly. It was a long fish but looked a good one… and the scales registered a weight of 12lb 4oz. Let’s say the whole of December has seen sub-zero temperatures with a cold northerly or easterly wind blowing but moving into the New Year the forecasters are telling us to expect a few days of south westerly winds bringing with it a low pressure front and some warmer temperatures into double figures. The often hushed-up River Taff is renowned for producing surprisingly large barbel. In late 2019 the lack of smaller fish was addressed by the Glamorgan Anglers club, who restocked the river with a large quantity of juvenile barbel, which bodes well for years to come. A few nice fish in the net soon shelved that idea and I was once again captivated by the species. Barbel can be caught year round (during the coarse season), the best time to fish for them depends on how you want to fish for them, and whether you’re after size, quality, or numbers of fish. Having spoken to the bailiff the biggest barbel the weir had done was a specimen of 17lb 4oz, which was a few years previous but the number of double figure barbel is very high and he felt that if we could get a few bites between us then there was every chance that me and Mark could achieve our goal of getting a double … Although I have not caught as many barbel as usual from the Avon this season, that was my fourth double out of that last six barbel I have caught. My first Trent “double” and not a bad result for my first cast of the trip! In summer the river can still run cold due to it’s catchment high in the Beacons, and so a warm flood in autumn and winter are the best times. I fish the Kennet and Cherwell mainly and normally am quite successful, however when fishing the Thames I have never caught a Barbel butknow they are Thames Weirs and Barbel - Barbel … Until then their presence was not really known, and whilst some may have targeted them in relative secrecy, the odd fish was often hooked during coarse fishing sessions for chub, or on match tactics, that brought stories of line peeling off the spool by an untameable monster. Our guests have had up to 35 fish averaging over 6lb in one day session and many double figure fish banked. Barbel reside in particularly beautiful stretches of river often where the water is fast and oxygenated, flowing over weedy, gravel runs – these areas are at their best in summer, a season when people have more time on their hands and the river a safer, and friendlier environment, where even friends and family can join in. 0 Of the twenty-one species of freshwater fish, five are peculiar to the country, but none is of much economic value save the barbel … Hitting the food trail heavily throughout the months of October and November will see barbel pile on the pounds to fatten up on natural fat reserves which will see them survive the low water temperatures. Our, Best practice guide for angling club volunteers, GDPR Statement & Information sources notice. To add to this the barbel is an accommodating fish that can be caught with relative ease, and perhaps with a simpler skill set compared to fishing for other species. Keep your eyes open for part 2 of my winter barbel approach where I will look at different baits and their applications. There was a time when I thought that deliberately targeting big Barbel, and by that I mean fish into of double figures, with any degree of certainty was an impossible task, and dismissed it as a waste of time. Lactic acid build up in the fishes muscles during a fight with a hooked barbel can be exasperated with the current high water temps and low DO levels, this can cause acidification of the barbels blood which can cause the complete metabolic breakdown of the barbel, it may swim off strong out of instinct and you may treat it with the utmost care whilst in you try to resuscitate them, but this … It is also popular with anglers for its head of big chub, as well as fighting-fit brown trout. Our young barbel were bred from brood stock fish from the river Derwent, which hosts a strain of powerful fish with good growth rates that are able to reach double figures They were supplied by Epperstone Park Hatcheries in Nottinghamshire. Rather than labour the point of whens best to go here’s the story of the only 3 barbel I caught during the early part of last year. River Derwent barbel fishing - double trouble It seemed that all hope of me leaving the barbel alone this summer had gone out of the window. But multiple catches can still be made, and occasional double-figure fish feature, too. Each year fish well into double figures are banked, and there are numerous record claims, the latest being 18lb 1oz in 2014 which broke the former 17lb 2oz record specimen caught in 2007. More often than not the clocks going back can signal a feeding frenzy amongst many species, barbel included as they prepare themselves for what can be a long, cold winter. 1 A fleshy filament growing from the mouth or snout of a fish. A 10lb Barbel was caught here by one of the Junior anglers on the annual Barbel day in 2015. A few friends of mine fished this particular stretch the following 2 days with a variety of methods and baits for no fish between them which just goes to show how small the window of opportunity can be in winter. It flows underneath the M4 Motorway, before turning south east and through Cardiff and out into the Bristol Channel. ‘Sturgeon species are noted by a spindle-shaped body with five rows of bony scutes and a long snout with sensory barbels.’ I used to only barbel fish when my little digital friend told me a reading I was confident with however  I don’t use this method anymore, what’s more important than the actual reading is the temperature trend. The River Severn barbel record is a debate topic. The first thing I’d do is religiously keep an eye on the weather forecasts utilising both online websites and my iPhone apps (Metcheck, BBC and Met Office being the most reliable I’ve found). Early season hemp and caster is renowned as a favourite, the barbel keen to grub around and graze rather than take bigger, oily baits. The largest of the five fish didn’t quite make double figures, but they all smashed the tip round in fine style (which is one of my favorite things about barbel fishing). New PB Barbel from the Middle Trent! Every fish after that was a barbel. The last 2 weeks of the season in early March is when sport can return to not needing a flood or maggots, as the fish start to feed again before going into spawning time. A good double figure fish on a very short winter session, Digital Thermometer, an essential piece of the winter barbel anglers armoury. These have been caught up to 9lb 12oz but are very much underfished. The club also runs a prolific stretch of the Rother the scene of Ian Duffy’s recent 18lb 9oz specimen. It wasn’t until the mid 90’s though that they became a realistic target on the Wye. It’s a big, difficult to fish river in the lower reaches where the barbel reside, and higher water levels from a spate both encourage the fish to move around, but also concentrates them into areas out of the main flow.

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