Thursday 31 January 2013

Post 100, Thames Barbel.

 For a little change of scenery I headed off to a different stretch of River Thames after Barbel, but I went there more in hope rather than expectation, nevertheless I was confident I could catch something, as soon as I turned up at the river I noticed that it had hardly dropped and was still pushing through very powerfully and still coloured ( like milk chocolate ).

 My tackle for the evening/night was a 12ft feeder rod with a 2.5oz tip, with 9.7lb line, 4oz lead, 10inch 15lb braid hooklink fished with a straight halibut pellet and a small pva bag of free offerings to try and draw fish up from downstream but in such a vast waterway using the smelly baits was probably my only chance of getting fish to my vicinity if they were'nt there already, so I had cast out and now the wait had begun.

 During my time on the bank I had been consistently battered by strong winds and drizzle just waiting for maybe one bite that could be my one and only shot of hooking something and a good 3 hours had passed when I was starting to think of changing the bait to a couple of crab and mussle boilies as I have had some Barbel and Chub on the Thames using them and not many on the pellet but the debris coming down was constantly moving even my 4oz lead around the bottom to a point it ended up about 15 foot from where I think I cast it, so I recast to roughly the same position and sat back had a brief conversation on the phone and my rod slammed around with almighty speed, I struck and I was met with a strong resistance and in the current I was doing battle with a big fish by which time it was 730 so it was pitch black, I couldnt see a thing, I put my head torch on and then just waited for the fish to tire, all I could do was hold on and allow it to do whatever it wanted and when it would ease off the gas I'd gain my line back on it.

 5 or so minutes later guessing it was a Carp or a Barbel I reached for my net and put in the water just as a large Barbel came to the surface out of the depths, she went in second time of asking with the first attempt spooking her and lunged back for the main flow. I had landed a good Barbel and a fantastic fish to catch of such a dreadful night which made it all worth while, on the mat she looked immaculate and scale perfect with an almighty belly on it, a fish worthy getting soaking wet for.

 On the Avon's she went 11lb 9oz a lovely fish to catch and may never had been caught before, after a few minutes reviving in the net she swam off back into the river none the wiser.

That was the last action of the night I packed up and went home to get warm and dry off, I'll be back for it's parents soon enough. But smiles all around for the long journey back home.


  1. You're having a hell of a season! Soon you'll have to show me how to catch zander..!

  2. Another great result,well done.
    The Thames still holds some great fish.


  3. Lovely Fish James, as Brian says you're having a very good season, top bombing.

  4. Cheers guys for the comments, the Thames is a true specimen river just takes some knowledge to extricate them, I believe I'm having one of the best seasons of my life, long may it continue!

  5. Pleeease would you be so kind as to suggest the area I need to head to on the Thames..? I have tried Hampstonn Court Palace (too many frigging boats!), Teddington not sure where to go, Kingston (more boats..), is evening better than morning..? Thank you so much. Tight lines to one and all.

    1. For Barbel anywhere on the Thames, between Weybridge and Richmond, bearing in mind Richmond is on the tidal and the stamp tend to be smaller, around the 5lb mark, further up around Molesey to Walton, you can find shoals of big Barbel to the 17lb mark, I haven't found any that substancial but I have found good heads of them but recently have become more spread out and more difficult to locate, and only the regulars are catching as they are taking a considerable amount of time to locate them, but when they're being found, up to a dozen are being caught during a night session, unless its back end of Autumn or Winter I wouldn't fish during the day, almost a waste of time due to a small minority of river users who have a total disregard to anglers, but I hope it's been helpful, a nice 18mm pellet fished mid-river is almost always a winner for me and try to fish it when its coming off of a flood and the river is fining down, if you can get down there then you will be in with a chance, but it is by no means easy!. James.


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