Sunday, 6 October 2019

Peas in a Pod!

 Back on the river again and back amongst the fish. For so many years I've been doing this but never have I seen so many young fit Barbel coming through the ranks! Fish between the 1-4lb barrier were seldom seen or caught, most likely owing to their disproportionate numbers to larger fish 5-9lb bracket. For what seemed like the river was going to turn into a big fish river has quickly entered its cyclical downturn in terms of larger fish to smaller fish ratio, but has exploded in the last 5 years into life as a vast number of young fish seem to have made it through the tough "early years" where predation and delicacy to the pollution that often enters the river, especially in these conditions!

 Targeting big Barbel just six years ago was a task that I'd often set myself and fairly often achieve, big fish for me here would be anything over nine pounds. Currently I am trying to build on my early season success of a mid-nine pounder and look to build up a head of steam as we enter a very wet autumn. In the south our aquifers have been running on bare bones and although flash floods are never a good thing for anyone or anything the surrounding countryside has benefitted of late as additional rain has entered at a decent rate allowing the water table to start filling up and my local rivers have slowly started to hold a good level with varying clarity.

 Big Barbel are difficult to find nowadays and the hope that one will come along at night whilst fishing static is almost my last real hope.

A typical trot, makes less than accessible areas easier to fish.

 However, with the rivers smaller inhabitants float fishing for Barbel has become an even more likelier approach than most other tactics and no more so than the other day, an hour available, two swims and three Barbel. Nothing large, but action all the same, two of which may well have come up through the ranks, side by side from a neighbouring spawning ground some 8-10 years ago!

A pair of little tikes.
Best of the day at 5.06.


  1. Very interesting about the young barbel coming through. None seem to get away on the Wensum. but everythig else in places in there is booming, especially brownies and roach though most will tell you its barren. The Suffolk Stour has seen the barbel, carp and zander (all introduced) go very quiet but the roach, dace and growing on chub are back in numbers.

    1. It seems to be the case here in terms of areas where the Barbel don’t seem to be proliferating anymore the Roach numbers are on the up. A balance is starting to appear and the boom years for Barbel on my local rivers in relation to sizes I believe are over, although I hoped to be proved wrong!

  2. Rivers are cyclic and it's always good to see a time of growth. Not much chance of running through with a float at the moment but I live in hope.

    1. Oh I agree 100%, you see it on the D.Frome for the Grayling and the Itchen in fact where numbers of big fish fall away, but the juveniles make great progress and yes, the grayling achieve maturity much quicker where as Barbel growth is a much slower process I guess the cyclical nature is just a more drawn out process. I hope that I do find one or two of the remaining big you say, we live in hope!


A Change of Scenery.

   Finally we have a summer that everyone can be happy with! That said, the Barbel don't appear to be enjoying it much, in truth I haven...