Wednesday 22 June 2022

June 16th, Glorious June 16th...


 Every moment of the river season whilst conditions allow I will be in pursuit of Barbel as I restart my quest to achieve a feat completed by no man! For those that don't know, or aren't familiar with this blog then it's a quest to catch a double figure Barbel off of forty (40) rivers across England, Wales and Scotland. Yes it is an epic task, it's a task that might defeat me. 

 STOP! right lets nip that pessimistic mumbo jumbo right now! This is no place for failure and I will catch exactly what I am after and that begins on the Kentish Stour! 15th of June I was walking the banks in the heat armed with polaroids and cap, the mission was simply to find Barbel and get them to feed. Only one Barbel was found and annoyingly she was surrounded by a hoard of hungry Chub, yaaaaay. Just what I wanted to see.

Such a beautiful river, but heavily weeded throughout.

 Anyway, I went back to the area I earmarked to do the darkness hours and at dawn move around, as I couldn't do the night in the other area as the mosquito's were ravenous even though I was covered in Jungle Formula ( strength 4 ) which is their highest rating, one later on did slip through and get me, right on my "Adams Apple". I can still feel it! So I settled in the overnight swim and fed steadily through the evening and hoped by midnight that I would be in prime position to snare a Barbel at the first time of asking. 

 Midnight came after a few very long hours and within four minutes of the midnight gong the rod began to show signs of life, I prayed for a Barbel and got a Bream...hmmmmmmmm, not what I wanted to see! Then twenty minutes later a 2lbs 1oz Eel stormed the party, followed by another two Bream. Where were the damn Barbel?! In fact I don't expect to catch one when on the KS, its a tough river with a reputation for being just that.

Funny looking Barbel.

Break of dawn at exactly 3am,
complemented by a chorus of Tawny Owls.

 By 5am it wasn't happening so I decided to pack away briefly and go for a walk with the glasses for an hour or so, just in the vein hope I would get a chance, just one. Again though a few hours passed without seeing anything more than Chub, that was until I decided to check out the location where I saw the Barbel the afternoon before and it was quickly apparent that there were now two! One about 6lb the other 8lb or so, not quite the double I seek but would get me off to flyer for sure. One problem I had to encounter though was the sentries that responded to anything hitting the water, my hookbait would be engulfed in seconds, everytime. The Barbel stood no chance and after 7 Chub from that one swim it was abundantly clear I was not going to manage one of those fish and soon after conceded defeat, the temps just got too high and thought better of it. 67 miles back Barbel's almost a case of cut and paste from my previous 9 trips.

Best Chub was 4lb 5oz

A very dosile Red Admiral lapping up
minerals off an ash pile.

 I will be back of course to give it yet another go until I get what I want, looks like I am in it for the long haul on this river. 


  1. Not your barbel but you can’t be too unhappy with that bag of fish :-)

    1. I suppose a take what I'm given, but would dearly love a Barbel!

  2. Chub, sometimes they are just pests. A trick I was shown many moons ago, was that chub will move to food more readily than barbel and a big bed of corn can occupy them up or downstream, mean time it's just you and the barbel ;o)

    1. That is the problem, the Chub just seem to know someone has a bait out, very quick on the scene. The feeding heavily up or downstream of the fishing area is a good idea and one I may well adopt should things not take a drastic turn.

  3. A barbel from a Scottish river?? that intrigues me. Will get on Google. Nice account of opening day, shame the barbel didn't play.

    1. There are Barbel there and I have done some extensive research and been in conversation with those in the know, it is wholly possible and a river I am including on this mammoth challenge. A double is possible and does do them, records for fish like Barbel aren't really of an interest to most up there, more for us!

  4. Would be a new Scottish record!! current is:
    Weight – 9lb 8oz (4.310 kg)
    Where Caught – River Clyde, Strathclyde
    Date of Capture – 10 October 2010
    Method of Capture – 12ft quiver rod, 10lb mainline, 8lb hook length, block end feeder with hemp and maggots, size 12 hook with worm and maggot cocktail


8 Years in the Making.

   So we find ourselves finally able to get back on the rivers and thank god for it too. I don't mind stillwaters and canals now and aga...