Sunday 17 July 2022



Another session straight from work, fishing like my previous sessions, a baited area in the margin and one on towards the far bank willows, with alternate casts in each area. My first cast was around 23:00hrs, with very little interest until the rod hopped over at around 01:30hrs. 

At 9.04lb this is my second largest from this river, a very pleasing capture. The fish fought extremely hard and it was a challenge to prevent the fish from making it to some submerged marginal roots. In fact, on checking the rig over before the next cast there was a lot of damage to the mainline. I use 12lb GR60 for most of my barbel fishing and have found it very robust and reliable, it rarely gets damaged so it must have been rubbing on something substantial. A couple of rod lengths of mainline were stripped before my next cast.
No interest for the next hour or so, I decided to concentrate on the far bank thinking that the barbel would be heading back toward the snags before first light. 5 minutes after casting another take.


Another 8lb plus fish on the bank, very pleased. This was the first time I have managed more than one barbel in a session from this river. I decided to fish on until 04:00hrs and a few minutes before the rod screamed off again.

The hat-trick fish, around the 7lb mark

A very pleasing session, I've obviously landed on a concentration of fish in this area, no doubt still grouped up post-spawning. I've had 5 barbel in my last 3 sessions, compared to 2 fish from 15 sessions previously. Hopefully, I can continue to stay in contact with the fish until I find that double I'm after!

Friday 8 July 2022

Two in a row

A short session on the river, on the bank for just after 21:00 and off by 01:00. Similar tactics to last session, both margin and far bank cover lightly baited with boilie and soaked pellet. A 30 minute cast in one area then a cast to the other if no interest. 15 mins after the second cast in the margin the rod flew round. 

2 in a row, good going on this river

A 6lb’er was soon landed, nothing huge but any barbel is a result on this water. An hour or so later, the rod went round, again from the near bank margin.

A 4lb chub this time

I didn’t get near a barbel from this river last session so I’m very pleased with two this early in the season. Hopefully I’ll be out one night after work for a short session.

Friday 1 July 2022

June barbel ( the hard river)

 A couple of days after the 16th I headed straight to the river after work for a short session, in the hope of trying to locate any remaining barbel in this river. I had half a dozen sessions last season without hooking one, spent a good number of hours in the closed season walking the banks without managing to spot one.

I know barbel fishing on this river is going to be a real struggle but I am determined to catch a double from this water before they no longer exist.

A 3lb chub on my first visit

A larger chub of 4lb 15oz on my second short session

A chub on each of my first sessions, usually I try my best to avoid the chub whilst targeting barbel but there are some very big chub on one of the stretches, so rigs have been adapted to give me a fair chance of catching either species.  

I decided to travel further downstream for my next session, a slower, deeper stretch of river that held a decent head of barbel a decade or so ago. I lightly baited an area on the far bank and one closer in, a rod length or so out. I generally only fish one rod at a time for barbel on the northern rivers, 30 minutes in one spot then try the other for half an hour whilst baiting the first area. 10 minutes after my third cast into the near bank area the rod flew rod, very obviously a barbel! 
Just over a pound added to my best from this difficult river - 9lb 9oz

Very pleased to have landed a barbel on my 3rd visit, especially with it being a new river best and less than half a pound from being a double. A massive confidence boost and I know what stretch I'll be heading to next time I am able to get out.