Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Barbel On The Top

Probably not the most efficient way of catching bottom feeding fish but the takes are spectacular! Not the subtle way a carp sucks in bread off the top - barbel explode onto the surface, turn and then try and rip the rod out of your hand on their way back to the riverbed.

I think the trick is to not jump out of your skin and let go - especially if you’ve got them feeding directly under the rod tip. I had to have another blast at a surface barbel and after a couple of smaller fish I manage to tempt this 8lb 7oz barbel into it. Exciting stuff!

For the records: 8lb 7oz, 3lb & 2¾lb (74)

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Twelve Hours

Twelve hours is about as long as I’ll spend doing anything, so when I headed off for a bait ‘n’ wait for carp with Richard that was my time limit. And I’m not night fishing - I want a daylight thirty...

Yeah, I’m making life difficult for myself! Twelve hours is a long time without a run - and I can’t wander far in case an alarm sounds - but this is my best chance to land a wise old carp...

To break up the day this monster of a carp swam in to say hello - estimated by Richard to be 38-42lb it was inspiring to see - but it didn’t want a bait. We’ll be back monster carp, we’ll be back...

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Barney Rubble

On the river for the crack of dawn and while the world slept a battle ensued - and a beautiful double was swept up in the net - just hitting the magic mark at 10lb 0oz - well worth the early start!

I also managed two more, both caught on surface fished bread - my first barbel caught off the top (still aiming to get one on the fly when the nettles die back). And back home for breakfast and meddles!

For the records: 10lb 0oz, 5lb & 3lb (71)

Saturday, 10 August 2019

The Chub

Last time I was on the river I spotted a monster chub, already over my time limit and packed up I was forced to leave it for another day (plus it was in an impossible spot to cast to). I was pretty excited and phoned James... “I think I’ve just spotted THE chub we’ve been searching for”... And told him exactly where I’d seen it...

James is on a bit of a chub mission himself at the moment, so I had to be the first to try and catch her - an early start - straight back to the spot - and it had bloody moved!! But after much searching back and forth (getting stung) I found her sunbathing about 20 yards downstream and flicked out a freelined piece of bread...

I watched the bread trundle down in the shallow water - the big girl moved across and nailed it - all hell broke loose as she tried to get in every snag going - a short dirty fight before she was safely in the net. What a fish! On the scales she went 6lb 2oz - a fabled six - my best from the river and second biggest chub ever - absolutely delighted!

And as my barbel tally from the river was standing at 698 I was keen to try and add two more to chip me over the seven hundred mark. I’d spotted a few on route and while on chub search. Retracing my steps I landed barbel number 699 and 700 (above) - and added four more barbel & a regular size chub for good measure!

For the barbel records: 4lb 7oz, 4lb, 3½lb, 2½lb, 1¾lb & 1½lb (68)

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Efficiency Is Key

My barbel sessions tend to be quite short, 2-4 hours, so to maximise my catch rate I take a lot of notes. I’ve recorded the date, location, bait, weight, method and water conditions of every barbel I’ve ever caught from this little river (current total 698).

Obviously things change - floods alter the riverbed, barbel don’t always stick to the same areas etc - but it gives me a great jumping off point. Anyway, another morning mission and six barbel found the net - plus a surprise 1lb 2oz roach. All added to my notes!

For the records: 6lb 11oz, 5lb, 4lb, 3lb, 2¾lb & 1½lb (62)

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Quick Mission

Well I had to check the river was still there! Very quick session - and a speedy result - two chub to 4lb+ and this 6lb 7oz barbel - splendid!

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Wandering The Wye...

Red and raging in winter, the summer Wye is a different river...

Low, gin-clear and full of life...

Less than ideal conditions to try and tempt a fish...

But we still found a few willing chub.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Woodland Wander...

Tourists in our own past...

Me and Paulos revisited the playground of our shared childhood...

Some truly beautiful ancient woodland...

And a quick cast in the secret pond for old time’s sake.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019


Well it looks like this hot weather is going to stick around for a little while, with talk of a new July record happening in the next few days. Probably best to leave the small river barbel alone until the normal drizzly English summer is resumed!

Last couple until then - bullied out and well rested before being released. Still going to try and locate those river carp though, and maybe target the bigger rivers with more oxygen - oh, and those stillwater carp are still very much on the radar...

For the records: 6lb 8oz & 5lb 10oz (55)

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Bait & Wait. And Wait.

An estate pond, my quest for a thirty and rock hard fishing - only one thing for it - bait ‘n’ wait! Fortunately I had carp guru Richard on hand - because the rig for my river carp a few days ago consisted of a size 6 hook tied directly to the 8lb main line...

My rigs for today consisted of metal and rubber and screws and putty... I’d love to put a photo on here but they’re top secret. And don’t get me started on bait - I had to sign a NDA (non disclosure agreement) before he’d even open the bucket!!

A very long day, dawn ‘til dusk, for only one fish - but a 20lb 2oz beautiful common carp made it all worth while. Massive thank you to Richard (who also bagged a twenty and a ‘pasty’), now just for something half as big again - we’ll be back!