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!