Thursday 6 October 2011


On Tuesday Dan and myself were fishing in what we call the dead water, it's a stretch of the Wandte that appears to hold no fish. But you have to try these spots once in a while, just in case... Randomly Darren cycled past and mentioned he's seen a shoal of chub, big chub, in a near-by swim that was all but inaccessible. I gave it a blast but no luck, I did however clear enough room so that next time I could at least cast out.

So today I snuck back into the swim and fished luncheon meat, after half an hour without a bite Darren randomly turned up (again). I swapped to lighter gear as I had a net-man and continued fishing, Darren climbed a overhanging tree and pointed me towards the fish. After half an hour or so I had a bite and connected to one of the smaller fish in the swim, 3lb 12oz, fantastic - but there are bigger ones there!

I knew it was a one fish swim so I was about to head home when Dan phoned to say he was after barbel just downstream. I walked down to join him and we targeted barbel. We fished into the dark, I had two eels, Dan had two bites - big bites but fast and unfortunately missed them...

But the third bite he hit! The fish screamed off downstream, a great fight and I thought for a second he'd got another double. 9lb 2oz. He's on a roll! Nice one Dan.

The fish had thrashed the swim to foam so we wandered upstream to a spot where me and Darren had seen barbel flashing earlier. After a short while I decided I wasn't happy with how my rod was positioned so I went to move it, as I picked it up something tried to pull it out of my hands, looked like a good barbel, but it spat the hook after a short fight... We'll be back...

<- Also, I'm really starting to like head-shot photos of fish like this one, I think they look great (and unlike the barbel on Friday this one had barbels). I want a pike photo like this!

RIP Steve Jobs.


  1. Great fish again, can't wait for some piking.

    You fellers are having a good year.


  2. Hi Brian.. Firstly, great site! Googled "wandle barbel" and came across it, and i must have been reading it for about two hours now! I dont have an account on here, so please excuse the "annonymous" post. I am after some advice from a man who clearly knows this little river very well. I live about a 20 min drive from the wandle, & have fished it probably 7 - 8 times, but in general with not a huge amount of success! I find accessing the river tough (as in I dont know where to park and actually access a nice part of the river i feel comfortable fishing - i fish on my own and some parts feel a bit 'edgy' and unsafe to be in, especially at night!!). I wonder if you could be so kind as to help me find some of these great wandle barbel you guys are catching! The areas i have fished before are - recently, the section betw. Deen City Farm down to Merton Abbey Mills.. & I have tried the fast, turbulent section downstream of the mill, going towards the savacentre (with no luck on this bit at all). I have also tried (but many years ago!) the section just south of the bridge at Trewint St. I caught alot of nice chub from this stretch, but as i say, was years ago (when u could park on summerly street etc without a permit). I fished in Ravensbury Park also, some 3 / 4 yrs ago, but the water was so low & it was so so hot that day that i caught nothing but small dace / roach on trotted maggot, which I love - but I have always really targeted the larger chub and barbel. Some of the pics you have seem to be taken from some pretty little swims, that from what i can tell seem fairly easily accessible - and obviously productive! I wonder if you could please point me in the right direction as to some productive stretches I should try. I really would be very grateful for your time and any help you could give me. I dont get to fish the river often at all, but would like to up my chances when I do as I dont get the time to do it much! Please feel free to email me at [email protected] if you would prefer, and again thankyou in advance for any help :-) Matt

  3. I must say too... Incase you think I am just being plain lazy!.. I spent 2 hours today trying to find some other swims, but could not see any that I thought looked very "fishy" that I would feel comfortable fishing at all. Maybe I am wrong, but I walked the stretch at the back of the industrial estate on Mill Lane, and I must say the smell and amount of rubbish in the water really put me off. I sound like a girl a bit there dont I! - Im more than happy to get the waders out as well by the well if that helps when guiding me as to where I might have some success. Thanks alot mate. Matt

    1. apologies..Willow Lane, not mill lane!

    2. Hi Matt, glad you like the site. And apologies for not commenting sooner, I missed your post.

      I have to say I don't know this river very well at all, it's my second season on here and I'm only just starting to find the fish. The area we have been fishing is from Deen City down to Enfield and the technique involves picking a stretch and fishing every likely looking spot.

      Hotspots come and go in about a week and the fish always seem to be moving, as you can tell from the blog we find them, have a few days of success and then go looking for them again.

      One bit of advise I should give (I wish someone had told me when I started on this river) is; just because you can't see the fish doesn't mean they aren't there. Both mine and Dan's biggest barbel came from about a foot of water, albeit at night, but we couldn't see any fish anywhere near the stretch during the day.

      Unfortunately a lot of the fishing does involve climbing over walls and fishing over railing etc - the barbel don't care about our comfort. And the photos on here are deceptive, we always try and find a nice background for the photo - the guy holding the fish is often looking at a supermarket or a graffitied bridge or litter strewn banks.

      And we've had very little luck in the colder months, although some people are still catching. We bagged up between June and September, now we're struggling for a bite - can't wait for the summer!

      Good luck.