Thursday 10 February 2022


A mild afternoon (fool's spring) so I hit the river. The barbel were on the feed; five landed to about 6lb (one about 4½lb pictured), two lost to hook-pulls and some extraordinary missed bites...

I missed seven or eight bites - holding the rod the barbel nearly ripped it from my hands - and I struck into thin air! Once or twice perhaps but 7 or 8 times - how do they do that?


  1. Replies
    1. The hook was sharp but I changed it anyway. I tried holding the rod in one hand and pulling the meat off the hook with the other - couldn’t generate anywhere near the same force. Only one explanation I can think of - gum shields!

  2. That used to happen to me on the Bristol Avon. They are suspicious of the bait and you need a slightly different approach. A longer hook link or, especially when using paste baits, add some buoyancy so that when they suck it up it goes into the mouth faster than they expect.

    It's a starting point anyway - good luck.

    1. Thanks Dave. Might need a bit of thought to adapt that to how I’m fishing - simple freelined luncheon meat. Perhaps back to bread with just a split shot to hold it down, that would be more buoyant. Keeps us on out toes!