Monday 18 March 2024

Barbel Challenge 2023/24

Once again I set the target of 100 Small River barbel over the season. Cracked in September, I ended up with 185 barbel - including 4 doubles. Fantastic local fishing when I haven't got a lot of time!

Opening morning 10lb 14oz (top). Recaptured July, 10lb 7oz (above).

October beauty, 10lb 12oz.

A January 10lb 12oz - my 30th double from the river.

March, 9lb 14oz - so close to the magic mark.

 Season No 5+ 7+ 10+ Best
 2010/11 27 1 0 0 6lb 6oz
 2011/12 44 14 8 0 9lb 12oz
 2012/13 56 34 20 6 12lb 4oz
 2013/14 8 5 4 0 7lb 13oz
 2014/15 71 33 16 1 10lb 1oz
 2015/16 127 45 15 0 9lb 4oz
 2016/17 70 31 15 2 11lb 15oz
 2017/18 132 56 23 2 10lb 9oz
 2018/19 101 36 13 1 10lb 3oz
 2019/20 164 69 28 5 12lb 1oz
 2020/21 250 77 20 6 14lb 2oz
 2021/22 180 34 8 2 11lb 1oz
 2022/23 228 47 8 1 10lb 9oz
 2023/24 185 59 16 4 10lb 14oz
 Total: 1,643 541 194 30 Breakdown

Plus I also targeted The Wye landing 19 barbel to 9lb 7oz, and two new rivers. An 8lb 0oz barbel from the Blackwater on a rain soaked afternoon and my first Severn barbel, a 12lb 2oz beauty!

Overall season total: 206 barbel


  1. And I caught my first ever small river barbel. Not bad for a 600 mile round trip!! Great season as ever Brian.

    1. That was the most important barbel out of the Small River this season! We’ll get some more this summer!!

  2. You certainly get the best out of the river, I wonder if the General is still alive (aka MeatBall).

    1. Really hope so, a really big barbel that’s difficult to find - would love to see her again!

  3. Some cracking fish and nice stats! Do you log any other variables along with each capture - weather etc? I keep a log of all my pike against weather, river, moon phase etc, alongside any wye 20 I see/hear of - just made it over 200x wye 20s at the end of this season gone, some interesting patterns

    1. Bait, surface, moving or static, and water levels. Oh, and location - very interesting to see how they move about during the season - there is a definite pattern when it gets colder.

      Wow - a record of 200 Wye twenties - and I know how quickly you can track location - you’re the man in the know when it comes to Wye pike!!

    2. Nice! Yeah always interesting to see how much some of the fish move around - seen a few wye pike move 10+ miles between captures.

      I just love gathering data and delving into it! Happy to share some of the graphs I've got if you're interested

    3. I expect some follow the bait fish, then just find shallow gravels when it’s time to spawn. Then there are some that seem to take residence in a small section / sections depending on the time of year. Yeah, I’d love to see some of your graphs - thank you.

    4. Yeah exactly that, some seem to stay put for several years and others only appear once in one spot, expect they're passing through.

      Sure - will send some stuff over

    5. Interesting stuff. I’ll go through it all (and find out how to catch Wye pike) - cheers.