Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Monday 7 October 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Torpedos and Torcheculs

These barbel have remained elusive of late and despite fishing how I usually fish for them and areas I've caught them from before I've not managed on since the season start. I've spotted them when it was low and clear but they were not interested in feeding despite fishing more delicately than I usually do.

Probably eight or nine short sessions, dawn and dusk, trotting and fixed, spam and pellets. The recent rain has meant that the river had been ideal for barbel as well, up, coloured and a decent pace but for some reason ones rods have remained motionless.

So after waking early on Sunday morning I was in two minds to go fishing or not, but the rain overnight seemed to have moved away quicker than expected and I though, heck might as well give it a go, the Wife practically shoving me out of bed because she knew I would only regret it if I didn't. Whether or not the influx of some new cleaner water may well spur them on to feed.

Now I took delivery in the week of a 30" Korum Barbel spoon net to replace the one that Sam managed to get snagged up that I had to rip and also some 15mm boilies which seemed perfect for Barbel but for some reason were only sold in Europe. It would be rude not to try and christen them both now wouldn't it.

Confidence in a bait is a must when targeting these fish but this set-up would be a little different to how I usually fish for them. In the large 5oz feeder would be some Sonubaits stinky shrimp and krill groundbait which has a mix of small pellets and also hemp, and I'd also add some Sonubaits spicy sausage pellets to it as well as an added extra.

With the river as coloured as it is you need to get the fish to home on to a bait and a combination like this is idea. The long fluro hooklink hopefully will mean the feeder mix will be deposited where the hookbait sits.

The river was deserted just how I like it. I had 3.5 to 4 hours so the plan was to fish a few swims to try and locate a fish or two.

Barbel if they are up for a feed do tend to find the bait quite quickly in these conditions so rather than sit behind motionless rods it was good to get on the move, after all you cannot catch them if they are not out in front of you.

The fish swim not even a pluck or a chub twang so I moved downstream to another tasty looking swim. Eventually I had my first bite, a chub pull, a decent one as well but it didn't develop in to a full blown bite but at least there were some fish moving.

After giving that swim an hour and putting a carpet of bait down again I decided to leave it rest for a while and again move downstream and fish another swim.

After that again was biteless I moved back to the 2nd swim to at least try and catch something, there were fish in the swim after all. A couple more full feeders went out and I also added some freebies to try and get any fish in the swim grubbing around and confident in feeding.

Perched opposite was a kingfisher with a minnow in its mouth and it stayed there for a good while before flying off in a speed they can only do. Such a great bird to watch, sadly I didn't have a zoom camera with me, my phone effort not worthy of its splendure.

With the landing net feeling sorry for itself again the chub plucks and pulls started to materialise again. One bite nearly strikable but those that fish for Barbel there is no mistake when a Barbel sucks up the bait feels something isn't right and bolts off. Just how Chub manage to snatch and pull at bait without hooking themselves still is a mystery to me.

Anyway with an hour left of the session out of the blue the rod went from stationary to berserk in a split second and a Barbel was on.

What a fight as well, a premature netting, 3 decent runs and one in particular, the drag wondering what this was on the end. When it surfaced I knew it was a double so was glad to eventually get it in the net. My Barbel baron spell no more, a cracking condition fish as well. A short fish but a proper belly on it and torpedo shaped proportions that only Barbel have.

It registered 10lb and 11ounzes on the scales and enough for me to shout "Get in, my son !!!!" when it was resting in the net. Conditions look idea in the week to target them again so same tactics will be used ones confidence restored again, the fish rested and returned safely, what a wonderful species these Barbel are.


  1. Cracking barbel - worth the wait!

    1. Was indeed Brian, a cracking fight and superb looking fish !!!


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