Tuesday 30 July 2013

A 'Brook' Barbel...

I've avoided the 'Brook' for a month or so now, I've had a holiday in that time and also bagged myself a river carp from Wasperton. The rivers have also been low and clear and not ideal condition for the Barbel especially as it's been hot too. The weekend and yesterday morning however brought some much needed rain showers and therefore some colour in the water.

I was suprised when I got the car park to find no one there, the plan was to fish from 7.00pm till dusk. I've usually trotted for the first part of the session and then fish a static bait for the last hour. Today though was a bait and wait approach with some big meat baits. Garlic spam has out fished lots of fancy baits for me and this was the bait I was going to start with. When I got to the river it was a good 1/2 a meter up or so and the colour was just right, coloured but still with some clarity.

My intended swim I couldn't really fish as it was underwater so I ventured back upstream to a swim I've caught Barbel before. The is a nice crease down the middle with slack areas either side and it was the slack areas I was going to position the bait. I balled in some scaled pellets and also had some moulded around the gripper lead.


The meat received attention as soon as it settled with lots of knocks on the rod tip and within 10 minutes I had a nice Chub on the bank, not a huge one by 'Brook' standards but a minter.

Big meat baits are hard to beat especially when the water is coloured and the way I make mine is simple. I cut the garlic spam in half and then use small pastry cutters which are around 12, 15 and 30mm. You can see the lone angler sausage sizzle squabs below which are 14mm so you can see just how big some of the baits are I use.

Within the first hour or so I had another 3 Chub just by alternating the slack areas I was fishing, nothing that big which was odd, most I catch here are over 3.5lb but the biggest only went 3.2lb. Decent fishing so far and I'll be happy if that's all I had but not long after returning a Chub, the rod violently wrapped round, the centrepin ratchet singing and I was playing a Barbel.

The 1.75lb TC rod was bent to the cork as the fish was trying to get in to the far bank cover and my arm was starting to ache. Amazing isn't it just how powerful these fish are, it's only when you see them intercepting food in the flow of a river you understand why, they are pure muscle and super fit. I was suprised when seeing the fish that it wasn't a big'un, it only weighed 6lb 1oz but again another stunning condition fish.

Chub seem to give up quicky after a fight but Barbel fight all the way to the net, that's why they always need resting in the landing net before returning. If you don't rest them they will quickly go belly up. The Barbel will tell you when they are fit to return so don't be in any rush, it might take 2 minutes it might take 15.

I manged another Chub at last knockings so a nice evening was had by all. I left the countless nats, bats, slugs and spiders to it and went away happy. I didn't even use the squabs, garlic spam worked today, it really is a bait I've got confidence in.

It's a Shanghai match Friday at Little Geary's at Packington but I might try and nip in another quick evening session this week. I had the whole stretch to myself again today, madness, but that's why I love it here.


  1. Now I've got my book I might see you there one evening Mick. Looks a nice spot!

  2. Hope so David, only a small stretch of the Avon but some great swims.

  3. Well in Mick , I fished that swim Sunday dinner time ......however I took the Mrs so didnt stay long and consequently blanked . The river rose 6 inches whilst I was there ......

    Im going back Friday and fishing up to last knockings ........

    Bazal Peck

  4. It's a great swim, just position the bait in the slack areas and wait:)


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