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Are Barbel the "new"carp ?

David Craine

Senior Member
Sad though it makes me, I have come to the conclusion that Barbel are the "new " carp. In the last years I have seen more and more rivers loaded with bivvies, bite alarms, long stay people who call themselves anglers chasing a photo opportunity and a name in an angling mag or similar . No skill involved, just a major baiting programme,cost and time not a consideration, 2 or 3 rods and a tent and Bite alarms .Even a day session visitor seems to see this as a new "normal" .

What has happened to us to have been subjugated to this ?

I am no up "my backside "Barbel "angler,fishing for accolades ,I just enjoy fishing for a fish that is a worthy opponent and not confined to a soul -less manufactured pond with no escape and a relentless assault from the thoughtless and uncaring.

Luckily , there are a few rivers that can still provide a calm and easy days fishing where volume and size is not considered a must have , I consider myself lucky to be able to fish a few of these places, recent posts re the Trent and other locations though, make me wonder where it will end. It is happening , no denial on this .

Maybe I am just getting old, but really maybe, just maybe, a few of us have values harking back a few years to when the world was a quieter place with more green.

Sits back and has tin hat close and ready for adornment .


David.
 

Ken Mason

New Member
i was fishing the river stour very early sunday morning to try and get a few before the predicted hot sunny day dawned, quite successful,( for the stour, ) 4 chub biggest 5lb and an 11lb barbel. well pleased , i was just packing up about 0700 when a guy arrived pushing a fully loaded carp barrow full of gear . i was gobsmacked..all i had was a rod and reel, a rod rest, landing net, a small backpack and a small bait bucket . why do some anglers need so much STUFF.....
 

Ian Lovett

Senior Member
I agree that there are stretches of the Trent that are very busy with long stay, bivvied up fishermen. However there are still many miles of river that hardly ever sees an angler. It's a big river and there's plenty of room to do what you want. The bivvy brigade tend to attract each other and they are usually near a car park or with their cars behind them. I have found excellent fishing, some of which I have to walk half a mile or so. This is no great hardship with a rucksack and two rods. Some is even free fishing!
 

Alex Constantinou

Senior Member
Unfortunately I think you're right to an extent. I don't think it's a wholesale change but a noticeable one at least. With that being said I am seeing elements of Trent fever creeping in on other venues. I never used to see a tripod or seldom saw bite alarms in years gone, but in the last season or two I'm seeing them fairly regularly on the Severn for example. Barbel fishing has boomed in popularity, so has their marketable value with each feeding on the other.

On a personal level I think the skill level has dropped. If you take away the pellets and feeders the majority of people fishing for Barbel would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle. It's all very one dimensional these days.
 

Alex Gowney

Senior Member
Can't see a problem with bite alarms, it's just another way of bite indication. Most of the rivers I fish have no night fishing anyway, so not a lot of scope for long stay anglers. I also don't see why using pellets or feeders indicates a lack of skill. Years ago hemp was banned in many places, and even a fixed spool reel was frowned upon for suggesting a lack of skill when they first came out. I think the multiple rod approach is out of place on rivers of any size, two rods should be a maximum. I never use more than one for barbel, but don't have a problem with those who want to use two. Most important is consideration for the fish, the environment and your fellow anglers. A jungle hatted angler with a cane rod and a centre pin, using a lobworm for bait, is just as capable of poor fish care as as someone in a bivvy using halibut pellets and bite alarms.
 

Eddie Bray

Senior Member
I use my Bivvy on the Severn as it is a 350 mile round trip and I also have my wife with me, when I go fishing on the Severn it is typically for the weekend, the bivvy just saves us money for guesthouses.

I also have buzzers but do not take them and when I am not in my swim I take my lines out of the water, whether it be for a wee, food or for sleeping, if I am not next to my rods then they are not in the water fishing.
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
“I have come to the conclusion that Barbel are the "new " carp”

I would say this has been the case for the last 10 years, there are parts of the Trent that attract a lot of failed carp anglers. But as Ian says, they do tend to attract each other, so it’s fine - there is plenty of space for those seeking solitude.

A few seasons back I fished a lot of day sessions on a day ticket stretch opposite another popular stretch that allows night fishing and parking at the back of the swim. From my favoured swim, which involved a decent walk, which I could see 2-3 swims across the river upstream, all on the inside of a bend with slow shallow water in front of them. Invariably they were always occupied, but I can honestly say that in well over a dozen sessions I never once an angler with a fish on. Whilst from my swim on the outside of the bend I had at least 12 foot of water a few rod lengths out and would be catching on average anything from 2-6 fish per session, with the odd blank thrown in. Nothing special size wise, only a few doubles but it was a good swim during the day because of the depth and flow.

I would arrive at dawn, and it wasn’t uncommon not to seen anyone emerge from their zipped-up bivvys till well into mid-morning...all fishing the same, two rods on tripods, cod fishing style. Around lunchtime was the trigger the first round of baitdropping, the second round always an hour before dusk, you could set your watch by it!

I’m assuming they must have been catching at night, but what a waste of a whole day.
 

Alex Constantinou

Senior Member
Can't see a problem with bite alarms, it's just another way of bite indication. Most of the rivers I fish have no night fishing anyway, so not a lot of scope for long stay anglers. I also don't see why using pellets or feeders indicates a lack of skill. Years ago hemp was banned in many places, and even a fixed spool reel was frowned upon for suggesting a lack of skill when they first came out. I think the multiple rod approach is out of place on rivers of any size, two rods should be a maximum. I never use more than one for barbel, but don't have a problem with those who want to use two. Most important is consideration for the fish, the environment and your fellow anglers. A jungle hatted angler with a cane rod and a centre pin, using a lobworm for bait, is just as capable of poor fish care as as someone in a bivvy using halibut pellets and bite alarms.

I don't have an issue with feeder fishing or alarms persay. However, there's no denying that float fishing or freelining for barbel is at the bottom of most people's list. Time and again I've seen folk using methods wholly inappropriate for the conditions because they don't know any different and this is where the lack of skill comes in to the equation imho. It's much easier to sit behind two rods and wait for a fish to hang itself than it is to build a swim on the float or put the miles in roving.

I'm not all that fussed how others fish in the grand scheme of things. I primarily fish small low stock waters where you're lucky to see another angler so it doesn't affect me all that much.
 

Mark Swaby

Senior Member
Fifteen years ago I watched a Drennan cup winner arrive and bivvy up for a week on the Dorset Stour. This was to trap his much needed 7lb chub for his yearly Drennan campaign. Five kilos of boilies went out in the swim on arrival, followed by 3 bolt rigs on carp rods. I wonder how much bait went in by the end of the week. He got his 7lb chub, I think he got 2. To me that was the beginning of the end and that section's swims were then often taken by long stayers who bored the fish into taking a bait instead of fishing for them. Its all down to personal choice I prefer to, and get more pleasure when holding the rod waiting for a bite or trotting a float. But it did piss me off after a 100 mile journey watching people tie up good swims for days whilst fast asleep not catching much. Over the last 20 years the Angling press has pushed Carp fishing and created too many carp anglers for bank and there are lots of idiots. How many of us know old Skool Carp anglers that have had enough and look at Barbel fishing as an escape from the crazy carp fisheries that have been created. Sadly the crazies they are trying to avoid are now appearing on the river bank too. Even old skool well known Barbel anglers are going to the dark side 😀😀 and getting a bivvy out. Can you blame them on the Trent when the fishing is so good and the distance from home a couple of hours. My club has a no Bivvy on rivers rule though we have night fishing on a couple of sections
 
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Graham Elliott

Senior Member
I have a Brolly and now a bedchair.

Why. My 3 or so visits to the Trent in the Summer when its not dark to anything as late as 10.30pm means I can get some fishing often at the best time.

Hotels and Pubs often have restricted late check in times so not an option to do that.

I will book rooms if I go from Sept on.

However I always sit on my rods and don't even use a baitrunner or Alarms.

The sight of some " anglers" fast asleep in bivvy and alarms on, fishing rivers is not my idea of fishing.
 

Richard Isaacs

Senior Member
It’s certainly not new It’s just becoming more and more popular especially this year.
It does happen on the smaller rivers but generally tighter rules around nights/bivvys and harder fishing year on year pushes the activity towards the bigger more populated rivers.
The additional pressure is certainly not good and some anglers are rather naughty leaving rubbish behind and sleeping behind baited rods!
Does it matter if they have alarms or bivvys though?
Does the equipment used at all matter so long as it’s safe for the fish?

I’m always of the attitude that if it doesn’t cause harm to fish, venue or person then I mind my own business.
The Rivers are getting hammered this year and the additional pressure probably among other things has generated the slowest season start I’ve known in many years.

Now we could put this down to the amount of people switching from carp to barbel. We could put it down to the annoying over sensitive alarms being used but I’d be more inclined to believe that a huge % of people are still furloughed and some laid off and the rivers are getting very little relief time during the week.
 

Terry Simner

Senior Member
IMO it's a continuum ... at the one end it's bivvies, buzzer, and baitrunners ... and at the other it's roving with a centrepin, freelining/trundling, or float fishing. Each to their own, but I know where my heart lies. I'd get little or no satisfaction from fishing 'bank-tramp' style.
 

Edward Adcock

Senior Member
I can't relate to the type of barbel angler who uses alarms coupled with a device in their pocket which alerts them to an alarm going off when they are yards away from their rods. Or the ones who sit with the baitrunner on while reading a newspaper/book. I guess I am used to seeing alarms on lakes but not rivers which is completely alien to me.
 

Peter Brownbill

Senior Member
Only seen one bivvy on our stretch ,suppose the long stay angler it suits them and there fishing . What I’ve seen of the Trent it seem to be the norm, I’d rather walk away from the crowds to be honest prefer not to fish near anyone if I can , with people being furloughed and lakes being busy maybe more are fishing the rivers .
 

Andy Bebbington

Senior Member
was fishing a stretch of the bristol avon last friday and could here a bite alarm going beep beep every 10 seconds for the whole time i was there and he was over a hundred yards away from me.I wont be going back until the winter when all the noddy`s have gone home.
Andy
 

Mark Swaby

Senior Member
The worse lot I came across was about 25 years ago on the Rushden and Higham ferriers stretch at Turvey on the Great Ouse. I walked up to the weir pool from the road to see a couple of anglers there. So I dropped back down to the road bridge about 150 yards from the pool to give them space. Whilst I was tackling up one of these 'Anglers' came down to me and said you can't fish there, we are. I thought he was joking but he was deadly serious. I told him to go back to the weir pool in no uncertain terms thinking they had just baited it up. A couple of minutes later I saw something being wound upstream through my swim,it was a ledger with a red bead and boilie. This was attached to a rod on a bite alarm about 100yds upstream in a cattle drink, 50 yds from where they were sitting. When I went up to have a word they had 9 rods out all on alarms with the river up,it was like bleep bleep city.
 

Stephen Crowhurst

Senior Member
i was fishing the river stour very early sunday morning to try and get a few before the predicted hot sunny day dawned, quite successful,( for the stour, ) 4 chub biggest 5lb and an 11lb barbel. well pleased , i was just packing up about 0700 when a guy arrived pushing a fully loaded carp barrow full of gear . i was gobsmacked..all i had was a rod and reel, a rod rest, landing net, a small backpack and a small bait bucket . why do some anglers need so much STUFF.....
That’s a red letter day on the D.Stour.
 
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