• You need to be a registered member of Barbel Fishing World to post on these forums. Some of the forums are hidden from non-members. Please refer to the instructions on the ‘Register’ page for details of how to join the new incarnation of BFW...

Daylight hours fishing.

Mike Thompson

Senior Member
I would consider myself an angler of average ability. Being retired means I can fish when I want, but the years do mean I have to be a little more careful than when I was younger. So no precarious banks and no night fishing.
I fish relatively small/medium rivers, the Yorkshire Ouse, Derwent and Wharfe.
In the first few weeks of the season I was reasonably successfully, 12 barbel and 9 chub in the first seven outings, but lately my ratio has dropped dramatically and blanks are now the norm.
I appreciate after a few weeks the fish adjust to fishing pressure and might move to less fished locations and I try to adjust my fishing accordingly.
But what do members think about daytime fishing for barbel and have you any suggestions for those of us not wishing to fish into dark.

Julian Marshall

Senior Member
Well I'm a bit the same, haven't managed to get out as often as I'd like, however.
I'm happy enough with a very early start & finish by dinnertime.
Swale, Ure, Nidd. 15th August and not a single babel all season ....
I do notice from a lot of the lovely fish on the rivers photos that many are taken in what looks like pitch blackness!

Graham Tremble

Senior Member
Hi Mike,
I may be saying the obvious but it has to be small baits and lighter tackle when the swim is appropriate for that approach. Personally I used to wait for the river ( lower Severn usually ) to have a 'drop on' and then I could use the heavier tackle and big smelly baits.

Richard Isaacs

Senior Member
I love catching them during the daylight hours it’s just a much nicer experience all round. Very hard work in low clear conditions mind as they don’t like to stray too far from the cover.
A bit of fresh water and colour is a very different story and we had quite a bit of that last summer compared to this year which probably explains the success differences
I had a few daytime fish last summer and this year I’ve had none. All My day sessions This season have either resulted in blanks or the fish have turned up as the sun sets.

in low clear conditions all you can do is travel light and drop in on as many swims as you can to seek them And run something straight past their noses. and when it’s up and pushing through the work will be easier as they’ll be actively moving and looking for food.

Adam King

I love daytime fishing and personally I have caught very few barbel at night compared to the numbers that I have caught in the day leading up to dusk (with the last hour being the golden hour). I would say get on the maggots, hemp and casters. The difference in catch rates can be huge, however you have to be spot on with your location and don’t be afraid to move if you haven’t had anything within a couple of hours. Failing that there is always float fishing or rolling meat (neither of which I have masses of experience on).

Edward Adcock

Senior Member
I caught my first 2lb river roach at night and it was nothing like the excitement I felt when I caught the next one in daylight. I would have drowned a long time ago if I had continued to fish at night. I also left a lot of tackle by the river bank and car. I enjoy fishing into twilight but could not start in darkness like some.

Gavin Hoe-Richardson

Senior Member
Hi Mike, you know what I've been doing on the same rivers that you fish, a lot of floatfishing by day then sitting it out with big static baits at dusk. Most areas have seen a huge increase in angling pressure this year, add into the mix high pressure, low and clear conditions, anglers heaping bait in, kayakers, open water swimmers, kids in inflatables, people diving from bridges, picnickers etc. No wonder the fish have disappeared off somewhere quiet or withdrawn into the quieter times of the night to feed.

Cliff Turner

Senior Member
I think location is the key, if you are on them then I believe generally they are catchable and also recommend a moving bait when its low and clear.

Ian Lovett

Senior Member
Regular feeding can also bring the fish on the feed. It doesn't have to be massive amounts as long as it isn't being eaten by hoards of small fish. Doesn't have to be expensive as well. I use hemp seed with a few 6mm pellets mixed in. Can be introduced by feeder or catapult.

I come from a match fishing background so regular feeding comes naturally to me. I have sat for a few hours and it seems like there are no fish in the river when all of a sudden you start to catch.

Good luck with whatever you try.

Mike Thompson

Senior Member
Thanks guys.
I am happier when there is a bit of extra water, but even that has not been productive this year. Have tried static small baits, casters, maggots and sweetcorn, but plagued with minnows and small silvers.
Will put some effort into float fishing and rolling meat.
Going for a walk on a quiet section this afternoon hoping to find a few new spots to target.

Ady Brayshaw

Senior Member
It's been a bit of a mixed bag for me this season. Success on one hand (up to 5 fish in a session) but lately a few blanks on the trot. The blanks have even included where I've moved onto crashing fish. When I've caught they've come out at all times. I haven't fished much this season due to conditions and work commitments but it is most definitely harder this year. Certainly on the venue's I'm fishing. Fishing pressure, weather conditions lack of rain and last season's heavy rain I feel have changed the dynamics.

Alex Gowney

Senior Member
Daytime fishing really relies very much on location, especially nowadays with a vastly decimated barbel population in most rivers. I always found hemp and maggots/casters in good quantities could almost guarantee some fish if applied carefully. The trouble now is you have to be absolutely certain you have barbel in or near the swim or it is a very expensive way to blank. As for the enjoyment factor, I have always much preferred night fishing, especially in summer. There is something very atmospheric about watching the beta light on a hot summer night with the stars looking as big as pebbles in the night sky. The earth almost seems to tick over as it cools down, like a car engine after a long journey, and I find it so much more rewarding than daylight fishing.

Rod Fowler

Senior Member
I used to fish a small southern river. At first barbel were plentiful and relatively easy to catch in the day. Over the years it suffered the fate of many similar rivers until we were fishing for far fewer fish. Fishing after dark seemed to become a requirement if you were to catch regularly, until a friend kindly taught me how to fish rolled meat effectively. Searching them out with a big moving bait seemed to be the key, and I was able to catch in the day again. Got much nicer photos too😊. Hope this helps.

Rob Paylor

Senior Member
Mike, you and me both! I had very good success until recently where it has become much more of a slog, and last weeks 3 barbel sessions were all blanks for me (two on the Derwent, one on the Ouse). I had got quite used to catching so it is a little frustrating 😂 And i'm always fishing into dark so it's not just the day anglers struggling.

I think the low clear rivers, high pressure and warm temperatures are a big part to factor in. Since I've switched over to barbel from carp, I've spent much more time following the weather patterns and river levels and they've provided far from inspiring conditions recently, so much so that I was hoping the storms would land in our area and get some extra water into the rivers. Unfortunately they haven't materialised yet and so my motivation is also very low at present.

I find it interesting when people put up a pic of a big barbel that have been caught in daylight, I don't think I've caught any of my bigger fish in daylight and not that many in daylight altogether, unless there's significant extra water in. Even when I was doing well earlier in the season, I've been made to wait by many of the barbel until last knockings, and I've been very close to blanking a number of times but just managed one towards the end!

However, I do think there's always a chance, day or night, on any venue as captures posted by others support. I think we just need to keep going through the motions until better conditions arrive. It would be nice to use the quiet time to search out more likely swims, try somewhere you maybe wanted to (and even if you don't catch gain some knowledge of somewhere new) and also mess about with methods. But, personally I find it can mess with the mind to start mixing stuff up, because if you still don't have success you can be left thinking maybe you would have if you had stuck to what you know.

In summary I think my last sentence is what lets me down, and where the seasoned/much more experienced guys keep doing well as they can adapt better and know where to go and what to do. I'm sure the good times will return soon :)

David Maddison

Senior Member
Rob. The first few doubles I had out of the Ouse a few years ago were in daylight and on a very low river! I've had the odd 'multiple' catch when the river is like that to, but not when the temperature is very high! I used to fish small baits most of the time (8mm source pellet) and had my first 2 Ouse doubles on them through the day!

Mike Thompson

Senior Member
Going to have a couple of sessions this week, 20 minutes in a swim then move, rolling meat and link ledgering small pellets. Perhaps a more delicate approach with no freebies will produce.

Richard Isaacs

Senior Member
The ivel used to be the same. Day time catches were fairly common and they were typical ivel lumps. 10mm banded pellets run down along the bottom between the streamer weed was always a good day method. We’d catch on bigger baits too anchored to the bottom but to do this you’d need to find a spot with good cover and flick out right under it.
they are just instinctively less active creatures during the day light and you simply need to bring them breakfast in bed.
I believe you really don’t need to worry too much about Small baits and lighter presentation you just need to find them and not let them know you are there.
if you had the ability to snap your fingers and magically put a bait 12 inches from a barbels nose it wouldn’t matter what size or shape it was. If she was feeding she’d take it.
the difficulty is during the day when the sun is shining and the water is clear, that is the sort of proximity you need to achieve to make it worth the gamble for her to take it.
you’ve got to understand the reason behind a daytime blank to achieve a daytime result. I’m firmly of the belief that 90% of those blanks are for 3 reasons alone.
she’s not there in the first place
She’s spooked off because she knows your around
She’s there but she ain’t coming out and not prepared to feed.