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Modern barbel fishing

Ste Whybrow

Senior Member
I follow quite a few barbel pages on Facebook and a lot of questions asked are about bivvys cookers etc for the long stay angler,I’m not having a go at people who sit on the bank for days at a time but for me a 1 rod angler it all looks totally unreasonable to me -thoughts please👍
 

Ste Whybrow

Senior Member
This goes back to a previous thread “ are barbel the new carp” I don’t follow any barbel pages on Facebook, I just stick to this forum, my fears are if I join Facebook groups, I will get mad with certain types and say stuff that I perhaps shouldn’t on such platforms. I 100% get you though
I must admit the Facebook pages are rather depressing at times 😳
 

Howard Cooke

Senior Member
Facebook can often present a somewhat distorted view of life. For every cretin that posts something cretinous , I’m hopeful there are at least 100 other folk that you would happily introduce to your mother or lend them a shoe. The cretins do stand out a bit though. One of my favourite posts (which I see a lot) is from peeps posting stuff like “just bought myself a new blah blah rod. Anybody know if they’re any good?”. Many times I’ve been a whisker away from observing that it might have been prudent to ask before parting with cash.

I do think fishing is, and should be, a broad church and river fishing should be capable of accommodating many different styles of fishing. If people are courteous, respectful and considerate- especially to the fish and their surroundings I don’t have a problem with how people choose to fish. For many, barbel might not be on their doorstep so travelling long distances becomes a necessity. And why wouldn’t they look to squeeze in a couple of days/nights.

Obviously if they have set up camp in a swim you have been pre-baiting for 6 weeks, you’d probably want to force feed them wasps and suffocate them with a pair of sumo wrestler’s under garments. And the judge, himself a barbel angler, would understand and award you damages.
 

Gerry Giles

Senior Member
I follow quite a few barbel pages on Facebook and a lot of questions asked are about bivvys cookers etc for the long stay angler,I’m not having a go at people who sit on the bank for days at a time but for me a 1 rod angler it all looks totally unreasonable to me -thoughts please👍
I think there are a lot of people that get very opinionated thinking their way is the only proper way etc (not having a pop )

just stating a fact take me for instance if I lived very close to the Trent I would just fish fairly short sessions at what I thought were the best times
however its about 145miles to the river from my house takes me 2.5 to 3.5 traffic dependant so I fish for 48 hours when I get there
hope this helps ?
 
I generally fish with one rod but sometimes use two when carp fishing if the situation dictates and I am generally a short session angler but do not begrudge those who have the time to stay for 48hrs or more, It's just not for me. I think this is simply a symptom of the way we live now. As most shopping is done online, it is much easier for people to ask for product reviews on facebook than go into a shop and have a tactile experience with the product. In much the same way, we used to go into tackle shops or ask other anglers on the bank for tips and advice but we can now do the same from the comfort of our armchairs.

While I'm not in any group for Barbel (or any other species) I can see similar things happening in the groups for my local rivers/lakes. It is far easier (if less valuable/enjoyable) to ask which pegs are fishing well, which bait, how may wraps (the absolute worst of the lot), how deep, what substrate etc. than it is to take a walk down the river and look for yourself to build up a picture of the water and a plan.

I suppose I am just fortunate to live close to a river and within half an hour from the upper/middle Severn and have the luxury of doing my own recces but for those who travel far and wide for their fishing, I suppose I can see some value in doing their homework on facebook groups.

An example I saw this morning relating to a carp water...

If you thought Barbel anglers were bad, please, for your own sanity, avoid the 'carp scene' :oops:

Screenshot 2020-07-29 at 07.00.08.png
 

Rob Paylor

Senior Member
I've come to barbel fishing from many, many years of carp only and I think it has really helped me to hit the ground running (that and a huge dollop of help from some extremely competent barbel anglers!). I don't bivvy up, the only time I've taken a bivvy barbel fishing was to get some sleep during the day after doing two consecutive nights of sitting up all night! I can't possibly imagine mixing sleeping and barbel fishing, i'd be having to fund new rods and reels to replace the ones pulled in regularly and hate the thought of losing fish because I wasn't on the rod sharpish. Each to their own though, i'm not criticising those who do.

Also last winter, when a change of tactics was needed, I managed to utilise elements of a rig that was great for carp fishing into the way I wanted to present to barbel. Worked a treat and I had some lovely autumn/winter fish. I also guess my rigs are a little bit carpy. And I use bite alarms, just find the visual and audio helps if you're not staring at the rod constantly, but it's actually more because I just love to hear a screaming bite alarm 😂

Of course old skool stuff works and will always work, but been able to utilise modern methods and tackle from other disciplines can ultimately help put more fish on the bank. Good example being spoppers. Nicked from carp fishing, adapted to be an excellent bait dropper. Haven't used mine yet but have bought one and will master it in time 👍
 

Gerry Giles

Senior Member
One thing that really does annoys me

are the few people in Angling ! with the football team mentality you know the type that think the species of fish in this case Barbel they fish for are somehow superior to others ?
they have this deluded attitude ? and making derogatory comments about other species and even how people choose to fish ?

so someone who fishes one rod and a pin is such an amazing PROPER angler vastly superior to someone that fishes 2 rods with alarms and sits up all night and sleeps in the day in his bivvy !!!
I just think you utter fool we are all Anglers Fish are Fish ? I just wish people would just get along and realise we all go fishing for pleasure and are all different

so STOP being so far up your self and criticising other people for choosing the way they want to fish or even the species they fish for this business of Carp v Barbel is so bloody childish just shut up and grow up Please
Lets instead help and advise one another share ideas etc stop with the negative waves lol
 
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Lee White

Senior Member
I my self come from a carp fishing background but have also done 15 yes sea fishing plus general fishing as they say jack of all trades master of none ;)
If everyone fished the same at the same time for the same fish in the same way we would be buggered just go and enjoy don't worry what other people are doing enjoy what you do and adapt to the ever changing angling scene
You will always find one style or format of angling other than your current style that you will enjoy if you are not enjoying your current format adapt to survive from carp to pike from pike to sea from sea to barbel just keep it going keep learn but most of all


DON'T FORGET YOUR LEADS😂😂😂
 

Terry Harman

Senior Member
One thing that really does annoys me

are the few people in Angling ! with the football team mentality you know the type that think the species of fish in this case Barbel they fish for are somehow superior to others ?
they have this deluded attitude ? and making derogatory comments about other species and even how people choose to fish ?

so someone who fishes one rod and a pin is such an amazing PROPER angler vastly superior to someone that fishes 2 rods with alarms and sits up all night and sleeps in the day in his bivvy !!!
I just think you utter fool we are all Anglers Fish are Fish ? I just wish people would just get along and realise we all go fishing for pleasure and are all different

so STOP being so far up your self and criticising other people for choosing the way they want to fish or even the species they fish for this business of Carp v Barbel is so bloody childish just shut up and grow up Please
Lets instead help and advise one another share ideas etc stop with the negative waves lol
Yes Gerry it’s out of order... bloody mud pig anglers they’re all the same 😉😉😂😂😂
 

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
Have to say it.....I have noted a sense of superiority of carp anglers in respect to other "coarse anglers"! Not so much with anglers on barbel fishing though, thank goodness!

There are a few carp anglers in my area of France who I am sure think their fishing "rights" overrule any other water users use of the river. Fortunately there are not too many of them!

For me barbel fishing is perfect angling sport. They grow big enough and have enough muscle to put a bend in almost any rod. I can sit and wait for a bite or get moving to find a feeding fish. Almost any (smelly!) bait will catch them, but they are sometimes fickle enough to require some thought and preparation to catch.

Fortunate that barbel have a poor rep as table fare! There are still plenty in the rivers of wonderful France :cool:

A coarse fish for the common angler........and I am a peasant at heart! ;)
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
I don't see any claims to superiority in the areas of France where we live and visit. They are all quite naive compared to the hard core Brits and Dutch carp anglers.

I do have to smile though when I see a French carp angler. They are virtually all set up the same way; bivvy, four rod pod with all roads set horizontally at waist height and the lines taught to 100g leads and 15cm bolt rig leaders. They will have a spod rod with Spomb dangling from it and a landing net standing upright with a net big enough to land a small boat despite the upper limit of carp in the lake being less than 20lb. And they often have a small boat that they use for bait placement. I passed a couple today, exactly like that except for the boat as they are not allowed there. The two 'anglers' were sat around a picnic table about 30 metres from their rods. The picnic table next to their rods was full of bait tubs, another classic sign of French carpistes. Fifty Euros of bait and glugs on show and what I call a fish poacher is essential for the de-rigeur carpistes. The fish poacher is like a canvas baby bath set up to receive for unhooking purposes any carp that they might catch. The water in these thing feels like 30C hence my fish poacher reference. The most comical thing about the carpistes at this lake is that the fish are always at one end of the lake and the anglers are always at the other end of the lake, in the car park.

I cannot remember the last time I saw another barbel angler in these parts. A lot of the Brits who come over here soon realise that catching barbel over 3lb is'nt as easy as they thought so turn to other species. I have been close to giving up a few times but always end up 'having just one more season' at cracking the 10lb barrier.
 

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
I don't see any claims to superiority in the areas of France where we live and visit. They are all quite naive compared to the hard core Brits and Dutch carp anglers.

I do have to smile though when I see a French carp angler. They are virtually all set up the same way; bivvy, four rod pod with all roads set horizontally at waist height and the lines taught to 100g leads and 15cm bolt rig leaders. They will have a spod rod with Spomb dangling from it and a landing net standing upright with a net big enough to land a small boat despite the upper limit of carp in the lake being less than 20lb. And they often have a small boat that they use for bait placement. I passed a couple today, exactly like that except for the boat as they are not allowed there. The two 'anglers' were sat around a picnic table about 30 metres from their rods. The picnic table next to their rods was full of bait tubs, another classic sign of French carpistes. Fifty Euros of bait and glugs on show and what I call a fish poacher is essential for the de-rigeur carpistes. The fish poacher is like a canvas baby bath set up to receive for unhooking purposes any carp that they might catch. The water in these thing feels like 30C hence my fish poacher reference. The most comical thing about the carpistes at this lake is that the fish are always at one end of the lake and the anglers are always at the other end of the lake, in the car park.

I cannot remember the last time I saw another barbel angler in these parts. A lot of the Brits who come over here soon realise that catching barbel over 3lb is'nt as easy as they thought so turn to other species. I have been close to giving up a few times but always end up 'having just one more season' at cracking the 10lb barrier.
You nailed it with your description there Clive! I annoys me how much water these guys can hog, but as I said...not very many of them!

When we first moved here we went along to a local competition. Not to fish though, just to see how the locals did things.

The competition was from 9am until 12.30. Then lunch, of course (this is France!) Next session was from 2.30 until 4pm.

When we arrived at 11.30 there were plenty of rods in their rests. Most of the end rigs were just hanging under the rod tips.

The anglers? All sat at tables under the trees at the far end of the lake. They were already starting their meal!

All very pleasant and very sociable, but I doubt a fish was caught!

The life here revolves around food, wine and family. Work and hobbies have to fit in somewhere - but of lesser importance!

Actually, it is not a bad lifestyle. My 2-4 hour barbel sessions fall quite nicely into this routine!
 

Neil Smart

Senior Member
I my self come from a carp fishing background but have also done 15 yes sea fishing plus general fishing as they say jack of all trades master of none ;)
If everyone fished the same at the same time for the same fish in the same way we would be buggered just go and enjoy don't worry what other people are doing enjoy what you do and adapt to the ever changing angling scene
You will always find one style or format of angling other than your current style that you will enjoy if you are not enjoying your current format adapt to survive from carp to pike from pike to sea from sea to barbel just keep it going keep learn but most of all


DON'T FORGET YOUR LEADS😂😂😂
The transition from Carp to Barbel for some is understandable I get it, but the methods employed to catch carp doesn't transfer well to the river bank. I also get why carpers that come over to the real deal are in denial about not willing to scale down and adjust to the more subtle approach.

They must find it difficult to admit you don't have to have tonnes of gear to enjoy our wonderful pastime, personally I am always cutting down on what I take bank side, I have got it down to a quiver c/w one or two rods handle fold up net a couple of bank sticks and a mat. Bucket, fold up stool, and an old much loved Fox roaming belt. It is liberating, having just enough gear, no problem moving swims , and managing tackle.

For me this sits well with the nature of the Barbel, just replicating how the species itself goes about it's business.
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
You nailed it with your description there Clive! I annoys me how much water these guys can hog, but as I said...not very many of them!

When we first moved here we went along to a local competition. Not to fish though, just to see how the locals did things.

The competition was from 9am until 12.30. Then lunch, of course (this is France!) Next session was from 2.30 until 4pm.

When we arrived at 11.30 there were plenty of rods in their rests. Most of the end rigs were just hanging under the rod tips.

The anglers? All sat at tables under the trees at the far end of the lake. They were already starting their meal!

All very pleasant and very sociable, but I doubt a fish was caught!

The life here revolves around food, wine and family. Work and hobbies have to fit in somewhere - but of lesser importance!

Actually, it is not a bad lifestyle. My 2-4 hour barbel sessions fall quite nicely into this routine!
Yes, the fishing aspect does seem to just be an excuse for a social meeting. Those competitions always seem to be held in the middle of summer when there would be little chance of catching anything in the heat of the day. I love the aspect of them tipping a couple of hundred trout into the communal carp puddles a week before the matches though.

I tend to fish out of the way places where I rarely see other anglers. But when I do they love to ask questions about the English way of fishing and sometimes have a good rummage around my tackle box examining all the bits and bobs that make up rigs. I had one chap draw my barbel rig on a piece of cardboard so he could peche anglais next time he fished. :D

Barbel fishing isn't as popular in this region other than a few parcourse de peche places where mainly Brits angle for the noble species. The French don't seem to get it - yet!
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
I often get the impression from the many of the disparaging posts on here about carp angling that carp are easy to catch and that carp anglers aren’t very good anglers. Personally nothing could be further from the truth in my experience, I can only think that those who are always having a dig about carp angling haven’t ever properly fished for the species and proper venues.

Like barbel angling, carp angling is a broad church. For every easy ‘runs water’ such as the Rob Hales fisheries, or some of the venues at Linear etc (not my cup of tea) there are many more waters that are far from easy and provide a stern test of watercraft and angling skill to those fishing them, and require no small amount of determination. There is a famous carp water about 15 mins drive from where I live, where such is the low stock of fish that an angler catching say 2-3 carp during the course of a whole season is thought to have had an exceptional year. I know plenty of ‘carp’ anglers who go barbel fishing a few times of year on the Trent and Severn and enjoy the transition to a bit of ‘easier’ fishing. There is far too much talked about the tackle used by ‘carp’ anglers. The anglers I know might take a lot of stuff with them, but they are constantly on the move and mobile, thinking of nothing of packing everything up and chucking it on the barrow and wheeling it the best part of a mile to the other side of the lake if it puts them in front of fish. Even in the rain and sometimes in the dark.

Stereotyping those who fish for carp based on some of the would-be carp anglers you encounter at commercial runs waters is like stereotyping those who fish for barbel based on some of the anglers who fish Cromwell Weir week in week out.

And I think a lot of folks forget that many of us like to fish for a variety of species over the course of a year. I’d no more describe myself a ‘barbel’ angler than a ‘dace’ angler, I’m just an angler. I couldn’t fish for just one species all year round, I’m sure I would get bored witless.

Btw - when Dick Walker caught ‘Clarissa’ 1952, he was using electronic bite alarms. Not sure why I’ve added that, but I read it last night and it struck me that 68 years ago is a long time ago, and yet we still hear ‘traditionalists’ bemoaning their use, despite the fact many of them are using tackle that wasn’t available long after bite alarms were first being used.
 

Terry Simner

Senior Member
Stereotyping those who fish for carp based on some of the would-be carp anglers you encounter at commercial runs waters is like stereotyping those who fish for barbel based on some of the anglers who fish Cromwell Weir week in week out.
That about sums it up for me. There's good and bad in every branch of our pastime (but CV19 has really filled the banks with to$$ers this year).
 
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