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The 'slap" of a big fat feeder.

Neil Smart

Senior Member
There is a school of thought that continuous casting of a feeder can be counter productive and scare Barbel off.with the noise it makes on entry. I witnessed an extraordinary session the other evening when every fish and its dog were fighting for the feed on entry, the usual bleak shimmer, but the Chub, and in one instance big Barbel breached clean out of the water.
Now I appreciate the idea of feeder fishing is to get it on the deck, but the way the fish responded was something I have not witnessed since a few years back when the Wye was stuffed with Barbel and competition was fierce to be the one that got caught.
But this was the WA, and a seemingly devoid river can come alive in such a way leaves me with renewed optimisism and perhaps not to worry so much about the the 'splash' effect, or is it affect?😞
Certainly a open ended feeder with a dry crumb mix is not ideal, but boy was it fun...

Gerry Giles

Senior Member & Supporter
not seen it with Barbel myself heard about it
but have seen it lots of times Carp fishing when a spod of bait or a catty full of boilies hits the water its like a dinner bell to the fish so guess it depends on how much its fished and how used to it the fish are ?

Simon Burt

Senior Member & Supporter
You were right first time with 'effect' :)
I only regularly use a feeder when I am fishing the Wye as I do worry about the splash on a small river like The BA or the Somerset Frome. However this year I have tried a small cage feeder with some groundbait and a few hook bait samples locally and although I haven't caught barbel on it (not the only method to fail unfortunately) I have had plenty of roach and chub and is a good way of bringing what seems like a quiet swim to life. It would be great to see some barbel either under or above the water.

Michael Weir

Senior Member
I had a session like that about 15 years ago. Maggot n hemp in a 50g black cap. I was into a fish within seconds of hitting the surface. Lifted the rod to give line on impact. Closed the bail arm and bang rod was bending round. 13 barbel one after another in 3 hours. My brother in the next swim upstream similar. An amazing few hours.

Ian Sewter

Senior Member
In a thread entitled "Barbel Behaviour" I observed the tendency of barbel to respond to the splash of a feeder but was not sure if it was the explosion of bait or the splash itself. In order to induce a bite I would sometimes recast a feeder with an untouched bait in a 3 feet swim and almost immediately get a bite (even before the bail arm was in) . This has happened on at least two different rivers. I reported that even re-casting an empty feeder induced a bite - the same thing happened yesterday. Bait untouched on the bottom of a shallow swim for ages and then a re-cast produces an immediate response. I know it does not work everywhere and some barbel are disturbed by splash but sometimes its worth a re-cast!