Like all freshwater species, barbel are cold blooded so therefore the lower the water temperature the slower their natural metabolism. It flows through Pontypridd and through to Taff’s Well, the site of Wales’ only thermal spring. Pete, a highly respected expert on Hampshire Avon barbel, was amazed by his historic capture. In laymans terms this basically means the higher the water temperature the more active the fish will be therefore the more they will need to eat as they expend their energy then as the water temperature drops the reverse to this scenario is the case. It should never be enough to put an angler off, as being by running water is enough for most, that combined with generally decent chub sport early on. The River Severn barbel record is a debate topic. Our, Best practice guide for angling club volunteers, GDPR Statement & Information sources notice. Their origin is not confirmed, but however introduced, it’s clear the population of barbel, albeit with a distinct lack of smaller fish, are doing very well. One of the bonuses is all species can be caught on float, chub, dace, roach, bleak, and this can keep the angler entertained even if no barbel. With a warm flood being infrequent, this is no doubt welcomed by the barbel and they are renowned for taking the opportunity and “switch on”. The Taff attracts a good number of anglers who focus on the barbel fishing and are known to keep the most productive swims a closely guarded secret. I put only 2 boilies in as freebies which I’d broken in half and these were flicked in down the margin a half at a time, I didn’t want to concentrate the food offerings to tightly, hopefully spreading them out a little would see a barbel or 2 move around searching the food source out. After my opening day chub catch, I was keen to get a barbel on the bank. When I was seventeen years old, I caught a 9lb 12oz barbel, and a week later I lost a certain double-figure barbel right at the net, after an epic fight going through several weed beds. The River Wye (Afon Gwy) is the fifth-longest river in the UK, stretching some 134 miles from its source on Plynlimon in mid Wales to the Severn estuary at Chepstow. In the winter months barbel will lie up torpid for long periods of time, conserving their energy and only feeding should a morsel of food come within a small distance or right past their nose. Here, the angling history runs deep, and you’re never far from a “Severn angler” who’ll gladly recollect stories of bus loads of anglers of all ages turning up to fish. Scattering pellets across a swim and only fishing a lead has always been a favourite, the fish having to kite across the channel to grub around for baits, this perhaps more natural than following a line of scent upstream to a feeder. Whilst there’s only two barbel rivers that are truly in Wales from source to sea, the Taff and the lesser known Rhymney, there are several others that rise in Wales and run close to the border for their length. The huge Thames barbel came when Buckinghamshire-based self-employed plaster Ryan Pevy tackled the middle reaches of the mighty river. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Prologic Quick-Change Bankstick Adapter DIY Hack Video: Make Old & New Versions Fit Each Other! With the excellent habitat in the lower river, the Dee may produce even larger fish in future. Therefore, it could potentially be a hidden gem for the barbel angler willing to put some work into finding them. This was the only mild spell for another 7 weeks, once again when the weather turned I made the most of the opportunity, changing a few shifts at work around I was back on the bank at what I felt was the optimum time. ‘Sturgeon species are noted by a spindle-shaped body with five rows of bony scutes and a long snout with sensory barbels.’ There is much information on barbel handling, and a good general code of conduct can be found here. The River Severn (Afon Hafren), at 220 miles (354 km) long, is the longest river in Great Britain. The first 2 days saw me working which for me was fine as this fitted in with me missing the very beginning of a change in conditions whilst the fish acclimatised and hopefully come day 3 they’d be up for a morsel or 2 of food. 0 Of the twenty-one species of freshwater fish, five are peculiar to the country, but none is of much economic value save the barbel … For those who do use a thermometer I will say not to get too hung up on what it says at the particular time it’s in use. First barbel, first double. Due to barbel giving everything in the fight, they must be handled with care when unhooking and returning. In general, the first couple of weeks after June 16th are slow – the fishing can be frustratingly hit and miss, most likely due to expectations running high after 3 months away from the river! This whole stretch is known for large shoals of specimen Barbel running to double figures, Chub abound with Pike, Roach and Perch together with Carp. A Severn tributary, the stunning river Vrynwy rises in mid Wales near Llyn Vrynwy reservoir, and whilst the upper part is home to some great trout and grayling fishing, the middle and lower river has coarse fish species including barbel. In summer the river can still run cold due to it’s catchment high in the Beacons, and so a warm flood in autumn and winter are the best times. At first I thought it was a chub, as it shook its head and thumped about, but it soon realized what was happening and screamed off downstream and convinced me it was no mere chub. On the float, maggots are generally an absolute winner. It flows underneath the M4 Motorway, before turning south east and through Cardiff and out into the Bristol Channel. But multiple catches can still be made, and occasional double-figure fish feature, too. If you’ve got a low water temp reading BUT the temps rising then time your session right and a few barbel could be yours. The fishing is anything but easy with many stretches banning night fishing, limited swims and some rather precarious areas that the fish inhabit. Our young barbel were bred from brood stock fish from the river Derwent, which hosts a strain of powerful fish with good growth rates that are able to reach double figures They were supplied by Epperstone Park Hatcheries in Nottinghamshire. Either way there is excellent fishing to be had on fisheries with exceptional access and in some of the most stunning surroundings in the UK. I was on the bank for a total of 1 ½ hours and home for 8pm. There’s the Welsh Dee which holds barbel in its lower reaches from Bangor on Dee, plus the Severn, a famous barbel river and the Vrynwy. It is also popular with anglers for its head of big chub, as well as fighting-fit brown trout. Losing that fish hurt me, having seen it a couple of times and particularly at the net, was even worse than not knowing how big it was. There’s nothing to say barbel can’t be caught during a prolonged cold spell as they can and do by anglers every winter. Hooks that are set in the lips seldom come out. Each year fish well into double figures are banked, and there are numerous record claims, the latest being 18lb 1oz in 2014 which broke the former 17lb 2oz record specimen caught in 2007. As a result, these days game and coarse anglers co-exist on the river. I found myself fishing exactly the same swim I’d caught from in January and my efforts to get on the bank were richly rewarded with a stunning barbel of 12lbs 12oz. How the swim is fed and the hookbait fished probably being the variation required to turn the odd fish into steady catching. Fish samples. River Derwent barbel fishing - double trouble It seemed that all hope of me leaving the barbel alone this summer had gone out of the window. Fishing. Once they’ve acclimatised though it can be fill your boots time with some fantastic winter fishing. The often hushed-up River Taff is renowned for producing surprisingly large barbel. Who knows what potential could be found here for somebody willing to put the hours in? Only 20 minutes after casting in I was in to a fish which once landed came in at a very healthy 12lbs. If popularity is allowed to increase in fishing, and if new areas open up on this otherwise difficult to access river, then the future could be very bright for the Taff. 3 pouches of maggots per trot is ideal, with a pouch of hemp every half a dozen runs through, and even a pouch of corn every dozen trots just to mix it up. A few friends of mine fished this particular stretch the following 2 days with a variety of methods and baits for no fish between them which just goes to show how small the window of opportunity can be in winter. For much of its length the river forms part of the border between England and Wales. Let’s say the whole of December has seen sub-zero temperatures with a cold northerly or easterly wind blowing but moving into the New Year the forecasters are telling us to expect a few days of south westerly winds bringing with it a low pressure front and some warmer temperatures into double figures. I had only been cast out 10 minutes when the rod top gave the typical 6ft twitch of a barbel bite! The often hushed-up River Taff is renowned for producing surprisingly large barbel. 1 A fleshy filament growing from the mouth or snout of a fish. My first Trent “double” and not a bad result for my first cast of the trip! There are reports of good sized barbel being caught on the Vrynwy from llandysilio area to its junction with the Severn, although it is very underfished. Prices: £75 a season, Pulborough AS. I repeated the process in the other 3 swims for nothing so deciding to drop into swim 1 for a last cast I promptly landed another fish of around 7lbs. It rises in the Cambrian Mountains in mid Wales, a few meters form the source of the Wye on the Plynlimon. ... Saying that when you hook a double figure barbel … The Wye used to be considered one of the best salmon rivers in the UK (outside Scotland), and was particularly famous for its large “spring” salmon that reached weights of over 50 pounds (23 kg), the largest recorded being 59 lb 8 oz (27.0 kg) landed after a long fight by Miss Doreen Davey from the Cowpond Pool at Winforton on 13 March 1923. Fish infected simultaneously with P. laevis and larval nematodes of the genus Eustrongylides sp. There may not be as many stillwater fisheries around the UK as there once were but what we do have…, What tackle do you need for bass fishing?? This has been the first recapture meaning there are group of reasonable fish and a real chance of something much bigger as the season progresses and the fish pile on their winter weight. The Wye has never been renowned for big fish, certainly not rivalling other rivers in the country, and although the barbel record was broken in 2019, at 14-12, the previous record at 14-9 stood for over 20 years. As most will remember the winter of 2012/13 was a very cold/wet one. The mighty Welsh Dee is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in north Wales. The river begins in Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri, in Snowdonia. Although not native to the Dee, barbel have subsequently been re-stocked by the Environment Agency on a few occasions. The river then flows through three different counties before becoming the Severn Estuary. Every fish after that was a barbel. A twelve pound barbel is a nice way to start the season in terms of double figure fish, and this fish was a longish, lean and probably fairly old fish, but it fought like a tiger despite its age. Once the water temperatures have lowered however and become constant barbel will feed, although it’s highly likely it’ll be for a very short, defined period each day so being on the banks at the right time is essential and even then there’s no guarantees. Through winter up to February again only a warm flood is tantalising enough for many to reach for the barbel rod. The river runs south from its source near Rhymney high in the Welsh valleys through New Tredegar, Bargoed, Ystrad Mynach, Llanbradach to Caerphilly at the southern end of the Rhymney Valley. Barbel can be caught year round (during the coarse season), the best time to fish for them depends on how you want to fish for them, and whether you’re after size, quality, or numbers of fish. The torch light said it was another double but the scales disagreed refusing to go those couple of extra notches. If you’ve got a high temperature reading BUT the temps are dropping then the chance of a bite is minimal. The largest of the five fish didn’t quite make double figures, but they all smashed the tip round in fine style (which is one of my favorite things about barbel fishing). More often than not the clocks going back can signal a feeding frenzy amongst many species, barbel included as they prepare themselves for what can be a long, cold winter. Here the river is similar to the Wye, meandering through rolling countryside and with similar geomorphology – pacey gravel channels around islands, running off into deeper steadier water, that fish as well in a flood as any time. I fish the Kennet and Cherwell mainly and normally am quite successful, however when fishing the Thames I have never caught a Barbel butknow they are Thames Weirs and Barbel - Barbel … As the water temperatures are dropping alongside the air temperatures it’s highly unlikely barbel will feed at all as they lie up whilst their bodies acclimatise to the changing environment around them. Further down on the Algarve we have the Southern Barbel, a beautiful fish which fights double what you might be used to with English fish of the same size, only last week in middle of winter we had over 50 fish to 11lbs in one day. The tidal stretch at Stopham is deep and fast flowing but holds plenty of double-figure barbel as well as enough smaller specimens to keep you interested. A good double figure fish on a very short winter session Digital Thermometer, an essential piece of the winter barbel anglers armoury There’s a lot written and said about the exact water temperatures that are good for winter barbel fishing, I carry a digital thermometer with me everywhere when I’m fishing, taking water temperatures regularly. Lactic acid build up in the fishes muscles during a fight with a hooked barbel can be exasperated with the current high water temps and low DO levels, this can cause acidification of the barbels blood which can cause the complete metabolic breakdown of the barbel, it may swim off strong out of instinct and you may treat it with the utmost care whilst in you try to resuscitate them, but this … Rather than look at the winter as a whole and cover November right through to mid March I’ll take a look at a typical period of weather that could normally be expected in the depths of winter. Rather than labour the point of whens best to go here’s the story of the only 3 barbel I caught during the early part of last year. The Wye is especially important for nature conservation, with numerous designations – the lower valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with the entire system designated as both a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). In this article for the Fishing In Wales blog Adam Fisher of Angling Dreams takes a look at river fishing for barbel in Wales, including places to catch them, the best times to fish for them and barbel fishing methods and tactics. Barbel are only found in the Taff from Radyr weir down to the Principality stadium in Cardiff, although a new fish pass at the weir constructed in 2019 may allow them to increase their range. However as time passed, and always seeking new challenges, my thoughts once again returned to the subject with renewed interest. Overcoming the strong runs or the dogged riverbed hugging to bring a double figure barbel to the net needs a strong hook. Catchable all year round, on a variety of methods, and with dozens of small fish around 1lb caught every year, the Wye will likely be the premier UK barbel destination for years to come. The last 2 weeks of the season in early March is when sport can return to not needing a flood or maggots, as the fish start to feed again before going into spawning time. You can read more on float fishing for barbel in this article…. Keep your eyes open for part 2 of my winter barbel approach where I will look at different baits and their applications. Although the guarded element of fishing the Taff for monsters is exciting, recruitment is crucial for the future. Fish are abundant, especially coarse fish such as pike, perch, roach, dace and barbel. A good double figure fish on a very short winter session, Digital Thermometer, an essential piece of the winter barbel anglers armoury.
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