Barbel feeding, and other things

matti

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Morning,

So, over the last few weeks I've been having a go for the barbel on the river ribble with little success, on the stretch I fish your really only allowed to fish with one rod, although it never seems to be enforced,

So on my main rod, I'd generally fish with feeder, but I'm getting confused with what I should be feeding, I generally use either a 8 or 14mm halibut pellet on the hair, and fill the feeder with a mix of halibut ground bait, hemp and pellets
( not necessarily halibut pellet, generally skrettings as I've sacks of those, in sizes 2,4 and 8mm).

On my second rod I fish a running lead, down stream of the feeder, with either a halibut pellet of cheesie/ garlic pellet/bollie hook bait.

Am I giving the fish too much choice of what to feed on? , should I just stick hemp/ groudbait, or hemp/ smaller sizes of pellets? Or should I just fill the feeder with what I've got on the hook?

So my first rod with the feeder, I generally cast straight out infront of me, and the rod with the running lead I cast 5-10m down stream on generally the same line.
Should I be fishing the same run with both lines?, or should I fish fish 2 diffrent lines if available?

Night fishing, its been a long time since I've night fished, what do you use as an indicator on your rod tips, do people still use starlights, or is there a better modern option?
What light do people use for general back ground lighting, lantern etc?

Cheers
 

smiffy

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A “very” general rule of thumb is, clear water fish a block end, coloured water fish a groundbait/open end feeder. If the river receives a lot of pressure then the fish will be hard to catch. When the water is clear it’s often beneficial to fish more natural baits like Maggot,caster and hemp. Coloured water is when big smelly baits will work alongside smelly groundbait.
Always exceptions to the rule but they’re pretty good guidelines.
If its clear but the fish are backing off the pellet then you may have to wait until dusk,dark.
Myself? I’d wait until the river is running hard with plenty of colour,maybe close to flooding. Much easier to catch wary Barbel in those conditions👍
Bear in mind I live in Essex so I’ve no clue about the Ribble😉
 

Alantherose

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Sounds ok to me, but I fish for barbel on small-ish rivers so never bother with feeder- just use the lightest bomb I can get away with and then loose feed hemp and 8mm halibut pellets.
 

rd115

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I fish a very low stocked (Barbel wise) lower Derwent and I've caught one decent Barbel so far and lost one. Perhaps a similar river to the Ribble?

Caught one in low and clear conditions in daylight and lost one in the darkness.

I Fish a open cage feeder upstream stuffed with groundbait and corn or caster on the hook. And fish a straight lead downstream with hair rigged boilie and a pva mesh bag of a few chopped boilies.

I find I really need to put some bait in whatever the conditions to attract the fish, possibly due to how few Barbel there seem to be in there. It definitely ain't like the Trent towards newark.

That said the Barbel have to work for food out of my peg, I use a dark smelly groundbait with little or no big particles, purely for smell. Use that day or night.

I catapult hemp out quite freely, but they really need to get their heads down to get a meal out of that. I'll occasionally put out a few grains of corn over the top and a few 8mm pellets if I'm getting some indications on the tip.

My only Derwent fish came to the upstream rod to a single grain of corn on a size 12 kamasan animal, 5lb fluoro hooklength in bright daylight. The one I lost came to boilie on a downstream rod in total darkness.

I've tried with very little feed and not had any tip indications.

I also tend to target the slower deeper water just after a shallow gravelly bit.

I took my dad on his first ever outing on the Derwent and he caught first time fishing a single rod, straight lead and boilie but throwing handfuls of corn and pellet over the top quite heavily, he caught in the nearside slack water.

I think I should really read some Barbel books to make the most of this sort of river 😀
 

matti

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A “very” general rule of thumb is, clear water fish a block end, coloured water fish a groundbait/open end feeder. If the river receives a lot of pressure then the fish will be hard to catch. When the water is clear it’s often beneficial to fish more natural baits like Maggot,caster and hemp. Coloured water is when big smelly baits will work alongside smelly groundbait.
Always exceptions to the rule but they’re pretty good guidelines.
If its clear but the fish are backing off the pellet then you may have to wait until dusk,dark.
Myself? I’d wait until the river is running hard with plenty of colour,maybe close to flooding. Much easier to catch wary Barbel in those conditions👍
Bear in mind I live in Essex so I’ve no clue about the Ribble😉
So this kind of feeder, filled with 2-4mm pellets ?
 

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Zerkalo

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I feel I have slowly worked out how to fish medium sized river like the Severn, a lot thanks to advice from the forum, no groundbait when it's clear etc, but have been struggling the last few sessions which I put down to conditions. When I've done well, I've always felt it was either due to favourable conditions or just landing on a shoal of Barbel, as much as it was how I fished it, so I'm not too hard on myself when I don't do well. But the one time I fished the Trent I felt out of my comfort zone with boats etc going through, no noticeable features to the flow, I didn't know where to cast.
 

smiffy

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So this kind of feeder, filled with 2-4mm pellets ?
Maggot,caster and hemp in clear water. Pellet if you’re fishing up to and after dark.
Like I say, I don’t know the Ribble but pellet is becoming a warning sign to pressured fish. It’s a reflex as much as anything else.
No matter how much you like to eat something, if someone gives you a proper clip round the ear everytime you do eventually you’ll be too frightened to eat it👍
Again though. There’s no hard and fast rules. I still have a lot of faith in hemp and lots of it.
 
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bluemack

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Maggot,caster and hemp in clear water. Pellet if you’re fishing up to and after dark.
Like I say, I don’t know the Ribble but pellet is becoming a warning sign to pressured fish. It’s a reflex as much as anything else.
No matter how much you like to eat something, if someone gives you a proper clip round the ear everytime you do eventually you’ll be too frightened to eat it👍
Again though. There’s no hard and fast rules. I still have a lot of faith in hemp and lots of it.
Totally agree regarding the hemp mate,hemp ,hemp and more hemp. (y) (y)
 

BoldBear

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I don't know the ribble but I'm assuming it's a relatively smallish river and this how I would target the barbel if It were me fishing there.

First I would use just a single rod and touch leger with my finger over the line, this allows you to feel everything happening down at the hook and allows you to pull into the fish the second you feel a 3ft twitch or feel when the barbel picks up and mouths your bait without giving a 3ft twitch. Plus it allows you to look at things around you while knowing that the second something moves your bait you will know about it.

I don't tend to use hemp after it gets dark and only tend to use feed pellets (crab or fishmeal flavoured pellets) either on their own or together with hemp during the daylight hours. If I am using feed pellets in the colder months then I will usually put them in a smallish PVA mesh bag to keep them fairly close or downstream of the hookbait as much as I can.

I often coat my hookbait in a fishmeal paste so that it will create a flavour trail leading downstream as it slowly dissolves leading all the way back up to the hookbait

I use the smallest lead that I can on a sliding link leger and I'm usually using a half ounce flat lead if I need to hold still against a feature or a string of SSG shot if I'm trundling every few minutes.
A small lead will allow your hookbait to start trundling a foot or two whenever you raise your rod tip slightly and I often get a take during or immediately after my bait has been trundled.

When I cast, I look for features whenever it's possible, like underwater boulders which give themselves away by a continuous boil on the surface, or close to the near or far banks just downstream of tree roots stretching out into the water, or between fronds of streamer weed or a steady glide leading down to an overhanging tree branch etc.

If smallish chub are likely to be a nuisance then I tend to use a hair rig, as they will often pick up a bait in their lips (with the hook still on the outside of the mouth) before moving off and a hair will often result in the bait pulling free of their lips as they move off.
This doesn't always work but it works more often than not.

Anyway that is how I tend to fish for barbel on a smallish river.

Good luck and tight lines

Keith
 
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