Barbel in keepnets

Zerkalo

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Now here’s a thread that might provoke strong opinions. Barbel in keepnets. What are your thoughts?

I did so the other day on the weir but utmost precautions were taken, it’s not something I’d do pleasure fishing on the Severn, but it felt right and safe to do so on the weir. Keepnet was out in flowing water and fish were rested before and after going in the net. Fish were not weighed altogether like they would be in a match. Some people might still say it shouldn't be done.
 

Freesolo82

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I have only ever put 2 in a keepnet and both swam away fine, not much to base a opinion I know.

Can keepnet stress barbel to the point of death?
 

nejohn

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I don't do it but if the fish are not overly large (probably about 3lb max) and the net is big enough with a good flow of water through it and the fish properly rested then I don't have a great issue with it as long as they show no signs of distress. I am not one for weighing or photographing fish on a regular basis but will do it now and again so I have no real need to put a Barbel in a keep net like I might for Dace or Chub that may well spook the rest of the shoal. Bottom line for me if the fish are safe and not distressed or harmed then all is good
 

Zerkalo

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Spooking the rest of the shoal was one of the reasons I did it the other day. Only a small weir and a shoal of Barbel had moved in. Not sure if I would have hooked 4 of them if I'd returned them. I expected to catch Chub but as the Barbel were only small decided it was safe to put them in the net and they swam off at the end with no problems. Obviously it is done in matches but from what I've read and been told by bailiffs it's sometimes frowned upon.
 

Lee Richards

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Read the Barbel Society code of conduct and view the opinions on BFW.
It all comes down to how you respect your fish and how much you like to stroke your ego.

A Barbel swimming off means nothing as you don't know what happens after.
 

Robwooly

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Spooking the rest of the shoal was one of the reasons I did it the other day. Only a small weir and a shoal of Barbel had moved in. Not sure if I would have hooked 4 of them if I'd returned them.
Rest assured that releasing them into the swim shouldn't result in the shoal leaving,or stopping feeding. Barbel are one of the best fish for sticking around in such circumstances,, just ask roach anglers, if they could catch one barbel and then get through to the roach that way they would try it every day, but alas it never works :)
 

Zerkalo

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Interesting. They certainly stick around on the Severn or bigger rivers, gut instinct told me that if there were Barbel in the weir they might not stick around but might be wrong. I think when they eventually went quiet it was because it was midday, either that or I'd caught them all. ?
 

Zerkalo

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10. The Barbel Society recognises that barbel are retained in keepnets during matches. However, we appeal to match anglers to use the largest barbel friendly nets they can and to position them where the fish can obtain maximum through flow of water and minimum overcrowding. Staking the closed end of the keepnet up-river will greatly help in this matter.

We also ask that a weigh and release policy is considered where large fish in particular can be weighed individually and released soon after capture. We would also ask that soft slings are considered and used for weighing and that all barbel are nursed so as they are fully recovered before release.

This is from the Barbel society code of conduct. I wonder if that is the policy followed in matches though?


Mixed opinions of BAA forum.


Slightly anti on Barbel forum.
 

Robwooly

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Interesting. They certainly stick around on the Severn or bigger rivers, gut instinct told me that if there were Barbel in the weir they might not stick around but might be wrong. I think when they eventually went quiet it was because it was midday, either that or I'd caught them all. ?
They stick around in smaller rivers too Zercalo don't worry about that. Also your shoal could well be in that weir 24/7
 

Zerkalo

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They stick around in smaller rivers too Zercalo don't worry about that. Also your weirpool shoal is could well be in that weir 24/7

Maybe. I mentioned in my report when I fished there that I used to think the fish were full time residents there, now I've came to believe that they're more nomadic than I thought. I've fished there for 2 years now and the fish I catch tend to come and go. I've had repeated catches of the same fish there but they seem to come and go too. The Golden Orfe that was in there seems to have disappeared and I think the Barbel would be among the most nomadic of fish?
 

Lee Richards

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Of course it's not followed in matches,different agendas.
The questions you need to ask are many would you put in and what size would you stop at?
You can set your targets but when it's all about the net photo the attitude can soon change.
I have the t-shirt
 

OldTaff

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I wouldn’t - the only barbel I caught was by accident in a winter club river match and the match secretary was a few pegs down from me with the scales. Gave him a shout & we weighed it immediately, quick photo of fish and fish on scales then back in.

Had zero effect on the rest of my match since the roach continued to feed well throughout.


Karl
 

Robwooly

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Maybe. I mentioned in my report when I fished there that I used to think the fish were full time residents there, now I've came to believe that they're more nomadic than I thought. I've fished there for 2 years now and the fish I catch tend to come and go. I've had repeated catches of the same fish there but they seem to come and go too. The Golden Orfe that was in there seems to have disappeared and I think the Barbel would be among the most nomadic of fish?
Yeah true perhaps 24/7 was the wrong thing to say but what I mean is that the weir may well be their base and they leave it now and again (probably at night or high water levels) and that they are not coming in to the swim rather returning to it or are already there but not feeding, after all if someone has a good day for them there then next day it may seem like they are absent. I bet someone fished the day after you and thought the fish weren't there. They can get right under the sills in most weirs or hang in the tail under weeds etc

The only way to prove they are nomadic is to catch a recognisable fish elsewhere in the river
 

Zerkalo

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Yeah true perhaps 24/7 was the wrong thing to say but what I mean is that the weir may well be their base and they leave it now and again (probably at night or high water levels) and that they are not coming in to the swim rather returning to it or are already there but not feeding, after all if someone has a good day for them there then next day it may seem like they are absent. I bet someone fished the day after you and thought the fish weren't there. They can get right under the sills in most weirs or hang in the tail under weeds etc

Will be interesting in coming days/weeks to see if they do show again as there seemed to suddenly be plenty in there. There's this 'sand bank' in there that local lore seems to say they hang around, that's the usual Chub area too mind.
 

Robwooly

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Will be interesting in coming days/weeks to see if they do show again as there seemed to suddenly be plenty in there. There's this 'sand bank' in there that local lore seems to say they hang around, that's the usual Chub area too mind.
Sounds like a cracking swim, maybe don't give it too much publicity otherwise you could find them gone completely like areas I know down here (y)
 

Zerkalo

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Sounds like a cracking swim, maybe don't give it too much publicity otherwise you could find them gone completely like areas I know down here (y)

It is a Chub hotspot for me! Surprised I get on there as much as I do. Though it always throws up surprises like the Barbel the other day.
 

carphauler

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I never put barbel in keepnets, not going to put fish above 3lb in a net in future either as they just crush the dace and roach.
 

Zerkalo

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I think if I'd have caught Big Brother, which I hooked, I would have possibly weighed it but put it back rather than in the net. The three fish I landed were only about 3lb.
 

NoCarpPlease

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Read the Barbel Society code of conduct and view the opinions on BFW.
It all comes down to how you respect your fish and how much you like to stroke your ego.

A Barbel swimming off means nothing as you don't know what happens after.
Not like you to be judgemental Lee Richards ;)

My experience of match fishing for barbel is as follows

Barbel in keepnets is a red herring - there are three potential problems with them
1. poorly positioned nets that collapse and potentially trap fish
2. minnow mesh and larger where the dorsal spine can be caught and cause fin split. this is pretty irrelevant with modern nets
3. crushing of smaller fish (eg. bleak) by large muscular fish
all of which can be avoided with a little care

the real problems that people need to consider
a) time out of water for weighing and photographing (also a problem for multiple weighs with hundred pound bag)
b) playing barbel softly until they are exhausted (avoiding this comes with experience)

In fact a well staked out keepnet can be a good place for a fish to recover.

EDIT: FWIW I don't use a keepnet when I'm pleasure fishing, but that's simply because I travel really light
 
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Zerkalo

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I've heard about the potential dorsal spine damage, I think a similar thing can happen with Carp, though Matt Hayes mentions it in the Great Rod Race episode at Hampton Loade when he catches a fish with a split dorsal that it was specifically caused by keepnets. I tried to avoid this by using a Carp type net and not rolling the fish down the net.
 
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