Barbel... on the float

Zerkalo

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
10,643
I don't think it's really that time of year and this is more of a tactic for next summer, but has anyone here had decent bags of Barbel on the float?

Reading the AT I heard of this catch this Summer near me.


It says he had 10 tins of meat with him so I presume was feeding meat.

And searching for that article I came across this.


That says they didn't feed at all and caught a lot of fish.

So which is it? To feed or not to feed? To me I'd probably feed at least to start with and feel my way in.

But I don't have any confidence in that I'd catch anything float fishing for Barbel. You can always hope for a red letter day but I imagine on most days it is quite hard work?

It's something I will at least try next summer, probably fishing a speci waggler on the Severn.
 

Flathead

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
1,007
Used to catch a lot float fishing on the Trent and Derwent.....usually on maggot or corn but, sometimes, meat.

There were some areas where ‘laying on’ was the most effective method.

Give it a go
 

Zerkalo

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
10,643
I'll give it a go next year. Undershotting a speci waggler and laying on is the plan I think. Just hope I don't get snagged too much. Have ideas of a few pegs to try it on.
 

ukzero1

Growing old disgracefully.
Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
15,904
A member had a Barbel out last week from the lakes, using float gear and sweetcorn.
 

Zerkalo

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
10,643
Whenever i fish a stick float with maggots for silvers I always hope to hook into a Barbel even though it's not likely I would get it out. Hasn't happened yet.
 

Woody17

Member
Joined
May 11, 2018
Messages
48
I have had a dabble at this using a Drennan Series 7 Tench rod as I had noticed that these were being used in this role. I would like to have a more serious attempt at it but whilst it was good fun with a Series 7 it was pretty tiring after a couple of hours so am contemplating getting a more suitable set-up.
I'm guessing a beefy Acolyte is a popular choice, any other recommendations?
 

Robwooly

Regular member
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
620
Whenever i fish a stick float with maggots for silvers I always hope to hook into a Barbel even though it's not likely I would get it out. Hasn't happened yet.
If you can get chub out you can get barbel out, even on light float gear, especially now the weed is dying back, there's lots of myths about barbel on the float - many of which are made by anglers trying to big up their own ability like it's a super hard thing to achieve - it's not. If you hook one take your time, you'll be surprised how they don't head for snags the same way chub do

Your little stretch of the Stour would be good for getting one on the float, as for The Severn swim selection and water levels would be the most important thing, some spots are quite easy but many are not especially if the river ain't right.
 

NoCarpPlease

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
4,327
we fish for them on the pole on the Warks Avon ... chap next to me on the last match I fished on there had a double (10.2)

massive generalisations - speci wag tends to be more useful on shallower pegs up to around 4 foot deep
above that you'd be better off with a top & bottom float like an avon or bolo.

great fun on the float - you can fish pretty much any bait that you would on lead or feeder.
Robwooly is spot on - many pegs on the Middle Severn are not right for the float .... but those that are are great!
 

Zerkalo

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
10,643
Ah the pegs I had in mind are about 6 foot deep in summer levels so might be a bit too deep for the speci wag. Had better practise casting a top and bottom float to mid river or find some other pegs more suitable as I think that will be the main thing that'll dictate success.
 

bettsfan

Regular member
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
304
Hardly a 'Red Letter' day as such but had 8 Barbel out of the Severn at Apley on trotted double maggot and lost 5 !
Had been catching Roach and Chub before they moved in, and having lost 5 I questioned my choice of tackle (Hooks and Line). Was a good day though
 

Zerkalo

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
10,643
I imagine it's a bit of a similar thing with Chub going on, in that they fight a bit different on float, a bit softer, as they don't have the weight of the feeder to fight against and you don't need as strong a hooklength to protect against shocks against the feeder. All speculation on my part though as I've never hooked one on the float.
 

squimp

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
1,974
We used to fish Upper Benyons on the Kennet when it was still RDAA.

Brilliant fun with fish to 6lb ish.

I had one that sort of size on a flooded Bristol Avon last winter. trotting flake for roach.......it was a bit of a handful On roach gear,
 

Sam Vimes

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
5,878
I love catching anything on the float. However, a couple of big bags of float caught barbel are amongst my best angling memories in nearly forty years of fishing. I've had two bags of 20+ float caught barbel and a few lesser days. All I know is that well in excess of 100lb (possibly around the 200lb mark) of barbel left me dog tired and pretty elated.

The biggest trick to it is actually fishing a river with a large enough head of barbel. The next is finding an area where they are concentrated and lends itself to float fishing. Get those two aspects right and sooner or later you'll get into good numbers of fish.

There are plenty of rivers where catching the odd barbel on the float is likely enough. However, if I wanted the chance of catching really good numbers of fish, I'd be heading for the likes of the Wye, Severn, Ribble, Lea, or Trent.
 

nejohn

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
6,120
For a long time my best barbel was caught on float fished caster on the river wear on a size 22 hook 1.7lb hook length and a Daiwa conny spliced tip float rod, a fish of 9lb10oz.... It did make a very good attempt at reaching Sunderland which is about 20 miles down stream of Durham where I was fishing, but after about 15 minutes I got it in the net. More recently though I quite enjoy catching barbel on the float from the Wye, casters work well as do small cubes of meat fished under a fairly big wire stemmed stick slightly over depth and edged through. You do really need a fairly powerful rod to have a chance of landing the bigger ones, my choice being a Normark Avenger 2000
 

The Hitman

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
563
In my younger days all i did was stick float for Barbel on the Teme and Severn. Nothing better than trotting a stick float using a Normark Titan and 501/506 at the time. Had many 100lb plus bags. Not done that for years.
Severn at Bewdley was the best, just down from Trimply resoviour.

Good memories, sold my soul to commercial fishing now.
 

PureGenius

Active member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
54
Zerkalo, I think Sam's post sums it up the most... Location! find the the fish and get them "grubbing" and you don't always need to fish on the bottom, they will always be likely to intercept a moving bait.
If you've not watched the series, then I really recommend you get hold of a copy of "Barbel Days and Ways" by Bob Roberts and Stu Walker... Bob had a really interesting day fishing the float on the Trent.
 

Rick123

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 11, 2018
Messages
1,606
Whenever i fish a stick float with maggots for silvers I always hope to hook into a Barbel even though it's not likely I would get it out. Hasn't happened yet.

Don't think small Zerkalo. A size 8x4 or even 10x4 stick with most of the shot just below half way in six foot, and two size 8 droppers. 6lb mainline and 4lb hook-link, hook size 16 Drennan specialist. I've never done as well as Sam, but 6/8/10 fish is possible in the right swims. I've found those type of swims produce the smaller fish however.
 

Zerkalo

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
10,643
Unfortunately even my maggot fishing on rivers is going to be put off until at least March now but I am already looking forward to it.
 

Ivan heaphurst

Regular member
Joined
Aug 19, 2006
Messages
2,957
I have caught Barbel fishing the Wye using float and a centrepin, it doesn't get any better than that. Not in my book anyway
 
Top