One last roll of the dice......

AdamRussell93

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So it’s been a while since I last hit the river. Couple of reasons, lack of confidence, conditions just didn’t feel or look right or I’m just busy with my family.
But I’ve decided this weekend I’m going to have one last attempt at a first river barbel. I know it’s not ideal with these temperatures and where I live it has been cold, but I have to get out.
Got a few ideas to try and areas in mind and hopefully, if not a barbel, the chub make an appearance!
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Probably the biggest river barbel I have caught (many years ago) was on a livebait intended for chub. Minnow or gudgeon probably.
 

Zerkalo

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Tight lines if you do get out. I'd say location is the key at this time of year as much as anything. Do you have a plan?
 

AdamRussell93

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Tight lines if you do get out. I'd say location is the key at this time of year as much as anything. Do you have a plan?
I do mate, I’ve opted to fish a deeper stretch of the river don not too far from me. It’s got a few bends on it and mainly I’ll be aiming to hit them. I’ll check the river clarity the day before but probably use hemp, caster and a bit of paste just to boost the smell. If it’s coloured, I have some source boilies glugging in my shed and some 3FT boilies in the bag aswell. With the paste to match.
 

tincatim

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Where on the Don do you fish, Adam? I live not far away from it and occasionally fish the stretch by the Earth Centre as its close. I’ve not been there this year yet but I’m planning to over winter.
 

AdamRussell93

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Where on the Don do you fish, Adam? I live not far away from it and occasionally fish the stretch by the Earth Centre as its close. I’ve not been there this year yet but I’m planning to over winter.
I’ve fished the earth centre stretch twice and seen nothing but bream. Not a bad thing but not what I’m after. I normally fish the Dearne as it’s 5 mins from my house but I think I’m going to try hooton lodge day ticket stretch mate.
 

tincatim

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I’ve fished the earth centre stretch twice and seen nothing but bream. Not a bad thing but not what I’m after. I normally fish the Dearne as it’s 5 mins from my house but I think I’m going to try hooton lodge day ticket stretch mate.
The Dearne is the best bet for specimen barbel, but they’re hard to find. I’ve fished for them a few times this year and not had one, but I’m fishing spots where I’ve caught them in the past, which is never a guarantee of success.

The stretch you mention on the Don certainly holds them and it does look like perfect barbel territory in places. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on, good luck.
 

AdamRussell93

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I know a few areas of the Dearne, particularly around Harlington scream fish. With the sluice and all the trees sunk in and I fished it a lot this year with no barbel. They are there my mate caught a lovely fish, no bigger than 8lb but every since I saw it I’ve chased them.
 

tincatim

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I know a few areas of the Dearne, particularly around Harlington scream fish. With the sluice and all the trees sunk in and I fished it a lot this year with no barbel. They are there my mate caught a lovely fish, no bigger than 8lb but every since I saw it I’ve chased them.
It’s worth the effort when you finally get one. I can vouch for that. I spent about three years trying for one, maybe 10 sessions a season. Then one afternoon I ended up with three, biggest at 10lb 4oz, a 9lb and a 6lb. I had another 6lb the week after from another swim, then blanked the next three times. I’ve only started back again this year so can’t really say I’ve tried that hard. But like you say, knowing that they’re in there somewhere keeps me wanting to find them.
 

AdamRussell93

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It’s worth the effort when you finally get one. I can vouch for that. I spent about three years trying for one, maybe 10 sessions a season. Then one afternoon I ended up with three, biggest at 10lb 4oz, a 9lb and a 6lb. I had another 6lb the week after from another swim, then blanked the next three times. I’ve only started back again this year so can’t really say I’ve tried that hard. But like you say, knowing that they’re in there somewhere keeps me wanting to find them.
Been chasing them since June, had plenty of nice chub but not a barbel yet. The only thing putting me off fishing Dearne is how shallow it is. And while temperatures are as low as what they are it’s making me think I’d be wasting my time.
 
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