Thames Barbel

BlueKoi

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Have to post whilst I'm still on a high! Caught my first Thames Barbel on only my second trip in going for them. The first trip was more of a taster..

The river was pushing like crazy but managed to find a bit of a slack. My brother and his friend were also fishing with one rod each. My brother's friend got the first bite and a nice 2lb roach hit the net on pellet. I had one next at about 1.5lb. we started fishing at just gone 5pm.

My brother (doesn't have the most patience) left at 7pm. At 7.20pm I had a rattle of a bite and it took off down stream. Wow, I thought at first there is no way this is coming in (I only had 5lb Maxima and 0.22 guru to a size 12 tubertini. After a 10minute battle it hit the net. Funny thing was that I wasn't going to bother what with the rain but, my brother talked me into it. Chuffed to bits! [ this beauty tipped the scales at 10lb 10oz! My first double too!!! ATTACH=full]84579[/ATTACH]
 

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Silverfisher

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Where abouts mate? Fair way down I assume.

Been some whoppers coming out around here this season but they are all isolated catches rather than properly targetable up this way.
 

BlueKoi

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This was at Walton area.

I used to do a lot of Barbel fishing on the Kennet but never had a double. I used to be consistent but they were generally around the 6lb mark. The river just felt dramatic today, I think what added to it was the feeling that it wasn't going to happen! It really stripped the reel of line on the first run and as it was in the current.
 

Silverfisher

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Ah thought so there's definitely a lot more of themdown that way. Good fish indeed well done!

I was told earlier that one nudging the Thames record came out up this way a few days ago but I've yet to see it reported with my own eyes yet so remain sceptical lol. Possible though as was a couple mid doubles out in the summer.
 

squimp

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Where abouts mate? Fair way down I assume.

Been some whoppers coming out around here this season but they are all isolated catches rather than properly targetable up this way.
They are targetable if you know where they live and can predict when they will feed.....

for example: There used to be a 13lb fish at Rushey That was very catchable, a 12/13lb one on medley and A few at Abingdon. A pal of mine used to hold the Thames record with an 18+ fish. That one was definitely caught by design. Ano mate caught a mid double from the upper river, again on purpose.
 

Silverfisher

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They are targetable if you know where they live and can predict when they will feed.....

for example: There used to be a 13lb fish at Rushey That was very catchable, a 12/13lb one on medley and A few at Abingdon. A pal of mine used to hold the Thames record with an 18+ fish. That one was definitely was caught by design. Ano mate caught a mid double from the upper river, again on purpose.
Well yes targetable when you're very good but for predominantly silvers anglers like myself and most other Oxfordshire Thames anglers are you can't just rock up and catch them more often than not like you can on say parts of the Severn. Only ever seen two Thames barbel with my own eyes (in the castle mill stream as it happens) and only hear of less than a dozen coming out each season.
 

squimp

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There are a lot less in the mid/upper river than there were 10 years ago. 25 years ago they were catchable on day ticket stretches eg Tadpole on a daily basis.
 

Silverfisher

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I’m quite glad we don’t have lots of them as would then have the circuses you get on parts of the severn and Trent if we did but it would be nice if there were one or two spots where a mere mortal could target them.

Maybe not that unusual for myself to not have caught one in the 13-14 years I’ve properly been fishing the Thames but my grandads never had one in over 4 times that long! By comparison we both got one within an hour on our respective first goes on the severn lol
 

BlueKoi

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A nice story that I have is that from this very spot, when I was aged 10 and catching 40lb of roach on hemp and tares I hooked into something that took off and was never to be seen again ( think I'd have been on an 0.10 bottom). I was sure that it wasn't a pike because I was used to hooking into those so that really left me with either Carp or Barbel or, very big chub. My Dad and I back then thought it was most likely to be barbel. Now we're convinced it was ;)
 

Silverfisher

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A nice story that I have is that from this very spot, when I was aged 10 and catching 40lb of roach on hemp and tares I hooked into something that took off and was never to be seen again ( think I'd have been on an 0.10 bottom). I was sure that it wasn't a pike because I was used to hooking into those so that really left me with either Carp or Barbel or, very big chub. My Dad and I back then thought it was most likely to be barbel. Now we're convinced it was ;)
Could well have been! The mystery is all part of the fun isn’t it ? 40lb of roach is one hell of a catch though my best from the Thames is probably only around 20lb.

My grandad thought he’d finally got a Thames barbel last year when something took off that clearly wasn’t a pike, chub or bream but turned out to be a tench lol
 

BlueKoi

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We used to regularly catch 30lb+ weights of roach on hemp a and tares on the pole around laylem, Walton and weybridge. The roach were one a Chuck and averaged the 1lb mark. Weybridge Weir was unbelievable. I remember telling my Dad it was boring and I remember him telling me to make the most of it because fishing like this doesn't last forever. He was right, the next year I took a friend there and I think we only managed one fish!
 

Scribe

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Well done Blue, especially landing it on 5 Lb line and I take it a light float rod. (y)
 

squimp

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I’m quite glad we don’t have lots of them as would then have the circuses you get on parts of the severn and Trent if we did but it would be nice if there were one or two spots where a mere mortal could target them.

Maybe not that unusual for myself to not have caught one in the 13-14 years I’ve properly been fishing the Thames but my grandads never had one in over 4 times that long! By comparison we both got one within an hour on our respective first goes on the severn lol
There are stretches further downstream on the middle river where the big barbel are specialist targets. Bivvies etc etc.

There aren’t many fish - but some of them are very large. They appear to be in small, localised pockets.

These days the highest numbers are on the lower stretches. I Have never fished that part of the river but Bluekoi’s lovely fish shows what is there.
 

NoCarpPlease

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I’m quite glad we don’t have lots of them as would then have the circuses you get on parts of the severn and Trent if we did but it would be nice if there were one or two spots where a mere mortal could target them.

Maybe not that unusual for myself to not have caught one in the 13-14 years I’ve properly been fishing the Thames but my grandads never had one in over 4 times that long! By comparison we both got one within an hour on our respective first goes on the severn lol
I had three in one match at Medley about five years ago .... all on the pole ... biggest about 5 ounces! turns out that EA had recently stocked them from Calverton. :)

Well done Bluekoi - one to remember!
 

BlueKoi

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It was on a Normark Camaro tip rod - I would say this is a match/specialist type rod. I would normally use 8lb Maxima (this is what I used on the Kennet years back) and I never got broken. Unfortunately, I hadn't really spooled up a reel for barbel so had to go with the 5lb Maxima as this is what I use for all my match Method feeder reels. I used this the week before thinking it would be okay because the Thames was like a Mill pond - what a difference a week can make!

I will be spooling up some 8lb this week though.
 

TrickyD

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One of my mates had his first barbel at Walton, just on Desborough cut as it joins the main river. 6lb odd, but on a 1.1lb Bayer bottom, took ages to get in.
 

alsur

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Back in the 80s they used to come out occasionally in the matches on Desborough, I believe there a few Catfish in that area now.
 
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