Trent Barbel Disaster....A Lesson To All

mattnewark

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A story from yesterday......

Having been an angler for over 35 years now, I thought I knew what I was doing. Trent Barbelling is something I do when conditions are reasonable, and I am under no illusions as to the power of these Trent fish, but yesterday was something else, and somewhat frightening and upsetting in equal measures.

Yesterday, I took this for granted, in my excitement to "get set up" I failed to put the time in to ensure my tripod was properly secure. Now for those who fish the Trent around Newark will know that many pegs have very large flat stone slabs making securing your tripod somewhat more difficult, this is not something new for me as previously there have been no issues.

This time was different. I failed to put a sturdy enough angle into the two front legs either, resulting in a flimsy set up at best.

I was fishing with 2 Barbel rods and was stood at the side of my rods (I always sit/stand right on my rods as I do not fish with bait runners.......I can't get rid of that "match style" of feeder fishing just yet. So, with both clutches set loosely as usual, to give me that couple of seconds insurance on any take, I wait with excitement as the river had a lovely bit of colour to it.

One hour into the session, I was stood at the side of my rods...inches away in fact, when out of nowhere, the whole lot toppled forward and into the Trent within 2 seconds....the type of take when you think you have been wiped out by a speedboat or something. No boats were in sight and in the Trent went 2 rods and a tripod. I could not quite compute what the hell had happened so in I went up to my knees.....I could not go any further as it was pushing through and it drops off very quickly and very dangerously. I managed to retrieve in seconds the tripod and one rod which was at full stretch. Th other rod was already 5 meters out and travelling UPSTREAM!

I tried to cast over the line/rod several times after I had wound in the other rod, but the rod that was going upstream soon sank into the depths never to be seen again. I sat there, wet through, trying to work out what had happened. It was the upstream rod that went over, but the interesting part was that the whole lot fell over downstream from left to right. It took me a while to register the situation as I had thought in my shock that the downstream rod had gone over and pulled the lot in but this was not the case.

Could a Barbel possibly pick a bait up from upstream and charge so fast downstream and pull the lot in, even before the rod tip has bounced back to register a drop back pick up for example? And then possibly turn again and pull the rod upstream??????

I have had a bit of a sleepless night worrying about a fish potentially being in difficulty, and I can only console myself with the fact that I do fish lighter hook lengths and that I use a running lead set up, but still.....

This has never happened before to me using this set up as the bites, although vicious at times, have always seen me in control of the rods due to the tripod being secure and the reels set nice and loose, like Bream fishing on the Trent for example.

So, the point of the story is to never under estimate the power of Trent Barbel, and ensure your set up, whatever that may be, is secure. Never leave those rods unattended, even if you use bait runners.

I have a renewed respect for these incredible fish. I know I'm not the first, and certainly won't be the last to lose a rod to the Trent's monsters, but be careful out there folks, and remember, most of all, respect the Trent.....do not put yourself at risk to save a bit of kit by going into the river, especially as the winter floods are just around the corner.

Stay safe folks, and keep your eyes open for a Korum Barbel rod!
 

Zerkalo

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Well done for staying safe at least and not going in too far to get it back as who knows what might have happened. Sorry to hear about the lost rod though!
 

fishcatcher4

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A story from yesterday......

Having been an angler for over 35 years now, I thought I knew what I was doing. Trent Barbelling is something I do when conditions are reasonable, and I am under no illusions as to the power of these Trent fish, but yesterday was something else, and somewhat frightening and upsetting in equal measures.

Yesterday, I took this for granted, in my excitement to "get set up" I failed to put the time in to ensure my tripod was properly secure. Now for those who fish the Trent around Newark will know that many pegs have very large flat stone slabs making securing your tripod somewhat more difficult, this is not something new for me as previously there have been no issues.

This time was different. I failed to put a sturdy enough angle into the two front legs either, resulting in a flimsy set up at best.

I was fishing with 2 Barbel rods and was stood at the side of my rods (I always sit/stand right on my rods as I do not fish with bait runners.......I can't get rid of that "match style" of feeder fishing just yet. So, with both clutches set loosely as usual, to give me that couple of seconds insurance on any take, I wait with excitement as the river had a lovely bit of colour to it.

One hour into the session, I was stood at the side of my rods...inches away in fact, when out of nowhere, the whole lot toppled forward and into the Trent within 2 seconds....the type of take when you think you have been wiped out by a speedboat or something. No boats were in sight and in the Trent went 2 rods and a tripod. I could not quite compute what the hell had happened so in I went up to my knees.....I could not go any further as it was pushing through and it drops off very quickly and very dangerously. I managed to retrieve in seconds the tripod and one rod which was at full stretch. Th other rod was already 5 meters out and travelling UPSTREAM!

I tried to cast over the line/rod several times after I had wound in the other rod, but the rod that was going upstream soon sank into the depths never to be seen again. I sat there, wet through, trying to work out what had happened. It was the upstream rod that went over, but the interesting part was that the whole lot fell over downstream from left to right. It took me a while to register the situation as I had thought in my shock that the downstream rod had gone over and pulled the lot in but this was not the case.

Could a Barbel possibly pick a bait up from upstream and charge so fast downstream and pull the lot in, even before the rod tip has bounced back to register a drop back pick up for example? And then possibly turn again and pull the rod upstream??????

I have had a bit of a sleepless night worrying about a fish potentially being in difficulty, and I can only console myself with the fact that I do fish lighter hook lengths and that I use a running lead set up, but still.....

This has never happened before to me using this set up as the bites, although vicious at times, have always seen me in control of the rods due to the tripod being secure and the reels set nice and loose, like Bream fishing on the Trent for example.

So, the point of the story is to never under estimate the power of Trent Barbel, and ensure your set up, whatever that may be, is secure. Never leave those rods unattended, even if you use bait runners.

I have a renewed respect for these incredible fish. I know I'm not the first, and certainly won't be the last to lose a rod to the Trent's monsters, but be careful out there folks, and remember, most of all, respect the Trent.....do not put yourself at risk to save a bit of kit by going into the river, especially as the winter floods are just around the corner.

Stay safe folks, and keep your eyes open for a Korum Barbel rod!


Accidents happen mate.

Just glad you are safe. (y)
 

mattnewark

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Thanks, I sat there shaking afterwards after all the panic/excitement. My dad witnessed the rods go over.....I remember him say "ere you are bloody hell" when he saw the lot go over.
 

tipitinmick

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Wow, thats a shocking story. I know where you're coming from regards the Barbel towing your gear around. You'd have sooner pulled out of the fish than let that happen wouldnt you pal ? Not 100% foolproof but, I think you need to consider investing in a couple of baitrunners. Better safe than sorry.
 

DontKillZander

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Isn’t this a bit like casting a full mackerel into a Scottish Loch without a wire trace?

Shimano Baitrunners start from £50 brand new... I’m a bit confused as to why there’s now (potentially) a Barbel towing around a 12ft rod in the Trent :unsure: - at first I laughed as I was reading the story, but on reflection I actually think it’s a bit of a psstake.
 

DontKillZander

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Not a pee take at all....just advising others as to the mistakes I made and the lessons we can learn. Takes a big person to publicly acknowledge their mistakes.

You finding it funny is probably about your level then I guess.

All I do is make mistakes, my experience is veryyyy limited and I’m always learning
...just so you don’t think I’m trying to talk to you from up-downwards, because I’m not.

I came on and wrote something similar when a pike bit me off on fluorocarbon not too long ago.

The difference here is that you banged on about how you’ve got 35 years of experience, you fish the Trent in occasion, and that you’re under no illusion as to the power of barbel... your words -

So if that is the case, why is there now a barbel swimming around in the Trent with your 12ft rod attached to it?

“ I do not fish with bait runners.......I can't get rid of that "match style" of feeder fishing just yet” again - your words.


There’s mistakes and there’s... something else, I’ll just shut up now but personally I’m not feeling “mistakes happen” vibe on this one.
 
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Lee Richards

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Matt it's just one of those things mate.
I have lost two Barbel set-ups in the Severn when feeder fishing and it's just one of those things.
One was due to the runner function failing and another was down to the bank holding the bankstick giving way easier than the runner peeling off.
Mate of mine lost a rod because he forgot to activate the baitrunner.
These things happen and are one of the reasons I always use barbless.
Don't beat yourself up over it as far more will do far worse and in some cases they will knowingly be intentionally risky.
 

JayD

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All I do is make mistakes, my experience is veryyyy limited and I’m always learning
...just so you don’t think I’m trying to talk to you from up-downwards, because I’m not.

I came on and wrote something similar when a pike bit me off on fluorocarbon not too long ago.

The difference here is that you banged on about how you’ve got 35 years of experience, you fish the Trent in occasion, and that you’re under no illusion as to the power of barbel... your words -

So if that is the case, why is there now a barbel swimming around in the Trent with your 12ft rod attached to it?

I stand to be corrected if I'm wrong, but the impression I got from Matts post, was a warning that despite many years experience, lapses of judgement/accidents can still happen, so watch out.

As to the rods being pulled in, when fishing without a bait runner, I have a piece of inner tube or strong elastic band tight on the rod butt just forward of the reel seat. A loop of line can be tucked into this straight from the spool with the bail arm open. When a fish takes, the line will pull free. It's best done in conjunction with an audible bite alarm, or you sitting next to the rods to prevent too much line coming off.
I've heard reports of large catfish being present in the Trent, as well as the large carp, so the culprit could well be something other than a barbel.

John.
 

tipitinmick

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Not a pee take at all....just advising others as to the mistakes I made and the lessons we can learn. Takes a big person to publicly acknowledge their mistakes.

You finding it funny is probably about your level then I guess.
It does pal and I’m sure you didn’t get out of bed that morning thinking you were going to have the accident you did. Hopefully the Barbel will shed the line and some lucky angler will no doubt be a rod and reel better off. Unless it’s one of us honest lot. Where is down stream of where you were fishing did you say ? 😂😂😂. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Accidents ( and this was one ) happen to us all unfortunately.
 

tipitinmick

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I stand to be corrected if I'm wrong, but the impression I got from Matts post, was a warning that despite many years experience, lapses of judgement/accidents can still happen, so watch out.

As to the rods being pulled in, when fishing without a bait runner, I have a piece of inner tube or strong elastic band tight on the rod butt just forward of the reel seat. A loop of line can be tucked into this straight from the spool with the bail arm open. When a fish takes, the line will pull free. It's best done in conjunction with an audible bite alarm, or you sitting next to the rods to prevent too much line coming off.
I've heard reports of large catfish being present in the Trent, as well as the large carp, so the culprit could well be something other than a barbel.

John.
Definitely in the tidal John. A cat took my dad several pegs down the river a few weeks ago. After half an hour he got it to the net but we couldn’t get it off the bottom to land. Eventually his 12lb line pinged off a rock and that was that but, we both saw it in the clear water. I’d guestimate it at around 18 / 20lb. Being a carp we may have landed it but, this thing would not come off the bottom. Neither of us have caught a cat before so both are pretty inexperienced with them.
 

Godber

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As they say in Wales "And there it was, gone!"
It happens mate, the rod would have snagged a the hook pulled.
 

NoCarpPlease

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was the upstream rod (on the tripod) fishing upstream? if yes then I'd be amazed if it was a barbel, unless it was swimming upstream and line caught in the dorsal spine. The really savage bites are usually when the fish peels away (downstream) from the top of a feeding shoal.

Midget submarine perhaps?
 

Me and my lad

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How many times have we lost gear and thought there is a fish tethered only to find at lower water your hook inbedded into something solid? I am sure the fish will be fine. I had the same happen to me at Besthorpe in a match. I went down to sort my net as it started to back up and my rod hit me in the back of the head. The thing on the other end went balistic as I caught the rod. Having already had a barbel this thing tore off upstream. I agree with TIIM it could of been a cat or carp. Just to add, I am pleased you are safe.
 

mattnewark

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Fish safety was my concern as soon as I lost the rod....I genuinely wasn't bothered about losing my rod money wise etc. Was happy I got out safe but my thoughts soon switched to the fish, hence the rough night's kip.

Regarding the bait runner issue......yes it's a safer and a better option, but like I said, I have never had any issues as I sit on my rods, not 5 meters away on the bank top so it's never been an issue if set up correctly like many of the match anglers on the stretch. It's something i will consider changing to from now on.

I still can't get my head around the fact it was the upstream rod that just pulled the lot in downstream in an instant. This was a non tidal stretch for the record.
 

Sam Vimes

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Regarding the bait runner issue......yes it's a safer and a better option, but like I said, I have never had any issues as I sit on my rods, not 5 meters away on the bank top so it's never been an issue if set up correctly like many of the match anglers on the stretch. It's something i will consider changing to from now on.

I have a background more akin to yours. However, I have plenty of angling friends with a much heavier bias to the specialist side of angling. When I started on my ten years or so of doing nothing much other than fishing for barbel, I took my cues from the bulk of them. They used baitrunners for a reason, so I did too. I've seen far too many rods dragged in, not always by barbel. Even chub and bream can do it, let alone cats, carp and big sturgeon that are present in some rivers. Realistically, if you are fishing two rods, you probably should be using a baitrunner. Even if you are only fishing one rod, unless you hold it all the time a bait is in the water, you should probably use a baitrunner.

That's not to say mistakes can't still be made which will still see the odd rod lost, but you might have felt a bit better if you'd done all you could and still lost a rod and potentially killed a fish. Quite a few match and general coarse anglers seem to believe that baitrunners are the exclusive domain of those that go fishing to sleep and/or socialise away from their rods. You've now found out to your cost, and possibly the cost of a fish, that it isn't necessarily the case. The one critical thing about a baitrunner reel is that it doesn't have to be used in baitrunner mode in every situation.
 
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