Where do Barbel hang out?

Zerkalo

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Logic dictates that different conditions will push the fish into different areas of the river and different spots in the pegs themselves.

I'm on my third season of fishing for Barbel now, have caught fish from a variety of pegs and places in those pegs, although I have kind of settled on the same few pegs so plan to add a bit more variety to that. The nature of the pegs I fish on the Severn though, means I usually have a few different features to aim at all within the same peg.

So where do you catch the majority of your Barbel from, slacks, creases, main flow, deep water, shallow water, and in what conditions?

Sorry if a broad question as I'm just looking to provoke discussion. 😁

I see a lot of anglers on the Severn with two rods - usually one on the inside and one further across.

Personally I only fish one rod but still feel like I can find a few fish whenever I go.

Bear in mind that answers such as slacks in floods, and fast, oxygenated water in Summer are often 'idealised' as not every river has pegs that fit these characteristics perfectly.
 

Jimpanzee

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They were famously found in youth clubs until the Govt closed a large majority of them..now you are more likely to find them hanging outside shops and street corners..usually they are up to no good..

Sorry I couldn’t resist when I saw the title 🙂
 

davej1981

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Cant speak from experience but the barbel in my local river are usually caught in the slack water in the wier
 

Zerkalo

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Cant speak from experience but the barbel in my local river are usually caught in the slack water in the wier
When I fish the weir on my local river the same is true, there is a back eddy under a tree on the far side, all the food washes up there.

I have only had Barbel show there last Autumn for a few months from 3 years of fishing it but when they did I had about a dozen. It's the same spot I catch almost everything from there. It seems only in the height of summer do many fish sit closer to the sill of the weir although in the same low conditions you can also catch fish in the main flow.
 

Zerkalo

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My first visit to the Trent this year and my first barbel of the season from the inside of a bend.
That looks a better sized fish than my first two of the season from the Severn... both caught down the middle in the fastest flow of maybe 6' of water. I expected the fish to show on a crease with it having 0.5m on, but it seemed everything wanted to be smack in the fastest flow.
 

tipitinmick

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That looks a better sized fish than my first two of the season from the Severn... both caught down the middle in the fastest flow of maybe 6' of water. I expected the fish to show on a crease with it having 0.5m on, but it seemed everything wanted to be smack in the fastest flow.
More oxygen perhaps pal ?
 

Sam Vimes

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When temperatures are high and rivers low, I look to main flow areas, faster shallows, pacey areas where the river is forced into a tighter channel and well oxygenated spots below weirs or riffles.
 

Zerkalo

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A lot of the stretches of the Severn look a lot 'steadier' on the surface than the few I fish. The places I fish the depth of river varies a lot from peg to peg, and the water swirls through on the surface. I'm going to try one of the steadier looking stretches but don't know what I'll catch, maybe a better stamp of fish as my PB so far is 8lb 4oz.
 

tipitinmick

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What hook bait did you have that on please Mick?:unsure:......Thank you.(y)
Four pieces of sweet corn Mark. When I’m struggling for a take on pellet and boilies, sweet corn seems to be my get out of jail card. As you know, highly visible and a bait barbel love. Surprisingly not many anglers on our stretch use it which is maybe why I get the odd fish when many can not. 🤷‍♂️
 

Total

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Four pieces of sweet corn Mark. When I’m struggling for a take on pellet and boilies, sweet corn seems to be my get out of jail card. As you know, highly visible and a bait barbel love. Surprisingly not many anglers on our stretch use it which is maybe why I get the odd fish when many can not. 🤷‍♂️
^^ Thank you.... (y) .....No I'm not surprised, the same bait has been doing the business on the Medway down here when the usual baits, it ain't been happening.....Hence the 'skimmers' as well no doubt?:unsure:.....Cracking bait.....(y)
 

Zerkalo

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Corn isn't a bait I've tried other than feeding it in with groundbait occasionally. Must try taking a tin with me for the hook. I have tried Lobworm and it was just getting smashed by small fish within a minute of casting out. I am waiting for the river to be low to try casters and hemp, and half expect the same thing to happen but it will be fun to try.

Here's an example of how the same peg can look different depending on time of year and river levels.

Here it's up and racing through (it always does on this peg anyway). I was using 4oz of lead and could only hold on the inside which is where the fish were anyway with the river being up. I had a 7lb Barbel.

Hampton Loade.jpeg

Here's the same peg in Summer when the river is low. I had my PB of 8lb 4oz just over halfway in the main flow.

Hampton Loade 2.jpg

The above peg is just above a gravel run and below shallower water.
 

squimp

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You have just answered your own question.

The barbel live/go where they are ‘comfortable’.

If it’s low and warm they will (As Sam V said) seek out the most oxygenated water.

In flood conditions they will move to steadier water (not usually slack).

Bear in mind that barbel also move for other reasons eg spawning. For example the fish from the lower Severn allegedly spawn in the Teme or close by and can take months to get back to their more usual haunts. That is a journey of tens of miles!
 

Robwooly

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I think there's a perception that barbel hang in the same area, but they move so much it's unreal, watching them on small clear rivers it's sometimes an eye opener to see them passing through. Also have followed a feeding shoal up the middle Severn, pulling tips round as they went, most the anglers were commenting on how they suddenly come on to feed but I could see they just came into the area as I was walking up with them. You could probably times this sort of movement by ten at night.

It also why feeding is so important, when they get there you got to keep them there (they can polish off a bed of pellets or hemp in no time at all) This could be a reason float anglers get the big bags more often despite being a minority
 

Zerkalo

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You have just answered your own question.

The barbel live/go where they are ‘comfortable’.

If it’s low and warm they will (As Sam V said) seek out the most oxygenated water.

In flood conditions they will move to steadier water (not usually slack).

Bear in mind that barbel also move for other reasons eg spawning. For example the fish from the lower Severn allegedly spawn in the Teme or close by and can take months to get back to their more usual haunts. That is a journey of tens of miles!
Guess I did answer it myself really. Those are the basic rules. I think by only using one rod you need a bit of watercraft and reading the peg to know where to cast, as you would with two rods I suppose, but the most common setup I see on the Severn is one downstream rod closer in, and often the other rod chucked right over the far side. I'm usually closer to the middle of the river, often starting on the crease line if there is one. On the pegs I've fished anyway...

I think there's a perception that barbel hang in the same area, but they move so much it's unreal, watching them on small clear rivers it's sometimes an eye opener to see them passing through. Also have followed a feeding shoal up the middle Severn, pulling tips round as they went, most the anglers were commenting on how they suddenly come on to feed but I could see they just came into the area as I was walking up with them. You could probably times this sort of movement by ten at night.

It also why feeding is so important, when they get there you got to keep them there (they can polish off a bed of pellets or hemp in no time at all) This could be a reason float anglers get the big bags more often despite being a minority
I think yours is my perception too. Although I've also read comments to the opposite effect on here that "it's not about feeding fish into your peg, it's about finding them and presenting the bait in the right way to them".

I like the Severn when it's clear and possible to make observations like that, but seeing how most of the time I fish a 'time bomb' method with pellets and dumbells, I think a bit of colour in the water helps me.
 

SpenBeck

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I was fishing a match on the Yorks Derwent in a fast water peg where I've had barbel before. Struggled with bits all day long. A fish rolled in some shallow dead water in the lily pads on the far bank. Could it be a big perch or pike? Flicked a lobby out and not long the tip rattled, struck and landed a 5lb barbel! From dead water in the lily pads???????
 

Zerkalo

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I was fishing a match on the Yorks Derwent in a fast water peg where I've had barbel before. Struggled with bits all day long. A fish rolled in some shallow dead water in the lily pads on the far bank. Could it be a big perch or pike? Flicked a lobby out and not long the tip rattled, struck and landed a 5lb barbel! From dead water in the lily pads???????
It surprised me when I started catching them on the weir I fish that they were all in the same back eddy the Chub usually live in, I expected I might catch more if I fished in the main flow but wasn't the case!
 

rudd

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Corn isn't a bait I've tried other than feeding it in with groundbait occasionally. Must try taking a tin with me for the hook. I have tried Lobworm and it was just getting smashed by small fish within a minute of casting out. I am waiting for the river to be low to try casters and hemp, and half expect the same thing to happen but it will be fun to try.

Here's an example of how the same peg can look different depending on time of year and river levels.

Here it's up and racing through (it always does on this peg anyway). I was using 4oz of lead and could only hold on the inside which is where the fish were anyway with the river being up. I had a 7lb Barbel.

Hampton Loade.jpeg

Here's the same peg in Summer when the river is low. I had my PB of 8lb 4oz just over halfway in the main flow.

Hampton Loade 2.jpg

The above peg is just above a gravel run and below shallower water.
You have only posted to show off the new bucket 😂
 
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