River fishing for barbel. How and which swim to fish.

Firstly how did i get the name charbles. It is a nickname given by my friends due to my exploits of river fishing for chub and barbel.

Tackle is straight forward. A 11ft medium action feeder rod with 4 lbs bs line and a size 10 hook will be more than adequate. You can use a feeder or ledger.

Barbel is a very popular fish for both match and sporting fishermen. Match fishing you can do nothing about you go where you are drawn but it helps if you appraise your swim and know if the river holds barbel shoals. They like fast to medium flowing water preferably with bushes and or a bank side with depth to it.  The swim shown here is the perfect swim It has  some depth and a medium strength flow. You could float fish this swim but feeder or ledger fishing is best. Bait is up to you but in this type of swim i personally would use either wasp grub or luncheon meat with maybe sweetcorn as a back up.

As i said don’t use ground-bait. In a normal swim the flow will carry it down stream and take the fish with it. Instead loose feed small chunks of luncheon meat or a couple of small hand full of wasp grub. Do not fish where you loose fed the swim. Instead go a few meters further out so the current will bring your bait to where your loose fed is on the bottom.

It’s a fallacy that barbel will hit your bait hard and fast. Much of the bite indications will be a slight knock when the fish picks up your bait. Allow them to strike hard and more times than not you will either break on contact or miss the bite altogether. Barbel are very strong and powerful fish, equal to that of a salmon or catfish, so never bully your fish instead slowly draw it out of your swim and play the fish out before netting.

Barbel are a beautiful fish and excellent sport if you hit on a shoal but upset the water in any way and they will move away to some where else in the river. Good luck and dont harm the fish you catch, always land with a net use a disgorger to release the hook and always return your fish to the water at the day’s end. Good luck and tight lines.

A fine brace of barbel

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