Sunday, 8 July 2012

Brown Water Barbelling

The Warwickshire Avon has been up and down since the start of the season. At the start of the season it was a very strong reddish brown colour and something put me off, I just did not fancy it to produce fish. Today it was at it's highest point this year following yesterday's 'months worth of rain' (seem to have heard that a lot lately!) This time around however it was a more familiar chocolate brown and I fancied it for a Barbel.
The problem I find with a swollen river is fish location. Are they in the flow making the most of the bountiful larder being swept down to them? Are they sheltering out of the flow avoiding all the rubbish and debris that is washed downstream? Are they under the willows foraging in areas that have previously been under water? Probably all three, the river is wider than normal so there is more area to search, a daunting task.
The first swim I tried had been successful for me in the past in similar conditions but today it seem dead. I was fishing pellet wrapped in paste which I am confident in catching on and although I saw a Barbel roll it was under the far bank willows. An impossible area to fish due to the amount of debris coming downstream.
The next two swims produced the same result, nothing, both good swims in normal conditions but not right for today.

In the final swim I changed tack slightly. Pellet on one rod and luncheon meat on the other. I had grabbed a small tin on my way out this morning purely as an afterthought and this was the bait that went first. A couple of taps and then the rod bent right over. The fish felt good but not Barbel like so I suspected it was a Chub. It was actually an Eel.
1lb 6oz
A quick weigh and photo and back it went. I was pleased because it had stopped me from blanking.
With renewed enthusiasm another lump of meat was cast to the same spot.
Less than an hour later the rod hooped over again and the free spool screamed, an obvious Barbel bite. The fish felt strong in the fight but it's power faded rapidly telling me this was no monster. I netted a small Barbel and as I unhooked it I noticed a bite on my other rod. I put the Barbel in the net in the water to recuperate and reeled in a Bream.
Not a typical brace shot! Bream and 4lb 11oz Barbel
I thought I was crazy sitting in the rain but I could not believe my eyes when this lot turned up. A stupidly dangerous pastime in these conditions.
Confidence was high now and the next fish came quickly. It was a part blind cousin of the other Barbel weighing 4lb 12oz.
I had only picked up the meat as an afterthought so only had one small tin with me and I was running out fast. On virtually the last piece I nailed one more fish and it turned out to be the best of the day, 8lb 12oz.
An excellent finale. A couple of hours in the right place made up for several hours in the wrong place. Or was it the bait? As always with fishing, more questions than answers!


  1. Nice session that Joe. Got to be happy with that.

    1. I was thanks Marshman, it looked like a blank for a long time

    2. Any tips on fishing the Avon stretch on the Avon Caravan Site,Warick Rd.Never fished it before,but am staying with my Dad for my birthday.Cheers.Darren

    3. I've not fished that section myself but meat and boilies seem to outscore pellets every time, rolling meat in fast water is deadly, freelined seems to work best for me, tight lines Darren

  2. Nice barbel brace Joe, Im a firm believer in right place rather than right bait. I was hoping for a couple of hours on the Wye today but it was 3.51 metres which is ridiculous!

    1. That is ridiculous, the Wye drops as fast as it rises though so hopefully will be good for next weekend

  3. After what happened at Barford Joe those idiots should be shot!!!!!!

    Nice fish by the way


    1. I'm not sure shooting them would help! but I get your point
      Thanks Bazal

    2. It would stop them from drowning though!

      Well done Joe, I missed out on the flood water babs, I'm afraid, though not through lack of wanting, I might add...

    3. River down here still looks good for them Jeff