Then there’s the Wye, and whilst running through Wales for much of it’s length, the majority of the barbel are found as it runs along the border with England – The Wye is arguably the premier barbel destination in the UK. Contact: 01798 831525. The often hushed-up River Taff is renowned for producing surprisingly large barbel. This has been the first recapture meaning there are group of reasonable fish and a real chance of something much bigger as the season progresses and the fish pile on their winter weight. October is much the same as long as a cold snap holds off, and a warm day can be as productive as a summer day. I was on the bank for a total of 1 ½ hours and home for 8pm. Experience the fantastic Barbel fishing this Extremadura has to offer, not only the fishing but the scenery. Barbel fishing throughout the winter months can be a very hit and miss affair. On the float, maggots are generally an absolute winner. Through winter up to February again only a warm flood is tantalising enough for many to reach for the barbel rod. Guest fishing bloggers – get in touch! The mighty Welsh Dee is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in north Wales. I used to only barbel fish when my little digital friend told me a reading I was confident with however I don’t use this method anymore, what’s more important than the actual reading is the temperature trend. Are the temps rising or falling? Today barbel can be found from Boughrood all the way through to Tintern. New PB Grayling! Most famously, in 1997, a River Severn barbel briefly beat and held the British record. My first Trent “double” and not a bad result for my first cast of the trip! In laymans terms this basically means the higher the water temperature the more active the fish will be therefore the more they will need to eat as they expend their energy then as the water temperature drops the reverse to this scenario is the case. Swim feeder with groundbait, and pellet on the hook is first port of call for many – varying the hooklength from a foot up to 4 foot being the most useful variation for many years. Having spoken to the bailiff the biggest barbel the weir had done was a specimen of 17lb 4oz, which was a few years previous but the number of double figure barbel is very high and he felt that if we could get a few bites between us then there was every chance that me and Mark could achieve our goal of getting a double … Secondly, when a good fish or a large catch is made, news travels far and wide (and in these digital days, instantly), with more and more anglers trying the new magic bait. For many, September is considered the best month of the river season, this due to more sociable fishing hours as the nights draw in and the valley becoming quieter in general, not to mention how stunning the river environment is as autumn takes hold. 25 minutes later and the double pellet is working it's magic again and another barbel is on, and this one goes 9lb exactly. The last 2 weeks of the season in early March is when sport can return to not needing a flood or maggots, as the fish start to feed again before going into spawning time. The often hushed-up River Taff is renowned for producing surprisingly large barbel. Then past Bedwas, Trethomas, Machen, Draethen, Llanrumney and Rumney and with its estuary to the east of Cardiff. It was a long fish but looked a good one… and the scales registered a weight of 12lb 4oz. The river around this area available when much of the river downstream was still only accessible after the salmon season from October 18th. A 12lb barbel taken during a very short feeding spell. Thanks to booking schemes and savvy individuals, miles of barbel fishing became available by convincing what were declining salmon fisheries, into letting coarse fishing during the summer months as well as the winter. Rather than labour the point of whens best to go here’s the story of the only 3 barbel I caught during the early part of last year. When a salmon is hooked though, it more often than not goes airborne at some point – if it doesn’t it’s safe to say it’s either a barbel or a carp. A double figure fish is a fish of a lifetime for many on the Wye, so it’s the numbers of fish that attracts anglers. Here, the angling history runs deep, and you’re never far from a “Severn angler” who’ll gladly recollect stories of bus loads of anglers of all ages turning up to fish. The River Taff (Afon Taf) rises as two rivers in the Brecon Beacons; the Taf Fechan (Little Taff) and the Taf Fawr (Big Taff) before becoming one just north of Merthyr Tydfil. Let’s say the whole of December has seen sub-zero temperatures with a cold northerly or easterly wind blowing but moving into the New Year the forecasters are telling us to expect a few days of south westerly winds bringing with it a low pressure front and some warmer temperatures into double figures. Although the guarded element of fishing the Taff for monsters is exciting, recruitment is crucial for the future. A good double figure fish on a very short winter session Digital Thermometer, an essential piece of the winter barbel anglers armoury There’s a lot written and said about the exact water temperatures that are good for winter barbel fishing, I carry a digital thermometer with me everywhere when I’m fishing, taking water temperatures regularly. How the swim is fed and the hookbait fished probably being the variation required to turn the odd fish into steady catching. As a result, these days game and coarse anglers co-exist on the river. Early season hemp and caster is renowned as a favourite, the barbel keen to grub around and graze rather than take bigger, oily baits. Rather than look at methods and bait choice which I’ll cover next time around I’d like to take a look at weather and river conditions and what to look for in what I’d call ‘perfect’ winter barbel situation. In the last 10 years barbel fishing popularity has escalated to a point where it is arguably, after carp, the most fished for species in the UK. 1 A fleshy filament growing from the mouth or snout of a fish. Although not native to the Dee, barbel have subsequently been re-stocked by the Environment Agency on a few occasions. The key word in this scenario is stabilised. This can be antisocial for many anglers, and the good news is if you are prepared to fish the float, or rove around trundling meat, day time sport can be as good as anytime, especially on rivers like the Wye. The temperature of the water being key to winter barbel fishing – any serious winter barbel angler will carry a thermometer, and it’s as good as a rule that the water temp must be the magic figure of 42F and rising, this is when barbel can quickly go on the feed. It flows underneath the M4 Motorway, before turning south east and through Cardiff and out into the Bristol Channel. New PB Barbel from the Middle Trent! After my opening day chub catch, I was keen to get a barbel on the bank. From its confluence at Cefn-coed-y-cymmer, the river flows south, passing several towns. The fishing is anything but easy with many stretches banning night fishing, limited swims and some rather precarious areas that the fish inhabit. Perhaps with environmental changes heading warmer, then numbers will pick up even more so. Although I have not caught as many barbel as usual from the Avon this season, that was my fourth double out of that last six barbel I have caught. Fish infected simultaneously with P. laevis and larval nematodes of the genus Eustrongylides sp. Yes this may have been carp, and there are the odd reports today of this still happening, but it may also have been salmon – they are often hooked by coarse anglers as a lump of flake, meat or a feeder, flutters and dances as it sinks through the water column, the enticing action too much for a salmon to resist. But officially, in records kept by the Barbel Society, the river best stands at 16 lb 11 oz by Kevin Gittins in 2014. These have been caught up to 9lb 12oz but are very much underfished. The previous day though the temps had been 5.5 degrees which just goes to show that a rise of only 1 degree overnight was all that was needed to trigger a feeding spell. A 10lb Barbel was caught here by one of the Junior anglers on the annual Barbel day in 2015. Here the river is similar to the Wye, meandering through rolling countryside and with similar geomorphology – pacey gravel channels around islands, running off into deeper steadier water, that fish as well in a flood as any time. were identified during a four years sampling of barbel from the Bulgarian part of the river Danube (for details see ).Due to lower prevalence of the nematodes (between 17 and 24%) compared to 98 – 100% prevalence for P. laevis, 16 double infected barbel were selected. The river runs south from its source near Rhymney high in the Welsh valleys through New Tredegar, Bargoed, Ystrad Mynach, Llanbradach to Caerphilly at the southern end of the Rhymney Valley. It doesn’t need to be complicated. 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