With my local River Bollin being so low and clear recently I finally got round to some fish location work with hopes of finding a Barbel or two (something I was hoping to do during the closed season).
Well I could not have picked a hotter day to do it and my biggest mistake was wearing shorts! Not ideal for battling through un-trodden nettles, brambles, thistles and worst of all 8ft tall giant hogweed plants.
Anyway this is what I did and it was hot and painful work but when I spotted a lone Barbel emerge from the near margin then disappear into the deeper water it was worth the pain just for that! Now to be honest I did see at least two other individual Barbel amongst two separate small groups of chub but these were smaller and how do you get them to take a bait before the chub?
To cut a long story short I managed to catch one chub from each group as expected and as I was returning chub number two I couldn’t miss the unmistakable pinkish orange shape of the lone Barbel I had seen earlier casually waddling between some streamer weed just upstream! So obviously I re-baited my single swan shot link ledger set up, made a cast just upstream of the fish and began a very slow retrieve to keep in touch with the rig and before I knew it I was connected to my first Bollin Barbel and probably my last for a while!
I had made my mind up I was going to catch a Bollin Barbel this season and I knew stalking in clear water was my best chance of location so I’m very happy indeed that my plan came together. I have been back several times now looking for more Barbel without success so feel luck definitely played a part!
Here’s the quite distinctive fish, it weighed 8lb 12oz.