View RSS Feed


A bit of a barbel obsession...

Rate this Entry
Barbel are a fish I've been fascinated ever since I started fishing. As a seven year old fishing the river Wharfe I remember being terrified of hooking one of the muscle bound beasts, but after a break of five years due to an obsession with rugby I watched 'A Passion for Angling', and this reignited my interest in fishing.

My granddad, who is an angler with a vast knowledge of coarse fishing gave me an old Daiwa whisker float rod, as well as a new Shakespeare Mach 2xt barbel rod.

I spent years trying to catch a barbel from my local river Wharfe at Wetherby, but I never even hooked one. This was partly down to my lack of angling experience, as well as the river being in a very poor state after being savaged by otters as well as several other factors.

After my distinct lack of success I turned my attention to match fishing, something I have done fairly well in, and something I still enjoy doing today.

Most of my match fishing is done with my granddad, and one of our favourite venues to fish is the river Wharfe at Boston Spa. This part of the Wharfe has been the home of otters over recent years, however it doesn't seem as badly affected as my local Wetherby stretch.

There is a series of evening matches here, and it was on these matches that I was reunited with barbel, landing my first river barbel, a fish of 7lb 4oz, caught on a chunk of meat fished under a willow tree when the river was about a foot up. This fish remains my personal best to this day, and at the moment I'm on a bit of a mission to beat this fish, in fact I have set myself the task of catching a fish of over 9lb by the end of the season.

This season my local Wharfe (at wetherby) has begun to come back a bit, and I've landed seven barbel in six evening sessions, the biggest being a similar size to my personal best, maybe even bigger, however I had no scales with me so I can't confirm it.

I've been fishing with small halibut pellets and lobworms, and I usually have to wait until dusk to get a bite, however when it's overcast and the river is up a bit I catch earlier in the day. With the river coming into it's best shape I thought I would keep you up to date with the progress of my barbel quest, and hopefully I'll pick up a few tips from other anglers reading!

I'll let you know when I next get onto the bank.

Thanks for reading, tight lines.
Tags: None Add / Edit Tags


  1. greenie62's Avatar
    however I had no scales with me
    It's always the weigh!

    Splash out on some decent scales and you won't be needing them - at least that's my excuse!

    Keep up the good work and let us know how you get on - particularly in the match series - good blogging!

    Tight Lines and wet nets!
  2. frederico's Avatar
    Thanks greenie! I may well continue to not bring scales as I will then inevitably catch monstrous barbel every time I go fishing!

    The evening league at sunrise lakes has finished, however I do fish other matches that I'll write about.

    Tight lines