Hookbait delivery

Aknib

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I'm having a rude old time with the big Barbel just lately, I've taken two fish slightly either side of fifteen pounds and smashed my float caught pb twice along with a fair amount of other good fish and something has occurred to me that might just have something to do with it.

I'm convinced that these bigger fish, who I also believe are resident to certain swims, are wary as to how a bait reaches them and that they are selective about the areas on the riverbed where they will pick a bait up from... I posted about the latter theory a few years ago.

This latter theory is an easier one to fathom, a bait that is anchored out in a strong flow where food wouldn't normally settle isn't going to sort out the better (and wiser?) fish imo but the first point is probably more of an important one in that I'm convinced that these bigger fish observe how food arrives and anything that arrives in an unnatural manner, such as bombed down with a lead and landed on their nose, will be ignored.

It could just be coincidence but I somehow feel otherwise on this one, the one thing I've been doing differently of late is easing a float down a swim and steering into position so that it looks as though, to a waiting fish, the hookbait has arrived there naturally as opposed to suddenly appearing out of nowhere and the fish then readily accepts it as it has arrived in the same manner that all the other food has.

If I put a lead out in the same area I'm not having anywhere near the same success yet by the time I've steered the bait down the river and into position under a float it often ends up stationary and the presentation is then just as it would be as if I were fishing a lead yet the float is catching me more and bigger fish.

I suppose it's nothing more than basic presentation principles at play but what do you think, is big Boris wiser than we think?
 

flightliner

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I'm having a rude old time with the big Barbel just lately, I've taken two fish slightly either side of fifteen pounds and smashed my float caught pb twice along with a fair amount of other good fish and something has occurred to me that might just have something to do with it.

I'm convinced that these bigger fish, who I also believe are resident to certain swims, are wary as to how a bait reaches them and that they are selective about the areas on the riverbed where they will pick a bait up from... I posted about the latter theory a few years ago.

This latter theory is an easier one to fathom, a bait that is anchored out in a strong flow where food wouldn't normally settle isn't going to sort out the better (and wiser?) fish imo but the first point is probably more of an important one in that I'm convinced that these bigger fish observe how food arrives and anything that arrives in an unnatural manner, such as bombed down with a lead and landed on their nose, will be ignored.

It could just be coincidence but I somehow feel otherwise on this one, the one thing I've been doing differently of late is easing a float down a swim and steering into position so that it looks as though, to a waiting fish, the hookbait has arrived there naturally as opposed to suddenly appearing out of nowhere and the fish then readily accepts it as it has arrived in the same manner that all the other food has.

If I put a lead out in the same area I'm not having anywhere near the same success yet by the time I've steered the bait down the river and into position under a float it often ends up stationary and the presentation is then just as it would be as if I were fishing a lead yet the float is catching me more and bigger fish.

I suppose it's nothing more than basic presentation principles at play but what do you think, is big Boris wiser than we think?
Agree Steve, I watched a u tube vid a few weeks ago where a guy set up for a three day session, after putting a bucket of baits out into a swim that has produced some stunning catches of BB to float fished baits he ended with on ly three fish and only small ones at that and at nightime only save, I think for one.
Four or five hours with very little bait trotted thro that swim will constantly produce Barbel in multiples of the number that lad put on the bank, and bigger in size too.
My take on it may be slightly different to yours inasmuch as mine that the BB are now under so much pressure from shed loads of heavy baiting, big leads, multiple rods etx that the BB are wary of a static bait
(not all the time) but will often take a moving one quite readily!
 

john step

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I have seen this before in an article. I may be wrong but I think it was by Bob Roberts. Also that makes perfect sense when one considers the Ray Walton rolling meat method.
 

dorsetsteve

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In terms of presenting a bait in a natural location, I think there’s merit in your opinion.

It might also be worth taking into consideration the mechanics of this. With the best will in the world and the best low resistance rigs that line has tension and will do as soon as that fish picks up the bait, tiny maybe but when your hands are your mouth potentially significant? With a float fished bait the float is cocked and gives an even lower resistance.

I’ve noticed that when I’m Perching, a float fished lob will be taken. Switch to the lead, no such take arrives. If I can I will free line, for the very reasons you point out or just a couple of swan. Invariably this methods will put fish a fixed lead in almost every opportunity.

Personally I think it’s the fundamental presentation difference between a float and a lead.
 

whitty

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On the small stream yesterday,catching lots of modest barbel between 3/7lbs I noticed even before I cast in that several larger fish hung upstream of me,but unreachable by the angler upstream,they were flashing,so definitely feeding,I started fishing upstream to where they were feeding but just could not stop getting big liners from them,spooking them to the extent they moved off,that was even with back leading,or fishing a lot of slack line,I believe on this stretch,ALL the bigger barbel occupy spots where they cannot be fished for,on rivers like the Trent I believe they live in spots that don't get fished as much,do not disregard slacks when fishing for barbel,they definitely don't.
 

flightliner

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I've just arrived on the Trent and have fish rolling in my swim so it looks promising but I:M after roach and the fish rolling are Barbel and I think the odd Bream, maybe I'll connect with a Barbel🤔?
Lol.
Well, my day was disappointing to say the least. I put bait in when the tide topped, not a lot but enough to encourage fish to start rummaging around.
When the flow had built up to a normal run off speed I went in with two quiver tips hoping a fish would show, but no, during the day I had one solitary bream of some 4lb max, disappointing to say the least despite the swim having plenty of fish in it.
I knew because on one overambitious cast of some two metres instead of recasting I put my finger on the spool so that the feeder would approach the riverbed pendulam fashion to land in my baited area, on its way down I felt three definate bumps as it landed on fish!
They just wer'nt feeding with any abandon sadly!
 

whitty

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On venues like the one i've been fishing are visual,you can watch lots of barbel feeding and even though massive catches can be taken lots of fish turn away from your bait,they've spotted something and that is on a river awash with hungry barbel,be under no illusion,this river has more barbel per square yard than the Trent I would imagine,as the Trent fish are now generally bigger and more evened out population wise,possibly more than any river in the country,with more young fish coming through every year,yet it gets real pressure,some swims being fished and fed pellets up to four times a day,bearing in mind there are I believe 19 swims,of which possibly six don't get many barbel in them,the others are fished every day until the weather cools,even then it can be busy,if I could take a guest,it would be absolutely guaranteed to get a novice a barbel in summer,yet you can watch fish after fish turn away from your hookbait,whatever it is,the last outing where I fished maggot I had a bag leftover luncheon meat,so when they were turning away from maggot hookbaits in the margin I chopped up 5/6mm cubes and put a few small handfuls in,by christ they were spooky of that,shooting in,picking one cube up and bolting out,swirling meat everywhere....
 

dorsetsteve

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On venues like the one i've been fishing are visual,you can watch lots of barbel feeding and even though massive catches can be taken lots of fish turn away from your bait,they've spotted something and that is on a river awash with hungry barbel,be under no illusion,this river has more barbel per square yard than the Trent I would imagine,as the Trent fish are now generally bigger and more evened out population wise,possibly more than any river in the country,with more young fish coming through every year,yet it gets real pressure,some swims being fished and fed pellets up to four times a day,bearing in mind there are I believe 19 swims,of which possibly six don't get many barbel in them,the others are fished every day until the weather cools,even then it can be busy,if I could take a guest,it would be absolutely guaranteed to get a novice a barbel in summer,yet you can watch fish after fish turn away from your hookbait,whatever it is,the last outing where I fished maggot I had a bag leftover luncheon meat,so when they were turning away from maggot hookbaits in the margin I chopped up 5/6mm cubes and put a few small handfuls in,by christ they were spooky of that,shooting in,picking one cube up and bolting out,swirling meat everywhere....
Sounds like a great place. Nothing better than fishing visually like that and trying to put Fox them, sadly I’ve not had that opportunity for a few years now.
 

whitty

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Thing is Steve,during summer,especially the first four weeks it is easy to catch a few barbel,in majority of swims,but,the amount you see doing you over is momentous,however,it's not just barbel,it's carp,chub,roach(small and large)and dace,the water is shallow,narrow and clear,my ex-matchman's brain is puzzling continually,mostly failing,but it's fun trying...
 
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dorsetsteve

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Thing is Steve,during summer,especially the first four weeks it is easy to catch a few barbel,in majority of swims,but,the amount you see doing you over is momentous,however,it's not just barbel,it's carp,chub,roach(small and large)and dace,the water is shallow,narrow and clear,my ex-matchman's brain is puzzling continually,mostly failing,hut it's fun trying...
Sounds very much like what I used to do on Throop, just baiting and watching.
 

theartist

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I believe on this stretch,ALL the bigger barbel occupy spots where they cannot be fished for
This isn't true Alan, give it a bit more time, whilst it is an easy river you've only been on the stretch for less than a season, Rome weren't built in a day mate, those bigger ones will come for you. They definitely can be fished for and feed a lot closer than you would think. Winter is also when the bigger ones tend to come out more on average.
 

whitty

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I don't mean that because I am not catching them,but I am seeing them,they are spending time in parts of swims that make them harder to catch,after watching five in the downstream flyer that hung upstream of the peg,but too far downstream of the upstream flyer,an upstream cast,with or without backleading resulted in spooky fish,until you removed your gear,then flashing began again,these fish obviously get caught occasionally,but they are clever enough to know where not to feed,I will pick some up,but not until they feed where you can fish,for quite a while the bigger fish down the side have fed,but skittishly,yeah you catch some,but very few in comparison to the amount of barbel visiting the table...
 

Rich P

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I would think the presentation is more important with float-fished bait, than legered. With the latter, a static bait is picked up by a roaming fish, rather than one waiting for food to appear via the flow.

Oh, and well done with your recent catches!
 
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whitty

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Thanks Rich,I would agree with you,apart from the fact by watching these fish turn away repeatedly from ledgered or or freelined baits,regardless of whether backleaded or not makes my poor brain do hoops....
 
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