An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Monday, 27 January 2014

Floodwater Barbel

It seems ages since I last caught a barbel. I must admit to being side tracked over the last few months and I haven't really had the motivation to make my time on the bank all about one species. However, this week had me itching to get a decent bend in the rod so a barbel trip was planned on the Warwickshire Avon.

With the river rising over night into Saturday morning and a couple of frosts earlier in the week, I knew fishing would be anything but easy. The plan was to stay mobile and thus stay warm and hopefully stumble upon a feeding fish. I knew I would be fishing for one bite if I was lucky. I arrived to a very wet looking car park and an Avon not far from the top of the bank.
I started at the top of the stretch with the intention of dropping into any likely looking spots before moving on after thirty minutes or so. I spent the first hour fishing two slack areas away from the raging torrent. Without any indications, confidence had begun to wane. I continued in a few other
A nice looking slack
spots and eventually arrived back at the car park without anything to show for my efforts. I knew if I could present a bait in the right spot I'd been in with a good chance of something materialising. So I wandered downstream with the first spot again resulting in nothing. Finally, a walk 50 yards or so downstream at last yielded what I was looking for: a long, smooth glide that looked to be a swim worth concentrating my efforts for the remainder of my trip. A cast was made with a piece of Spam and a 2oz weight moulded with my homemade paste. All I could do now was admire the countryside and wait for a bite.

A welcome fish for January
About half an hour had passed when the rod tip hooped round and a fish was hooked. Obviously the cold water had taken effect since there were no blistering runs with the fish staying deep and plodding its way closer to the bank. Finally it awoke making a run which had the clutch screaming before the fish was drawn over the waiting net. The barbel was no monster at around 7lb but it had been feeding well and looked in great condition. A quick photo and it swam away strongly to fight another day. A few negotiations with the wife allowed me to stay on for another hour in the hope another fish would show but with a huge cloud approaching I curtailed the session at about 2.30pm. As the first few spots of rain started to fall I arrived back at the car satisfied to have managed a January floodwater barbel. The subsequent twenty minute drive home was then spent travelling through torrential rain and strong winds justifying my decision to return to a warm living room.


  1. Well done Lee, catching any fish lately on the Avon has been a challenge so landing a Barbel is a great result

  2. Cheers Joe. I haven't really bothered much with barbel these last few months as it's been so poor but I just had a feeling on Saturday that one might bite. I'll be picking your mind in a few months as I fancy some spring tench fishing and I know you do a bit on the pits south of here. Lee

  3. A barbel? Off The Warwickshire avon in flood? I claim wizardry at work here!!


  4. Well done Lee, seems Warwickshire Avon barbel are as rare as bristol Avon barbel, but hopefully a few are appearing in the last
    Couple of weeks, good luck on your next trip,