Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

Catch more barbel!

Early April Update

I’m still livin’ in a land Down Under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover.

Plenty to chat about since the last update but not a huge amount on the fishing front although I have been out on the harbour, fishing off the rocks at the end of the garden and over at Little Manly Cove with my Geordie mate John. Also stocked up on some tackle but it hurts to buy stuff I already have back home, but at least I know what to bring over when I’m here again next year.
I’m also working on my boat license test, this will allow me to search out the hot areas where the Kingfish like to visit, the rocks at the moment are only producing Yellowfin Bream and Whiting.
The floods devastated the area where I enjoyed the carp fishing but the good news is that the river has dropped right back and its just a matter of clearing the silt deposits from the bank. Trust me this is a major job involving machinery, its not a matter of shovelling the mud off the steps cut in the bank!
I’m confident that I’ll get another couple of sessions in, I really would like that river twenty!
I’ve missed out on a couple of fishing shows back home but I stumbled across the Manly version of The Big One on Shelley Beach, seemed to me that there are worse places to be working on a stand!

Not to be left out a shark decided to visit at the same time so it was just like the scene from Jaws, mass water evacuation, helicopters and lifeguards out in their boats, its a common sight over here!

My mate John lost a good fish when we were fishing the cove. He spent some time trying to catch one of the small yellowtails for bait and within minutes of casting it out out the line started to peel very slowly off his reel. He waited and then pulled into the fish, for the first minute or so John was in command and I took a couple of shots anticipating a nice trophy pic at the end. Wasn’t to be, the fish suddenly woke up and sped out of the bay heading for the ocean, the line went over a submerged rock and that was that!
Could have been anything, it was a good ‘un though so fishing in Sydney Harbour is going to throw up some future surprises for sure.

I’ve signed up to the Forum for Sydney anglers, taking this seriously as I’m likely to be spending winters fishing over here for the forseeable future.
Have to say I felt a slight twinge of regret looking at the end of season barbel catches back home, the mild weather obviously had a positive effect. Through the modern wonders of technology I do keep in regular contact with the barbel boys back home and so it always feels close plus I’ve been busy writing an upcoming CAT article and then there is my Diary for Fishing Magic.
My March Diary should be live in a few days so I won’t give any spoilers here, I’ll give a heads up when it’s on the site.
Tickets for The Barbel Show are now available and I hope many of you will be coming along, this years event at the beginning of June should be something special. John Wilson will be with us all day and along with Peter Wheat, Phil Smith, the Avon Roach project lads and Dave Harrell he’ll be giving a presentation that should keep everyone entertained.
I’ll see you there, come along and say G’day!


Let me take you on the trip from Manly to the city on the fast ferry and then on the return journey back on the iconic green and yellow Sydney Ferry.

Spent a week in the fabulous rolling countryside 100 miles or so north of Sydney in the Hunter Valley, the wine growing area  full of wineries only too pleased to let you sample their produce!
Suffice to say it was a happy week, not many places are pleased to see visitors slightly worse for wear before lunchtime!
I stayed at Pokolbin which is bang in the centre in a wonderful cabin set in acres of parkland. The owner of the site was a retired builder from the city who packed in that game and bought the sixty odd acres and put up a few cabins and has lived happily ever after. Pottering about as a maintenance man instead of dealing with the hassle running a large construction company entails.
BBQ’s, swimming in the pool, riding around in a horse and cart, Kangaroo’s hopping about outside, lots of wine and great food……………………………..a fantastic week.
Had to leave just as the cowboys arrived in town. Bang opposite us was a large winery that plays host to some of the biggest names in the music business and Faith Hill and Tim McGraw were headlining a weekend country event, a sort of Glastonbury with stetsons!
If Shiraz, Semillon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon and champagne is your game this is a place to be!
Here are a few pics to give the flavour, run the mouse over them to check the info.


After missing out on the Hunter Valley show I was hoping to catch up with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw when they were playing in the city, unfortunately my daughter’s contact forgot to sort the tickets and so we didn’t go.
However to make amends she came up with tickets for a concert at the Opera House featuring Nick Lowe. Very few visitors get to see a show in the actual building, they all get the pics outside but the real experience is being inside. On my last visit here I saw Glen Campbell and he was brilliant, I was not disappointed with Nick Lowe, he has a great catalogue of songs and he had  a superb band to back him up. There was just one problem, everytime I looked at him on stage I kept thinking about someone I know in the barbel world.

If ever there was a contender for the best look alike, then Keith Truscott wins hands down for being the absolute spitting image of Nick Lowe! Anyway, here’s one of Nick’s tunes to jog your memory
Who remembers INXS? I bet everyone remembers Michael Hutchence………a rock and roll victim but a true legend as well.

The lead guitarist and still rocking is a guy named Tim Farriss and he lives just a few doors along. I saw him the other morning as he and his wife were loading the car and we acknowledged each other as I walked past pushing the buggy with Henry onboard. I’ve since found out that he likes his fishing so I’m going to try and have a chat with him and introduce him to barbel! If I’m successful I’ll tell you about it on here. Here’s a great song from a brilliant band;
Bruce Springsteen is well under way with the Wrecking Ball tour and as always he’s getting rave reviews. Can’t wait for the gigs in the UK, Henry has an appropriate teeshirt but we’ll have to sort out a proper Bruce shirt for him in the summer!


My nephew Connor like the rest, well most, of the family is an avid Spurs fan, it’s good to see the family tradition thriving in the next generation, our roots are in North London and Tottenham and thats why we support our home team!
My brother has been waiting a long time for the call to arrive but arrive it did and off they went to White Hart Lane to watch the Stoke game with Connor one of the mascots.
As this was the first game at the ground since the Bolton cup game, all the players wore shirts with messages of support for the stricken player Fabrice Muamba. The upshot being that there was a lot of press coverage and Connor found himself gracing the back pages of the Sun with his hero, Luka Modric.
I catch all the games live over here on Fox TV and there was brilliant coverage before the game and seeing Connor on screen was an absolute joy.
He’s coming fishing with me in the summer, fingers crossed we can get another great shot of him holding a nice barbel!
Well done Connor and I’ll see you soon.

If you follow my blog you may recall I was talking about Blockbusters after the sad passing of Bob Holness. At the time I was trying to locate an appropriate picture to put up on here. Well a few days ago and totally out of the blue photos from the show my daughter appeared on turned up on her Facebook page. It transpired that the brother of the girl she was teamed up with from Chelmsford High had posted them after he found  himself watching the programme on one of the more obscure channels. Sitting here in Sydney as the pics appeared on the  ipad was truly surreal and we spent the rest of the evening reminiscing about what for my daughter was an unforgettable experience!

Hope everyone is enjoying the Easter break, it was a little strange spending Good Friday on the beach in temperatures sure to melt the eggs!
I couldn’t resist the temptation of introducing Henry to the joys of chocolate much to my daughter’s disdain!
He loved it, trouble was the chocolate ended up everywhere but some found its way into his mouth!


Lots of barbel fishing content to come in the future, I have dozens of trips lined up for the coming season and there will be plenty of topics to cover. I have a few new ideas to try out, seen some methods over here that will certainly work on the rivers back home.
Don’t miss out on the Barbel Show, it really looks set to be a great one this year.
I’ll leave you with a similar pic to last time, its a tiring business this Grandad lark but I’m loving every minute of it.
All the best.

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