Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

Catch more barbel!

Early November Update


The sun is shining, the sky is a magnificent blue and yesterday was Guy  Fawkes night, something does not feel quite right!

Snow could be just around the corner and if my recent fishing results are anything to go by the barbel seem to be just as confused as I am with this unseasonal weather.

The drive back to my cottage from Craven Arms at this time of the year is simply stunning and I make sure I take in every inch of the beautiful vista filled with every conceivable shade of red, brown and gold. Cars whizz by me in a blur, they always seem to be in some sort of hurry but it’s a sad man who is in such a race against time that they miss out on the simple pleasures all around.

Life in the slow lane, a prize everyone should make their goal………if only.

I’ve been trying to work out the best way of maintaining an Updated blog on here while producing a detailed fishing diary for the Fishing Magic website.

It’s a nice position to be in but unlike writing for a magazine, I’m writing two similar features for the same medium and it is more than likely that I’m covering the same audience.

So, as with the last Diary, I’ll be putting up the link on here so that it’s very easy to pop across to the Fishing Magic site.

I know I’ve said it before but the FM website is really coming on in leaps and bounds, Ian Welch and his team are really making a difference and I would expect to see many more people joining in on the forums because they are exceptionally well moderated and there is a high level of expertise amongst the posters.

At the end of my last Update I mentioned what would be coming up on here but as most of it has found a place in my last Diary HERE, It makes sense to just fill in a few gaps.

So, lets go back to the very last day of September, I’m on the Kennet once again and I’m joined by Alan, someone I’d been looking forward to meeting for quite a while.

I had already built a picture in my mind of Alan, he is a BS member and had posted a few times on our forum. His questions were different from the norm and I was ever so slightly apprehensive, I mistakenly believed this would carry through to our day together.

Just shows how you can come unstuck thinking a forum post characterises someone, Alan turned out to be a quiet  unassuming man who was a pleasure to spend time with.

He asked me if I minded if we didn’t weigh any fish we caught, his pleasure came from just catching and looking, the weight was truly irrelevant.

A refreshing attitude that I have rarely come across, Alan was totally genuine and I understood exactly where he was coming from but most anglers like to know the numbers and that’s fine too.

Unfortunately no matter how hard we tried the barbel did not want to play and even the last fifteen minutes as day turns to night failed to produce.

I’ll look forward to catching up with Alan again and next time  hopefully the fish will read the script.

A week later and I was back on the Severn with Kevin, now trust me when I say it had taken a long time to get this day together.

The fishing was hard but Kev nailed his barbel and I learned quite a bit, not least that its best to have Kev as a mate, in his day job he makes sure important people don’t get into any mishaps!


Looking forward to one day watching the film of the script he has produced, if we had managed a double I could have perhaps pushed for the premiere!

If you’ve been following my blog you will have noted that I meet up with some very interesting people in my fishing life and Kev was certainly one of those!

My next trip to the river was in the company of Bob, and the pressure was on to ensure he enjoyed a memorable day.

Bob’s mates had organised the day as a retirement present, Bob was a firefighter. His mates had contacted Bob Roberts and he kindly put them on to me. So you can see there were a number of different people to please!

Anyway, as always we had a great time, Bob was a real character as you would expect and the incredibly warm autumn  day flew by and a couple of nice barbel put in an appearance to set the seal.


After Bob had left the fun really started, and all I will say on here is I’m eternally thankful to be a member of the AA…………’ll have to read my Diary for more details on this one.

Likewise my day on the Wye with Gerry that should have been two days, the day in Bewdley with among others Big Des, Gent’s Day on the Kennet and how to catch lots of bream when you’re fishing for barbel!

My last guiding day for this year was with Mark on the Wye and once again it was hard, really hard.

We tried everything but the Wye barbel  again proved to me that they can be as enigmatic as those on other rivers more accepted as being difficult.

I was meant to fish with Mark again on the Teme but with the clocks going back and conditions far from favourable we decided to postpone until next summer.

So that’s my Guiding days over till next year and I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been out with me this summer, I’ve enjoyed the company of each and every one of you, please keep in touch and let me know how your fishing is going.

I have around fifteen people waiting for confirmed days next year and I’ll be in touch to finalise dates before Christmas.

Here’s a few pics from guiding days since the last update;



You may have already noticed a couple of additions to the Home page. A big thank you to Simon at Studio DM for putting them up for me.

The photo box showing the latest Blog updates is a direct lift from my mate Bob Roberts. The first time I saw it on Bob’s revamped website I told myself I must have one of those!

There is also a box showing the latest comments left by visitors to the site. It became obvious that I needed this after receiving a good few posts on older articles. I’m hoping it may spur more discussion, as I’ve always said I’m always ready to answer any queries and will ask others to help me if they have better answers than me.

Studio DM have recently put together a website for fellow Pegone consultant Lewis Baldwin, have a look, HERE.


I’m typing this up on my old computer which has done its job but is now reaching the end of the line, messages keep popping up on the screen telling me it isn’t in good health.

Help was at hand in the shape of my eldest daughter who lives in Australia.

She has kindly bought me a shiny new Dell all in one which sits proudly on my desk, all I need to do now is work out how to set it up and transfer documents and photos across without losing them!

Sometime ago I wrote on here about how back in my early thirties I very nearly made it,  those famous words of Del Boy were going to come true. Unfortunately it didn’t quite happen but for my daughter out in Sydney it really does look as though that dream will become reality for her.

I’m intensely proud that she has created a business which is a market leader and she has done it pretty much all by herself.

I’ll be out in Australia after Christmas for a couple of months and I’m really looking forward to it.

It will be the first time I’ll have seen my grandson Henry, and my daughter has lined up some fishing contacts for me to meet, I can’t wait!

Here’s a plug for my daughters business if you’re thinking about going out to Oz to work. KPMR.


I have a feature in the latest issue of TCF, my take on their ongoing “Remembering Your Best ever Day” series.

Young Lewis is featured as well, enjoying a day on the river in the company of The Pons, he’s well on his way to becoming a star!

Hoping to get him in there again next summer as we are planning a feature where we hope to get Lewis a good sized barbel.


Quite a few new fishing books on the market and here’s one covering the life and times of a true Angling Legend.

With Christmas just around the corner we are being spoilt for choice and this one is thoroughly recommended.


This week sees the launch of a brilliant new book about one of angling’s greatest-ever heroes – Ivan Marks.

Ivan Marks: The People’s Champion is a collection of the best columns the irrepressible Leicester-based match legend wrote during the 1970s and 80s for Angling Times.

In a book that runs for more than 300 pages, and includes a further 16 pages of period photographs, you’ll find columns on all his big match wins, what it was like to fish for England, the emergence of the Leicester Likely Lads and how he was among the first to ‘discover’ the delights of fish-filled Ireland. There are also chapters on tackle, tactics and bait.

Ivan Marks rose to prominence in the 1960s and established himself as one of the match fishing greats with some huge wins – including success three years out of four in the Great Ouse Championships, a contest with over 1,300 participating anglers.

England recognition soon followed and he peaked with an individual silver medal in 1976.

In an interview just prior to his death he was asked to look back on his glittering career – a career that saw him become the most famous angler in the country – and he said of himself: “At the end of the day I was just an ordinary bloke who could fish a bit.”

When Ivan died, aged 68, in December 2004 the angling world not only said goodbye to one of the finest anglers to ever hold a rod, it also said farewell to its greatest character, too.

*Ivan Marks: The People’s Champion is more than 330 pages long and includes never seen before photographs. It is published by MPress and costs £20 (plus postage and packing). The book is due for release on October 21st. Ring Calm Productions on 0845 4082606 or visit

There are also 50 leather-bound copies priced at £180 – but be quick, they’re selling fast!



  The Barbel Society Reearch and Conservation Auction will soon be getting under way, this has been running for a few years now and is incredibly well supported.

Just some of the confirmed Auction lots:

Redditch Perfection 4″ in silver. 1 of 25 limited edition centrepin reels from Gary Mills
Fred Crouch Aerial reel, choice of wide or narrow drum.
Day for two on fabulous River Test on Dave Steuarts private fishery
A guided day on the River Kennet with Steve Pope
Day on the Hampshire Avon with Pete Reading
Day on the Dorset Frome grayling fishing with Pete Reading
Barbel Society all fisheries ticket
Day on the Kennet with Rich Frampton
Manchester United tickets for two in Knights Lounge,.
Skies of Fire Rivers of Gold, Fred Crouch, leather bound limited edition
Catch a Big Fish David Carl Forbes, First Edition mint, classic Sixties title
Trent barbus fixed spool reel, high capacity
Shimano Baitrunner DL 4000FA fixed spool reel
Martin Hooper Barbel Rod, 12` pound and a half classic rod from Sundridge
Phil Smith’s new book Targets set and Achieved.
Paul Cook’s new book Lost in a Quiet moment
Chris Turnbull’s new book Reflections
John Wilson’s 1001 Top Angling Tips
Christchurch Angling Club membership
A day with Steve Pope on the Wye
Ringwood Angling Club membership
A day at the International Centre for Birds of Prey
Mr Crabtree Fishing book, Third Impression  1956 SIGNED BY BERNARD VENABLES
Carp Catchers Club by Maurice Ingham. No 69 of 99 leathers, signed by Bernard Venables.
1998 Medlar Press Limited Edition
Rod and reel Combo, Wychwood Signature 12` 1.5lbs and bait runner reel
Fishing magazine from No.1 to No.37, May to October 1963 in official Fishing binder.
(Classic mags full of articles from FredJ, Peter Stone, Dave Steuart, Dick Walker and others.
Fascinating reading but a rare collection)
Very limited edition booklet Abbey Cross AC, Post War to New Millenium, mint
Pair of hand made rod rests, fashioned from seasoned hazel wood, heavily varnished with whippings and fire-hardened points. (Will be personalised for the winning bidder)
Day with Martin James on the Ribble between November and March
Day on the Kennet with Dave Brown
Fox Specialist landing net 30
Nutrabaits bait package, 2kg Trigga Ice, pack of new Hemp Fudge boilies
A day with Steve Pope on the lower Severn.
Trakker Xcell Half zip jacket, Medium
Terminal tackle pack; line, hooks, leads, feeders 
If you are not a BS member and would like to get involved, check out the Blog on the official website HERE.
Really sorry to see the end of Spooks, been a fan since the very first episode and have seen them all. Certainly going to miss Harry and his team.
Totally different but it does it for me, The Apprentice for the youngsters, brilliant entertainment and Sir Alan pitches it just right. Not  quite sure who the winner is at the moment but after next week I would be prepared to make a prediction.
Loving Strictly as always, have far more time for Robbie Savage as a dancer than I did for him as a footballer and heck, he’s partnering Ola!
I can’t bring myself to mention the other Saturday night show, it really has hit a new low, the talent pool just isn’t there and quite frankly it is unwatchable.
My enthusiasm has almost been rekindled this season, I say almost because I’m not about to set off down the Lane, but I have to say Spurs are looking really good at the moment.
They have one of if not the best midfield pairings in the premiership and if Ledley King can keep going a place in the top four is looking more than likely, perhaps even runners up…………….we can dream!
I have to put this pic up on here though, just for my good pal Gerry……………sorry mate!


That’s It!

There will be more in my latest Fishing Magic Diary next week, so don’t forget to look in on there.

I’ll be detailing the Gentlemen’s Day and how I fared on the Lower Severn among other things.

Enjoy your fishing and feel free to leave any messages.


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For more information regarding guiding, articles, talks and presentations, shows and anything barbel fishing related contact me at: StevePopeBarbelFishing Facebook