Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

Catch more barbel!

Early November Update




Fantastic fish, brilliant photo.

This is the way a shot of a river record should look, a beaming smile from the captor and a beautiful looking fish.

I’ve known Simon for a good few years, we’ve worked together on the Barbel Society committee for a long time and Simon put this website together. An alround top guy who has worked hard for his reward and everyone I know is as pleased as can be for Simon.

Less than four hours before he caught this leviathan we were talking on the phone, catching up on Barbel Society business and our recent fishing exploits. Simon mentioned the fact that he had been doing well on the Dove, catching some really nice fish but the real monsters were proving to be very elusive.

For some reason I laboured the point that it’s always just a matter of time, if your methods work and the confidence is there at some point the big one will be in your swim and will pick up your bait. We must have spent a good few minutes on this subject and I must have said at least four times , your time will come. I don’t actually think either of us believed it was just a couple of hours away!

But as we always say, that’s fishing!

And as I always say, ” The nice guys always win!”

So savour the moment, keep fishing and keep catching mate, there’s more to come for sure.



Unfortunately the fishing Gods were not smiling on me as well as I set off for a two day session!


 The river looked absolutely perfect, almost bank high and the air and water temperature were both unusually mild and couple this to the fact that I’ve always done well on November fifth, it wasn’t surprising that my confidence was running high.

The only down side was that my first choice swim is not the easiest in these conditions and as I intended to fish for twenty four hours, allowing for an eight hour sleep break, I didn’t want to move and the level was rising rather than falling. So the decision to fish downstream was made and I duly deposited two gallons of hemp and crushed boilies close in.


I fished well, not once did I drop into “It’s not gonna happen” mode but try as I might it wasn’t happening!

Big lumps of meat, double boilie, single boilie, pellet, all given a go to no avail, even moved around dropping a bait in different swims looking for that oportunistic fish.

As darkness fell and the firework parties got under way still nothing, and then the rain started and I wondered how the bonfire night reveller’s were actually enjoying themselves because it was hammering down.

Eventually I had a take on the double boilie and one of the smallest barbel I have seen in a long time ended up in the net, if it weighed a pound and a half I’m being generous…………………so much for the bigger bait theory!!!

And that my friends is as good as it got, as I packed everything away until next time I told myself, I’m one of the good guys, it’s just a matter of time!



I’m looking forward to this Barbel Society initiative which kicks in next year.

Over the years we have devoted a lot of time to helping out the youngsters and giving them a great start in their barbel fishing lives.

Somehow though the older guys managed to get overlooked but that’s all about to change.

It’s clear to me that most anglers who start out today go straight into carp fishing, indeed it’s been said to me in relation to carp fishing that that IS fishing!

Those of us brought up on Crabtree and sitting on the bank  of the canals waiting for perch , gudgeon and roach have to understand that that just doesn’t cut it for todays beginner.

There is a perception that the Barbel Society is old school, and that is an image we have to break down. For sure there are many in our ranks who epitomise what I term as “Floppy Hatters”, and that is a term of endearment, but there are many who come from the new school of barbellers as well.

I use centrepins, but I’ll happily fish with boilies. I use carbon rods but my greatest mate loves his cane. I love realtree clobber but there are plenty who cannot abide it!

We embrace all aspects but our image must be seen as modern , vital and of today and embarking on this initiative will go a long way to help.

We are a broad church and  realise that we have to go out and appeal to the generation brought up on the Internet if we are to prosper, indeed every aspect of angling needs to wake up to the fact that we desperately need the younger generation.

So keep an eye out on here, on the BS website and BLOG, in the press and on the various forums to see when The Barbel School is on a river close to you and we’ll see you there.





In some ways I suppose it was a bit disappointing, all seemed too obvious at the end.

I’m a huge fan of this programme, over the past nine series it has managed to maintain a very high  excitement level and I suppose I was hoping for something extra special at the end.

I have a feeling the storyline may have been amended to allow for the fact that Richard Armitage ( Lucas North) has signed up for a major role in The Hobbit and effectively ruled himself out of the next series.

Never mind, Harry is still there and he truly is the main man, without him I don’t think we would have a show.

So roll on series ten.


The fishing on the Severn may not have been up to much but the colours that hit me as I drove back with the bright early morning sun throwing magical patterns on the trees on the Shropshire Hills really were a joy to behold.

This truly is a beautiful time of the year and time for me to go walking rather than fishing until the window opens once again.






Leave a Reply

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