Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

Catch more barbel!

First Day of August Update


Putting this update together on the last day of the month and at the end of a very busy and somewhat tiring week.

However, it won’t be going live till the first day of the month so hence the title!

But then once you’re as involved in as many different aspects of the scene as I find myself it shouldn’t come as a big surprise I suppose.

I seem to find myself the subject of all sorts of things on the various fishermen’s blogs that have proliferated in recent times.

Oscar Wilde once said, there’s only one thing worse than being talked about and that’s not being talked about. From a personal perspective and up to a point I can go along with that but it can have a negative effect on others and also the organisation I’m involved with.

I’m not going to dwell on all of that but it leads me nicely on to an interesting article my old mate Bob Roberts has recently posted on his blog. You can find it here.

Why write a blog in the first place?

Well I know why I do it, it’s to keep my website vibrant, up to date and to encourage the many who enjoy what I put on here to keep looking in. Simple as that really, coupled to the fact that I enjoy writing and sharing some aspects of my life and giving a window to the world for good friends of mine.

I enjoy the feedback and the fact that it reaches a very wide audience, to the other side of the world as well.

I said when I first started this that I would not court controversy and go looking for the audience that thrives on that kind of stuff, I don’t want it, don’t need it, and I’m sure the great majority of people out there who look in are just not interested.

Writing that piece about friendships in my last update has turned out to be quite prophetic with the recent goings on especially the part that makes the point that you just can’t please everybody.

Luckily the main body of the piece related to actual friends and I’m fortunate to have more than my fair share, trying to fit fishing trips in with all of them this year is going to test my organising skills to the limit but I’ll get there because I put friendship above anything else fishing wise.



So following on from that point I shared a couple of days this past week on the banks of the Warwickshire Avon with Dr. Paul Garner.

I met up with the Doc last Tuesday afternoon to see if we could get a few fish for a feature and we were prepared to fish all through the night to make sure it happened.

The fishing was certainly trickier than it had been on the last couple of occasions for Paul when a good number of barbel including doubles made a very welcome appearance.

It seems the barbel on the Avon are very mobile and the key is to make hay while the sun shines.

Paul works for the marketing team at Dynamite Baits and we are on a mission over the next month to put some features together which will eventually find a home on the new Dynamite website.

I managed to land a couple of barbel, which took a liking to the Source pellets on the hair and we also spent the hours talking about all manner of things.

We go back a long way, I remember the first time I came across Paul, it was twenty odd years ago when he was catching big barbel from the Ouse.

I was in the Barbel Catchers back then and one or two of the lads were fishing the stretch and doing well and Paul turned up with his mop of blonde hair and joined in the action.

When the Barbel Society was formed Paul helped us out by putting together a scientifically based document on the Stillwater barbel issue.

Over the years we have come into contact many times at Shows but this was the first time we had ever managed to meet up on the riverbank.

I managed to stay with it until 1am and then I decided to get a few hours sleep before casting out once again at daybreak.

Paul was already out for the count on his bedchair, he’s far more organised than me and I had to settle for the reclining seat in the car!

Being used to kipping in the car I managed to get a couple of hours or so before waking to a superb sunrise and another barbel.

So the big ones were conspicuous by their absence but we had enough photos and Paul had enough info to put the words together so we called it a day before lunchtime.

The Warwickshire Avon is a lovely barbel water and there are plenty of them around to keep us all happy.

My old mate The Don has a place on a prolific weir pool on the river and he does well, I need to join him some time in the future!

Next stop with Paul, the Kennet, where I’ll have the great pleasure of fishing with his dad as well, really looking forward to that.

Come September and we’ll be on the Wye.

There’s a direct link to Paul’s website on my links page but you can check it out by clicking HERE.



I had a really nice day on the river with Howard and he succeeded in landing his first barbel on the ‘pin. He is now a convert!

When the bite arrived and the reel started to sing Howard took care of business like a seasoned pro, looked like he had been doing it all his life!

Howard was great company and the long day flew by as we covered a multitude of subjects while waiting for the fish on this beautiful stretch, I’m really enjoying these guiding days.

The Kennet has been acting a little differently so far this season .

If you manage to find the fish it really is business as usual but the barbel are not always in their established haunts and it has not been the easiest of tasks tracking them down.

There have been days when just the odd fish has shown and there have been others when half a dozen grace the landing net, there have even been blank days!

Trying to work it all out is part of the fun but it can be frustrating when fishing with maggots or casters. Deciding to stick it out or move after you’ve laid the table can be a challenging call, sometimes you get it right, other times you don’t!

And when I speak to the guys who really are at the top of this game and they have the same dilemma you realise the fish always call the tune!

Someone who did get it right was my mate Rich Frampton, a couple of weeks ago he had his personal best and now he’s gone and upped it again with this beauty. Thirteen pounds and five ounces of  summer barbel, a stunning fish!


Well done mate.



Thought the rain and the flush through would get things going but it’s still very slow, at least on the stretches I know.

One or two barbel have been out but it hardly seems worth the effort at the moment.

Saying that I will soon be putting a three-day trip together and I intend to put a lot of bait in, just to see if I can attract the barbel on to a carpet of feed.

I’m going for a boilie attack and I’ll let you know what happens.


No not in the rear end, I’ve had my fair share of those this past week; I’m talking about my left foot.

Now I get cramp in my toes quite often, but this time it was something else, the pain was excruciating and I was suffering this at the same time as an Internet forum was keeping me rather occupied, I was far from happy.

Just walking from one end of the garden to the other was a trial, its eased a little now but still not right, well it is left, you know what I mean!

Quick check on the web for self-diagnosis and it looks like a trip to the other Doc is on the cards next week.

Oh well, one of the joys of going past sixty I suppose but jeez it’s barely been six weeks, what else is to come?!



I’m going to write an article on this topic, it’s clear to me that although experienced barbel anglers have a good idea about their use many who are just starting out are looking for more in depth information.

Just need to get a few more photos and I’ll try my best to upload it sometime this month.


Another busy month about to start, days out with Lol Breakspear, Fred Crouch and Paul Garner to look forward to.

My old mate Phil Buckingham is now in his new home not a million miles away so a trip to the Wye is just around the corner.

I have to spend some time back in London, which I always look forward to, family business, which takes priority over everything.

On that subject it’s looking more and more likely that I’ll be Down Under once again over Christmas and well into the New Year, the though of watching the Test Matches from a corporate box is a little too much temptation to resist.

Lots of guiding days to enjoy and plenty of Barbel Society business to attend to.

Talking of the Barbel Society, I’ve decided to include a piece on here about the Society each time I write an update.






The new membership year has only just begun so now is a great time to join.

You will have access to some superb fishing on the Teme, Avon, Swale and Trent.

The regional meeting season gets under way in a few months time and there are also fish-ins to look forward to as well.

The top quality magazine, which members receive twice a year, is another reason to join, but the main reason is to meet up with hundreds of like minded barbel fishers who are only too pleased to help out the guys who are new to the game!

You can check out how to join by clicking HERE.



That’s all for now, back again in a fortnight or so, good fishing to you all!



Leave a Reply

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