Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

Catch more barbel!

Late August Update

First of all, sincere apologies for being late with this Update, I have a good excuse though, I’ve been mostly fishing!

I thought I would be able to update on a weekly basis and at worst once a fortnight but didn’t factor in how busy I’ve actually become.

Anyway lets get started from the point where I left you all last time and bring you up to date with my barbel fishing and other exploits.

Saturday July 23rd and I found myself back in Worcester well Bransford in fact, for a Barbel Society committee meeting. I’ve lost count of how many of these I’ve attended over the years but the passion and commitment is still there and we maintain a very loyal membership who rely on the team who manage the Society to keep the train on the tracks.

It was good to see my old mate Phil Buckingham sitting in on a meeting once again, Phil was a Founder member and the first Treasurer of the Society and we have missed his experience in recent years.
Now retired and living close to the Wye the hope is that Phil now has more spare time to be able to lend a hand to the BS committee.
We managed to get through our business in double quick time, no doubt the fact that Pete wanted to go fishing had something to do with me being on the ball more than usual, the upshot being that Phil and myself had a few hours on the Teme at Bransford and Pete and Fred set off to Wick to try and find one of the elusive barbel that are supposed to reside there.

I spent the best part of the following day trying to tempt a Lower Severn barbel but unfortunately to no avail. The barbel fishing has been very slow on my particular stretch but to be fair very few anglers apply themselves properly. By that I mean they make no preparation whatsoever, relying on a fish passing through the swim. When I’m fishing seriously on the Lower which should be in a few weeks time I spend a great deal of time in preparing the swim by laying down a large carpet of hemp and crushed boilies etc.
But there are times, and this was one, where time isn’t on my side and I had to hope that an hours labour with the dropper would get results and this time it didn’t!

Monday and I’m back on the Kennet to catch up with Barry and his grandson Lewis.

Neither had caught a barbel so the pressure was on to make sure that was put right.

It turned out to be one of those days when the barbel were playing hard to get but nevertheless the constant stream of casters eventually did the trick and young Lewis found himself attached to a mean old fighting machine. Now I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen a nine year old play a barbel so well.
Lewis had previously caught big bream which won him a badge and his picture in Total Coarse Fishing and a nineteen pound pike had also been subdued by this young master.

Lewis instinctively knew how to apply side strain and the barbel was soon tiring in front of him, it was a seriously impressive display and I didn’t have to help out once. This youg fella knows his stuff and his Grandad had obviously taught him well.
Weight wise the fish would not have reached five pounds but who cares about weight when a youngster has his first barbel and is beaming for the camera.
Later in the day Barry caught his barbel, on the pin as well, and so it ended up as a job well done.

We were also treated to a majestic aerial display from a trio of red kites who swooped and dived over the freshly cut field on the other side of the river, it really was a joy to behold.
I have to say that I envy very few people, I’m happy in my skin and have no reason to complain with my lot but I have to say I’m envious of Barry.
He and Lewis have a wonderful relationship, Grandad and Grandson in total harmony and the very best of fishing pals, I don’t think it gets any better than that.
We said our goodbye’s and agreed to meet up again later in the year when I’m hoping to have a surprise in store for the pair of them.
I’ve spoken to Kev Wilmot, the Editor of TCF, and he is more than interested in a feature starring youg Lewis………… this space!

Tuesday and its time to meet up with Bob and Sean, I have been looking forward to this for some time because Bob and I had connections going back many years and with the stories to be told I wondered if we would actually get any fishing in!

The barbel responded well for Bob as he relived times gone by as I landed fish of 11-08, 9-12 and 7lbs for him.
In his heyday Bob captained the three times LAA Championship Shield winners Broadwater AC, he also caught lots of doubles from Throop where he knew Ernie Leah very well. He even remembered Pete Reading who had a chat to Bob when he called me during the day.

These days Bob is restricted to fishing on commercials because of a work accident that has severely affected his mobility, so the point of the two days he was sharing with me was to experience barbel fishing on a river once again and to teach me a thing or two!

The next day was even better, Bob landed eight barbel including two more doubles and a couple of big nines. I even managed three myself.

The barbel gods had been very kind and Bob once again has tasted the thrill that is barbel fishing, I’m sure we’ll do it all again next year, I hope so.

After a weekend cutting the grass, collecting the casters and writing up articles it was all systems go once again, this time back on the Wye.

I had a day to myself on the Tuesday and despite fishing hard in a swim I was sure would produce I only ended up with a solitary eight pounder. However I spotted a shoal that was at least fifty strong and so knew the area that would be targetted the next day.

At breakfast in the farm I met up with Chris and his son, I was confident of a really good result but the bright sun and clear sky would do us no favours.

So it proved, despite watching barbel flash and roll all day long we only managed to tempt a couple, it was incredibly frustrating!

However the weather improved and so too did the fishing because the following day fourteen barbel were captured by the pair and on the Friday the swim I had so much faith in came up trumps as well so alls well that ends well.

I’ll be back at the venue in October with Gerry, a BS Auction winner, and I can’t wait.

The weekend saw me finishing well almost I should say, my deck.
I’m really proud of this, 18 by 12 feet with a view to die for, once the balustrade is up and its all painted in Cuprinol colours I’ll put a picture up on here.

Monday and I meet up with Neil who tells me he has been looking forward to this day sice Christmas…………….no pressure then!
His lovely partner Victoria had contacted me to book a day for Neil’s Christmas present and she also bought him one of Fred’s centrepin reels, Neil’s a lucky lad.

We enjoyed a brilliant day and four barbel came Neil’s way including a new best weighing 11-09, to say Neil was pleased would really be a huge understatement!

Tuesday and time to meet up with Geoff and Kev, or should I say Lord Kevin as he seems to be known as!

Both of these lads from the Fenlands were barbel virgins but we managed to put that right as they both landed two apiece. The honours went to the Lord with a nice barbel of 9-08.

According to the email I received afterwards they are both well and truly hooked on this barbel lark and Kev has his film of the day to keep the juices flowing until the next time.

And thats it for now, there will be more stories in the end of August update and they are all pretty good I have to say, so keep looking in.


As I’ve previously mentioned I’m writing a monthly diary piece for this website and you can see the second instalment HERE.

With Ian Welch now firmly established as Editor and Mark Barrett helping out Fishing Magic is certainly taking on a different style, more of a magazine now. I can only see things going from strength to strength in the future and I’m very pleased to be playing a very small part in that.


I’m not a member of this website having withdrawn my posting rights some time ago. I have recently expressed my disappointment at the content on one particular thread and am pleased to see that Andy Davies, a long time moderator and a man I have a lot of respect for, has removed and amended the offending posts and for that I thank him.
Would be nice now if the bans that have been imposed on two good friends of mine were to be lifted to show that the act of goodwill and good sense was not a one off, would be the right gesture. We shall see.


I’m off to Evesham this weekend to attend the Fishing Festival where I’ll be meeting up with my good mate Paul Garner on the Peg One stand. Should be a fine opportunity to get some photos and copy as well as promoting Pegone and the Barbel Society.

And while mentioning the Barbel Society I and the rest of the committee were extremely pleased to see this letter in Angling Times………… need for me to say anymore, the letter says it all.

Back very soon I promise, enjoy your fishing!


PS. What a complete joy watching the cricket this summer, England thrashing India and so becoming the world number one was really special.

I’ve been following cricket since I was about ten and have to say this England team could well be the best I’ve ever seen.

No weaknesses whatsoever and in Cookie we have just about the best batsman playing today.

Hope it all lasts, I’m sure it will.


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