Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

Catch more barbel!




It’s that time of the year when my fishing takes a bit of a backseat after what has been a particularly hectic couple of months!

This season has been a strange one because it didn’t actually start until well into August and as I look back through my diary all I see is the word ‘ Cancelled ‘, yes the summer of 2018 will be one to remember.

Basically the sun came out in June and stayed out, fabulous from a non fishing perspective. It meant the garden furniture could stay out without having to be covered up every night, I basically lived al fresco for two months, a proper summer – the likes of which we had not seen for many years!

But there was a downside, especially for us who enjoy fishing the rivers for barbel, the conditions were just about as bad as it gets in respect of barbel welfare and so restrictions were put into place on many venues across the country’s river system.

With virtually no rain and high air temperature many venues were experiencing low dissolved oxygen levels and painfully low levels.

We in the Barbel Society agreed that we would be guided by the Environmemnt Agency and so our own fisheries on the Trent and Severn were shut while being regularly monitored until such time that the EA advised us that it was safe to reopen.

It wasn’t until mid August that the conditions on B.S. waters were deemed safe to fish for barbel bringing to an end the longest self imposed closures I can remember.

Although most of my fishing is on different venues my position was already fixed, there was no way I could fish and so I had no choice other than to cancel planned sessions and I hope that conditions will be such to allow me to reschedule lots of them for next summer.

Along with my good friend Lawrence Breakspear I caught up with Andy Orme at the Talbot pub on the River Teme. It has been many a long year since we last met up and it was great to spend a lunchtime with him recalling days gone by and the current state of a river that has played an important part in our lives.

I did attend the Junior Day held at Coalport on the Severn, it was superbly organised by the Rowley club and the only fish caught were chub.

Once I returned to the Wye I did enjoy a couple of those days when the barbel fed in earnest and that set me up nicely for the sessions I had planned for the River Trent.

I’m putting together an article about the Trent sessions but suffice to say they were hugely enjoyable and most of the guys who joined me went away with a personal best.

I’ve just returned from a Barbel Society committee meeting in Telford where we agreed that it would be the venue for the 2019 Barbel Show so make a note of the date, May 25/26th at the Park Inn Hotel, Telford.

I am taking bookings for next summer so if a day or two on the Wye, Severn or Trent appeals then please get in touch.

I’m hoping to be in Australia for Christmas but that depends on a number of things falling into place and so I may find that there will be a few more visits to the river before the really cold weather sets in.

Look out for the Trent article, it should be of interest to anyone who fishes what has to be the finest barbel river in the country!

All the best,




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