Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

Catch more barbel!

November Update

At long last I have my hands on the tiller and this is my very first attempt at working this fantastic new, well to me it is, technology!

And I have Simon Asbury and his colleagues at StudioDM to thank.

I’ve known Simon for a good length of time; he built the Barbel Society site and has been serving on the committee for the past eight years. He’s no mean angler either catching many big barbel from a variety of rivers. I’m hoping to include many more features from my many barbel fishing friends and will be including some of Simon’s exploits for sure.

If you are looking to put together a similar kind of site I can thoroughly recommend Simon and StudioDM to you, they take your vision and turn it into reality.

Simon Asbury with a super barbel


Congratulations Bob!

Not just for your innovative barbel dvd’s but for taking that giant step into wedlock. Best wishes to you and Sue for a long and happy life together.

I enjoy reading the features on Bob’s website, no doubt about it, he is leading the way in innovative ideas to freshen up this relatively new and exciting medium.

The music feature is just brilliant and I put my hands up right away to all accusations of plagiarism because the grooveshark widget is just too good a gizmo to miss out on.


Music is another passion of mine and I don’t need too much of an excuse to include my top thirty here!

While on the subject, my favourite artist, the Boss himself  Bruce Springsteen, has just come off the road after another worldwide tour. Now this man is slightly older than me, how the heck does he manage to put on three hour shows every night giving it his absolute all when I struggle to carry my fishing gear down to the riverbank?!

I really wish I knew. 

The Boss!

 The best live act in the world


The Latest Magazines

The December issue of Coarse Angling Today is out right now and has a number of good barbel articles in it.

The ever-present Stef Horak is once again proving that there are plenty of barbel out there to be caught as long as you adjust your tactics accordingly. Casters and hemp as always, turning out to be the killer method.

 Len Arbery gets nostalgic with his Royalty reflections which is a must read for all fans of this most famous of fisheries. Len gave a superb presentation on this very subject at the last Barbel Show.

I have a feature as well recounting just how I came to meet up with a cousin I first introduced to fishing as a young boy and had loss touch with for over forty years.


 Coarse Angling Today - December issue


 The winter issue of Barbel Fisher, the magazine produced for Barbel Society members has just come out and boy is it a good one!

Fred Bonney, the editor, along with the production team at CFN has put together well over seventy colour pages on top quality paper full of barbel stories and features. It really is a superb publication and well worth the joining fee alone!



The latest issue of Barbel Fisher

Barbel Society Auction

As I write, this years auction has just finished and once again a considerable sum has been raised.

This money is used for the Societies Research and Conservation projects under the expert guidance of Pete Reading.

Pete Reading on the Avon

Many barbel fisheries around the country are benefiting from this initiative and it is only through the kind generosity of those who donate and bid that the Society is able to carry out this work in conjunction with others including the Environment Agency.

Lol Breakspear

I’m so pleased to be back in regular contact with Lol, he really is one of the true pioneers in barbel fishing and I’m honoured to be able to call him a good friend. Lol edited the first two issues of Barbel Fisher.

The very first Barbel Fisher

Lol was the man who initiated the huge luncheon meat baits and over the years has caught countless big barbel using this technique.

I’ve included Lol’s article where he details his original thinking on the subject in the articles section and it makes for interesting reading.

Lol will be including regular pieces on here so keep looking in because he really is one of the best thinking barbel anglers out there.

On the fishing front

Been so busy with the site and one or two other matters outside of fishing that I’ve sruggled to get on the river. I was desperate to get on the Lower Severn when the rains finally arrived but when I was eventually able to go the river was well over the banks and that was that. The first frosts have now arrived so barbel fishing outings are going to need careful planning and with a hectic Christmas schedule on the horizon it isn’t looking too bright at the moment!

The Severn near Worcester, end of November.

Did manage a day on the Warwickshire Avon near Pershore though to be honest it was more of a social gathering and barbel were very noticeable by their absence!

Except one, which fell to the man with the local knowledge, Will Golightly.

Met up with the Macclesfield Marauder’s, Brian Ridley, Howard Maddocks and the rest of their crew. Salts of the Earth, these guys, and really good anglers as well. Howard providing me with one of my lasting memories when I was priviliged to see him with his record barbel capture all those years ago.

This part of the Avon is a lovely stretch of water and I will certainly be back when conditions are more favourable.

The Macclesfield Marauders! Brian Ridley and Howard Maddocks half asleep!

 Fishing the W. Avon

Warwickshire Avon


The Regional Meeting Circuit

 Went along to the Barbel Society Midshire’s Regional Meeting at the Salway Arms in Ludlow.

This is my local region and has now established a good hardcore support under the leadership of Regional Organiser Rich Frampton.

Rich Frampton and rare Upper, upper Severn double

Pete Reading drove up from Dorset and gave a powerpoint presentation detailing the work he is involved with as Chairman of the Barbel Society Research and Conservation panel.

Great interest was shown in the work carried out locally on the River Teme and a good discussion followed on the current state of barbel fishing on this delightful river.

If you are reasonably local, keep an eye out for these meetings, they are very informal and everyone is open and friendly, there are likely to be local fish-ins next summer as well.

Two days later and I was in Newark, well Sutton to be precise to give a talk to the newly formed East Midlands Region.

Regional meeting in a greenhouse!

Unfortunately the new RO was forced to give in to a very considerable malady and a last minute plan of action had to be put in place. David, the RO, was going to participate in an interview with me and I had set out my thoughts accordingly, luckily for everyone Fred Bonney stepped up to the breach and took control of the proceedings and so we managed to get through the evening relatively unscathed!

The preparations for my talk meant that I found myself caught up in a wave of nostalgia, going right back to the start of my fishing life up to the present day.

It’s amazing how memories come flooding back and made me realise how lucky I’ve been to experience such marvellous fishing adventures with so many friends over the years.

I told Fred Crouch about the talk and said we should do a joint one in similar vein for the Hertfordshire Region in the New Year, so once again look out for details of when and where.

This type of meeting takes place at many different locations around the country so make sure you check out the Barbel Society website Homepage and the other fishing websites to see when one is coming to your area.

 Blast From The Past

In the same vein, I had a nice email from another friend from the past, Dave Collins.

Dave knows both Fred and I very well and we go back to pre BS days, the Association of Barbel Enthusiasts to be exact.

Many of you will know Dave if you use Pete Henwood’s Specialist Tackle in Romford, Dave regularly helped out in the shop.

Although Dave has caught many barbel it was the picture of the sturgeon that came attached to the mail that interested me.

Dave and massive sturgeon

 I didn’t realise that years ago I had inspired Dave to visit British Columbia to have a go at these massive fish.

He certainly did well, it is a fantastic place to visit and the guides are very good and the scenery is simply stunning.

 I’ll try and get Dave to write about his barbel fishing on here, he certainly knows his stuff.

Guiding Update

I’m pleased to say that I will be joining up with Graham Elliot of Angling Experiences fame next year to help out on his fishing weekends.

Graham has deservedly forged a very good reputation over the last few years and these weekends promise to be something special.

Check out the details on Graham’s website.


 Don’t forget to get in touch if you want to book a guiding trip with me as a Christmas present, contact me now for details.

What’s coming up in the future?

Well, my old mate Fred Crouch is busy putting something together; he cracked me up on the phone the other day when he was talking about memory sticks!

So too is John Found. Now John never writes about his fishing at all, he is an absolute top guy and you regularly see him featured in Phil Smith’s articles in Coarse Angling Today.

John Found with big fish and half a smile!

I’ve known John for many years and can’t wait to see what he comes up with because he is a very witty man as well as being a great angler.

 I hope to be able to relay the fishing exploits of the guys I work alongside on the Barbel Society committee, they catch plenty of barbel as well from all over the country.

As I learn more about how to use the site there will be plenty more for you to enjoy here.

Before I sign off I’m sharing this photo of my nephew. He has been patiently waiting for me to take him fishing since I bought him his first fishing outfit for his birthday. I mentioned to him that we might meet up with the famous Mr. Crouch. Looks like we may have got our wires crossed and he couldn’t wait.

My nephew with the less famous Mr. Crouch!

Next time I see him I’ll have to tell him there really is only one Mr Crouch; mind you he’s been known to do a silly dance as well!

Till next time.











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