Steve Pope Barbel Fishing

Catch more barbel!

Two Tens From the Lower


Met up with Roy in the carpark just as we had arranged, 8-30am, bright and early for a full day on the Lower Severn.

There are many who don’t start much before dusk when targetting barbel on this river but believe me they are missing out. As my late friend and mentor Mike Burdon always used to say , ” You catch barbel when you fish for them and that usually means within four hours of putting the hemp in.”

I’m not going to disagree with Mike who caught as many doubles from the Lower as anyone I know.

As I mentioned before, Roy won this day out by bidding on the Research and Conservation Auction held each year by the Barbel Society to raise money to help fund various conservation projects.

You can see where some of the money goes by checking HERE.

This was my first really serious session on the stretch since the end of last season, today I was going to be fully focused and in the zone, no parts of the puzzle left unfinished, today I meant business.

Lots of hemp went into our swims, all deposited via the baitdropper, the Seymo medium size as I wanted to get lots in quickly. The idea being to spread a carpet of hemp over a reasonable area so that any patrolling barbel would decide to stay awhile and hopefully attract other barbel to join in on the free lunch.

The bait was to be hair rigged 16mm Dynamite Halibut pellets, the drilled out type. Mounting on the hair via a loop passed back over itself meant there was no need for bait stops and we could rest easy in the knowledge that the pellet was firmly fixed.

The Fisky feeder was full of all sorts of goodies, I tend to mix up a bucket of Dynamite pellets from 1 to 8mm and stiffen it all up with any one of the great groundbait mixes from the same range.

It didn’t take long, no more than an hour, Roy was in and after giving a good account of itself a lively seven pounder was in the landing net, a great start.

Within half an hour I joined in on the action when the line started to pour out and I found myself connected to what felt like a decent sized fish. So it turned out when a nice double came to the surface after a very dogged battle, and it  has definitely reignited my passion for the river after spending so much time on the Kennet!

10-10 she weighed, I was chuffed to bits and Roy was too, his lovely wife Carol did the honours with the camera.

Later in the afternoon I landed another between six and seven pounds but nothing else came Roy’s way.

The time came for Roy and Carol to leave, they will be back soon for the second half and I went back to the river to settle down for a long evening.

The river was well and truly on the rise and I found myself continually moving rods and chair back up the steep bank to esacape a soaking, the level was moving upwards fast.

The old Speedia started to turn, very slowly, but there was no mistaking the fact that this was a take and once again I was hooked into another Lower Severn double.

Just a couple of ounces lighter than the first but that didn’t matter one jot, two doubles in my first serious session on the water and I was as pleased as could be!

I stuck it out till very late but that was the end of the action and I got fed up with constantly clambering up the bank to escape the relentless rising river!

I woke this morning to find the perfect conditions, chocolate brown, two metres on and the stretch to myself, the temptation was just too great and I had a go for an hour or so before remembering that I had promised to be back home early.

I know that had I stayed and put the hemp in close in to the bank I would have another tale to tell but sometimes you have to do the right thing………………………well thats if you want to be able to go back home!!

I’ll be back next week , fitting the Severn in along with the Wye where I’m meeting up with the Doc, Paul Garner once again.

Bye for now


PS. The duck family are doing very well, just two of the little ones were lost, I was feeding them all out of my hand this morning, all adds to the joy of fishing.

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