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Trotting for Barbel - advice please


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Hi - here's one for the trotting experts,

 

Had a great day trotting on the Kennet on saturday in a lovely 5 ft deep glide from my bank across the river to a treelined and undercut far bank. Droppered in some hemp and caster and fished (and fed over cast) red maggot over the top.

 

Tackle as in the pic - 6lb Drennan Floatfish all through, avon float, bulk shot (3AAA) 12" from a #14 kamasan animal with double red. Occasionally loose fed hemp and caster. Must have bagged 50 dace - nearly one a chuck and all a great stamp including 2 that needed netting. :)

 

After an hour I started to get some very different bites, when I wasn't holding back hard to stimulate a dace bite. Float would bury and I'd think I'd caught the bottom - only after a few seconds the 'bottom' shook its head and slowly started to move. So in the 4 hours I was out, I had 8 of these barbel bites and only landed one. :angry: I know these had to be barbel as its a known barbel swim and this stretch only really contains barbel and dace.

 

300817_453168241370039_256227985_n.jpg

 

All the others simply came detached after about 10-20 seconds. While I was absolutely delighted to catch this one, as you can see its a fin perfect little 4lber - and it was my first barbel on the float :) - what I would like is some pointers on why only one stayed on and what I should do in future to improve my catch to bite ratio. Or does this tend to happen trotting for barbel? I've had hundreds of barbel legering and can caught the number I have 'dropped' on one hand.

 

Any thoughts would be gratefully received - I have had some much fun for years!

 

Thanks

 

 

Matt

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Hi - here's one for the trotting experts,

 

Had a great day trotting on the Kennet on saturday in a lovely 5 ft deep glide from my bank across the river to a treelined and undercut far bank. Droppered in some hemp and caster and fished (and fed over cast) red maggot over the top.

 

Tackle as in the pic - 6lb Drennan Floatfish all through, avon float, bulk shot (3AAA) 12" from a #14 kamasan animal with double red. Occasionally loose fed hemp and caster. Must have bagged 50 dace - nearly one a chuck and all a great stamp including 2 that needed netting. :)

 

After an hour I started to get some very different bites, when I wasn't holding back hard to stimulate a dace bite. Float would bury and I'd think I'd caught the bottom - only after a few seconds the 'bottom' shook its head and slowly started to move. So in the 4 hours I was out, I had 8 of these barbel bites and only landed one. :angry: I know these had to be barbel as its a known barbel swim and this stretch only really contains barbel and dace.

 

300817_453168241370039_256227985_n.jpg

 

All the others simply came detached after about 10-20 seconds. While I was absolutely delighted to catch this one, as you can see its a fin perfect little 4lber - and it was my first barbel on the float :) - what I would like is some pointers on why only one stayed on and what I should do in future to improve my catch to bite ratio. Or does this tend to happen trotting for barbel? I've had hundreds of barbel legering and can caught the number I have 'dropped' on one hand.

 

Any thoughts would be gratefully received - I have had some much fun for years!

 

Thanks

 

 

Matt

 

I would have thought that given how barbel feed it is likely that you may have been foul hooking them as they fed over the hemp etc. Just a though of course but entirely possible. If your tackle was balanced I doubt you would have kept bumping them particularly if you werent bumping dace. Nice barbel btw. Its a joy to catch them on a pin.

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I would have thought that given how barbel feed it is likely that you may have been foul hooking them as they fed over the hemp etc. Just a though of course but entirely possible. If your tackle was balanced I doubt you would have kept bumping them particularly if you werent bumping dace. Nice barbel btw. Its a joy to catch them on a pin.

 

Thanks Addicted,

 

Its is indeed a great way to catch em - and he was a beautiful little fish.

 

That's the sort of lines along which what I was thinking. I think with their long snout, picking up a small moving bait would be quite difficult - and if you look carefully at the pic you can see the the red maggots right in the corner of the mouth. Perhaps I was hooking them just outside the mouth area.

 

I do feel the tackle was balanced - I fooled around with floats and shotting for 30 mins to get the presentation where I wanted it and after all 50 or so Dace can't be wrong! But should I slow it all right down to give the barbel more time?

 

Regards

 

Matt

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Barbel will happily come off bottom to feed on trotted baits - especially in the summer.

If you're fishing and striking for dace though it may well be that you are simply not striking the hook home into their mouths.

Casters or meat are the way to go as barbel love both and both will disintegrate on the strike allowing for good hook exposure.

Personally, I'd cube some meat with a 6 - 8mm dice and trickle it in while you're dace fishing and if you start to get odd bites or smashed up, switch to a loafer with meat fished fractionally overdepth - but don't be afraid to come up in the water if need be.

Species caught in 2020: Barbel. European Eel. Bleak. Perch. Pike.

Species caught in 2019: Pike. Bream. Tench. Chub. Common Carp. European Eel. Barbel. Bleak. Dace.

Species caught in 2018: Perch. Bream. Rainbow Trout. Brown Trout. Chub. Roach. Carp. European Eel.

Species caught in 2017: Siamese carp. Striped catfish. Rohu. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Black Minnow Shark. Perch. Chub. Brown Trout. Pike. Bream. Roach. Rudd. Bleak. Common Carp.

Species caught in 2016: Siamese carp. Jullien's golden carp. Striped catfish. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Alligator gar. Rohu. Black Minnow Shark. Roach, Bream, Perch, Ballan Wrasse. Rudd. Common Carp. Pike. Zander. Chub. Bleak.

Species caught in 2015: Brown Trout. Roach. Bream. Terrapin. Eel. Barbel. Pike. Chub.

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Barbel will happily come off bottom to feed on trotted baits - especially in the summer.

If you're fishing and striking for dace though it may well be that you are simply not striking the hook home into their mouths.

Casters or meat are the way to go as barbel love both and both will disintegrate on the strike allowing for good hook exposure.

Personally, I'd cube some meat with a 6 - 8mm dice and trickle it in while you're dace fishing and if you start to get odd bites or smashed up, switch to a loafer with meat fished fractionally overdepth - but don't be afraid to come up in the water if need be.

 

Thanks Ken - did try caster every 10 run throughs - but the dace only really wanted maggot this weekend. It was a caster only the 2 weekends before - go figure!

 

Good idea about small cubes of meat - I've got a stack of it at home ready for the autumn. Maybe it would also give the barbel a better target - smellier. I was running about 6 ins over depth as I find that it helps with the dace when I hold back - in fact I think I could get further over depth and hold even harder. Would you go for a loafer because it carries more shot and therefore hold back longer and deeper for the barbel? Although I find that if I go with anything with a bigger tip than the goose quill Avon on this stretch I find I can't see the dace bites - on other less pacey swims I'd use a 8x4 lignum stick shot right down.

 

Cheers

 

Matt

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When they have their heads down on hemp it's quite common to foul-hook them, especially in the pectoral fins.

 

If you ever get the chance to stand above a clear swim and watch a hooked Barbel contorting itself to try and shed the hook you would be amazed at what they get up to, hooked in the mouth they don't often come off; but hooked elsewhere, when they go through the multiple twists, turns, handstands and cartwheels that they can, it's not surprising that quite a few come off.

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Thanks Addicted,

 

Its is indeed a great way to catch em - and he was a beautiful little fish.

 

That's the sort of lines along which what I was thinking. I think with their long snout, picking up a small moving bait would be quite difficult - and if you look carefully at the pic you can see the the red maggots right in the corner of the mouth. Perhaps I was hooking them just outside the mouth area.

 

I do feel the tackle was balanced - I fooled around with floats and shotting for 30 mins to get the presentation where I wanted it and after all 50 or so Dace can't be wrong! But should I slow it all right down to give the barbel more time?

 

Regards

 

Matt

Barbel don't have any problems taking small baits (maggot) travelling at high speed with the flow. Its just depends on what their attention is focused on or if they want it. If i had to guess i would say the dace had most of your casters and maggots and the barbel had their heads down rooting out the bed of hemp and your float gear was just banging into them. As you know barbel don't tend to just come off if they are hooked in the mouth.

 

As Ken says other baits might be worth a try if the dace are getting to much. As well as meat, corn or banded pellet can work well, but keep them going in little and often and get the barbel coming for it as it sinks and trundles down the river. Then all you need to do is mimic your feed with your hook bait(its hard to mimic static feed with a float rig in flowing water when you are fishing out from the rod tip) and bobs your uncle.

 

A tiger does not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep

 

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Barbel don't have any problems taking small baits (maggot) travelling at high speed with the flow. Its just depends on what their attention is focused on or if they want it. If i had to guess i would say the dace had most of your casters and maggots and the barbel had their heads down rooting out the bed of hemp and your float gear was just banging into them. As you know barbel don't tend to just come off if they are hooked in the mouth.

 

As Ken says other baits might be worth a try if the dace are getting to much. As well as meat, corn or banded pellet can work well, but keep them going in little and often and get the barbel coming for it as it sinks and trundles down the river. Then all you need to do is mimic your feed with your hook bait(its hard to mimic static feed with a float rig in flowing water when you are fishing out from the rod tip) and bobs your uncle.

 

Lutra and Avjay -good advice - thanks.

 

I think that was it - my recollection is that the barbel were hitting the bait 'earlier' in the swim than the dace. I think the hemp sinks faster than the maggots and it would definitely make sense, given the number of dace (and the odd brownie) I had in the swim that most maggots would be mopped up way before they got to the barbel.

 

Thing is that I was actually targeting the dace - and I got that dead right for a change! The barbel were a real bonus and rather unexpected because those that have targeted them this summer haven't done that well. Need to rethink the feeding and also try running a bit of meat through every so often.

 

Thanks guys

 

Matt

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Guest redfin2

Hi - here's one for the trotting experts,

 

Had a great day trotting on the Kennet on saturday in a lovely 5 ft deep glide from my bank across the river to a treelined and undercut far bank. Droppered in some hemp and caster and fished (and fed over cast) red maggot over the top.

 

Tackle as in the pic - 6lb Drennan Floatfish all through, avon float, bulk shot (3AAA) 12" from a #14 kamasan animal with double red. Occasionally loose fed hemp and caster. Must have bagged 50 dace - nearly one a chuck and all a great stamp including 2 that needed netting. :)

 

After an hour I started to get some very different bites, when I wasn't holding back hard to stimulate a dace bite. Float would bury and I'd think I'd caught the bottom - only after a few seconds the 'bottom' shook its head and slowly started to move. So in the 4 hours I was out, I had 8 of these barbel bites and only landed one. :angry: I know these had to be barbel as its a known barbel swim and this stretch only really contains barbel and dace.

 

300817_453168241370039_256227985_n.jpg

 

All the others simply came detached after about 10-20 seconds. While I was absolutely delighted to catch this one, as you can see its a fin perfect little 4lber - and it was my first barbel on the float :) - what I would like is some pointers on why only one stayed on and what I should do in future to improve my catch to bite ratio. Or does this tend to happen trotting for barbel? I've had hundreds of barbel legering and can caught the number I have 'dropped' on one hand.

 

Any thoughts would be gratefully received - I have had some much fun for years!

 

Thanks

 

Nice write up, and a nice problem to have I reckon.

Can't see your doing much wrong really, OK the dace are 'flashing' at the baits which will not help, but apart from slowing down the trot and for me using a bigger bait that the Dace can't grab, such as a hooker pellet, ot a tail of a lob might be worth a try.

As mentioned if the barbel are getting their heads down it could be foul hooking, as you know the way a barbel mouth is they, don't shed hooks!!

Certainly the caster approach can be deadly, but I wouldn't use that bait in the summer where dace and small chub can be a nuisance, although feeding them off is an option, but the cost of casters!! I would go bigger bait, but hey!! as you can appreciate, next week they could be having the caster :D

Edited by redfin2
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A little article I put together some time ago....

 

http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/coarse-fishing...for-barbel.html

 

Not got much advice on why you weren't connecting - unless your hook was blunted - which can often happen when trotting over gravel....

 

C.

"Study to be quiet." ><((º> My Blog

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