Barbel, Dorsal fin and Net Mesh

GrahamM

Managing Editor
Remember the discussion we had about barbel, keepnets and landing nets and the possible damage to dorsal fins?

Not long after I caught this fish and was very careful when lifting it in the landing net, yet it still got its fin trapped in the mesh.

I was using a landing net specifically designed for barbel too.

On closer inspection it was obvious the fin had been split a long time ago and healed. Yet in the years I've fished this stretch I have NEVER seen a keepnet used.
 
J

john conway

Guest
Graham I?ve had one barbel cut the tip off its dorsal fin, 1st ray, by my line, just prior to coming to the net. Well, I?m assuming it was my line, it throw a wobbly just as it saw the net and did a very quick turn/roll. I noticed the tiny bit of fin damage just as it finally slid over the net. Like you I?ve NEVER seen keep nets used on the Ribble for barbel, in fact I very rarely see keep nets use at all.
 

GrahamM

Managing Editor
In spite of playing devil's advocate on this barbel/keepnet debate, like you John I NEVER put barbel in a keepnet. But whenever the situation arises when I have to rest a barbel before I can return it safely (when it's physically impossible, or dangerous, to hold it in the margins while it recovers) then I do not hesitate to use the landing net.

There is no difference in doing that and using a keepnet for the same purpose. I don't carry a keepnet when barbel fishing so I have no choice.
 
J

john conway

Guest
Graham I once used a carp sack to hold a barbel while setting up my camera. I made sure the barbel was pointing up stream and it was fighting fit and completely undamaged when I released it10 mins later. However, I seem to remember that carp sacks are a complete no no for barbel, but can?t think why. I?m not talking about retaining them for very long, at the most 10 to 15 mins and only one fish at a time. Unfortunately so far I?ve never caught another barbel bigger than my PB to put in a net while I set up my camera. I think this is an area where you can?t make fixed rules, like you said Graham if the fish is knackered after a fight, then you have to retain it and like you said it may not always be possible to hold the fish in the flow. The debate should point out the pit falls in handling barber so that the angler can make up his mind what?s best in the circumstances prevailing at the time.
 

GrahamM

Managing Editor
Dead right John. Most of the time it's not what you use but the way you use it, and I have to repeat that the correct answer in most instances is education, not bans. It's much, much too easy to ban something than take the more difficult route of trying to teach someone the right way.
 
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