Barbel fishing on the River Ribble - discuss

fred hall

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It is now 18 months since I last caught a Ribble barbel. The foremost reason for this is that I don't fish that often these days and probably the second is that most of my trips are early morning to lunchtime. However yesterday I fished 4 hours up to dusk in a swim that in years gone by would have been a banker for a barbel and/or a chub or two. Weather conditions and water level were both pretty good but pellets, boilies and pepperami sausage all failed to produce a bite.
I have posted before that I have enjoyed successful sessions floatfishing for Ribble silverfish. The dace in particular seem very prolific and indeed yesterday my maggot feeder rod tip was bouncing away all session producing 8 dace to 10oz plus a solitary gudgeon! However the biggest fish was the only time this tip moved more than a couple of inches. The one other angler on the stretch was also barbel fishing with zero success at least up to the time that I packed up. He commented that he and his regular barbel fishing buddy had been struggling all year.
So - is it just me picking the wrong options or has Ribble barbel fishing declined in recent years?
 

tigger

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The ribble has gone to the dogs, there are very few barbel nowadays.
If you want barbel best to go to some of the other more well known barbel rivers that are still full of them.
I don't think the barbel will ever come back in any numbers due to various factors.
 

whitty

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Mmmm,I agree there Ian,probably think of three or four reasons and it certainly isn't limited to Northern rivers,it's a countrywide problem sadly and will probably hit the rivers that are full of them eventually...
 

john r stockburn

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The ribble has gone to the dogs, there are very few barbel nowadays.
If you want barbel best to go to some of the other more well known barbel rivers that are still full of them.
I don't think the barbel will ever come back in any numbers due to various factors.
I know that the ribble is crawling with otters now but I don't suppose it is trendy to mention those little furry things
 

whitty

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As mentioned by Phil Hackett in another thread in barbel fishing,endocrine disruptors are affecting barbel populations badly countrywide,otters are just the icing on the cake....
 

Keith M

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Our stretch of river/stream still has plenty of Barbel in it at present, and not surprising there have not been any signs of otters in the area yet; although they are present ten miles or so further downstream where the Barbel fishing has declined.

As they say; time will tell.

Like a lot of other rivers we do have excessive water abstraction and I’ve been told that every drop of water has been through at least five people before it reaches its destination; so I suppose that doesn’t help either.

Keith
 
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The bad one

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Otters are not the problem on the Ribble for barbel and chub. It's poor spawning due to cold river temperatures over the last 10-15 years. High summer floods after spawning causing wash out of eggs, fry, siltation of traditional spawning gravels, movement of gravels infilling traditional depressions in the bed. Cyclical stock movements as in peaks and troughs. Along with other problems rivers suffer pollution, EDS's currently not a huge problem on the Ribble due to it's upland and rural nature.
It will increase vastly over the next 10 years as the propose 10,000 houses in mid Ribble catchment are built and the sewage gets dumped into it. There are no plans I've seen to increase or build new treatment works to take the vast quantities of sewage it will have to cope with.

Sort-term I predict that after this summer 018 the river will have a significant increase in small barbel and chub in the next 3-5 years. Both species spawned exceptionally well this summer and because there was no summer floods the survival rate of eggs and fry will be at there highest for many many years.
 

fred hall

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Thank you all for taking the time to express your opinions. Maybe since the early days of cormorant predation on the Ribble anglers like me are looking for an apocalyse to explain why we are not catching so much. Here's hoping it is just a natural cycle. Come to think of it barbel didn't get into the Ribble naturally in the first place!
 

bullet

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Wish they would get into a few rivers here, naturally, of course...:wh
 

Philip

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I have been reading since I started fishing that the rivers are in decline. .they should all be fishless dry ditches by now.

Basically lets face it , anglers love to have something to moan about. Even if they bag up on whoppers they have to say its only because there are no fry coming through and the big old fish will soon die off and terminal decline is just round the corner.

You gotta love it !
 

whitty

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Well let's hope you don't get to see it happen on the Severn,how many guest houses would go to the wall,some famous barbel rivers are very,very difficult today,even with stocking,if the Trent hadn't received massive stocking in recent years it would be in the same boat too,what is one of one of the countries top barbel venues.
 

mikench

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We can eradicate most species without even thinking about it so why not cormorants? Mind you I'm amazed a cormorant can come close to a barbel or Chub let alone eat it!
 

wetthrough

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I was reading a fish breeders site some time ago and if you have a Cormorant problem the recommendation was to stock fish 4lb and larger!
 

Philip

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I read a Cormorant eats on average 2lbs of fish per day. I counted almost 200 in the trees on a streatch of local river quite recently. If you do the maths its not so pleasant.

I am becoming increasingly convinced that holding spots for fish and in particular Roach which are Cormorant snack size par excellence are starting to become driven not so much by the river and its conditions but by the need to avoid predatation.
 

tigger

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I read a Cormorant eats on average 2lbs of fish per day. I counted almost 200 in the trees on a streatch of local river quite recently. If you do the maths its not so pleasant.

I am becoming increasingly convinced that holding spots for fish and in particular Roach which are Cormorant snack size par excellence are starting to become driven not so much by the river and its conditions but by the need to avoid predatation.
If cormorants and otters, plus the other natural predators here in the uk ate what people say they do then there would have been sod all fish left yonks ago.
The fact is the amount and the ssize of fish they eat is grossly exagerrated.
How many people have had hold of a cormorant?
I've had lots of them in my hands, dead from lead poisoning and some still alive with broken wings etc in my hands, they are far smaller when you get your hands on them than they look flying about.
The fish you see being eaten in pictures are only relevant to the size of the birds. A small fish may look massive in the pictures but in reality it's only small.
As i've said before, how can anglers moan about a bird doing what is has been designed to do over millions of years and yet condone the introduction of invasive species that are a genuine threat to the countrys flora and fauna.....wels catfish for starters!
 
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