Barbel VS Sea Trout

Krang

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Some people say barbel are the UK's strongest fighting fish, others say sea trout. I've caught a barbel (today) but never a sea trout. Has anyone here caught both? If so, which of these heavyweights do you think should take the title?
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Molehill

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A long, long time since I caught decent sized seatrout, but I would say different fights from the two species and the angler that specialises in one species will know how to subdue the fish quicker. If you are a regular seatrout fisher you will manage fine, ditto for barbel angler. But if you change species they may take you by surprise!
 

tigger

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I've caught both. Not a lot to say really, they all pull back is all.
Barbel try and hold bottom, trout are more acrobatical and often make mad dashes and jump clear of the water similar to a lot of ordinary brownies or salmon.
 

theartist

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Had this one on the Itchen, not a monster but bigger than the usual fun size ones, I remember it sitting in the flow and for a while I just couldn't shift it, holding station like it wasn't hooked. OK I was on grayling gear but I've had mid double Barbel on that set up so there's a comparison. A lot depends on the flow mind as barbel use that current so well when it's pushing through. Sea fish also have an advantage as most tides are stronger than any river on the planet, throwing a spanner in the works Mullet and Bass are probably vying for the honour of the strongest fish in our rivers with Salmon, Sea trout and barbel. Can't diss the barbel though, on a strong river in peak condition they are as good as anything, put them in a slow river or a still backwater and carp are stronger in comparison, sometimes it's not so much who you are as where you're at R Itchen (9).JPG
 

dorsetsteve

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Had this one on the Itchen, not a monster but bigger than the usual fun size ones, I remember it sitting in the flow and for a while I just couldn't shift it, holding station like it wasn't hooked. OK I was on grayling gear but I've had mid double Barbel on that set up so there's a comparison. A lot depends on the flow mind as barbel use that current so well when it's pushing through. Sea fish also have an advantage as most tides are stronger than any river on the planet, throwing a spanner in the works Mullet and Bass are probably vying for the honour of the strongest fish in our rivers with Salmon, Sea trout and barbel. Can't diss the barbel though, on a strong river in peak condition they are as good as anything, put them in a slow river or a still backwater and carp are stronger in comparison, sometimes it's not so much who you are as where you're at View attachment 9584
Totally agree there. It’s all depending on other factors. I will say Barbel know how to use the flow.
 

theartist

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Totally agree there. It’s all depending on other factors. I will say Barbel know how to use the flow.
Barbel are set up for it, everything about them is high downforce, the way them huge pectorals are so low to the body, that's why we get nowhere playing them with a high rod, even the body shape, it's just made to hold bottom. They say a F1 car can go upside down through a tunnel due to the downforce but barbel can actually go past them, plus they are better dressed than Lewis Hamilton. Mullet are weird it's like barbel but upside down as everything is up in the water. One of the strongest fish I've ever played was a bream in a weirpool hooked in the dorsal, that was a fish that knew how to use the flow and take advantage of an angler who had no control whatsoever, as for losing self control the old trout have that nailed, it's almost as if they know they are destined for the table, you gotta love em' all
 

fred hall

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I'm fairly sure that in one of his float fishing books the late, great Billy Lane opines that barbel are the stupidest species swimming in our rivers. Bit harsh IMHO but to be honest there are times when they are very easy to hook, or perhaps I should say that they hook themselves. Doesn't stop it making for exciting minutes as you try to land them!
 

markcw

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I would put sturgeon in the mix as well,
They fight like hell and have a habit of holding the bottom, and these are the Stillwater variety.
A 23lb one came out from a club water around 18 months ago, the lad who caught it said it fought better than any large carp or catfish he has caught.
I have fished matches on waters were they have stocked barbel in the 1lb to 2lb bracket. These are a nuisance if caught on the pole, a quick burst of speed then in the net, admittedly you can build a weight up, but when you are after the carp in the scum line and these are zooming in to pinch the bait you can end up losing out.
 
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