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?
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
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' allTotally agree there. It’s all depending on other factors. I will say Barbel know how to use the flow.