Just one barbel - made my morning!

pelamid

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Three years ago I was told by the local carp expert, Wilfred, that there were big barbel in my local weirpool on the river Lot. I have had many barbel from the Lot now but after several sessions on this weir no barbel, just one carp and two big carp lost to the many snags.

This morning I was up before dawn, no plans on fishing. As is my habit I checked the RiverApp on my phone and there was a little extra flow showing locally. That's the first for a week and it gave me the kick I needed to get my "arse-in-gear" to get down the river.

Weir dawn.jpg


Almost started to feel excited! Enough flow to make a fish feed and a dull morning after a cool night, perfect!

I put the heavy outfit out into the main run boulders with a paste wrapped double boilie. The feeder rod covered a clear patch 20 metres downstream.

After a couple of taps on the heavy rod came to nothing I debated "shall I reel in and add more paste?" Fortunately I resisted that thought and a few minutes later the tip pulled down hard, FISH ON!!!

For the first few minutes I thought it was another carp, but then I spotted the longer shape of a decent barbel. On a 2.75lb TC Century Boron Stealth carp rod the fight did not last much longer and then it was in my net.

Barbel resting.jpg


My biggest this year and it weighed 7lb 6ozs. More important to me was besting this "Jonah" swim, that will give me confidence for future sessions here!

Barbel Jonah swim.jpg


Maybe not big by UK standards but the biggest I have had in France was just short of 9lbs. At 7lb 6ozs this barbel might be considered "grand" by "les pêcheurs français"!

Autumn weirpool.jpg


Made my morning! (y) 🎣:cool:
 
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Philip

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Well done. Thats a very nice fish.

A double figure Barbel is still a very big fish across the channel. Not many people have caught one and those that do tend to be by accident by people after Carp. Its easy to think you only have to cast in and you will have monsters crawling up your rods there but its simply not the case.

The fact is the size of UK Barbel has given a very unrealistic impression of Barbel size generally. The UK Barbel are huge by any standards & imo disproportionate for the species and probably a consequence of the amount of bait being thrown into UK rivers.

That said there are undoubtedly some very big Barbel swimming about in France but as there are not many specialists specifically targeting them, information tends to be very thin on the ground and there is also alot of water for the fish to lose themselves in as well so a double is not an easy target & a meritable achivement indeed for anyone catching one.
 
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Roger Johnson 2

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It regularly surprises me how few French anglers know what a barbel is, even when shown pictures. One of our guests this weekend, although a regular carp angler, failed to recognise barbel and rudd as we were going through the mandatory photo exchange.
By the way great pictures,Steve, I might yet get a trip down your way , now the holiday season is over, having said that bookings keep coming in and I’ve still got the laundry room and 3 sets of gates to make, funny this retirement, I’ve never worked so hard in my life.


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whitty

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Lovely fish and great to succeed where you regularly fail.

As for barbel sizes in the UK Philip,you may be right,but some of it is lower stock levels giving the fish access to the high protein baits,as waters that still have fair numbers definitely have far more sensible maximum weights,with what amounts to enormous amounts of pellets in a season,90% of anglers use nothing else....some use ridiculous amounts too.
 

pelamid

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Well done. Thats a very nice fish.

A double figure Barbel is still a very big fish across the channel. Not many people have caught one and those that do tend to be by accident by people after Carp. Its easy to think you only have to cast in and you will have monsters crawling up your rods there but its simply not the case.

The fact is the size of UK Barbel has given a very unrealistic impression of Barbel size generally. The UK Barbel are huge by any standards & imo disproportionate for the species and probably a consequence of the amount of bait being thrown into UK rivers.

That said there are undoubtedly some very big Barbel swimming about in France but as there are not many specialists specifically targeting them, information tends to be very thin on the ground and there is also alot of water for the fish to lose themselves in as well so a double is not an easy target & a meritable achivement indeed for anyone catching one.

"........and there is also a lot of water for the fish to lose themselves in as well"

Philip, you are on the money with that statement! So much of my local stretch (30k up or down river) is only accessible with a boat. I have a good inflatable 14' canoe which I have used on occasion to explore, found some great swims. But my old bones can only take a couple of hours sitting in such a cramped space. I recently had a twisted ankle followed by a DVT so having the legs cramped is a very bad idea!

Take a look on Google Earth at the Lot between Cahors and Cajarc. Probably the only access points clearly visible will be slipways and landing stages, anglers have no priority here! Other swims are sometimes cleared by anglers or river workers but that seems to have slipped a bit since Covid restrictions. The negative stuff continues since this years vast spread of japanese knotweed since the winter floods.

On the plus side the casual anglers get put off and the fish are relatively unknowing of my approach!

It's a "jungle" out there - and I love it! :unsure:
 

pelamid

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Here is a panorama shot of this weir, there are silure and pike immediately above the weir. I have plans to fish this from the lock wall, just need an extra extension for my big landing net.

C.Weir panorama.jpg


In the winter the flow over this weir can be immense and the pool an absolute maelstrom. Should a flood happen before the river chills a big silure is very much on the cards. Plenty for me to plan here!

This is a piece of video I found of boat fishing above the weir.....


Worth checking that anglers other YouTube videos, massive amount of experience fishing this region for many species.
 
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