Low water tactics and tweaks

B

binka

Guest
I'm hoping that this will become a topical one considering the current run of weather that we are (in the main) enjoying.

Over the years, what tweaks have you found will bring a few fish?

In the case of Barbel I've found that bait placement is one of the biggest things, I would struggle to explain it and I started a thread on just that many moons ago but there's definitely something in it.

Naturally, during daylight at least, the fish are even more cautious than usual and to the extent that loose feeding (or introducing feed via any other method) could well result in spooking them.

And...

Probably the least likely in my experience considering the fact that this is aimed at low water/hot summer temperatures, bait?


I've found that one of the most effective baits is the seasonal polar opposite of that winter classic, bread crust.

Is there something in that, in the sense that it becomes very effective when conditions are at their hardest at either end of the scale?

Personally I think that you have to forget the usual enticements, such as feed, whilst the fish are on a heightened state of alert and opt for something that will appear more natural to them, I'm not saying that a part of a loaf of bread will be seen as natural but by combining it with all the other factors it does seem to work.

I have previously been of the opinion that the time of day eg. dawn and dusk are also major factors and whilst I still agree with this it's certainly possible to bag a few fish outside of the witching hours, as was the case during my session yesterday whilst the vast majority were packing away without a bite.

Location is an obvious factor but I don't believe for a minute that long stretches of river are devoid of any fish at this time of the year.

What are your low water/high temperature tweaks?
 

tigger

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
8,994
Reaction score
1,339
I have no problems spooking fish with bait Steve. Infact they where queing up for it recently. I still find my better sessions are in the heat of the day and in glaring sunshine.
One thing I have found over the last couple of years though is that the fish (barbel I mean) seem to have gone right off a trotted bait. I've been having very little on the float and as soon as ive swirched to touch legering i've been getting fish from the off....wierd.
 
B

binka

Guest
One thing I have found over the last couple of years though is that the fish (barbel I mean) seem to have gone right off a trotted bait. I've been having very little on the float and as soon as ive swirched to touch legering i've been getting fish from the off....wierd.
You've been catching too many of 'em on that method mate, they've become wise.

I've had the opposite on the Trent, blokes with rods pointing high in the air on the far bank have been shouting across to ask what bait i'm using when I've had a few on trotted maggot.

When I tell 'em maggot there's usually no reply, I'm sure they think I'm trying to hoodwink 'em! :laugh:
 

s63

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
5,825
Reaction score
1,009
Location
Kent
I can’t even call myself a novice when it comes to the barbel, have yet to catch one.

My local Stour is running as usual very low, the water is warm and I guess not a great amount of oxygen in the slower flow.

Ive had just one short session and was planning more but having just read this I’m thinking I should forget the idea for a while.

Should we not be targeting the species at present? Got some good barbel anglers here, your views will be interesting.

THE TRUE TRENT ANGLERS NOTTS public group | Facebook
 
B

binka

Guest
Lol... True Trent Anglers!

Does that mean that anyone who isn't a member of the group isn't a true Trent angler?

One of the first posts I read was from someone who has found himself horizontal for shooting his mouth off on the riverbank to someone who didn't appreciate being taken for a fool, I've had the same pleasure myself but my reply on that occasion shut him up before a similar thing happened.

True Trent Anglers my r'se, True Trent Anglers were cutting their teeth in the early eighties and probably a century before that in some cases and that lot couldn't hold a candle to 'em.
 

s63

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
5,825
Reaction score
1,009
Location
Kent
I know nothing of them Steve. So their information and advice isn’t correct?
 
B

binka

Guest
I know nothing of them Steve. So their information and advice isn’t correct?
I don't know, I got as far as one of the early posts from said person and I gave up before Facebook began to make life difficult for me for reading without being a member.

To be fair I should have drilled down further but that really was enough for me.

I suspect that many a 'True Trent Angler', and certainly those who I rub shoulders with, has never uttered a word on a public forum and that ego and general misguidance are the driving factors of such groups.

But, as I say, that is only a suspicion.

I was Barbel fishing yesterday afternoon and my judgement proved correct with six fish being properly rested and going back strong.
 

tigger

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
8,994
Reaction score
1,339
I think everyone should abstain from the rivers while theyre so low, especialy round my area so I can fish for barbel or any other fiah in peace :).
I've recently had two very good days catching barbel and not one fish needed resting and every fish left a bow wave as it departed from me.
How people get them to go belly up so often beats me, prolly because they @rse about with them out the water for so long!
If a fish does go belly up bet to just leave it in the net for a spell, not keep messing with it it the water stressing it out. If it's left alone even in slack water to recover it will. Same thing often happens with grayling in the middle of winter if you keep em out the water for any more than a very short spell.. i've had grayling go over a number of times if i've struggled unhooking them because they're wriggling all over the effin place, I just leave them, even belly up in the edge, after a few minuites I tap em with the rod tip or poke em with me finger and they just bolt off.
 

flightliner

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
6,742
Reaction score
362
Location
south yorkshire
In my case it's been nothing more simple than to stop using bottom fishing techniques unless the river is flooded.
Going over to float fishing produced even more Barbel-- simple as!.
99.99% of guys fishing the Trent seem to fish the lead and in the main seem to be waiting for nightime for a result.
The BB on much of the river just dont get caught on a moving bait, maybe the lead is the easiest option who knows but when the river is in "summer state" I know which/what method works best.
 

Another Dave

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
1,094
Reaction score
64
Location
Essex
I'm in no position to give advice but i can tell you what i've learned so far.

Everywhere on my stretch is average knee deep, with polaroids you can see the bed almost everywhere. Couple of thing i'm learning, one is that if you stand still you only have to wait 3 to 5 minutes before something half decent swims through. Even the ones that look like they're in a hurry will grab a snack.

The other is that each area has reasonably resident fish, and they seem to do a fairly regular patrol of their patch.

One more thing i've noticed, and this is mainly chub, is that they don't seem to be spooked by tractors/dogs/canoes and there's so many kids playing in the river this summer they don't even seem that spooked by people. But if you hook a fish the swim is done.
 

john step

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
5,851
Reaction score
704
Location
There
I'm in no position to give advice but i can tell you what i've learned so far.

Everywhere on my stretch is average knee deep, with polaroids you can see the bed almost everywhere. Couple of thing i'm learning, one is that if you stand still you only have to wait 3 to 5 minutes before something half decent swims through. Even the ones that look like they're in a hurry will grab a snack.

The other is that each area has reasonably resident fish, and they seem to do a fairly regular patrol of their patch.

One more thing i've noticed, and this is mainly chub, is that they don't seem to be spooked by tractors/dogs/canoes and there's so many kids playing in the river this summer they don't even seem that spooked by people. But if you hook a fish the swim is done.
I think they give off some sort of warning signal. Much the same thought as the idea of using a keepnet for perch to stop them warning their mates??
 

barbelboi

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2011
Messages
12,875
Reaction score
523
Location
The Nene Valley
I still find my better sessions are in the heat of the day and in glaring sunshine.
Me too, it's also generally the only time I'll fish..........:).

Although we don't get much rain in this area the rivers and streams are holding a fair bit of water still. For barbel, when the water is low and the weather is hot, I'd always go for the deeper oxygenated water of the weir pools and be confident of catching.
 

Jim Crosskey 2

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
943
Reaction score
1
Location
oxon
I've just had a couple of days on the wye, which I admit isn't always reflective of barbel fishing in the main, however a couple of things did really stand out for me... firstly, this whole "fish early and late" business, well that didn't hold true at all. The fish seemed perfectly happy to bite whenever. Secondly, with a couple of exceptions, even there - where you expect fish to group together in numbers - it was the case that you could take a couple of fish from a swim and then it would go dead. It took me until about 2 hours before we packed up to go home to realise that the most effective tactic was to fish a swim til it died, then go cast in another. If you get a bite/ fish, keep trying... if you don't get anything, move. Hopefully by the time you get to the afternoon, you've got four or five producing swims to rotate and you will keep catching. I made the mistake of sitting in a swim way past the point when it was producing, however having rested it and returned an hour and a half later, I was straight in to a fish.

I came to the conclusion that the fish were actually moving around quite a lot. At one point in one swim (where I did catch a few) I had them flashing in the swim. But that stopped and so did the bites. But stupidly, I sat on in there for an unproductive couple of hours when I should have been trying somewhere else. And it's only with a little bit of hindsight that I realised that the swims I did catch fish in, I caught in on the first or second cast (or at least had a bite). So sitting anywhere through three bite-less casts was probably a waste of time. DOH!
 

Philip

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
4,447
Reaction score
483
A couple of memories jump to mind when I think of low water high temperature Barbel fishing…

The first was on the hard fished Upper Benyons beat of the Kennet …packed Summer Sunday scorching tempretures,low water..everyone was blanking on “classic” baits like meat and maggots except one guy who was catching them by trotting single tares.

The other memory that springs to mind was also in the Kennet…on a popular wier pool..again a packed weekend and high temperatures..a silly number of rods were scattered all round the pool , not a touch …but one guy waded onto the gravel shallows a few yards below the weir sill and started to trot/drag lumps of luncheon meat along the bottom a few feet in front of him under a small pike bung ..it just looked so ridiculous …but I think he had something like 8 barbel in the middle of the afternoon while no one else had a touch.

One thing I would also add is that I think angler pressure plays a big part here. I am quite lucky I suppose that I have access to some very unpressured Barbel fishing and its interesting to note that Barbel that are not hammered have no problems wolfing down baits in inches of water on the hottest of days ! …big lumps of meat, corn, you name it….get bait to an unpressured fish without it knowing your there and it will have it. No doubt about that.
 

dicky123

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
Messages
633
Reaction score
4
I think trickled baits like hemp, caster, and maggots almost goad the fish into taking a bait.

Steve.

A single tare on a light bomb rig has worked for me, after feeding with hemp, tares and caster. We'll done on you're fish.

Rich.
 

Keith M

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2002
Messages
4,097
Reaction score
612
Location
Hertfordshire
In the heat of the day the barbel on my local stream are usually playing hide & seek but if I throw a handful of mini pellets in my swim and keep very low they start to appear from nowhere to mop them up, but its getting them to pickup my bait which is sitting amongst the pellets that is the problem.

I only tend to fish from about 6pm onwards in this weather and I don't often trot in very shallow water so I just tend to put a light link leger to the edge of any slightly deeper holes or other features and touch ledger.
Plus I go a little lighter in my line strength and I use smaller hooks.

In the past Ive occasionally used artificial weed sleeving over my hooklength when the barbel have seemed to be a bit wary in very clear water but I think its no longer sold.

Keith
 
Last edited:

dicky123

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
Messages
633
Reaction score
4
Question.

Steve others. You mentioned bait placement. I cannot remember taking a Barbel quickly when fishing for them, have you? It makes me think about lots of things, are the Barbel not in that swim, and I've baited them into it over time? Are they in situ but I scare them with tickled bait, or they take time to get confident eating it.

With Chub I can catch in moments of casting, but not Barbel (I'm generalising). Is bread crust an instant Barbel bait, or is it the case it's the ONLY bait you're offering? So many questions, the rain is very welcome:cool:

It's an interesting thread. One angler suggests he would always trot a piece of flake down the swim several times before fishing. Often it would take the best fish of the day, I know it but rarely do it myself.

Rich.
 

thecrow

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
7,607
Reaction score
3
Location
Old Arley home of the Crows
I have often found Barbel to be very lazy fish that sometimes will refuse to move to feed but will take it if it is dropped nearer to them, I first noticed this in 1976 when levels were very low perhaps its water conditions suiting them where are.

I have often caught Barbel quickly after casting, I put this down to the bait ending up next to the fish, I have only had this happen on bigger rivers never on small but to confuse things further I have seen my son catch straight away on a small river :confused:
 
O

O.C.F.Disorder

Guest
personally I have found that sitting in a swim and just feeding the fish gets them biting confidently after about 10 mins. Free lining and touch ledgering seem to be killer tactics or if float fishing bulking the shot at the bottom so the float stays stationary has been working well.
 
Top