Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service

First session on the Severn and a 10lb plus barbel

I had been waiting throughout the summer for a flood to arrive on the river Severn. The summer had seen the rain arrive on the eastern side of England for a change and the west had been bereft of much of it. The Severn had been really low with fishing for barbel being difficult. Some larger fish were coming out after dark but that’s not my style of angling. It’s a case of having been there done that in my youth. I don’t mind the odd few hours into darkness though.

The rain had arrived a couple of days previously and the Severn was rising for the very first time since the summer. Now this spells out barbel time. A mate Marc had a couple of doubles out the previous night or so. I had just returned earlier in the week from Canada and the jet lag wasn’t too bad.

So I loaded the car up at 9.30 for the 1 hour drive to the river. This was the first time to fish this particular stretch. I had completed a little work there in May in the form of a work party preparing and repairing swims.

I arrived to find the river up and coloured by about 2ft. I walked the stretch first to look at all the options. I knew there were plenty of bream on the stretch and I didn’t want to encounter any of them if possible.

I fancied one swim where the river narrowed with most of the flow on the far side. There was a great looking slack and a crease in the flow about a 3rd of the way across the river. I decided that this was where I would start. I bait droppered out some pandemic boilies into the area where I thought the barbel might be. I was using two rods both with feeders in which I put some crushed pellet and hemp groundbait. Plugged in between were a few boilies which should send a good scent trail down. The hook lengths were about 3 ft of fluorocarbon line and 1 and 1/2 boilies hair rigged on a size 12 Korum specialist hook.

Set up in the swim

I cast out at noon and put the rods in the rod rest. Sitting back and taking in all the excitement of fishing a new venue. With that the rod top nodded on the left hand one a few times and the bait runner started to give line. I lifted into the fish and straight away realised it was a bream. 

It was only about 3 lbs or so. Quickly unhooking it and slipping it back the other rod was off nodding away with the another bream. This was slightly bigger at about 5lbs. Not the start I was hoping for.

I cast a little further out, but still more bream.

Thinking the bream were in the slacker water and coming out into the flow for a feed had me casting further across the river into the faster flowing water. This was about half way across.

Sure enough the bream bites diminished and I increased the bait size to 2 whole boilies on the hair which helped too. Then at about 3 pm I had a real thump on the rod and line started to come off the reel. This time it felt like a barbel. I played it fairly hard as the rods were 2.5 t/c 13ft Korum rods.

The barbel did briefly find sanctuary in a snag just in front of me. It came out easily though. My very first Severn barbel lay in the net. Not huge at 6lbs 9oz it was a start and one caught in daylight. Interestingly it was caught on the upstream rod.

First Severn barbel 6lbs 9oz

The rods were put back out again. I was recasting every 30 mins or so just to get some bait out in the river and try and encourage the barbel into the swim.

Then again at about 4.30pm another bite from another barbel resulted in one of a similar size. So at least my plan is working. The fish snagged itself under the rod once more. So I must be aware of this for the future.

Marc said he would come down and visit me at about 6pm. Well in between that time the bream were feeding on the downstream rod. I must have caught 4 more with one being about 7lbs. I so dislike catching these.

Marc arrived at 5.50pm and we chatted away. Suddenly the rod pulled over once more and line came off the free spool. I lifted into the fish which felt like a barbel. It certainly pulled back stronger in the faster flowing river. As it came into the slacker water in front of me I was conscious of the snag and lifted up the barbel off the bottom so that it would be reluctant to get into it. The plan worked well and soon a lovely looking barbel was landed by Marc. He thought it a double I thought 9lbs 14oz. While Marc rested it in the net I got the weigh sling and scales prepared.

Blimey it’s a 10 !!

On the scales she went 10lbs 2oz. Blimey that was a right old result. A double on your first visit.

I thanked Marc very much for his assistance and brining good luck to me. He was pleased to say the least. He would fish about 50yds below me for the evening. I said to him that I was only fishing another 45mins as it got dark at 7.15pm and I needed to be home.

I was ready to leave having added one small 2lb chub to the catch of the day. Marc unbelievably  lost 2 barbel in snags in that time too. So they were really on the feed. He was using pellets in pva stocking and no groundbait. Again he was casting 50% of the way across the river. Saying our good byes I headed off home.

Guess the weight

A fantastic result for a first visit to the river.


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