It’s barbel time! In this week’s issue we reveal the hot swims, top rig and bait tricks, plus the kit you need
So keen, they take them on the drop!
HOSE who fish the River Severn for barbel have traditionally used natural baits, but recently boilies and pellets have stolen the limelight on this river.
One area that is producing big catches on modern baits is the Rowley DAS stretch at Coalport, and after an invitation from committee member Max Taylor, reporters Ian Jones and Mark Peck couldn’t wait to get down there. Would boilies and pellets lead to a red-letter day?
UP AND COLOURED
“At Coalport you can park virtually next to the river with only a short walk to your peg,” said Mark. “The valley is steep but there are steps dug into each swim to help you get safely down to the bank!”
Max was waiting in the car park, and after a few minutes of unloading the gear and a short walk through the meadow, the three anglers arrived at their swims. Rain from the previous day had swollen the river by around 2ft and it had coloured up significantly – but with scentpacked boilies and pellets in the bait bucket conditions couldn’t have been more perfect.
On pegs 45 and 50, Ian and Mark planned to fish threequarters of the way across into a narrow channel that the barbel and chub use to swim up and down the river.
Free-running 4oz-5oz feeders would drop Bait-Tech Poloni groundbait and 6mm halibut pellets into the swim, with smelly 20mm boilies and pellets on the hair for the fish to find in the murky water.
“By running chopped 14mm boilies through the feeder I could put more scent into the water,” explained Ian.
The lads spent the first 15 minutes catapulting 14mm boilies into the swim.
Then, with the trap set, it was time for the first cast… Ian’s swim featured a far-bank bush and Max had told him to cast directly in front of it and not to move for the whole day.
SMASH AND GRAB
With a feederful of groundbait, chopped boilies and pellets ready, Ian launched a cast into the channel – but before the rod was even on the rest a sharp yank on the tip showed a fish had snapped up the 20mm boilie hookbait. After a 15-minute scrap in the strong current, a 7lb 8oz Severn barbel was in the net.
“I guess the barbel were taking the catapulted boilies as they hit the riverbed,” said Ian. “It