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... and which has accounted for 26 double-figure fish from the river for me this season. This has been the first recapture meaning there are group of reasonable fish and a real chance of something much bigger as the season progresses and the fish pile on their winter weight. The River Wye (Afon Gwy) is the fifth-longest river in the UK, stretching some 134 miles from its source on Plynlimon in mid Wales to the Severn estuary at Chepstow. At first I thought it was a chub, as it shook its head and thumped about, but it soon realized what was happening and screamed off downstream and convinced me it was no mere chub. A good double figure fish on a very short winter session, Digital Thermometer, an essential piece of the winter barbel anglers armoury. Heavy feeding is required to get enough bait through the silver fish and chub that occupy the upper water column, but achieve that and they’ve been known to take hookbaits some 3 foot off the bottom. Scattering pellets across a swim and only fishing a lead has always been a favourite, the fish having to kite across the channel to grub around for baits, this perhaps more natural than following a line of scent upstream to a feeder. However as time passed, and always seeking new challenges, my thoughts once again returned to the subject with renewed interest. Hitting the food trail heavily throughout the months of October and November will see barbel pile on the pounds to fatten up on natural fat reserves which will see them survive the low water temperatures. New bait lands double figure barbel November 20, 2018 Sam Curtis Alfie Naylor and Brian Skoyles have enjoyed some incredible barbel sport of late whilst testing a new bait from Nutrabaits, which is designed specifically for the species. As most will remember the winter of 2012/13 was a very cold/wet one. Then there’s the Wye, and whilst running through Wales for much of it’s length, the majority of the barbel are found as it runs along the border with England – The Wye is arguably the premier barbel destination in the UK. Guest fishing bloggers – get in touch! The largest of the five fish didn’t quite make double figures, but they all smashed the tip round in fine style (which is one of my favorite things about barbel fishing). A large river, the Dee is rightly famous for its game fishing and also for its prolific grayling, but is also contains specimen pike, chub and barbel in the middle and lower reaches, with stretches around Holt being particularly well known as barbel hotspots, with good numbers of fish recorded to 13lb 5oz on the Warrington Anglers Association water. A 10lb Barbel was caught here by one of the Junior anglers on the annual Barbel day in 2015. In laymans terms this basically means the higher the water temperature the more active the fish will be therefore the more they will need to eat as they expend their energy then as the water temperature drops the reverse to this scenario is the case. I found myself fishing exactly the same swim I’d caught from in January and my efforts to get on the bank were richly rewarded with a stunning barbel of 12lbs 12oz. When a salmon is hooked though, it more often than not goes airborne at some point – if it doesn’t it’s safe to say it’s either a barbel or a carp. One of the bonuses is all species can be caught on float, chub, dace, roach, bleak, and this can keep the angler entertained even if no barbel. Early season hemp and caster is renowned as a favourite, the barbel keen to grub around and graze rather than take bigger, oily baits. The golden-line barbel was once endemic to Lake Dianchi in China's Yunnan province, but now the fish is thought to only survive in about 20 spring ponds and one lake tributary. In the late 90’s, the middle Wye around Bredwardine became notorious as the first real barbel hotspot. Rather than look at the winter as a whole and cover November right through to mid March I’ll take a look at a typical period of weather that could normally be expected in the depths of winter. Once they’ve acclimatised though it can be fill your boots time with some fantastic winter fishing. A 12lb barbel taken during a very short feeding spell. Here the river is similar to the Wye, meandering through rolling countryside and with similar geomorphology – pacey gravel channels around islands, running off into deeper steadier water, that fish as well in a flood as any time. 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