Nineoaks Fishery has 3 Coarse lakes holding a mixed head of quality fish. In the autumn of 2011 and again autumn 2017 a number of small barbel were stocked in the Main Pool.
These have since grown well (see picture) and are providing some surprisingly good sport, even though they are not yet fully grown.
Their power and speed is fabulous. They like a frozen mussel in the margins and Luncheon meat too; these the best baits fished on the bottom and accompanied with a method mix.
Best all-round general bait’s for Barbel are definitely maggots, cooked or frozen mussel (Preferably NOT those in jars with preservatives or added cooking flavourings and sauces!!!) under the overhanging bushes.
Also Luncheon meat, sausage meat, cheese and cubes of cheese, worms, dendrobaena worms, red worm, brandlings, grubs, bread (either crust, flake or paste), casters, hemp and caster, pinkies and sweetcorn and boilies.
Occasionally they have been caught in mid-summer on floating bread. So don’t be surprised if they are caught on an unexpected bait. They’re scavengers. if it’s on offer and they’re in the mind they will take it. So don’t be afraid to experiment. Attract them into your swim with Micro-pellets by continuously feeding every few minutes small amounts in the same area and the occasional tit-bit of bait while fishing with a quality bait, not any old stale piece of meat.
During the summer months the best times are definitely early morning and from late afternoon (4pm which is when their inner dinner bell rings) and the Barbel will be on the lookout for a good feed. They are also known to take bread off the surface, just like a Carp.
Maggots while being an excellent bait will also provide Roach and non-carp species too. Method mixes fished with a preferred bait will provide some terrific sport. Dog food, Cat food and tinned "beef tongue" or the likes of Coshida Trout & Salmon Cat Food should produce some good sport. However, the use of boilies and excessive amounts of ground bait going in are discouraged.
Most coarse fishing methods will catch Barbel including float, ledger and the feeder is considered the best method. Barbel prefer strong, fast flowing waters but also do well in lakes. Wherever you’re fishing, a good through-action rod with a fixed spool reel and a minimum of 6lb line should be used.
Depending on the size of the fish and the size of the bait being used a hook size between 12 and 4 should be ideal. Always use barbless hooks as they are easier to unhook and cause less damage to the fish. When river fishing and if ledgering that you use a weight or feeder heavy enough that will hold the bait close to the riverbed.
The strength of flow will determine the size of weight so go prepared. When float fishing in faster waters where you need plenty of weight to hold bottom. Use a big float like an Avon or a Loafer float that can support a lot of shot. Fix a number of shot down the line with the bulk near the hook to "hold bottom" and cut through the water which helps to keep the bait closer to the river bed where your quarry is likely feeding!