BIG barbel will be on many anglers' minds in the autumn, and these top tips will give you some fresh ideas for your fishing for them on the rivers...

Slice into barbel

Big barbel love areas that provide cover and shade, yet getting bait to them without making a disturbing noise can be tricky, almost impossible.

A neat solution is to place a baited rig on a slice of bread and push it out into the current, allowing it to float downstream before tightening up and pulling it off when in reaches the right spot.

No missed casts, and no fish scaring splash – perfect.

Bin PVA for the pellet lead

Some anglers believe if a PVA bag is tied onto the lead it will take time to dissolve, prolonging a take due to the free offerings settling below the hook bait.

To solve this problem try using ‘the pellet lead’ which is great for massive barbel. All you need is varying sizes size scalded pellets dosed in loads of Corn Steep Liquor, then mould it around the lead. The pellets break up in the water, leaving irresistible scent trail.

Irresistible ‘Ferrero Rocher’

Pressing paste around hook bait is a fantastic method of fishing that has been around for years, but some fish are wising up for this.

When this happens, make a secondary cast, but this time with no pellets around the lead, just a big ball of paste around the hook bait which has been made from the same scalded pellet mix.

Then press different sized pellets into this so it resembles a Ferrero Rocher chocolate, and mimics what they have been used to getting away with when feeding on pellet lead.

Move to find monsters

Sitting in one swim waiting for fish to arrive isn’t the best strategy. If you can, try roving around a river dipping into swims for about 30 minutes before moving.

If you go home after a daylight session without catching, then at least you know that you will have passed, and placed a bait very close to a number of big fish, instead to being miles away form big fish.

The perfect match

Match hook baits with loose feed. If barbel and carp are feeding on pellets, then pellet needs to be on the hook.

Try not to use one size of pellet when barbel fishing as fish can get preoccupied on these, and getting the same size hook bait to act like the others is virtually impossible.

Use lots of sizes to confuse fish so they drop their guard and readily eat everything.

On your own

Just because most barbel reported to Angler’s Mail magazine are caught after dark, doesn’t mean this is the best time to fish. It’s not.

The time to catch a big clever barbel is when no-one else is around. Getting to a swim before others, a period when the fish have had time to settle, will give you the chances of a best result, so set the alarm early!

CAUGHT A BIG FISH AND GOT PICTURES… or got some news or views to share? Email to: anglersmail@timeinc.com You could appear in Angler’s Mail print magazine, on sale every week.