RISING water levels and chocolate coloured water might look grim, but certain species, notably barbel, love these conditions and are usually well up for a bit of grub. Here are some barbel fishing tips.
Floodwater tactics differ enormously from the usual low level methods.
You can forget delicate 1 oz quivertips and tiny bombs and feeders, they are useless even in the calmer slacks as the increased pace and debris will swirl them around like clothes in a washing machine.
What you need are beefy rods, capable of dealing with heavy leads, combined with thicker lines more akin to tackling specimen carp.
Even traditional Avon rods aren’t always robust enough and dedicated carp rods are often necessary.
Choose your leads carefully too. You’ll need low profile, flat ones to make certain that your rig is securely anchored to the deck.
Flood loving barbel will simply ignore rigs that bump around the river bed and they will quickly become firmly lodged in the debris and other snags anyway.
Windy type rests are a sensible idea, to stop your rod from being dragged in should any large item of debris slam into the line or from aggressive takes from biting fish.
The ability to detect smaller baits is also an issue in heavily coloured water, so opt for a decent sized bait with plenty of stink to ensure the fish can easily locate your offering.
A big chunk of luncheon meat is a great floodwater bait, and give them a proper mouthful – just four baits from one standard tin is not unusual!
Lightly fry the cubes of meat in curry powder or garlic granules, to give them a flavour boost that can’t be missed by barbel, even in the most coloured water.