We are now just over 3 months into the 2019 river season and I have only just started my barbel fishing. For one reason or another, I had hardly wet a line for over 3 months (apart from the very odd float fishing trip), so was looking forward to getting out and having a go. Although reading the various forums (such has Barbel Adventures and BFW) concerning the Upper Trent (they were hardly inspiring), as it would appear in recent seasons most anglers are blanking more often than not. Looking at the size of the barbel on the Upper Trent (average 9lb+), I personally believe (that with virtually no small fish coming through, plus the increase in predation), we may have as little has 3 years before the Upper river becomes very much like the Dove and there are next to no barbel there (it will be a great chub river though).
It always makes me smile looking at the various social media forums and Angling press concerning the Trent, the catches from the Middle and Tidal Trent can be 'ridiculous' (such things as 8 doubles or more in a night etc), leading people to think the whole of the river is one big barbel swim!
This really is not the case, the Upper Trent may as well be a different river as it is nothing like the middle, with large area's that only hold the odd fish. I know of many an experienced angler that have had plenty of blanks on the Upper Trent and Dove, that have then had a go on the Middle or Tidal Trent and ended up 'bagging up' with 10 plus fish in a session. Personally if the fishing was such that you are almost always guaranteed to catch, I would soon get bored, after 45 years as an angler, it's more about the surroundings, the solitude and the sense of mystery that low stocked venues like the Upper Trent still have to offer. I do feel though that the current situation with some of the huge catches of barbel, from places like Collingham really do give a false impression as to the barbel fishing across the rest of the country.
Anyway enough of my ramblings!
I have just come back from an interesting week on a lake in the Champagne Region of France, with my brother David. The weather forecast for the week and the catch reports I had been reading suggested that the week wouldn't be an easy one and that a large catch of carp was probably going to be out of the question as there had only been 3 carp caught from the whole lake on the week prior to our visit. But, careful baiting was to work a treat.