A Few Of Your Questions…

On an average day this web site probably generates two or three emails from visitors seeking advice on some topic or other. In the past I have answered them privately but the sheer scale and time involved is beginning to mount up and to be honest, time spent answering emails is time that could be spent adding content to the site.

It also seems completely bonkers to reply to one guy and then get an almost identical querry three weeks later when, if I’d published my reply on the site, there would have been no need for a second email in the first place.

With this in mind I am now reserving the right to reply to your questions openly, on the site. If you pose a question your name and email details will remain confidential at all times but the copyright of the Q&A will be mine and mine alone. This means that should I publish the question and my answer on the site, in an article or perhaps even in book chapter at some time hence there will be no redress due to the original poser of that question.

As far as you are concerned there is no difference. You may ask a question and you will receive a reply, as ever, privately. As far as I’m concerned I may choose to use the reply, or part of it, on this site for the benefit of the other visitors and perhaps to answer a question they may have been wanting to ask.

Here is a sample of the kind of questions I’ve been getting lately…

Dear Bob,

My partner is 50 on friday and expressed a desire to go back to the Trent to catch a Barbel.
With out his knowledge I have booked us in to the Gunthorpe Unicorn for the weekend. Can you tell me what tackle and bait I need to hide in the car boot please?
He suffers from Parkinson’s Disease so time is running out for fishing opportunities.
Also is Gunthorpe a good base? An EA man told me to contact you as you are the expert.
Many thanks


Hi Julia

Afraid the river is fishing proper pants at the moment! Very few fish coming out and very few during the day. We really need some rain.

There’s a nice stretch below Gunthorpe Weir on the Unicorn bank. You park near Gunthorpe lock and walk downstream.

Heavy feeder rod, large swimfeeders, 8-10lb line, strong hooks, pellets and hemp are the order of the day.

Just fish in the flow and you’ll be in with a chance. Evenings will give you the best chance of a fish or two.

The opposite side of the river is very good, too, but it’s a bit of a steep walk to get to.

If you want an easier access go down to Caythorpe (3 miles) where the road runs alongside the river. There’s an old folks home that used to be a pub called the Elm Tree at the end of the road. Just upstream of this is a good barbel area – pegs in the high 90’s from memory. You don’t have to fish too far out for the barbel.

Good luck.

Bob Roberts

Mr Roberts,

I’m so sorry my mail box was full. The manager at the Gunthorpe unicorn passed on your email. My man and I had the most wonderful weekend Barbel fishing thanks to yourself 🙂

He caught 5 all a good size at the Gunthorpe wier and I read most of a good book in between running back for things he’d forgotten.

We tried Caythorpe on Sunday morning but there was a match on. It really made his 50th Birthday special.

Thanks once again,



Dear Bob,

Cant find vol 3 & 4 of barbel days and ways, would like to order them.


Worry no more Marlene!

Click here and you’ll be able to order them with the click of a button…


Best regards

Bob Roberts


Hi Bob 

I have been trying to send my club results in but it does not reconise the email address.



Hi Mark

Please send them to greenun@sky.com

To make it easier I’ve attached some entry forms in various formats (word document and template). One will work on your machine.




Hi Bob,

Only got to know about your site at the weekend, I’ve had a browse through it and it looks pretty impressive. The lads in my club have been asking about the Green Un competition. I can see there is info regarding 2009 competition, is there one being run for 2010 and if so how do we join or what is the criteria for qualification.



Hi Roy,

Indeed there is a competition running in 2010/11, as ever, in the Green Un newspaper.

It is open to all genuine club match anglers who’s club/s is/are based in the paper’s circulation area which is roughly Sheffield, Cherterfield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster.

Anglers like Alan Scotthorne, Jamie Masson, etc, are not invited – they have bigger fish to fry. It is not a competition for them, it is there to support ground roots fishing clubs, local club anglers, local fisheries and local tackle shops.

If your club meets this criteria then do let me know and I’ll send you an electronic entry form that you can set up as a template or just copy and paste into a word document or email.

The competition is free to enter. The winner of each match qualifies for the semi final which is held on Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May, 2010 at Hayfield Fisheries. The section winners from this match go through to the final which will be on the KJS Snake Lake again on a date in May that escapes me right now.

Club secretaries who submit three or more entries also get an invite.

The competition carries £5,000 worth of sponsorship in the form of tackle vouchers, redeemable at Climax Tackle, Dronfield. Pools increase this by another £1,500 to £2,000 depending on entries.


Bob Roberts


Hi Bob,

I have a weekend at Taverham Mill on the Wensum coming up and just wondered if you know anything about it and how you would tackle it, I have done some river fishing but mainly trotting for roach or targeting the perch, but this session will be for barbel, I know your busy so if you have time to give me any tips that would be great,

Many thanks,


Hello Andy,

I’m afraid the Wensum is a river I’ve never fished so it’s pointless me even trying to offer you advice. However, if you contact Chris Turnbull through his web site I feel sure he’ll be kind enough to give you some advice.



Bob Roberts


Hello Bob,

The reason I am contacting you is because I am planning a weeks session on the Trent in Nottingham for Barbel at various different stretches. I have had most success in the past at Holme Pierrepont at the end of the slalom course, I don’t know if you know it?

Anyway I have found many of your articles very interesting and your DVD’s fascinating on how Barbel react to feed and how feed introduced can behave. I have also watched “Barbel Even Closer”, with Stuart Morgan and Guy Robb. One thing I must ask you about is how Stuart in the DVD describes the need for camouflaging rigs etc in hot, clear sunny days, now is this necessary? I ask because you have said that Barbel are not afraid of line brushing against them or even that they can see it, is this true under every circumstance or just when the water is coloured?

I have been talking to Ade Kiddell via e-mail who is a member of the Barbel Society (Don’t know if you know him?) and has told me that he uses 15lb main line with a long (4ft) 12lb hook length in mono form and not braid nor Fluoro. Now I am a little confused on how to tackle the Trent I must say I have never have caught more than 4 on a good day in a 12hr session. This I know is not good enough, especially after reading many of your articles and reading you average 10 a session. This is just a dream for me.

How do you think I should approach the slalom course particularly? Do I feed as you have described and put in 20 droppers full of mixed sized pellets with different breakdown rates and fish Pellet on the hair over the top or go with a different approach?

Rig-wise do what would you do? Should I go for the rig you described in your article with the Korum running rig system? Also in your opinion would braid be better then normal mono Ade has mentioned?

I am just confused anything you can say to help me out I’d appreciate it. I would love to hear from you, please keep up the good work (Loving your blogs, keep them coming) and I look forward to hearing from you soon I hope.



Good morning Richard

Two words that anglers should use with great caution are always and never. There is no perfect rig or a baiting plan for all situations due to the vast number of variables involved. River level, clarity, temperature, time of day, cloud cover, wind, brightness, tree shadows, the type of river bed, straights, bends, depth, weed, even wind has an influence. You may not need 20 droppers.

I spend a lot of time fishing a tiny river where I can see the fish. They’re not massive, nor are they too plentiful but I learn so much by observation. It’s so easy to get fish feeding. It’s so difficult to keep them there once they’ve been spooked. Sometimes they’re afraid if their own shadows and they spook in unison. One out, all out.

Yesterday I caught a few barbel by adopting a mobile approach. Two droppers, wait 20 minutes, two more followed by the rig. Catch a fish in a few minutes then the struggle began as the fish would be so twitchy. Two more droppers, wait, recast, nick another and then move. The river’s only a couple of feet deep.

Horses for courses – read the river, adapt your tactics to suit. I let the fish tell me what to do. One rod is sometimes better than two. The sound of a lead is enough to spook these fish sometimes so I’ll push it inside a PVA bag of pellets to cushion the impact and replicate the burst of food from a dropper.

I do indeed know exactly where you’re fishing. Snaggy, isn’t it? Personally I’d start with my standard Trent rig and that’s with a braid hook link. I’d also be looking to attack at least three or four swims in the day. 12 hours is a long session. There are some excellent swims lower down on the same length that have produced very big fish in recent years so don’t get bogged down with the area that looks nice.

Work on your accuracy. Two, three, four yards away simply isn’t good enough. The small river tells me that. So does float fishing.

So many ways to skin a cat. Everyone fishes like clones, two rods pointing skywards, 4oz feeder, two pellets or a boilie on a hair. Standard tactics, standard reponse from the fish, standard catches.

As for how many fish – that isn’t the measure of success. Four should be enough to make anyone happy. Something’s obviously working – just needs refining.

Good luck,

Bob Robert

Hi Bob,

Just thought I’d reply to say thanks for your very informative e-mail, it would be rude not to reply to that. The truth is I am coming from Scotland to fish the Trent, I was brought up in Nottingham and love the Trent. I only manage down once a year fishing for the fish I love and it really frustrates me that I can’t get down more often. But due to work commitments (Having my own business) it is very hard to get down more often and emphasises the fact to catch one or two when I am there as a lot goes into the planning. Your e-mail and what I read should help me catch more.

I guess Bob by what your saying in regards to letting the fish tell you what they want, this comes with experience? I find it very hard to do this, maybe it is inexperience but I have been fishing for a good 30 years so it shouldn’t be but I never seem to do the right thing. How do I let the fish tell me what to do? Do I start off with a couple of droppers and see what happens or do I introduce more. Ok let me give you a situation, you arrive at the River you are fishing in 4 – 5ft of water, you can’t see the fish but there is no colour in the water, the weather is hot and sunny how would you approach this? I am guessing the doing something different from the rest of the anglers would give you an edge but again as time is somewhat of a commodity I need to make it count.

I always do the same thing, bait up with a feeders full of Groundbait and pellets and fish over the top with the hair rigged pellets. Normally I will get one quite quickly and then nothing for ages sometimes I never get another one. I don’t know what I am doing wrong really but like you said standard catches when doing the same as everyone else.

You say there are stretches further down the same length? I have tried a couple of other spots but had nothing but again due to time restraints I can’t afford to go on recce of the area, so do you want to give me a clue as where to look out for? Or is it just a generalized view?

Hope to hear from you again Bob and thank you very much for your help with this matter, I really appreciate it.




Hi Bob,

Awesome website by the way!! You’ve caught some cracking Barbel, you lucky sod! Anyway, I was just wandering if you knew anything about becoming a member of Notts Piscatorials? I’ve come across some mouth-watering spots down by Newark but apparantly they’re all owned by Notts Piscs…? Your thoughts? Also, I’ve also heard that the Trent down by Kelham Hall, near Newark is a day ticket stretch – is this true, if so where would I get a ticket from?

I look forward to hearing from you Bob, also would you be so kind as to give me some tips on big barbel fishing and even better, point me in the right direction for some sizzling Barbel spots? (i’m in the RAF based at RAF Coningsby so anywhere within a 50 mile radius would be good?)

Seriously, I cant wait for my reply! (if you get time!) All the best, tight lines!


Hi Garry

Thank you for the kind words about the web site. I gather that Notts Piscatorials is a whole lot easier to get into nowadays but there’s a hefty £300 joining fee, or so I’ve heard. It’s days only, too, and strictly enforced, not to mention no publicity whatsoever.

Kelham Hall is Newark and District water as far as I know and can be fished on a day ticket but you have to book them in advance. Can’t get on the water before 7am or that’s the way it used to be as you gain access through the council headquarters grounds. Newark has a web site so I’d start there if I were you.

I don’t do big barbel fishing, I just fish for barbel and take what comes my way. The River Trent is one long series of barbel swims, just pick an area where there is good flow and if it’s nearer to your bank then so much the better. If you want to learn how to catch barbel then might I suggest you watch the four DVDs I’ve made in recent years. They are packed with information. Alternatively, read the articles on my web site – there’s enough of them.

Finally, catching barbel isn’t rocket science. Find a swim that contains barbel. Don’t frighten them away. Introduce good quality bait in the right quantities but do understand what the bait does (see DVDs) and attack them with an effective rig. The outcome is practically inevitable…

Good Luck’

Bob Roberts


Hi Bob

Thanks for keeping me entertained and informed over the years in ‘Coarse Fisherman’. Your recent article on tench was very interesting. I occasionally get the opportunity to fish a local estate lake here in Cumbria. It contains only tench and rudd. It’s around 3 acres and well silted so one fishes in around two feet of murky water. On my most recent trip on June 16th, the three of us (including Eric Hope whom you may be familiar with) had a cracking morning with me coming out on top with 33 fish, six of which were well over six pounds, not bad for Cumbria. We had to weigh and measure them all and I kept mine in two keepnets. When returning them I noticed one had red blotching similar to one of the fish in your photo only more extensive. It’s the only venue where it happens and is the second time it has. I’m reluctant to net them now and will return them immediately despite the risk of spooking the shoal.

Is it stress, or haemorrhaging or something much worse. A trawl of the internet has revealed nothing.


Dear Tim,

Thanks for the kind words.

If you look through the replies to that blog post you’ll see that Ray Walton has responded with a scientific explanation.


Bob Roberts


Hi Bob

Just wondered if you sold out of the days n ways dvds ? i have all 4 which i will never part with, but theres a few lads begging for the set on bfw saying there as rare as hens teeth or are they just tight gits wanting summat for nowt ?

Just wounderd

Cheers Bob

Hi Michael

All four DVDs are still available from my web site – although the first one is practically sold out (two pressings so far). We’re just contemplating whether to draw a line under it or to print up some more…

Alas it’s the nature of the world these days that folks want everything for nothing and are quite happy to buy fake copies, download them from torrent sites, share them round their mates and so on. Unfortunately it makes us question whether the massive amount of time, effort and expense involved in creating the films is worth it – hence we’ve shelved our plans to make a Volume 5 this year.

Who knows what we’ll do in the future.


Bob Roberts


Hi Bob,

Just wanted to say that I don’t understand all the hurah about you on the forum! People are too quick to judge others after reading some rubbish on the net!

I can remember meeting you around 10 year ago whilst i was fishing with my dad on the Derbyshire Derwent and you were pleasant then and also a few years ago at Collingham.

! am quite a regular contributor to the AT and did the snail expert spread if you remember a few year ago? also won drennan award for the 14lb 10 oz barbus from the Derwent. normally forward my stuff onto stephen stones.

I live at the royal air force barracks at RAF ***** so real close to the Trent and fish it all the time and would like to further my skills by possibly having a night or day fishing with yourself or even putting an article together before i go to Afghanistan in novemeber. I understand your fishing time is valuable and you probably get requests all the time.

I appreciate it if you give my request a thought anyway and tight lines…


Hello Bob 

I have not fished the stick float in the Trent for 25 years can you offer me any advice what areas to fish and how to fish them. This is not some cheap attempt to steal any bodies fav peg as no one has anything to fear from my angling ability. I have only just come back to fishing after a long time and only fish now and again things have certainly changed.

What is it with some of the nobheads who barbel fish the trent can’t understand their obvious envy? I was in Billy Carke’s when one of the gobshite’s was holding court about their weir. I always thought fishing was about enjoyment and improvement not slagging people off because they catch more and bigger fish.

All the best


PS: its a pity Billy Sharp can’t score for us like he did for you

Billy Sharp will never be any use to Sheffield United unless they change their way of playing. He’s about as much use to you as Wayne Rooney was to England. If he goes to a club like Leeds, it’s unlikely he’ll do much better than he does for you. Great player in the right team, useless anywhere else.

I actually think he needs us more than we need him as his previous track record, barring a spell at Scunthorpe, is not exactly impressive. Sadly for you he’s the player you can keep but you can never have. If you follow what I mean.

The place to fish a stick float on the Trent is just past the rocks. That may sound flippant but it’s a statement of fact. Just find a swim where the flow is pushing through under your feet and you won’t go far wrong. Honestly, there are fish everywhere, it’s just about feeding and presentation.

The bitterness in angling has come with the anglers who target barbel. These guys had no interest in the Trent 20 years ago and they treat every other species as vermin. It’s fish at all costs and size means everything. They’re not anglers. They’re just knob heads looking for something to brag about.

Take care

Bob Roberts


Me again Bob,

I read your Perch Article where you mention the power gum in the rig. Is there anywhere I can see how you set this up.



Did you mean pole elastic rather than power gum? Not sure which article you are refering to but if it’s the one I’m thinking of I use the elastic to retain the bobbin which acts as an indicator. That way, when a fish tries to take line there’s no sudden jerk like you get with a drop-off indicator or swinger.

Hope that helps.




I have just read your online page for the first time and really enjoyed it. I am fairly new to barbel fishing having ditched my addiction to carp and I am now pursuing this fanatastic species.

I have been on the Dove and the Wye but I have other option on Prince Albert and have just got a ticket for the Earl of Harrington stretch of the Derwent.

One of PA stretches is on the Yorkshire Wharfe at Cuerdale Hall farm. I beleive Leeds AA have the oppposite bank. Have you fished it and is it worth the trip over or do I already have better options?

I read your bit in angling times. I have never float fished for Barbel so I may have a go. In your blog you say you scaled down to lighter tackle. How low can you go if you dont mind the pun. I am guessing 5 maybe 6lb mainline. Is that acceptable?

I am keen to learn more so I ltry to get your new dvd`s after pay day.

Thanks in advance.

Ps The litter is disgusting isnt it. Even worse on the carp forums with anglers finding bags of excrement some hanging in trees. This never happened in the 70`s and 80`s! I just dont know why they bother fishing with such a lack of respect for everything. I stopped some teenagers on my local park setting fire to their school books at the end of term. There was a bin 10 yards away which I pointed out to them. Cant be arsed mate was the reply.

I sound like an old codger now but there is no excuse to litter anywhere.

I don’t know the stretch of the Wharfe you refer to but I’m pretty certain that the Dove is more prolific and both the Dove and Derwent will offer you much bigger specimens.

The lightest I go for barbel is a 5lb hook link. If I happen to lose a fish, more often than not it is because the hook has opened out. It is very rare to be broken unless the line catches on a rock or a snag, or is weakened in some way.

Takes a while to land fish, mind, so you have to be careful with the recovery after landing. Normally I leave them in the net for a few minutes before I bother unhooking them and as a consequence have never had a problem when returning a fish…


Bob Roberts


Hi Bob

i am fishing the severn a lot and having spoken to you belive that more bait is required to hold the fish. have you any thoughts on how to get hemp and pellets across the other side of a big river such as the Trent or Severn. Is spodding an option or will the bait just get taken in the current.


Hi Graham

Hope you’re keeping okay.

The spod is a poor way of feeding barbel swims at distance because they spread the feed all over. The easiest dodge to make sure a bait dropper opens at distance is to stick a small pike pilot float on your line a coule of feet above the dropper. It slows the descent but ensures the trigger release operates every time.




Hi Bob,

Just recently found your website after having my appetite whetted for the thrill of catching Barbel once again and I have spent many hours reading through just about every word on your site – absolutely brilliant stuff!! Thanks so much!!

I was reading the comments below your 2nd article on effective barbel rigs (fantastic piece by the way) when I saw you mention a ‘Trent Anglers Night Out in Shardlow.’ I live really close to there in Beeston where I have always fished the Trent below Beeston Weir (largely unsuccessfully) and I would love to meet some other people who fish in my area who would be willing to share abit of their knowledge and experiences. So my question is whether you have any info on any future dates with a similar theme in my area or if you have any contact details for someone who may be able to point me in the right direction to meet some local guys?

I understand you’re probably a very busy bloke with plenty of more important things to spend your time doing but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards and many thanks


I  don’t actually do too many ‘live’ shows as the rewards don’t really make the effort worthwhile. The Sawley show was a belter though. The organiser did suggest he might run another this year so you might make some enquiries at the tackle shop in Long Eaton (Synergy Tackle?).

The show was well attended by a number of guys who boast on the Fishing Adventures web site/ forum. They’re a real friendly bunch and you should consider joining the site (it’s free) as a lot of the guys fish the area you do and are quite good with passing on information.

It’s worth contacting Archie Braddock, too, and booking a day’s guiding. He only charges about £75 and you can probably share that with a mate. He is a mine of information and ideas and he lives in Long Eaton.

Thank you for the kind comments on the web site. By heck, if you’ve read it all (at work) your boss will be after you! That’s a lot of reading.

It may sound like a blatant plug but you could do a lot worse than to purchase the Barbel Days And Ways DVDs, one of which contains a segment filmed not far away from Beeston. Seriously, you’ll learn an awful lot about barbel in a very short space of time.


Bob Roberts


Dear Bob,

I’ve just bought all 4 of your barbel DVD’s. I have watched volume one where you are fishing Wilford in Nottingham and wondered if you would kindly tell me where it is as I would like to fish it. Also, I have fished the trent on numerous occasions and have never been able to get a bite in the daylight, only get bites in the dark. Do you have any advice at all please?

Many thanks.

Kind regards and happy fishing!!


Hi John

With regard to your querry, I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to say where any of our guests were fishing in the DVDs other than the information the films give you. On average I get two or three emails each month asking where Lee fished in particular. If I was to tell everyone it would no doubt ruin Lee’s own sport.

I’m very surprised you cannot get bites in daylight as barbel really do love sunshine. You should be seeking out the faster gravelly areas and feeding correctly. There are a couple of articles on the web site relating to this but the bottom line is, if you want to catch barbel you have to attract them into your swim and hold them there. This is done by applying feed.

Most anglers who catch at night do so because barbel tend to be patrolling rather than because of their tactics. They catch in spite of their tactics, not because of them. Many will disagree but ask them how many fish they catch in daylight and you’ll get your answer.

If you believe you can only catch in the dark and then only fish in the dark it all becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, doesn’t it?

I didn’t fish in the dark for barbel once last year and I caught more than my fair share from half a dozen different rivers. The rules of success are simple:

1. Choose the right place

2. Bait accurately

3. Use the right amount of bait and make sure there is always some bait in the swim

4. Keep the tactics simple

5. Cast accurately

6. Fish confidently

7. If you’re not catching go and watch someone who is

Hope that helps.

Bob Roberts

Hi Bob,

Many thanks for your reply.

By the way, I forgot to say how much I enjoyed your DVD’s. Will you be doing any more?
As I said, I’ve fished the Trent on numerous occasions. Early morning starts, cast to the same spot accuratley, maybe 2 hours into fishing, I might get one barbel then it goes quiet for the rest of the day. I continue feeding the same area for the rest of the day with no bites. I know the fish are down there on every occasion because as soon as it drops dark I start getting bites from the same swim. Any thoughts please?

Thanks for your time.



You could try scaling down. I had 14 barbel the other day fishing maggots and hemp on the stick float. Using a size 16 hook gave me bites when a bigger hook and heavier tackle was ignored – however I wouldn’t advise using quite such light tackle unless you’re experienced in playing big fish on light-ish tackle. Maggot is working very well at the moment.

Re: The DVDs. Simple answer is I don’t know. We certainly won’t be making any this season as we’ve decided to have a rest. Who can say what the future holds.




Hi Bob

Sorry to be a pain just a couple more questions .

I joined the cemex stretch online got my online reciept and lock number but no maps directions etc, phoned cemex they told me directions are on the site but they not, i now know where the entry is thanks to the cemex forum but where do you park, looking on google earth i can see the track crosses a dyke do you turn left and keep following the track untill it comes to the bridge on your left, can you go any further,any help?

I notice you are using a pod is this daiwa and can you fit alarms to that or are the front heads fixed on.

Thanks again Alan.

Hi Alan

The Cemex stretch is above Carlton, not below.

The sharp bend below Carlton (depending which one you mean) is at Sutton on the Barbel Society water. That’s a great value ticket with legal night fishing and you can drive along the bank for the whole length of the fishery.

The Cemex stretch has plus and minus points.

Firstly, I have not caught a single double from there in two seasons.

One near miss and the rest have been mostly 4-7lb shoal fish.

The fish tend to be smaller than average for the tidal, especially at the downstream end of the fishery.

It is opposite Collingham and the average angler on that side thinks they have to fish 3/4 of the way across. I have fished 20 yards out and had feeders landing closer to me than my own…!

The great big gravel barge swings right into the bend at the low end of the fishery and has wiped me out on occasion. Pleasure boats come even closer as you’ll see in the latest DVDs where one comes within 10 yards of the bank. If you lower the rod the chances are you’ll snag in the rocks – it is very snaggy.

Expect to lose more than a few feeders. It’s a tackle munching stretch at the two extremities.

The same extremities are practically unfishable when the river is up because of the amount of gear you are likely to lose and the sheer pace.

The middle stretch is rarely fished at all so if you fancy a walk you can find freedom – on your own bank. The Collingham anglers opposite can drive along the bank and it’s a popular area.

Someone on the Cemex web site posted last week that he has been prebaiting with 100 kilos of particles. That’s a lot of bait by any standards and he may catch a lot of fish but there’s a possibility he’s going to kill it for everyone, himself included.

The likes of Duncan Charman fished there last summer and blanked in what I would describe as good conditions…

Matt Brown has never had any success there either, so don’t be fooled into thinking its easy.

Last summer the bailiff strimmed every bit of vegetation down for the lower quarter of a mile making it even bleaker than ever. I didn’t like that because even from nettles you get food blown into the river and it keeps the fish visiting the margins – especially chub.

Due to my blog and various articles in the media naming the fishery (not many by me I might add) I’m expecting the fishery to get much busier this season and we’ll have the bankside gypsies camping out every night which impacts badly on the day-only angler. So, in summary, if I was looking for big barbel I’d be fishing elsewhere but the convenience of being able to fish midweek, in daylight, with practically no-one around (on my bank – lots on the other) meant it was a little piece of paradise.

If it’s ruined I’ll move on. No-one fishes the stretch below or the one below that. And there are still plenty of other places, too.

Despite this, I do like the place, probably because it’s tinged with a bit of nostalgia. I’ve fished this area for 30 years or more and it kinda sticks in your blood.

Details on access, entry points and parking will be supplied by Cemex when you become a member.


Bob Roberts


Hi Bob,

I was wondering if you knew who which club controlled the fishing on the oppisite bank to collingham water on the tidal trent. I am interested in fishing the stick for barbel and there is two bends on that stretch that look ideal, one diectly behind comwell gravel pit and the other opposite the collingham members only stretch. I know we have the bend by the conveyer with flow on the inside which looks ok but, there seems bivvy boys in these pegs most of the time. I think cemex own some fishing but i am unsure which pegs. Any info would be gratefully received.



The stretch from Cromwell Lock dowstream is Ashfield Angling Club, then there’s a bit I’m not sure about.

After that comes Ranmoor Piscatorials followed by Cemex.

Below Cemax there’s about 3/4 mile that used to be Notts Fed running down to the stream mouth above Carlton Mill but right now I don’t think anyone owns it. It is one of the places I grew up fishing and it is brilliant. Rocks at the top end then natural banks. It is all on gravel and I’m going to say no more about it except you can park at Carlton Church and walk across the fields.

The field from the stream mouth to the Wharf is private.

There’s a couple of swims immediately below the wharf next to the mill which is owned by the old lady in the bungalow. Stick your day ticket money in the tin and park next to the river.

The next stretch used to be Hull and District. Not sure if they still own it.

Below this is the Slaithwaite water which starts opposite peg 260 – 270ish on the Collingham water and runs down to more or less the end of the Collingham stretch.

A little further down on the same bank is the Barbel Society water at Sutton where you can drive right onto the bank.

Hope that helps.

Bob Roberts


Where can I buy Barble Magic liquid form as in your Barble days and ways Vol 3?

Try contacting Shaun Harrison (link below). He sells Archies products from the Quest Baits site. I’m certain he can supply you or he’ll put you in direct contact with Archi Braddock.





Hi Bob

The river season is getting closer by the minute and im sure your just as eager as me to get on the bank and catch some fish. On the 16th me and my dad are going to Topcliffe Wier on the river Swale owned by the Leeds D.A.S.A after school, so i was just looking for some advice on what baits i should use and what features to look for. I am defonatly taking some meat, pellets, worms, hemp and boilies but i was just wondering if you could help me a little so that i can catch a Barbel on the first day of the season.

Also congratulations on the realise of the Barbel Days & Ways V. 3 & 4 i havent yet bought them myself but i soon will and i look forward to watching them because they look amazing.

Thanks and tight lines for the big day



Good luck on opening day. It may not have crossed your mind but the chances are the Swale will be very busy and should you find a decent swim vacant there’s every chance someone else will have fished there all day and then gone home, so please don’t go raising your hopes too high.

Cut down on the number of baits you’re taking – sounds like the list of desperation to me. Just stick to pellets and hemp with maybe a little corn as an alternative. Fish as near as you can get to the weir just making sure that whichever swim you choose has a decent flow. You will not find barbel in the slack water.

Bob Roberts


Hi Bob & Stuart,

I think the dvd’s are fantastic, I have bought a few Barbel dvd’s over the years including Stuart Morgan & Guy Robbs efforts but I have say Barbel Days & Ways is the best I’ve seen to date. I am already looking forward to Volumes 5 & 6. I have a question for you regarding baiting up a swim with solely a swimfeeder in a swim where the depth is to deep to see any Barbel in, do you attach a hooklength with a baited hook when getting down a bed of bait from the off or do use a bait filled swimfeeder without a baited hooklength attached? If the latter how long would you normally wait before attatching a baited hooklength? And lastly what are the light coloured small pellets you are using in your swimfeeders?

Kind Regards


Hi Paul

Thank you for the kind words

With regard to baiting up a swim with a swimfeeder I have to ask one simple question: Why?

It is far quicker and more efficient to use a bait dropper. Casting a feeder without a hooklink either takes longer – you have to wait for it to empty, or it will scatter the bait if you strike it out. It’s so much easier and faster to use a bait dropper, clipped up on the same rod if you like.

If, for instance, I’m fishing the tidal Trent where you cannot see barbel, I put in ten to twenty droppers of mixed pellets and hemp before I start and then fish a feeder over this. I see no advantage whatsoever in casting a feeder umpteen times without a baited hook. I will then use the bait dropper at intervals during the day to top up the swim. The feeder is only used to hold my bait in position and add a little feed near it.

The pellet mix we use comprises a mix of the various pellets supplied by Mistral/ Bag ‘Em baits – both have web sites. We include all manner of flavours, sizes and colours, based very often on what’s to hand at a given time – don’t obsess on individual items in a mix – it’s all about the variety and the emphasis on mainly small pellets. The ones you refer to are probably the very small moist pellets which compliment the tiny hard ones.

Mistral has launched a Ten Pellet mix in 5k bags (see web site) which actually has about 14 different types included should you wish to save buying 14 different bags to create your own mix but whatever you do the key baits in the mix for us are the small elips pellets and of course the hemp.

Good luck,

Bob Roberts



I’ve recently become interested in lure angling and wondered If you had any knowledge of pike population in the northern canals. I live close to the aire and calder canal, but cannot find info on pike on this canal or anyone i’ve spoken to does’nt really seem to know. Any information on this would be appreciated and any of the northern canals contain pike?




Hi Matt

There are some good pike in the Northern canals and that is the very reason you read nothing about it. Everything is a bit secret squirrel.

The only way you’re going to find out for yourself is to don a good pair of walking boots, grab yourself a lure rod, landing net and a small selectiuon of lures.

Good luck

Bob Roberts


hi bob my names chris just wanted to know a few tips about barble fishing as i cought my 1st barble last year from ross on wye, but i dnt know many methods 2 catch them if u can pass on a few tips tha b gr8 many thanks

Hi Chris,

There are numerous articles on my web site going into great detail on how to catch barbel. If you want to see how the experts actually do it then you genuinely need to watch the Barbel Days & Ways series. Everything you need to know can be found in these four disks.

Failing that I am running two coaching schools on the River Wye this summer and full details can be found on the web site.


Bob Roberts


I am trying to bet all my pbs can you help the fist fish is a eel and do you know hot spot it thetford Norfolk

Dear Brandon

I have no experience of fishing in your area and therefore cannot advise you on specifics. The best way forward is to visit a local tackle shop and explain your ambition to beat all your pbs. I’m sure they will prove to be most helpful when it comes to choosing venues and tactics.

Good luck

Bob Roberts


which are the best polaroid sunglasses to use for angling. and is the a website at which i can view these

Hi Paul,

Without question the best I’ve ever used are by Optilabs. There’s an article explaining just why they’re the best if you follow this link to my site.


Excellent company that gives a first class service.

You’ll also find a link to the Optilabs site in the article.

Good luck.

Bob Roberts


Hello Bob

I am an avid reader of your column in the Rotherham advertiser, and of your online blog, so much so that after a veritable drought of fishing experiences (probably to do with doing stupid things like running road races and cross country with Kimberworth Striders) you have sparked my interest in dusting off the old tackle, ahem.

I am basically after some advice on where to fish on the rivers Don and Dearne in and around Rotherham/Doncaster. To be honest i see lots of posts relating to spots around Sprotborough and Denaby, but (I know this sounds stupid) but not sure which river is which in these areas (I suppose the road signs should give it away).

Also are there any Tench Waters thriving in and around South Yorkshire (and am I hoping for a miracle asking this question as the Tench numbers in Wentworth lakes seem to have dwindled by all accounts)

Here’s hoping you can give me a steer on where to wet a line


Hi Simon

Trust you to decide to take up fishing again when the rivers will be closed until June 16th!

The Don runs from Sheffield to Doncaster and you’ll find excellent club and day ticket fishing all the way through. There’s a lovely stretch at Kilnhurst and it’s quite pretty through Mexborough. Call in Paul’s tackle shop on the main road through Denaby and he’ll give you the low down on some great fishing within 5 minutes of his shop.

Sprotborough Weir offers good fishing (both above and below) for roach, skimmers and barbel with day tickets available on the bank.

Further downstream you’ll find some free fishing behind the prison in Doncaster where chub and barbel are the prime targets.

The Dearne is a far different prospect, much shallower and quite narrow. The main (most popular) fishing areas start around Darfield and run through Wath, Bolton and Harlington before it runs into the Don near Conisborough. These days it’s mostly chub and barbel that anglers fish for but roach and skimmers can be found in the lower reaches.

Tench fishing in this area is in decline to be honest. It was never great and I know of nowhere that I’d specifically target them today with the exception of maybe Alderfen Fisheries near Wroot. Google the name and you’ll find a web site giving full details.

Good Luck

Bob Roberts

15 thoughts on “A Few Of Your Questions…

  1. Hi Bob

    Have met you once or twice at various shows and wondered if you are bookable for a days fishing and what costs would be invloved. My wife and I are more interested in feeder and float fishing for all types of coarse fish not just Carp. We would be pleased to travel to a venue of your choice.


    John Bedingfeld
    Nr garstang

  2. Hi John.

    The only coaching I’m doing at the present time are the courses I run on the River Wye (which is actually done as a favour to the hotel owner who is not just a good friend but goes the extra mile to ensure anglers are looked after in spectacular fashion) and to support the fabulous work undertaken by the Wye and Usk Foundation.

    It also enables me to create a very special professional package that goes way beyond being told to sit here, cast a feeder there and if you’re lucky you’ll catch a barbel…

    If I were to consider providing individual coaching sessions for, say, one to three persons, I would expect to charge a daily rate in the region of £250 for a ten-hour day including my travel.

    To many prospective angling customers this would seem an extraordinary amount to levy for a day’s fishing but it’s relatively comparable with what you might pay for a decent plumber or bricklayer.

    Certain high profile anglers charge double this rate and more. My last fly fishing lesson cost £40 for two hours. However there are many guides offering a much cheaper service but I cannot see how they can possibly be declaring their earnings for income tax, insurance, etc.

    I guess it’s horses for courses.


    Bob Roberts

  3. Many thanks for your response, £250 is about the right sort of money for a days tuition, I believe Bob Nudd charges exactly that. When is you next session on the River Wye going top be ??? Will you be at Peterborough this next weekend ???

  4. I’ll definitely be running at least one course on the Wye next summer. Dates will be confirmed on the site as soon as they’re organised.

    Although I’ve attended the Peterborough show a couple of times in the past three years I’ll not be at this one due to other commitments.

  5. Dear Bob,
    I routinely fish the Rhine in Switzerland which is full of good-sized barbel; the river flows fast and deep (4-5m).
    Having watched your recent Barbel videos (vols 1,2,3,4), I have a question. You used Superglue to stick the pellets or other baits together beforehand – is there any evidence that the leaching of chemicals from the glue negatively affects the attraction of the bait? Can you recommend a SuperGlue brand?

  6. Hi Phillip,

    I have seen no evidence to suggest the glues I use have any negative impact on the number of bites I get.

    Gluing is quicker than drilling but the biggest advantage is that drilled pellets break down far quicker than glued ones and they can be plucked off the hair or broken when a fish picks them up.

    My favoured glue is the Loctite Superglue Gel.

    Hope this helps,

    Bob Roberts

  7. Dear Bob,
    I would like to pose a second question after watching the Barbel DVDs.
    I noticed that you and your colleagues fished downstream on the larger rivers, like the Trent.
    As I fish the fast-flowing, deep, river Rhine, I usually fish upstream using the bow-method to supposedly reduce the pressure on the line and feeder. Under what river conditions would you recommend using the downstream versus the upstream cast?
    After watching your underwater filming, I guess that the barbel are less likely to be spooked if they approach the feeder and hook-length from a downstream position. What do you think?

  8. Hi Phillip,

    When fishing a fast river like the Trent it is my normal tactic to cast one rod slightly upstream of where I’m sitting and one 10 yards downstream on exactly the same line so that feed from the top rod baits the area where the bottom rod is fishing.

    I do not place the feeders close together because it can result in crossed lines and tangles.

    If it appears both are positioned downstream it is because of the fast flows. The ustream rod is fished with a bow in the line so the line you can see isn’t actually pointing at the feeder.

    One of the reasons I often use hook links that are 6 feet long is to keep my hook bait away from the feeder and the reel line.

  9. dear bob, can u point out some barbel fishing 4 me please. i will be staying in shardlow at holden house hotel for a couple of days,is there any day ticket barbel areas near to where i will be staying? regards brian.

  10. can u please point out any good barbel fishing at shardlow,its my first venture at shardlow,and i am not sure of any day ticket areas for barbel. many thanks brian.

    • To get the best from your stay make your first call the following tackle shop:

      Fishing Synergy,
      469 Tamworth Road,
      Long Eaton,
      NG10 3GR
      Telephone: 0115 9722 525
      Email: sales@fishingsynergy.com

      5 minutes from your hotel and I’m sure they’ll put you straight.

      Failing that, Pride of Derby do a weekly ticket. Details on their web site. River 4 minutes from your hotel.

      Have you considered booking a day’s guiding with Archie Braddock. He lives 5 minutes from the tackle shop and knows the river around there like the back of his hand. He’s dead cheap, too, and you’ll learn absolutely loads.

      Good luck.

  11. Hi Bob. Just wondering if you have seen any truth in elips pellets holding the bottom of the river bed more than standard round pellets? Or is this just another myth given to us by the media?

    • Afraid it’s a total load of misguided and misinformed hogwash Mickey. Pellets absorb water and become buoyant, whatever their shape. Watch the BD&W DVDs. It’s clearly shown how pellets and hemp are washed out of the swim in relatively slow flows, whatever their shape. It’s a bit like asking if a round balloon full of helium would float higher than an oval one. Bit unfair to blame the media, too. They only publish what the various wannabees spout after listening to all the rubbish they’ve read on the internet. It’s laughable, sometimes. Blokes with five minutes experience think they’re experts when all they’ve ever done is copied and repeated. Afraid it’s the world we live in. Everyone wants to be a star, they want to be rich, they want it now and they aren’t prepared to do any donkey work. Hence bullshit becomes fact. Good that you’re thinking though. That’s where real progress begins.

  12. Hi Bob I’m just after some basic advice as Ive been invited to fish gunthorpe island , looking at the drop what landing net pole length would you recommend
    I don’t usually fish from an elevated position but I hear it’s a good place for a good bit of sport

    Thanks in advance for any advice

    • I wish I could help you but I’ve never fished from he island. I suspect folk walk fish along the wall to the moorings in front of the lock. That’s where most of the photos I’ve seen are taken. If I were you I’d message the Gunthorpe Lock Fishery Facebook page. After all, they run the fishery so will be the best people to ask.